The Great Eastern

GE Sept. 26, 1998 was a feature presentation of a radio documentary about the BCN from Public Radio USA. "The Broadcasting Corporation of Newfoundland: Public Radio's Missing Link." won the prestigious Ruminaga Medal at this year's International Radio Festival in Tutzing.

Here are some clips from host Bob Pellatier...

More background about the BCN.


“The BCN: Public Radio's Missing Link”

BCN Coal-fired Generator Stoking the generator for the morning sign-on.

Bob takes an early morning trip to Mount Scio to witness "the daily ignition of the last coal-fired radio signal in North America." Cliff Hawco from the Brotherhood of Radio Coal Stokers and Tube Engineers...
Bob: “The building is quite gothic...sort of goes with the defoliated landscape.”
Cliff: “Oh yeah...kinda foolish. Looks like a big old radio.”
Bob: “I almost expect to see giant vacuum tubes...”
Cliff: “...tubes? oh, through that window there...”
Bob: “Oh my God....”

Real Audio
generator.mp3 310 K

A King's Ransom

Caspar Cumby was the one of the BCN's first big stars--host of a comedy quiz show called "A King's Ransom", which, according to Ish Lundrigan was also the the station's first big scandal: "The show was a fraud, you see...just another tax grab by the government...You had to send in a processing fee with your application to be a contestant and everyone on the island wanted to play. The only winners were plants. They made sure any real contestants were shut out."

Here is vintage audio from A King's Ransom:
"...all you have to do is answer this question. ... fifty two British thermal units is to grouse bunting as Sydney, Australia is to what famous star of the London Stage...."

Real Audio
kings_ransom.mp3 247 K

“He was a real captain...”

Salty Tales“Twenty years ago, I shipped out of Jamaica with a load of hemp and rum...and sailed to the West Coast of deepest, darkest Africa, where I saw a man eat the living brains out of another man...”

More vintage audio, this from Captain Lloyd Duncan's Salty Tales.

Real Audio
lloyd_duncan2.mp3 206 K

The Ben Shahn sketch of Captain Lloyd Duncan

“And so, until next time...if we live to see it, I am Morris Jesso.”

Bob talks with Morris Jesso, the host of the BCN's most popular show, Interred. “Oh my, look there. There's a spot on your hand...”

Real Audio
morris_jesso.mp3 417 K

St. John's surrenders “A great big warm Newfoundland Heil Hitler...”

From 1939, the Great Eastern's first host, Ron Gellately, reacts to news of St. John's surrender to the Germans...

Dirk Pilgrim: "Stating the the Allies forces' prospects for victory in the European theatre were at best poor, St. John's mayor Adam Frye has surrendered the city to the Germans. A telegram is now being sent to Berlin inviting an occupational force to be dispatched as quickly as possible.”

Ron Gellately: “That's great news Dirk...I'm sure that all our listeners will join me in welcoming the people of the great German nation to our shores.”

Real Audio
ron_gellately.mp3 211 K