Mount Athos’ best-known radio amateur, Monk Apollo, SV2ASP, died on May 5 after complications resulting from cancer. He was 64. Monk Apollo was essentially the lone DX voice from Mount Athos, the 20th most-wanted DXCC entity, where he operated from his Orthodox Monastery of Docheiariou. Born into a large family in western Greece, he became a monk in 1973, eventually joining the ascetic monastery on Mount Athos in 1980.
When the need for reliable communication from the monastery surfaced in the 1980s, Monk Apollo followed a recommendation to become a radio amateur, which he did in 1988. He had to wait for permission from the Holy Council to operate, however, before he was able to get on the air for the first time in 1990. He celebrated his 10th anniversary on the air with the special call sign SY2A.