Hospital radio celebrates 25 years

ESTHER ASHBY-COVENTRY
Last updated 05:00 07/04/2014
timaru hospital radio 25 years
JOHN BISSET/Fairfax NZ

SPECIAL MILESTONE: Hospital Radio celebrates its 25th anniversary yesterday. Station founder Ron Heney delivers a speech at the Woodlands Rd Hall during the anniversary.

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Twenty-five years of music the way it used to be was celebrated by Hospital Radio listeners and staff yesterday.

About 100 people keen to meet the DJs attended the anniversary at Woodlands Rd Hall.

The station was founded by Ron Heney in 1989. He had seen a similar setup in the Netherlands and decided to try it here with the agreement and help of the Timaru Hospital.

It was run from a room in the Garden Block of the hospital until the Canterbury earthquakes made the building unsafe. Brent Birchfield of Port FM has since provided premises for the station at the south end of the old Majestic Theatre building on Stafford St.

The station runs on two frequencies in Timaru and has a translator in Geraldine. On air from 5pm to 10.30pm on weekdays and 9am to 6pm in the weekends, it broadcasts music from the 1920s to the 1970s. Sixteen staff work on a roster system.

Bryan Blanchard, who became involved in the station 23 years ago, said it was not just patients at the hospital who tuned in.

"We have a big following. It is funded by listener donations," he said.

He said the number of people attending the anniversary was really encouraging and confirmed the station's popularity.

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- The Timaru Herald

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