The Maui Amateur Radio Club recently honored Mel Fukunaga, KH6H, for his long-term dedication to amateur radio licensing on Maui. The Federal Communications Commission issues amateur (ham) radio licenses, however since 1982 the FCC has authorized private organizations to administer the exams.
Since 1982, Fukunaga has been in charge of the Volunteer Examiners on Maui and on Dec. 2 he administered his 100th exam session. Fukunaga and the club give exams three times a year: April, August and December.
For more information about getting an amateur radio license, visit http://www.kh6rs.org.
Fukunaga was also for many years the amateur radio emergency communications lead on Maui until he retired from that position at the start of 2017. He organized and trained the ham volunteers, who are prepared to help with emergency communications in the event of a failure of other links such as landlines, cellphones and the internet.
Fukunaga has spent countless hours in the back room of the Civil Defense Emergency Operations center passing messages during drills and activations and was prepared to provide emergency communications between Maui and Oahu if necessary.
Amateur radio is the only communication method that does not depend on external infrastructure such as undersea cables, microwave links or satellites.
Mel Fukunaga (left) receives an engraved bowl in recognition of joining the Volunteer Examiner Century Club by administering his 100th amateur exam session on Dec. 2. He is shown with from Tom Worthington, president of the Maui Amateur Radio Club. SHAWN BOECKMAN photo