31 Mar, 2015
By Don Farmer
The future of Radio Eketahuna is up in the air because the Main St premises the station has been renting for the the past 13 years have been sold.
Radio Eketahuna, which shares the building with an op shop, will have to move out by the end of June having been given notice of its sale by existing owner Biddy Fraser-Davies.
News of the sale, to a undisclosed buyer seeking vacant possession, has gutted Eketahuna Radio Society which now faces two options, closing down or finding an alternative building to set up the station.
The society’s acting president Ray Stringfellow said he had been “perplexed” by the news as he had believed the society could have “first dibs” at buying the premises.
“Finding another place to broadcast from in Eketahuna could be a hard ask, it’s quite devastating really but what can you do?” he said.
Mrs Fraser-Davies has informed the society settlement date will be July 1 and has expressed her hope the radio station, and the op shop, can both relocate.
She said the sale was necessary to allow for upgrading her cheese-making business in Morgan’s Rd, Eketahuna, which had to be done to meet audit requirements.
Radio Eketahuna, which broadcasts on 106.5fm, has been steadily improving its programming, bringing a mixture of music, interviews, information services and sports coverage to Tararua District, often working in tandem with Radio Woodville.
It’s emphasis on popular listening music has made the station a particular favourite with truck and tanker drivers as its signal can be received from the lower valley right through Wairarapa and Tararua.
News of the sale has come as a double blow for the society with its president John Nation recently resigning.
Mr Nation said his resignation was tendered because of “unpleasantness” he had encountered from members of other committees in Eketahuna.
Society secretary Joe Sweeny said he was hunting for premises for the station in a bid to save it from closure.
A special public meeting has been called by the society to be held tomorrow in the Eketahuna War Memorial Hall to discuss options for keeping the station going.
It is thought the op shop may have accommodation in part of the AH Herbert Building.
© Wairarapa Times-Age – March 31, 2015
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