Well, the Radio Heritage Foundation webmaster may get angry at me for spilling some beans, but at this date so close to the anniversary, my memory of Hauraki is of listening BEFORE the first officially recognised broadcast of Monday 21 Nov 1966.

After the great shenanigans by the Tiri’s crew to break out of the Western Viaduct basin in October, there was a race to get on-air ASAP. I spent Saturday evening and overnight into Sunday morning of 19 and 20 Nov ’66 with another member of the NZ Radio DX League at a regular broadcast band and shortwave listening location owned by yet another NZDXRL member in what was then very rural land on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula.

I have no idea when the exact first transmission hit the airwaves, but we noted Hauraki on air as of 6.37 p.m. Saturday 19 Nov ’66 (obviously dinner had something to do with the delay!), and continued to follow the tests into Sunday. After returning to Auckland on my way home to Hamilton, I presented myself and a tape at the Hauraki studios and offices in Anzac Avenue, and played the material for David Gapes and several others.

No one in central Auckland had been able to hear these tests as the estimated transmitter power was only 200 watts.

Even after the Monday “official” first broadcast, Hauraki went off air to do a major job on the transmission mast on board Tiri, and didn’t re-appear till early December.
Theo Donnelly
Burnaby, British Columbia Canada

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