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Radio waves

2BE radio equipment  with Bill Momsen, Frank Heffernan, John Kerr and Mrs Crowley, 1961

2BE radio equipment with Bill Momsen, Frank Heffernan, John Kerr and Mrs Crowley, 1961

George VI was King, Joseph Lyons was Prime Minister and newspapers were the main source of news and information. Since the early 1930s Far South Coast people had been listening to city based radio stations – often putting up with fading and crackling signals. But it was now 1937 and at 6pm on Monday 30 September the local 2BE transmitter was switched on and “A Programme of Music Selected from the World’s Best Recordings” went to air. The evening was hosted by Chief Announcer, Alfie Andrews.

At 8pm Mr W. H. Balmain gave the official opening speech followed by a dance programme from 10pm until midnight when the station closed down.

The studio, control room, transmitter and office were located in offices above Grist’s chemist (now Priceline)┬áin Carp Street, Bega.

From opening night, the station broadcasted each weekday noon – 2pm, 6pm-10pm and Sunday 6.30pm-10pm. The station didn’t operate on Saturdays initially although after about a year the hours were extended to include Saturday programming from 6pm-10.30pm with an extra two hours on a Sunday morning, 8am-10am. Apparently the signal was very clear and could be heard for a radius of 50 miles reaching a population of about 21,000 people.

In 1987 the station changed their call sign to 2EC (East Coast Radio) and still operates today.

Source: ‘2BE-40 years old this week’, supplement to the Bega District News, September 25 1977.

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