Randwick & DIstrict Historical Society: FLASHBACK


“Lapuh’s” importance as a communications site had been shown with the completion of the trans-Tasman cable in 1882, and would be reaffirmed in 1927 with the opening of the AWA Receiving Centre.

Located about 200 metres from the coastline overlooking Botany Bay, it was the largest receiving station in the Southern Hemisphere. Its multiple roles included receipt of wireless traffic from around the world and ships’ stations in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. As well, two-way telephony was maintained between it and the many trawlers operating off the NSW coast. The latest news of the world was received from Rugby in England whilst reception was also affected of programmes from other English, American and European sources. The enormous ranges then obtained by short-wave also saw the centre vital to such stations in Great Britain and Europe, the United States, Canada, Africa, Asia and the Far East.

Linked to the company’s transmission centre at Pennant Hills and its iconic control headquarters in York Street, Sydney, the centre’s operators would also have been properly proud to have played so key a role in Charles Kingsford-Smith’s historic 1928 flight across the Pacific from the moment he left California to his arrival at Brisbane’s Eagle Farm.

Nine services in all operated at the centre, embracing the entire spectrum of wireless communication. Something was well and truly in the air.

Robert Booth

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