Old friend gave DJ Ray the bird
Plumber Charles Banks Pridmore, 26, enlisted in the AIF in Townsville, October 4, 1915, and was sent almost at once to Egypt for training before joining the 49th Infantry Battalion on the front in France in June, 1916. During the next two years he recovered from a gunshot wound to the head, pneumonia, pleurisy and tonsillitis before being fatally wounded outside Corbie, France, on June 13, 1918. John Edward ( Jack) Nix, a reporter with the Townsville Evening Star, joined the AIF in February 1915. Previously a sergeant with the Kennedy Regiment militia, he saw action at Gallipoli from September to December, 1915 as a lieutenant with the 25th Battalion. Promoted to captain, he was posted to France in March 1916, was wounded in action at Pozieres in August 1916 and killed at Eaucourt L’Abbaye on November 5, aged 25. he had left the station. Ray Bird was 4TO for many people for a long time.
“He always said he would never play Beatles songs, but I played a trick on him once when we were in the studio together.
“I asked Ray to play the next song I had ready as I had to pop out of the studio for a minute.
“It happened to be a Beatles record and Ray couldn’t believe I had caught him out in such a way. It was all fun and he was a good sport.
“He performed every on- air announcing duty with professionalism and great broadcasting presence.
“He was a true friend to many people and will be sadly missed.”
Mr Bird’s achievements many included other win- ning the 1974- 75 North Queensland Toastmaster of the Year award and his induction into the Toastmasters American Hall of Fame in 1976.
Always a champion of good causes, he volunteered for doorknock campaigns, including Queensland Cancer Fund appeals in the 1990s.
He traced his devotion to music and public service to World War II, when his parents sent him from Townsville to Bowen for company for his aunt, Ann Delany.
During three years in Bowen, he joined Ann’s dance band as a drummer, aged 14, and organised mates to take hot meals to wharfies working late shifts, loading troopships and merchant vessels. Cook’s Pictures, which never fail to elicit expressions of praise and pleasure wherever they are exhibited, are announced to be shown at the Theatre Royal, Townsville, on July 6, 7, and 8. Among the new pictures which are to be presented are some that are said by the management to surpass anything previously seen in Townsville for sensationalism, humour, and pathos. Rescued from an Eagle’s Nest portrays a heart- stirring scene, in which a father rescues his baby boy from the talons of a large eagle on the edge of a precipitous cliff. Australian’ buckjumping scenes, specially taken by Mr Cook for his English tour, give a realistic representation of this favourite sport. Prices are to be two shillings and one shilling and seats may be reserved at Phillps’s for sixpence extra. At the Charters Towers Police Court on Tuesday morning, before the police magistrate, George Davies and Samuel Bytheway were again before the court charged with attempting to steal from the betting bag of Joseph Healy on the Charters Towers racecourse. After evidence had been given both defendants pleaded guilty and were each sentenced to six months’ imprisonment. Nurse Blanche Geary, who with Matron McGrath left a little while ago for service among the wounded at the war, reached Alexandria about 10 days ago, and is attached to the 17th Hospital there. A loaded taxi car, driven by Mr Treacy, going out to the showgrounds, is stated to have struck a wet patch. The wheels are said to have skidded and one of them collapsed. The occupants were thrown out but none were seriously injured, though the motor driver received a bad shaking. The sad news has been received this morning of the death of Mr P. A. Yeatman, killed in action in the Dardanelles. A cheery letter was published in Wednesday’s issue from Mr Yeatman, who volunteered from the Bulletin staff on the outbreak of the war and leaves many friends in Townsville.
Ray Bird at the microphone for Radio 4T0, c. 1966.
July 1, 1908