History of wireless telegraphy and broadcasting in Australia/Topical/Biographies/Frederick William Stevens/Notes

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Frederick William Stevens - Transcriptions and notes[edit]



Brief overview of 4SP's life from Benson's thesis

F. W. STEVENS: F. W. Stevens was appointed as Chief Engineer at 4QG in 1925. His interest in wireless began in 1901, when he was three years old. He recalled an incident when the Duke of York (later King George V) visited Australia. Stevens lived at the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse, Port Phillip Heads. Wishing to welcome the visitors in a novel way, "a small set of apparatus was erected at the Signal Station at Point Lonsdale ... and an aerial was swung from the flag pole ... it was not until the steamer's smoke was dimly visible in the distance that communication was established between ship and shore." How influential this early experience really proved is a matter for conjecture. Stevens commenced his career with the PMG's Department in Melbourne prior to the commencement of World War I. During the war he was unable to enlist, but since he had studied wireless, the Naval Transport Corps accepted him for service. From there he was transferred to the Royal Australian Naval Radio Service and was based at Samarai in New Guinea. Upon returning to Australia he was attached to the Melbourne Coastal Radio Station. In 1921 he and two others spent six months alone manning the Willis Island Meteorological and Wireless Station. Stevens joined Farmer and Company's Sydney station, 2FC, when it commenced operations in December 1923. He was transferred to Melbourne's 3LO when it opened the following year. At both stations he oversaw the technical operations of the studios. According to Robinson, much of the success which attended 2FC transmissions was due to his efforts. He joined 4QG when it opened and was still with the station when it was taken over by the Australian Broadcasting Company in 1930.[1]


VK4SP - FREDERICK W. STEVENS (SK). AOCP Brisbane 1930. As assistant chief engineer at 4QG Brisbane he installed the original tx in the Executive Building and later was involved in the construction of the studios on top of State Insurance Building. Became a QANTAS pilot, later joined DCA as equipment inspector. SK in 1960s.[2]

Dail Mail Bio 1925[edit]

Another brief bio of 4SP with further titbits

PERSONAL and Anecdotal. . . . Mr. F. W. Stevens, who has been appointed chief engineer of the Queensland radio station, is a young man who has had a big experience in wireless. In 1921 he came into prominence by volunteering, with two others, to man the Willis Island meteorological and wireless station which was established the previous year by Captain J. K. Davis, the Australian Director of Navigation. Mr. Stevens and his companions spent six months on Willis Island, which is about 20 acres in extent. Mr. Stevens set out to earn his living in the Postmaster-General's department in Victoria, and when the clarion call to war was sounded he was accepted for service with the Naval Transport Corps. After several exciting voyages he was transferred to the Royal Australian Naval Radio Service, and was sent to Samarai (New Guinea), where he remained till the armistice. When the radio service was transferred to the Postmaster-General's Department, Mr. Stevens returned to Melbourne, where he was attached to the coastal radio stations. He joined Farmer's broadcasting service, when that station commenced operations, and when station 3LO was opened he was transferred to Melbourne to take charge of the technical operations.[3]



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PUBLIC SERVICE EXAMINATION. The following is a list, in the order of their seniority, of those applicants who passed the non-clerical examination of 15th December, 1888, in addition to those already published: . . . B. Barnard, F. A. Humphrey, E. Dickinson, G. F. W. Stevens, T. H. Charles, Albert Trezise, J. Davie, Jas. O'Donnell, Jos. Weir, Edw. Hewitt, Geo. Gwynne, Jos. Anderson, J. J. Hanlon, P. A. Woolley.[4]

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Vic birth registration for Frederick William Stevens

  • Vic BDM
  • Record information
  • Event: Births
  • Registration number 1491/1898
  • Family name: STEVENS
  • Given name(s) Fredk Wm
  • Place of event: CWELL = Camberwell
  • Personal detail
  • Mother's name <Unknown Family Name>, Emma
  • Mother's family name at birth DAWS
  • Father's Name: <Unknown Family Name>, Geo Fred Wm[5]
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Vic birth registration for 4SP's brother Harold Robert Stevens' sister-in-law

  • Vic BDM
  • Event: Births
  • Family name: WERRY
  • Given name(s)ː Ada
  • Mother's given nameː Ada
  • Mother's family name at birthː COOPER
  • Father's Given Names: Jno
  • Place of event: QUEENSCLIFF
  • Registration yearː 1899
  • Registration numberː 13149/1899[6]

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4SP's father gives evidence at Marine Court of Inquiry as lighthouse-keeper at Gellibrand

SUNK IN THE BAY. EDINA-EXCELSIOR COLLISION. MARINE COURT INQUIRY. CAPTAIN FORBES CHARGED. The Marine Court of Inquiry, consisting of Mr Morrison, P.M. (president) and Captains Punter, R.N., and Roberts, skilled members, sat again at the Custom House today, for the purpose of dealing with the charge of misconduct preferred by the Marine Board against Captain Forbes, of the Edina, in connection with the collision which occurred off Point Cook on the 11th July last, between the Edina and the Excelsior, whereby the Excelsior was sunk and the Edina damaged. Mr Fergusson appeared for the Marine Board;. and Mr W. H. Croker for Captain Forbes. George Frederick William Stevens, lighthouse-keeper at Gellibrand, stated that the Edina and Courier passed the lighthouse at six or seven minutes to 11 on the 11th July. He could not see the steamers on account of the fog, but he knew them by their whistles. If Captain Patrick said that it was three minutes past 11 when the Courier rounded the lightship, he would deny it. This concluded the evidence, Mr Croker contended that some specific charge should have been laid by the Marine Board against Captain Forbes. Counsel for the Marine Board evidently intended to try and prove that Captain Forbes had been guilty of gross misconduct, but he contended that the evidence which had been called had not borne out that charge. There was, he said, an inconsistent case for the prosecution, and he was entitled lo ask that his client should be acquitted, but he would not adopt this course. He preferred to allow the court to go fully into the matter, so that his client could have an unconditional acquittal. He thought the court would have little difficulty in deciding which vessel caused the collision. Captain Moore had infringed the rules by porting the Excelsior's helm. Had she kept on her course, the collision would not have occurred. The evidence which had been called showed that the Edina had not altered her course from the time she left the Gellibrand till the collision. Several of the witnesses stated that Captain Forbes had displayed great caution. This charge, he contended, must break down. It should have been strictly proved, and it had not been done. It was laid down that a vessel should go at moderate speed when in a fog, and this had been done by Captain Forbes. Great care was exercised by his client. On the merits, he contended, that the prosecution should break down. Counsel then took several legal objections. He asked them to say that the Court which held the formal investigation was not legally constituted, inasmuch as the two expert members were not shipmasters, and of an equal status to the person charged; that no specific charge had been brought against Captain Forbes; that there had been no order of the Marine Board for the charge in this case; and that this charge must fail because section 183 of the Marine Act, which gave power to hold these Inquiries and deal with certificates only applied to cases of certificated shipmasters. It had not been proved that Captain Forbes held a certificate. The evidence, he maintained, had not borne out the charge, and he would ask the Court lo say that it had not been sustained. The Court then adjourned for lunch.[7]

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Vic birth registration for 4SP's sister Rubie Medic Stevens

  • Vic BDM
  • Event: Births
  • Family name: STEVENS
  • Given name(s)ː Rubie Medic
  • Mother's given nameː Emma
  • Mother's family name at birthː DAWS
  • Father's Given Names: Geo Fredk Wm
  • Place of event: CWELL = Camberwell
  • Registration yearː 1900
  • Registration numberː 1424/1900[8]
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Vic birth registration for 4SP's brother Harold Robert Stevens

  • Vic BDM
  • Event: Births
  • Family name: STEVENS
  • Given name(s)ː Harold Robt
  • Mother's given nameː Emma
  • Mother's family name at birthː DAWS
  • Father's Given Names: Geo Fred Wm
  • Place of event: QUEENSCLIFFE
  • Registration yearː 1901
  • Registration numberː 29466/1901[9]
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Vic birth registration for 4SP's brother Harold Robert Stevens' wife

  • Vic BDM
  • Event: Births
  • Family name: WERRY
  • Given name(s)ː Loveday
  • Mother's given nameː Ada
  • Mother's family name at birthː COOPER
  • Father's Given Names: Jno
  • Place of event: QUEENSCLIFF
  • Registration yearː 1902
  • Registration numberː 13131/1902[10]
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Vic birth registration for 4SP's brother Harold Robert Stevens' sister-in-law

  • Vic BDM
  • Event: Births
  • Family name: WERRY
  • Given name(s)ː Marie
  • Mother's given nameː Ada Annie
  • Mother's family name at birthː COOPER
  • Father's Given Names: Jno
  • Place of event: QUEENSCLIFF
  • Registration yearː 1903
  • Registration numberː 28228/1903[11]

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RIFLE SHOOTING.— Another trophy has been presented by Mr G. F. W. Stevens for competition by the members of the Portland Rifle Club. The trophy which is to be of the value of £3/3/ and may be chosen by the winner, is to be competed for by four competitions at three ranges on each day, seven shots at each range. The first competition is fixed for December 13, the others to be fixed by the committee later on. The ranges are 200, 500 and 600; 400, 500 and 600; 200, 500 and 600; 800, 900 and 1000. The entry is 1/. There will be a second prize of 20/ and third of 10/, with 200, 100 and 50 rounds of ammunition each day for the three highest scorers. Coaching will not be permitted after a competitor has taken his place on the mound. [12]

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Portland Rifle Club. The annual meeting of the Portland Rifle club was held on Friday evening in the Orderly Room, when there was a fair attendance. Captain Bennett occupied the chair. The minutes of the last annual meeting were read and confirmed. The annual report and balance-sheet was read as under:— Our year of office being completed, your committee herewith present the balance-sheet and report of the club's transactions during the year, and congratulate the members on the sound state of club's financial position. There are 78 efficient out of the 87 members on the roll, and although our roll shows a smaller number than last year, this is accounted for by the formation of the Heywood Rifle Club during the year, and in consequence nearly all the members of our branch there transferred to that club. We also lost a number through departure from the district, &c. We have enrolled 13 new members during the year. Your committee regret losing several active members of the club in Messrs G. F. W. Stevens, A. B. Clifford, E. Row and E. Manning. In Mr Stevens we have lost not only one of our best shots, but one of our most liberal and active supporters the club has ever had, and we presented him with a gold medal of the 100 point pattern, as as small memento of the club's appreci-ation. In Messrs Clifford and E. Row we have lost most active members and first-class shots. In Mr. E. Manning we have lost one of our handicappers, and desire to place on record our high appreciation of the interest he at all times took in club matters. The statement of receipts and expenditure shows a credit balance of £3/18/7 in the Union Bank, and a further balance in the Savings Bank of 18/1 to No. two account, and cash in Secretary's hands £2/13/ or a total of £7/9/8. The club's assets over liabilities amount to £118/5/8. Your committee have pleasure in reporting that they received a capitation grant amounting to £20/15/. During the year a notification was received from head quarters stating that the Commandant would visit Portland, but Colonel Riccardo wired regretting being unable to do so. During the year Mr S.,Catheis resigned as a member of your committee, and Mr T. Bush was appointed to fill the vacancy. Your committee regret losing Mr Catheis as one of the committee, he having proved a most active member and a record has been placed on the minutes of their appreciation. Mr E. Row also resigned and Mr C. D. Matheson was appointed to the vacancy. One of the matches held during the year was for a handsome trophy presented by Mrs W. T. Bennett and won by Mr G. Stevens and duly presented to him by the donor. The second prize was won by Mr E. Row and the third prize was won by Mr W. A. Wilson. A handsome trophy was also presented by Mr G. Stevens, and won by Mr E. Row, and duly presented to him by the donor, The second prize was won by Mr R. Edwards and the third by Mr E. Row. Mr T. E. Tulloh presented a M.E. Rifle for competition, amongst those members who have not got a '303 rifle but owing g to unfavourable weather at the end of the year the competition was not completed. Club prizes to the amount of £7/15/ were also given and won by Messrs R. Edwards, E. Row, Capt. Bennett, J. Rae, S. Couch, W. Bush, W. A. Wilson, W. Lister. Ammunition prizes to the amount of 4000 rounds were also given by the club. The V.R.A. affiliated silver medal was won by Mr Stevens, and the club's 90 point gold medal was won by Messrs E. Row, F. Row, J. Rae, and W. Lister. A teams match was fired on our range between a team from H.M.S. Challenger, and our team, 10 men aside, our team securing a victory, the match was very much enjoyed by the visiting team, and the officer in charge of the team thanked the Portland Club for their kindness, and hoped they would return to Portland Bay and have a return match at some future date. A triangular match was fired between Merino, Branxholme and Portland, on our range, and our team were again victorious. A teams match was fired between Byaduck and Portland was also fired on our range, but this time our team suffered defeat. A teams match between Stawell and Portland was fired again on our range and once more our team came out victorious. The whole of these teams were entertained on the range by your committee, and all thoroughly enjoyed the outing. A home and home match against Colac was won by Portland. Ladies' Day, as usual, was a great success. The ladies competed very keenly for the prizes. Some very fine shooting was done in the match with the M.L.E. rifle. Mrs. T. H. Bennett proved the winner with 18 out of 25 points, the others being close up. In the evening the ladies were entertained by the club when the prizes were presented. The ladies in return invited the club members to compete for prizes, and entertained them at a social in the evening, and our best thanks are tendered them. During the early part of the year a very handsome silver tea and coffee service was presented to the captain (Mr W. T. Bennett) by the present and past members of the club on the occasion of his marriage. District Union matches were held at Hamilton and several of our members took part. Your Secretary attended a meeting at Hamilton in connection with the Wannon trophy conditions and succeeded in getting some alterations in the rules, your committee not being satisfied with the past conditions. The report and balance-sheet was received and adopted. ELECTION OF OFFICERS. Captain Mr W. T. Bennett was re-elected Captain for the 15th time, and duly expressed his acknowledgements. Secretary.— Mr S, Couch was re-elected Secretary. Treasurer.— Mr Jas. Wilson was elected Treasurer. Committee.— Messrs Matheson, W. Hemers, Bush and Weibie were.elected members of Committee. Auditors.— Messrs H. J. Campbell and F. W. Burt were re-elected. Handicappers.— Messrs Thos. Tulloh, A. E. Jones, and T. Smith were re-elected. GENERAL. Ninety point gold medals won during the year were presented to Messrs J. Rae, Frank Row, E. Row and W. Lister. Captain Bennett moved that Mr E. Stevens be elected life hon. member of the club,— Seconded by Mr Weibie and carried A vote of thanks was passed to all retiring officers, and a vote of thanks to the press. It was decided to enter for the Wannon trophy. It was stated the club had affiliated with the V.R.A. A vote of thanks was passed to the donors of the trophies for the past year, which was carried unanimously. Mr Hemers moved an honorarium of £3/3/ be passed to the secretary for his services for the year.— Seconded by Mr H. Campbell and carried unanimously. The chairman stated that Mr H. J. M. Campbell, M.L.A., announced his intention of giving a trophy to be competed for by members during the year. It was resolved that the official notice board be placed at Captain Bennett's establishment. Mr R. Adamson asked when he was to receive the prize won by him over 12 months ago. This was a shooting box valued at 21/. He had made a personal application to the donor for this but could not get it or its equivalent. It was decided applications be again made for the prize to be given to the club as promised, and failing this being done the club to make good the value to the winner.[13]

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Rifle Shooting. . . . The third competition for Mr Campbell's trophy was the first shooting to count for the trophy presented by Mr G. F. W. Stevens, of Split Point Light-house. The conditions are — All three range competitions between September 1st and March 31st, to count. The trophy is to be shot from scratch, best aggregate to win. The following are the highest scores:— [14]

1906 10[edit]

4SP's father competes in The KIng's Annual Rifle Matches at Williamstown

ANNUAL RIFLE MATCHES. FIRST STAGE OF "THE KING'S." The V.R.A. annual matches were continued yesterday at Williamstown in weather that was a great improvement on the opening day, and the seniors took the place of the juniors under very favorable conditions. The day's work commenced with the Affiliated Medal Match of 10 shots at 600 yards, and the first prizeman was J. Nixon, one of the Bendigo section of clever marksmen, who finished alone with 49 of the possible 50 points. There were five 48's, the best of which was that of Geo. Williams, of Fern Tree Gully, who took second prize. The Members' Match, under exactly similar conditions, followed, and the winner of this was O. Duncan, of the South Melbourne club, who was the only one to reach 49 points. E. T. Henderson, of Mildura, had the best of these 48's, and he took second place. The "Templeton" match of 10 shots at 700 yards was shot with a wind requiring an allowance of about 16 degrees right, and it was good work on the part of the winner, J. A. McQueen, of Mordan, to put up a score of 74 points. J. H. Williams, the well-known Bendigo crack, was second with 46, and J. Northam, a Queensland visitor, third, with 45. The afternoon was devoted to the first stage of The King's, comprising 7 shots at 200, 500 and 600 yards. As the meteorological conditions were favorable, it was no surprise when, at the close of the three distances, two competitors were found to have passed the "century" with 101 each, and five others finished with the exact 100 points, with a liberal sprinkling of 99's and 98's in immediate proximity. The two top men were J. C. Trigg, of Geelong, who won the V.R.A. King's Prize in 1904, and Constable G. French, of Queensland, who won the King's Prize at this year's annual matches of the Queensland Rifle Association, shot last August. The "century" men were W. T. Bennett, of Portland; Corporal Edwards, of New South Wales; R. Donegal, of Bendigo; W. Watson, of the Victorian Railways club, and R. Searles, of the South Melbourne club. The diagrams made by the two top men were as follow:— . . . THE TEMPLETON.— 700 yds., 10 shots. First prize presented by Colonel J. M. Templeton, C.M.G., V.D., £10. . . . Private H. Love, N.S.W.; T. Lake, S. A.; A. A. Burgess, Noradjuho; G. F. W. Stevens, Portland; E. Walker, M.R.C., 38. Eight 38's counted out.[15]

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Portland Rifle Club. . . . The following are the best scores up to the present for the champion prize presented by Mr G. F. W. Stevens. The conditions are all three range matches held by Portland Rifle club from September 1st 1906, to March 31st, 1907, not less than eight matches to be held during that period. So far 12 matches have been held, and the following are the best scores:— . . . [16]

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RIFLE SHOOTING.— Some time back Mr G. F. W. Stevens, late officer in charge of the Cape Nelson lighthouse, presented a prize to the Portland Rifle Club to be competed for from scratch, commencing September 1, 1906, and ending March 31, 1907, all three range competitions during that period to count. The scores appeared from time to time in our columns, and the prize was won by Mr. W. T. Bennett, the captain of the club, with a grand total of 1254, Mr. S. Couch being second with a score of 1227, Mr. J. Wilson third with 1164, There were 14 competitions. The prize has now come to hand, and consists of a very handsome salad bowl. The bowl being of earthenware with silver rim embossed with leaves, and flowers supported by cucurrbers looking very natural. The servers are of silver with cucumber handles. There is also a silver butter dish with dome top. Both are inscribed as follows:— Presented by G. F. W. Stevens, Esq., to the Portland Rifle Club, for Championship Aggregate, 1906-7, Won by Captain Bennett. The trophies are on view at Captain Bennett's business place and will be formally presented at the annual meeting next month together with the other prizes won during the year. [17]

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4SP's parents entertain the Governor of Victoria as lighthouse keeper at Wilson's Promontory

SOCIAL NOTES. . . . Sir Reginald Talbot, accompanied by Captain Fyfe, is spending a week at Wilson's Promontory, in camp, and inspecting the reservation for a national park. This movement for the reservation of the beauty spots and native fauna of the state has enlisted the warm approval of Sir Reginald Talbot. En route at Foster the Governor, accompanied by a number of the townspeople, visited the state school, and complimented teachers and scholars on the excellence of the school appointments, and the smartness with which the children performed drill evolutions. At Toora, the town was decorated with flags, and an arch, surmounted by the word "Welcome," was erected over the main thoroughfare to the station. A drive to the top of a neighbouring hill enabled the visitors to obtain an excellent view of Corner Inlet and Wilson's Promontory. At Welshpool, Messrs. G. W. Firman, W. Vinning, J. Metherall, A. Christenson, J. Hull, B. Banks, G. Atkinson, R. Growse, J. L. Hayes, and a number of others met His Excellency at the station, and escorted him to the Welshpool Hotel, were the usual loyal toasts were proposed and briefly acknowledged by the Governor. On returning to the station, the state-school children sang the National Anthem, and were rewarded with a holiday. Hedley, the next roadside station, made a similar demonstration. Baskets of fruit and flowers were presented to the Governor. At Port Albert a crowd at the station warmly cheered His Excellency as he stepped on the platform. His Excellency Sir Reginald Talbot, accompanied by Captain Fife, and piloted by Mr. J. Carter, of Foster, arrived on Wednesday night after a rough ride of 25 miles across the promontory from The Camp. The Camp, consisting of several tents, is pitched in the northwest corner of Corner Inlet. It was reached on Tuesday evening by motorlaunch from Port Albert amidst driving rain. Wednesday was also stormy and wet, and added to the discomfort of riding. The narrow bridle-path was over high ridges and down gullies which only horses used to mountain-climbing could safely cross. No bird or animal life was seen during the journey. Nearly the whole of the promontory was devastated with bush fires last summer, and it is stated that great numbers of wallabies and native bears, which are about the only native game on the promontory, perished in the flames. Close to the bridle-track remains of both were seen. His Excellency and party were hospitably entertained by Mr. G. F. W. Stevens, the lighthouse keeper, and Mrs. Stevens.[18]

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RIFLE SHOOTING.— It will be pleasing to members of the Portland Rifle Club to learn that one of their old comrades, in Mr G. F. W. Stevens, has not forgotten them, nor apparently the good sport associated with competitions, as we learn he has presented another valuable trophy for competition by the Portland rifle club members. He has made his own arrangements for this contest. The shooting must take place during the months of February, March and April, the first to be on February 24 at 200, 500 and 600 yards. The second will be at 500, 600 and 700, and the third, 800, 900, and 1000. Mr Stevens evidently does not uphold the system of granting days for shooting other than those fixed, as he stipulates all competitors must shoot on the day appointed. The entrance fee is one shilling, and entries close on Saturday, February 19. We may add that Mr Stevens is now stationed at Wilson's Promontory, and sends his greetings to his old comrades. While on rifle matters we may state that Mayor Woods' trophy has been won by Mr Chas. Cooper. The scores are not .to hand, but are promised for next issue., On Thursday the final for Mr Campbell's Glenelg trophy will be fired at the Heywood ranges.[19]

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4SP passes examination for position as Telegraph Messenger in PMGD but weak in arithmetic

COMMONWEALTH PUBLIC SERVICE. Examination No. 397. For Appointment as Telegraph Messenger at Melbourne and Suburban Post Offices. (Held on 9th November, 1912.) THE following candidates were successful at the above examination, and have thereby qualified for appointment to the position of Telegraph Messenger at Melbourne and suburban offices. The following should be noted:— (1) The names will remain on the Register of Qualified Candidates for eighteen months — that is, until and including 5th June, 1914, when they must, in accordance with the law, be removed therefrom. (2) A successful candidate cannot be appointed after he attains his seventeenth birthday. (3) A candidate passes this examination if he secures at least half marks in Handwriting and in Spelling only; but those who have also gained half marks in Arithmetic at this examination will, if appointed, be eligible for promotion to a higher position in the General Division without further examination in these subjects. (4) Those who have not secured at least 100 marks in Arithmetic will be required to pass a further examination, after appointment, in order to become eligible for promotion. Promotion examinations are held half-yearly. (5) Unless a Telegraph Messenger qualifies for promotion to a higher position before reaching the age of eighteen years, he must retire from the service on attaining that age. (6) Where two or more candidates secure the same number of marks, their order of merit is deter-mined by the number of. marks obtained for (a) Arithmetic and (b) Handwriting, and, where these numbers are also equal, then by ballot. (7) Upon appointment, a successful candidate must produce evidence of the date of his birth and a medical certificate, satisfying the Commissioner in whatever particulars he may determine, as to the appointee's sound bodily health and freedom from physical defects. (8) Successful candidates will be allowed to select the post offices at which they desire appointment; but in cases where a successful candidate does not reside within a reasonable distance of an office selected by him at which a vacancy exists, the Commissioner reserves the right to appoint another boy, who, though having obtained lower marks at the examination, resides in closer proximity to the post office referred to. (9) The names of 120 successful candidates, being twice the estimated number of vacancies, have, in accord-ance with the Regulations, been entered on the "Register of Qualified Candidates." These names are shown above the line in the following list. The names of the remaining successful candidates are shown below the line. (10) Before a successful candidate who is subject to the universal training provisions of the Defence Act 1903-11 can receive appointment, he must produce evidence from the Area Officer of the Training Area in which he resides that he has fulfilled his obligations in that respect. (11) If a successful candidate decline to accept an appointment offered to him, or fail to reply within seven days to a communication from the Commissioner or a Public Service Inspector respecting his nomination to the Public Service, his name may be removed from the "Register of Qualified Candidates." Name. Handwriting. Spelling. Arithmetic. Total. Maximum marks. 100 150 200 450. Pass marks. 50 75 — —. Registered Candidates. . . . . Stevens, Frederick William 75, 93, 52,220 . . . D. C. McLACHLAN, Commissioner, W. J. CLEMENS, Secretary. Office of the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner, Melbourne, 6th December, 1912.[20]


1913 01[edit]
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4SP passes public service examination as Telegraph Messenger but arithmetic results even weaker

COMMONWEALTH PUBLIC SERVICE. Examination No. 445. For Appointment as Telegraph Messenger. (Held on 5th April, 1913.) THE candidates named hereunder were successful at the above examination, and have thereby qualified for appointment to the position of Telegraph Messenger at the places under which their names respectively appear. The following should be noted:— (1) The names will remain on the Register of Qualified Candidates for eighteen months, that is, until and including 8th November, 1914, when they must, in accordance with the law, be removed therefrom. (2) A candidate, though successful, cannot be appointed after he attains his seventeenth birthday. (3) A candidate passes this examination if he secures at least half marks in Handwriting and in Spelling only; but those who have also gained half marks in Arithmetic at this examination will, if appointed, be eligible for promotion to a higher position in the General Division without further examination in these subjects. (4) Those who have not secured at least 100 marks in Arithmetic will be required to pass a further examination in that subject, after appointment, in order to become eligible for promotion. Promo-tion examinations are held half-yearly. (5) Unless a Telegraph Messenger qualifies for promotion to a higher position before reaching the age of eighteen years, he must retire from the Service on attaining that age. (6) Where two or more candidates secure the same number of marks, their order of merit is deter-mined by the number of marks obtained for (a) Arithmetic and (b) Handwriting, and, where these numbers are also equal, then by ballot. (7) Upon appointment, a successful candidate must produce evidence of the date of his birth and a medical certificate, satisfying the Commissioner, in whatever particulars he may determine, as to the appointee's sound bodily health and freedom from physical defects. (8) Upon application being made by a successful candidate appointed away from home, an allowance will be paid at the following rates: £1 per month during the first two years of service, and 10s. per month during the third year of service. (9) Before a successful candidate who is subject to the universal training provisions of the Defence Act 1903-11 can receive appointment, he must produce evidence from the Area Officer of the Training Area in which he resides that he has fulfilled his obligations in that respect. (10) If a successful candidate decline to accept an appointment offered to him, or fail to reply within seven days to a communication from the Commissioner or a Public Service Inspector respecting his nomination to the Public Service, his name may be removed from the "Register of Qualified Candidates." Name. Handwriting. Spelling. Arithmetic. Total. Maximum Marks. 100 150 200 450 Pass Marks. 50 75 — —. . . VICTORIA. . . . Portarlington. . . . Stevens, Frederick William . . . D. C. McLACHLAN, Commissioner, H. McTAGGART, Acting Secretary. Office of the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner, Melbourne, 9th May, 1913.[21]

4SP passes public service examination to be a telegraph messenger

MISCELLANEOUS. . . . Amongst the Victorian candidates, who have passed the public service examination for appointment as telegraph messengers, are J. Peel, J. Leahy and F. W. Stevens, of Portarlington, and J. Bannon, C. Fiddes, F. A. Nicol and J. E. Ingram, of Werribee.[22]

1913 06[edit]
1913 07[edit]
1913 08[edit]

4SP passes examination to qualify as a Telegraph Messenger, remains weak in arithmetic

COMMONWEALTH PUBLIC SERVICE. Examination No 468. For Appointment as Telegraph Messenger. (Held on 2nd August, 1913.) THE candidates named hereunder were successful at the above examination, and have thereby qualified for appointment to the position of Telegraph Messenger at the places under which their names respectively appear. The following should be noted:— (!) The names will remain on the Register of Qualified Candidates for eighteen months, that is, until and including 28th February, 1915, when they must, in accordance with the law, be removed therefrom. (2) A candidate, though successful, cannot be appointed after he attains his seventeenth birthday. (3) A candidate passes this examination if he secures at least half marks each in Handwriting and in Spelling; but those who have also gained half marks in Arithmetic at this examination will, if appointed, be eligible for promotion to a higher position in the General Division without further examination in these subjects. (4) Those who have not secured at least 100 marks in Arithmetic will be required to pass a further examination in that subject, after appointment, in order to become eligible for promotion. Promotion examinations are held half-yearly. (5) Unless a Telegraph Messenger qualifies for promotion to a higher position before reaching the age of eighteen years, he must retire from the Service on attaining that age. (6) Where two or more candidates secure the same number of marks, their order of merit is determined by the number of marks obtained for {a) Arithmetic, and (b) Handwriting, and, where these numbers are also equal, then by ballot. (7) Upon appointment, a successful candidate must produce evidence of the date of his birth and a medical certificate, satisfying the Commissioner in whatever particulars he may determine, as to the appointee's sound bodily health and freedom from physical defects. (8) Upon application being made by a successful candidate appointed away from home, an allowance of £1 per month will be paid during his service as Telegraph Messenger while living away from home. (9) Before a successful candidate who is subject to the universal training provisions of the Defence Act 1903-11 can receive appointment, he must produce evidence from the Area Officer of the Training Area in which he resides that he has fulfilled his obligations in that respect. (10) If a successful candidate decline to accept an appointment offered to him, or fail to reply within seven days to a communication from the Commissioner or a Public Service Inspector respecting his nomination to the Public Service, his name may be removed from the "Register of Qualified Candidates." Name. Handwriting. Spelling. Arithmetic. Total. Maximum Marks. 100 150 200 450 Pass Marks. 50 75 — —. . . . VICTORIA. Flinders. Stevens, Frederick William 75 113 10 198. . . . D. C. McLACHLAN, Commissioner. W. J. CLEMENS, Secretary. Office of the Commonwealth Public Service Commissioner, Melbourne, 29th August, 1913.[23]

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1914 01[edit]
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COMMONWEALTH PUBLIC SERVICE. Examination No. 506. To enable Telegraph Messengers to Qualify for Promotion to a Higher Position in the General Division. Held, 2nd May, 1914. THE following are the names, in alphabetical order, of the candidates in the several States who were successful at the above examination :— Name. Post Office. . . . VICTORIA. . . . Stevens, Frederick William.[24]

4SP permanent appointment to the PMGD confirmed

POSTMASTER-GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT. Ex. Mins. Nos. 337, 338, 339, 340, T.268, T.279. . . . Victoria . . . Appointments Confirmed. . . . Frederick William Stevens, Telegraph Messenger, Flinders, from 22nd September, 1913.[25][26]

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1916 01[edit]

Year's furlough taken by 4SP's father, Head Lightkeeper, Cliffy Island

DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND CUSTOMS. Ex. Mins. Nos. 1-3, 6, 7, 12-17. . . . Lighthouse Branch. . . . Furlough. George Frederick William Stevens, Head Lightkeeper, Cliffy Island, Victoria, twelve months' furlough, on half pay.[27]

4SP's promotion to Postal Assistant at Woomelang

POSTMASTER-GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT. Ex. Mins. Nos. 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, T.858, T.874. . . . VICTORIA. Promotions. . . . Frederick William Stevens, Telegraph Messenger, Flinders, salary £52, to be Postal Assistant, Woomelang, with salary of £78, from 30th November, 1915.[28]

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4SP at Samarai as coastal station wireless officer since about April 1918

GENERAL HINTS. FURNISHINGS FOR PAPUA. F. W. Stevens, writing from the Radio Station at Samarai, Papua, sends the following information for the benefit of a correspondent who inquired some little time ago about suitable furnishings for a home in Papua:— "Curtains — Very few windows, mainly glass doors. Curtains for the latter, something that will wash easily and frequently. Cushions — Pillow cushions are popular, with fancywork cover that will wash. Unwashable cushion covers are very seldom seen. Furniture — As much cane furniture as possible, a couple of large lounges, and smaller cane chairs. For dining-room bentwood chairs. House generally consist of two or three rooms about 14 x 12 or thereabouts, with a 12ft verandah all round the rooms. Cane blinds are hung round the verandah. These are pulled up at night. Rooms are used for dressing in mainly. The verandah is most commonly used for sleeping and dining. Mosquito nets are essential in most places in Papua, especially in the bush. I have not used one in 20 months in Samarai, and have had no fever to speak of." [29]



1920 01[edit]
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4SP appointed to Samarai Chamber of Commerce

Samarai Chamber of Commerce. (From our Correspondent.) The monthly meeting of Samarai Chamber of Commerce was held in the School of Arts on August 19. There were present: Mr F. N. Paris (Chairman) and Messrs Wood, MacSmith, Heath, Middleton, Higginson, Fowler, Spiller, Stevens, and Rogerson. The minutes of the last meeting were read and confirmed. Among the inward and outward correspondence which was tabled were the following letters:— From the Official Secretary, re suggestions from the Chamber about the proposed new wharf. In regard to this, the different points raised by the Council, and which were referred to in my last, were dealt with. The Chamber had pointed out that, in their opinion, KasiKasi piles should be used, both on account of their durability and cheapness when compared with Australian timber. In the letter referred to, a doubt was expressed whether they could be used without coppering; this point was especially emphasised by the Chamber. The request that storage-sheds should be erected on the reclamation attached to the wharf was granted. The request that the reclamation be extended was also granted. The suggestion that local contractors be given an opportunity to tender for the construction of the wharf was held over for the Treasurer's opinion; it was stated in the letter, that the Department thought that he (the Treasurer) might be of opinion that better work would be done if the contracts for both wharfs were under one control, and to call tenders in the south. The request that the reclamation recommended by Mr Cullen be proceeded with at once was granted. The request that a local Harbour Board be formed to take control of harbour matters was granted. It was also stated that there would be no unnecessary delay in commencing the work on the wharf. A letter was also received from the Official Secretary, stating that the Chamber's request that the duty on trade tobacco be reduced was being considered. Another letter from the same source stated that the local mail-service (Tambar) was still under discussion. A letter was received from the Hon. R. Whitten, advising that the Tramway Bill had been handed to Mr Bertie to be altered in accordance with the Chamber's suggestions. Another was received from Maimai Plantation, in answer to a circular sent round to rubber-planters, containing Mr Bramell's suggestions in regard to proposed holidays for boys engaged in rubber-tapping. The opinion expressed in this letter was that, as the boys only worked 35 hours a week at present, if Mr Bramell's proposals were put into force it would be advisable for the plantations to stop rubber-tapping altogether. The following new members were elected: Messrs A. L. Dick (Sagarai Plantation), D. A. Fowler (Bank of New South Wales), F. W. Stevens (Wireless). In regard to repairs to Samarai Wharf, the following motion was carried: That the Government be advised that the grant of £100 had been found to be insufficient, and that they be requested to grant a further amount to cover the necessary repairs. Mr Rogerson was appointed Acting Secretary in the absence of Mr Frame, who has gone South on holiday. The Chamber passed a motion expressing regret at losing Mr Heath, our genial bank-manager, wishing him every success and good health in his new appointment, and welcoming his successor (Mr Fowler). This terminated the business of the meeting.[30]

1920 10[edit]

4SP's father still in the Federal Public Service October 1920

  • Index to List of Officers — Central Staffs — continued.
  • Name. Page. No. on Page. . . .
  • Stevens, George Frederick William .. .. 58 10.[31]

4SP transfers to PMGD Coastal Radio Service but cannot be appointed permanently due to qualifications

POSTMASTER-GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT. . . . Exemptions.— The provisions of the Commonwealth Public Service Act 1902-1918 not to apply, for a period not exceeding twelve months from the 28th October, 1920, to the following persons in the position of Radio Telegraphist, for the special reasons that they are ineligible for permanent appointment to the Commonwealth Public Service, and it is necessary to utilize their services pending permanent appointments being made; and the rates of pay and conditions of employment of the persons named to be such as may be determined by the Public Service Commissioner:— . . . F. W. Stevens.[32]

1920 11[edit]
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1921 01[edit]
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Announcement of engagement of 4SP to Cecily Woodfull Pescott

Engagements. . . . The engagement is announced of Miss Cecily Woodfull, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Pescott, "Westfield," Eskdale-road, Caulfield, to Mr. Frederick William Stevens, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. G. F. W. Stevens, Signal Station, Point Lonsdale.[33]

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1922 01[edit]
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4SP's temporary appointment in the PMGD Radiotelegraph Branch extended for a further 12 months

COMMONWEALTH PUBLIC SERVICE. Melbourne, 2nd February, 1922. THE undermentioned notifications of Staff changes, &c., are made in accordance with the Commonwealth Public Service Act and Regulations :— . . . POSTMASTER-GENERAL'S DEPARTMENT. Ex. Mins. Nos. 34, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 42, 43, 45, 47, 48. . . . Radiotelegraph Branch. Exemptions.— The provisions of the Commonwealth Public Service Act 1902-18 not to apply, for a period not exceeding twelve months from the 28th October, 1921, to the following persons in the position of Radio Telegraphist:— . . . F. W. Stevens.[34]

1922 03[edit]
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4SP appointed to tour of duty at the Willis Island Coastal Station

CYCLONE WARNINGS. WILLIS ISLAND STATION. The Commonwealth wireless station established last summer on Willis Island by Captain Davis and a party of experts for the purpose of sending early advices of the approach of cyclones and for other meteorological observation is to be carried on again this season. Mr. Kempling, of Cooktown, is to be in charge, and he will have the co-operation of Messrs. J. Hogan and F. W. Stevens, both of Melbourne. The two Iatter left Brisbane yesterday by the Wyreema for Townsville, where Mr. Kempling will join them. These three officers will have a working party of 15, who will set about the business of concreting the tower in which the apparatus is housed. These men will leave as soon as this work is completed, and they will be accompanied back to the mainland by Mr Stephens and a companion, who has been taking care of the station since Captain Davis left in April.[35]

CYCLONE SEASON. WILLIS ISLAND WATCH. Three young men have voluntarily decided to live a Robinson Crusoe existence for six months on lonely Willis Island in order to give timely wireless warnings to Queensland of the approach of dreaded cyclones. The leader of the party is Mr. Kempling, who hails from the radio station at Cooktown, and his two companions are Messrs. J. Hogan, of the meteorological office in Melbourne, and F. W. Stevens of the Melbourne radio station. Messrs. Hogan and Stevens left Brisbane in the Wyreema last night for Townsville, where they will be joined by Mr. Kempling. A working party of 15 men will also proceed to Willis Island to concrete the tower in which the wireless and meteorological instruments are housed. When the work is completed the working party, together with Mr. Stevens (sic?), who has resided on the island during the winter months, will return to Townsville. Meteorological observation work will be undertaken by Mr. Hogan, who will also devote some of his time to upper air research work which has been carried out in Melbourne for some time past. Messrs. Kempling and Stevens will devote themselves to sending and receiving wireless messages. They are both expert operators.[36]

Willis Island Station. BUILDING PARTY FROM TOWNSVILLE. On Friday or Saturday next, a party of 15 men will leave Townsville by the steamer Bopple for Willis Island, to erect concrete walls round the meteorological station, and make it safe for the cyclone season. Mr. W. F. Barker, of the Federal Works and Railway Department, is in charge, and has already engaged his staff of men at Townsville, and is now getting his stores in readiness for the work. The steamer Bopple arrived from South on Sunday night, and on the trip to Willis Island, Captain Middleton, formerly of the Pilot Service, will be in command. It is expected that the work will occupy three weeks, which will mean that the party will be on the Island till well into November. In connection with the Willis Island station, the Brisbane "Daily Mail" of recent date, says:— "Three young men . . . [37]

1922 11[edit]
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Vic marriage registration for 4SP

  • Vic BDM
  • Event: Marriage
  • Family name: STEVENS
  • Given name(s)ː Fredk Wm
  • Spouse's nameː PESCOTT, Cecily Woodfull
  • Registration yearː 1923
  • Registration numberː 5213/1923[38]
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4SP returns from tour of duty on Willis Island

Willis Island. WAITING FOR CYCLONES. The steamer Bopple brought two members of the Willis Island observers to Townsville after a long summer vigil waiting for possible cyclones. The members of the party were Messrs. G. Kempling and F. W. Stevens, wireless operators, and Mr. J. Hogan, meteorological observer. Mr. Kempling, who was the officer in charge, was previously attached to the Cooktown radio station, whilst Mr. Stevens joined from the Melbourne station, and Mr. Hogan from the head office of the Meteorological Department in Melbourne. Somewhat browned from outdoor life, the party returned in excellent health and spirits, and naturally pleased at the prospects of a holiday in the South, all being due for leave, after their lonely island watch. Some interesting particulars of life on the Island was given to a Townsville "Bulletin" reporter. Not a day's sickness was experienced, and the only recourse to the medicine chest was in connection with minor accidents, such as bruises or cuts received. So far as the life on the Island is concerned they had not felt the loneliness more than they expected, and with the daily duties time had not hung unduly long, though they had got through pretty well all they could find in the way of reading matter. Speaking of the weather conditions, Mr. Hogan stated they had not experienced any actual cyclonic conditions at the Island, though conditions pointed to being on the edge of a disturbance on occasions. The worst weather was experienced in March, on 26th and 27th, when a heavy gale blew continuously for the two days. The lowest barometer readings were shown at that time, viz., 29.52 on Monday, 26th March. The climate was a good one for the tropics, hot in the sun, but tempered by the sea breeze. The highest actual temperature was 92 degrees some decimals, and the lowest between 71 degrees and 72 degrees. The heaviest rain experienced was in April, when 3½ inches were recorded in one night, and the water supply at the station, a tank storage supply of 5000 gallons, was fully replenished. The Island was only 25ft. above sea level, but was protected by a large reef to seaward, on which the heavy ocean seas broke at some considerable distance from the land. The Island was looking at its best when they left, after the recent rains. A rank grass, something like Buffalo grass, covered the whole of the Island, whilst shrubs grew to a height of 3½ft. The vegetation was quickly responsive to rain, and some of the shrubs were coming out in blossom. Of the cocoanuts which had been planted earlier, four were growing slowly and a dozen young plants were landed from the Bopple on her present trip. The bird life, both officers agreed, was the feature of the Island, as they were there in countless numbers. These included tern of different varieties, gannets, petrel, and other seabirds. For the most part they were night birds and the noise at night is continuous. One variety, the sooty tern, spent the night hours on the wing, shrieking the whole night long and no matter how the hermits covered their ears and heads the shrill shrieks of the birds still penetrated. This was a nightly concert, with the exception of four nights of heavy gale. The terns are about the size of a pigeon, and each night they spread out in one long line across the Island, facing the wind, and shrieking their defiance. It was one of the noises the members of the party got used to, and after a time could sleep through the concert quite well. Another peculiar bird was one they called the mutton bird, but which is actually the wedgetailed petrel. These were underground dwellers, spending the day in burrows on the island, which is riddled with their homes. At night the birds came out and sitting on the beaches filled the air with the most weird and dismal cries. At times it was like a child crying, then again like a cat mewing or a dog complaining, but all the time miserable, and at dawn they were always "going their hardest." There are some varieties of land birds on the land, but these are very weak-winged and merely flutter from place to place and do not make sustained flights. The members of the party were fairly well off for fish, and used generally to catch bonito, or a small red fish very much like schnapper. On the reef some very beautiful colored fish are to be seen, one sky blue variety being especially beautiful. Amongst the growing coral on the reef the colored fish made a beautiful picture. Though sharks were often seen off the beach, this did not prevent a daily sea bath, and none of the party ever met with a mishap. The wireless officers, of course, had to stand certain watches at regular hours, whilst Mr. Hogan had his meteorological observations to record. One of his duties, by the way, was the daily despatch of a balloon to test the air currents in the upper atmosphere, the balloon sometimes remaining in sight for an hour, and at other times disappearing in clouds in a few minutes. Household duties, of course, occupied a certain portion of the day, and all the party attained a useful knowledge in the cooking line during their residence on the Island. For recreations they had ready-fishing and exploring on their limited area, whilst they had indoor games, such as draughts, and Mr. Stevens admitted to having done a little sketching during his spare hours. The previous party had also laid down a tennis court of a sort, which was put in some sort of order, and tennis games served to pass the time occasionally. The last fortnight has been the most tedious time experienced by the three officers, as they have been in daily expectations of hearing of the departure of the boat which was to relieve them, and the sundry delays by weather and other reasons, were rather trying. They finally left the Island at 3.25 p.m. on Saturday last, and had a good trip cver. They leave by the Wyreema for South.[39]

1923 06[edit]
1923 07[edit]

4SP's father appointed to monitor the Seabrook Memorial

Life Saving at Lonsdale. THE SEABROOK MEMORIAL. On Saturday last Messrs. S. A. Wood, E. J. Harris and A. P. Newey, trustees of the Seabrook memorial, on behalf of the Royal Life Saving Society, which body has recently taken over the control and administration of this memorial, visited Point Lonsdale and conferred with the representatives of the Point Lonsdale Progress Association on the reported danger of the memorial being washed away from its present position. On an inspection being made it was found that the waves at high water now reached to within 2 or 3 feet of the stumps on which the building rests, and it was decided that the removal of the memorial to a higher position in the centre of the Bay, between Gleneuse and Lighthouse reefs, was desirable. This position, whilst ensuring safety from the tides, will also bring the building under closer supervision from the lighthouse lookout, and will make the rescue apparatus more easily and quickly available in case of accident. The trustees have decided to vest local control of the memorial in a committee of three residents, Rev. H. H. Crigan, and Messrs. G. Ampt and G. F. W. Stevens, who have undertaken to periodically inspect the memorial and its contents. After removal the building will be put into thorough order again, and fresh danger posts will be erected on the beach.[40]

1923 08[edit]
1923 09[edit]
1923 10[edit]
1923 11[edit]
1923 12[edit]


1924 01[edit]
1924 02[edit]
1924 03[edit]
1924 04[edit]

Engagement announced of 4SP's brother Harold Robert Stevens to Loveday Werry

ENGAGEMENTS. . . . The engagement is announced of Miss Loveday Werry, second daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. Werry, of Point Lonsdale, to Mr. Harold Robert Stevens, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. G. F. W. Stevens, of Point Lonsdale.[41]

4SP's father gives evidence at the enquiry into the Wyralla-Dilkera marine disaster

WYRALLAH INQUIRY. CONCLUSION OF EVIDENCE. MELBOURNE, April 28. The taking of evidence before the Court of Marine Inquiry into the cause of the disaster at the Port Phillip Heads on the night of April 8 last, when the Lakes Steamer Wyrallah and the collier Dilkera collided and the former sank in a few minutes with the loss of six lives, was concluded today. Counsels' addresses are to ensue, and the court will then return its finding on certain specific questions submitted on behalf of the Director of Navigation by Captain Bolger. The Court is constituted of Mr. Cohen, P. M., with Captain Ramsay and Captain Pidgeon as assessors. Mr. Lewis is appearing for the owners and the master of the Dilkera (Captain Watson), and Mr. Ham and Mr. Menzies for the owners and the master of the Wyrallah (Captain Bracken). . . . George F. W. Stevens said he was temporarily employed as lightkeeper at Point Lonsdale on the night of April 8. He had had 35 years' previous experience during which time he was head lightkeeper for 23 years. He had retired recently from the service. He had relieved in the signalling at ten o'clock. He saw the Dilkera approaching the Heads at ten past ten o'clock. She was just straightening up before entering the heads when she made her name. That was at 10.15. He had served as head lightkeeper at Point Lonsdale for nearly eight years. Part of his experience in that capacity was to make the signals and determine the state of the tides. At 20 past ten that night the tide was the last of the third quarter of the ebb. He also saw another steamer outward bound. He made several signals with the Morse lamp to her but got no reply. Both steamers disappeared from his view at 20 past ten. They were obscured by the lighthouse tower which was immediately in front of them. He saw nothing more of the smaller steamer. He did not consider it unusual that she did not emerge to view again. As a rule small steamers set their course from the light house and were obscured from the view in about 20 minutes. They never saw them from the signalling station afterwards. The inward bound steamer emerged again at half past ten from the north side. She was making S.O.S. signals. He called her up with the Morse lamp, but got no reply. She kept on making S.O.S. signals all the time. Both he and Mr. Jamieson, who was also in the signal station, remained on the scene until about 4 o'clock in the morning. The lifeboat first came under his notice at about halfpast 3. The pilot boat had signalled to him that a vessel was sinking at the Heads. The Euralla had signalled the pilot boat, asking them to come closer as they wanted to use the megaphone. When first he saw the Dilkera he kept her side lights in view for about five minutes. At about 15 past ten he saw the red light. That indicated that she had straightened her course. Replying to Mr O'Neill (for the Seamen's Union) witness said he had never known anybody surviving the waters of the Rip. There had been a case of a man who had jumped overboard. He was recovered, but died shortly afterwards. If there had been a rocket fired or other distress signals they would have known that something was wrong. If she had done so the station would probably have ordered the lifeboat out immediately. When the Dilkera made the S.O.S. signals he tried to get into touch with her by Morse. [42]

1924 05[edit]

4SP's father gives evidence at Inquiry into Dilkera-Wyrallah collision as temporary lightkeeper at Point Lonsdale

THE WYRALLAH INQUIRY. MASTER PILOT'S EVIDENCE. Evidence regarding navigation conditions at the Heads was given by William Foulis, master of the pilot steamer Victoria, when the inquiry into the Dilkera-Wyrallah collision, on April 8, was resumed on Monday. Mr Cohen, P.M., assisted by Captains G. B. Ramsay and S. C. Pidgeon, nautical assessors, conducted the inquiry. . . . George Frederick William Stevens, temporary lightkeeper at Point Lonsdale, said he relieved Jensen (the head keeper) at 10 p.m., but Jensen remained with him. He saw the Dilkera straightening up to enter the Heads at 10.15 p.m. Then he saw the lights of a small steamer outward bound. "I called her up with the Morse lamp, but got no reply," he continued. "At 10.20 p.m. both vessels disappeared into the 'blind area,' obscured from our view by the lighthouse. I didn't see the Wyrallah emerge from the 'blind area.' That was not unusual, as small steamers frequently turn east in that area. When the Dilkera emerged she was making S.O.S. signals. I called her up with the Morse lamp and asked what was wrong. She continued her S.O.S. signals, but made no reply." Captain Bolger: Captain Foulis says that when he asked you "Where is Wyrallah?" you replied, "Proceeding to Portsea." Witness: No; I signalled "Steamer proceeding to Portsea; want you to go to her assistance." [43]

1924 06[edit]
1924 07[edit]
1924 08[edit]
1924 09[edit]
1924 10[edit]
1924 11[edit]
1924 12[edit]


1925 01[edit]
1925 02[edit]

First public announcement of appointment of 4SP as chief engineer for 4QG

PERSONAL. . . . Mr. F. W. Stevens, at present assistant engineer of broadcasting station 3LO, Melbourne, Broadcasting Company of Australia, Proprietary Ltd., has been appointed chief engineer of the State radio service. Mr. Stevens will not take up his duties till about the end of March. Mr. Stevens was radio telegraphist for a time at the Willis Island meteorological station, and held a similar position at Samarai. He was also attached as assistant engineer to Farmers, Ltd., station at Sydney.[44]

1925 03[edit]
1925 04[edit]

4SP arrives in Brisbane from Melbourne? to commence as Chief Engineer 4QG

STATE RADIO. CHIEF ENGINEER. Mr. F. W. Stevens, who has been appointed chief engineer of the State Radio Station, has arrived in Brisbane and taken up duty. Mr. Stevens commenced his wireless career in the Postmaster-General's Department, and during the war served on transports. He then had tropical service at coastal radio stations, and was afterwards attached to the meteorological station at Willis Island, off the North Queensland coast. He was one of the pioneers of broadcasting in Australia, being first connected with 2FC at Farmer's, Sydney, as assistant engineer, and afterwards joined 3LO Melbourne, at which station he was when he received the Queensland appointment.[45]

As previous, different bio

STATE RADIO. NEW ENGINEER. Mr. F. W. Stevens, who has been appointed chief engineer of the State radio station, has arrived in Brisbane and taken up duty. Mr. Stevens commenced his wireless career in the Postmaster-General's Department, and during the war served on transports. He then had tropical service at coastal radio stations, and was afterwards attached to the meteorological station at Willis Island, off the North Queensland coast. He was one of the pioneers of broadcasting in Australia being first connected with 2FC at Farmers, Sydney, as assistant engineer, and afterwards joined 3LO Melbourne, at which station he was when he received the Queensland appointment. (Start Photo Caption) MR. F. W. STEVENS. (End Photo Caption)[46]

4SP as best man in marriage of JWR to Florence Burch

ITEMS ABOUT PEOPLE. . . . The marriage of Mr. J. W. Robinson (manager of the State Radio Station) to Miss Florence Burch, of St. Kilda, Melbourne, was quietly celebrated at St. Peter's Church of England, West End, this morning. The bride was given away by the secretary to the Premier (Mr. L. H. Pike), and the best man was Mr. F. W. Stevens (chief engineer, State Radio Station). Mr. Robinson was lately a journalist.[47]

Another brief bio of 4SP with further titbits

PERSONAL and Anecdotal. . . . Mr. F. W. Stevens, who has been appointed chief engineer of the Queensland radio station, is a young man who has had a big experience in wireless. In 1921 he came into prominence by volunteering, with two others, to man the Willis Island meteorological and wireless station which was established the previous year by Captain J. K. Davis, the Australian Director of Navigation. Mr. Stevens and his companions spent six months on Willis Island, which is about 20 acres in extent. Mr. Stevens set out to earn his living in the Postmaster-General's department in Victoria, and when the clarion call to war was sounded he was accepted for service with the Naval Transport Corps. After several exciting voyages he was transferred to the Royal Australian Naval Radio Service, and was sent to Samarai (New Guinea), where he remained till the armistice. When the radio service was transferred to the Postmaster-General's Department, Mr. Stevens returned to Melbourne, where he was attached to the coastal radio stations. He joined Farmer's broadcasting service, when that station commenced operations, and when station 3LO was opened he was transferred to Melbourne to take charge of the technical operations.[48]

1925 05[edit]

F. S. Stephens, formerly ship wireless officer on SS Levuka appointed to 4SP's former position at 3LO

THE WORLD'S DOINGS. NOTES FROM EVERYWHERE. . . . Mr. F. S. Stephens, late of the s.s. Levuka, has joined the staff of 3LO (Melbourne), and has taken the place of Mr. F. W. Stevens, who has been appointed control engineer at 4QG (Brisbane).[49]

Delayed report of marriage of JWR in wife's hometown

MR. J. W. ROBINSON to MISS FLORENCE BURCH. The marriage of Miss Florence Burch, elder daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E. Burch, Fuller road, Elsternwick, with Mr. J. W. Robinson (manager Government Broadcasting Station, Brisbane) was quietly celebrated at St. Peter's Church of England, West End, Brisbane, on Friday, April 24. The bride was given away by Mr. L. Pike (secretary to the Premier of Queensland), and Mr. F. W. Stevens (chief engineer, Queensland Radio Service) was best man.[50]

4SP commences duties with 4QG

Mr. F. W. Stevens, who has been appointed chief engineer of the Queensland State radio station has entered upon his duties in Brisbane. He commenced his wireless career in the Postmaster-General's Department, and during the war served on transports. Then he had tropical service at coastal radio stations, and afterwards was attached to the meteorological station at Willis Island, off the North Queensland coast. He was a pioneer of broadcasting in Australia, being first connected with 2FC in Sydney, as assistant engineer. Afterwards he joined 3LO, Melbourne.[51]

1925 06[edit]

4SP to supervise Qld Gov tests of receivers at Toowoomba

QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT TESTS OF WIRELESS RECEIVERS. WE DESIRE to draw attention to an advertisement appearing in this issue and stating that the Queensland Government is arranging a series of tests at which capabilities of Receivers suitable for the reception of broadcasting may be demonstrated. These tests will be held at the Court Houses at Toowoomba and Maryborough, the Toowoomba tests being held on June 16th, 17th, and 18th, and those at Maryborough on June 23rd, 24th, and 25th. The object of these tests is to try and ascertain just which are the most suitable sets for use in Queensland. Quite a number of dealers, it is understood, have approached the Government offering receivers for sale. It is likely that quantities of receivers may be purchased by the Queensland Government either for resale or for installation in Government Buildings and Institutions, and the receivers which give the most satisfactory results at the Toowoomba and Maryborough tests will of course receive the greatest consideration when the actual purchase of sets is considered. Mr. F. W. Stevens (Chief Engineer, Queensland Radio Service) will supervise the Toowoomba tests, and those at Maryborough will be under the charge of Mr. J. W. Robinson (general manager Queensland Radio Service). Dealers wishing to submit sets to the tests and to demonstrate same should advise the Manager, Queensland Radio Service, on or before June 14th next.[52]

4SP's wife and child arrive in Brisbane

Women 's Realm. (Items intended for publication in this column should be addressed to the Social Department, and should bear the signature of the sender.) . . . Mrs. Stevens, (the wife of Mr. F. W. Stevens, chief engineer to the Queensland Radio Service) and infant have arrived in Brisbane from Melbourne.[53]

Stevens and Robinson conduct receiver tests in Toowoomba

WIRELESS RECEIVERS. TESTS IN TOOWOOMBA. Queensland Radio Service. INTERVIEW WITH MANAGER. At the present time the Queensland Radio Service, which the Government Department created to control broadcasting in Queensland, is conducting tests of wireless receivers in Toowoomba. The General Manager, Mr. J. W. Robinson, is in charge and is accompanied by Mr. F. W. Stevens, chief engineer. When questioned regarding the tests Mr. Robinson said that they were in no way connected with the actual establishment of the broadcasting station itself but were connected with the selection of receivers suitable for use in listening to programmes from the Government station. "The position is very simple," he said." "The Government may in the near future require certain supplies of wireless receiving sets Quite a number of traders have offered to supply these sets to the Government. Before any actual purchases are made, however, it has been considered better to hold a test, and the present tests are the ones to which I refer. All traders have been invited to submit sets, and quite a number have availed themselves of the opportunity. These dealers are being asked to demonstrate the capability of their sets and so furnish myself and the officers of my department with some idea of the capabilities of the sets which the traders are offering for sale to the Government." The traders, who have submitted sets to be tested are:— Western Electric Co., Amalgamated Wireless Ltd., Queensland Pastoral Supplies, J. B. Chandler and Co., Norman Bell and Co., Ltd., David Jones Ltd., Wireless House, Brisbane, Home Radio Service, Amico Ltd., Continental Radio, Laurence and Hansen, Trackson Bros., United Distributors, C. G. O'Brien, and Colville Moore, Sydney. Mr. Robinson stated he had been deluged for inquiries for sets from enthusiasts all over Queensland, but before he could recommend any he must be satisfied what the sets could do. After the tests had been carried out he would be able to speak with authority regarding their capabilities. Of course an inquirer could buy either through the Queensland Radio Service or direct from the traders. He would sell sets for the traders and the commission received would go to increase the general efficiency of the service. Thus the people using the sets would reap the benefits. The Government's policy was not to make a profit and any surplus would be devoted to improving the service. In connection with the Brisbane station a Radio Information Bureau is to be established and any inquiries regarding wireless will be dealt with by this office. This should prove a great boon, particularly to amateurs. It was pointed out that local enthusiasts had sometimes experienced interference, it was thought, from the sea. Mr. Robinson said that this was probably the Pinkenba Station, known as VIB, which works traffic to ships and which at the present time, is operating with an old apparatus called the "old spark system of radio." This would cause interference. The Pinkenba station, he added, is to be fitted with the modern incontinuous wave system of signalling and that will eliminate all interference. Any listener therefore, to the Government broadcasting station will not be subjected to interference.[54]

1925 07[edit]

Several photos of 4QG staff and performers including 4SP

SOME OF THE ARTISTS AND OFFICIALS FOR QUEENSLAND'S FIRST BROADCASTING CONCERT. (Photo Captions) MR. J. W. ROBINSON, Manager of the Queensland Radio Service. MR. F. W. STEVENS, Chief Engineer. MISS CLARICE COX (Contralto). MR. NORMAN A. COOLING, Bass, also announcer at 4QG. MISS RUTH PORTRATE (Soprano).[55]

4SP and wife attend official opening of 4QG

State Broadcasting. 4QG Station Opened. The Premier's Speech. . . . The staff at 4QG consists of Messrs. J. W. Robinson (manager), F. W. Stevens (chief engineer), L. L. Sheil, and Miss M. E. Macfarlane. GUESTS AT OPENING. The guests at the official opening included the Premier and Mrs. Gillies, Mr. Justice Brennan and Mrs. Brennan, the Under Secretary, Chief Secretary's Department (Mr. T. A. Ferry), and Mrs. Ferry, Mr. L. H. Pike (secretary to the Premier), W. Franklin (private secretary to the Premier), Mr. E. H. Bourne (chief engineer Queensland Post and Telegraphs Department), Mr. Robert Joyce and Mrs. Joyce, Mrs. J. W. Robinson and Mrs. F. W. Stevens.[56]

4QG opening night transmission quality has issues

WHAT LISTENERS-IN HEARD. The preliminary apology last evening by 4QG — the State A class temporary broadcasting station — that the work of preparing the station had had to be hurried, and asking for forbearance — paved the way for a disappointment to wireless listeners-in. The "Courier" made special arrangements to test the reception at three different portions of Brisbane. One of the listeners-in was "Anode," who conducts the "Courier" wireless columns. In each instance the verdict was the same — hum of the generator too obtrusive, and microphone distortion of the human voices (giving them a very hoarse sound) so pronounced as to partly spoil the Premier's speech, and completely spoil the singing with the exception of that of Mr. Norman A. Cooling, whose numbers were sung after a 10-minute interval (from 9.1 to 9.11), when there was a slight improvement in the microphone transmission. The instrumental music was fair to good. "Fading" was experienced twice — once very pronounced — and on one occasion the tuning was too broad; indeed, throughout the evening it was not so fine as when tests were made on Sunday. At one time on Sunday afternoon the modulation was remarkably good, with a noticeable absence of the hum of the generator. The announcer's voice was not nearly so clear last night as on the preceding evening, when testing was in progress, and when the modulation was satisfactory. No doubt, with the experience of last night as a guide, the necessary improvements will be effected. STATION DESCRIBED. The offices and studio of the Queensland Radio Service are situated on the second floor of the Executive Building. One of the large departmental rooms is being utilised as a studio. The room is draped with heavy curtains, and has heavy carpets on the floor to deaden any extraneous noises. The amplifying panel is situated in the studio, and it is controlled by the chief engineer (Mr. F. W. Stevens), who listens in and regulates the music, speech, &c., passing through the microphone to the amplifying panel. The studio is connected by 'phone to the transmitting room, situated in the courtyard, where Mr. S. M. Newman is in charge for the time being. He also listens-in, through the wave meter, to the item being broadcast, and thus checks the modulation. The three cage-like structures, which form the chief part of the transmitting apparatus, consist of a rectifying unit, an oscillating unit, and a modulating unit. The power is obtained through a rotary converter from the electric light mains, the 440 volt direct current being converted to 240 volts alternating current. The 12½ voltage required for the filaments of the transmitting valves is secured through a step-down transformer, whilst the 2500 voltage high tension is supplied through a stepup transformer. The whole of the apparatus, with the exception of some of the valves, has been manufactured in Australia by Amalgamated Wireless (A'asia), Ltd. The aerial system, mounted between two poles on the top of the building, is of the squirrel cage T type. The station will broadcast concerts nightly, as mentioned previously in the "Courier."[57]

1925 08[edit]

The temporary studio of Station 4QG (Queensland Government Broadcasting Station), Executive Buildings, George-street, Brisbane. (Photo caption) Left to right.— Mr. H. J. Coy, Miss M. MacFarlane, Mr. F. W. Stevens (Chief Engineer Queensland Radio Service), Miss Warham, Mr. J. W. Robinson (General Manager Queensland Radio Service), Mr. S. M. Newman, Mr. C. Moran, Mr. L. L. Sheil. Mr. Robinson is speaking into the microphone. . . . Transmitting gear at Station 4QG. (Photo caption) The panel on the extreme right is the rectifier panel. The one in the centre is the oscillator, and the one on the left is the modulator panel. The tuning inductances are shown on top of the modulator and oscillator panels. Mr. S. M. Newman (Amalgamated Wireless) is on the left, and Mr. F. W. Stevens (Chief Engineer, Queensland Radio Service) on the right.[58]

1925 09[edit]

4SP stakes his claim to being the youngest chief engineer of a radio station in Australia

Youngest chief engineer. A couple of weeks ago we published a short article on Mr. E. G. Beard, Chief Engineer, United Distributors Ltd., and claiming that at 28 years of age Mr. Beard was the youngest man in the Commonwealth to hold down such a responsible position. We quite overlooked the fact that Mr. F. W. Stevens, Chief Engineer of the Queensland Radio Service is only 27 years of age. Perhaps if we substitute the words “one of the youngest,” etc., in our remark on Mr. Beard, justice will be done.[59]

4SP gives effect to Australia's first broadcast of a Catholic church service

SPECIAL SERVICE. ST. STEPHEN'S CATHEDRAL. For the first time in Australia church services from a Roman Catholic church were broadcast yesterday, Station 4QG, Brisbane (Queensland Government Radio Service), having the distinction of effecting the transmission. Some time ago, by courtesy of Archbishop Duhig, Station 4QG was linked by land lines with St. Stephen's cathedral, and arrangements were made for the installation of portable transmitting apparatus in the church. It was decided to select yesterday's services for broadcasting, and special arrangements were made to ensure good transmission. During last week some careful tests were carried out by the chief engineer, of 4QG (Mr. F. W. Stevens), and suitable positions for the placing of microphones were selected. Ordinarily only one microphone is used, but yesterday two microphones were placed in the church, one in the pulpit and the other in the choir. An operator was placed in the organ loft, and from his position there controlled both instruments, switching on first one and the other in order to ensure an even service. The morning service comprised a Pontifical High Mass, the sermon being preached by Archbishop Duhig, and was broadcast successfully. The evening service was also transmitted clearly, the sermon being preached by Rev. W. J. Lockington. Referring to the transmission last night, the manager of 4QG (Mr. J. W. Robinson) said that the broadcasting was a big success, and had excited a good deal of interest. The singing of the choirs was faithfully reproduced, as also were the sermons during both morning and evening services. The evening service on Tuesday next, he added, would also be broadcast by 4QG.[60]

1925 10[edit]
1925 11[edit]

4SP acts as manager 4QG during absence of JWR

State Radio. The Permanent Station To be Ready in January. It is expected that the new permanent station of the Queensland Radio Service, now under construction on the roof of the State Insurance Building in George Street, will be ready for broadcasting in January. The manager of the service (Mr. J. W. Robinson) will leave Brisbane tomorrow for Sydney, where he will inspect, under test conditions, the five-kilowatt transmitter, which is to be installed in the new station. He will also make arrangements for the shipment of the mechanism to Brisbane within the next two or three weeks. Mr. Robinson will be away from Brisbane for about a week. Mr. F. W. Stevens, (chief engineer) will act as manager during his absence.[61]

1925 12[edit]

4SP, as acting manager 4QG, oversights broadcast of the "Kookaburra" song by Ethel Osborn

BIRD SONG BY WIRELESS. "THE KOOKABURRA" Numerous were the inquiries received yesterday by the acting manager of 4QG (Mr. F. W. Stevens) regarding, the mysterious musical item to be broadcast at 8.45 last night. So close was the secret kept, however, that the staff of 4QG were not aware of the arrangement until the last moment. It was intended as a surprise even for them. Miss Ethel Osborn's first wireless appearance took place in Sydney, some two years ago. 4QG's manager, (Mr. J. W. Robinson), at present in Sydney in connection with big 4QG, and the chief engineer, and at the moment acting manager (Mr. F. W. Stevens) were both associated with this first appearance by wireless of Queensland's noted singer. Last night Miss Osborn rendered with great success her beautiful "Kookaburra" song. She also sang "The Pipes of Pan" from "The Arcadians." Both her numbers transmitted clearly, and were much enjoyed by listeners.[62]

As previous, more detail

BIRD SONG BY WIRELESS. Numerous were the inquiries received yesterday by the acting manager of 4QG (Mr. F. W. Stevens) regarding the mysterious musical item to be broadcast at 8.45 p.m. last night. So closely was the secret kept, however, that even the staff of 4QG were not aware of the arrangement until the last moment. It was intended as a surprise, and it was a most pleasant one for the thousands of listeners-in. Even when Mr. Giles, on behalf of the Austral Choir, proceeded to give a neat radio lecturette on Queensland's "songbird," Miss Ethel Osborn — her career and her prospects — few realised that he was about to introduce the brilliant singer herself. Miss Ethel Osborn's first wireless appearance took place in Sydney some two years ago. It is interesting to note that 4QG's manager (Mr. J. W. Robinson), who is at present in Sydney in connection with big 4QG, and the chief engineer, and the acting manager (Mr. F. W. Stevens) were both associated with this first appearance by wireless of Queensland's wonder singer. Listener's comments poured into 4QG last night after Miss Osborn rendered so wonderfully her beautiful "Kookaburra" song. The reproduction of both her numbers was splendid and most assuredly satisfied the high state of expectancy into which 4QG's listeners had worked themselves.[63]


1926 01[edit]

4SP gives a lecture on the Willis Island Coastal station over 4QG

BROADCASTING. TUESDAY, JANUARY 12. . . . NIGHT SESSION. 8 p.m.— Tune-in to the Tivoli Theatre. 8.5 p.m.— From the studio: Soprano solo, "Magdalene at Michael's Gate" (Lehmann), Miss Mabel Malouf; cornet solo, Caprico "Zelda" (Code), Mr. J. W. Burgomeister; contralto solo, "When My Ships Come Sailing Home" (Dorel), Miss Vera Parker; instrumental number, "Dainty Daffodils" (Mills), the Studio Quartette; Aeolian selection, soprano solos, (a) "The Robin's Song" (White-Perkins), (b) "Lo, Here the Gentle Lark" (Shakespeare-Bishop), Miss Evelyn Scotney; radioveu, "I'm Gonna Bring a Watermelon," by "The Sparklers"; lecturette, "Station C.G.I," by Mr. F. W. Stevens, chief engineer of the Queensland radio service; [64]

1926 02[edit]

THE STAFF RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TRANSMISSION OF TEMPORARY 4QG. (Photo caption) Standing, Left to Right: Mr. L. Shield (Accountant); Mr. W. Borden (sic, Bardin) (Ass. Engineer); Mr. F. W. Stevens (Engineer); Mr. N. Cooling (Announcer); Mr. H. Scott-Macallum (Musical-Director). Sitting, Left to Right: Mr. C. Moran (Cadet Operator); Miss M. E. MacFarlane (Director’s Secretary and Little Miss Brisbane); Mr. J. W. Robinson (Director); Miss C. Archdall (Typiste).[65]

4SP gives a lecture over 4QG on the Coastal Radio Stations

4QG RADIO SERVICE. TODAY'S PROGRAMMES. . . . NIGHT SESSION. 8 p.m.— Tune-in to the Tivoli Theatre. 8.5 p.m.— From the Studio: Baritone solo, "The Best Pal That I Had" (by request), Mr. Gerald Cashman; group of mouth organ numbers by "The Sandman:; soprano solo, "Love's a Merchant" (Carew), Miss Eileen McLennan; lecturette, "The Coastal Radio Stations," Mr. F. W. Stevens; cornet solo, "Harbour Lights" (Smith), M[66]

Lectures by 4SP favourably received

HERE AND THERE. COASTAL RADIO STATIONS. The lecturette entitled "Coastal Radio Stations," delivered by the chief engineer of 4QG (Mr. F. W. Stevens), on Monday night proved just as interesting as his lecturette on Willis Island, and just as enjoyable. It was a well prepared lecturette; the words were well put together, and there was quite a dramatic touch in the concluding part. Listeners will look forward with pleasurable expectation to the next lecturette to be delivered by Mr. Stevens. [67]

1926 03[edit]

4QG. TRANSMISSION TONIGHT. SUCCESSFUL PRELIMINARY TESTS. "When will the big station be testing?" is a question which has been asked at 4QG very often lately. When approached yesterday, the Deputy Director (Mr. F. W. Stevens) said that since the completion of the installation of the apparatus on the top of the State Insurance Buildings certain preliminary tests had been carried out, and these had proved very satisfactory. The time had now come when modulation tests would be commenced, and tonight, after the usual programme is concluded, a few items of music and some speech would be transmitted from the big station. "I am not prepared to guarantee a perfect transmission," continued Mr. Stevens, "this is a test and a test only. In the course of a day or two, if everything progresses favourably, I propose transmitting the whole of the evening programme from the big station. This will also be part of the test period. The temporary studio in the Executive Building will still be used, but the actual transmission.will take place from the big station. It will depend entirely on the progress made when this change will be effected." Mr. Stevens was very emphatic when asked would all listeners be requested to make a report. "No," he said, "special arrangements have been completed for reports to be received from persons listening on sets the capabilities of which are known. 'Listeners' in and around Brisbane will notice very little difference in the strength of signals from the big station, but it is from listeners at a distance from 4QG that reports will be welcomed, particularly from areas which have not been satisfactorily served by the temporary station. I would ask listeners to refrain from adversely criticising the transmission until the tests are complete," he said. "Give us a chance to make all the necessary adjustments. Do not forget it is your station — stick up for it, and help us to help you'." Mr. Stevens remarked finally: "My only regret is that Mr Robinson, who is away on a much-earned holiday, is not here to announce the preliminary opening of the crowing effort of his life's work.[68]

JWR provides a comprehensive interview to journalist about 4QG and highlights the role 4SP has played

Interview with State Radio Director. How Big 4QG Came Into Being. The wonderful success which has attended the first series of tests from the new high power broadcasting station 4QG (Brisbane), which is situated on the roof of the State Insurance Building, marks the first stage in some very big efforts which have been made during the past few months to provide Queensland with a broadcasting service second to none in Australia. Towards the end of 1924 the State Government secured the only "A" Grade broadcasting licence allotted to Queensland under the Federal Wireless Regulations, and then took immediate steps to establish a first-class service in this State. Early last year Mr. J. W. Robinson, who had been associated with Station 2FC (Farmers' Broadcasting Service) since its inception, was appointed Director of the Queensland Radio Service (as the subdepartment of the Chief Secretary's Office, which was to control broadcasting, was termed). The roof of the State Insurance Building was selected as being the best possible site for the erection of the necessary studios, offices, and station, and constructional work was commenced. Last week the initial .tests from the big station drew forth spontaneous expressions of admiration of congratulation and of goodwill from the whole of Australia, from New Zealand, and from the Pacific Islands. It was a triumph for Queensland. What Has Been Done. The Director of the Queensland Radio Service was approached yesterday by a special representative of "The Daily Standard" and was asked to give in his own words the story of the establishment of Big 4QG. Mr. Robinson (who, it may be remarked in passing, is not yet 29 years of age), was seated in his office before a pile of telegrams, radiograms, and cables. They had come from all over the Commonwealth and from New Zealand, and, with hardly an exception, referred in glowing terms to the operation of the station. "These messages," he said, "speak for themselves. They have practically all come from total strangers to me and are couched in many cases in almost affectionate terms. Naturally not only myself, but the whole staff, are very, very pleased indeed. After 12 months of very hard work the receipt of all these messages has meant more to us than we can ever express by word of mouth. They have almost overwhelmed us, and if I were to speak to you for several hours I could not adequately.,express my appreciation to all who have sent such warm expressions of congratulation and good will. "The letters, too, are simply wonderful. Most of them have been written at midnight, and an examination of the piles and piles which have come to hand shows that the majority of enthusiasts after first hearing Big 4QG 'on the air' have spontaneously sat down to write about it. I have already thanked them on behalf of myself and the staff by radio and if your paper will thank them for me through its columns I will be much obliged." . . . The Staff at 4QG. "Soon after my arrival in Brisbane, Mr. F. W. Stevens, who had been an engineer at station 2FC, and who at the time was an engineer at 3LO, was appointed chief engineer of the Queensland Radio Service. Since his arrival he has worked very, very hard in connection with the establishment of the big station, and many of the features included in it are directly due to him. The balance of the staff (with the exception of one more engineer) was all recruited from and trained in Queensland. All of them are very, very enthusiastic, and from the cadet operators upwards have been, and are still, ready to work at any time for the improvement of the service. The Temporary Station "Towards the middle of last year it was realised that a longer time would be occupied in completing the building than was at first anticipated, and it was therefore decided to establish a temporary station in Brisbane. The object of this decision was to provide the public with a service while the big station was being erected, instead of their having no local broadcasting at all. "The story of the temporary station is too well known for me to repeat at great length. Offices in the Executive Building were fitted as studios. A small station was erected in the courtyard, and an aerial was slung between two masts on the roof. Transmission was effected on a power of 500 watts. The aerial system of the temporary station was, however, very poor, and no range was secured from it. It fulfilled its purpose, however, and provided what I think was a satisfactory service, pending the placing in commission of the main transmitter." The Big Station. Questioned as to the completion of the big station, Mr. Robinson said that, although transmission had commenced, the actual apparatus had not yet been completed, and the building had not been completed either. "Work is now proceeding very steadily," he said, "and in a few weeks' time the apparatus will have been completely installed, the studios and other parts of the building will have been finished, and it will be possible to commence the full service."[69]

Broadcasting. 4QG. QUEENSLAND RADIO SERVICE. Wavelength, 385 metres. FRIDAY, MARCH 19. . . . Night Session. 8 — Tune-in to the Tivoli Theatre. 8.5 — From the Studio: Contralto solo: Down the Vale (Moir), Miss Grace Barnes; Ten Minutes of Melody by "The Sparklers"; instrumental number: Wonderland of Dreams, waltz (Abbott), The Studio Trio; lecturette: Lighthouses, Mr. F. W. Stevens; . . . [70]

1926 04[edit]

Vic marriage registration for 4SP's brother

  • Vic BDM
  • Event: Marriage
  • Family name: STEVENS
  • Given name(s)ː Harold Robt
  • Spouse's nameː WERRY, Loveday
  • Registration yearː 1926
  • Registration numberː 3269/1926[71]

3 AWA engineers responsible for transmitter hand over to 4SP

A Triumph in Radio - - -. The Engineer's Long Task. The official opening of the new station of the Queensland radio service today represents the finishing touch to work that was first projected several years ago and that has actually been under way for a great many months. The original plans for setting out with a properly equipped, high-powered station miscarried last year, but were renewed again towards the end of the year, and in recent weeks have been perfected in a display of energy that has been a strain on all concerned. The most difficult and vital part of the constructive work on the new station — the installation of the intricate and delicate apparatus, (partly shown in the "Standard's" pictorial feature on Monday), has extended over the last two months, and has fallen mainly on the shoulders of an engineering trinity, associated with Amalgamated Wireless, Ltd., but the task of the men responsible has gone much further back. (Photo Caption) MR. J. G. REED. They are Messrs. J. G. Reed, A. S. M'Donald, and E. A. Horner, and to them must be given the main credit of the high stage of efficiency that has resulted in Big 4QG. When Mr. Reed handed, over to Mr. Stevens the State Radio Service (chief engineer), to day, he left a plant that represents the latest advance in radio science — actually a duplicate of the equipment employed at 2FC (Sydney), 3LO (Melbourne), and 5CL (Adelaide). RADIO MASTER. Mr. Reed is a most interesting type. Quiet and unassuming in manner, he nevertheless is insplred by a wonderful enthusiasm for radio, and, once warmed to his subject, soon betrays, a masterly knowledge of it. He has been engaged since the year 1922 on the development and design of the 4QG equipment which is now attracting the attention of the whole of the radio public of Australia. The product of the combined efforts of the trio referred to has resulted in a design which is particularly suited for the conditions met with in Australia. With the exception of the large transmitting valves and meters practically all of the material was fabricated in this country. This should constitute a very effective reply to the individuals who make it almost a religion to copy slavishly the often unsuitable methods and processes used on the other side of the world. Mr. Reed's association with experimental radio dates back to before 1910, when the crystal detector was looked upon as one of the latest developments and the now antiquated spark transmitter was in almost universal use. Before taking up radio engineering professionally he was engaged in the telephone and later telegraph engineering section of the P.M.G. Department, thereby gaining a thorough grounding in the fundamental problems of both methods of communication which are very closely allied to those at present engaging his attention. During the war he was in the Naval radio service, and in 1917 and 1918 was assistant to the naval radio inspector for N.S.W., stationed at the naval base at Garden Island. When the radio service was handed back to the control of the P.M.G. Department in 1921, Mr. Reed resumed his connection with radio once more, and, with three other engineers, carried out some notable work on duplex radio telephony between the mainland and Tasmania. Incidentally, it may be mentioned that these four engineers are the only individuals in Australia with official sanction to the title of "radio engineer." WIDE EXPERIENCE. When Mr. E. T. Fisk negotiated the "wireless agreement" with the Federal Government in 1922, Mr. Reed, along with other members of the old staff, took up a new abode. In addition to the development and design of broadcasting transmitters and their associated equipment, the purely telegraph side receives considerable attention. The redesign of the transmitters to continuous wave and tonic train operation at the principal cities where broadcasting stations are situated is another phase of Mr. Reed's work, as well as considerable research with ultra short wave forms of transmission and reception. It is interesting to know that in addition to his professional activities, he spends a considerable part of his spare time operating the experimental radlo transmitter known as 2JR located at Summer Hill, Sydney. He also takes a great interest in experimental radio clubs, and is ever ready to oblige members by instructive lectures.[72]

1926 05[edit]
1926 06[edit]
1926 07[edit]
1926 08[edit]

An interesting experiment was carried out recently at Station 4QG, Brisbane. While the Brisbane Federal Band was playing in the Studio a receiving set was operated in one of the offices and the band music was received by wireless. It was amplified and then, by the use of a Dictaphone, a gramophone record was made. When the band had finished playing, the record was taken into the Studio, played, and then transmitted by wireless. The photograph shows the experiment being conducted. On the table is seen the wavemeter, a portable W.E. Amplifier, and the Dictaphone. Mr. F. W. Stevens (chief engineer, 4QG), is on the left, Mr. Barkess (Dictaphone Co.) in the centre, and Mr. J. W. Robinson ( Director, 4QG) on the right.[73]

1926 09[edit]

Article by 4SP about life on lighthouses

LIFE IN A LONELY LIGHTHOUSE. MINIMISING ISOLATION WHERE RADIO IS A REAL BOON. The following interesting article specially written for the "Standard" dealing with life on a coastal lighthouse, and its intense loneliness is from the pen of Mr. F. W. Stevens, chief engineer for the Queensland Radio Service, who spent many of his early years at the Cliffy Island light house, Bass-Strait. His present interest in wireless naturally brings home to him the tremendous change that the discoveries in radio science have made in the lives of lighthouse-keepers, and he emphasises the point in a graphic way. In our busy walks of life we seldom think of such things as lighthouses. Perhaps we read of them; or perhaps we go for a sea voyage and see a lighthouse as we pass along the coast. It all seems very romantic then. Perched up on a high cliff is the lighthouse, with white foam dashing high over the jagged rocks below. Close at hand are two or three dwellings and a signal station, and we may say, "Oh! how lonely it must be living there!" The lighthouse-keeper would probably retort: "Oh! fancy living in a city." Lighthouses exist at different parts along the coast the whole world over, and coasts used frequently are better equipped than others. Places like the south coast of West Australia have few lighthouses, for the reason that few ships pass along it. When a vessel leaves Albany a course is set for Capo Borda, and she travels perhaps four days without sighting land. From Adelaide to Cape York, on the other hand, a vessel hugs the coast most of the way, and is very seldom out of sight of a lighthouse. As one drops astern another is sighted ahead. Some few years ago each State had its own separate lighthouse service, but now all the lighthouses on the Australian coast are under Commonwealth control. Although this is the case, there is a subbranch in each State, and each State administers and attends to its own lights. (Start Photo Caption) A TREACHEROUS DOORSTEP.— Landing at and leaving lighthouses is often a dangerous proceeding. The photo, shows the lowering of a boat into the rough seas at Cliffy Island.(End Photo Caption) Periodical visits are paid to each light by a supply ship for the purpose of carrying stores and provisions. Some lighthouses are visited more frequently than others. This depends on their situation and need. For some years the little Karuah tended the Queensland lights, but the task grew too great for the game little vessel to manage. Today there are two vessels engaged on this work on the Queensland coast — the Cape York and the Cape Leeuwin. LIGHTS THAT DIFFER. The lights on the Queensland coast total twice as many as are on the coast of Victoria, New South Wales, and Tasmania combined, and of the 177 different lights on the Australian coast it is interesting to note that not two are alike. To the casual passenger they may appear alike, but it is by means of different duration of flash and.eclipse that the mariner distinguishes them. Some are red, some white, some fixed, and some flashing. One may show a flash of six seconds and an eclipse of three seconds, another may show three flashes of a second's duration, with an eclipse of 10 seconds, and so on. There is a method in this apparent confusion. Practically the whole of the lighthouses on the Australian coast are built on dry land. In other parts of the world they are often to be seen on a rock away from the coast, with the base of the tower actually in the water. Rough weather makes it impossible for a boat to approach the tower, and communication with the outside world is entirely cut off. REAL LONELINESS. Beachy Head, on the south coast of England, has a lighthouse which stands out in the sea. It is visible to passengers on vessels trading out of London, and may be seen within a few hours of leaving the mouth of the River Thames. Another isolated light is that on Robin's Reef, which guides the shipping of the world into New York harbor. This light is so isolated and desolate that when the keeper died away back in 1887 it was impossible to find a man to carry on there. The wife of the keeper who had died, a Mrs. Walker, decided to remain at the post which death had forced her husband to abandon. Mrs. Walker, with her two children, remained, and for 35 years she kept the Robin's Reef light burning. (Start Photo Caption) The Lighthouse at Cliffy Island, typical of Australia's coastal beacons.(End Photo Caption) (Start Photo Caption) LOOKING DOWN FROM THE LIGHTHOUSE on Watchman Island, Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand.(End Photo Caption) The life of the lightkeeper varies considerably with the situation of the lighthouse. In one case the lighthouse may be close to a town, and it is then that the keepers enjoy most of the privileges of ordinary citizens. The children can go to school and their mothers may enjoy a night at the pictures occasionally. It is at the "outside" lighthouses that the scene changes. Little communities consisting of two or three families live at those isolated lighthouses. Week in, week out, perhaps for three whole years these Robinson Crusoes live on a tiny island, or on a projection or land miles from civilisation. (Start Photo Caption) OVERHAULING AND CLEANING the unwatched light on Canoe Rock; Hauraki Gulf.(End Photo Caption) The keepers tend the light which guides the mariner on his way. Each night at sundown the guiding beacon sends out its warning, which continues till the sun again lights the sky. Most lighthouses have three keepers and the 24 hours are split into different watches. The head keeper generally keeps a look out from eight to noon and from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The remaining 16 hours are split between the two other keepers and their shifts alternate each week. PLENTY OF WORK. It is surprising what a lot can be found to occupy the time of the 'keepers and although they keep a watch for eight hours a day, almost every morning is spent on special work. The houses, tower, flag staff, lookout house, and stores have to be painted. The signal flags have to.be mended, and gear overhauled. The apparatus in the lighthouse has to be kept in the utmost state of perfection and the magnifying prisms and reflectors must be spotlessly clean. The steps in the high lighthouse are always scrubbed and the lookout house is spotlessly clean. (Start Photo Caption) A general view of Cliffy Island, showing lighthouse and quarters.(End Photo Caption) There are fish to be caught, as it is weeks, sometimes, between the visits of the supply ship with fresh meat. The stray goats must be found or there will be no milk, the wood must be carted in and cut, and the garden must be cared for or there will be no vegetables. The day the supply ship arrives is the greatest day of all. On the Victorian coast this is called "Loch" day. The supply ship, Lady Loch, calls at most of the lighthouses once every three months. Stores, provisions, coal and oil are brought by this vessel. It means a few days hard work for the men and older boys of the families, but for the younger children it is a time of joy. It means getting up early, even before daylight, and the goats are milked by the aid of a hurricane lamp; breakfast is served, and away down the hill to the landing scamper the youngsters. The Lady Loch has perhaps left Melbourne the morning before and her first port of call will be Queenscliff, to pick up a family which is going to one of the outside lighthouses. The Port Phillip Heads are cleared about noon, and by 2 o'clock Cape Schanck is passed. The blue ensign is dipped by both ship and signal station as the Lady Loch plugs into the steady roll of Bass Strait. By 3 a.m. the Wilson's Promontory light is visible and Morse lamps exchange signals. The captain advises that he will send the first boat ashore at 6 a.m. Steam has been raised on the donkey engine the night before and the fires are banked. UNLOADING. All hands are called at 5 a.m., and soon everything is in readiness. Soon the Lady Loch steams from Waterloo Bay, where she had been at anchor since she arrived, into the little cove which shelters the landing. The anchor chain rattles out, and a surf boat is lowered and loaded with provisions, a big bag of mail, and papers. Some distance from the shore an anchor is dropped from the surf boat, and a line attached to the stern keeps the boat off the rocks while unloading is proceeding. A large crane swings out from the landing with a huge basket attached to the wire rope, and is lowered into the boat. The wife of a new keeper is placed in the basket with her baby, a signal is made, the donkey engine puffs, and away up into midair swings the basket with its human freight. Gradually the crane swings round, and the basket is lowered on the rocks. Lift after lift, first stores, then sacks of coal, and oil for the light, and more stores until at last all is landed. By dinner time the "Lady Loch" is on her way to Cliffy Island, and the other eastern lighthouses. So the life on a lighthouse goes on, and there is little time to worry about isolation. WIRELESS A BOON. The wings of science have brought many changes to the lives of all men, but it is wireless telephony which has perhaps brought the most pleasure. Several lightkeepers have their own receiving sets, and enjoy the programmes from the different broadcasting stations. They can also hear the latest news, and hear the results of the Melbourne Cup a few seconds after it has been run, but they are unable to communicate with the outside world. A few years ago a fire broke out on Cliffy Island, some 20 miles from the coast. A lady was badly burned, and it was many hours before Morse lamp communication with Wilson's Promontory brought medical aid. It is now said that the Commonwealth lighthouse service has decided to supply small transmitting sets to some of the more isolated stations, and that a commencement will be made with Cliffy Island, Deal Island, and Wilson's Promontory, on the Victorian coast. Messages to and from the two islands will be handled by Wilson's Promontory, which is connected through Foster, in Gippsland, with Melbourne by means of telephone. Three of the photos reproduced were taken at the barren little Cliffy Island, which is well worthy of its name.[74]

4SP broadcast a description of view of Brisbane from top of one of the 4QG towers

Stunt Instead of the usual musical entertainment between 3.30 p.m. and 4.15 p.m. on Friday, there will be given a description of Brisbane, as seen from the top of one of 4QG'S tall towers. Mr. F. W. Stevens, the chief engineer, will sit astride the cross arm at the masthead, and with a microphone in his hand will tell the listeners what he can see from his elevated position. [75]

NEW 4QG FEATURES. . . . On Friday afternoon, September 10, a novel stunt transmission will be broadcast by station 4QG. On that date Mr. F. W. Stevens (chief engineer will climb one of the towers and will broadcast a description of Brisbane and districts from the cross arm.[76]

Personal. The director of the Queensland Radio Service (Mr. J. W. Robinson) is away on his annual leave. During his absence from station 4QG his duties are being discharged by the chief engineer (Mr. F. W. Stevens.)[77]

Broadcasting Programmes for the Coming Week . . . 4QG. . . . Afternoon Session . . . 3.45 — A description of Brisbane and District — given from the top of 4QG's aerial tower, by Mr. F. W. Stevens (Chief Engineer, Queensland Radio Service).[78]

1926 10[edit]

NAUTICAL NIGHT. For those with a streak of salt in their blood, should tune in 4QG on Friday, October 15. A talk on "The Mercantile Marine in Wartime," by Mr. F. W. Stevens, will open the session. The musical portion of the programme will include sea ditties.[79]

FRIDAY'S PROGRAMMES. 4QG, BRISBANE. (385 metres): 12.58 p.m.: Time signal. 1.0: Market reports, weather information, news, lunch music from the lounge, Hotel Carlton, played by Hotel Carlton symphony orchestra. 3 p.m.: Afternoon tea music from the lounge, Hotel Carlton, played by Hotel Carlton symphony orchestra. 6.30: The children's session — stories by "The Sandman." 7.0: From the Council of Agriculture studio — the farmers' session, market reports, lecturette, "Among Scottish herds," No. 2, Mr. J. F. F. Reid, editor, "Queensland Agricultural Journal. 7.30: Lecture session, a talk, arranged by the Workers' Educational Association, Mr. R. V. Smith, librarian; news, Stock Ex-change. 7.45 p.m.: "The Mercantile Marine in War Time," Mr. F. W. Stevens.[80]

1926 11[edit]

Caricature of 4SP

(Start Photo Caption)F.W.STEVENS, Chief Engineer and Assistant to the Director at 4QG.(End Photo Caption)[81]

1926 12[edit]

Another partial biography of 4SP with some further titbits

PERSONOGRAPHS. . . . QUEENSLAND'S efficient radio station, 4QG, is entirely the work of young men. Among them is F. W. Stevens, chief engineer. This boy was born in a lighthouse at Split point, on the coast of Victoria. He started the serious business of life by pushing a bike for the P.M.G., and later became a telegraphist under the same boss. Too young to enlist, when the Kaiser ran amok, Stevens studied radio with so much success that he was accepted as "sparks" in the Naval Transport Service. After two years afloat between Aussie and the Old Dart he was transferred to the Royal Australian Naval Service. The armistice found him in Papua, and 13 months later he joined up with the Amalgamated Wireless people. He was partly responsible for installing wireless receivers on police patrol wagons. Stevens is amply qualified to hold down his job at 4QG, because of his wide experience gained at 2FC and 3LO.[82]

4SP confined to bed for 4 days, takes the opportunity to promote daylight broadcasting

4QG Notes. . . . It has been asked at 4QG on several occasions whether it was considered worth while to broadcast during the daylight hours when most people are at work. It was of course pointed out that the daily musical programmes were arranged at times most suitable to fit in with lunch and afternoon tea. Another feature of daylight broadcasting was very forcibly brought home to 4QG's Chief Engineer (Mr. F. W. Stevens) last week when he was confined to his bed through illness for four days. Mr. Stevens says he never realised before what a boon broadcasting must be to those confined to hospitals and to those who cannot enjoy out-of-door pleasures. [83]


1927 01[edit]
1927 02[edit]

4SP acts as station director in absence of JWR at Royal Commission

PERSONAL. By yesterday morning's mall train, the director of broadcasting station 4QG (Mr. J. W. Robinson) left for Melbourne to represent the Queensland Government before the Royal Commission which has been appointed to inquire into wireless in Australia. Mr. F. W. Stevens will act as director during the absence of Mr. Robinson. [84]

4SP handles technical arrangements for cricket match

Holiday Cricket. 4QG Versus Listeners-in. The Premier (Mr. W. McCormack) was seen in a new role yesterday, having accepted an invitation from Mr. J. W. Robinson (the director of the Queensland Government radio station) to captain a cricket team representing 4QG against a team representing the "listeners-in." The Mayor of Brisbane (Alderman W. A. Jolly) also was present, but he was not seen in cricket flannels. The event was the first annual cricket match of 4QG and "Iisteners-in." It attracted great attention. It was not intended to be serious cricket, as there were 17 batsmen and the same number of fielders. Some batsmen finding the regulation bat too small, requisitioned a bat, the width of which was about a foot. An official luncheon was held in the John Macdonald grandstand, and the speeches were broadcast. Music from the Hotel Carlton was broadcast by transmitting first to the head station, thence to the Exhibition by means of a land line, and thence the music was rebroadcast. Mr. F. W. Stevens engineered the transmitting. In proposing the toast of the "Listeners-in," the Premier said that the broadcasting station had been an entire success. It had proved a source of enjoyment in Queensland and in other States, and it was becoming a utility. The Mayor proposed the toast of the Radio Station, and said that he realised the value of the station in entertainment. Some time ago, in the country, he had spoken to farmers in lonely places, and they had informed him that their only means of entertainment was through the wireless station. Mr. F. W. Stevens responded on behalf of the station. Other toasts included "The King" (proposed by the chairman) and "The Visitors" (proposed by Mr. C. V. Woodland), The listeners-in won by 197 runs. Scores:— STATION 4QG. First Innings. F. Cory, b. James 6 J. Tyson, b. Blackford 5 C. Woodland, b. Strickland 1 L. H. Pike, b. James 0 W. McCormack, c. and b. Strickland 1 T. Armstrong, c. Butler, b. Steele 1 C. Moran, run out 3 T. Clouston, b. Green 2 L. Fumess, c. McGilvray, b. Butler 5 F. Green, b. McGilvray 14 R. Gibbs, st. Cooper, b. Green 2 L. Reid, b. Hurworth 1 A. N. Robinson, b. Hurworth 0 R. Crick, b. Rush 8 A. Jackson, b. Rush 1 L. Shield, b. Frawley 0 W. J. Bardon, not out 0 Sundries 1 Total 51 Bowling: James, two for 5; Blackford, one for 6; Strickland, two for 7; Steele, two for 4; Green, two for 12; Butler, one for 6; Hurworth, two for 1; McGilvray, two for 9; Rush, two for 2; Frawley, one for none. LISTENERS-IN. First Innings. J. Rush, c. Armstrong, b. Moran 19 A. Fraser, c. Tyson, b. Fumess 23 E. T. Green, b. Clouston 7 J. Loney, b. Cory 0 R. G. Steele, retired 29 J. Butler, retired 25 A. Hurworth, l.b.w., b. Gibbs 12 J. Blackford, run out 19 W. A. Cooper, retired 26 P. J. Frawley, retired 25 N. Strickland, retired 25 E. C. Jackson, b. Sheil 4 A. James, c. Reid, b. Furness 19 C. H. Jackson, b. Woodland 6 H. R. Thomas, b. Robinson 1 H. J. Green, b. Robinson 4 E. Southward, not out 13 Sundries 3 Total 248 Listeners-in won by 197 runs. Bowling: Woodland, one for 59; Robinson, two for 29; Furness, two for 31; Moran, one for 20; Clouston, one for 15; Cory, one for 26; Pike, none for 9; Gibbs, one for 22; Shiel, one for 21.[85]

1927 03[edit]

4SP represents 4QG at the funeral of Colonel Thynne

THE LATE COLONEL A. J. THYNNE. Largely Attended State Funeral. ARCHBISHOP DUHIG'S PANEGYRIC. St. Stephen's Cathedral was filled to overflowing this morning with representative citizens and others who paid tribute to the memory of the late Colonel A. J. Thynne, to whose remains was accorded a State funeral. Archbishop Duhig, in a panegyric, spoke of the deceased gentleman's long and useful career, and of his exemplary unselfishness in the public interests . . . The following represented the public service: Messrs. J. D. Story (Public Service Commissioner), P. E. Walcott (Commonwealth Public Service Inspector), J. R. Kemp (Main Roads Commissioner), J. Grant Thompson (Secretary Irrigation Commission), C. E. Deshon (Water Supply Engineer), H. M. Robinson (Collector of Customs), F. C. B. Forde (Surveyor-General), Captain A. F. Flowers (State Income Tax office), Messrs. B. Dunstan (Chief Government Geologist), L. C. Ball (Deputy Chief Geologist), J. H. Reid (Government Geologist), Captain V. Forrester (Portmaster), Messrs. G. F. Elliott and D. Fison (Harbours and Rivers Department), H. L. Archdall, C.P.M., J. Stewart Berge, P.M., P. M. Hishon, P.M., W. E. H. Ferguson, P.M., and J. J. Leahy, C.P.S., J. W. Davidson (Commissioner for Railways), J. B. Cochrane (General Manager Railways, Southern Division), R. E. Sexton (Chief Engineer for Railways), Henry Tryon (Government Entomologist), C. McGrath (Dairy Supervisor), A. H. Benson (Director of Fruit Culture), R. W. Winks (Senior Grading Officer), R. Wilson (Assistant Under-Secretary, Department Agriculture and Stock), O. Byrne (Agricultural Bank), F. W. Stevens (4QG), T. A. Ferry (Under-Secretary, Chief Secretary's Department), J. Brennan (Chief State Reporting Bureau), E. Colclough (National Gallery), J. H. Stanley (Under-Secretary to the Treasury), D. G. Forbes (Acting Assistant Under-Secretary to Treasury), C. L. Alden (Department of Labour and Industry), J. Henderson (Chief Inspector of Machinery), C. F. V. Jackson (State Mining Engineer), Henry Marshall (Under-Secretary for Mines), J. Barr (general manager State stations), A. M. Gault (State Canneries), W. J. Gall (Under-Secretary, Home Secretary's Department), W. H. Ryan (Commissioner of Police), A. J. Cumming (Government Printer), F. J. Rudd, W. G. Wood, L. J. Grealy (representing State Insurance Commissioner), C. W. Holland (Assistant Under Secretary for Lands) , G. A. Carter (Under-Secretary, Justice Department), J. A. Robinson (branch manager), and S. V. Jones (Australian Commonwealth Line of Steamers), [86]

4SP gives tak on phantom ships on 4QG

4QG. 7.45: Lecture session, "Phantom Ships," by Mr. F. W. Stevens.[87]

1927 04[edit]

Between You And Me And The Microphone. THE TALL TOWERS which support 4QG’s aerial system require a considerable amount of attention, the fact that the towers are built on the top of the State Insurance Buiiding (eight floors from the street) considerably amplifies the necessity for frequent inspections. The recent heavy rains have brought out rust patches in many places; and these must be chipped and repainted. Almost daily now 4QG’s chief engineer (Mr F. W. Stevens) may be seen at work up aloft.[88]

1927 05[edit]
1927 06[edit]
1927 07[edit]
1927 08[edit]

4SP gives lecture about Burke and Wills on 4QG

SATURDAY, AUGUST 20. 4QG BRISBANE (385 METRES) . . . . EARLY EVENING SESSION. 6.15 p.m.— Lecture: "The French Foreign Legion" — by Comte de Tournouer. 6.30 p.m.— Bedtime stories by Uncle Ben. 7.15 p.m.— Racing results. 7.20 p.m.— Today's football play described. 7.30 p.m.— Sailing notes by Mr. F. Smith. 7.45 p.m.— Lecturette: "Burke and Wills" — by Mr. F. W. Stevens. [89]

1927 09[edit]

4SP attends and likely enables telepathy test between the studios of 4QG and the Strand Theatre

STRAND THEATRE. MATINEE TO-DAY AND TO-NIGHT. TELEPATHY TEST. "ARGUS" THE PROPHET. During the past few years the subject of telepathy has attracted worldwide attention. Since broadcasting became so popular it has become realised that radio has offered a good field for the testing of the telepathic powers of people, and in consequence several telepathy tests have been carried out throughout the world. Station 3LO Melbourne recently conducted a telepathy test which attracted a good deal of attention, but very few, if any, people were able to concentrate sufficiently to be able to identify certain objects which members of a committee in the studio of 3LO concentrated on. It was left to Station 4QG Brisbane to put over a telepathy test which was entirely successful, and 4QG may therefore claim to hold a world's record, inasmuch as it has been the first station in the world to successfully accomplish such a test. In order to earry out the test the station co-operated with "Argus" the boy who for many years has given some extraordinary demonstrations of mind reading in Australasia. "Argus" was stationed in the Lyceum Theatre at Brisbane, and was seated on a chair on the stage. A committee of prominent men whose honesty and integrity were undoubted, was placed on the stage beside him. Another committee of prominent men sat in the studio at 4QG and two points were connected by land line. The committee in Station 4QG decided to think of certain articles, and concentrated on these articIes. A gong was struck, and this was reproduced by loud speaker in the Lyceum Theatre. A microphone was placed on the stage, and into this "Argus" gave his reply and answered the questions of the committee, or told them just what objects they were concentrating on. The speed and accuracy of the answers given by "Argus" were amazing. In every case his replies were accurate. There was no connection whatever between "Argus" and the station, and the committee saw to it that there was no confederate who was able by word of mouth to give him any hints. "Argus" was seated on the stage surrounded by a committee. He was unable to see or hear a thing which went on in the studio, and yet his answers were all correct. The whole test was a marvel to many who heard it, and was undoubtedly a credit to "Argus" and Station 4QG. In the studio of 4QG were:— Hon. M. J. Kirwan (Minister for Works), Hon. T. J. O'Shea, Rev. Father Kelly, Rev. Father O'Callaghan, Me. Luney (Chief Subeditor of "The Telegraph"), a representative of the Police Department, Mr. S. A. Best (S. A. Best Ltd.), Mr. Farleigh (Motor Supplies Ltd.), Mr. L. L. Read (Read Press Ltd.), Representatives of the "Daily Mail," Director of 4QG (Mr. J. W. Robinson), Chief Engineer of 4QG (Mr. F. W. Stevens). On the Lyceum Theatre stage:—Mr. R. D. Kennedy (Accountant and Auditor), Mr. H. O. Muddle (Advertising Manager "Daily Mail"), Dr. Weedon, M.D., Mr. Guy B. McCutcheon, Mr. A. T. Bartlett (Editor "Queensland Radio News"), Mr. Roy Cricke (Gaiety Theatre), Mr. Hanlon (Editor "Worker"), Representatives of "Courier" and "Telegraph."[90]

1927 10[edit]

4SP announces power increase for 4QG (further info needed, maybe modulation level increase)

Station 4QG. Power to be Increased. It is announced by the chief engineer of Station 4QG (Mr. F. W. Stevens) that at 9.0 o'clock on Tuesday night the power of the station will be increased. "It is anticipated," says Mr. Stevens, "that a noticeable increase in signal strength will be apparent at a distance from the station." Mr. Stevens explains that the decision to increase the power of the station was made because of the interference to reception over long distances caused by static during the summer months.[91]

4SP announces results of power increase for 4QG (further info needed, maybe modulation level increase)

RADIO. "Clearer and Better" Reception of Station 4QG. What Distant Listeners Say. The recent increase in power at station 4QG has led to clearer and better reception in distant centres. A listener at Footscray, Melbourne, who previously always had a faint background from 3LO, which is only three-quarters of a mile from his home, "save on those not infrequent occasions," he says, "when 3LO drowned the Queensland station out altogether," is now able to loosen the aerial coupling of his set to such an extent that 3LO is completely eliminated. In increasing the power the chief engineer at 4QG (Mr. F. W. Stevens) desired, as his object, to get through static during the summer months to distant listeners. That the station has been successful in this direction is evidenced by letters from many parts of Northern and Central Queensland, and from the southern States. A listener at Cairns has written saying that Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide stations are completely blotted out by atmospherics, but 4QG now comes through the static.clearly. A Winton listener says reception has been greatly improved. He can now receive 4QG on an underground aerial, which was not possible before. A listener at Kingston, South Australia, says 4QG now comes in quite as loud as the local station, 5CL. A Mosman (Sydney) listener says she receives 4QG remarkably clear and free of interruption by static, to which other stations are subject. She says the increase in power has made a wonderful difference in the reception of 4QG, and expresses a hope that other Australian stations will follow the policy adopted by the Queensland station. Another Melbourne listener congratulates station 4QG on the excellence of its programmes and its modulation, which, he says, has not been affected by the increase in power.[92]

4SP manages retransmission of PCJJ over 4QG

PCJJ Relayed. Today's Transmission. "Generally speaking, this morning's reception and retransmission of PCJJ was very satisfactory," said the Chief Engineer of 4QG (Mr. F. W. Stevens) when questioned by "The Telegraph" regarding this morning's experimental work on short waves conducted by the Eindhoven (Dutch) station. Mr. Stevens said PCJJ was picked up by Station 4QG at about 2 a.m., but owing to a great deal of interference by KDKA, the American station, which was transmitting in Morse, and was heterodyning with PCJJ to a great extent, the reception of the Dutch station was not good enough to retransmit from 4QG until about 5.5 a.m. From that time until about 6 o'clock excellent results were obtained. Shortly after 6 o'clock PCJJ began to fade. The station was still on the air at 8 o'clock, but at that time audibility was becoming bad. Station PCJJ first of all relayed a London programme, which included orchestral and news items. Subsequently the station provided a programme from its own studio, the items mostly comprising violin solos. This will be the last experimental transmission by the Eindhoven station for about six weeks. During the interval the station will be removed to another location in Holland.[93]

4SPː Melbourne Cup arrangements; portable outside broadcast transmitter; acting director while JWR attending conference about 1927 wireless report

RADIO. Studio News Australian Stations 4QG. So many people have been asking whether station 4QG will broadcast the result of the Melbourne Cup, to be run on November 1, that I put the question to the deputy director (Mr. F. W. Stevens). He said that it had been intended to give a descriptive account of the race in co-operation with 3LO, Melbourne, from which station permission had been obtained to use its service. An obstacle to the successful arrangement of the transmission had, however, arisen in the fact that the Post and Telegraph Department, although desirous of doing so, was unable to provide the necessary trunk line facilities to link up Melbourne with Brisbane. Between Melbourne and Sydney there are several trunk lines, but there is only one between Brisbane and Sydney, and public services could not be held up to permit of the line being held for three-quarters of an hour or more whilst the preliminaries to the race and the race itself were being broadcasted. Station 4QG will, however, obtain the result of the race from Melbourne by urgent telegram, upon the receipt of which the news will be broadcasted. Some time ago it was announced in these columns that a short wave portable transmitter was being built at 4QG for the purpose of inaugurating and broadcasting interesting things from places and in such circumstances were telephone land lines are not available. Many people will remember the more or less successful attempt to broadcast a description of the wonders of the deep in Moreton Bay. On that occasion the vessel had to moor in close proximity to the Pile light house, so that a connection could be made with the telephone cable line connecting the lighthouse with the shore. With the aid of a portable transmitter many of the beauty spots of the bay could be described, and other interesting events, such as, say, a trip over the city by areoplane might be broadcasted. This shortwave transmitters has now been completed by the chief engineer of 4QG (Mr. F. W. Stevens) and his staff, and experimental transmissions to test the capabilities of the set have been inaugurated. Last Sunday afternoon an experimental transmission on 32 metres, and using but four or five amps, was conducted, and the reports of reception already received include one from Tasmania. The director of station 4QG (Mr. J. W. Robinson) is at present in Melbourne attending a conference called by. the Prime Minister (Mr. S. M. Bruce) to discuss the Wireless Commission's report. During Mr. Robinson's absence Mr. F. W. Stevens is in charge of the affairs of the station. [94]

1927 11[edit]
1927 12[edit]


1928 01[edit]

Review of wireless progress in 1927, summary of 4SP's achievements at 4QG

Radio in 1927. Wonderful Progress. Long Distance Telephony. . . . 4QG . . . On the technical side the standard of the Station was well maintained as a result of the efforts of the Chief Engineer (Mr. F. W. Stevens), and his assistants. Many favourable reports of satisfactory reception were received from all parts of the State and Commonwealth, and from New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, and the North American continent. At the beginning of the summer the power of the station was increased by about 500 watts, mainly in an effort to minimise the interference which static causes. Short wave transmitters and receivers were constructed by the engineering staff, and the receivers enabled PCJJ to be picked up and relayed on two or three occasions. The short wave transmitters are to be utilised during the new year. Satisfactory progress was made in wireless during the past year.[95]

4SP relays PCJJ to 4QG

Dutch Station PCJJ. HEARD IN BRISBANE TO-DAY. After an interval of several weeks the Dutch shortwave experimental transmitting station PCJJ was again on the air this morning. The station was picked up on a shortwave receiver by the Chief Engineer of Station 4QG (Mr. F. W. Stevens) at his experimental station at Wilston, and was relayed to 4QG, from which it was rebroadcasted at intervals between 3.12 a.m. and 4.20 a.m. Music and speech came through at remarkably good strength. The words of the Dutch announcer were as clear as if they had been spoken in Brisbane. The speech was in the Dutch language, but when two English words were uttered — and they were "Australian gentlemen" — they came through so plainly as to thrill every listener. There was little interference from atmospherics; but a coastal station transmitting Morse signals on a wavelength similar to that of PCJJ contributed some noise about 4 a.m. The transmission was purely an experimental one direct from station PCJJ. It consisted solely of gramophone music, and no attempt apparently was made by PCJJ to relay the London or European broadcasting stations. During one interval in the transmission of gramophone music the Dutch announcer was clearly heard whistling the familiar strains of "Bye Bye Blackbird," which now evidently enjoys a worldwide popularity. It was announced that 4QG hoped to be able to rebroadcast a full programme transmitted by PCJJ during the next week or two.[96]

4SP reports on interference to 4QG caused by 5CL drifting from allocated frequency

4QG in the Country. Complaints Investigated. An Interfering Station. By "LISTENER" In recent months there have been many complaints that station 4QG was not being received clearly in the country centres in Queensland and in the other States. There was plenty of volume, but the transmissions were received to the accompaniment of a noise which almost obliterated music and speech. With a view to investigating these complaints, "Listener" interviewed the Chief Engineer of station 4QG (Mr. F. W. Stevens) who admitted that complaints had been received from all States, but said that to the best of his knowledge the trouble had now been rectified. Mr. Stevens explained that the fault lay, not with the transmissions from 4QG, as many people, in the absence of other knowledge, were forced to believe, but in the fact that the sidebands of station 5CL (Adelaide) were interfering with 4QG, a technical trouble which had been taken in hand by the Postmaster-General's Department, which controls wireless broadcasting. The department checked the wavelengths of both 4QG and 5CL, and found that of the Queensland station to be correct, viz 385 metres. The wavelength of 5CL was adjusted about a week ago, and since then station 4QG has received letters from various parts of Queensland, and from the other States stating that its transmissions had improved. This indicated that the interference from 5CL had been eliminated.[97]

4SP interviewed by Telegraph journalist about his wireless experimenting hobby

RADIO. Peeps Into the Future. Improvements in Receivers Empire-Wide Broadcasting. By "LISTENER" When "Listener" asked Mr. F. W. Stevens (Chief Engineer of 4QG) what he did in his spare time when he was not at the station he hardly expected to he told that Mr. Stevens spent almost all his off-duty hours in wireless experimentation work at his home at Wilston. It was as much as Mrs. Stevens could do to recently drag him out of his wireless room and down to Cribb Island for a day. And while he was at Cribb Island his thoughts were not on the pleasures of the seaside, but on some work which he had left behind, probably on an experiment which in the future will help to solve some problem confronting wireless broadcassting stations. Mr. Stevens experiments a lot in reception. He believes there is as much room for improvement at the receiving end of broadcasting as there is at the transmitting end. He used a special receiver embodying many of his own ideas to receive PCJJ on Tuesday morning. The success of the attempt to rebroadcast PCJJ by Station 4QG was mainly due to the excellence of the reception of the Dutch station on the short wave receiver operated by Mr. Stevens at Wilston. He used a two-valve receiver for the actual reception of the Dutch station, and then the music and speech were put through a two-stage resistance amplifier before being relayed to 4QG. But the most interesting thing was that the aerial consisted of 17 feet of cotton covered wire stretched across a room, and about eight feet high. For an experiment Mr. Stevens tried the set out on a short lead of about two feet to a switch. Even on this small aerial PCJJ came in at good strength. Mr. Stevens prefers an inside to an outside aerial for reception on short waves, and for reception, on the broadcasting wavelengths he uses an aerial consisting of a six feet vertical wire. Mr. Stevens considers that taking the results being achieved today in shortwave radio broadcasting as an indication of the progress that may be expected during the next few years the interchange of programmes between stations many thousands of miles apart will soon become a regular practice. "What a wonderful thing it will be," he says, "for people to sit down in Brisbane before a crystal set costing but a few shillings and hear the best of music being played in London, Berlin, Paris, or New York. A year ago people laughed when such ideas were suggested, but such good results are being achieved today on shortwaves that it is merely a matter of time when Empire broadcasting will be permanently established." Mr. Stevens also believes that in the near-future there will be changes in the method of transmitting employed by broadcasting stations. Improved methods of modulation, he says, are being experimented with, and if these are a success they will give greater distance. He thinks that broadcasting stations of the future will employ much lower wavelengths than are at present used.[98]

4SP facilitates RFN rebroadcast by 4QG

Siberian Station. REBROADCASTED BY 4QG. The Siberian station RFN, which has been heard by many listeners on short wave receivers, was rebroadcasted by 4QG for a few minutes on Monday night. RFN was picked up on about 40 metres by the Chief Engineer of 4QG (Mr. F. W. Stevens) at his Wilston experimental station and relayed to the Insurance Building. RFN transmits almost every night, and broadcasts some excellent orchestral music. The arrangement of the programmes, however, does not make, the station a suitable one for rebroadcasting. Its plan is to sandwich long speeches in the Russian language between each musical item.[99]

4SP in dispute with local SWL about station heard ANE or PCJJ

PCJJ or ANE? TUESDAY MORNING'S RECEPTION. Mr. W. Faber, of Mitchelton, writes stating that it was not the Dutch shortwave experimental station PCJJ which was received by Mr. F. W. Stevens (chief engineer of 4QG) on Tuesday morning, but was station ANE Malabar, Java; also that the wavelength on which Mr. Stevens received the station was not that of PCJJ (30.2 metres), but was 31.86 metres. Mr. Faber says that at 3.12 he tuned in the station, the carrier wave being heard at strength R7. At 3.16 he heard a record "Margie," the modulation being clear, and the strength R6. At 3.18 the station closed down for five minutes. At 3.25 more records were played, and a speech amplifier was added during an item, bringing the strength to R8. At 3.39 the call sign of the station was given, and at 3.40 and 3.43 there were more gramophone items. At 3.45 an announcement was made in the Dutch language. During this announcement the speech was blurred through the microphone packing, and the operator could be heard knocking it to free the carbon granules. After a delay of several minutes the operator was heard whistling "Bye Bye Blackbird" as a test for modulation. An announcement was then made in English, the call sign being given as follows: "Radio telephone station ANE on a test programme of a wavelength of 31.86 metres. Reports would be appreciated by me. PCJJ will be testing now, and those people wishing to tune him in should alter their tuning dials about five degrees. Address reports to ANE station, Malabar, Java. I have had several tests with Australian gentlemen, including working duplex with Australian 6AG" (6AG is owned and operated by Mr. E. W. E. Coxon, 5th Avenue, Inglewood, West Australia. Several more records were played, and then another announcement was made in the Dutch language. The station closed down at 4.18 a.m. Station PCJJ could be heard at 4.27 a.m., but it was very faint, and it seemed to fade the carrier were being R4, and speech R 2.3 only. Mr. Faber adds that the Morse signals which interfered with the reception from ANE were transmitted by NPM (Honolulu) on 32 metres. When the letter was referred to Mr. Stevens be said that, as he heard announcments being made in the Dutch language after tuning in the shortwave station he assumed that it was PCJJ. During the time he was listening he did not hear the name of the station announced. Mr. Stevens said it was evident that both ANE and PCJJ were received by him because he was listening to a shortwave station from which announcements were being made in the Dutch language at 4.35, whereas, according to Mr. Faber's log, ANE closed down at 4.18 a.m. Mr. Stevens added that the station which interfered with his reception was VPS (Cape D'Agulair).[100]

4SP expects to rebroadcast 5SW through 4QG

Radio Jottings. London Station Calling. By "LISTENER" Queensland listeners this week may hear the chimes of Big Ben and the notes of the organ in Westminster Abbey. The Deputy Director of Station 4QG and Chief Engineer (Mr. F. W. Stevens) plans to rebroadcast the London shortwave station 5SW if conditions for reception from overseas continue to be as good as they have been during the past two or three weeks. On several nights recently Mr. Stevens has tuned in the London station at his experimental station 4SP (Wilston). London comes in on the 12.30 p.m., chimes of Westminster Abbey clock, which in time is equivalent to 10.30 p.m. in Brisbane. 4SP transmits on approximately 24 metres, and Mr. Stevens says that it has been coming in clearly and with good strength on his two-valve shortwave receiver. On Monday night the Westminster Abbey organ was heard, also items by the celebrated Savoy Orchestra. Mr. Stevens found that although on Monday night static interfered with a two-way transmission which he was conducting with a Sydney amateur on 32 metres, there was no interference whatever on the 24-metre band. The London transmissions have been of a purely experimental nature, and therefore little publicity has been given to them by the British Broadcasting Corporation, under whose auspices they are being conducted. In view of the fact that the tests are approaching a point when the broadcasts may be considered good enough to enable them to be successfully rebroadcasted by Australian and Dominion stations, an early announcement of frequent transmissions from the heart of the Empire to Britain's possessions across the seas may be expected. [101]

4SP schedule a date for the 5SW rebroadcast over 4QG

TO BE REBROADCAST. LONDON STATION FRIDAY. An attempt will be made Friday night by the engineering staff of Station 4QG to rebroadcast the London shortwave station 5SW. This announcement was made Thursday by the Deputy Director and Chief Engineer of 4QG (Mr. F. W. Stevens). Mr. Stevens said that no definite information had been received at 4QG that the London station would be transmitting Friday night, but providing it was on the air, an attempt would be made to give 4QG listeners on opportunity of hearing a programme transmitted from the heart of the Empire. Mr. Stevens added that 5SW had been heard by him at good strength on his shortwave receiver at Station 4SP (Wilston) during recent nights. The rebroadcasting of 5SW will begin about 10.30 Friday night.[102]

4SP effects the rebroadcast of 2LO/5SW over 4QG by unsatisfatory results

London Rebroadcasted. UNSATISFACTORY RESULTS. Station 4QG rebroadcasted 2LO London last night, but the results were far from satisfactory. The transmission from England was effected by the Marconi short wave station 5SW Chelmsford, which relayed a 2LO midday programme, comprising organ solos and orchestral music. Station 5SW was picked up by Mr. F. W. Stevens (chief engineer of 4QG) on a shortwave receiver at his experimental station 4SP Wilston, and was relayed to 4QG — rather a roundabout way of getting 2LO London, but the only possible way under present conditions. Last night's transmission from 5SW was too unsteady for the music to be satisfactorily heard. It was as if the music was being borne on the wings of a gustful wind, now coming in loudly, now but faintly, and now fading to such an extent as to became inaudible. The London station was rebroadcasted for about 40 minutes, after which further attempts were discontinued, as the quality of the transmission and reception was not improving. [103]

4SP presides over a farewell to 4QG's chief announcer C. V. Woodland

PERSONAL. On Tuesday evening a very happy little function was held in honour of Mr. C. V. Woodland, who recently resigned from his position as official announcer of Station 4QG, Brisbane. In the absence of the director (Mr. J. W. Robinson), who was away on leave, Mr. Stevens presided. During the evening the sentiments expressed by those present indicated the high esteem in which Mr. Woodland was held, and that he would be missed not only by the staff of 4QG, or listeners in Queensland generally, but by listeners throughout the whole of Australasia. As a token of their good wishes, Mr. McIntosh, on behalf of the staff of 4QG, presented to Mr. Woodland a solid leather attache case and a fountain pen, suitably inscribed. Mr. Woodland was also asked to accept for Mrs. Woodland a xylonite hand mirror and powder bowl to match. Mr. Woodland thanked the company for their good wishes, and for the last time repeated the call sign: "Station 4QG, Brisbane, the Queensland Radio Service, now closing down, goodnight everybody, goodnight!" Those present included Misses M. E. McFarlane and C. Archdall, Mrs. H. Woolmer, Misses E. M'Lennan, P. McFarlane and R. McAuliffe, Messrs. W. F. Bardin, R. Wight, L. Sheil, H. Scott MacCallum, A. T. Bauer, C. D. Moran, J. Tyson, L. Read, R. Gibbs, H. Humphreys, and R. Wishart.[104]

1928 02[edit]

Notes from 4QG. The blue lights which make the towers of 4QG so conspicuous by night ofttimes require a certain amount of attention. Some few days ago some of the lights burned out and the chief engineer, Mr. F. W. Stevens, climbed to the top of the towers to replace them. He took the old lamps out and while putting in new ones, a globe slipped out of his hand and crashed to the roof of the building 100 feet below. Mr. Stevens descending from the tower head walked across the roof to pick up the pieces. Imagine his surprise when he found the lamp lying quite intact on the concrete roof. It had struck the roof with the base and beyond a slight dint in the metal portion was quite unharmed.[105]

1928 03[edit]
1928 04[edit]

4SP expounds on the interference issues affecting 4QG

Round the Stations. Features of the Programmes. By "LISTENER" 4QG. The director of Station 4QG (Mr. J. W. Robinson) is visiting Melbourne, where conferences, it is believed, are being held by the various broadcasting interests, with a view to some co-ordination of services being arrived at in accordance with the desires of the Postmaster-General (Mr. W. G. Gibson). Queensland, it is said, is agreeable to a measure of co-operation as between stations, but just what its proposals are has not been announced. Presumably they are in the direction of an interchange of artists with southern stations. Station 4QG is coming in for some criticism from country listeners at the present time, many of whom complain that the transmissions at night are accompanied by a good deal of distortion. A few months ago "Listener" approached the chief engineer at the station (Mr. F. W. Stevens), and asked him if he could explain the phenomenon. Mr. Stevens, at that time, put it down to interference from 5CL (Adelaide), whose wave length is separated from that of 4QG by only 10 metres. Evidently the Federal authorities also considered that the interference probably was due to the close proximity ot the wave lengths, and some adjustments were ordered to be made in both stations. This was accomplished, but the distortion still remains. A peculiar feature of the whole thing is that this distortion is not experienced in all country districts — only in some — conclusively showing that it is not the transmitting apparatus at 4QG that is at fault, but that some exterior influence is operating to the detriment of the transmissions. A writer in a southern journal recently ventured the opinion that it was a Japanese station which was causing the distortion and not 5CL at all. It would seem necessary to alter 4QG's wavelength to avoid interference and to enable country listeners, whose patronage must be encouraged, to listen without distorted reception. Between Brisbane listeners who are dissatisfied with the programmes and country listeners who are complaining of distortion, station 4QG is getting a bad time.[106]

1928 05[edit]
1928 06[edit]

HEARD IN BRISBANE. Messages Intercepted. The wireless messages which are being sent out by the Southern Cross are being received by the Pinkenba commercial station and by amateur stations in Brisbane. The chief engineer of broadcasting station 4QG (Mr. F. W. Stevens) has heard the signals clearly at his station 4SP, Wilston, up till this morning, when they faded out for a time. Among the messages heard by Mr. Stevens this morning were the following:— 5.58 a.m.: Southern Cross to westward of course. .Approximate position due north of Suva. Only about five hours' gas left. May be able to make it to Suva, but yet doubtful. 6.16 a.m.: About 15 miles east-north-east breeze. Been dodging storm clouds most of the night. Left us to figure where we actually are. Good sight of sun this morning. We short of fuel, plus encountering. almost head wind. 6.45 a.m.: Chart shows 7 hours' fuel left. 7.15 a.m.: We are 4½ hours out from Suva. Later Mr. Stevens was unable to pick up the airmen's signals. HEARD AT PINKENBA Information was received this morning, through the courtesy of Pinkenba Radio Station, that the following messages; had been picked up from the Southern Cross:— 6.0 a.m.— We are now 500 miles due north of the eastern end of Fiji. 6.5 a.m.— We appear to be.slightly Westward of our course, due north of Suva. We are flying at a rate of 75 knots, and are about five hours away. There is some doubt about our making Suva owing to shortage of fuel, but we may be able to do it 6.12 a.m.— A message to Suva Radio Station, stated that the monoplane was continuing steadily, and that everything was O.K. except a shortage of fuel. 6.15 a.m.— We are now flying against a 15 m.p.h. E.S.E. breeze. We have been dodging storm clouds all night, which left us in some doubt as to where we exactly were. We had a good sight of the sun this morning. There is a shortage of fuel, and during the night Pilots Smith and Ulm had to work for'ard in the cockpit, facing an adverse wind. 7.6 a.m.— We are all very tired after battling against the.elements all last night. 7.20 a.m.— A message to the Suva Radio Station reads: "Please ask the authorities to keep the public away during and after the landing. We would greatly appreciate a roped-in enclosure and policemen to keep the crowd back from the machine." .[107]

4SP enables reports of the flight of the Southern Cross over the Pacific on 4QG

The Pacific Flight. Value of Radio. The World Hears Story. By "LISTENER." One of the latest developments in wireless is its application to aviation. Its value to aviation is just now being illustrated by Captain Kingsford Smith and his three companions on the trans-Pacific flight in the Southern Cross monoplane from San Francisco to Australia. Should Kingsford Smith safely reach Australia when he speaks of his plane he will be thinking largely of the wonderful engines which gave it life. But he will not forget to speak of the wonderful assistance radio contributed to the success of the air voyage. All the world has been able to follow the progress of the flight. Every few minutes during the long hours the Southern Cross was in the air between San Francisco and Honolulu, and again between Kausi Island (Hawaii) and Suva the expert radio operator on the monoplane (Mr. James Warner) has been telling the story of the flight in few but graphic words which have thrilled all who have heard the messages. But better still, the navigator (Lieutenant Harry Lyons) has been able to keep in almost constant touch with ships and shore stations, and from directions thus received, added to his own observations, he has been able to issue such information as has enabled Australia's skilful pilot, Captain Kingsford Smith to steer courses which have deviated but little from the air tracks from point to point. And the flyers have been heartened by the fact that in wireless they have a means of calling for help should assistance be required. The value of wireless in such an hazardous flight must have been apparent to Captain Kingsford Smith early in his prearrangements, and we now realise that his long flights over San Francisco in record breaking endurance stunts and whatnot were but tests for the longer flight which he contemplated. He used wireless apparatus during those stunts, evidently with a view to testing out apparatus which would be suitable for the flight to Australia. And having selected the apparatus he secured the services of one of the best available operators in America. During the flight the amateurs in every country of the world have been able to listen to the short wave transmitter of the Southern Cross sending out its history-making messages. Many Australians, and not a few Brisbane amateurs, have tuned in the messages. For instance, our old friend, 4CM (the Observatory) picked, up the messages soon after the plane left Hawaii and read everyone of them up to yesterday morning. Mr. F. W. Stevens (4SP) and Mr. R. E. McIntosh (4RM), chief engineer and second engineer respectively at 4QG, also heard most of the messages, and those were broadcasted by station 4QG at frequent intervals during the day and night. The Pinkenba radio station (VIB) also has been in almost constant touch with the Southern Cross. Station 4QG is making arrangements to broadcast the story of the second stage of the trip from Suva to Australia, and to fully describe the actual landing in Brisbane.[108]

BOUND FOR BRISBANE. SOUTHERN CROSS LEAVES FIJI. LISTENING-IN TO THE STORY OF THE FLIGHT. The Southern Cross is well on its way in the third and final stage of its trans-Pacific flight, and listeners-in once more are picking up the messages sent from the machine telling of the progress of the flight. As reported in the second edition of "The Telegraph," on page 2, the monoplane in which Captain Kingsford Smith and his three companions are flying from America, to Australia took off from Naselai Sands, Fiji, at 2.52 o'clock this afternoon (12.52 p.m. Brisbane time). Wireless operators first commenced picking-up messages from the plane at 12.57 p.m., five minutes after it had taken off from the sands. The Southern Cross should arrive in Brisbane about 7 a.m. tomorrow. Everything is in readiness for the landing of the plane at Eagle Farm aerodrome. After a silence of two days the Southern Cross is on the wing again. In different parts of the city today operators were listening-in to the messages tapped out by the wireless operator on the trans-Pacific aeroplane. The first word came through at 12.57 p.m. Mr. F. W. Stevens, chief engineer and deputy director of the State Radio Station, received an instruction from the plane. Mr. Stevens is listening in at his home in Windsor and three minutes to one he picked the "KHAB" call signal of the aeroplane. The operator advised all stations that he was working on 600 metres. TWO SETS INSTALLED. At headquarters in the State Insurance Building, 4QG engineers installed two receiving sets. One worked on the 34 metres wave length which the Southern Cross has been using ever since leaving San Francisco, and the second on 600 metres, following the instruction picked up by Mr. Stevens. A TESTING SIGNAL. Just after 2.30 4QG got into touch with the Southern Cross on tho 600 metres wave length. At the time the monoplane was not sending a message, but was giving out a testing signal.[109]

RADIO WONDERS. Tapping of a Key. PLANE OVER PACIFIC. 4QG Broadcasts Signals. Listeners in to 4QG had an experience last night that few will ever forget. Earphones and loudspeakers reproduced the tapping of a little key in the radio cabin of the Southern Cross thousands of feet above the Pacific and the variation of the electrical currents of his set as the small propeller driving the generator slowed and spun to the plunging of the giant monoplane. This is how it was done. Ever since the Kingsford Smith plane took off from America, Mr. F. W. Stevens, chief engineer and deputy director of the Queensland Radio Service, has been following the progress of the flight at his experimental station, 4SP, at Wilston. Last night, the director (Mr. J. W. Robinson) had an amplifier sent to 4SP. This was connected by land line to the broadcasting room at 4QG. Here the signals were amplified again and rebroadcast. EFFICIENCY! Another short wave receiving set was installed at 4QG, so that a double check could be made of the Southern Cross signals. It was another instance of the astonishing efficiency reached by radio engineers. All metal and of the original design of one of the 4QG experts, this set had as an aerial a yard of ordinary insulated wire. It was suspended only 20 foot from the main broadcasting aerial of the station, and although 4QG was "talking" at the time, the operators could .pick up the Southern Cross signals quite distinctly.[110]

PACIFIC FLIGHT. The Story by Radio. LISTENERS to 4QG were not slow to appreciate the efforts of the station to keep the world posted with news of the Southern Cross, and many complimentary letters have been received at the station. The station was operated until almost midnight on the Monday night, and gave the latest messages from the 'plane until that time. Again on the Tuesday morning, at the commencement of the morning session at half-past ten, the latest messages from the 'plane were again given to the public. Reception direct from the Southern Cross in Brisbane was effected by Mr. F. W. Stevens, assistant director of 4QG at his experimental station at Wilston, and by Mr. R. E. McIntosh, second engineer at 4QG, at his experimental station at Hawthorne. AT Wilston Mr. Stevens received direct from the 'plane, and by direct land line kept the station In touch. At a little distance from the station Messrs. Bardin and Stephenson, of the staff, also operated other receivers. At 4QG Mr. R. E. Mclntosh, who, in the absence of Mr. Stevens, acted as chief engineer, carried out some remarkable transmission with a shortwave receiver of his own design, situated only about 20ft. or so away from the main transmitter; and, using merely an arm's length of wire as an aerial, he kept in almost constant communication with the Southern Cross, even during the time the main transmitter at 4QG was in operation. No trap of any description was em ployed, and the set used a detector valve without any radio frequency amplification of any sort whatever. When once the 'plane left Suva 4QG broadcast progress reports concerning it at regular intervals during the main programme, and on several occasions the actual signals from the 'plane itself were amplified and re layed from Wilston by the station, so that people sitting at home could listen to them quite easily. When these signals were broadcast by 4QG the whirr of a propeller came through quite clearly, and as the Southern Cross plunged and was tossed about during a heavy storm the varying speeds of the propellor could be noticed. This propellor was not one of the aeroplane's own propellors driven by the whirlwind engines, but was the propellor on the generator of the wireless gear. The high-tension current in the Southern Cross was supplied by a wind-driven generator, and it was the variations in speed of the propellor on this piece of apparatus which came through so clearly as the machine bumped into air pockets, and which held thousands of listeners spellbound.[111]

WIRELESS WAVES. 4QG. AND THE SOUTHERN CROSS. During the voyage of the Southern Cross from Honolulu to Suva, Station 4QG. was in constant communication with the 'plane the whole way through, and at various hours broadcast its position and its messages to the public. The station was operated until almost midnight on the Monday night, and gave the latest messages from the 'plane until that time. On the Tuesday morning, at the commencement of the session at 10.30 the latest messages from the 'plane were again given to the public. Reception direct from the Southern Cross in Brisbane was effected by Mr. F. W. Stevens, Assistant Director of 4QG., at his experimental station at Wilston, and by Mr. R. E. McIntosh, Second Engineer at 4QG., at his experimental station at Hawthorne. The man behind the wireless messages was Mr. James Warner, the radio operator on the Southern Cross. THE OPERATOR. Mr. Warner, like his friend, Lieut. Harry Lyon the navigator, is a typical American, and his character is marked with a quaint streak of humour. Occasionally during the progress of the flight some of his messages even at a time when the party was literally dicing with death were such as to raise a smile on the faces of those who picked them up. Naturally, Mr. Warner was greatly interested in hearing something about the reception of his signals in Brisbane. In conversation with the Director of Station 4QG. he expressed a certain amount of surprise that the signals from the 'plane should have come through so clearly, even at the very moment that the Southern Cross left San Francisco. The apparatus, he said, was of excellent workmanship and gave splendid results, but the power was very low, and when it was considered that the transmission was coming from the 'plane, even Mr. Warner himself was more than surprised to think that so perfect a log of all his messages had been kept in Brisbane. The value of Mr. Warner's work was stressed in a speech made by Mr. C. T. P. Ulm at the dinner given by the Premier on the Saturday night to the intrepid airmen. Mr. Ulm said that while radio had kept the world informed of their progress, it had also carried out a very much more valuable work. The reception of signals from two or three different points had enabled the navigator of the Southern Cross to take bearings, and so work out the 'plane's position. This had resulted in their being able to land quite safely in Brisbane. Wireless was said to be very interesting from the point of view of giving the world progress reports of the Southern Cross from hour to hour, but it had been of even greater importance to the aviators, because it had meant that their safety had been assured. During the time the 'plane was between San Francisco and Honolulu, Mr. Ulm said, the United States Navy was in constant touch with them, and something like 110 vessels were ready at a moment's notice to speed towards the 'plane had the motors failed and the aviators been in danger of drowning. BRISBANE RECEPTION. From the time the Southern Cross left San Francisco on its long journey across the ocean its wireless signals were picked up by engineers attached to 4QG. The progress of the 'plane was thus followed and from time to time announcements regarding its position, the speed at which it was travelling, its altitude, and the messages from its crew were broadcast to wondering thousands. Wireless put the news of the 'plane's landing at Suva across the 1500 mile space to Brisbane in the twinkling of an eye and 4QG. was able to tell its listeners of the arrival there. News of the departure from Suva was also broadcast and during the last stage of the flight 4QG operated continuously throughout the night, giving messages from Captain Kingsford Smith and his companions. Two or three receiving sets were operated in order to effect transmission. At Wilston, Mr. Stevens (Chief Engineer) received direct from the 'plane and by direct land line kept the station in touch. At a little distance from the station, Messrs. Bardin and Stephenson of the staff also operated other receivers. At 4QG Mr. R. E. McIntosh, who, in the absence of Mr. Stevens, acted as Chief Engineer, carried out some remarkable transmissions with a short wave receiver of his own design, situated only 20 feet or so away from the main transmitter. Using merely an arm's length of wire as an aerial he kept in almost constant communication with the Southern Cross, even during the time the main transmitter at 4QG. was in operation. No trap of any description was employed. He used a detector valve without any radio frequency amplification of any sort whatever. When once the 'plane left Suva 4QG. broadcast progress reports concerning it at regular intervals during the main programme, and on several occasions the actual signals from the 'plane itself were amplified and relayed from Wilston by the station, so that people sitting at home could listen to them quite easily. [112]

1928 07[edit]

Attempt to Broadcast. It was learned from the Deputy Director of Station 4QG (Mr. F. W. Stevens) this afternoon, that an attempt will be made tomorrow to pick up the American shortwave station 2XAF, and to relay a description of the boxing contest for the world's championship between Gene Tunney (America) and Tom Heeney (New Zealand). The first details should come through about noon.[113]

Heard on the Radio. RINGSIDE TO QUEENSLAND. "The fight is over. Heeney's seconds have entered the ring. They are now working over him." Such was the announcement from the ringside that Mr. F. W. Stevens (Deputy Director of Station 4QG) heard when "listening in on his short wave receiver at his experimental station 4SP (Wilston). It was the eleventh round. Mr. Stevens was not successful in tuning in the American station until the fight had been in progress about seven rounds. In the 8th round, so Mr. Stevens believes, the describer of the fight said both men were landing heavy body blows. "Heeney's left eye is closed," the describer suddenly exclaimed, and "Tunney is punching Heeney very heavy on the body." The description was coming through in disjointed fashion so difficult was it for Mr. Stevens to hold the station even though he was using three stages of amplification. Probably in the ninth round the announcer said that Heeney had landed a heavy right to the body and both were exchanging hard blows. "Tunney had uppercut one to Heeney's body," said the announcer towards the close of the round. "They are both landing hard rights and lefts," said the announcer soon after the opening of the tenth round. "Heeney is out!" he exclaimed, only to announce a moment later, "Heeney is back again, and wild blows are winding Tunney." Then a right to the body and the announcer prematurely exclaimed "Tunney wins!" The next words to be heard by Mr. Stevens were "Eleventh round, and the fight is over. Heeney's seconds are entering the ring. They are now working over him." The reception of the American station was not good enough to permit of it being relayed to station 4QG and rebroadcast, but listeners were informed of the result of the fight.[114]

1928 08[edit]

4SP enables rebroadcast of PCJJ over 4QG

PCJJ RELAYED. STATION 4QG's SUCCESS. One of the most successful relays of the Phillips Dutch experimental wireless station PCJJ ever attempted by station 4QG was accomplished this morning. Unfortunately, listeners were only able to hear the station for a few minutes because it closed down earlier than usual. It had been the intention of the Deputy Director of 4QG (Mr. F. A. Stevens) to pick up PCJJ at his experimental station 4SP (Wilston) and relay it to the 4QG studio between 6 and 7.30 a.m., but he had only tuned in the Dutch station a few minutes about 6 o'clock, and had held it long enough to enable listeners to hear a few announcements in English and French, when, after speaking of future programmes which PCJJ intended to transmit on short waves, the station closed down. Every word came through with great clarity as did an orchestral item. An unexpected pleasure of hearing a relay of the production of the grand opera, "La Boheme" by the Melba Grand Opera Company at His Majesty's Theatre, Sydney, was afforded to listeners to 4QG last night through the initiative of Mr. Stevens, and through the courtesy of 2FC (Sydney).[115]

RADIO. News and Notes Australian Items. By "LISTENER." THE "MELBA" RELAY. The arrangements for the broadcasting of the Melba-Williamson production of the opera "La Boheme" in Sydney last week were so hurriedly made by the New South Wales Broadcasting Company, Limited, that time did not permit of telephone trunk line facilities being provided for the transmission to be relayed to other States; but station 4QG was equal to the occasion. The transmission by 2BL was picked up by wireless by the Deputy Director (Mr. F. W. Stevens) and rebroadcasted, much to the delight of thousands of listeners throughout Queensland. The quality of the transmission was somewhat marred towards the end owing to extraneous noises which became impressed on the receiver which Mr. Stevens was using, and which, being amplified for rebroadcasting, were increased in intensity by the time they were heard by listeners generally. These parasitical noises were mostly caused by oscillating valves. It was a peculiar thing that many value set owners were not content to listen to the opera through 4QG, but set out to tune in the original station, 2BL. In doing so they caused a good deal of noise through allowing their valves to howl and squeal when using regeneration and thereby detracted from the pleasure which others would undoubtedly have received from listening to a relay which in its early part was singularly free from the accompanying noises which are usually associated with relays effected by means of land lines.[116]

4SP appointed Commissioned Telegraphist in Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve

NAVAL FORCES OF THE COMMONWEALTH. THE Governor-General in Council has approved of the following changes being made in connexion with the Naval Forces of the Commonwealth:— . . . CITIZEN NAVAL FORCES OF THE COMMONWEALTH. . . . Royal Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve. Appointments.— . . . Frederick William Stevens is appointed Commissioned Telegraphist, dated 15th August, 1928.— (Ex. Min. No. 180.) C. W. C. MARR, Acting Minister for Defence.[117]

1928 09[edit]

Mr. F. W. Stevens, chief engineer of the Queensland Radio Service, has been appointed radio officer in the Royal Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve.[118]

ON THE AIR. Contact Maintained. The flight of the Southern Cross to New Zealand was followed with intense interest by thousands of wireless listeners throughout Australia and New Zealand. Many listened in directly to the transmitter of the plane through short wave receivers, but the majority of people followed the flight through the information sent out by the broadcasting stations in the capital cities. Listening-in was less thrilling on this flight than it was on the occasion of the famous air pioneering trip across the Pacific from America to Brisbane. On the big flight of three hops the American operator, Warner, from time to time sent out interesting . details of the conditions which were being encountered and of the progress that was being made. At any stage of the journey listeners were able to plot on maps the exact position of the plane, and were able to share with the aviators the pleasures and the apprehensions that were derived from good and bad weather travelling. Listeners feared for the safety of the aviators when they announced that they were flying blind through terrific storms, and felt relieved when that final message came through that land had been sighted at Ballina, and the nose of the Southern Cross had been turned north towards Brisbane. But on this occasion no graphic story was told. Radio Operator T. H. McWilliams, probably acting to instructions from Squadron-Leader Kingsford Smith and Flight-Lieutenant C. T. P. Ulm, sent out but very few messages. NIGHT VIGIL OF 4QG OFFICERS Throughout the night Mr. F. W. Stevens (deputy director and chief engineer at 4QG) and Mr. R. E. McIntosh (engineer at 4QG) sat in their experimental stations at Wilston and Hawthorn respectively, telephone glued to ears, listening in to the Southern Cross. But they heard very little to pass on to broadcast listeners who tuned in at hourly intervals at which 4QG went on the air to give the latest information about the flight. Both experimental stations were connected by land line to Station 4QG, which, for the night, was being operated by the director (Mr. J. W. Robinson) and Mr. C. D. Moran (cadet operator). Through the hours Messrs. Stevens and McIntosh waited, always listening for what might be sent out from the fast speeding plane. The transmitter carrier wave of the plane was kept on the air throughout most of the night and now and again the operator would send out a few "V's" to indicate that all was well with the plane. About 3 o'clock this morning the oporator announced that the plane was about 500 miles off the cost of New Zealand, and at 5 o'clock he announced that the mountains of the Dominion had been sighted. One can imagine the joy in the cockpit and in the cabin of the monoplane when the goal of their ambitions came in sight. The operator with a show of exultation announced four times in succession that land had been sighted, his message being addressed to VLA, the Wellington coastal station. Officials at 4QG made a calculation after the last announcement that the Southern Cross would reach Christchurch at about 7.50 a.m. Brisbane time, which was four minutes earlier than the actual time of the arrival as subsequently announced by the Sydney coastal station, VIS, which was the first to acquaint Australia with the news of the safe arrival of the aviators at their destination. EFFORTS OF 4QG. The Director of station 4QG (Mr. W. Robinson) said this morning that he was sorry that the station had been unable to give listeners a story as good as that which was broadcast on the trans-Pacific flight, but in the circumstances the station had done as well as it could. Listeners had been enabled to hear the whirr of the wind driven motors on the plane as they generated the electricity for the transmitter and had been enabled to trace the journey of the plane through the numerous air pockets which it had encountered.[119]

The Deputy Director of Station 4QG (Mr. F. W. Stevens) is at present participating in the Royal Automobile Club's tour from Brisbane to Sydney, and each night at 10 o'clock he gives a descriptive talk of the day's run, connection being made with 4QG by telephone trunk line from the town at which the tourists are remaining overnight.[120]

Private Teas. . . . Mrs. Vaughan, who is leaving shortly for the south was the guest of honour at a tea at Lennon's yesterday given by Mrs. F. W. Stevens. The guests included Misses Enid King, Rita McAuliffe, and Master Dick Stevens.[121]

1928 10[edit]

Eucharistic Congress. Broadcasting Appreciated. An analysis made by the directors of the New South Wales Broadcasting Company, Limited, of correspondence received from various parts of the world in connection with the transmissions of the Eucharistic Congress through stations 2FC and 2BL, proves that the broadcasting was a huge success. It has particularly demonstrated the value of radio, not only from an Australasian point of view, but as a means of focussing the attention of the whole world upon Australia. A very large mail was received from individual listeners from every State in Australia, and from New Zealand, referring to direct reception from 2BL and 2FC, and also referring to the relays by inter-State stations. The managements of 3LO, 3AR, 5CL, 4QG, 6WF, 1YA, and 2YA have all written expressing the opinion that the broadcasting of the Congress sessions reached a very high standard. . . . The deputy director of 4QG (Mr. F. W. Stevens) writes: "The relays of the Eucharistic Congress ceremonies here in Brisbane, were very satisfactory. We took the solemn opening of the congress, the children's mass, the women's mass, and the final function on the second Sunday. We have received congratulatory letters from all parts of Queensland." [122]

Bumpy Conditions. RADIO SIGNALS RECEIVED. Two hours out from Blenheim the Southern Cross evidently was experiencing very bumpy conditions. Wireless signals picked up by the Deputy Director of 4QG (Mr. F. W. Stevens) swung backwards and forwards as the high tension current supply to the transmitter varied with the fluctuating speed of the air-driven generators. The plane seemed to be running into air pocket after air pocket, but it was speeding on towards Sydney. The transmitting plant on the plane was working splendidly, and the operator, Mr. McWilliams, was keeping in constant communication with ship and shore stations, particularly with VLA (Awanui), in the very far northern portion of the North Island, and with the steamer Maheno, which left Wellington for Sydney at noon yesterday.[123]

THE SOUTHERN CROSS. Flight Across the Tasman. Good Headway Being Made. When this edition went to press the Southern Cross, which left Blenheim (New Zealand) on Saturday morning for Sydney, was still winging its way across the Tasman Sea. At 12.15 p.m. the plane probably had covered half the distance from New Zealand to Australia, and apparently all was well. The coastal wireless station at Pinkenba heard the Auckland station tell Sydney at 3.34 a.m. on Saturday that the Southern Cross had left Blenheim ten minutes previously, at 4.54 New Zealand time, which is 1 hour 30 minutes ahead of Eastern Australian time. Later, Sydney reported that the signals from the plane could not be held because they were swinging badly. Pinkenba was in touch with the plane, when it had been 3 hours 18 minutes in the air, but the signals could not be read as they were fading in and out too much. The Deputy Director of Station 4QG (Mr. F. W. Stevens), as reported in the first edition, established contact with the plane at an early hour on Saturday. He ceased listening about 7 o'clock, but again attempted to establish contact with the plane at 11 o'clock. It was not until a few minutes after noon, however, that he picked up the carrier wave of the short wave transmitter on the plane. Judging by the steadiness of the carrier wave the giant plane seemed to be experiencing fine weather conditions at that stage of the flight. At that time the Southern Cross had been in the air almost nine hours out of the 15 which it is expected it will take to complete the flight to Sydney, provided strong head winds are not experienced.. Between noon and 12.30 p.m. the plane did not send any messages but the transmitter was kept going and the carrier wave was heard clearly and strongly by Mr. Stevens.[124]

On Short Waves. Increasing Interest. By "LISTENER" Increasing interest is being taken in shortwave work by Queensland wireless enthusiasts, and American and Continental stations are being listened in to nightly. It is far more thrilling to hear an American and say a Japanese station or an Australian and an English station holding two-way communication either in code or on telephony than it is to listen in to the ordinary concert programmes transmitted by the broadcasting stations. And it can be done with less cost, although it may require more skill in handling the set. When speaking of shortwave receivers a three-valve set is known as a powerful set, but when we come to the broadcast receiver we do not regard it as a powerful set unless it has at least six or seven valves. For the expenditure of a very modest sum one may obtain efficient shortwave receivers capable of bringing in stations from the other end of the world at loudspeaker strength. The development of shortwave communication has been very rapid during the last few months, and at the present time there are broadcasting on wavelengths below 100 metres more stations than could be received on the ordinary broadcast band with any but a very sensitive receiver for some time after the broadcasting boom began. The really astounding efficiency of short wave transmission and reception makes it possible to receive signals over very long distances with a small number of valves, and with out any high-frequency valve preceding the detector, although since the development of the screened grid valve it is being used with advantage by many short wave devotees. Receiving shortwaves has really become one of the most fascinating branches of wireless and wireless traders in Brisbane report an ever growing demand for the necessary apparatus. At the present time some of the American shortwave stations are coming in at exceptionally good strength in Brisbane. STATION 2XAL HOURS. The following schedule of hours worked by the short wave station 2XAL (United States) on a wave length of 30.91 metres has been compiled for "Listener" by Mr. F. W. Stevens, of 5SP (sic, 4SP) experimental station. Many enthusiast are at a loss when hunting for distant stations in not knowing at what times the stations they seek are working. The appended list, covering as it does the odd hours right round the clock, should be handy to have near the set. The times given are Brisbane times: Monday.— 2 a.m. to 3.30 a.m., 4.30 a.m. to 9.30 a.m., 10 p.m. to midnight. Tuesday.— 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., 5 a.m. to 10 a.m., 10 p.m. to midnight. Wednesday.— 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 10 p.m. to midnight. Thursday.— 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., 5 a.m. to 10 a.m., 10 p.m. to midnight. Friday.— 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., 10 a.m. to noon, 10 p.m. to midnight. Saturday.— 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., 5 a.m. to 10 a.m., 10 p.m. to midnight. Sunday.— 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., 10 p.m. to midnight. Station 2XAL broadcasts on short wave simultaneously with W.R.N.Y., the American Radio Company's own station. HEARD BY 4SP. Following are extracts from the log book of Mr. F. W. Stevens, of 4SP:— Tuesday, October 16. 5.45 a.m.— Heard 5SW on 24 metres. Fair strength. Rebroadcasting 2LO London programme, including lecture on American conditions and orchestral items. Somewhat spoilt by fades. Wednesday, October 17. 7.43 p.m.— Heard 2ME Sydney on 28.5 metres (Amalgamated Wireless Experimental Station), and 2XAF, Schenectady, America, on 31.4 metres, working duplex telephony. Both stations received well, and conversation from both stations clearly understood, 8.50 p.m.— Heard 3AR New Zealand, working 5KH Australia, on 32 metres. Good strength, but voice rather rough. Thursday, October 18. During the evening local and New Zealand amateurs working their usual schedules. Friday, October 19. 6.10 a.m.— Static too fierce to do much long distance reception. Saturday, October 20. 5.50 a.m.— Heard 5SW on 24 metres relaying 2LO London programme. Strength R4, and signals steady. 3.50 p.m.— Heard PCJJ Holland on 31.4 metres. Fair strength, but static too fierce to make reception enjoyable. Sunday, October 21. 3.30 p.m.— Heard 2GQ New South Wales. Voice R3, and very steady and good quality. Monday, October 22. French and English amateurs working on the 32 band. 7.20 p.m.— 2ME on 28.5 metres and 2XAF on 31.4 metres, working duplex telephony. Although static very fierce reception good. 9.30 p.m.— ANE Java on 15.9 metres, working duplex telephony with 2ME Sydney. Signal strength not so great as 2XAF but of very good quality.[125]

1928 11[edit]

4SP reports on his shortwave listening activities

EXTRACTS FROM THE LOG OF STATION 4SP. November 7.— 7.32 p.m.: 3AR New Zealand RC. 7.37 p.m.: 1AJ New Zealand RC. 8.5 p.m.: The City of New York and the C. A. Larsen, vessels of the Byrd Expedition, working. 8.25 p.m.: The Dorchester beam station working by hand. 8.50 p.m.: ANE Java R5 and steady. November 9 — 2.30 p.m.: Sydney, Radio and Nauen, Germany, on a schedule transmission. VIS (Sydney), R8 (Nauen), AGB, R6. November 10.— 5 p.m.: PCJJ Holland says: "Hullo, Australia. Hullo, everybody. PCJJ now closing down. Goodbye, Australia." The British National Anthem was then played by an orchestra, PCJJ, R5, and very steady. November 11.— 5.10 a.m.: 2FC.Sydney transmitting a special programme for reception in England. Items from the Pitt Street Congregational Church and the Sydney University Carillon, and short addresses by members of the visiting English cricketers. 5.30 a.m.: 2XAD America giving a description of a football match between Notre Dame and Army. 8.25 p.m.: 5SW England, relay of armistice service at Cenotaph. 8.50 p.m.: Improvoment in 5SW, which has been weak and fading. Band playing. 8.4 p.m.: Buglers sounding reveille. 6 p.m.: Choir or large assembly singing the hymn "O God Our Help In Ages Past." 5SW throughout whole transmission only came up to R4 with fading and some distortion.[126]

4SP reports on his shortwave listening activities

On Short Waves. EXTRACTS FROM THE LOG OF 4SP. November 14, 5.45 a.m.: PCJJ (Holland), fairly steady, but not as strong as usual. Closed down 6.6 a.m. Before each item an announcement in English, German, French, and Dutch was made as follows: "PCJJ Experimental Station, Phillips Radio Laboratory, Eidhoven, Holland, broadcasting on a wave length of 31.4 metres, you have just heard so-and-so, we will now have so-and-so." The announcements are quite a feature in the programme of PCJJ, being made as they are in four different languages. November 15, 7.30 p.m.: Local, inter-State, and New Zealand "hams." No telephony could be heard on the short waves. November 17, 4.10 p.m.: PCJJ on his usual Saturday afternoon transmission to Australia. Whether it is due to changing seasons or to some other cause PCJJ does not seem as strong at any session as he was a couple of months ago. At the conclusion of PCJJ's transmission the British National Anthem was played by the orchestra. The manner in which it was rendered would do credit to almost any British rendering. 8.45 p.m.: A Chinese or Japanese station. Practically no announcements were made but the music was distinctly Oriental. November 19, 10.10 p.m.: Apparently the same Oriental station again but still unable to get call sign. The speech is certainly Japanese or Chinese 10.18 p.m.: This station suddenly closed down after a very quick announcement. 10.23 p.m.: WFBT a member of the Byrd Antarctic expedition gives his position as Lat. 34.37 S, Long. 175.17 W. 931 miles from Cape Saunders. (Cape Saunders is outside Dunedin, N.Z.). 10.41 p.m.: OZ1FT in communication with W3CKL, (It is worth noting that the new prefix "W" is being used in America to replace the "NU" which has been used for some time). 10.47 .p.m.: 2HO calls 5GR. Exceptionally good strength and steady RAC.[127]

4SP reports on his shortwave listening activities, including jumble of 3ME relaying 3LO, which in turn was relayed by ANE

Short Waves. 4SP's Log Book. 4SP. Following are extracts from the log book of 4SP, Mr. F. M. Stevens:— November 20: 7.45 p.m.: 3LO on 32 metres. 8.50 p.m.: 2ME (Sydney) working ANE (Java). Very good. 8.58 p.m.: ANE (Java) relaying 3LO (Melbourne). Signals very good considering the distance travelled from Melbourne to Java and back to Brisbane. Little surging but generally very steady. 9.5 p.m.: ANE (Java) working duplex telephony with 2ME (Sydney). When I picked up ANE relaying 3LO the first thought which flashed through my mind was that 3LO was on 17 metres. After waiting about seven minutes the announcer at ANE spoke to 2ME saying "Yes Mr McDonald that was 3LO. Oh, I see it is not 3LO.— I understand you clearly now.— It is 3ME broadcasting 3LO programme." November 21: 6.40 p.m.: 3ME broadcasting 3LO again. Quality good. Strength very fair. 11.10 p.m.: 3ME still going strong. Whole programme tonight of good quality, but for the power the strength does not appear outstanding.[128]

1928 12[edit]


1929 01[edit]

4SP interviewed by "Listener" of the Telegraph on development for 1930

Big Changes. Broadcasting Methods. Forecast by Mr. F. W. Stevens. Big changes in the methods of broadcasting and in transmitting plants are forecasted for the end of 1929 or early in 1930 by. Mr. F. W. Stevens, Deputy Director and Chief Engineer of Station 4QG. What improvements, if any, were effected in the engineering and transmitting side of wireless broadcasting in 1928, either in Australia or in other parts of the world? was a question "Listener" put to the deputy director and chief engineer of 4QG (Mr. F. W. Stevens). I am of the opinion that very little improvement has been effected as far as actual broadcasting is concerned, said Mr. Stevens in reply. Much research has been done on the ultra short wave with transocean and other long distance transmissions, but as the short waves at present are not being used for regular broadcast transmissions this side of the question hardly need be considered here. As far as Australia is concerned nothing in any way outstanding has been achieved during the past twelve months. Almost without exception the broadcasting stations, from a technical point of view, are to-day as they were twelve months ago. Of overseas the same might also be said, but in America many stations have been closed down with the object of providing more channels for the more popular stations. In England and on the Continent very little has been achieved, so that one might say very little has been accomplished on the technical side of broadcasting during the past twelve months. BROADCASTING DEVELOPMENTS. What improvements in transmitting plants or in methods of broadcasting do you think will be effected during the coming year? Mr. Stevens was further asked. I predict very little changes in this respect during the early part of next year, but towards the end of 1929 or early in 1930 I forecast big changes," he said. "I believe the present system of modulation as used by the A grade stations in Australia will be changed, and that the stations will be entirely remodelled or, what is more probable, new stations will be built. So much depends on the final recommendation of the Advisory Committee at present considering the question of broadcasting in Australia, but indications point to more up-to-date stations being built, and relay stations being established. In my opinion the power of the stations will not be materially increased and, in fact, with the new system of modulation which I predict, the recognised power of the station may be reduced. Attention will also be turned to microphones. I think research will evolve a microphone which will make big changes in the quality of transmissions. One or two laboratories are on the track of a new type of microphone, and it is reasonable to expect a commercial article within the forthcoming 12 months. WORK ON SHORT WAVES. From a short wave transmitting and reception point of view what do you think the most important event of progress during the year. What do you think will be accomplished in this field during the coming year? asked "Listener." This question is rather vague. There is no doubt, in my opinion, that the outstanding feature of the year on short waves was Kingsford Smith's flight from America to Australia, but as this is separate from broadcasting it can hardly be considered here. It was a wonderful feat though to think that signals sent from the Southern Cross a few minutes after leaving Oakland could be heard in Brisbane, 6,599 miles away, and were continued to be heard throughout that entire flight through calm and storm. From a telephony point of view the duplex telephony between 2ME, Sydney, ANE Java, and with 2XAF, America, were perhaps the most out-standing, but even they, considering the power used by the transmitters, are far from wonderful. During 1929 I foresee the establishment of more short wave stations and although much still remains to be done in the field of research, I think short wave stations will be used for relaying programmes between recognised broadcasting stations. Results along these lines so far are far from satisfactory. Telegraphy on short wave is another question as mentioned in connection with Kingsford Smith's flight, and hundreds of telegraph stations of nearly all the nationalities of the world can be heard day and night. While I do not expect that short wavo transocean telegraphy will supercede the cable, I am of the opinion that business will be conducted more and more by wireless, and that in 1929 we will see more stations in Australia's distant parts linking up with the main centres and making it possible for messages to be handled more expeditiously than at present.[129]

1929 02[edit]

4SP and wife attend opening of Wilson Ophthalmic School Hostel at Windsor

WOMAN'S SPHERE. Opening of Hostel Representative Gathering. Flags decked the Wilson Ophthalmic School Hostel at Windsor yesterday when the official opening of the institution was performed by the Governor (Sir John Goodwin), who was attended by Lieutenant-Colonel L. E. C. Worthington Wilmer (Private Secretary). The Minister for Public Instruction (Mr. T. Wilson) and Miss Wilson received the guests. They were assisted by the Director of Education (Mr. B. J. McKenna), Matron Walpole, and the Chief Medical Officer for Schools (Dr. St. Vincent Welch). Miss Wilson wore a frock of rose blonde georgette embossed in white. Her cream hat showed a rose piping and finish. At the conclusion of the formal opening a juvenile orchestra stationed on the terrace rendered a programme of music and tea was served in the school room and adjacent fernery. Vases of zinnias and gerberas beautified the tables where tea was served. THE INVITED GUESTS. The invited guests included the Lieutenant-Governor (Mr. W. Lennon) and Mrs. Lennon, the Premier (Mr. W. McCormack) and Miss McCormack, Chief Justice Blair . . . Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Stevens . . . [130]

4SP relays ̩4RG's description of Moreton Bay yacht race to 4QG

Novel Transmission. LAST SATURDAY'S YACHT RACE. Station 4QG enterprisingly arranged for the installation of a small transmitting plant on the excursion steamer Doomba last Saturday and an interesting description of the final of the series of races for the Forster Cup by the restricted yachts in Moreton Bay was broadcast. The apparatus used on the ship was that owned by Mr. C. Stephenson (4RG) who sent the message in the Morsecode to Mr. F. W. Stevens (Deputy Director of 4QG) who received them at his own private experimental station 4SP. Mr. Stevens translated the Morse messages and spoke into a microphone at his home which was connected by land line to 4QG. The point to point description was good and the results at the turns and at the finishing point were known within a few seconds by our listeners. The placings of the first, second and third boats were broadcast within half a minute of their passing the post. This was the first transmission of its kind attempted at 4QG and probably the first in Australia. The set used on the Doomba was made by Mr. Stephenson and he used a modest power of four watts. He is the senior operator at 4QG and has made some very successful rebroadcasts of 4QG and 2FC at his home, a special feature of which has been to receive the broadcast station on its normal wave length and to rebroadcast it on 41 metres on the one aerial.[131]

4SP acts as Director 4QG while JWR on holidays

News and Notes. . . . DIRECTOR OF 4QG. The Direction (sic, Director) of Station 4QG (Mr. J. W. Robinson) returned to Brisbane on Tuesday morning and resumed duties after several days holiday leave, which was spent cruising in the Bay in the motor launch Warrior. During his absence the station was under the charge of the Deputy Director (Mr. F. W. Stevens). [132]

4SP enables relay of messages from a ship of the Byrd Antarctic Expedition over 4QG

News and Notes. Short Wave Experiments. A NOVEL RELAY. By way of a novelty for listeners, Mr. F. W. Stevens (Deputy Director of Station 4QG) intends to effect a rebroadcast of messages from Byrd's Antarctic ship, the City of New York, which is now in the South Polar regions. To hear messages being sent from so far south should provide listeners with a thrill. Mr. Stevens will pick up the messages from the City of New York on a short wave receiver at his experimental station 4SP, and relay them to Station 4QG which, in turn, will put them on the air on the broadcasting band. The novelty will be arranged, probably tonight, or next Wednesday night.[133]

1929 03[edit]

Announcement of birth of 4SP's second son

New Queenslanders. Congratulations are due to — . . . Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Stevens, Windsor, Feb. 10th — a son.[134]

4SP reports reception of KDKA shortwave and Byrd's Antarctic party

RADIO. News and Notes. Station 4QG. . . . KDKA LAST SUNDAY. Listeners on short waves last Sunday heard an excellent transmission by KDKA (America). It had been arranged specially for the entertainment of the Byrd's Antarctic expedition, the main party of which is now in camp at the Bay of Whales. The American station was heard at good strength in Brisbane and at times it was quite good enough for rebroadcasting. HEARD BYRD'S PARTY. Mr. F. W. Stevens (Deputy Director and Chief Engineer of 4QG) got a thrill one night last week when he tuned in W.F.A., the station of the Byrd expeditionary party at the Bay of Whales, which is approximately 3,900 miles from Brisbane. The station was working with the main ship of the expedition, the City of New York, at the time, and its signals could be easily read by Mr. Stevens. [135]

4SP reports reception of Council of the League of Nations through the Hootwijk (Holland) station

Radio from Geneva. Heard in Brisbane Today. The special short wave wireless test transmission arranged by the Council of the League of Nations through the Hootwijk (Holland) Station was received in Brisbane today. Experimental Station VK4SP (Mr. F. W. Stevens, Windsor) first picked up the transmission from Geneva at 12.10 a.m., although the advertised time of transmission was from 11.40 p.m. Thursday until 12.10 a.m. Friday. The lecturer (whose name could not be obtained) spoke until 12.55 a.m. and described the different phases of work of the Council, and particularly his own, which deals with drugs, morphia, &c. He spoke for some time of the Secretariat, and expressed the hope that those listening to him in Australia would realise that the work going on in Geneva was of some importance, and asked that reports of reception be sent to Secretariat Council of League of Nations, Geneva. A lady then spoke, but her voice did not carry well.[136]

4SP foreshadows possible rebroadcast of League of Nations station on 4QG

RADIO. News and Notes. League of Nations Council. As reported in "The Telegraph" on Friday, Mr. F. W. Stevens (deputy director at 4QG) was rewarded for his enterprise in sitting up till midnight on Thursday to attempt to receive the shortwave transmission arranged by the League of Nations Council. The transmission was in the nature of a test to determine whether the proceedings at the meeting of the council could be broadcast with success, and was effected through PCLL (Kootwijk, Holland). It was the first of three tests; the others will be carried out on March 21 and 28 at 2 to 2.30 p.m. London time, or 12 midnight to 12.30 a.m. Brisbane time. The power being used is 25 kilowatts on a frequency of 16.666 and a wave length of 18.4 metres. Should these tests be the success which is hoped for arrangements will be made to broadcast the proceedings of the May meeting of the council at Geneva. The league hopes to establish its own station in the near future. Mr. Stevens was easily able to follow the lecture which was given on the various phases of the work of the council, and in accordance with the request made has forwarded a report of his reception to Geneva. It is possible that Australian broadcasting stations will put portions of these additional tests and the May proceedings on the air. [137]

4QG broadcasts the christening ceremony of 4SP's second son

News and Notes. . . . CHRISTENING CEREMONY. Station 4QG broadcast a christening ceremony last Sunday morning. It was the second occasion that such a novel item had been included in the station's programmes. The principal participant in Sunday morning's ceremony was the infant son of the chief engineer of the station (Mr. F. W. Stevens) who was given his name by Canon Garland in St. Barnabas' Church of England, Red Hill. [138]

1929 04[edit]

4SP participates in the Qantas search for missing airman Keith Anderson involving 4QG

BRISBANE PLANE. Take Off at Daylight. Messrs. L. J. Brain, Brisbane manager of Qantas, P. H. Compson (mechanic), and F. W. Stevens (deputy director of Station 4QG, wireless operator), left Brisbane at daylight this morning in the Atlanta, a D.H.50 Jupiter engined aeroplane, to take part in the search for the missing airman, Keith Anderson. Up till a late hour last night officials of station 4QG were busy installing wireless apparatus on the aeroplane. The dispatch of the Atlanta on its mission will seriously inconvenience Qantas on its new Brisbane-Charleville service but the company unhesitatingly compiled with a request made by the Defence Department to make a machine available. The aeroplane will fly to Longreach which, it is expected, will be reached about 2.30 p.m. Here an extra petrol tank will be installed and the aeroplane will then set out for Wave Hill, which will be the base of operations. The aeroplane will be in constant touch with 4QG.[139]

Atalanta with 4SP as wireless operator, finds missing Kookaburra, and reports to 4QG

FATE OF AIRMEN. Intensive Search in Northern Territory. RESCUE PARTY HURRYING TO STRANDED 'PLANE. All the available search planes are concentrating today on the area surrounding the stranded Kookaburra in the hope of finding the missing member of her crew. Meanwhile horsemen and black trackers are hurrying across the 60 miles of country between Wave Hill and the scene of the disaster. The plan was for the planes to assemble at Newcastle Waters, the pilots having been instructed to divide the country into sections and to scour each of them thoroughly. Information that she was about to leave on the search was sent from that centre by the Qantas machine Atalanta, at 8.45 o'clock this morning. OVERHAULING WIRELESS. It was then the intention of the pilot (Mr. L. J. Brain) to fly to Wave Hill, where the wireless set was to be overhauled. This message was sent to the Queensland Radio Station by its Deputy Director (Mr. F. W. Stevens), who is the wireless operator on the Atalanta. The overhaul evidently was necessitated by the vibrations, Mr. Stevens stating that these were "terrific." The next message received by 4QG was dispatched at 11.15 o'clock. The Atalanta had then been searching for "just an hour." Its future plans were summarised thus: "Proceeding to Powell's Creek, thence due east." STORY OF FINDING. Within five minutes of its reception the news that the Atalanta had found the Kookaburra was broadcasted by Station 4QG. The message was lodged at Wave Hill at 2.30 o'clock yesterday afternoon, but it was not until 10 minutes past 8 o'clock last night that it reached Brisbane. Five minutes later it had gone over the air to the thousands of listeners-in.[140]

4SP on the Atalanta with entire 4QG engineering staff in support

Wireless Equipment. PART PLAYED BY 4QG. The hasty manner in which the Atalanta was equipped with wireless was described this morning by the Director of the Queensland Radio Service (Mr. J. W. Robinson). Mr. Robertson declines to take any kudos for the highly successful results. "Station 4QG's part in the search," he said, "was a comparatively small one and in relating what was done I do not desire to take any credit which really belongs to that highly efficient organisation, Qantas." The plane was to leave early on Friday morning and it was late on Thursday afternoon when the request for assistance reached 4QG. Almost all of the available staff concentrated on the work and they were assisted by several persons outside, especially Messrs. Chandler, of J. B. Chandler and Co., and R Farley, of Motor Supplies, Ltd., who came into the city at night and opened their stores in order to make available any apparatus required. The Deputy Director (Mr. F. W. Stevens) volunteered to go as operator, and his services were accepted. Mr. Stevens, who has had experience as an operator in ship and shore radio stations, fitted to the plane a small short wave receiver of his own design and with Mr. R. E. McIntosh (senior engineer of 4QG) spent almost all night completing arrangements for the working of traffic from the Atalanta. Mr. McIntosh and Mr. Stephenson (another member of the staff) were relieved of all station duties and from the time the plane left took turns to maintain a continuous watch for signals. On Sunday Mr. McIntosh maintained this watch for more than 14 hours. This relief left the staff shorthanded but operators and engineers who were normally off duty worked voluntarily to keep the ordinary broadcasting service running. Messrs. Bardin and Bauer (engineers) spent the whole of their weekends on duty.[141]

4SP reports to JWR on the progress of the search for the crew of the Kookaburra

CREW OF KOOKABURRA. SEARCH FOR MISSING FLYER. Hopes of Safety Darkened. "PARTLY COVERED OBJECT" SEEN FROM PLANES. Hopes that the missing member of the crew of the Kookaburra had wandered off in search of water and might yet be found alive have darkened. Aeroplanes which flew over the ill-fated machine yesterday saw what may be a partly buried body. Indeed one Air Force officer states definitely that the second body was seen. The latter information was contained in a message received in Melbourne last night by the secretary of the Air Board (Major Coleman). The report came from Flight-Lieutenant Eaton, who was definite that the body of "Bob" Hitchcock had been seen, partly covered, near the Kookaburra, "which was undamaged." SEEN BY ATALANTA. News of sighting this object is contained also in messages from Mr. L. J. Brain, the pilot of the Qantas plane. Atalanta. He, however, is not so emphatic, stating: "There appears to be something covered up near the plane, which may be the body of the other man, roughly buried." The Atalanta and three machines of the Royal Australian Air Force yesterday flew at low altitudes in an effort to trace the lost flier. The story of the search is contained in a message from the radio operator of the Atalanta (Mr. F. W. Stevens) to the Director of the Queensland Radio Service (Mr. J. W. Robinson). The dispatch, which was received last night, reads:— The Atalanta left Wave Hill this morning and searched the country to Anderson's plane, then proceeded to Powell's Creek, but was unable to land owing to a strong cross wind. The plane then went on to Newcastle Waters, refuelled, and picked up three Air Force machines. All four planes then returned to the scene of the tragedy, and searched from 100 to 150 square miles without discovering any further clue. They then went on to Wave Hill, arriving at 6.30. Anderson's machine appears to be undamaged, and indications are that he had his engine to land with, although the fact that his engine cowling is lying on the ground seems to suggest engine trouble. The petrol supply seems to have been all right, as indicated by the fact that a run away is cleared for him to take off. The men might have removed the cowling to extract the oil from the engine to light the fire, which is still burning, and which has covered an area of approximately 100 square miles. The Atalanta will probably be released from the search on Tuesday and return to Brisbane. Three Air Force machines are taking over, and an overland party is being organised, more details of which will follow. The Atalanta is running splendidly, and the machine is a credit to Mechanic Compston, who spends all his time on the ground overhauling the plane. Brain is a wonderful pilot, and knows a vast waste of desert country like city streets, and he picks out small red patches of tiny trees, stumps, or heaps of stones over thousands of miles of territory, which, to the layman, appears to be one treeless, waterless, barren waste. Wireless communication between the plane and Wave Hill has been very satisfactory and very useful. ROUGH COUNTRY. In regard to the reference to the probable release of the Atalanta a message from Melbourne states that the Defence Department in its instructions requested that Mr. Brain should remain with the Air Force machines until further notice. It is estimated by the manager of the wireless station at Wave Hill that the spot where the Atalanta is is about 100 miles west of Powell's Creek in country even worse than was at first thought. There is no permanent water in the area nearby and although there was a bore 40 miles away the airmen would not have known the route to it even if they had been able to make the journey. Because of the roughness of the country the progress of the rescue parties which are travelling overland has been, and will be, necessarily slow. Mr. Kent said that the Kookaburra must have come down on April 10 as if it had descended earlier it would have been seen along the overland telegraph line.[142]

4SP reports on the return flight of the Atalanta

The Atalanta. FLIGHT TOWARDS HOME. The Atalanta is making good progress on her flight to Brisbane. At lunch time she was at Camooweal, from where the radio operator (Mr. F. W. Stevens) sent the following message to the Director of the Queensland Radio Service (Mr. J. W. Robinson):— "Good run this morning. Left Newcastle Waters at 7.40. Stopped at Brunette Downs for morning tea. Having lunch here and refilling. Will probably make Longreach tonight, or, if light fails, will stop at Winton."[143]

4SP provides further report to 4QG about return flight of the Atalanta

THE ATALANTA. Homeward Flight Begun. The Atlanta, her job done, is on her way home. Yesterday the Qantas plane again visited the place of death, hovered low over it for a while, and, unable to land, turned towards Newcastle Waters and home. The Queensland contingent should be back in Brisbane tomorrow or on Friday. SAW WHEEL TRACKS AND WELL. Yesterday morning Mr. L. J. Brain ran over the motor of the Atalanta at Wave Hill and once more the big plane was flown to where Keith Anderson and Hitchcock lost their lives. In wireless messages to 4QG, Mr. F. W. Stevens reported that a close inspection revealed wheel tracks where apparently, an effort had been made to get the Kookaburra in the air again. It also appeared that a hole had been dug in a search for water close to the machine. The Atalanta was then turned towards Newcastle Waters. THREE FAMOUS PLANES. Last night three famous aeroplanes rested at Newcastle Waters — the Southern Cross, the Canberra, and the Atalanta. The Queensland plane was refuelled in the moonlight, the intention being to leave at daylight and fly all today with Wlnton as the probable destination.[144]

Atalanta with 4SP wireless operator is diverted to Sydney instead of returning to Brisbane

The Atalanta. Plane Flying to Sydney. The Q.A.N.T.A.S. plane Atalanta, with the Brisbane manager of the firm (Mr. L. J. Brain) in charge, and Mr. F. W. Stevens, deputy director of 4QG, as wireless operator, reached Bourke about 12.20 o'clock this afternoon. The Atalanta left Longreach at 6.30 this morning presumably for Brisbane, but a change of plan was subsequently made, the course being altered with Sydney as the destination. The machine is making good progress, and according to messages received by 4QG should land at Sydney late this afternoon. There is much speculation regarding the change of plan. Although no official information is forthcoming, it is believed that the Federal authorities communicated with Mr. Brain requesting him to go straight to Sydney in connection with the inquiry to be held regarding the Southern Cross and the Kookaburra. Throughout the morning representatives of 4QG received messages from the Atalanta and also the Southern Cross, THE SOUTHERN CROSS The Southern Cross is continuing its way to Bourke, where it is hoped to land this evening, The plane will leave for Sydney tomorrow. At 11 o'clock the following message was broadcast from the monoplane "We are now passing over what was once a lake, but not a drop of water is in it. We are still flying over sandy desert. Our position at 11 a.m., Sydney time, is 25.40 south, 137.17 east." A later message reads: "Bound for Bourke from Charleville. It is going to be darned late in the afternoon, I guess, when we reach Bourke." DEPARTURE FROM BOURKE Owing to atmospherics difficulty has been experienced this afternoon by 4QG in hearing the signals sent out by the Atalanta. A message sent by Mr. Stevens at 1.42 indicated that the plane was again in the air making for Sydney. This came in very faint. Officials state that the Atalanta is sending messagos half-hourly.[145]

Overview story of the finding of the Kookaburra

FINDING OF KOOKABURRA. Story of Pilot of the Atalanta. "DISTURBED EARTH NOT A GRAVE." LONGREACH, April 25. On her homeward flight the Atalanta reached Longreach late yesterday afternoon. "The realisation of the tragedy took away all the joy of the discovery," said her pilot (Mr. L. J. Brain) when recounting how, as the plane winged low over the Central Australian desert, he solved the mystery of the tragic fate of the Kookaburra. When the stranded machine was first sighted, said Mr. Brain, he was naturally pleased and excited. Then came moments of tense anxiety as to the fate of the crew. PLEASURE SHORT-LIVED. But the pleasure was short-lived, "for," he said, "I circled low and saw Anderson's body lying dead under the wing. By flying just above the tree tops I satisfied myself that he had been dead for some days. The realisation of the tragedy took away all the joy of the discovery. Obviously the signal fires lighted by Anderson set fire to the spinifex and undergrowth, which was still smoking some 20 miles away. We searched around for the best part of an hour in the vain hope of finding Hitchcock alive, and then, in view of the fact that we were taking very grave risks flying low around that sort of country, we decided that it was desirable to proceed to Wave Hill and make sure that our wireless signals had been received, and to confirm our report." On Tuesday the Atlanta for the fourth time visited the scene of the disaster, her occupants concentrating their attention on the disturbed ground near the Kookaburra. Mr. Brain says that he satisfied himself that this was a hole dug in the ground for obtaining water, and not for the purposes of burial, although it is still possible that the body of Mr. Hitchcock might be covered by a bit of brush near the machine. OFFERS TO MAKE DESCENT. Mr. Brain stated that the exact locality of Anderson's machine, which had been checked and rechecked by him on each occasion visited, was 105 miles west by north from Powell's Creek, and 80 miles east by southeast from the Wave Hill homestead; which was the nearest habitation. It was all desert country. Squadron-Leader Kingsford Smith had told him how greatly his party felt the tragedy, particularly as Anderson had lost his life in an endeavour to find the Southern Cross. Squadron-Leader Kingsford Smith had expressed his willingness to jump in a parachute over the locality. The whole of the Air Force party had also expressed their anxiousness to jump over in parachutes, but were dissuaded by Mr. Brain, as he considered that it was not reasonable to risk more lives without some definite prospect of achievement. Mr. Brain paid a warm tribute to Mr. F. W. Stevens (Deputy Director of the Queensland Radio Service), who is the wireless operator on the Atalanta, expressing great admiration for the tireless work by Mr. Stevens in maintaining the radio equipment and assisting the mechanic, Mr. P. H. Compston, working half the night in refuelling and maintaing the engine. "He was a wonder," said Mr. Brain. Mr. Brain regards the trip as a triumph for aviation and radio in Australia. ARRIVAL OF CANBERRA. Captain Matheson, of the Goulburn Aero Club, who was on his way to join in the search for the Kookaburra, and was held up in Duchess owing to engine trouble, also arrived in Longreach yesterday. Captain Matheson's machine, when reaching Duchess on his way to Wave Hill, suffered broken piston rings, caused by badly-fitted cylinders. He was ready to leave Duchess for Wave Hill on Monday, when the news came through that the Kookaburra had been located.[146]

4SP due to arrive back in Brisbane today on the Atalanta

The Atalanta. DUE BRISBANE THIS AFTERNOON. The Qantas plane Atalanta, which discovered the Kookaburra, is expected to return to Brisbane at 4 o'clock this afternoon. The plane left Longreach at 6.30 a.m. yesterday, and made stops at Charleville and Bourke in the flight to Sydney, which was reached at 5.30 p.m. Mr. L. J. Brain has charge and the deputy director of 4QG (Mr. F. W. Stevens) is wireless operator. The Atalanta will land at the Doomben aerodrome. THE AIR LINER CANBERRA. The air liner Canberra, which located the Southern Cross, is en route to Sydney. It has been reported that the machine is likely to call at Brisbane, but up to the time this edition went to press the Pinkenba radio station and 4QG had not been able to pick up any information regarding its movements. .[147]

1929 05[edit]

Atalanta Set. Queenslander's Triumph. Transmitting News of Flight. When the Director of 4QG (Mr. J. W. Robinson, announced to radio listeners over the air on the evening of April 21 that the Atalanta had discovered the ill-fated Kookaburra he mentioned that this information had originally been transmitted from the Atalanta. Doubtless listeners pictured a transmitting set aboard the Atalanta worth hundreds of pounds, but the illustration on this page shows that the set used by the Deputy Director of 4QG, (Mr. F. W. Stevens), who was wireless operator on the plane, was very small. Through the courtesy of the Director of 4QG "The Telegraph" is able to give details regarding this set. It is the property of Mr. R. E. Mclntosh, an engineer on the staff of 4QG, and was made by him, without batteries and valves, at a cost of less than 13/. The instrument weighs about four pounds and its smallness may be gauged from the following dimensions: 12 inches in length, 8 inches high and 8 inches in diameter. The power used during the time that Atalanta was in the air and on the ground was about 4 watts, supplied by a small tank of dry B batteries and a 6 volt accumulator as used by any small receiving set. The day or night range when erected on the ground has been proved to be beyond Australia, while from the air the set came in splendidly at Brisbane over 900 miles, away; in fact, it was distinctly heard when the Atalanta was at Mt. Isa. With the aid of the set, the Atlanta was in communication with one station or another throughout the whole of the time it was away from Brisbane assisting in the search for the Kookaburra. The set is of original design. Mr. .McIntosh made several experiments which, under a severe test, have proved worthy of incorporation in future sets. The set was extremely stable and the design is the simplest possible; the condensers were stable and also are of original design. The panel with subpanel is entirely of metal; this forms the earth and negative leads and also acts as a good screen. The small batteries taken from Brisbane would have been able to supply current for the set for at least six weeks. After being taken from the Atalanta on Friday evening they were taken to 4QG and are now being used at that station. To illustrate the cheapness of the whole outfit, used on the Atlanta it is estimated that less than 12 would cover the cost of the power consumed. Paragraph obscured. (Photo Caption)WIRELESS SET USED ON THE ATALANTA.[148]

Missing Child. Aeroplane Begins Search. Mount Gravatt Mystery. A Qantas aeroplane went out this morning, to search for the child, Marjorie McKee, who has been missing from her home in Broadwater Street, Mount Gravatt, since Thursday. Mr. L. J. Brain, manager of Qantas, is using a slot-wing Moth, which permits him to fly at very slow speeds. He has with him Mr. F. W. Stevens, .chief engineer of Station 4QG, who co-operated with him in their recent successful search for the Kookaburra. If the country is not too thickly covered with scrub the aeroplane will be used to scour a large area. Grave fears are entertained about whether the child is alive. Both Thurs-day and Friday night were very cold, and the child, who is only two years of age, was clothed, when she di-appeared, in only a very flimsy white frock. There was a pathetic scene yesterday when the retriever dog, her boon companion, came home alone. He was obviously very tired, but it was hoped that he might lead the searchers to where he had left the infant. Lest he should get away unnotlced, a bell was tied around his neck. However, yesterday all hopes in this direction were not realised. EIGHTY SEARCHING. About 50 police and 30 civilians are engaged in the search. Senior-sergeant Portley is in charge of the party which has the assistance of a black tracker from Oxley. The country is covered with very dense scrub and long grass, bush fern being in abundance. In addition there is a number of large waterholes. The police carefully searched around the banks of these to discover tracks but failed to find any. It is said that the black tracker discovered footprints in three places but that they could be those of any one of the many children who live in the locality. An appeal for volunteers to assist in the search was broadcasted by Station 4QG last night. One of the searchers described the country in the vicinity of the child's home as "all thick dense scrub." The ground at the rear of the home is cleared. The nearest residence in any direction is about a mile distant. The searchers yesterday expressed great difficulty in penetrating the scrub. They formed themselves into line formation, and combed the scrub — but they found only wallabies. AEROPLANE USELESS? Questioned by a representative of "The Telegraph" as to whether an aeroplane would be of any assistance in the search one of the police expressed the opinion that owing to the density of the scrub an Aeroplane would be useless. He said that he did not think that the dog, which is very young, would be of any assistance, as it had often been away from home at night-time. "The searchers came across about eight waterholes," he said, "and these probably hold the solution of the mystery." . With the weekend the army of searchers will be greatly increased. Lads from adjoining districts will form themselves into "search" parties; and a warm response to 4QG's request is expected.[149]

Search for Lost Child. Fruitless Work of Volunteers. Marjorie McKee, the two-years-old child who has been missing from her home at Mt. Gravatt since Thursday afternoon, has not been found. Five hundred people yesterday aided the 50 police who were searching the dense scrub in the locality, but without result. Water holes were dragged and dynamite was exploded where it was thought that snags might hold the body, of the child had she been drowned. Thirty-seven men with horses continued the search today, although hope of finding the child alive has been abandoned. A Moth aeroplane in which were Mr. L. J. Brain and Mr. F. W. Stevens, deputy director of 4QG, on Saturday flew over the area being searched, but failed to find any sign that might assist the searchers, the heavy scrub affecting visibility from the air.[150]

The following appeared in our Second Edition Saturday. Missing Child. First Plane Search Fails. Ground Directions Needed. When this addition went to press, the child Marjorie McKee, aged 2 years, who has been missing from her home in Broadwater Road, Mount Gravatt, since Thursday, had not been found. As reported in the first edition of "The Telegraph," Mr. C. J. Brain, manager of Qantas, went out in a slot-wing Moth with Mr. F. W. Stevens of Station 4QG. Mr. Brain was in the air for some time but was not able to locate the McKee home, which is in a small clearing about two miles to the left of the South Coast road. Returning to the Eagle Farm aerodrome, Mr. Brain handed over the plane to Mr. T. W. A. Stott and himself telegraphed to Mt. Gravatt a request that residents make signals to lead the plane to the homestead. WIDE SEARCH. The belt of bush between the home and the road has been combed for several miles of its length. Many tracks have been found but whether those are the child's is not known. Grave fears are entertained that the child will not be found alive. On Saturday Inspector Farrell, of the Police Depot, assumed control of the searchers. There were then about 50 police in the party and the number ot civilians had been increased to 100.[151]

Missing child's body found

The Missing Child. Discovery of the Body. Analyst to Examine. The postmortem examination on the body of Marjorie McKee, the two-year-old Mount Gravatt child, which was found yesterday, was conducted by the Government Medical Officer (Dr. G. W. Macartney) last night. The Government Analyst is to make a further examination. This, the police say, is merely a formal proceeding. All the men have been withdrawn from Mount Gravatt. As reported in the late city edition of "The Telegraph" yesterday the body of the child, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sidney McKee, of Mount Gravatt, who had been missing from her home since last Thursday afternoon, was found in a creek. The discovery ended a search by several hundreds of civilians and about 50 police, under the direction of Subinspector Farrell and Sergeant Portley. They had been combing the thick scrub for a radius of four miles of the home since Friday. Messrs. George Gray, of Mt. Armstrong Road, Cannon Hill, Guy F. Chapman, of Belmont, and George Mussig, of Capalaba, yesterday instituted a search in the vicinity of Bulimba Creek, near Crombie's woolscour, Belmont. After they had lunch they noticed the child among dead timber on the bank of the creek, about half a mile from the scour, the distance from the child's home being about 2½ to 3 miles. The head and upper portion of the body was resting on the bank, its feet in the water. The child was still wearing the flimsy white dress she had on when she disappeared from home. The police searched the bank nearby and discovered the tracks of the child. They seemed to show that the little girl had fallen down the steep bank to the water's edge and died on Thursday night from exposure, as the night was a chilly one. The police believe that the child in her wandering followed the dog. He was missed at the same time as the child and returned home the next morning between 11 and 12 o'clock very tired. The animal could not be induced to lead the searchers to the spot where the child was. During her wanderings the child must have covered at least four miles of the dense scrub. The funeral will be this afternoon at 2.30 o'clock. Interment will be in the South Brisbane Cemetery.[152]

Atalanta Leaves. SEARCH FOR MISSING AIRMEN. The Qantas plane Atalanta left the Eagle Farm aerodrome at 6.45 this morning to search for the missing airmen, Moir and Owen. The crew of the plane are Mr. L. J. Brain (pilot), Mr. P. H. Compston (mechanic), and Mr. J. W. Robinson (wireless operator). The plane has been chartered for the trip by Vickers, Ltd., and the Shell Oil Co., who have placed it at the disposal of the Commonwealth authorities. Mr. Brain is acting under instructions from the Minister for Defence in the course of the search. The Atalanta will proceed to Roma, where it will refuel, and then on to Longreach, whero it is expected to arrive about 3 p.m. The Atalanta will be fitted at Longreach with an additional petrol tank so as to increase its cruising range to 750 miles. It is hoped to fly in daylight to Winton this afternoon. From Winton Mr. Brain will proceed to Camooweal, and thence to Newcastle Waters, where he expects to arrive tomorrow afternoon. From there he will follow the overland telegraph line to Darwin, where he expects to effect a landing on Saturday morning. He will receive orders at Darwin as to his future movements. FLYING RANGE. The Qantas plane Atalanta is of the D.H. 50J type, and is fitted with a Jupiter engine of 460 horsepower. The plane has a flying range of 750 miles — with the extra petrol tank installed — so that, she could easily accomplish the flight from Darwin to the Portuguese Island of Timor if necessary. Mr. Brain is optimistic as to the safety of the missing aviators. He is disinclined to believe that they have been forced down into the sea. He is very hopeful that the men will be found to have landed at some point where there is difficulty in effecting early communication with the civilised world. He regards the trip merely as a break in the monotony of the ordinary routine. The Atalanta, he says, is the most suitable type of aircraft in Australia for the purposes of this search. RADIO EQUIPMENT. The Atalanta has been fitted with wireless equipment for the purposes of the search. The transmitter which will be used is almost the same as that used by Mr. F. W. Stevens (deputy director of 4QG) on the quest for the Kookaburra. Mr. Robinson stated that wireless messages would be dispatched at intervals while the plane is in the air. These will be received by 4QG in Brisbane, and will be transmitted to the Minister for Defence in Canberra before being released to the public.[153]

1929 06[edit]

Staff of 4QG hold a function to welcome home Robinson and Stevens for work on Atalanta

WELCOME HOME. OFFICIALS OF STATION 4QG. A welcome home function was given in honour of Messrs. J. W. Robinson and F. W. Stevens, director and deputy director respectively of the Queensland Radio Service, by members of the staff of 4QG at the radio station last night. In appreciation of their work in.connection with the recent flights with the Atalanta, the staff presented to Mr. Robinson and Mr. Stevens beautifully mounted photographs of the aeroplane, suitably inscribed. Mr. L. J. Brain was amongst those present. He spoke highly of the part played by 4QG and its representatives in bringing both flights to successful conclusions. The flights had revealed what a strong combination aviation and wireless really was. He considered that wireless and aviation would do much for the advancement of Australia. Messrs. J. Y. Yorston, T. Muller, R. McWilliam, R. F. Galloway, L. Reid, R. Farley, and A. McIntosh praised the work of Messrs, Robinson and Stevens as radio operators. The chairman, (Mr. R. White) then formally made the presentations. Mr. Robinson and Mr. Stevens thanked the members of the staff for their gifts.[154]

1929 07[edit]
1929 08[edit]

Stevens assists with radio facilities for Brisbane Aero Club's annual Aerial Pagent

The Aerial Pageant. ASSISTANCE FROM RADIO. Radio will be used extensively at next Saturday's aerial pageant in Brisbane. Portable transmitters and receivers will keep the officials in constant touch with every phase of the aerial derby. The Queensland division of the Australian Wireless Institute is co-operating with the Brisbane Aero Club in the arrangements which are being carried out by Mr. F. W. Stevens, the well known radio engineer. Last year the judges could not announce the winner of the Derby for some time after it had finished. This was because they had to await reports from officials at the turning points in remote spots as to whether any competitor had cut in thereby earning disqualification. This time, because of the arrangements which have been made, and which have been successfully tested, it is hoped to keep the judges in touch with the movements of every competitor at these turning points. Information will be sent with the aid of portable transmitters which will be operated by members of the Institute, and with the aid of transmitters two way communication will be maintained. It is also hoped to give the public a running description of the race as seen from the air. Tests have been successfully carried out with a port-able telephone transmitter operating from an aeroplane, and should a plane be available for that purpose the public will be kept in touch with events by means of loudspeaking device on the grounds.[155]

1929 09[edit]
1929 10[edit]
1929 11[edit]
1929 12[edit]

4SP's wife attends a tea party

Pre-Wedding Parties. . . . In honour of Miss Imelda Colthup, whose marriage will be celebrated at an early date, Miss H. Welsby entertained a number of guests at Amity, New Farm, on Saturday afternoon. Musical items were contributed. Bridge tables were arranged on the riverside veranda. A miscellaneous competition was won by Miss J. Kirke, and Miss M. Buchanan secured the consolation prize. Both winners presented their prizes to the guest of honour. Tea was served in the lounge, which was decorated in a pastel colour scheme. Floral place cards marked the guests' places. With her frock of jade green voile Miss Welsby wore a hat en suite. Floral silk voile in petal pink colourings was worn by Miss Colthup with a pink hat of baku straw. There were present, Mesdames J. Colin Clark, F. W. Stevens, J. C. Trotter, D. Talt. T. S. Dawber, R. B. Rigby and E. Diamond, Misses Mavis Colthup, Jean McCook, E. Spittles, M. Diamond, D. Houston, M. Buch-anan, Audrey Ashwin, Beryl Davis, and Jean Kirk.[156]



1930 01[edit]

4SP offered transfer to the PMGD as 4QG is taken over by ABC1 and PMGD

REORGANISATION OF 4QG. Staff Changes Announced. NEW ASSISTANT MANAGER. Changes in the personnel of the staff at station 4QG are to be effected as from January 31, on which date the Australian Broadcasting Company takes control of the station. The transmissions are to be increased from 57 to 71 a week and a big effort is to be made to considerably improve the programmes. "Listener" learned yesterday that the Australian Broadcasting Company has decided to alter the schedule of transmission hours as from January 31 to the following:— Mondays to Fridays. 7.30 a.m. to 8.30 a.m.: News and music. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Women's session, music, and market reports. 3 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.: Music and news. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.: Music, bedtime stories, market reports, lectures. 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.: Music, &c. Saturdays. 7.30 a.m. to 8.30 a.m.: News and music. 11.30 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Women's session, music, market reports, sporting fixtures. 6 p.m. to 11.30 p.m.: Music, bedtime stories, sporting, Speedway, &c., &c. Sundays. 10.30 a.m. to 12.15 a.m.: Church service. 3 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.: Band concerts, &c. 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.: Children's session, church services, band concerts, &c. 450 HOURS A YEAR. The new schedule will result in the station's being on the air for approximately 450 hours a year, which is a greater number of hours than provided for in the contract under which the A.B.C. is working. DEVOTIONAL SERVICES. Each day the session beginning at 11 a.m. will commence with a devotional service which will be provided by the various churches that are linked up with 4QG. The services will be non-sectarian and non-denominational in character, and the names of those conducting them will not be published in the programmes. The standardised lectures that have been given at the women's sessions will be dispensed with, and an endeavour will be made to have a lecture delivered each morning which will be of interest to women listeners. Efforts are to be made to have lectures delivered each evening by prominent men connected with the business life of the community or other spheres of activity or by interesting travellers who may be passing through Brisbane. The news sessions will be improved by the addition of cable news from abroad. In short the A.B.C. intends to make every effort to improve the quality of the programmes which it will offer every day. THE STAFF. Consequent upon the change of control there will be changes in the personnel of the staff. As already announced in "The Telegraph" Mr. J. W. Robinson, at present Director of the Queensland Radio Service, will manage the station for the A.B.C. The assistant manager will be Mr. Robert Wight ("Market Reports"). Mr. Wight is a native of Scotland who has travelled extensively. After living in New Zealand for some time he came to Australia, and during the war he served as a lieutenant in the 34th Battalion in France, being seriously wounded in the lower part of the face. This gave an opportunity to the surgeons on the other side of the world to perform a piece of plastic surgery most wonderful in its results, for today one would not believe that half of Mr. Wight's lower jaw had been almost shot away. Returning from the war Mr. Wight entered into farming pursuits in the Fassifern district. Later, he was one of the initial movers in the creation of the Queensland Producers' Association, the executive body of which is the Council of Agriculture. He was one of the original organisers, and after the bulk of the organising work had been completed he was retained as a State organiser. When station 4QG was transferred to the new studio in the State Insurance Building Mr. Wight became market reports officer and has continued to hold that position ever since. In addition, he has been conducting the sporting sessions. Mr. Wight's future duties will include that of conducting the early morning news session each day, of collecting and supplying information over the air to farmers and men on the land generally, and in organising the sports sessions. It is intended to introduce a 10 minutes' sports session each evening instead of holding such a session once a week as at present. At these sessions general talks on current sporting events will be given. Mr. Harry Humphreys,, who at present holds the position of chief announcer, will continue in that office. Mr. L. L. Shiel, the treasurer, will remain in the Public Service, and will sever his connection with station 4QG. It is understood that he will go to the Apprenticeship Board office. His place as treasurer will be taken by Miss Rita McAuliffe, who has been conducting the women's sessions each morning for some time. Miss M. E. McFarlane ("Little Miss Brisbane"), who has been on the clerical staff of 4QG since its inception, also has decided to remain in the Public Service and will therefore regretfully sever her connection with the clerical staff of the station. Her position will be filled by Miss Constance Archdall, who receives promotion from junior to senior clerk. BEDTIME STORY SESSIONS. Miss McFarlane will continue to conduct the bedtime story sessions at 4QG on Thursday nights. The services of Mr. J. Tyson will be retained by the A.B.C. as "The Sandman," and he will conduct the bedtime story sessions on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday nights. In addition, Mr. Tyson will be in charge of the announcing from certain outside sporting fixtures such as the Speedway, the Velodrome, &c. "Uncle Ben" will continue to conduct the children's sessions on Tuesday and Friday nights. The children's sessions are to be completely reorganised, and it is understood that one or two new characters will be heard over the air at these sessions. It is said that Mr. C. V. Woodland is to return to the station in his old role of "Uncle Jim." ENGINEERING STAFF. The engineering side of the station will be under the control of the Postmaster-General's Department as from January 31, and it is understood that the department has offered, the positions to the members of the present staff, of which Mr. F. W. Stevens is the chief officer. (Photo) MR. J. W. ROBINSON, Manager of 4QG. (Photo) MR. R. WIGHT, Assistant Manager of 4QG.[157]

Overview of 4QG's history to date on eve of Commonwealth takeover

Station 4QG. Past and Future Record of Achievement. By "LISTENER." When station 4QG passes from the control of the State Government to the dual control of the Postmaster-General's Department and the Australian Broadcasting Company on January 31 it will have completed four and a half years' broadcasting service in Queensland. The station was established in 1925, the official opening by the ex-Premier (Mr. W. McCormack) taking place in July. At first the station was located in the Executive Buildings, a small 500 watt transmitting plant being used temporarily. The southern States previously had enjoyed broadcasting for two years, the pioneer station, 2FC Sydney, having commenced its service, on December 5, 1923. No company seemed anxious to establish a station in Queensland, the prospective revenue from licensed listeners not being attractive enough. The Queensland Government, however, saw that there were great possibilities in radio as a means of providing valuable information to the men on the land, and it was this factor more than anything else that influenced it to decide to establish a station in Brisbane. The services of Mr. J. W. Robinson, who was then on the staff of 2FC Sydney, were secured as director, of the Queensland Radio Service, .and before long the announcement, "This is station 4QG, owned and operated by the Queensland Government," was being heard nightly in every part of Australia and also overseas. After the initial difficulties had been successfully overcome by the chief engineer (Mr. F. W. Stevens) the station settled down to provide Queensland's first real broadcasting service. From two or three hundred the licensed listeners at once increased to nearly 4,000 in the early days of 4QG's transmission. PLANS FOR BIG STATION. The increasing interest in the station and in broadcasting encouraged the director to prepare ambitious plans for a higher powered station, which would equal those of Sydney and Melbourne. The Government approved the plans and the result was the very fine studio and equipment that exist today on top of the State Insurance building. The new station, with its 5,000 watt transmitter, was officially opened in April, 1926 — nine months after the inauguratory broadcast in Queensland. Since then the station has been on the air day after day and night after night and it speaks well for the efficiency of the staff that during the whole of this time there have been only slight mishaps to the delicate apparatus, and that care and attention has obviated any possibility of the station's being closed down during schedule-transmitting hours. The organisation of the programmes has entailed a considerable amount of work and thought and even difficulty because of the limited number of talented artists available in Brisbane. In this respect the station has been working at a disadvantage compared with southern broadcasting. NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENTS. The station has some notable broadcasting achievements standing to its credit. It has broadcasted descriptions of every important event that has interested Brisbane and Queensland — the arrival of Bert Hinkler after his famous flight from England, the landing of Kingsford Smith and Ulm after their epic flight across the Pacific. Test Cricket and Rugby League football matches. It has carried out interesting relays from oversea stations and from Antarctic exploration ships. One of its best achievements was its rebroadcast of the messages sent out from the Southern Cross, when on its way from America, and again when the plane was on the New Zealand flights. A GREAT COUP. Station 4QG made a great coup when it secured permission to broadcast the whole of the items sung by Dame Nellie Melba at her concert in Brisbane on Thursday, July 7, 1927. Previously, Dame Nellie Melba's voice had not been heard by radio more than three or four occasions. Naturally, the director was elated at the wonderful coup he secured and managers of southern stations who had hoped to enlist Melba's service had to admit that "Robinson had beat them to it." The announcement that Mr. Robinson is to continue as manager of the station gave great satisfaction to his friends. Most listeners believe that under his guidance and with greater resources at his command for the organisation of entertaining programmes the station will further enhance its standing among the first class broadcasting stations of Australia. The stage is now set for the change of control on January 31. The programmes for the opening nights look attractive and the directors of the Australian Broadcasting Company have issued an assurance that it will be the endeavour of the company to provide wireless entertainment from 4QG equal in quality to that put on the air by the Sydney and Melbourne stations. There will be frequent relays from the southern stations; most of the important events will be simultaneously broadcast throughout Australia. There will be close co-operation among all "A" class stations in the interests of listeners generally.[158]

1930 02[edit]

Annual report of Qld Aero Club mentions that a Radio Section had been formed by 4SP during 1929

AERO CLUB. SUCCESSFUL YEAR. OPERATIONS REVIEWED. The report of the activities of the Queensland section of the Australian Aero Culb, presented at the annual meeting of that body on Thursday evening, disclosed a highly successful 1929 season. During the period the club has taken over the duties of the Flying School by arrangement with Qantas Ltd., and members of the school completed 237 hours dual and 293 hours 10 minutes solo flying. Twelve pupils qualified for A licenses, and two sat for B license examination, while one member recently gained his C and D ground engineer's license. Two flying accidents, involving the club in considerable expenditure, occurred during the year, but fortunately they did not cause serious disablement to the pupil pilots concerned. A good standard of efficiency was maintained, and the committee intended arranging weekend cross-country trips for approved pilot members. A certain amount of difficulty had been met with in controlling the public on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Arrangement had now been completed with the Controller of Civil Aviation for police attendance on these days. LANDING GROUNDS. During the year close attention had been paid to the recording of areas throughout Queensland and the Northern Rivers (N.S.W.), at which 'planes had landed. A fairly satisfactory clearance of the racecourse at Bundaberg had been made on which 'planes of medium size could land at any time, thus cutting out the seven-mile journey each way to the landing previously in use. The Maryborough racecourse had also been satisfactorily cleared and levelled suitable for small to medium-sized 'panes, so that it was no longer imperative to use the (from an airman's point of view) unsatisfactory golf links. A very satisfactory ground at Stanthorpe was also approaching completion. Notification was received during the year from the Commonwealth Government that it had decided to establish the official aerodrome at Rocklea, to be called Archer-field. The erection of a club house would have to wait until this aerodrome had been cleared and put into a state fit for flying operations. Plans were supplied last week from the Defence Department showing the proposed layout of the ground and the site of the club house was shown on the northern boundary. The third annual aerial pageant was held In August, and the results showed a net profit of £114/11/. Although the financial success was not as great as last year this was partly due to in-creased cost.of advertising, printing, and cost of the programme, which was donated the previous year, and to the purchase of materials used for accommodation and control of public to increase their comfort. The latter had been accounted as an expense, but the material would be available for use at future pageants. HEAVY EXPENDITURE. A radio section was formed during the year under the auspices of Mr. F. W. Stevens. The financial report showed a profit of £357/13/2 for the year, after creating a reserve to cover probable cost of repairs to VH-UFL and VH-UFR. Unusual expenditure included in the accounts of the year was the cost of bringing the D.H.9 and spares and moth "AV" from Melbourne. This cost £123/16/2. Membership had increased during the year to 251, consisting of 38 flying members, and 213 ordinary members, as compared with 178 members 12 months ago. "Considering the small amount of benefits that the club can, at the present time, offer to an ordinary member," the report continued, "the result is satisfactory, and we have hopes that when our new club house is erected the attractions we will be able to offer ordinary members will result in a further increase in membership of the club. ELECTION OF OFFICERS. The following officers were elected for the coming year:— Patron, his Excellency Sir John Goodwin; president, Mr. R. H. Cumming; chairman of committee, Dr. F. A. Hope Michod; hon. secretary, Captain R. F. Galloway, M.I.Ae.E.; hon. treasurer, Mr. R. B. Grant; secretary, Mr. W. R. Gilbert, A.F.I.A.; hon. architect, Mr. R. Galley; hon. solicitor, Mr. L. P. Power; hon. auditor, Mr. R. H. Cumming; representative on council, Australian Aero Club, Mr. H. H. Harman.[159]

1930 03[edit]

4SP possibly Australia's youngest J.P. in 1930

YOUNGEST J.P. Sir,— I notice in The Herald a claim that Mr S. R. Grover, aged 35, is the youngest justice of the peace in Australia. I have been a J.P. in Queensland for two years, and I am only 32 now.— Yours etc., F. W. STEVENS. J.P. Windsor, Queensland, March 3.[160]

1930 04[edit]

Wife of 4SP has a tea party with friends including wife of JWR

COZY DELL. Gay with masses of coral gerberas, dahlias, and cosmos, arranged in coloured vases, and crowded with tea parties, the Cozy Dell presented an animated scene yesterday afternoon, when several special attractions were provided for those present. At 4 o'clock, the popular tea hour, and for some time after that, the cafe was taxed to its utmost capacity, and many had to crowd on the steps to wait for vacant tables. Musical selections, given throughout the entire afternoon by Miss Jean Taylor, were appreciated, and "The Masked Lady" was much in demand for teacup readings. A fashion parade was arranged by the management. . . . Mrs. F. W. Stevens entertained a few guests, including Mrs. F. Robinson, Misses Buchanan, S. Swan, and D. Mann.[161]

1930 05[edit]

4SP obtains his pilot's licence

AVIATION. . . . AERO CLUB PILOTS. Among the last number of pupils to qualify for their private pilot's license in Brisbane was Mr. Alan Cameron, a son of Mr. S. W. Cameron, a partner of Cameron Bros., the well-known Brisbane estate agents. Mr. Cameron is the second of his family to obtain a license, his brother Waverley having obtained his pilot's license a few months previously. A cousin, Dr. D. A. Cameron, of Dalveen, also is a pilot. Another to obtain a license recently was Mr. F. W. Stevens, technical officer of 4QG broadcasting station. Mr. Stevens, it will be remembered, accompanied Mr. Brain in the Atalanta as radio officer in the successful search for the missing Kookaburra. These pupils passed their test on May 17, as also did Messrs. W. E. Crowther and F. A. Mayne. Mr. G. W. Whatmore, jun., also secured his pilot's license recently, through the Aero Club. The first lecture on aviation subjects, arranged chiefly for the benefit of pupil and pilot members, was given last Wednesday evening. Mr. Brain addressed those present on "The Art of Flying," and his remarks were greatly appreciated. The next lecture will be given by Mr. C. W. A. Scott on "Air Pilotage." The Queensland Aero Club feels proud that of Brisbane's three lady pilots two have been trained by the club, and when Miss Johnson arrives on Thursday the club 'planes that, with other machines, will escort her to the landing ground will be flown by the club's lady pilot members, Dr. Christine Rivett and Mrs. Nisbet.[162]

1930 06[edit]

4SP presented to the Governor of Qld at the Levee as Commissioned Telegraphist in the Navy

GOVERNOR'S LEVEE. BRILLIANT CEREMONY. REPRESENTATIVE ATTENDANCE. With appropriate dignity and splendour Brisbane yesterday celebrated the birthday of his Majesty the King, his Excellency the Governor (Sir John Goodwin) holding a levee at Parliament House. This was attended by a representative gathering of citizens, and was held in the old-time Legislative Council Chamber, which was fittingly decorated for the occasion. Above hung the flags of the Empire, while on the floor below brilliant naval and military uniforms, the scarlet and ermine robes of the judiciary, and ecclesiastical and academic gowns contrasted vividly with an artistic centrepiece, containing rare specimens of ferns and plant life. At the back of the Chamber sat Lady Goodwin, while the colourful frocks of the ladies in the gallery gave added brightness to the scene. Wearing the civil uniform of a State Governor, his Excellency, who was attended by Lieut.-Col. L. E. C. Worthington-Wilmer (private secretary), Lieut-Col. N. A. H. Campbell, A.D.C., Mayor C. W. Clowes, hon. A.D.C., and Major C. Tiddy, received the citizens while standing on the presidential dais. The first to be presented was the Premier (Mr. A. E. Moore), and then followed the Ministers or the Crown, judges, former Ministers of the Crown, and former judges. To not a few of those presented to him Sir John conversed for a moment or two, or spoke a few words of greeting. He shook hands with all, and inside 30 minutes the ceremony was over. . . . THE GENERAL PRESENTATION. The following gentlemen were presented to his Excellency: . . . The Navy: Commanders T. A. Bond, A. Jimner, Lieutenant-Commanders J. D. Keenan, J. Mulcahy, Captain G. A. H. Curtis, Lieutenants A. V. Bickley, E. E. Trickett, G. H. Mocatta, N. S Pixley, F. J. Nugent, Sub-Lieutenants J. Magee, N. O. Vidgen, H. A. G. Crawford, Paymaster Midshipman S. T. G Beedham, Midshipmen H. M. Gashler, L. M Carter, Commissioned Telegraphist F. W. Stevens, Commissioned Instructors G. Leaver, E. J. Bates, E. L Smith, and Warrant Officer L. D. M. Roberts.[163]

1930 07[edit]

4SP continues development of aeronautical equipment

SHORT WAVES. DX Telephony. AUSTRALIA'S LEAD. . . . Amateur Notes VK4SP, Mr. F. Stephens (sic, Stevens), chief engineer of 4QG, was on the 40 metre band testing a new aeroplane transmitter on June 25. His power was not half a watt and his signal was R6 to R7, which was good considering that his aerial and counterpoise consisted of two pieces of bell wire. He will be making further tests up in the "air" with this transmitter. The transmitter and 2 valve receiver are built in the same cabinet which measures 18 x 6 x 5 inches, which is very compact. The transmitter contains all the necessary meters. [164]

4SP continues testing hie aeronautical equipment on 40 metres

Amateur Notes. . . . VK4SP has been rather active on the 40-metre band with his aeroplane transmitter.[165]

4SP still working on 40 metres

Amateur Notes. . . . VK4SP, working on 40 metres has been putting out a good PDC sig.[166]

1930 08[edit]

4SP and two of his former colleagues at 4QG working 40 metres telephony

Among the Amateurs. . . . 4AT, 4AB, and VK4SP have also been testing out very fine phone on the 40-metre band.[167]

A number of Brisbane amateurs were becoming interested in meshing their amateur radio and aeronautical activities in the mid-1930s

Amateur Notes. . . . It may interest some to know that VK4AL has obtained his pilot's license for aircraft work. We should hear some interesting work between VK4AL and VK4SP.[168]

1930 09[edit]
1930 10[edit]
1930 11[edit]
1930 12[edit]


1931 01[edit]
1931 02[edit]
1931 03[edit]
1931 04[edit]
1931 05[edit]

Wife of 4SP attends social evening by Old Victorians' Association of Queensland

INAUGURAL SOCIAL EVENING. An enjoyable gathering took place at the Anne Hathaway Cafe last night when the Old Victorians' Association of Queensland held its inaugural social evening. The Premier (Mr. A. E. Moore) is president of the association, and other office-bearers are Messrs. C. Pickett (senior vice-president), N. Gilmour (hon. secretary), Mrs. R. B. Martin (hon. assistant secretary), and Mr. J. G. Jamieson (hon. treasurer), Mesdames H. C. Southern and J. Kidney acted as hostesses, and received the guests at the entrance to the reception room. Mrs. Southern wore a frock of mastic mariette, featuring a small floral design in cherry tones, and Mrs. Kidney chose a frock of black mariette and lace. A musical and elocutionary programme was contributed by Mrs. C. L. Thompson, Misses Jean Jamieson, Ruth Tregurtha, Gladys Wasley, and Mr. A. C. McEachern. Dancing was subsequently enjoyed, and music for this was supplied by Mr. J. Dixon. Bridge tables were arranged for the benefit of non-dancers, and was supervised by Mrs. H. C. Southern. Those present included Mr. and Mrs. C. Pickett, Mr. and Mrs. W. Robertson, Mr. and Mrs. D. Beattie, Mr. and Mrs. M. M. Lilley, Mr. and Mrs. Rogers, Mr. and Mrs. Leo O'Connor, Mr. and Mrs. H. T. Halliday, Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Thompson, Mesdames D. R. Glasgow, S. J. Wills, H. L. Gundry, E. J. Williams, S. Storey, F. Tregurtha, F. W. Stevens, Misses D. Southern, D. Williams, G. Smith, F. M. Cousins, Caroline and Leila Barker, E. Martin, G. Wasley, Enid Dickson, L. G. Daws, Messrs. H. C. Southern, J. W. Dickson, J. G. Jamieson, J. A. Rudd, A. K. King, Rev. E. De Burgh Griffith, Messrs. N. Gilmour, and H. Cook.[169]

1931 06[edit]

4SP again presented to Governor at the Levee

BRILLIANT SCENE. GOVERNOR'S LEVEE. A BRILLIANT CEREMONY. The levee held by his Excellency the Governor (Sir John Goodwin) at Parliament House yesterday, in honour of the anniversary of the birthday of his Majesty the King, was a brilliant function, largely attended, and favoured by perfect weather. The fact that practically every section of the community was represented at the demonstration of loyalty to his Majesty reflected also to a considerable extent the deep personal regard felt for his Majesty's representative Lieutenant-General Sir John Goodwin who, as is his custom, contrived yesterday to convey a few words of greeting and good cheer to many who were presented to him. He also congratulated individually, as he shook them by the hand, the three notable Queenslanders upon whom his Majesty has been pleased to confer Birthday Honours. . . . NAVY, ARMY, AND POLICE. The following naval, military, and police officers were then presented:— Commanders A. Junner and T. A. Bond, Lieutenant-Commanders J. D. Keenan and R. J. Noble, Engineer-Lieutenant Commander W. K. Kirkcaidie, Lieutenants A. M. Brown, A. V. Buckley, E. E. Trickett, R. W. Allan, Sub-Lieutenant N. O. Vigden, Paymaster-Lieutenants G. H. Mocatta, Paymaster Sub-Lieutenant S. T. G. Beedham and J. A. Blackie, Commis-sioned Instructor J. J. Leaver, Commissioned Telegraphist F. W. Stevens, Midshipmen H. F. Gashler, and L. M, Carter, Senator Sir William Glasgow, Brigadier-Generals W. Grant, L. O. Wilson, and J. H. Cannan, Colonels A. H. Marks, D. E. Evans, F. A. Hughes, and D. G. Croll, Lieutenant-Colonels F. S. Rosenskjar, Mr. W. H. Ryan (Commissioner of Police), Mr. M. Battersby (Chief Inspector of Police), Inspectors M. J. Meldon, J. Farrell, and R. Ferguson, Sub-Inspectors Pugh and J. E. Toohill.[170]

4SP has left the PMGD and joined the radio sales staff of King and Kings

KING AND KING'S RADIO DEPARTMENT. Mr. F. W. Stevens, the late chief radio engineer of 4QG, who has held that position from the erection of that station, and who is well known to a large circle of radio listeners, has joined the radio staff of King and King Ltd., and will be in charge of all radio installations and service by that firm.[171]

1931 07[edit]
1931 08[edit]
1931 09[edit]
1931 10[edit]

4SP attends first birthday luncheon for 4BC (representing King & King?)

TALK OVER THE TEA TABLE. . . . Birthday Luncheon. A representative gathering attended luncheon at the Carlton Cabaret on Thursday, the occasion being the celebration of the first birthday of the Brisbane Broadcasting Company. The cabaret was appropriately decorated with miniature aerial masts, microphones, etc., whilst a huge birthday cake was a striking feature. Mr. F. Hoe (managing director of the company) presided, and several appropriate speeches were made by Messrs. F. Evans (Reuters Ltd.), J. J. King (director), Philip O'Bryen Hoare, F. W. Nissen, N. Ravdell, and E. V. Hudson. More than 50 guests were present, including Mesdames Pemberton, W. Uhlmann, Hoopert, McKinley, R. Woods, Cecil Hall, and McFarlane; Misses Hallett, M. Hawkins, E. Stewart, L. Voller, Fergus, Cunningham, Lake, Betty Hosking, W. Haslam, F. Hoe, E. Gen, and E. White; Messrs. P. O'Bryen Hoare, C. Jarrott, A. R. Thoms, J. W. Daniells, H. Troy, A. Thomson, J. M. Huntsdale, J. Black, C. Colledge, A. Young, F. W. Stevens, F. Evans, Major Taylor, E. W. Crosier, H. D. Walsh, R. D. Huish, J. J. King, N. Ravdell, B. Marshall, H. Kington, L. L. Read, C. G. Gehrmann, E. V. Hudson, E. Cantelin, H. Perry, H. Collins, B. Harrow, A. L. Dixson, F. Hoe, junior, W. Harland, N. Klingner, A. Earle, F. Derrick, Campbell, Ferguson, L. Wilson, G. Brown, R. Cooper, A. Sharpe, and E. Lane.[172]

1931 11[edit]
1931 12[edit]

4SP on the engineering staff of 4BH at the time of commencement of its service

NEW BROADCASTER. Station 4BH Tested Most Modern Plant. Claimed to be the most powerful "B" class broadoaating station in Queensland, station 4BH will be opened shortly. The date has been fixed tentatively for January 2. The studios have been established at Grlce's Music Salon; the transmitting station is at Bald Hills, about ten miles from the studios. Mr. N. A. Johansson, chief engineer to the Telefunken Radio and Electrical Company in Australia, was the consulting engineer for the erection of the station. Interviewed by "The Telegraph," Mr. Johannson gave some particulars of the equipment. The station will use a power of 600 watts on modulated current, and will transmit on a wave length of 217 metres. It will be the first station to come in on the tuning dial. The power was manufactured for Broadcasters Australia Ltd., the owners of the station, in Sydney, by Scott and Co., Sydney Ltd. The transmitter, according to Mr. Johannson, is the most modern conceivable. It uses the Heising-Latour modulating system; the transmitter wave can be freely modulated 100 per cent. The transmitter has the latest features such as low power modulation, and crystal control of the transmitted frequencies. The station will have a clear and noiseless carrier wave because D.C. generators are used throughout the transmitting plant to supply the power. The last power valve before the aerial circuit is water cooled, the cooling system having been designed to meet Brisbane weather conditions. An interesting and important feature of the cooling system is that full protection is provided for all the valves. In the event of the water supply failing the power supply to the valves is automatically cut off. AERIAL CIRCUIT. The aerial circuit utilises a special Telefunken system to obtain the highest possible radiation whilst still keeping within the limits of aerial power laid down by the Postmaster-General's Department, and the engineers of the station are confident that with the care that has been taken in designing this part of the equipment the station, so far as daylight country range is concerned, will be the most powerful in Brisbane. The power supply is obtained from the city, special power lines having been erected to the station at Bald Hills. The earthing system at the station has no counterpart in Australia. It is founded on the experience of the Telefunken system on the continent. The only other station in Australia which, in the near future, will have a similar system will be Station 2CH, Sydney, which is now in course of erection, and which will be opened next month with a full Telefunken equipment. A feature of the system is that its use cuts down earth losses to a considerable degree. The aerial masts are 120 feet high. Two telephone lines connect studio and station. One is for programmes and the other is the monitor line. The buildings at Bald Hills are fire-proof; they have been constructed of celotex and fibro cement. The roof is non-metallic. THE STUDIOS. The main studio at Grice's Salon is roomy and is absolutely soundproof; no external sounds can intrude. The studio is equipped with piano, a reproducing machine and the other customary equipment. Adjoining the studio is a monitor's room in which are the mixers and the feeders — devices used for controlling the input to the transmitter from the microphone. There is a complete receiver on which the monitor listens for distortion and bad qualities. The monitor watches proceedings in the studio through a double plate glass window. There is a switchboard for incoming outside lines which carry programmes from music halls and churches. THE STAFF Mr. Walter Pym, who is well known among Brisbane theatre-goers, and who has been associated with Station 4QG for some time, has been appointed programme director of the station, but the engaging of an announcing staff has not yet been finalised. Mr. Johansson, who is the consulting engineer, recently supervised the installation of a Telefunken high frequency carrier telephone system on high tension electric power lines between Melbourne and Geelong, and also installed telephone communication between the offices of the State Electricity Commission of Victoria in Melbourne and the electric power station at Yallourn over the power lines which carry 180,000 volts. These are the first installations of their kind south of the equator. Even on such high power lines the dialling and calling are done on ordinary telephone instruments and both volume and quality, according to Mr. Johansson, have satisfied the Victorian engineers. Next month Mr. Johansson will supervise the installation of the big Telefunken wireless station for the promoters of 2CH, Sydney. This station will be controlled by the Council of Churches and will use a modulated power of 1,000 watts in the aerial. The chief engineer of Station 4BH is Mr. Thorstan Gedda, who has a wide experience with European transmitting plants. Other engineers are Mr. F. W. Stevens, who was chief engineer at Station 4QG for six years, Mr. N. W. Cruickshank, who has had a wide experience overseas, who served as a wireless operator in submarines during the war, and was at the Battle of Jutland. He was recently on the engineering staff of Station 2GB, Sydney. The fourth engineer is Mr. Cyril Moran, who was on the engineering staff of Station 4QG for six years. SATISFACTORY TESTS. Transmitting tests already have been conducted. Mr. Johansson expressed himself as being particularly pleased with them. Mr. Stevens said that he had been associated with four broadcasting stations and none of the transmitting plants had performed so satisfactory the first time it was tested as had that of 4BH. "Within half an hour of the carrier wave being put on the air we had almost perfect modulation," he said. "The plant performed splendidly the first time it was on the air," Mr. Cruickshank remarked.[173]

Photos on new 4BH transmission system including 4SP

NEW RADIO STATION AT BALD HILLS: SPECIAL PICTURES OF 4BH. (Photo Captions) Top Left: The Station and Portion of the Aerial System. Top Right: The Engineers at 4BH — Messrs. N. W. Cruickshank, Thorsten Gedda (Chief) and F. W. Stevens. Bottom Left: The Transmitting Apparatus. Bottom Right: Section of the Generating Plant.[174]


1932 01[edit]
1932 02[edit]
1932 03[edit]
1932 04[edit]

4SP places second in blind flying competition with Qld Aero Club

AERO CLUB NOTES. Blind Flying Test. The close of March brings the flying times for the Queensland Aero Club to double those of the first three months of 1931. This encouraging result makes it apparent that people in Queensland are taking more seriously to aviation than ever before. The visit of the German aviatrix, Fraulein Beinhorn, should do much to stimulate the interest of the fair sex, and it is hoped that more lady pupils will undertake a course of flying with the club. The result of the blind flying competition held recently by the club has now been confirmed, and resulted in a win for Mr. R. S. Adair with 95 points. Mr. F. W. Stevens was second with 78 points, and Messrs. Clive Jones, C. L. Browne, and B. W. Munro were third with 55 points. The next round of the Lucien F. Davis Cup will be held next Saturday and Sunday, when a compass steering competition will be inaugurated. Four pupil members performed their first solo flight during the week and should be ready shortly to fly for their A licenses.[175]

1932 05[edit]
1932 06[edit]

Wife of 4SP attends Administrator's Levee

BIRTHDAY LEVEE. Simple Ceremony at Parliament House. SYMBOLS OF LOYALTY TO CROWN. Good wishes for the continued health and happiness of the King on the occasion of His Majesty's birthday were expressed by citizens of Brisbane in the simple and dignified ceremony of filing past and shaking hands with the representative of the Sovereign in Queensland, the Administrator (Sir James Blair). For the birthday levee the old Legislative Council Chamber in Parliament House was hung with the flags of Britain, Australia, and the State of Queensland, while a mass of fernery on the oval table in front of his Excellency added a lush touch of green to contrast with the scarlet and cardinal of the robes of the Archbishops, the scarlet and ermine of the Supreme Court judges, and the red and yellow of certain of the professors of the University. . . . OTHERS PRESENT. Others present included Mesdames G. A. Carter, Renton McSwaine, E. M. Clark, Austin Bell, John Ferguson, R. H. Mackay (Dalby), W. Conin, G. Mocatta, W. Harris, W. F. Fergus, C. W. Walker, F. W. Stevens, R. A. Daws (Victoria), Ray Galloway, E. J. Bremner, [176]

1932 07[edit]
1932 08[edit]
1932 09[edit]
1932 10[edit]
1932 11[edit]
1932 12[edit]

4SP attends Christmas dinner for all staff of J. B. Chandler

STAFF DINNER. "It is an eye-opener even to me to witness the size of the staff of J. B. Chandler on this, the first occasion when all departments have been assembled together," said Mr. W. G. Duncan (secretary of the firm) in proposing the toast, "Our Firm," at the staff dinner of J. B. Chandler and Co., at the kiosk on Mount Coot-tha last night. Mr. Duncan presented Mr. Chandler with an electric clock and travelling rug as a mark of the esteem in which he was held by his employees. In responding, Mr. Chandler said it was gratifying to note the increase in the staff numerically since the firm commenced business, as such increase meant added business, and this was undoubtedly brought about by the co-operation and loyalty of the staff. Mr. Chandler presented the Radiola trophy (a gold wristlet watch) to the best salesman of the past six months (Mr. H. D. Cockroft). Other toasts honoured were "1933," proposed by Mr. E. W. Hare; "Our Broadcasting Activities," by Mr. V. F. Mitchell; and "Artists," by Mr. Geo. Berry. Mr. Mitchell presented Mr. Chandler with a printed and artistically bound volume of eulogy on himself from the firm's executive. The company's broadcasting stations, 4RO, 4GR, and 4MB, each wired congratulations for the successful year just closing. Those present included Mr. J. B. Chandler, Mrs. R. L. Reid, Misses E. N. Riding, M. Jones, H. Bonney, D. Stone, T. Verrier, G. Sye, L. Band, M. Bond, G. Mitchell, R. Duncan, R. Bradbury, A. Bradbury, A. Clachern, Messrs. W. Sullivan, W. G. Duncan, E. N. Hare, J. A. Radford, G. J. Wilson, G. O. Berry, H. L. Shuttleworth, V. F. Mitchell, R. F. Roberts, J. W. Pym, E. C. Littler, L. Chester, F. W. Stevens, F. E. Elliott, R. A. Fremlln, P. Daly, J. C. Anderson, H. J. Talbot, T. Alexander, R. M. Graham, G. Ham, A. Morley, E. Blessemer, R. Gainford, R. Nicholson, H. D. Lackraft, W. A. Riding, J. Cassidy, C. R. Sharpe, W. E. Field, R. Hodson, J. R. Marshall, W. Perry, L. Woodyat, D. Bain, E. R. Miller, R. Knight, R. S. Best, V. Knight, G. W. Ham, D. A. Taylor, E. A. Atkinson, L. Davis, H. Markey, S. Shordan, A. H. Tilse, C. F. Brimson, R. Adams, G. Irwin, M. W. Watson, F. B. Chandler, R. C. Hare, H. Pearson, M. M. Chandler, W. J. Freer, J. V. Donohue, R. S. Smith, D. H. Jones, W. Burns, T. J. Gallagher, E. Greenfield, R. B. Murray, A. Guildford, W. McRae, L. B. Swan, W. M. Warlow, W. J. Simpson, E. I. White, E. E. Cameron, and J. Webb.[177]


1933 01[edit]
1933 02[edit]
1933 03[edit]
1933 04[edit]
1933 05[edit]
1933 06[edit]
1933 07[edit]
1933 08[edit]
1933 09[edit]
1933 10[edit]
1933 11[edit]
1933 12[edit]


1934 01[edit]
1934 02[edit]

4SP refutes allegations that the plane which crash landed on a Brisbane suburban roof had problems

PLANE CRASH. "A Good Machine". Mr. F. W. Stevens, chief engineer of 4BC, writes: "The pilot of the aeroplane which crashed in Brisbane on Sunday is reported to have stated that he 'never liked that machine.' Someone in my hearing passed the remark that there must have been something wrong with the plane if he did not like it. "I would like to state that as an 'A' pilot I often flew the machine in question, and in fact practised spins and finally did my tests for my 'A' licence in it. Some months ago a blind flying competition was held by the Aero Club, and I was beaten only by Mr. Ron Adair, the well-known commercial pilot. I mention this fact purely to show that I have had some experience, but I would add that this competition was conducted in the plane which crashed on Sunday. "The plane, when I flew it last, was satisfactory in every way, easy on controls, and in my opinion was actually difficult to get into a spin without deliberately going through the actions which would bring about this manoeuvre. On the other hand the 'plane could be taken out of a spin more easily than any other club 'plane I have flown. This information is submitted in the interests of aviation and entirely unsolicited by the Aero Club."[178]

Pilot of crashed plane affirms 4SP's statement that plane had no problems

NOTHING WRONG WITH 'PLANE. Pilot Tucker's Statement. Mr. R. A. S. Tucker, the pilot who miraculously escaped death when the Cirrus Moth aeroplane crashed through the roof of a house in Jurgens Street, Woolloongabba, on Sunday afternoon, was cheerfully sitting up in bed, smoking a cigarette, in the Mater Misericordiae Public Hospital last evening when seen by a Courier-Mail representative. "I noticed a report in The Courier-Mail," he said, "where, according to Mr. F. W. Stevens, chief engineer of 4BC, I am supposed to have said that 'I never liked that machine.' I want that statement contradicted." There was nothing wrong with the 'plane, but he wished to state that a Cirrus was not as powerful as a Gypsy Moth. "That," he said, "was the only reason I did not want to fly in it." Asked how he felt after his terrible experience, Mr. Tucker smiled and remarked, "My luck was in that time. I must certainly take a ticket in the Golden Casket. My chest is still a bit sore, but I hope to be out of here before very long." He mentioned that Mrs. Alma Karauges, who also was in the 'plane at the time of the accident, had already been discharged from the hospital, and had since attended a party.[179]

1934 03[edit]
1934 04[edit]

Newspaper notes 4SP's role in the search for the Kookaburra 5 years ago

ECHOES OF YEARS GONE BY. Five Years Ago Today:— PILOT L. J. BRAIN, in the Qantas 'plane Atalanta, accompanied by Mr. F. W. Stevens (chief engineer 4QG) as radio operator, located Keith Anderson's machine, the Kookaburra, 80 miles from Powell's Creek. He saw a man who looked like Anderson lying dead under the wing of the 'plane, but no sign of Anderson's companion (Mr. R. Hitchcock). Pilot Brain dropped water attached to a small parachute, and flew back to Wave Hill. A pack party set out from Wave Hill to the spot indicated by Brain.[180]

1934 05[edit]
1934 06[edit]
1934 07[edit]
1934 08[edit]
1934 09[edit]

4SP gains his pilot's licence

HAPPY LANDINGS. QUEENSLAND AERO CLUB NOTES. THE ability to be able to fly an aeroplane is becoming a very strong desire amongst the general public these days, but many people are overawed by the imaginary difficulties and dangers involved. Strange to say, the difficulty is not in learning to fly (that part is easy enough), but in getting on to the ground again. Good judgement and experience are the necessary qualifications in making a good landing, and the keen student finds himself acquiring these in surprisingly quick time. The Queensland Aero Club is having an exceptionally busy time at present and flying is in progress on some days from early morning until nearly midnight. Night landings are carried out by the aid of kerosene flares assisted by a full moon. The month of August when figures are completed promised to be a record so far as flying hours are concerned, and it is likely that the Queensland Aero Club will be far ahead of all other aero clubs in Australia in this regard. Three club machines participated in the aerial jaunt to Kingaroy last weekend, and much valuable experience in cross country flying was gained, by the pilots. The machines returned to Archerfield on Sunday morning. The half yearly examinations for candidates for the B class commercial license will be held on Tuesday, September 25, and the following pilots have announced their intention of sitting: Messrs. F. W. Stevens, R. W. Hillier, B. A. Hull, K. Shersby and A. O. Gilbertson. Mr. C. H. Swaffield, who recently secured his A license in Rockhampton, is on a visit to Brisbane, and has joined the Queensland Aero Club.[181]

1934 10[edit]

Wife of 4SP is women's single champion in Tennis

PROMINENT SUBURBAN PLAYER. The new Suburban first grade women's singles champion, Mrs. F. W. Stevens, has a fine tennis record since her introduction to Brisbane fixtures some years ago. Her first season was with the old Kedron Association when she won the women's doubles with Miss Nettie Dewar. The following year she played with the Church Association, and has since participated in the fixtures of the Summer. Warehouse and Suburban Associations. In winning the first grade title, Mrs. Stevens defeated the strong Ivy player, Mrs. K. Clark, in the final 6 — 4, 4 — 6, 6 — 4. She plays a consistent game with the ability to hit winners on occasion, and at present is a prominent member of the Roseneath team, playing first grade summer fixtures. (Photo Caption) MRS. STEVENS[182]

1934 11[edit]
1934 12[edit]

4SP is appointed first officer with Qantas

FIRST MAIL PLANE. Diana Leaving on Monday. Second Machine to Go Too. The well known Qantas plane Diana has been chosen by Qantas Empire Airways to inaugurate the Australian-England air mail service, leaving Brisbane next Monday morning and, as was to be expected, Captain L. J. Brain, chief pilot of the company, will have the honour of piloting the plane. The Duke of Gloucester will dispatch the mail at 9.45 a.m. on Monday and it is expected that the Prime Minister (Mr. J. A. Lyons), and other Federal Ministers will attend to witness the historic event. With the Diana, Qantas also intends to send the Hippomenes. This will be in charge of another well known pilot. Captain C. U. ("Scotty") Allen. The indications are that the Hippomenes also will carry mail. At Darwin the mails will be transferred to a large plane of the Atalanta which Imperial Airways are sending from Singapore. This plane will take the mails to Karachi, from which centre they will be carried to Cairo by a big Handley Page machine of the Hannibal type. At Cairo there is another transfer, this time to a machine of the Scipio seaplane type, which will take the mails to Brindisi, whence they travel overland by rail to Paris, where they are again transferred to a plane to be carried to England. The second overseas mail from Australia will leave Brisbane on December 18 by the Apollo, which will be piloted by Captain R. B. Tapp, one of the best known of the Qantas pilots, who now has over 4,000 flying hours to his credit. The first mail from England to Australia is due to arrive at Darwin on December 17 by an Imperial Airways plane and it probably will be brought on to Brisbane by the Diana, arriving here on December 21. STAFF ADDITIONS. It is learned that Captain H. B. Hussey has joined Qantas Empire Airways. He has a very extensive flying experience with the Larkin Aircraft Company in the South and with the H. C. Miller Company of Adelaide. He has a good knowledge of the route from Brisbane to Darwin, having flown for some years between Camooweal and Daly Waters on the regular mail services. The fifth pilot is Captain P. G. Taylor, who recently accompanied Sir Charles Kingsford Smith across the Pacific, and who subsequently went to England to bring out one of the machines which are to be used on the Australia-England service. Five first officers also have been appointed, one of their qualifications being that they are skilled radio operators. One of these officers is Mr. F. W. Stevens, late chief engineer at Station 4QG, and more recently chief engineer of Station 4BC. It will be recollected that Mr. Stevens accompanied Captain L. J. Brain in the Atalanta some years ago on a flight into Continued from Preceding Column. Central Australia in search of the ill-fated aviators, Anderson and Hitchcock. The wireless apparatus which was operated by Mr. Stevens during the flight, was built by him the night previous to the day on which the Atlanta set off on her search. Mr. Stevens should be a valuable acquisition to Qantas Empire Airways, because of his very thorough knowledge of wireless equipment, its installation, and its operation, for as an wireless telegraphist he had extensive experience before embarking in the broadcasting side. He was one of the original operators at the Willis Island station, which was established for the purpose of transmitting meteorological information to Australia. (Photo Caption) L. J. BRAIN[183]

4SP is appointed first officer with Qantas - another report

AIR MAIL TO ENGLAND. Two Machines Will Leave. DARWIN STAGE. When the Duke of Gloucester opens the Australia — England air mail service at Archerfield aerodrome next Monday morning, he will despatch two 'planes, the Diana and the Hippomenes. The Diana, in charge of Captain L. J. Brain, chief pilot for Qantas Empire Airways, will be the mail plane, although there is a possibility that the Hippomenes may also carry some of the overflow mail. In any case, Captain G. U. ("Scotty") Allen will take the second machine to Darwin as a reserve. These first machines will travel only as far as Darwin, where the mails will be transferred to an Imperial Airways 'plane of the Atalanta type, similar to the Astrea, which visited Brisbane last year. This machine will take the mails to Karachi, but a big Handley Page machine will carry them on to Cairo. Here another transfer will be made, to a machine of the Scipio seaplane type. From Brindisi, however, the malls will have to be carried overland by rail to Paris, whence they will be taken by 'plane to England. 'PLANE FROM ENGLAND An Imperial Airways machine with the first mail from England will arrive at Darwin on December 18, the day on which the second air mail is due to leave Brisbane by the Apollo, piloted by Captain R. B. Tapp. The mails from the Imperial Airways machine will probably be transferred to the Diana, and brought on to Brisbane by "Scotty" Allen. Captain Brain will stay at Darwin for a few weeks to supervise the initial arrangements, and see the service in working order. The company has obtained the services of a fourth pilot, Captain H. B. Hussey, who has had considerable experience with the Larkin Aircraft Company in the South, and with the H. C. Miller Company, of Adelaide. For some years he flew between Camooweal and Daly Waters on the regular mail services. Another recent addition to the staff is Mr. F. W. Stevens, who is to be a first officer. Mr. Stevens, who has been chief engineer at Stations 4QG and 4BC, accompanied Captain Brain on his successful flight into Central Australia in search of the ill-fated Anderson and Hitchcock.[184]


1935 01[edit]

4SP in training with Qantas as first officer

PUTTING THE DH86'S INTO COMMISSION. More on the Way. Training Pilots. By "FOLLOWING WIND." When a tremendous crate loaded on a gigantic lorry, to which was attached a trailer carrying another smaller crate, met the gaze of travellers coming into town from the southside this morning there was little doubt as to what these mysterious packings contained. Marking of a diamond in which were the letters Q.E. gave the secret away. One tram passenger was heard to remark to a fellow traveller: "There's another of those DH86's for Qantas Empire Airways." He was right. The machine has been lying in bond for a month pending the outcome of general investigations into planes of this type. It is now out at Archerfield, where it will be assembled and air tested as soon as possible. IMPERIAL AIRWAYS HELPS. Captain Youell, Imperial Airways pilot, has left England in a fifth DH86 which will be put into immediate service on the Singapore-Darwin section of the Empire air route. In ten days' time another DH86 will leave London, flown by another Imperial Airways pilot. This was ordered by Qantas Empire Airways to replace the one which crashed near Longreach; it also will be placed in immediate service. Until the middle of March these two machines will be flown by captains and first officers loaned by Imperial Airways. PERSONNEL IN TRAINING. Owing to the loss of the machine at Ilfracombe there has naturally been a lapse of time during which the training of pilots has been at a standstill. However, training now is proceeding apace and under the chief pilot (Captain Lester J. Brain), R. B. Tapp, G. U. ("Scotty") Allen, H. B. Hussey, and W. Crowther are being trained as captains, and F. W. Stevens, E. C. Sims, and L. R. Ambrose are being trained as first officers. Mr. Crowther is a locally trained pilot, who, prior to his recent trip to England, was a country instructor to the Queensland Aero Club.[185]

1935 02[edit]

4SP arrives in Darwin prior to commencing regular mail route with England

AUSTRALIAN PILOTS ONLY. Brisbane-Singapore Service. By "The Telegraph" Special Representative. DARWIN, February 22. From next week the whole of the Brisbane-Singapore section of the London-Australian air mail route will be taken over by Australian pilots flying Qantas Commonwealth class air liners. Captain L. J. Brain, flying superintendent of Qantas, arrived in Darwin yesterday afternoon with his first officer, Mr. F. W. Stevens, as passengers on the London-bound air mail. They will accompany Captain A. B. H. Youell, of Imperial Airways, to Singapore, with the mail tomorrow, and on Monday will leave Singapore with the Australia-bound mail. Captain Brains' flight with the mails next week will be the first time that an Australian pilot has brought out the mails on this service. Captain Brain will then remain in Darwin for about a month and will superintend the flying arrangements of Qantas. "I am looking forward to the flight with the mails next week," he said. MAILS FOR LONDON. The London-bound mails were brought to Darwin yesterday in the air liner Canberra, which arrived at 5 p.m. local time. The mails totalled 480 lb. The plane was delayed at Daly Waters for.two and a half hours by.the late arrival of the Western Australian air mail which makes the connection there. Captain H. B. Hussey was the pilot of the Canberra and Mr. R. A. Sheppard the first officer. Heavy thunderstorms with torrential rain were met with about 30 miles south of Darwin.[186]

1935 03[edit]

4SP mentioned as a success story in annual report of the Qld Aero Club

AERO CLUB. Valuable Training Ground. Members' Success. The annual report of the Queensland Aero Club for the year ended December 31, 1934, which has just been issued, expresses pleasure that several members of the club received appointments to both military and civil sections of aviation. During the year under review Mr. A. D. Groom was granted a commission under the Royal Air Force, where the club was already represented by Mr. W. S. Cameron, Mr. K. Ranger entered Point Cook as a cadet in the Air Force where he was preceded by in a few months by Mr. J. H. Wright. On the commercial side, Mr. W. H. Crowther, an early pupil of the club, and until recently country instructor, had been appointed captain to command one of the new air mail machines of Qantas Empire Airways Ltd., and Mr. F. W. Stevens had been appointed first officer in the same service. CIVIL AVIATION. It was interesting to note, says the report that membership of the Queensland Aero Club has opened the way for a career in civil aviation to a number of pilots including Mr. T. Young (New England Airways), Messrs. A.. Cameron and J. N. Wilson (Guinea Airways), Mr. R. C. P. Brett (Holdens Air Transport Co.), Mr. F. Higginson, and Mr. J. A. Bashford, who has been appointed assistant instructor with the club. Appreciation is expressed of the work of Mr. W. R. Gilbert, who after being secretary of the club since 1929, resigned late in the year. The club expresses thanks to its chief instructor, Mr. W. E. Gardner, for the way in which he has carried out his duties, and also to Mr. Brunckhorst, the club's chief engineer, whose efficient care of the aircraft has enabled so much work to be carried out with them. Mention also is made of the work of the organiser, Mr. J. W. Goodwin. During the year 104 applicants were admitted to membership, six members left by resignation and eleven by arrears, making the membership 404 at December 31. Many talks on aviation were given over station 4BC during the year, this station acting as official broadcasting station of the club. The report also mentions that two serious accidents occurred during the period under review resulting in the writing off of two machines. Pilot and passenger escaped without serious bodily harm from one crash but unfortunately the pilot of the other was killed. [187]

1935 04[edit]
1935 05[edit]
1935 06[edit]
1935 07[edit]
1935 08[edit]
1935 09[edit]

4SP arrives at Archerfield with Qantas chief engineer (A. Baird) on board

BRITAIN LEADS. World Aviation. Mr. A. Baird Returns. The belated R.M.A. Adelaide, with Captain H. B. Hussey in charge, assisted by First-Officer F. W. Stevens, arrived at Archerfield at 12.20. p.m. today. Among the passengers was Mr. Arthur W. Baird, chief engineer of Qantas Empire Airways. He has twice flown across the world — to London and return. He left Brisbane on July 24 last, and left London on August 25, on the return journey. "Glad to be back, I'll bet," said "The Telegraph" representative to him. "I'm not," he replied, "but only for one reason — the time I spent in London was all too short. I think it must be the most wonderful city in the world. It was my first visit there." Mr. Baird saw war service in Egypt and Palestine, but never got a "Blighty" trip. His views and impressions of his flying trips across the world are most interesting." He is more than ever convinced that Britain is leading the world in aviation development. . . [188]

1935 10[edit]
1935 11[edit]

4SP comments on possible fate of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith

CHANCES REMOTE. Captain Brain's View. Although the chance was a very remote one, there was still the possibility that Sir Charles Kingsford Smith had had engine trouble and had come down in the dark in a spot at which his machine would be difficult to see, said Captain Lester Brain, who arrived at Archerfield today in charge of the inward bound Qantas mail plane, Brisbane. This faint chance, however, he added, was still further lessened by the fact that a large number of machines had been searching for him, and that had he been down somewhere in the area covered somebody would have been nearly sure to have sighted him by now. Were he somewhere in the jungle, said Captain Brain, there would have been an excellent chance that by now natives would have found him and his machine and would have reported it. The natives thereabouts were very friendly and would certainly do every thing that they could. There were so many things that could happen when one was flying under such conditions as Kingsford Smith had flown in that it was difficult to venture an opinion. When an aviator was out to break a record he accepted very many risks willingly and sometimes one of these risks came home. Mr. F. W. Stevens, copilot with Captain Brain, said that he thought that the chances of finding the two missing flyers were now looking very black, although there might be still a possibility that they had come down in the Continued from Preceding Column. jungle over which they had been flying.[189]

4SP arrives as first officer on Qantas flight

Air Passenger Says Borneo Rubber Trade Bright. Passengers by today's inward bound Qantas air mall from Singapore, which arrived with Captain L. Brain and Mr. F. W. Stevens, in charge, included Messrs. I. C. Booth and H. P. Buckley, both of whom embarked at Singapore for Sydney. Mr. Booth, an Australian from New South Wales, who went to the Federated Malay States in the Government Survey Service about three years ago, and has been stationed mostly at Brunei, in Borneo, is on short leave, and intends to return to Singapore by December 15, after spending several weeks with his family at Strathfield, Sydney. He described conditions in Borneo at the present time as being excellent, especially in the rubber-producing industry. Mr. Buckley, an Englishman, is manager of the Pangnga Tin Concessions Company Ltd., at Pangnga, in Siam, and is making his first trip to Australia on a holiday, which will last for four or five months, during which time he will visit the other States.[190]

1935 12[edit]

4SP arrives in Brisbane with mail from England as first officer on R.M.A. Sydney

CHRISTMAS AIR MAIL FROM ENGLAND. Arrival in Brisbane. The Qantas Royal Mail Airliner Sydney, piloted by Captain Lester J. Brain, landed Christmas mail from England in Brisbane today. The machine arrived at Archerfield Aerodrome at 12.30 p.m. With the pilot as first officer was Mr. F. W. Stevens. The passengers who came to Brisbane were: Captain D. Riley, of Sydney, who was returning from a business visit to England; Mr. P. B. Lye, a member of the Commonwealth Survey Department; Mr. J. E. Fawcett, manager at Darwin for Jolly and Co., who is on his way to Adelaide; Mr. B. H. Hawkins, of Longreach; and Captain F. Russell Roberts, who gave a broadcast of the trip by the Imperial airliners outward to Roma yesterday and back to Brisbane today. BIG LOAD OF MAIL. Captain Brain said that the machine left Darwin (from which point he piloted it) with 1,050 lb. of mails which was an exceptionally heavy consignment. During the trip from Darwin the Sydney carried an aggregate of 12 passengers, the most at one time being seven. COCKATOO AND PUDDING. The pilot said that the freight included a cockatoo from the Northern Territory for Brisbane. The bird did not indicate whether it preferred to travel by aeroplane or by its own means of propulsion. In the "cargo" also was a plum pudding brought all the way from England for "exiles" in Perth. The token of Christmas goodwill and remembrance was delivered at Daly Waters whence it will be taken by air. to its destination. The pilot and passengers reported a hot and hazy trip, with dust everywhere, but bush fires were not noticed.[191]


1936 01[edit]
1936 02[edit]
1936 03[edit]
1936 04[edit]
1936 05[edit]
1936 06[edit]

4SP as First Officer on the R.M.A. Canberra carries first consignment of eggs to Java

Fresh Eggs to Java by Plane. When the Qantas Empire Airways liner Canberra leaves Archerfield tomorrow morning in charge of Captain G. U. Allan and First Officer F. W. Stevens, it will carry the first consignment of fresh eggs to Java. Already settings of eggs have been carried by the company's machines, but tomorrow will be the first occasion that eating eggs will have been consigned this way. There will be several overseas passengers aboard.[192]

4SP appointed to RAAF Citizen Air Force with rank of Pilot Officer

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE. THE Governor-General in Council has approved of the following changes being made:— . . . CITIZEN AIR FORCE. Reserve. Appointments.— To Class A2, Wilmot Hudson Fysh with the rank of Squadron Leader; George Urquhart Allan, Eric George Edward Donaldson and Horace Clive Miller with the rank of Flying Officer, 1st June, 1936; Francis Henry Cooper with the rank of Flying Officer, 10th July, 1936. To Class A5, Wilfred Arthur Baird and Cecil Arthur Butler with the rank of Flying Officer, Henry James Branch, Kenneth Moreton Frewin and Frederick William Stevens, with the rank of Pilot Officer, 1st June, 1936. Relinquishment.— Relinquished the rank of Flying Officer on completion of service in Reserve, Flying Officer D. T. Saville, 30th April, 1936.— (Ex. Min. No. 179.) ARCHDALE PARKHILL, Minister for Defence.[193]

1936 07[edit]
1936 08[edit]

4SP arrives in Brisbane from Darwin as First Officer on the R.M.A. Adelaide with the mails from England

Overseas Air Mail Arrives. The Qantas air liner Adelaide, from Singapore, arrived at Archerfield aerodrome shortly after noon today Captain W. H. Crowther was in charge, with Captain F. W. Stevens as first officer. The only overseas passenger was Dr. C. H. Williams, of the Malay Medical Service, who boarded the plane at Singapore. Dr. Williams, who is a Dunedin man, and who finished his medical studies in England, has been an officer in the Malay Medical Service for several years. He was met at the Aerodrome by his wife, who with their little girl, came to Brisbane by sea. Mrs. Williams is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F. R. Lomas, of Warwick. Dr. and Mrs. Williams will stay with Mr. and Mrs. Lomas at Warwick for a little while, and on September 16 they will join the Monterey for New Zealand, afterwards proceeding to America and England, and thence back to Singapore. [194]

1936 09[edit]
1936 10[edit]

4SP leaves Singapore as First Officer on R.M.A. Sydney ex London for Brisbane

MOVEMENTS OF AIRCRAFT. QANTAS EMPIRE AIRWAYS. R.M.A. Brisbane (Captain R. S. Adair and First Officer E. W. Ditton), ex Brisbane October 21. arrived Singapore today, malls, passengers and freight transhipped Imperial Airways service; due London November 2. R.M.A. Sydney (Captain W. H. Crowther and First Officer F. W. Stevens), left Singapore today with mails, passengers and freight, ex London October 14, due Brisbane October 27. R.M.A. Melbourne (Captain R. B. Tapp and First Officer L. R. Ambrose), left Brisbane today with mails, passengers and freight for Western Queensland, North Australia, Netherlands Indies, Singapore and beyond; due Singapore October 27, due London November 5. R.M.A. Adelaide, at Singapore. R.M.A. Canberra, at Brisbane.[195]

1936 11[edit]

4SP leaves Brisbane as First Officer on R.M.A. Adelaide for Singapore and London

Movements of Aircraft. QANTAS EMPIRE AIRWAYS. R.M.A. Melbourne.— (Captain R. B. Tapp and First Officer L. R. Ambrose), left Singapore November 3, arrived Darwin November 4, with malls, passengers and freight, ex London October 24, due Brisbane tomorrow. R.M.A. Brisbane.— At Brisbane. R.M.A. Adelaide.— (Captain G. U. Allan and First Officer F. W. Stevens), left Brisbane November 4, arrived Cloncurry November 4, with mails, passengers and freight, due Singapore November 7, due London November 16. R.M.A. Sydney.— At Singapore. R.M.A. Canberra.— At Singapore.[196]

4SP arrives Darwin as First Officer on R.M.A. Adelaide with mails, passengers and freight ex London for Brisbane

QANTAS EMPIRE AIRWAYS. R.M.A. Melbourne, at Singapore. R.M.A. Brisbane, at Singapore. R.M.A. Adelaide (Captain G. C. Allan and First Officer F. W. Stevens) left Singapore November 14, arrived Darwin November 15 with mails, passengers, and freight ex London, November 4, due Brisbane tomorrow. R.M A. Canberra (Captain R. S. Adair and First Officer E. W. Ditton) left Brisbane November 14, arrived Darwin November 15, with mails, passengers, and freight, due Singapore November 17, due London November 26. R.M.A. Sydney, at Brisbane.[197]

4SP leaves Brisbane as First Officer on the R.M.A. Melbourne for Darwin, Singapore and London

Movements of Aircraft. QANTAS EMPIRE AIRWAYS. R.M A. Melbourne (Captain G. U. Allen and First Officer F. W. Stevens) left Brisbane November 28, arrived Darwin November 29, with mails, passengers and freight, due Singapore tomorrow, due London December 11. R.M.A. Brisbane, at Singapore. R.M.A. Sydney (Captain R. B. Tapp and First Officer L R. Ambrose), left Singapore November 27, with mails, passengers and freight ex London November 18, arrived Brisbane today. R.M A. Adelaide (Captain O. D. Denny and First Officer W. B. Purton), left Singapore today with mails, passengers and freight ex London November 21, due Brisbane December 3. R.M.A. Canberra at Brisbane.[198]

1936 12[edit]


1937 01[edit]

4SP leaves Brisbane as First Officer on R.M.A. Sydney with mail, passengers and freight, for Singapore and London

Movements of Air Liners. QANTAS EMPIRE AIRWAYS. R.M.A. Brisbane, at Singapore. R.M.A. Melbourne, at Singapore. R.M.A. Sydney (Captain W. H. Crowther and First Officer F. W. Stevens) left Brisbane today with mails, passengers and freight for Western Queensland, North Australia, Netherlands Indies, Singapore and beyond, due Singapore January 9, due London January 18. R.M.A. Canberra (Captain C. R. Gurney and First Officer E. C. Sims) left Singapore January 5, arrived Rambang January 5, with mails, passengers and freight ex London December 26, due Brisbane January 8. R.M.A. Adelaide, at Brisbane.[199]

1937 02[edit]

4SP as First Officer on R.M.A. Adelaide arrives Rambang ex Singapore for Brisbane

Movements of Air Liners. QANTAS EMPIRE AIRWAYS. R.M A. Brisbane (Captain O. D. Denny and First Officer E. C. Sims) left Brisbane today with mails, passengers and freight for Western Queensland, North Australia, Netherlands Indies, Singapore and beyond, due Singapore February 9, due London February 18. R.M.A. Melbourne (Captain R. S. Adair and First Officer R. A. Sheppard) left Brisbane February 3, due Singapore today with mails, passengers and freight, due London February 15. R.M A. Sydney at Brisbane. R.M.A. Canberra at Singapore. R.M.A. Adelaide (Captain G. U. Allan and First Officer F. W. Stevens) left Singapore February 5, arrived Rambang February 5 with mails, passengers and freight, due Brisbane February 8.[200]

4SP as First Officer on R.M.A. Canberra arrives Rambang ex Singapore and London with mails, passengers and freight for Brisbane

Movements of Air Liners. QANTAS EMPIRE AIRWAYS. R.M.A. Melbourne, at Singapore. R.M.A. Canberra (Captain W. H. Crowther and First Officer F. W. Stevens), left Singapore February 26, arrived Rambang February 26, with mails, passengers and freight ex London, February 17, due Brisbane March 1. R.M.A. Adelaide, at Brisbane. R.M.A. Brisbane (Captain R. B. Tapp and First Officer E. C. Sims), left Brisbane February 24, arrived Singapore today with mails, passengers and freight, due London March 8. R.M.A. Sydney (Captain R. S. Adair and First Officer L. R. Ambrose), left Brisbane today with mails, passengers and freight for Western Queensland, North Australia, Netherlands Indies, Singapore and beyond, due Singapore March 2, due London March 11.[201]

1937 03[edit]

4SP as First Officer on R.M.A. Canberra involved in incidentat Roma when plane bogged and propellor bent

OVERSEAS PLANE BOGGED AT ROMA; PROPELLER BENT. Five Passengers Aboard; No One Injured. The Qantas Empire Airways overseas plane, R.M.A. Canberra, sank into a boggy patch while taxiing after landing at Roma at 9.45 o'clock this morning, nosed down into the bog, and bent a propeller. . There was no other damage to the plane and none of the five passengers was injured. A relief plane took off from Archerfield at 11.15 a.m. to bring the passengers and freight to Brisbane. The Canberra was in charge of Captain H. B. Hussey and First Officer F. W. Stevens. First Officer Stevens said that there was not any very great impact and none of the passengers was thrown out of his seat. Beyond damage to one of the metal propellers, which was bent when it struck the ground, there is no appreciable damage to the plane, and when the blade is replaced the machine will be able to take the air again. Immediately the news of the mishap reached the Brisbane office of the company, a relief plane, the R.M.A. Adelaide, in charge of Captain L. J. Brain (Flight Superintendent) and First Officer E. W. Ditton took the air from Archerfield at 11.15 on the 2¼ hours' run to Roma. Schedule Previously Kept Up All Through Boggy Conditions During the whole of the wet season this year Qantas Empire Airways has maintained its schedule despite landing and takeoff difficulties on the far western and northwestern aerodromes. It is unfortunate that this slight accident should have caused the first delay on a morning when the sun is bright at Roma for the first time in days.[202]

1937 04[edit]

4SP as First Officer on the R.M.A. Sydney from Brisbane to Singapore on first leg to London to deliver three pilots for flying training on flying boats

Qantas Captains Off for Flying Boat Training in England. "We hope to come back good sailors," said the Flight Superintendent of Qantas Empire Airways (Captain L. J. Brain), when with Captain W. H. Crowther and C. R. Guerney, he left in the company's plane, R.M.A. Sydney, for Singapore, on their way to England. The Flight Superintendent of Qantas Empire Airways (Captain L. J. Brain) broadcasting a farewell message before he and two other pilots of the company left for England this morning. As the big four-engined plane soared high above Archerfield Aerodrome at 8 a.m., a new phase was opened in the history of aviation in Australia, for it took overseas the first three Qantas pilots to receive training in the use of the new Empire flying boats which will operate the England — Australia route next year. The three captains will be away for three months, and will have their headquarters mainly at Southampton. They may also act as supernumerary members of the crew of flying boats at present operating as far as Alexandria, to gain experience in the handling of the aircraft in actual service. A large number of friends gathered outside the Qantas hangars to wish the captains a pleasant trip, including the managing director of Qantas (Mr. Hudson Fysh) and the secretary of the company (Mr. H. Harman). Mr. Fysh said that the company were proud of the captains and the experience they would gain overseas would be of great value when the flying boats were used throughout the England — Australia route next year. LONG RANGE FLYING. Captain Brain stated that the Empire flying boats would open up a new aspect of long range air transport. Captain Brain will pilot the R.M.A. Sydney to Singapore, with him First Officer F. W. Stevens. From there Captains Brain, Crowther and Gurney will travel by steamer to Port Said, as there are no seats available on the Imperial Airways planes owing to the rush of Coronation visitors. They will join a flying boat at Cairo bound for Southampton.[203]

1937 05[edit]

4SP as First Officer on R.M.A. Sydney departs Brisbane for Western Qld, Darwin, Singapore and beyond

Movements of Air Liners. QANTAS EMPIRE AIRWAYS. R.M.A. Brisbane (Captain R. S. Adair and First Officer L. R. Ambrose) left Brisbane May 5, due Singapore today, with mails, passengers and freight; due London May 16. R.M.A. Melbourne (Captain O. D. Denny and First Officer E. W. Ditton) left Singapore May 17, arrived Rambang May 7, with mails, passengers and freight ex London April 28; due Brisbane May 10. R.M.A. Sydney (Captain H. B. Hussey and First Officer F. W. Stevens) left Brisbane today with mails, passengers and freight for Western Queensland, North Australia, Netherland Indies, Singapore and beyond; due Singapore May 11, due London May 19. R.M.A. Canberra, at Singapore. R.M.A. Adelaide, at Brisbane.[204]

4SP leaves Singapore ex London for Brisbane as First Officer on R.M.A.Sydney

Movements of Air Liners. QANTAS EMPIRE AIRWAYS. R.M.A. Brisbane (Captain R. S. Adair and First Officer L. R. Ambrose), left Singapore May 14 arrived Brisbane today with mails, passengers, and freight ex London May 6. R.M.A. Melbourne (Captain G. U. Allan and First Officer O. F. Y. Thomas), left Brisbane May 15 arrived Darwin May 16 with mails, passengers and freight, due Singapore May, 18 due London May 26. R.M.A. Sydney (Captain H. B. Hussey and First Officer F. W. Stevens), left Singapore today with mails, passengers. and freight, ex London May 9, due Brisbane May 20. R.M.A. Adelaide at Singapore. R.M.A. Canberra at Brisbane. [205]

1937 06[edit]
1937 07[edit]

4SP leaves Brisbane as First Officer on R.M.A. Melbourne for Singapore and London

Movements of Air Liners. R.M.A. Sydney (Captain E. C. Sims and First Officer O. F. Y. Thomas) left Singapore July 5, arrived Darwin July 6 with mails, passengers and freight ex London June 27, due Brisbane tomorrow. R.M.A. Melbourne (Captain R. B. Tapp and First Officer F. W. Stevens) left Brisbane today with mails, passengers and freight for Western Queensland, North Australia, Netherlands Indies, Singapore and. beyond, due Singapore July 10, due London July 21. R.M.A. Adelaide, at Singapore. R.M.A. Brlabane, at Singapore. R.M.A. Canberra, at Brisbane.[206]

1937 08[edit]

4SP leaves Singapore as First Officer on Qantas R.M.A. Canberra ex London for Brisbane

Movements of Air Liners. QANTAS EMPIRE AIRWAYS. R.M.A. Brisbane (Captain R. A. Sheppard and First Officer O. F. Y. Thomas) left Brisbane August 4, arrived Sourabaya August 6 with mails, passengers, and freight, due Singapore today, due London August 15. R.M.A. Canberra (Captain L. R. Ambrose and First Officer F. W. Stevens) left Singapore yesterday with mails, passengers, and freight ex London July 29, due Brisbane August 9. R.M.A. Adelaide (Captain R. S. Adair and First Officer E. C. Sims) left Brisbane today with mails, passengers and freight for Western Queensland, North Australia, Netherland Indies, Singapore, and beyond, due Singapore August 10, due London August 18. R.M.A. Sydney at Singapore. R.M.A. Melbourne at Brisbane.[207]

4SP completes his last flight with Qantas

The Air Mails. FIRST OFFICER RESIGNS. MR. STEVENS' NEW JOB. CONDITIONS IN ENGLAND. . . . FIRST OFFICER RESIGNS. When First Officer F. W. Stevens came through on the R.M.A. Canberra on Sunday night, he was making his last trip as a member of the Qantas Empire staff, as he has accepted an engagement with the Civil Aviation Department, Melbourne, in charge of wireless installations. Thus Mr. Stevens returns to the work he was engaged in prior to joining Qantas Empire Airways, when he was on the staff of 4QG, Brisbane. He is recognised as one of the leading wireless experts in Australia. Always a courteous and highly efficient officer of Qantas Empire, Mr. Stevens will be missed along the route.[208]

1937 09[edit]

4SP about to inspect wireless facilities between Melbourne and Perth on behalf Civil Aviation Board

PERSONAL. . . . Messrs H. J. Lamb of Amalgamated Wireless of Australasia Ltd., and F. W. Stevens, a wireless inspector of the Civil Aviation Board will fly to Perth by Australian National Airways shortly to inspect all air wireless stations between Perth and Melbourne They will be away for several weeks.[209]

1937 10[edit]

4SP visits Rockhampton to identify locations for air navigation service

ROCKHAMPTON AS STATION. Direction-Finding For Air Services. ROCKHAMPTON, Friday. It is anticipated that the New Guinea air service will be opened early in the New Year and that Rockhampton will be one of the stopping places along the route. The radio inspector of the Civil Aviation Board (Mr. F. W. Stevens) has spent two days in Rockhampton inspecting and making recommendations on sites for direction-finding and communication stations, particularly for the coastal and New Guinea services. Mr. Stevens stated today that sites for the establishment of wireless direction-finding stations for the overseas flying boat service were also being considered, but definite stopping places for the 'planes had not yet been decided upon. Rockhampton, however, would be a regular stopping place for the New Guinea service, which would probably commence early in the New Year. Tomorrow morning Mr. Stevens will leave for Townsville and Cooktown, where he will carry out similar inspections, and will then proceed to Port Moresby, and Salamaua to inspect sites for the New Guinea service. Later he will travel to the Gulf and Cloncurry to carry out investigations for the flying boat service. The Rockhampton station, it is stated, will be equipped with a type of wireless direction-finding apparatus not yet in use in Australia. It is most up to date, and includes a system of remote control by which even the masthead lights at the aerodrome can be switched on from the station. .[210]

1937 11[edit]

Preparations For AUST.=NEW GUINEA AIR MAIL. It is anticipated that about March of next year the weekly air mail and passenger service will operate between Sydney and Rabaul, with probable stopping places at Brisbane, Townsville, Cooktown, Port Moresby and Salamaua. To assist in the safe navigation of aircraft over this route several wireless stations will be erected, among which will be one at Cooktown, at Port Moresby, and at Salamana. To determine the most suitable sites for the various units of the wireless equipment Inspector F. W. Stevens, of the Civil Aviation Board (Department of Defence), Melbourne, is at present in Port Moresby. Working in close co-operation with the Papuan Government it is expected that the Department of Defence will establish the most modern radio receiving and transmitting equipment available and aircraft should be in constant cornmunication with Port Moresby throughout the whole flight between Cooktown and Salamaua. An up-to-date radio transmitting and receiving station, for both telegraphy and telephony, will be erected here, in addition to a direction finding station, emergency power station, and fully equipped meteorological office. The radio receiving centre, power station, direction finding station and meteorological office will be situated on or near the Pari aerodrome while the transmitting station will be about a mile away — probably nearer Port Moresby. The direction finding station on the aerodrome is more or less a temporary one, the permanent station later being situated probably on the 3-mile hill. The temporary outfit to be installed is known to be satisfactory today, but a new type of equipment is being tested overseas and if present indications are fulfilled it will prove far superior to anything in operation today and wili later be installed here. The meteorological office will be staffed by officers of the Commonwealth Meteorological Department — one, and perhaps two officers being stationed here — and will provide almost hourly observations, including force and direction of upper air winds by means of hydrogen balloons up to 10,000-12, 000ft. Meteorological information will be available for pilots on the air mail route from this station from the time they leave Australia until departure from Salamaua and will be available continuously for all aircraft within range. Aviation in Australia is growing rapidly, Mr. Stevens says, and although an excellent night train service runs between Sydney and Melbourne it is noticed that both the morning and afternoon air services between these cities are usually fully booked, while the Adelaide to Perth service frequently cannot cope with the traffic. The air service between Papua and Australia will enable Departmental officers and business men to arrive in Sydney in a little over one and a half days from here and to be back in Papua within a week, with several days in Sydney. It is interesting to note that this is not the first visit paid by Mr. Stevens to Papua as about 17 years ago he was for some time in charge of the Wireless Station at Samarai. During the first 3 years' of operation of the Brisbane to Singapore air service this officer was a pilot on that route. The type of aircraft used there are almost identical with those to be used on the Sydney to Rabaul service and Mr. Stevens speaks very highly of them. Their four engines give them a very high safety factor on long sea crossings and their comfort from a passenger point of view is very good.[211]

SHIPPING NEWS. Arrivals. . . . November 7 — Montoro, s., Capt. Rothery, from Sydney via ports. Passengers: Sydney to Port Moresby, Mesdames Hardy, Steley & infant, Steele, Stewart & children, Rev. C. J. Steley, Messrs. C. Crane, F. Clayton, M. Fairbank, M. Garfield, H. W. Hardy, T. Morton, R. C. Innes, J. Lockwood, A. Miles, C. Paul, H. Ralfs, C. E. H. Rich, D. Tynan, A. E. Way, H. Wilson; Brisbane to Port. Mesdames Brewster, Pollard & 3 children, Wilde & 2 children, Messrs. J. Brewster, A. W. Clarke, A. O. Pollard, J. Priebe, H. Rosser, P. A. Tuckey, H. Wilde; Townsville to Port, Messrs. J. Fulford, H. M. Smith, F. Tealby; Beaten & infant, Hayles, Priest & child, Sheppard & 2 children, Woof, Misses Evans, Gau, Messrs. B. D. Bates, C. McKinnon, W. J. Priest, S. Sheppard, F. W. Stevens, F. A. Woof; Sydney to Samarai. Mesdames Jones & infant, Saker, Miss Coulson, Mr. R. C. Hope; Brisbane to Samarai, Rev. & Mrs. C. Woodhouse, Rev. D. Taylor; Townsville to Samarai, Mrs. & Miss Fardon, Cairns, to Samarai, Mr. & Mrs. E. J. Turner. Burns, Philp & Co. Ltd., agents.[212]

4SP arrives at Cairns in Montoro fro New Guinea, flys to Sydney in new Stinson, after inspecting air navigation sites in New Guinea

NEW STINSON. FOR A.O.A. NORTHERN SERVICE. HAS WIRELESS EQUIPMENT. Yesterday afternoon the latest addition to the Airlines of Australia northern service, a Stinson, arrived at Cairns after a fast run from Townsville, with three passengers. The machine, which is one of the latest in Australia, was in charge of Capt. Doug. Vlav, of Townsville, and its color scheme of blue and red presented a striking picture as it circled the city before landing. One of the latest features of the equipment is a radio service, and throughout the trip northwards yesterday constant communication was maintained with Brisbane, Rockhampton and Townsville. The Stinson left Brisbane at 6 o'clock Sunday morning, and arrived at Townsville at 11.45 a.m. The journey was commenced again from Townsville at 1.30 p.m., and the fast time of one hour 10 minutes recorded to Cairns. Nine passengers were booked from Cairns and included: Mr. H. M. Smith, managing director of Guinea Airways, Cairns to Sydney; Mr. E. H. Chater, general manager of Guinea Airways, Cairns to Sydney; Mr. F. W. Stevens, Cairns to Sydney; Mr. T. Zoffman, Cairns to Sydney; Mr. J. P. Hearn, Cairns to Brisbane; Miss B. Hack, Cairns to Townsville; Mr. Robert Gallagher, Cairns to Townsville; Miss Marjorie Malliband, Cairns to Townsville; and Mr. J. McHugh, Cairns to Maryborough. The first six passengers arrived from New Guinea by the Montoro on Saturday.[213]

PIONEER WORK. Planes in New Guinea. Opened Interior. How aeroplanes have opened up the interior of New Guinea, where less than 12 years ago no land transport was capable of traversing the rugged mountains, except by native carriers, was recalled by Mr. H. M. Smith managing-director of Guinea Airways Ltd., who arrived at Cairns by the Montoro on Saturday, and proceeded south yesterday by 'plane. Opening up with a small service capable of transporting miners and their chattels to the gold fields "on top," the 'plane service in New Guinea has developed, to such an extent that portions of dredging plants, weighing up to three tons, motor cars, cattle, and other unusual cargoes are now carried on the daily services. Guinea Airways Ltd. was one of the foundation companies in the opening up of New Guinea, and in addition to flights to the numerous goldfields on the Tableland, conducts a service from Salamaua and Lae across the island to Port Moresby, thereby bringing passenger and mail services several days closer. On these services the renowned Junkers all metal planes are regularly used, in addition to Ford tri-motor planes, and smaller craft. In Australia also, the company is firmly establishing itself, with services being conducted from Adelaide to Sydney, and Adelaide to Darwin. Mr. Smith was accompanied by Mr. E. H. Chater, manager of the company in New Zealand, who is proceeding to Sydney on extended leave; and Mr. F. W. Stevens, of the Civil Aviation Department, who has been in New Guinea in connection with the installation of a wireless service connecting New Guinea with Australia.[214]

4SP advises journalist that Port Moresby has had no rain for 9 months and that water is being rationed

Water Being Rationed At Port Moresby. TOWNSVILLE, Sunday. According to Inspector F. W. Stevens, of the wireless branch of the Civil Aviation Board, Melbourne, who was recently in New Guinea on official business, Port Moresby has not had rain for nine months. Water is being carted into the town by the Department of Works from Laloki River, 16 miles out, and rationed to all inhabitants. Carts with tanks of water are calling at each door, and housewives exchange a ration ticket for each gallon of water received.[215]

1937 12[edit]

Overview of proposed establishment of aeradio network from Brisbane to New Guinea, and visit by 4SP to Port Moresby

PAPUAN NOTES. (From Our Special Correspondent) . . . AIR SERVICE. Preparations are at last being made here for the inauguration of the Australian-New Guinea air mail. It is now expected that this will commence to operate about March next. Wireless stations are to be erected at Brisbane, Townsville, Cooktown, Port Moresby and Salamaua, and with this end in view Mr. F. W. Stevens, Inspector of the Civil Aviation Board of the Department of Defence, paid Port Moresby a visit. Working in co-operation with the Papuan Government, it is anticipated that the most modern radio receiving and transmitting equipment will be installed so that the planes may be in constant communication throughout the trip from Cooktown to Port Moresby. A transmitting and receiving station, for both telegraphy and telephony, in addition to a direction finding station, emergency power station and fully equipped meteorological station will be installed here. The receiving centre, power station, direction-finding station and meteorological station will be on or near the Pari aerodrome, and the transmitting station will be about a mile away, in all probability nearer Port Moresby. The direction finding station on the aerodrome is to be merely a temporary one, the permanent one being probably later installed near the Three-Mile Hill. The meteorological station will be staffed by officers of the Commonwealth Department, and will provide practically hourly observations of force and directions of upper air winds by means of hydrogen balloons up to from 10,000 to 12,000 feet. Meteorological observations will be available for pilots on the air mail route from the station here from the time they leave Australia until departure from Salamaua, and will be continuously available for all aircraft within range.[216]

NEW GUINEA AIR MAIL. EXPECTED IN MARCH. NAVIGATION BY WIRELESS. It is anticipated that about March of next year the weekly air mail and passenger service will operate between Sydney and Rabaul, with probable stopping places at Brisbane, Townsville, Cooktown, Port Moresby and Salamaua. To assist in the safe navigation of aircraft over this route several wireless stations will be erected, among which will be one at Cooktown, at Port Moresby, and at Salamaua. To determine the most suitable sites for the various units of the wireless equipment Inspector F. W. Stevens, of the Civil Aviation Board (Department of Defence), Melbourne, visited Port Moresby (states the "Papuan Courier.") Working in close co-operation with the Papuan Government it is expected that the Department of Defence will establish the most modern radio receiving and transmitting equipment available and aircraft should be in constant communication with Port Moresby throughout the whole flight between Cooktown and Salamaua. An up-to-date radio transmitting and receiving station, for both telegraphy and telephony, will be erected here, in addition to a direction finding station, emergency power station and fully equipped meteorological office. The radio receiving centre, power station, direction finding station and meteorological office will be situated on or near the Paris aerodrome while the transmitting station will be about a mile away — probably nearer Port Moresby. The direction finding station on the aerodrome is more or less a temporary one, the permanent station later being situated probably on the 3-mile hill. The temporary outfit to be installed is known to be satisfactory today, but a new type of equipment is being tested overseas and if present indications are fulfilled it will prove far superior to anything in operation today and will later be installed here. The meteorological office will be staffed by officers of the Commonwealth Meteorological Department — one, and perhaps two officers being stationed here — and will provide almost hourly observations, including force and direction of upper air winds by means of hydrogen balloons up to 10,000-12,000 feet. Meteorological information will be available for pilots on the air mail route from this station from the time they leave Australia until departure from Salamaua and will be available continuously for all aircraft within range. GROWTH IN AUSTRALIA. Aviation in Australia is growing rapidly, Mr. Stevens says, and although an excellent night train service runs between Sydney and Melbourne it is noticed that both the morning and afternoon air services between these cities are usually fully booked, while the Adelaide to Perth service frequently cannot cope with the traffic. The air service between Papua and Australia will enable Departmental officers and business men to arrive in Sydney in a little over one and a half days from here and to be back in Papua within a week, with several days in Sydney. It is interesting to note that this is not the first visit paid by Mr. Stevens to Papua as about 17 years ago he was for some time in charge of the Wireless Station at Samarai. During the first three years' operation of the Brisbane to Singapore air service this officer was a pilot on that route. The type of aircraft used there is almost identical with that to be used on the Sydney to Rabaul service and Mr. Stevens speaks very highly of them. Their four engines give them a very high safety factor on long sea crossings and their comfort from a passenger point of view is very good.[217]


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4SP appointed as Radio Inspector with Dept Civil Aviation

OFFICES ABOLISHED, CREATED, ETC. . . . DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL AVIATION. Offices Created.— The undermentioned new offices have been created in the Accounts and Stores Branch:— One of Sub-Accountant (£438-£510), Third Division; one of Clerk (£330-£402), Third Division; one of Clerk (£282-£354), Third Division; four of Clerk (£96-£306), Third Division; one of Stores Officer, Grade 1 (£282-£354), Fourth Division.— (Ex. Min. No. 58.) Appointments.— Frederick William Stevens and Edmund George Betts have been appointed without probation as Radio Inspectors (£402-£510), Third Division, Electrical Engineer-ing Branch, Department of Civil Aviation, with effect from 7th February, 1940 (new offices created P.S. Board Certificate No. 1290 of 6th July, 1939).— (Ex. Min. No. 57.)[218]

Article notes that many former staffers at Willis Island now involved in the aviation industry

IN TOWN AND OUT. . . . Willis Island's Record An interesting note from a former radio operator at the storm warning station on Willis Island, in the Coral Sea mentions that the staff there (two radio operators and a meteorologist) now spend 12 months instead of six months, as I stated, on the remote little isle. Many of the past staff, it is added, are now associated with aviation. They include Messrs Dwyer and Hogan, senior officers of the aviation section of the Commonwealth Weather Bureau; P. Dunne, radio inspector in the Postal Department examiner for aircraft operators' certificates; F. W. Stevens, radio inspector, Department of Civil Aviation; J. Boyd, aeradio operator, Essendon; and at least four others who are attached to the radio side of aviation in other States. It is certainly a remarkable record. [219]

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COMMONWEALTH PUBLIC SERVICE. PROMOTIONS — SECTION 50 AND REGULATION 109. THE following promotions are provisional and subject to appeal by officers to the Public Service Board, and where consequent upon another provisional promotion, shall be dependent upon the latter being confirmed. Appeals should be lodged, either by letter or telegram, with the Commonwealth Public Service Inspector in the State in which the promotion is to be made, or, if the promotion is to be made in the Australian Capital Territory, with the Public Service Inspector at Canberra, within fourteen days of the date of this notification. An appellant shall forward his appeal direct to the Public Service Inspector. Where an officer desires to appeal against two or more provisional promotions a separate appeal should be lodged in respect of each, except where the provisional promotions appealed against are to positions of similar classification in the same Branch of a Department, when one appeal covering such provisional promotions will be accepted. The grounds of appeal must be as prescribed in Section 50 of the Commonwealth Public Service Act, viz.:— (а) Superior efficiency: or (b) Equal efficiency combined with seniority. (N.B.— Where positions have been the subject of an Arbitration Determination, the salary scales shown are those prescribed by Determination.) Name. Present Designation and Station. Position to which Promoted. Salary on Promotion (£). Date of Promotion. . . . DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL AVIATION. Central Staff. . . . Stevens, Frederick William. Radio Inspector (£402-£510), Third Division, unattached. Radio Inspector, Grade 2 (£474-£540), Third Division, Electrical Engineering Branch. Office reclassified (P.S.B. Certificate No. 40/1273). 508. 1 Aug 1940. . . . [220]

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4SP's provisional promotion confirmed

PROMOTIONS — COMMONWEALTH PUBLIC SERVICE ACT 1922-1939. THE Public Service Board has— (1) Confirmed the undermentioned provisional promotions as notified in the Gazettes indicated:— Ralph James Cole, Robert Milton Barclay, George William Grigg, Charles Eric Morgan, Olive Lydia Dalton, 18th July, 1940; Hubert William Kennedy, Frank Arthur Pearson, Frederick William Stevens, Edmund George Betts, Gordon Wallish, 1st August, 1940; George Henry Hallandale, Alfred Fry, Thomas Sydney Seymour Hall, 8th August, 1940; Leopold Ernest Calov, 22nd August, 1940; Arthur Henry McKenzie, Clarence Walter Munns, 29th August, 1940.[221]

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4SP is called up from RAAF Reserve and appointed to RAAF Administrative and Special Duties Branch

ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE. HIS Excellency the Governor-General in Council has approved of the following changes being made:— CITIZEN AIR FORCE. . . . Administrative and Special Duties Branch. . . . Pilot Officer Frederick William Stevens (1424) is called up from the Reserve, General Duties Branch, and is transferred to the Administrative and Special Duties Branch, with effect from 23rd July, 1942.[222]

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Divorce of 4SP

LAW NOTICES—This Day BANCO COURT. — (Mr. Justice Martin, 11.30)—Webb v. Webb and Gobbett (for judgment)); Stevens v. Stevens and Davidson.[223]

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Second marriage of 4SP

TO BE WED TO-DAY. . . . STEVENS — SIM.— A honeymoon at Melbourne will follow the wedding of Miss Nancy Sim (Newmarket) and Flight Lt. F. W. Stevens (Point Londsdale, Vic.) in St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. The bride will wear an afternoon frock of blue cloque. Miss J. Cooper and L.A.C. V. Sim will be the attendants.[224]

Second marriage of 4SP

Round About with Penelope. . . . NANCY Sim, who was married to Flight Lieut. F. W. Stevens in St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Creek Street, yesterday afternoon, has been a voluntary worker at the Union Jack Club for more than four years.[225]

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INDEX TO LIST OF PERMANENT OFFICERS OF THE COMMONWEALTH PUBLIC SERVICE ON 30th JUNE, 1946. Name. Page. No. on Page. . . . § Stevens, Frederick William .. .. 136 11.[226]

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4SP promoted within Dept. Civil Aviation to Superintendent of Airwave Operations, (£696-£768), Third Division, Air Traffic Control and Communications Branches

COMMONWEALTH PUBLIC SERVICE. PROMOTIONS — SECTION 50 AND REGULATION 109. THE following promotions are provisional and subject to appeal by officers of the Public Service Board, and, where, consequent upon another provisional promotion, shall be dependent upon the latter being confirmed. Appeals should be lodged, either by letter or telegram, within twenty-one days of the date of this notification, as follows:— (a) if the promotion is to be made in a State, with the Commonwealth Public Service Inspector in the capital city of that State; (b) if the promotion is to be made in the Australian Capital Territory, with the Public Service Inspector in Canberra, unless the promotion is to be made to a vacancy in the Postmaster-General's Department, in which case the officer shall lodge his appeal with the Commonwealth Public Service Inspector, Sydney; (c) if the promotion is to be made in the Northern Territory— (i) with the Commonwealth Public Service Inspector, Brisbane, in the case of a promotion to a vacancy in the Department of Trade and Customs; (ii) with the Commonwealth Public Service Inspector, Adelaide, in the case of a promotion to a vacancy in the Postmaster-General's Department; (iii) with the Public Service Inspector, Canberra, in other cases. An appellant shall forward his appeal direct to the Public Service Inspector, and the following particulars in respect of his permanent position should be set out at the foot of the appeal:— Full name (block letters); Age (in years); Designation; Standard salary scale; Office or Branch; Department; Appeals not lodged with the appropriate Commonwealth Public Service Inspector within the prescribed period will not be accepted. Under Section 50(7a) of the Commonwealth Public Service Act, the Board may regard an appeal as having been made against a provisional promotion notified hereunder by any officer who, at any time within the time prescribed for lodging an appeal, is absent on leave for war service, or is absent from Australia on official duty. Where an officer desires to appeal against two or more provisional promotions a separate appeal should be lodged in respect of each. The grounds of appeal must be as prescribed in Section 50 of the Commonwealth Public Service Act, viz.:— (1) Where a promotion is to be made to a position prescribed in Regulation 109g, viz.:— Assistant Grade 1 — female; Assistant Grade 2 — male or female; Labourer; Lift Attendant; Lineman, Grade 2; Line Foreman, Grade 1; Mail Officer; Postal Assistant, Grade 1; Postal Assistant (Mail); Postal Clerk (Fourth Division); Senior Postal Clerk, Grade 1; Assistant Storeman; Storeman, Grade 1; Storeman, Grade 2; Telegraphist (Fourth Division); Quarantine Assistant, Grade 1; Searcher and Watchman — that the appellant is senior to the officer provisionally promoted and is efficient. (2) In other cases— (a) Superior efficiency; or (b) Equal efficiency combined with seniority. (N.B.— Where positions have been the subject of an Arbitration Determination, the salary scales shown are those prescribed by Determinations.) Name. Present Designation and Station. Position to which Promoted. Salary on Promotion (£). Date of Promotion. . . . Department of Civil Aviation — continued. . . . Regional Staff, Queensland. Stevens, Frederick William .. Radio Inspector, Grade 2 (£486-£558), Third Division, unattached; Superintendent of Airways Operations, (£696-£768), Third Division, Air Traffic Control and Communications Branches. Queensland District (Brisbane). New office created (P.S.B. Certificate No. 48/1700) 778 (906) 30.9.48; Duties.—General administration of Air Traffic Control and Communications Services within the Queensland Region.[227]

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4SP oversights deployment of air navigation equipment

NEW METHODS FOR DIRECTING PLANES. BRISBANE, April 28.— The installation of high frequency, four-direction radio beams has already begun in eight Queensland cities, according to the Civil Aviation Department Airways Operations Superintendent (Mr. F. W. Stevens). The cities are Brisbane, Cairns, Rockhampton, Townsville, Mackay, Cloncurry, Longreach, and Charleville. The equipment is already being flight-tested at Mackay, which lacks a radio beam, and has been given priority. When completed the new V.H.F. installations in Queensland will link Brisbane with Townsville, and Brisbane and Darwin for navigational purposes. The aids have a double value to air navagation. They will enable planes to pick up a guiding beam to their destinations from four directions instead of the present two, and the new V.H.F. sets will not suffer from atmospheric disturbances as the present ones do.[228]

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4SP provisionally promoted within Dept Civil Aviation to Superintendent of Airways Operations, Third Division, Airways Operations Section, Airways Branch.

COMMONWEALTH PUBLIC SERVICE. PROMOTIONS — SECTION 50 AND REGULATION 109. THE following promotions are provisional and subject to appeal by officers to the Public Service Board, and, where consequent upon another provisional promotion, shall be dependent upon the latter being confirmed. Appeals should be lodged, either by letter or telegram, within twenty-one days of the date of this notification, as follows:— . . . DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL AVIATION. Regional Staff, New South Wales. Stevens, Frederick William Superintendent of Airways, Operations (£1,154-£1,244), Third Division, unattached; Superintendent of Airways Operations (£1,214-£1,304), Third Division, Airways Operations Section, Airways Branch. Office reclassified Cert. 52/211 1,274 22.5.52 Duties.— Responsible to Regional Director for the direction and supervision of the Air Traffic Control and Communications Branches.[229]

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Vic marriage registration for 4SP's sister Rubie Medic Wilson nee Stevens

  • Vic BDM
  • Event: Marriage
  • Family name: STEVENS
  • Given name(s)ː Rubie Medic
  • Spouse's nameː WILSON, Russel Wilfred
  • Registration yearː 1953
  • Registration numberː 19352/1953[230]
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