Audio: The spark-gap men of Awanui Radio

We are fortunate to have audio recordings of two of the key managers at Awanui Radio. Les Elliston and Bill Walker were the last two staff at the station and were responsible for decommissioning it in early 1930.

Les Elliston

Les Elliston, manager of Awanui Radio

Les joined Awanui Radio as an operator in 1918, and was the final Superintendent of the station. He was interviewed in February 1984 – just six months before his death – as part of the 150th anniversary of Kaitaia. In the interview he gives a good description of the equipment and the people that made Awanui Radio. You can listen to the interview by clicking the link below which will open a new window. The portion with Les begins at 3:07 and runs for 11 minutes.

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Bill Walker

Henry William (Bill) Walker, Awanui Radio in the 1920s

Bill was the original assistant engineer at Awanui Radio, starting in 1913. After two and a half years at the station, he left to fight in World War 1, after which he returned to Awanui Radio and remained there until the station closed in 1930. He was interviewed around 1962 by Whangarei broadcast station 1XN. You can listen to the interview by clicking the link below which will open a new window. The portion with Bill begins at 2:49 and runs for 10 minutes.

Audio recording of Bill Walker, technician at Awanui Radio