Fred W Gates, who died in 2010, was the second-last manager of the Musick Memorial Radio Station.
Promoted to Manager from Senior Supervisor in 1982, he remained at the station until 1989.
During his time as manager, Fred initiated several innovative ideas to encourage and promote interest in the station and its history.
The Musick Point Radio Group, which now occupies the building, lists a good number of Fred’s former colleagues in our membership, and we were delighted when he agreed to become our first webmaster.
Although Fred never sat for his Radio Amateur exam (he kept telling us he’d get round to it, but there was always something else to occupy this time) stories of his time at Musick Point kept coming, with his keen sense of humour always creeping in at some point.
Like the time the station was the backdrop for the children’s TV programme Terry and the Gun Runners. A controlled explosion created a huge fireball above the building, and the lid of the rubbish tin used to contain the charge was discovered later on the neighbouring Eastern Beach, several hundred metres away.
Then there was the time the SAS used the building for an exercise. Fred was standing at the door one day, feeling sorry for the soldiers out in the rain, when was tapped on the shoulder and turned around to discover an SAS soldier in full kit behind him. The soldier then disappeared and Fred had no idea where he had come form or where he went. He decided not to investigate on account of what the soldier had said. “If you hear a strange noise, don’t come out to look.”
We will miss you Fred, a valued work colleague and personal friend of many members of the Suburban Amateur Radio Club.
This obituary was published in the July 2010 newsletter of the Suburban Amateur Radio Club (since renamed the Musick Point Radio Group)