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2008 News Releases




90th Year of Radio Communication UK to Australia

Date : 23 / 09 / 2008
Author : Edwin Lowe - VK2VEL

At 1100hrs (AEST) on Monday 22nd September 2008, Sydney radio amateurs and members of the local community gathered at the Fisk Memorial outside
the former house of Sir Ernest Fisk, at Wahroonga in Sydney, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the first directed wireless messages from the UK to Australia.

On 22 September 1918, wireless messages from Prime Minister Billy Hughes and Minister of the Navy Joseph Cook, then in London, were transmitted from the 200kW Marconi station MUU in Carnarvon, Wales on 14300m (21kHz) and received at the experimental receiving station at Fisk's Sydney home, 'Lucania'. Ernest Fisk was the managing director of Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Ltd, and the station was constructed at his house by AWA technicians for the occasion.

In 1935, the Fisk Memorial was raised by the local community to commemorate the event and this week's celebrations were conducted by the Wahroonga Historical Radio Association, the Hornsby and Districts Amateur Radio Club and the Ku-ring-gai Historical Radio Society. Jo Harris VK2KAA gave a short talk and played a recording of a speech by Guglielmo Marconi, and Peter Jensen VK2AQJ displayed his reproductions of period Marconi wireless equipment. An original print commemorating the event, which incorporates facsimiles of the original AWA message forms was displayed with the kind permission of the owners of 'Lucania'.

The event was well attended by radio amateurs and members of the local community, with a number of passing pedestrians stopping to ask questions and taking a copy of the informative pamphlet. Tim Mills VK2ZTM explained to me the story of the figure of Mercury (aka Jimmy) which stands on top of the memorial. As a result of previous theft and vandalism, 'Jimmy' is removed and only attached once a year for the commemoration.

Further reading /The First Direct Wireless Messages from England to Australia, /Colin MacKinnon VK2DYM (SK)

Pictured above : Peter VK2AQJ in his Marconi cap with his reproduction Marconi equipment.
(click the photograph to view a larger image)

Related Files

Monument and Sir Ernest Fisk's house 'Lucania'

Visitors to the display.

VK2KAA Jo Harris in black cap (left of monument)

The figure of Mercury (Jimmy)


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