A brief recording made in Dunedin in 1980 of Chatham Islands Radio on 2182kHz AM:
“When l was manager at Chatham Islands Radio in 1981 there was a proposal to bulldoze the original radio station but l vetoed it and had the building reclad and repurposed as a bulk storage facility, with an amateur radio room (shack) incorporated in the redesign. We had about 6 or 7 hams on station at that time so it kept the noise out of the hostel and allowed the keen hams to work pikeups on HF H24.
“The hams were Dave Jenner ZL7Xx, Tai Rio ZL7TZ, Tony Magon ZL7DE, Stefano Balan ZL7xx, Alan Meek ZL7BKM, and me, ZL7PO (ex ZL3PO/C).”
– Lester Price (June 2019)
“We used to monitor 2182 kHz listening for ships in distress. During the night when the phone link to New Zealand was shut down, this was our link back to New Zealand.
“One Codan receiver was probably for 2182 kHz and the other I guess for working shipping on 2162 kHz. We would transmit on 2182 then move and transmit on 2104 while listening to 2162. We used to use two Collins receivers before the new layout, one on 2182 and the other for working.
“Even now in 2009 this set up still looks semi modern to me and doesn’t look 27 years old (other than the Phone Switch Board on top of the console that is.)”
– Tony Graham
Closeups from the photo above:
“During the day when we had the phone link open it could manage two separate telephone lines back to New Zealand. During the night we switched it off, so there was no communications available to the outside world! Other than of course from our Radio Station where we could call up our fellow Maritime Safety Radio Stations back on the mainland (New Zealand).”
– Tony Graham
On 14 December Chatham Islands Radio chatted with Australian sailor Kay Cottee aboard Blackmores First Lady. Kay was on her way around the world, having passed south of Stewart Island, and was to become the first woman to complete a solo, non-stop circumnavigation.1
On 18 September a celebration was held to mark the 75th anniversary of the opening of Chatham Islands Radio.
“Two extensions were done in my time out there. The extension to the station, with new operating room was in early 1982 (around February, I think), and the extension to the Hostel (the new recreation room) may also have been in ’82. The hostel extension was built by local builder Tom Solomon (obviously not the Tommy Solomon, last full blooded Moriori who died in 1933, I think). It is possible the hostel extension was in ’79 on my first stint down there, but I’m thinking ’82. Lester Price was manager in ’82 and should be able to confirm these dates.”
– Nigel Marshall
“It is interesting to see the changes at ZLC since I was there in 1968. I never heard a mention of the later addition to the station, but the new hostel was still under construction when I left Chathams during the last quarter of that year. (I arrived there on the 9th of April of that year, the day before the infamous “Wahine” storm of the 10th.)”
– Barry Munro
1. Cottee, K. (1995). First Lady. Sydney, Australia. Pan Macmillan. p 56.