From Nigel G3TXF
Well known FOCer, super CW-operator, top CW-contester and DX-peditioner Roger G3SXW went finally QRT earlier today.
It is over two and a half years since the unfortunate accident where Roger fell off a ladder while clearing leaves from the roof gutter on his house. Since then Roger was either in hospital or in a nursing home. He passed away at around 0915z this morning Sunday 24 April.
For Roger's 70th birthday in 2016 we assembled a photo webpage. At the top of the main page there are links to earlier photos of Roger G3SXW from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.....
FOCers will probably recognise several of the faces in the photos. Roger G3SXW (FOC 847) was always an enthusiastic member of FOC and served the Club in many roles over the years.
Here is another page of memories: http://www.g3txf.com/dxtrip/G3SXW-QRT/G3SXW-QRT.html
From Tom K8CX
I also did a tribute to Roger: http://hamgallery.com/Tribute/G3SXW/
Very sorry and my condolences.
From Mike KC7V
I have many great memories with Roger. I did 20 CQWWCW contests (even before the Voodoo Contest Group name was born...thanks to Robby GM3YTS who came up with the name) with Roger over the years and Judy and I stayed with him in London a couple of times. Our first CQWWCW contest was in 1989 at 4U0ITU. We did ZF2WW in 1993 for Roger because he had never been or operated from the Caribbean.
Before we started our West African adventures there were CQWWCW trips to CN5N in 1990, C56N in 1991 and ZC4Z in 1992. There were just six of us on our first African Contest Expedition from 9G5AA in 1994 (G3SXW, GM3YTS, K5VT, KC7V, N7BG and K7GE was with us but did not operate). The 1994 9G5AA operation started the Voodoo Contest Group legacy that led to CQWWCW contests from nine West African nations through 2012. I can never forget all the bus trips, the camaraderie, the border crossings we endured plus a few nasty official fellows we encountered that Roger handled effortlessly.
I can spend hours writing memories of our trips together. I miss the late night/early morning conversations over beers talking radio and life. Big loss for me but lots of memories to keep him alive.
From Lee KY7M
Let me extend my condolences ..... I know this seemed imminent but it is still a hard pill to swallow. My first Voodude trip in 1998 was most memorable because of my first interactions with Roger. Here are a few of my Roger recollections:
In 1998 I was pursuing a PhD in conflict management system design and had arranged via my son’s British in-laws to meet with their cousin who was a Solicitor to discuss dispute resolution (arbitration and mediation) in the UK while I was passing through London on the way to 5V7A. Roger picked me up at the airport and drove me to the area where the lawyers have their offices. He waited in a pub while I walked the last few blocks to meet with the Solicitor. It was very cold and I had not brought a coat to wear over my suit since I was on the way to Africa. Anyway, I had my meeting and went back to the pub to enjoy a warm pint with Roger. I stayed at his home that night and we met the other Brits at the airport in the morning for our trip to 9G/5V.
On arrival in Ghana the next day, the Customs Officer pulled me into his office because the X-ray machine had shown that my suitcase contained 100’ of coax. After being detained for several minutes, Roger came in and in his inimitable way explained (loudly) that it was critical for me to leave with my suitcase because we had to be on a bus to Togo in the morning. As he was saying this he began leading me out the door with my suitcase and we departed the airport. No arrests were made!
I was put on 10 meters at the start of the CQWW at 5V7A and thought it was a form of rookie hazing being posted on a “dead band” at midnight local time. Roger assured me that by pointing the yagi SW there would be JAs calling me long path. After the first 30 minutes or so of working only a few Middle East and SA stations, the whispers of JA signals began to tickle my headphones and I was running them LP. Who knew?
Roger was extremely critical that I had a microphone on my Heil headset that I actually wanted to use. He led the abuse by the Voodude team of FOC hard core CW ops, but while the team was away one night I had my thrill of sitting on 14195 working the USA split on SSB with the window next to me open and the breeze blowing in from the ocean (Bight of Benin) keeping me inspired. I took even more abuse after that from the CW purists.
Roger loved my “True Contest Adventures of Sparky and Runner” fiction series published a few times in DX Magazine and NCJ. He always egged me on to write new adventures.
I am sure it was with Roger’s support that I became an FOC member in 2001.
My last time seeing Roger was in Cyprus the year we operated Bob, 5B4AGN’s station in 2013 as P3F in CQWW CW. It was fun to operate with him that last time and we had a spirited competition between the Brits (G3SXW and G4IRN) and the ‘mericans (AA7A and KY7M) to see who would make the most Qs. There was plenty of time outside of operating the radio for telling stories and laughing. Enjoying a bottle of excellent Scotch together after the contest continued a longstanding Voodude tradition.
Many more good memories of Roger from those many Voodude trips. I will miss him.
From Chris G1VDP
This is sad news. RIP Roger, will miss your wit and wisdom at the conventions.
From Richard G3ZGC
Yes it is very sad indeed. I had worked him many times when he was operating DXpeditions and he always managed to pick my signal out of the airwaves. I always regarded him as one of the best UK CW operators.
From Luis EC5A
Really very sad news. I have never met Roger in person, but I have been one of many who have contacted him on his expeditions. The world of DX, and amateur radio in general, loses another of the great Dxman. RIP Roger, and we will miss you.
From Victor G3JNB
I am so sorry to hear that 'our Roger' has gone SK. He, Nigel G3TXF and I were members of the original Thames Valley club TVARTS in our youth (or was it the Kingston ADRS club?) - way back in the 1960/70s. So long ago.
As our leading operators in the annual 'National Field Day', it was obvious that they completely outclassed us mere mortals and it was no surprise that both he and Nigel rose to stardom in the international DXpedition world. We would always have a long chat at the RSGB Conventions, and I found him to be a really kind man,
I believe that we owe Roger and Nigel a debt of gratitude for the sheer amount of planning, resourcefulness and skill they deployed 'back in the day' to satisfy our universal lust for a 'new one'. 'REST IN PEACE ROGER, OM'.
From Bob G4DBW
Very sad news of Roger’s passing. My lasting memory of Roger will be meeting him after a talk about a voodoo dxped at an RSGB convention, where I purchased one of his entertaining books. He took the time to come over and chat to me a young G4 … and signing a copy of the book. It’s still on my bookshelf in the shack …… I shall dust it off and read it again. Another great ambassador for UK amateur radio has passed.
From Stephen HB9DDO
Very sad news indeed. I’m the happy owner of a few of his books and at least one of those was signed by Roger before he sent it over to me. Good idea to read them again. I was fortunate enough to meet Roger a few years ago in FHN and we had a nice chat about his books etc. Definitely a great guy and he made a lasting impression. Not to forget about all the band points Roger and Nigel brought into my log over the year.
From Juan TG9AJR
Very sad news, my most sincere condolences to his family and the amateur radio community. I had the opportunity to meet him in Finland 2002. He will be always remembered, RIP.
From Chris G3SVL
He will be known to many members from his DXpeditions, many with Nigel, G3TXF, and his books and articles for the Digest. He was inducted into the CQ DX contest Hall of Fame in 1998 and the DX Hall of Fame in 2007. Although he left CDXC after he became ill I still consider him ‘one of us’. RIP Roger.
From Dave G3YMC
Over the years I have met Roger not only on the air but also at various rallies and we got to know each other quite well. I think he even did a bit of QRPing after seeing my success in it.... I think the last time I met him was at the inter-club Hernia Cup quiz which we held at Bracknell in 2017 and he was part of the Echelford Club team (and they won!). He was in great spirits then and
it sad to think we will never meet again. RIP Roger, you will be missed in our hobby.
From Steve PJ4DX
This is very sad news indeed. I first met Roger way back in 1978 when he was EP2IA and I had just arrived to work in Iran and, after 5 months of waiting, became EP2SL. Despite me being a 100% SSB operator in those days, and Roger being 100% CW, we became firm friends and I remember well spending Christmas 1978 with him and his family. Even before I ever met Roger I knew his mother, Gee, G3NQD, who lived locally to me in Devon. RIP Roger.
From John G4IRN
Very sad news, but not totally unexpected as many of us know. I first met Roger almost by accident - after a 20-year break from the hobby I wanted to resurrect my contesting interests and looked through QRZ.com for a local ham who might help me out. Little did I know that the person I went to meet for a pint was such a prolific contester and DX’er. That was the start of a long friendship which really jump started me back into the hobby; Roger was always there to give support and of course an opinion on absolutely everything!
Those who knew Roger know that he didn't mince his words - he was always quite forthright and opinionated, but that was part of the package with Roger and he would happily receive back as good as he gave - he was always ready to put the world to rights.
It might not be widely known that he was born into an amateur radio family - his father was G3LFL and mother G3NQD. The family were involved in the Torbay club and Roger retained links to the club all his life. However it was for his CW DXpeditions and contesting that he was most well known for. He was one of the founding members of the Voodoo Contest Group, a group renowned for its contest DXpeditions to West Africa each year from 1994 to 2012, plus many DXpeditions around the world with friends (particularly Nigel G3TXF) that gave many a new one to the deserving.
Roger was Life Vice-President, ex-President and Honoured Member of the CW First Class Operators Club (FOC); member of both the CQ Contest Hall of Fame (1998) and CQ DX Hall of Fame (2007); ex WRTC referee and past member of the RSGB Contest and CQWW committees. He was also one of the founding members of the 'Triple A' contest group.
In early March Roger had another fall and his health declined further. He was in hospital for much of the time since then; his health deteriorated very rapidly and sadly he couldn't pull through this final battle.
My thoughts are with his wife Virginia, his son Russell and his family at this difficult time but also the great memories of overseas radio trips and the laughs we've had along the way.
Sad news indeed RIP Roger. A loss to Amateur Radio. Condolences to his family.
Oh dear, condolences to his nearest and dearest. I do feel lucky to have met and chatted with Roger at the CDXC meetings over the years, and very grateful for the contacts with him in the many far flung places that he visited and operated from.
What sad news this is. Roger was a great friend over the years we never did get to made a dxped together but had many great talks at dx dinners all over. the DX World has lost a First Class Op. He will be missed by so many. RIP my old friend.
News I have been expecting since John's last post. I met Roger through his attendance at various conventions among them the GMDX. Roger's silvery tongue persuaded me to become the QSL Manager for the Voodoo Contest Team, and I enjoyed discussing his exploits over the odd beer. I dont think Roger suffered fools gladly and we didn’t always see eye to eye about odd things, including funding for expeditions. I do have a signed copy of one of his books somewhere. At the time it was a standard read for an up-and-coming expeditioner like me. I loved it when Roger and Nigel went on their two man expeditions. They always had their "G" ears on and it was always very easy to work them usually 1 up!!! even at 30+wpm. I admired how both operators could work for days and it seemed liked they never slept.
Roger's passing will leave a huge gap in G DXing and he will
be sorely missed. I think I am around the same age as Roger - 75, but I have
given up ladder climbing. I get dizzy after the third step. Sleep well old pal. di di di dah de dah!
I have little to add to the many memories that have already been written on here. Roger was a member of the RSGB HF Committee for a period and of course made his presence known in no uncertain terms. One of his pet projects was the problem of deliberate QRM and how to handle the offenders. Unfortunately, apathy from other IARU Region 1 members meant this was something of a lost cause apart from a couple of notable successes. RIP Roger old friend.
Roger was the author of two books-
Contesting in Africa and the VooDoo Contest Group
When he was in the hospital just after his fall, I visited him. He had just started to become lucid again after a period of not being so and started talking again. I was present when one of the orderlies on the ward was returning Roger's book to him that had been lent to him. He told Roger he was very impressed about what he had read and asked him many questions about the contents. I recommend reading these books. They are a great testament not just to him but to an era of contesting. The book is now out of print and not easy to find. Roger had told me the book was freely online. I cannot find it now.
Does anybody have the link? If somehow the link has disappeared, perhaps it can get back on line.
Very sad news indeed. RIP Roger
No stories so far from the Voodoo days, so maybe I can start that ball rolling. Although I had known Roger for some years, my first Voodoo trip was in 1999, to Ghana. This was a country very familiar to Voodoo veterans. The morning after our arrival Roger asked me to join him for an interview at a local radio station in Accra. Somehow, he had organised this, a later one at a radio station when we were in Cape Coast, and also a visiting TV crew to check out the station and run a feature on our operation.
I recall on a later trip, in Ouagadougou, being dragged along with Roger to meet the local licensing people, on the basis that he and I were the only team members to speak French. At some point Roger's French ran out and he turned to me to pick up the conversation - a bit cheeky as Roger's French was better than mine!
But he was always fun to be with and was forever teasing the American members of the team - I seem to recall that Mike KC7V and the late Vince K5VT were particular friends.
These operations took some organizing and that was Roger's forte, often doing a recce trip earlier in the year to check out possible venues, organise licensing, etc. And when we started operations, it would be Roger liaising with hotel management, sorting out transport, etc to ensure everything ran smoothly. Great times!
There are many stories from the Voodoo Contest Group days – but having only done 5 of the trips I feel I’m still a junior member of the team. Roger was on 4 of those trips and was in-command. But some of the immediate highlights of lessons learnt from Roger which come to mind
When dealing with officialdom – it’s often best to appear not be able to speak / understand the language
When customs ask you what’s that on your baggage trolley – you don’t say ‘un radio’ – you say ‘une boite’ (a box!)
It’s hard to find a turkey on Thanksgiving weekend in Ouagadougou or Niamey (I forget which now) – especially if you can’t remember the French for Turkey. But the locals will eventually help you out if you mime flapping wings and say – ah – un dinde (which I will obviously now never forget) Mais - non – nous n’en avons plus.
One year I was short of time and I flew in directly to Niamey (5U) while the rest of the team with Roger were negotiating a difficult land crossing with all the equipment from Burkina Faso – with all the usual customs and border hastle and I think some fuel and vehicle issues. Roger rightly gave me a jolly good ribbing when they bashed on my door in the early hours for having gone to bed to get some rest rather than staying up worrying about why the rest of the team were so late! (All in the days before widespread mobile coverage and universal roaming…)
And many other stories – but others will carry many many more…. Great times indeed. RIP Roger.
Adding to Don's and Andy's experiences of the Voodoo Contest Group - Roger absolutely loved those trips and the challenges they posed. There were always difficulties with something, whether it was licensing, transportation, African corruption - Roger always found a way to smooth things out and get what we wanted.
I remember when we went to Guinea in 2007, we were issued with the callsign 3XY5D - we even had T-shirts printed with it on. But Roger was mad that we couldn't have the 'usual' Voodoo call format, he wanted 3X5A. The authorities said this wasn't possible, but Roger kept chipping away and eventually they cracked and we received 3X5A. We went on to get world 1st place M/M in CQWW CW that year.
Although the Voodoo trips were a lot of fun, Roger was very focussed on winning and used to challenge us when our rates dropped, making sure we were properly focused at the operating position. I think he upset a few operators along the way but his intentions were in the right place.
The Voodoo Contest Group website is a nice reminder of many of the African exploits; I'm updating it this morning with a special page for Roger. This link is here: https://www.voodoocontestgroup.com/
Roger also authored some books, six that I know of:
Up Two - Adventures of a DXpeditioner
Contesting in Africa - Multi Multi on the Equator
DX Delights - Tales of Travels with my Radio
Escape from Revolution - personal reflections of his escape from Iran
Notes from the West Country - personal reminiscences
Steve VK6VZ / G3ZZD
Oh Roger. I owe you for at least five countries on 160m. Your ability to pull out a callsign from a pile-up was as good as there has ever been.
Remember the time when we met in 2001 at a local Indian restaurant when you and Denny G3MXJ caught up with Kevin VK6LW and me, as you overnighted in Perth on your way to the Cocos-Keeling Islands?
I can still see the horrified expressions on Kevin and Denny's faces as we engaged in a vigorous debate about politics from opposite sides - and then the looks of relief when they realized we weren't going to kill each other but were just having a lively conversation. ;-) Bless you cobber - and your family.
This is very sad news. I remember being in the bar with Roger at the Harrogate dinner in 2013. I was there as a guest before I joined FOC. We were the last to leave the bar, a little while after Ron G3KTZ, the only other one to see 2am, had gone to bed. I am quite sure that many of us have plenty of stories. He will certainly be missed.
A very sad news. We lost another great OM.... Raise the hand who didn't worked Roger from say at least 10 different places in the world. Lately several members passed away. May you all rest in peace my friends, radio waves will never be the same without you
Sorry to hear that Roger has passed over. ….. He will be most and not forgotten. RIP my dr friend.
I have Roger in my log from many great DXpeditions. Bobbie and I had the pleasure of visiting him and his first wife on one of our trips to England. I well remember playing backgammon with Russell who was about 9 or 10. At one point I needed to throw a double 6 on the dice to win. I held the dice in my fist, blew on it and said "come on double 6".Well don't you know that's exactly what I threw. The look of shock on Russell face was priceless. His eyes widened; he threw his mother a quick glance as if to say was that magic? All the while Roger was close by and grinning like a Cheshire cat. RIP mate.
Very sad indeed. Roger was my first FOC sponsor and taught me a huge amount. RIP.
Oh so sorry to hear Roger has passed. He will be sorely missed. I classed him as one of my Elmers. RIP OC
Alas, a true loss. RIP Roger.
I certainly have worked him in many places, but only met him in person once. It was WRTC 2014, at the HQ hotel. I was a tent manager/transportation volunteer. I had just dropped off the team LX2A/YO3JR and our own Mike KC7V. They all fell asleep in my car! I then went into the hotel. Roger had just gotten there also (he was a referee). He was speaking to one in particular but he said out loud "now what do I want first a cold beer or a hot shower". I'll never forget that. Gosh but WRTC 2014 was a weekend to remember. RIP Roger
we used to enjoy Sunday and Wednesday chats at high speed CW 30 wpm plus , it was a real pleasure to work him, I can remember him and Olof working from the starship enterprise (Olof's car) from the continent . Sadly that will be no more. really sad news, we will not see his like again.
Very sad news indeed. Will miss his style of a sense of humour.
Great loss. Roger was a regular visitor in Contest Club Finland annual meetings and WRTC events around the world. I had a lunch with Roger few times in London while working there, too. It was always a pleasure to exchange views with him between the ground and antennas.
Richard K5NA (to FOC reflector)
You never forget your G-Sponsor. And Roger was my excellent G-Sponsor. It is sad for me to know that he is now gone. I no longer have any remaining FOC members alive that sponsored me back in the late 80s. They (W1PL, ZL3GQ, K5MA, G3SXW) have all become SK. My other sponsor was DJ6RX and he left the club in 2007. I don't know if he is still alive or not. Roger was always an important influencer in the club. His energy will be missed. A chapter in the club's history has just turned.
Nick G3RWF (to FOC reflector)
Very very sad news- and thanks for the excellent but sad photos, Nigel and Tyler. A great radio amateur, Roger was a"one off" in so many ways. I remember so well looking up trips by Roger and Nigel in the Geoff Watts Newsletter - before computers really but didn't one to find them and their great operating.
I am sure others, including veteran voodudes will have much more to add - and I haven't even mentioned his excellent books. And there was his acerbic wit too...
RIP Roger. You are greatly missed.
Marco IK2CHZ and Cristiana IW2NVI
It's a very sad news. We knew Roger in 1999 during an HF convention in Bologna (Italy). Then I met him several times in Friedrichshafen, last time in London in 2017 where he organized for us a very nice day with other big guns (John G4IRN and Janet, Niegel G3TXF and Ian G3WVG, see the top right pic). I have read some of his books, written with a fine pen and with typical British humor, it was also a real pleasure to hear his adventures during the Iranian revolution in 1979. He gave me several new countries from Pacific and Africa during his DXpeditions. Another big piece of Ham Radio is QSYed. RIP Roger.
It is with sad heart that I report after hearing of the passing of one of Amateur Radio's greatest DXpeditioners, G3SXW, Roger Western. Roger was a fun guy to
be around and did some amazing operations for many decades.
During one of my trips to the UK during a convention in October Roger drove me throughout the weekend and took me out to dinner. We met several other times in the US. One thing was for sure whenever he and G3TXF, Nigel, went on a DXpedition you were pretty much guaranteed to have a QSO or more! Today's issue is dedicated to Roger. RIP my friend.
I am very sorry for your, our DX lovers', and his family's loss. We never forget Roger’s tender heart and super CW operation. He is now silent key, but his soul of amateur radio is forever.