In December, 1935, Bundaberg residents formed Bundaberg Broadcasters Pty. Ltd. for the purpose of operating 4BU.
Commencing with seven advertisers, 4BU has grown into a first-class entertainment unit with 140 advertisers (75 national and 65 local), servicing 46,500 listeners in its immediate entertainment range.
Operating on a wavelength of 226 metres and a frequency of 1330 kilocycles, 4BU is well known to Queensland listeners. During the war years 4BU conducted regular programmes for Bundaberg district troops in New Guinea and the adjacent islands. During ten years of service to Burnett district it has raised many thousands of pounds for patriotic and charitable bodies.
Chairman of Directors W. J. Harvey, a well-known Queensland business man, and his co-directors, Colonel A. Christensen and R. G. Curtis, have adhered to a policy of catering for all tastes in entertainment and benefiting all sections of the community.
In December, 1944, 4BU joined the Australia-wide Macquarie Network, and as North Queensland Unit of that Network, presents an uninterrupted programme from 6 a.m. to 10.30 p.m. All broadcasts are made from an up-to-date studio in Bourbong Street.
LEONARD H. MARTIN: Manager of 4BU, Bundaberg, since April, 1941. Was previously Manager of 4VL Charleville and 4ZR Roma. Commenced in radio on the staff of 4BK Brisbane in 1937. Later joined 2MW, 4AY, and 4GR. Before entering the commercial radio field in Australia was three years a Cadet in the Blue Star Line. At the microphone in the early evening and children’s programmes.
ARTHUR SIMMONDS: Chief Engineer of 4BU. Born in Kent, England. Commenced in Commercial Radio Broadcasting at 2MW Murwillumbah. Later at 4AY and 4BU. Was a well-known amateur broadcaster in pre-war days, operating VK2GS. Like all radio engineers, his hobby is radio engineering.
MAE MIKKELSEN: 4BU’s popular Women’s Morning Announcer. A bright, cheery personality who has been a member of 4BU’s announcing staff since 1937. Is a talented musician and active in Bundaberg’s musical circles. Mae is also President of the 4BU Women’s Club.
VERDI STIBE: Announcer and Sporting Commentator. An enthusiastic bandsman. Keenly interested in all forms of sport. His interest in sport is supplemented by the fact that his brother is Col. Stibe, the prominent Bundaberg batsman, who was previously a member of the Queensland State Cricket Eleven. Verdi conducts the late evening and midday programmes.
MARIE MACLEAN: Brings an entertainment-filled afternoon programme to 4BU listeners every day of the week. Her Golden Hours programme is particularly popular, as well as the Old Folks’ Session, which she conducts Mondays to Thursdays at 3.30. Marie is a prolific reader and a tennis enthusiast. Was educated in Bundaberg and joined 4BU in 1942. Also appears before the “mike” in Children’s Sessions.
MAX LONG: Announcer – Copywriter. Joined Commercial Broadcasting in 1943 as Announcer-Copywriter at 2MW. Joined 4BU in May, 1944. Conducts a fast moving breakfast programme on 4BU. A good all-round announcer whose native hearth is Pialba, Queensland.
BILL BROWN: Announcer. Entered radio on the announcing staff of 4RO Rockhampton, and then joined 4BU Enlisted in the A.I.F. in 1941. Served with distinction overseas until the end of the war.
JOAN MANNING: Programmes and transcriptions. Joined 4BU’s office staff in 1941. Became a member of the control staff, on which she served for two years. Was then promoted to position of programme-arranger.
MRS A NETTERFIELD ( “Margot”): Official accompanist for the Children’s Sessions, and is particularly popular with the juvenile members of 4BU’s listeners. Is a member of one of the old pioneering families of the Wide Bay district.
ASSISTANT ENGINEERS AND CONTROL OPERATORS: Errol Black, C. Zneidersic, George Saunders, Audley Dieckmann, Eugene Black and Allan Bennet.
OFFICE STAFF: Miss F. Manning, Miss Jessie Campbell, Miss Carol Winchester and Miss Jocelyn Bawden.
4BU’s Transmitter is situated three miles N.E. of the Bundaberg Post Office, at Kalkie. The control panel, live amplifier and transmitter were designed and built on the site. The Transmitter consists of a four-stage crystal controlled exciter unit and a 500-watt plate-modulated Class C amplifier modulated by a three-stage unit with inverse feed-back. The radiating system is a quarter wave vertical lattice mast and earth mat fed via a 600 ohm. line.
4BU’s studio is provided with standard A.W.A. two-studio equipment, including microphone amplifiers, programme limiting amplifier, monitor and power supplies.
The Station’s activities are not confined to broadcast entertainment. Frequently 4BU directs and produces stage plays, musical comedies, revues, concerts, picnics and other outdoor entertainments. The Women’s Club, conducted by Mae Mikkelsen, entertains members regularly at afternoon socials. During the war it was of much assistance to patriotic bodies.
4BU’s Junior Club is well established among the children of the district. On evenings when the children entertain (Tuesdays and Thursdays with live artist presentations, and on Fridays with “Kiddies’ Kollege”) the studio is packed with youngsters. Although the war prevented a resumption of outdoor entertainment for its members, the cessation of hostilities has enabled the Club to make big plans for the future.
Hours of Transmissions: Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 10.30 p.m.; Saturday 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., 5.30 p.m. to 10.30 p.m.; Sunday, 7.45 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
4BU – Bundaberg, 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 2006.
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