New Western B-Class Station
Successful Inaugural Programme
On Friday evening last the new Dubbo B-Class Wireless Station 2DU, had its official opening, when a most successful programme went over the air without a hitch. Reception by listeners was excellent.
The official opening was performed by the Hon. H. V. C. Thorby, M.P., Assistant Minister for Commerce, who spoke from the studio of Amalgamated Wireless, Sydney. His speech came over the air splendidly.
The Mayor of Dubbo (Ald G. Fitz Hill) followed the Minister, and welcomed the new station on behalf of the people of Dubbo.
Mr. Thorby's Speech
Mr. Thorby said:-
"I am very pleased to be associated with the official opening of this new wireless broadcasting station established at Dubbo, in the heart of the Central West, to be known over the air as Station 2DU.
"Although my official duties have prevented me from being with you in person in Dubbo to-night, the wonderful scientific development that has taken place in connection with wireless broadcasting and telephonic communication has made it possible for me to carry out my work in my office in Sydney, and to-night to speak to my listeners through the new Dubbo broadcasting station, although I am in Sydney.
"It Is also unique in this respect in that, while here in Sydney, from my native town of Dubbo, I am able to address those located over a wide area where, previously, I have held many meetings, and this too, without the possibility of my speech being subjected to interjection, hostile or otherwise, and with the listeners enjoying the warmth and comfort of their own fire sides.
"I take this opportunity to thank the promoters of the Dubbo station for the invitation extended to me to open 2DU to-night, and to express my appreciation of the manner in which Amalgamated Wireless of Australia, Ltd., has co-operated to make it possible for me to speak over the air to-night without upsetting any of my other arrangements.
"The opening of this new station takes our minds back a few years to the beginning of wireless in Australia. it was on September 22, 1918, that the first direct wireless messages were received in Australia from London, when Mr. F. T. Fisk, on an Australian-made receiving set at Wahroonga, picked up messages sent by the then Prime Minister, the Right Hon W. M. Hughes, and Sir Joseph Cook. During the 18 years that have elapsed since that date, outstanding scientific discoveries from time to time have added to the usefulness of this remarkable means of communication, which has conquered distances and time and made it possible for people in all the principal counties of the world to communicate with one another by wireless telephone. Twenty years ago the only means of communication between far distant countries was per medium of the cable services, connecting the various centres. Today it is possible to ring up your friends in almost any part of the world so long as they are connected by telephone. Only las Sunday I had a long conversation with the Right Honorable Dr. Earle Page, Minister for Commerce, who is at present in London, and was able to discuss a number of important matters without interruption and with the same clearness experienced as when making an ordinary trunk line telephone call.
"It is interesting to recall that the first Australian broadcasting station was 2BL, Sydney, established in 1923. This was quickly followed by the establishment of 2FC Sydney, 3AR Melbourne and 6WF Perth. Since that time new stations have commenced operations all over Australia until, today, it is difficult to obtain a wavelength that is not already in use. The Australian people were not slow to appreciate the great advantage of wireless, particularly in view of the fact that so many of our people are residing in sparsely populated areas where other means of communication are either too costly or unobtainable. This immensity of distance in our continent has created its special problems, for it was found that the broadcasting stations located in the capital cities could not cater satisfactorily for the more remote areas. Consequently a policy was adapted of establishing what are known as relay stations, the first being 2NC Newcastle. In effect, this considerably extends the range of - the 'A' class stations to embrace a much larger audience, while distant listeners may now enjoy in addition to a more reliable service, those special features arranged from time to time by the Broadcasting Commission and for which it is to be highly commended.
"Excellent service also is rendered by many of the 'B' class or commercial stations, which now number 70, 48 of them being located in rural areas, while plans provide for the total number to be increased to 100. These stations last year created a record, when 67 of them linked up in a relay in which over 12,000 miles of telephone lines were used. Trunk line mileage by 'A' class stations last year exceeded 400,000 miles.
"Last, but by no means least, are the pedal Instruments, the result of the inventive genius of an Adelaide enthusiast, used by the settlers of the vast interior to transmit and receive messages. These have proved a wonderful boon to them and to the famous Australian Inland Mission.
"To show how the Australian public took advantage of the opportunity to share the benefits of wireless, 38,000 listeners' licenses were issued during the first year of operation, while by June, 1929, a period of only five years, the number had increased to 300,000. To-day they number over 803,000, representing one for every 12 persons, or one for every second dwelling in the Commonwealth. In popularity, broadcasting in Australia is exceeded only in Denmark, Great Britain, Holland, Sweden, and U.S.A. License fees vary, those within 250 miles of an 'A' class station paying an annual fee of 21/-, those outside this zone 15/- yearly, while the Government has passed legislation for the provision of free licenses to blind persons over 16 years of age. As a result of recent legislation, too, practically all seagoing vessels registered in Australia must carry wireless transmitting apparatus.
"Broadcasting is now controlled by Act of Parliament, and administered by the Postmaster-General, through the Australian Broadcasting Commission, the Government realising that it is a national utility which must for all time be preserved for the nation.
"The Promoters of 2DU deserve great credit for their enterprise and courage in establishing this new station which, in a closely settled district, will be a boon to many thousands of listeners in the Far West portions of New South Wales. It will supply them with a great amount of local and general information and entertainment with a minimum of interruption, and I trust the promoters will be rewarded by the whole-hearted support of the business interests and the public, who must appreciate the vale of a broadcasting station such as this in their midst.
"I now have the pleasure of declaring Station 2DU officially on the air and, in doing so, may I also express the wish that a most successful future lies ahead of the station and the Central West."
The Mayor of Dubbo
His worship the Mayor (Ald. Fitz Hill) said:-
"To-night marks another milestone in the life and progress of Dubbo. To the many other improvements of the town is now added a wireless broadcasting station. This has been brought about by the energy and enterprise of two of our own citizens, and the town and district should show their appreciation by giving them all the support possible. From to-night items of news interest of a local nature will be brought to most of the residents of the town and district by this new station of our own.
"This is only in keeping with the progress of the town. A few years ago the Municipal Council an up-to-date sewerage system costing a little over £100,000. Before the end of the year the new water augmentation scheme will be complete, and this I hope, will give the town a full and ample supply of water for the next fifty years.
"These improvements, together with a very complete and excellent gas and electricity service, complete the first necessities of a modern town. But Dubbo has gone a great deal further in the path of progress. The town is now well laid out with wide streets, and these have been placed in a fine state of repair, comparable with any town in the State, and owing to a vigorous policy of footpath construction carried out over the last three years, these footpaths are in keeping with the rest.
"The park in nine years has grown from nothing to an asset that the people may well be proud of. Its soldiers' memorial is accepted as one of the great ones in the state. Each year sees more and more waste land converted into a joy and a beauty for all time. Even more proud are the citizens of the new Olympic swimming pool, which is without equal in the Commonwealth. The takings at the pool last season far exceeded those of any freshwater pool in the State, and this in spite of the fact that the opening was not until the 30th of November. This pool was erected by the Municipal Council in the face of an adverse referendum of the people.
Futhermore, the Municipal Council, not resting on its laurels, is proceeding with a comprehensive scheme for the construction of a complete up-to-date sports ground. This will be designed to cater for all classes of sport, cricket, football and athletics, and will include besides a large grandstand, a well-banked cycle track.
"Some day in the near future I hope Council's activities will lead them to the erection of Council Chambers in keeping with the rest of the town.
"The sporting bodies also have played their part in the progress of the town. The Dubbo Tennis Club control fine hard courts, on which the Hardcourt Championships of the State have been played for more years than one cares to remember. When the new grandstand is erected these courts will leave nothing to be desired. Adjoining the tennis courts are the bowling greens, controlled by an active club, the greens are widely known, and even more widely known by the hospitality the members extend to all visitors to the town.
"The old and ancient game is popular and well catered for. Besides the young Talbragar Golf Club, with its nine-hole course and sand greens, is the Dubbo Golf Club, the pioneer of grass greens in the West. It is an 18-hole course, well-bunkered, with greens second to none. On it the people have had the opportunity of seeing America's best in action, in the form of Hagan, Runyon and Lafoon not to mention Australia's own Joe Kirkwood.
"Social services are well to the fore. The Dubbo District Hospital is a large and efficient institution catering for all classes of illness and drawing patients from hundreds of miles. To-day much needed additions are in the course of erection. These include a new nurses' home, new wards and kitchen premises. Nearly £30,000 is being spent here.
"The Ambulance Transport Service is now dealing with the plans for their new ambulance station, costing £3,000. Side by side with these two fine services march the Baby Health Centre in its own quarters, provided by the Country Women's Association.
"Truly it is an enticing picture, and one which will go far in a policy of decentralisation which this State so badly needs. With amenities of this description many people on retiring do and will more and more in the future make their homes in Dubbo.
"To this formidable array is now added the youngest recruit of all, 2DU. We wish them every luck and the good support they deserve from the town and district. May their path be smooth and their progress lasting and prosperous."
The musical portion of the programme was contributed by the following Dubbo artists:-
- Mr. Dan O'Brien, who gave two numbers, "Beautiful Isle of Somewhere," and "Dreams of Long Ago," with Miss Marie Rankin as accompaniste.
- Mr. A. G. MacDonald sang "The Floral Dance" and "Youth," with Mrs. MacDonald at the piano.
- Miss M. Wordsworth (elocutionist) gave "Backyard Scandal" and "I Couldn't Help It."
- Mrs. A. G. MacDonald also rendered a pianoforte solo in a finished manner.
- The balance of the entertainment was provided by an excellent selection of recorded music.
- Mr. Doug Holmes, manager, on behalf of the proprietors of 2DU, briefly announced the policy of the station, with hours of sessions, etc., and appealed to listeners to co-operate with the management by making suggestions for improvement of programmes.
- Mr. F. S. Walpole acted as a guest announcer during the evening.
The session concluded at 10pm, and 2DU must be congratulated upon their successful opening.
From "The Dubbo Dispatch", Monday July 6, 1936.
Printed and Published by G. Malliphant, Proprietor, at his registered office and Printing Works 50 Church Street, Dubbo, New South Wales.