Old friend gave DJ Ray the bird

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

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.

Share your mo­ment in time with Bul­letin read­ers. Email your story and pic­ture/ s to ian. frazer@ news. com. au or phone Ian on 4722 4523

Ray Bird at the mi­cro­phone for Ra­dio 4T0, c. 1966.

July 1, 1908

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