St Helena : CLOSURE OF RADIO ST HELENA
Submitted by Saint Helena Herald (Public Relations Information Office) 22.12.2012 (Article Archived on 05.01.2013)
Radio St Helena will cease to transmit after 45 years of service, at midnight on Christmas Day. The station has provided the community with news, views and entertainment for the past four decades.
CLOSURE OF RADIO ST HELENA
Radio St Helena will cease to transmit after 45 years of service, at midnight on Christmas Day. The station has provided the community with news, views and entertainment for the past four decades. Radio St Helena first tested its transmitters on 7 July 1967 and was opened by Governor Murphy on Christmas Day that year.
Ralph Peters, Manager of Radio St Helena, said:
‘The prime function of the Station when it was set up in1967 was to broadcast educational programmes. The station transmitted to all schools on the Island from 9.30 to 12 noon each Friday. This was tremendously successful and other entertainment crept into the programming, such as weekend melodies and requests shows, classical and jazz and other programmes such as dramas, quiz shows, discussions, recording of live musical artists and live events. The first live coverage to take place was a Carol Service from St Paul’s in 1972 and a second from Francis Plain (live commentary of a Knockout Football Final). These achievements were made possible through old and inadequate equipment, which took days to prepare and offered poor quality transmissions. Today, an outside broadcast system can be set up in hours, from any area on the Island using modern and dedicated equipment from an outside broadcast vehicle with a repeater link through High Knoll. I have been associated with the station since the early 70’s and I have seen the transformation and upgrading over the years due to the hard work, commitment and dedication of Tony Leo, who was Manager of the station for nigh on 30 years.’
Councillor Cyril Gunnell, former employee of Radio St Helena commented:
‘My involvement with Radio St Helena started in 2000 when I was appointed News Editor with responsibility for collating, compiling and presenting the local news, Monday to Friday, with a news summary on Sundays. Two years prior to leaving, Councilor Mervyn Yon and I started the In-Focus programme. Our aim was to enhance openness and transparency and disseminate information live over the radio, giving people an opportunity to ask questions or make comments during the performance on anything being discussed.’
HE Governor Capes paid tribute to the station:
'Radio St Helena has provided a sterling service to the people of St Helena for 45 years and I know that it will be missed by many of its loyal listeners. In particular, we will miss the voices of Ralph and John who for so many years have been welcomed into our homes as we switched on our radios to hear the morning news. I warmly thank them and all those, past and present, who worked to bring Radio St Helena to our radios. As Radio St Helena comes to an end, we look forward with much anticipation to the beginning of a new radio service provided by the young, all-Saint team at SHBC. The three new FM services will use modern equipment and unlike Radio St Helena will also be broadcasted via the internet and therefore available online to the many Saints living overseas. I wish the SHBC team every success with this important new venture.'
18 December 2012