1920: Navigator seeks time signals from Awanui

Auckland Star, 28 October 1920, p 5


Reference was made this morning by an officer of the Wairuna, which arrived yesterday from San Francisco, of the wireless time signals sent out by the Hector Observatory at Wellington. This practice was proving a boon to shipping, as those responsible for the navigation of ships in such waters as the Pacific, studded as it is with coral islands and swept by various currents, fully realised.

Navigators were thankful for small mercies, but they also looked forward to the time when, instead of signals being sent out twice a week as at present, they would be sent every night. The signals being transmitted from Wellington, their distance was somewhat limited, and it was therefore also hoped that some time in the not far distant future messages would be dispatched from the Awanui radio. Messages sent from this station would easily extend considerably north of the Equator; in fact, the Wairuna had heard Awanui on the night of leaving San Francisco.

Incidentally Awanui was considered to be one of the finest stations in the Southern Hemisphere, and its geographical situation makes it a first-class station for time signals. In return for the transmission of these signals the officer felt sure that navigators would be only too pleased to furnish weather reports in their vicinity, which would be of great assistance to the Government meteorologists.