Special Event Station OP20FENIKS (“Phoenix 2020”): November 2020
To bring “Phoenix 2020: The Great Reconstruction after the First World War in the Westhoek in Belgium” to worldwide attention, the Radio Amateurs of the Royal Union of Belgian Radio Amateurs (UBA) from Gullegem and IPR from Ypres – located in West Flanders in the Belgian province of West Flanders – are joining forces.
With the approval of the UBA (Koninklijke UNIE van de BELGISCHE ZENDAMATEURS) and the BIPT, we were granted a special, temporary club license for the entire month of November 2020 with the special event station OP20FENIKS.
After the First World War, the entire Westhoek Region in Belgium was in ruins. Recovery seemed almost impossible.
Four years of trench warfare in the northern part of the Western Front left untold devastation for man and nature in its wake. The First World War had wiped dozens of towns and villages along the old frontline clean off the map. Recovery seemed out of the question.
Immediately after the Armistice, the first inhabitants returned. People especially needed food, children had to go back to school, social life was restarted, and above all the inhabitants made a home again from a heap of stones.
In 1918, many thought it would be impossible to fully restore the devastated regions. According to them, foresting the entire front zone was a better option. But the area struggled strongly and with determination. In more than 10 years, the Westhoek rose like a Phoenix from its ashes.
By the end of the 1920s, the reconstruction was largely completed and it still determines the view of the Westhoek to this day.
“Phoenix or the Post First World War Reconstruction” is an ode to the resilience of forgotten men and women who cleared rubble and rebuilt the country after the First World War.
Special Event Station OP20FENIKS
Our Amateur Radio station is located in the immediate vicinity of the memorial of “Hill 62”, located in Zillebeke-Ieper.
The special event station OP20FENIKS will be heard on HF and on VHF (the 2m band) in SSB, in CW as well in some Digimodes (RTTY, SSTV and FT8).
The HF station is housed by the very friendly owners of the Sanctuary Wood Museum (Hill 62), Canadalaan 26, 8902 Zillebeke-Ieper.
The VHF station finds its unique place a little further on, in the grassy plain along the right side of the memorial of “Hill 62”.
All Radio Amateurs, family, friends and interested parties are very welcome!
QSL: via ON5YL