The actual roots of the MDXA can be traced to Vic West (then WA5SUE), N5YY, and Lee Turner, WA5EZQ (now SK), who lived within a few blocks of each other outside Keesler Gate Seven during the late sixties. They met each other on the air, and started assisting each other in their pursuit of DXCC via telephone calls and 2 meter AM contacts. They each attained DXCC during early 1971. Local hams gathering at Vic’s and John’s (W5PDG) QTH’s during this period led to the birth of the MCARA during late 1971. Once the MCARA was formed, a group of DXers started to come together to aid each other via one ringers (telephone calls), need lists, and 2 meter nets. This was a DX group within the MCARA.
The beginning of the MDXA was born out of a 1972 rule change with regards to voting membership requirements of the then newly formed Delta DX Association in Louisiana (founded in June of 1971). Bill Appleby, WB5DCY/KB5MZ made a substantial monetary donation to the DDXA for their 2 meter DX Repeater. Several DX’ers from Mississippi, all being members of the MCARA in Mississippi at the time, joined the DDXA. Shortly afterward, the DDXA put a 70 mile limit from New Orleans as criteria for voting membership. Floyd Gerald WB5HVY/N5FG, Lee Turner WA5EZQ, Joe Butler K6CAZ/K5OS/K5JB and Bill Appleby quit DDXA and discussed forming a new club for Mississippi DX’ers.
All of the founding members of the MDXA were members of the MCARA at the time and discussions about forming a Mississippi based DX club were brought up over the next few years but no definitive action was ever taken. A group of local DX’ers, including the above mentioned Hams (excluding Vic West due to his work schedule) were sitting on Floyd’s N5FG back porch on Washington Avenue in Gulfport (in October of 1978), where discussions concerning the creation of our own club started up again. George Bethea WN5IJZ/K5JZ said, “Let’s quit talking about it and do it… all in favor”? The MDXA was officially born that day. That evening, George K5JZ was on the phone with Floyd discussing names for our new club. We wanted a name that would be associated with Mississippi… George said, “We can’t call it the Turkey DX Association so how about “Magnolia DX Association”, due to the fact that we are known as the Magnolia State”? Floyd liked the name very much as did Sherry, his wife… we had a name! Several members over the years, drew up Magnolia logos for the club, with the final logo in use today being drawn by Sam Greene KB5LIY and his wife Rhoda KB5OLN. The following weekend, (after the club was officially formed), was the annual MCARA Biloxi Hamfest, where founding members Vic West WA5SUE/AE5DX/N5YY and others were informed of the official formation of and their membership in the MDXA.
George K5JZ drew up the first ever membership certificates for the MDXA and had 100 printed in late 1978 by Kirk Pippin of Abbey Commercial Printers in Gulfport. Floyd N5FG presided as acting president for the next several decades, until he had to seek help in that capacity due to health reasons. It was then that we officially became an incorporated Club with dues, a Constitution and Bylaws and elected officers. Up until this point in time, we remained a loose association with no dues, no Constitution and Bylaws and no elected officers.
George Bethea K5JZ
Vic West N5YY
Joe Butler K5JB