Sid May ET3SID / AB3OZ / G4CTQ Silent Key


Ethiopian Amateur Radio Society Chairman Sid May ET3SID / AB3OZ / G4CTQ passed away September 25.

Sid had recently contacted AMSAT-UK regarding an amateur radio CubeSat project he planned to start in Ethiopia.

He had been looking forward to attending the National Hamfest at Newark during a planned visit to the UK for medical treatment.

Sid helped form the Ethiopian Amateur Radio Society. An article in the Ethiopian Herald newspaper about amateur radio in that country says:

“In the words of Mr. May a group of radio Amateurs visited Ethiopia in January 1993, with their equipment to operate  from the country. He said that it was during this time the existing licensed amateurs namely ET3AZ, 9E2A, ET3SID, 9F2CW and ET3DX formed, with other interested persons, the Ethiopian Amateur Radio Society in name.”

In July 2011 Sid organized an RSGB International RAE exam in Addis Ababa and later in December 2011 he took part in administering the FCC exams which saw 57 people achieve passes enabling them to get USA amateur radio licenses, a significant turning point for amateur radio in Ethiopia.

The ARRL report:

Ethiopian Amateur Radio Society (EARS) Chairman Sid T. May, ET3SID/G4CTQ/AB3OZ, passed away September 25. In 1993, May established ET3AA, the first Amateur Radio club in Ethiopia. According to Hailemelekot Negussie, AB3OX, of EARS, May has taught Amateur Radio licensing classes in Ethiopia for more than 15 years. EARS is Ethiopia’s IARU Member-Society.

An accredited ARRL Volunteer Examiner (VE), May administered the FCC license exam to prospective Ethiopian hams. He took part in administering an FCC exam session in December 2011 where more than 50 Ethiopians received US call signs; May gave his last exam session on September 10, with 18 sitting for the exam. Due to Ethiopian law, it is nearly impossible for Ethiopians to get an Ethiopian Amateur Radio license. “Unfortunately, Ethiopian Security still controls the licensing system,” said IARU Region 1 President Hans Blondeel Timmerman, PB2T. “I am afraid that more work has to be done to convince the authorities that today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders and that in principle, they are good Ethiopians who deserve their government’s confidence. Another hurdle to overcome is the examination fee of £25, a one month’s salary in Ethiopia.”

According to May’s QSL card, May was primarily a RTTY operator. He held call signs in Zambia (9J2ED), St Kitts (VP2KH), Montserrat (VP2MKH), Oman (AX4JB), Nigeria (5N0SID), Gibraltar (ZB2HL) and Sudan (G4CTQ/ST2). He is a member of the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) and in 1973, helped found the St Kitts Nevis and Anguilla Radio Society (SNARS). He founded EARS in the 1990s.

“Sid was a teacher, a mentor and a father to all of us at ET3AA,” Negussie explained. “We feel very saddened about the news, and extend our condolences to his family and wish for his soul to rest in peace. Sid is survived by hundreds of ambitious radio hams and engineers who will forever be inspired by his humbleness and vision.”

Words of condolence can be recorded on the Ethiopian Amateur Radio Society site at