1988: 75th jubilee event

Article on 75th anniversary of Awarua Radio ZLVB, from Southland Harbour Board magazine Portsider in December 1988.

Southland Harbour Board magazine Portsider, December 1988. Courtesy: Alex Glennie

Registrations for the 75th Jubilee celebrations at Awarua Radio ZLB

Registrations for the 75th Jubilee at Awarua Radio ZLB 1988

Registrations for the 75th Jubilee at Awarua Radio ZLB 1988

Note from Barry Munro to an attendee at the 75th Anniversary of Awarua Radio

Note from radio operator Barry Munro to an attendee at the 75th Anniversary of Awarua Radio

Staff On Duty at the time of the 75th Jubilee in 1988

Managers:

  • Mr LJ Price (Station Manager)
  • Mr NW Chesney (Operations Manager)
  • Mr PJ Cotter (Supervisor)
  • Mr KW Robertston (Supervisor)
  • Mr R Blakey (Supervisor)
  • Mr IC Hagen (Supervisor)
  • Mr BJ Simpson (Supervisor)

Radio Operators:

  • Mr HJ McKechnie
  • Mr BR Munro
  • Mr T Kelly
  • Mr PJ Pryde
  • Mr MJ Haurua
  • Mr RW Ernst
  • Mr TE Magon
  • Mr M TB Howell
  • Mr RE Ord
  • Mr GJ Dudley
  • Mr LJ Costigan
  • Mr BR Gamble
  • Mr MJ Evertzen
  • Mrs RA Simpson
  • Mrs VJ Gamble
  • Mr SJ Kent
  • Miss JM Nicholson
  • Mr WJ McKenzie
  • Mr ME Hayman
  • Mr PE Jones
  • Mr TMWT Taiaki
  • Mr GC Chapman

Cleaner-Handyman:

  • Mr CA Swain

Amateur radio station ZL4ZLB

A special amateur radio callsign, ZL4ZLB, was used in 1988 to mark the ZLB anniversary, and a special QSL card, shown below, was produced.

ZL4ZLB 1988 commorative radio QSL card

Unfortunately, the QSL card includes several errors:

  1. The photograph of the original operating position is not Awarua Radio, but rather Pennant Hills station near Sydney.
  2. The power of the original Telefunken spark gap transmitter was not 50kW. It was 30kW input and 15kW aerial power (output).
  3. The tower did not weigh 120 tons, although this figure is often seen quoted as a “base weight” figure. The actual tower weighed 60 tons – or less according to some calculations.
  4. The tower was probably not quite 410 feet high. The most commonly quoted heights for the tower are 394 feet and “around 400 feet”.
  5. The date of callsign change from VLB to ZLB may not be correct. It may have been 1927 (this needs further research).

Awarua Radio survived only three more years after celebrating its 75th anniversary.

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