About the Commonwealth Contest and BERU

The challenge of amateur radio contests has endured from the earliest days of radio communication…

The competitive side of amateur radio has always been the spur to improve knowledge of receivers, transmitters, antennas and propagation as well as the quality and efficiency of communication skills.

The Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) created the British Empire Radio Union (BERU) in the late 1920s to support radio amateurs in the Empire. In 1930 a New Zealand radio amateur suggested that a week should be set aside as an ‘Empire Radio Week’ and that this should be held in February 1931. This was the first BERU Contest. The contest proved to be very popular and has been held annually since then. It became known as the Commonwealth Contest in 1973.

The 2023 contest will be the 86th.

11 and 12 March 2023


The rules are at the RSGB HF Contest site at


2 thoughts on “About the Commonwealth Contest and BERU”

  1. Nigel Hoyow said:

    6Y5HN after so many years is hoping to make a BERU appearance 2020 with limited antennas – 73


  2. My grandfather, JC van Wyk, competed in the Commonwealth Contest throughout the 1950s and 1960s. He was in Johannesburg, South Africa and operating as ZS6S (and, initially, ZS6QF). He took 1st place in the junior section for 11 years in a row (1950-1960).

    Now, I would dearly love to find one of his QSL cards (even better if issued during the contest) so I can frame it and put it in a place of honor in my little shack here in Alexandria, Virginia, USA.

    If anyone reading this has one of his cards, please email me or respond here. It would mean a tremendous amount to me.

    73 de K0RvW
    Ken van Wyk


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