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3MA The Sunraysia Station
Owned and operated by Sunraysia Broadcasters Pty. Ltd., 3MA studios are in the T & G Building, Langtree Avenue, Mildura.
Wavelength is 221.6 m. (1360 K.C. ), Power: 200 watts in the aerial.
Hours of operation:
Week-days: 7 a.m. to 1.30 p.m., 6 p.m. to 10.30 p.m.
Sundays: 8.45 a.m. to l.30 p.m., 6.30 p.m. to 10.30 p.m.
3MA is situated in the heart of one of the wealthiest areas in Australia – the Sunraysia District. This is the centre of the dried-vine fruits industry, and embraces the City of Mildura, the towns of Red Cliffs, Merebin, Cardross, Irymple, Birdwoodton, etc, in Victoria, and Wentworth, Dareton, Curlwaa, Coomealla, Buronga, Gol Gol, Bonnycliffs, etc. in New South Wales.
Proofs of 3MA’s esteem are numerous. For instance local advertisers provide half its revenue. Over 5,000 people attended “Carols by Candlelight,” which 3MA produced in an ideal setting on the banks of the Murray last Xmas Eve. Many local organisations, ex-service clubs and sporting bodies take regular sessions on “Their Own” station – 3MA.
The station has been operating regularly since its opening on May 25th, 1933. The present staff consists of ten members, and here are thumbnail sketches of those who are heard “on the air.”
VAL J ANDERSON: Manager and Chief announcer since 1937. Formerly associated with stations 5CL, 5DN, 2BH, 6ML. During the war served for over 4 years with the A.I.F in the Middle East, Australia and New Guinea, and during that period was Australian announcer for Radio Levant, Syria and 9PA, Papua.
CHARLES WEYMOUTH, night announcer. Commenced radio work at the age of 16 with 2CH Sydney and has since had experience on the A.B.C. and Commercial Stations 3AK, 3BO, 3XY and 3CS. As a vocalist Charles has appeared with Jim Davidson and his band. He was in a Signals Unit A.M.F. until discharged medically unfit.
KEN SAMUEL (Announcer), a newcomer to the staff. At one time on the A.B.C and 3AW, Ken was in the R.A.A.F as an air-gunner.
In more recent times….
Andrew Reimer, now of Hove, South Australia, was employed at 3MA in May 1988 and remained till November 1989.
In July 2023 he sent us this song he recorded based on working in radio at the time:
DOREEN SARAH (Announcer), a charming and popular personality “Doreen” conducts the 3MA women’s session each morning, and the children’s session each evening (The Sunshiners).
Her “Sunshiners Gang” of girls present a very creditable live-artist show each Friday night.
MAX FOLIE: Chief engineer since the Station’s inception. A very versatile radioman, who, though seldom heard on the air nowadays has done a great deal of announcing in times of manpower shortage, especially during the war. Max was well known in amateur radio circles, before the war, as “VK 3GZ”. He was at one time Engineer of the Mobile Station 3YB.
In addition to locally produced programmes some of which, such as “Murray Valley Melody Family” and “Sunraysia’s Artists of the Week” are designed to foster local talent, 3MA has many of the most popular transcribed programmes now nationally released, and several direct relays, notably “Bob Dyer’s Can You Take It?” (from Sydney) and “The P. & A. Parade” from Melbourne.
At the time of going to press, the best known among the transcribed features includes “Big Sister”, “Hollywood Holiday,” “Aunt Jenny’s Stories,” “Daddy and Paddy,” “The Woodleys,” “A Case for Cleveland,” “Nick Carter,” “Danger Unlimited,” “Officer Crosby,” “Youth Speaks” and many others.
On the technical side, the station is well served. There is a complete spare transmitter which can be brought into operation within one minute; a recording plant, and permanent land lines to various theatres, dance halls etc., in Mildura.
3MA The Sunraysia Station, Broadcast Year Book and Radio Listeners’ Annual of Australia 1946-47. Editor: C C Faulkner.
© Ray Crawford Collection, Radio Heritage Foundation.
Digital version of text, images and layout © Radio Heritage Foundation 2005.
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I’m embarrassed to be here. I’m waiting for the state radio sponsor to arrive. He’s late. Please just ask me to go away. I’m cheap.