Raoul Island: 1939-1949

Raoul Island radio station, date unknown

Raoul Island radio station c1940s. The battery room is at the left, and the three large windows were the equipment/operating room. Clyde Williams (1949-1950) recalls there was an emergency battery charger, tested once a month, to service the radio station batteries in the event of a failure at the settlement’s main diesel generators. Photo courtesy Chris Underwood

Raoul Island, date unknown

Raoul Island settlement, looking southwest, date unknown. Courtesy: Chris Underwood

1949:

In November, radio operators Tom Scott and Clyde Williams arrived to replace Lloyd (Cookie) Douglas, John Moore and George Bourne.1

HMNZS Rotoiti

Radio operators Tom Scott and Clyde Williams travelled to Raoul Island aboard HMNZS Rotoiti.

Aboard HMNZS Rotoiti, heading for Raoul Island in 1949

Aboard HMNZS Rotoiti, heading for Raoul Island in 1949. L-R: Johnny Dodds, Vic Morgan (meteorologist), Bill Byrne (farmer), Tom Scott (R/O), Bill Buck, John Wagg (OIC), Clyde Williams (R/O), Harold Keys. Front: Bill Porter (agriculturalist), Ivan Larsen (mechanic). Photo courtesy Clyde Williams. Click to enlarge.

Radio operator Lloyd (Cookie) Douglas at Raoul Island Radio ZME in late November 1949

Radio operator Lloyd (Cookie) Douglas at Raoul Island Radio ZME in late November 1949. Photo: Clyde Williams

The film below was shot in November 1949 while the rest of us were down on Fishing Rock (see the next photo). Almost the entire population of Raoul on that day is in that picture. After the expedition had left the total population consisted of 8 Europeans (the 7 shown in the expedition photo plus a cook) and 9 men from Niue Island.
– Clyde Williams

1949 video showing the taking of weather observations and transmitting them to New Zealand

1949 video showing the taking of weather observations and transmitting them to New Zealand. In the photo above, operator George Bourne. In the radio room scene (starting at 0:49 in the video) the man wearing glasses is the meteorologist and the radio operator is Lloyd (Cookie) Douglas. John Moore also appears in the video. Click to view (opens in new window).

The landing place at Fishing Rock, Raoul Island, November 1949

The landing place at Fishing Rock, Raoul Island, November 1949. The man in the suit was the head of the Aerodromes Division of the Ministry of Works. In those days all the P&T operators that went to Raoul were seconded to MoW/AD who were in overall control of the island. The crane suffered an unfortunate mishap in 1950. Photo: Clyde Williams. Click to enlarge.

The Raoul Island settlement in 1949

Looking southwest across the Raoul Island settlement in 1949. Photo: Clyde Willams

Turning right from the house and huts this was your view looking west along Main Street.  In the distance, on the right, was the radio station gate. The road carried on past the Niuean camp (the western most building in the Google Earth view) and the stockyards to another stock grazing area.

Turning right from the house and huts this was your view looking west along Main Street. In the distance, on the right, was the radio station gate. The road carried on past the Niuean camp (the western most building in the Google Earth view) and the stockyards to another stock grazing area. Photo: Clyde Williams

1950 – 1959

Notes

1 Information from Clyde Williams, September 2016