As you probably know by now, it’s 75 years since Jack Ryan started Canberra’s first radio station, 1053 2CA…and also from the “as you know” files, 2CA’s breakfast show had an outside brodcast from their original location (well, a few metres away…but close enough) at 42 Giles Street in Kingston.
I had planned to stay up all night finishing off the Persiflage and all of the processes that go with it (still not quite finished) and then head off early so that I could be in Kingston just before 6am…well it didn’t quite happen, I went to bed at 2am while the Persiflage was uploading and decided to get up at 4am which would have given me plenty of time…but I forgot to set the alarm and as such it went off at 5:30, at which time I got up, updated the Persiflage RSS feed, rushed the show notes and burnt an Audio CD of the show for 2CA Breakfast Boy Paul Blunt…only to end up with two coasters before getting a useful CD…effectively meaning that I didn’t have the time or a spare CD for either Leighton or 2CA manager Doug Bell.
This debacle prevented me from having any time to address an envelope for my booking from for John Kerr’s Terrigal lunch…so I just threw it in my bag and decided to deal with it at a post office later in the day…somehow I managed to get to the Outside Broadcast sometime around 6:30 (probably closer to 6:45).
When I got there the crowd was small, but the sausage sizzle was underway, which was a good thing as I needed some breakfast. I met 2CA’s Breakfast Boys Paul Blunt & Leighton Archer…and from there the day went more or less according to plan.
I don’t recall every event in order, and I spent most of the time chatting with various people and observing events…so I’ll just let the photos and video tell the tale. As per usual, clicking on a photo should take you to a large version of it.
Paul receives 2CA t-shirts and a new toy (2CA’s old xylophone) from former staff member Cheryl McKay. Also in this photo is the sign of the store occupying 2CA’s old spot, the Hungry Chino coffee shop…and I still can’t find it in the phone book.
Plenty of former (and current) staff turned up, including erstwhile Breakfast host (now Win News Newsreader) Peter Leonard, 2CA’s first employee (now aged 91) George Barlin, and former admin lady (and probably much more…but my mind had drawn a blank) Cheryl McKay.
BWS bottle shop were quite happy for 2CA to cover their window for the morning, and 2CA did so with a stage and a lot of old logos and photos…and even Paul and Leighton, who are discussing things during a song.
One thing I found very difficult during the morning was finding a suitable moment to take photos of people, as everyone was very busy and constantly doing this, that or the other…as such, I took advantage of other people’s photo opportunities. This one of Paul Blunt, Peter Leonard and Leighton Archer was taken at the same time as 2CA’s official photographer took photos.
At about 7:50 the cake arrived, Paul Blunt interrupted the 2CA loudspeaker feed to make an announcement, and unfortunately the 2CA feed was turned up a tad louder afterwards, which reintroduced the feedback issue they had resolved earlier in the morning. In this photo, Paul Blunt is holding the “announcement microphone”, 2CA manager Doug Bell is adjusting the cake and Leighton is probably listening to cues from Gregg Easton, who was the studio panel operator for the morning.
Here comes the (really) interesting part…I captured video footage of the cake being prepared, the crowd singing “Happy Birthday” and George Barlin proving his fitness beyond all reasonable doubt by blowing out the candles…YouTube has managed to desynchronise the audio and video slightly, but not enough to be an issue, and the video can be seen by clicking play below. Alternatively, you can see the slightly higher quality original video by clicking here  (12.7MB).
Here is a view of part of the crowd as seen from the stage just after the birthday cake event. As you can see, the Hungry Chino coffee shop sold quite a few cups of coffee…I’m not entirely sure if 2CA intended on paying for coffee for everyone, but I think it turned out that way…I know they didn’t ask me to pay for my coffee and I heard the same from others…although the phrase “make sure the station pays for it” being said to a member of staff (who I won’t name, but is in this photo) as they went to get coffee for some of the special guests does have me a bit confused.
Same people, different angle (and once again I’ve drawn a blank on the name of the photographer…it’s late, I haven’t had much sleep in the last 48 hours, and it’ll come to me while I’m busy working on something completely different tomorrow).
The 2CA website  lists Leighton’s job as “make sure Paul behaves himself”. There was little chance of that once Paul started with the xylophone…and Leighton was either excited or cold or both (it was 3.4-9.5 degrees between 6am and 9am), so eventually Peter Leonard had to step in and add some sense to the show…that didn’t work though, and Peter ended up giving Paul a lesson in “playing the xylophone correctly”.
During the course of the morning, 2CA regular caller “Edward” turned up, and it was nice to be able to put a face to a name…for the benefit of 2CC and 2UE listeners, Edward is kind of like 2CA’s version of Lon (aka Latrine), just more musical and probably a bit closer to the planet…and he doesn’t ride a bicycle with a yellow helmet as far as I know.
Unfortunately I had to leave just after the 8am news so that I could get to work, and as such I missed the unveiling of the 75 years plaque…Win News arrived not long after I left and captured the plaque amongst other things. I did offer James Goodwin at WIN News my footage, but Win don’t currently have the facilities to easily transfer video from a memory card to a broadcast ready format. I have recorded the Win story and will endeavour to do something with it in the coming days…I’m too tired right now though.
I really should thank James for the tour of the Win facilities…I went into Win Television at lunch time as I couldn’t quite work out on the phone whether or not James was interested in, or could use my footage (and I will have to write a review on the excellent cafe around the corner), so I went in and met James…we quickly established that my footage wasn’t really useful due to the media format (memory card), but James didn’t turn my visit into a waste of time…he first showed me the footage Win had captured, and then gave me a quick tour of the building…oh, and hello to reporter/weathergirl Jessica Good and Peter Leonard (who wasn’t in the building at the time, but I did have a chat with at the 2CA birthday).
I had a wonderful time at the 2CA birthday, and I think everyone else did too…it was also good to be able to meet a few new faces, and catch up with some familiar ones.
I’m now going to try and catch up on some sleep…which is probably easier said than done…so much for my early night! (Apologies for my typing tonight…I’ve corrected as much as possible, but I’ll proofread it when I’m awake and not battling to keep my eyes open…Leighton was right, I do put a lot of effort into this site.)
Happy 75th Birthday 2CA!