Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K8ERV, Jul 7, 2019.
Does anyone know if Monk has been or will be replaced?
TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
I know who he is but don't assume many folks here on the Zed have any idea. In order that you don't need to guess or play 20 questions...
I assume you mean another ham rather than literally replacing a human being. The ‘turn-over’ isn’t very large there but who knows ...
I doubt it.
Monk Apollo was asked to be a ham radio operator many years ago to provide an emergency link to "down below" - the result of a medical emergency with a fellow monk.
But that was a LONG TIME ago - I'm sure the monastery now has "emergency communications" in the form of a cell phone or two or a computer on the Internet.
Monk Apollo was an aberration in the grand scheme of things IMO - right guy at the right time to bring amateur radio to a truly remote place.
But times have changed. Ham radio will not likely be needed for emergency communications going forward. Much less "working DX"
I could be wrong, but I really don't think that ham radio will any time soon be back at Mt. Athos.
MAJOR kudos to all those who have his QSL card.... truly a treasured thing in this hobby, not likely to be seen again
And may Monk Apollo's soul rest in eternal peace - he was a truly unique amateur radio operator!!
From the Ohio/Penn DX Bulletin #1419:
"SV/A, MOUNT ATHOS (Will It Be Silent?). Last week OPDX was asked if Mount
Athos will be silent. To start, when Kostas Stamatis, SV1DPI, reported the
passing of Monk Apollo, SV2ASP/SK, he stated on his FaceBook page that
"there are more monks who are radio amateurs in Mount Athos", but Monk
Apollo "was the only one on the air from Mount Athos, working DX." Kostas
also stated, "Ham radio will find another operator sooner or later from
Mount Athos (according my infos, Monastery of Docheiariou will take care
so another monk will become a radio amateur soon and get Monk Apollo's
place and duties)." An interesting thing showed up this past week, your
editor received his July issue of QST, and on page 80, it mentions that
"Mount Athos will not go dark." Monk Iakovos, SV2RSG, who is located and
lives at the Koutloumousiou Monastery is another operator. If you go to his
QRZ.com page, it states, "I became Radio Amateur in 2015 after been trained
by the DX Plus Hellenic Radio Amateur Team and George, SV1RP, who is member
of the Team. I took and passed exams in the Ministry of Telecommunication.
I am member of DX Plus Hellenic Radio Amateur Team and the only one member
of RAAG in Mount Athos. Because my main QTH is Koutloumousiou Holy Monastery
and I am permanent resident in Mt. Athos, I do not use "/A" when I operate
because as everybody knows," /A" means Alternative location of the station."
There are pictures of Monk Iakovos on the QRZ.com page. He operates CW, SSB
and has been in contests. He reportedly has an an IC-735 and a 40 meter
vertical. Currently, there have not been any cluster spots reported, but
you may want to keep an eye out for some. His QSL Manager is SV1RP. Here
is his QSL card:
From the Ohio/Penn DX Bulletin #1420:
"SV/A, MOUNT ATHOS (Update to OPDX.1420). Last week OPDX was contacted by
Kostas Stamatis, SV1DPI, and he updated/corrected details about Monk
Iakovos, SV2RSG. According to Kostas, Monk Iakovos does not have a license
from the Holy Council to operate, so his QSOs are "NOT" good for DXCC.
He states [edited], "Of course he can apply and get a license, as the
Holy Council used to give a license to monks. The bigger problem seems
to be that the last years (Monk Iakovos) lived in a monastery outside
Mount Athos, near Serres in North Greece..... What Monk Apollo used to
say to me is that Mount Athos wants to be on the air, so if there is not
a new operator soon, there is more hope for a DXpedition.""
A new Monk to not be on the air ....
I truly dislike talking about those that are not longer around to provide their side of the story - he did not do it when he was around by the way. But I also do not subscribe to the custom that death erases everything done on this earth.
I had seen from different sources before his passing, and again now, that he controlled operations from Mt. Athos with an iron fist, among other stories.
I strongly agree with the former, and also with the latter. In the end, like all of us in due time, he answers to the creator only.
Some people on eHam were thinking of all sorts of actions to re-activate Mt.Athos. I'm of the opinion the Monks should be left alone. If they want to do anything about radio, they know who to contact for help.
There were some shenanigans in the past, perhaps that was the reason that made Monk Apollo control things the way he was reported to have controlled.
Some of the 'deserving' seem to have difficulty understanding that their hobby does not likely rank very high among that sort of men of faith.
Apollo was a real ham. Had the spark in his genes. Operated frequently, good CW op, handled QSLs efficiently. Maybe someone else there has the same attributes but we haven't heard them as of yet.
"Replace" is not the best word to use here.
Having spent time living with Athonite monks on several occasions it's important to understand that they have taken on a life of obedience. It differs from monastery to monastery dependent on the abbott and their spiritual father. Ham radio is certainly down far on their responsibilities and can be disruptive to the general atmosphere. Monk Apollo was under the obedience of his monastery, he held no control over other monasteries or schemas.
Here's a great explanation of Mt Athos done by 60 Minutes. Surprisingly good.
If anyone happens to travel close to Florence AZ, there is a beautiful Athonite monastery there started by an Athonite monk, it's called St Anthony's. They do have tours of the grounds, just look up their website for instructions.
This one is even better: