Aunty celebrates her age on North Coast
By SALLY GORDON
ABC North Coast radio today celebrates a milestone birthday marking 70 years of broadcasting.
The station has a colourful history which started on July 17 in 1936, when an official function to launch ABC North Coast, then known as 2NR, was held at Grafton's Saraton Theatre.
The station's first broadcast began the following day, with coverage of the Grafton Cup.
Back then, broadcasting included local and rural news, stock exchange reports and dinner music, before the station closed at 11.30pm with the National Anthem.
From 1971, Reg Bultitude's name became synonymous with ABC North Coast news. The Grafton man, who now provides weather details for the ABC, was second-in-charge to news anchor Murray Miles.
Mr Bultitude said that during his time with the ABC North Coast, the station broadcasted out of a studio on the corner of Prince and Victoria streets.
"We used to cover all the floods that hit Grafton during that time ... and when the Richmond and the Tweed were going, we had three rivers to look at and that really kept us on our toes," he said.
The biggest news event, the 79-year-old said, was the F1-11 crash at Iluka during the 1980s.
"It was horrendous, we had a camera man from Evans Head. We managed to get a 4WD and we shot along the beach to the crash site and filmed the surrounding area.
"You couldn't get near the actual site where the aircraft came down, it was burning and was well patrolled."
Early bird ABC North Coast listeners this morning will be able to tune into more tales from the past when the station broadcasts a special program looking back over 70 years of history in the region.
From 6am, breakfast presenter Justine Frazier and morning show host Jen Lacey plan to step back in time.
Looking back will be the theme of the show.