Still in tune after all those years
AT age 16 Pat Wilson hardly noticed an energetic, cheeky young man who came in to radio station 2LM just after it opened in 1936, but the other girls at the station did.
They drew her attention to Don Hopper, a good looking young fellow with sparkling eyes.
Mr Hopper presented Pen Pals for half an hour every week and Mrs Hopper worked at first as a shorthand typist and chose the music for the announcers.
One day the manager of 2LM called her in to the studio and asked her to read from a book. He liked the sound of her voice and invited her to present the bridal session and the pony club session, as well as a music program, which boasted the recorded sounds of Mantovani, Victor Sylvester and a range of classical music.
The studios were in Molesworth Street and the transmitter in Goonellabah. In those days listeners had to purchase a radio receivers licence.
Gradually, Ms Wilson and Mr Hopper fell in love and married. The war soon changed life for them, when Mr Hopper was sent to Ballarat with the air force and his wife followed soon after.
They had a family and life went on, until recently their son Wally wrote to the 2LM station manager, Chris Lodge, and requested a tour for his parents.
Mr Lodge was happy to oblige and breakfast presenter Neil Marks showed them around and showed them the station archival photos.
More than 70 years later, as they toured the station, everyone noticed their devotion to each other.
They enjoyed reminiscing about those happy days behind the microphone.
“Everything looks so modern, all those flashing lights and buttons. In the early days it was the one big microphone and the record turntable, so it's very different,” Mrs Hopper said.