Early mornings never deterred Bart. Here he is wearing his tea cosy while taking calls

After a number of years of faithful service to our travellers, Bart has pulled the pin and retired as a volunteer on the VKS-737 Radio Network.

Living in a part of Queensland where he enjoyed excellent HF radio coverage, Bart provided relay assistance for Queensland operators by using his own mobile radio, often being able to support callers when our bases had difficulty receiving them. Eventually Bart was lured to become a volunteer base operator and then took on the role of rostering for Queensland bases.

One of the biggest challenges to Bart’s work was the patchy internet coverage that often plagued him but he struggled through it, often trying different technologies to improve his internet. In the end, the dreaded internet and Bart came to a mutual understanding that he was going to prevail.

Bart has been a very popular voice on our network, with many callers who weren’t even travelling calling in for a quick chat. He was also instrumental at times, arranging welfare checks for travellers in distress, providing a comforting voice and reassurance.

Bart Swart
Bart in earlier years

With advancing years and other family priorities, Bart decided to retire from this post at the end of April.

We sincerely hope that this is not the last time that we’ll hear from Bart. He may even revert to the role he played earlier, providing relay assistance for our operators while he is working around outside his home.

Our best wishes and grateful thanks go to Bart and also to his faithful wife Olivia.

Bart with son Gary in 2014 after they discovered a non-venomous snake in his shed. It was relocated into nearby bush