1940: New receiving station opened; those responsible for technical installation at new station were P Suckling, Engineer, and JG Hogan, Technician.
The first ‘Mechanician’ Herbert Granville (or possibly George) Taylor, known as ‘Carnie’, was permanently appointed to the station. Rigging work was performed by Lines Staff, Invercargill.
Further staff increases in 1940 due to additional naval services.
BBC Advance Programme copied.
In November, Anderson’s Limited, an engineering firm in Lyttelton, was selected to supply three 150ft self-supporting towers.
On 27 November, Awarua Radio and Wellington Radio received the RRR message (Raider Attack) from the ill-fated RMS Rangitane as she was shelled and sunk by German warships disguised as Japanese freighters 300 miles east of New Zealand.
1941: Three 150ft steel lattice towers were erected, replacing the 394ft tower demolished three years earlier. Coast watching service commenced, with officers recruited from NZ coast stations. Auckland Island and Campbell Island commenced communication with ZLB. Further naval services introduced and staff increased considerably. Dog Island commenced on radiotelephone. 16-room dormitory erected for single officers.
The above photograph clearly was taken outside the old receiving station, later the cookhouse/accommodation and singles quarters at Awarua Radio. You can see the old transmitter building in the background.
– Alex Glennie
1943: HF DF No.2 opened for naval services. HF DF and staff transferred from Taieri Aeradio and service commenced. BBC Advanced Programme ceased. Eight rooms added to dormitory.
1944: Weather broadcasts commenced on radio telephone circuit 1840 kc/s. Full-time meteorology observer begins; first observer was LAC Hay.
The Jennings family, from their farm just up the road at Wards Crossing near the current phosphate works, supplied all the milk and cream to the Awarua residents from “a long way back”. I have a P&T document dated 1944 where the P&T owed 3-4 pounds on their account to the Jennings family.
– Alex Glennie
In July, Awarua Radio passes domestic telegraph traffic when landlines are brought down in a Canterbury gale.
In August, a Canterbury snowstorm interrupts all landline communication south of Christchurch. Awarua passes traffic with Auckland, Wellington and other stations (see photo below).
1946: Peace again and area scheme of traffic disposal introduced. Official transport introduced from Invercargill.
Andy Smith (pictured above) took over from Roy Schdroski as Chief Technician on Roy’s retirement and followed a number of technicians who came up for retirement including Laurie Edgerton who started some six months before me at Awarua. For many years but both Andy and Roy carried out the visits to Awarua.
– Don Nicol, 2017
1948: Port Pegasus ZLHS radiotelephone office opened on 2182 kc/s. Six additional residences were built for staff. Meteorology services transferred to Invercargill airport.
1949: Aircraft public radio-telegraph correspondence begins, and Awarua accepts traffic from aircraft.