Mary Evans (Manager) Radio Southland 96.4FM (Community Access Radio) interviews Arthur Cushen about his involvement in shortwave radio.
He recalls hearing King George V's first Christmas broadcast in 1932, which was received at 3am in New Zealand, but the family still gathered around the radio as it was a momentous event.
Ten years later the BBC wrote and asked him to start sending reception reports, which he has done ever since. During WWII he couldn't go to war because of his poor eyesight but instead used his listening skills to listen for the lists of POWs and then let the families know that that their sons were safe. Decades later he received thanks from some of the families of men who he sent news off.
He also monitored enemy stations like Radio Japan and German propaganda broadcasts in English, for 'leakage' - seeing what intelligence they had picked up.
He discusses shortwave radios and the technology which allows a blind person to tune the radio correctly.
He talks about radio as a democratising force because of its ability to reach remote areas of the world and developing countries. He mentions a radio which has been invented for third world countries which has a crank battery and he mentions radio technology for the blind and the arrival of digital broadcasting.
[Arthur Cushen died September 1997.]