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Umpqua Lighthouse

The Umpqua River Lighthouse on Jan. 19.

ROSEBURG -- The Umpqua River Lighthouse and Museum will participate in the International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend (ILLW). Since 1998, the International Amateur Radio group has hosted their annual ILLW on the third full weekend in August.

The event features more than 500 lighthouse entries, representing more than 40 countries from around the world. This year the Douglas County commissioners have granted amateur radio operator Olin L. Beall II the approval to go on the air from the Umpqua River Lighthouse and Museum with a portable station on August 18. He will attempt to make contact with other lighthouses, as a part of the international event. His Amateur Radio call sign is WA7YXY, according to a press release from county public information officer Tamara Osborne.

ILLW, began in 1998 as the Scottish Northern Lights Award run by the Ayr Amateur Radio Group. It is one of the most popular international amateur radio events in existence.

"Their objective is to encourage Lighthouse managers, keepers and owners to open their lighthouses and related visitors centers to the public with a view to raising the profile of lighthouses, light vessels and other navigational aids, and preserving our maritime heritage. For more information about the International event, log onto: http://illw.net/," Osborne wrote.

"Mr. Beall plans to set up his portable station early Saturday morning from inside the Lighthouse Museum and operate most of the day. He will be available to talk to the public about the event and amateur radio operators," she added.

Beall is a retired U.S. Government employee with 12 years on active duty in the U.S. Army, and 28 years with the U.S. Forest Service as a civil engineer. He retired in 2014 with 40 years of service. He worked for the Siuslaw National Forest for a number of years and did a variety of projects for the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. But, Beall's real hobby is Amateur Radio. He is a member of several amateur radio clubs and organizations including the Benton County Amateur Radio Emergency Service (BCARES). For more information, one can contact him at highsierra47@yahoo.com.

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Umpqua Post Editor