Thursday, December 31, 2009

RHODESIA RBC Bulawayo 683 kHz QSL

The Rhodesia Broadcasting Corporation (RBC) was heard in Pinelands at 1700 UTC on the 1st August 1974. The 2 kw transmitter from Bulawayo used to operate on 683 kHz and was received via the Siera and 20 metre longwire antenna.

I was fortunate to receive a QSL card signed by E. McKenzie in 17 days after posting a reception report to the station. The back of the QSL card revealed the interesting change in the station's previous broadcasting history. "The Southern Rhodesia Broadcasting Corporation" was printed on a sticker which in turn covered the initial designation of "The Federal Broadcasting Corporation Of Rhodesia And Nyasaland".

The Federal Broadcasting Corporation was formed in 1958 and the Pearl Assurance House pictured on the front of the QSL was completed in 1959. This would suggest that the card was probably printed soon afterwards, making it the oldest QSL card in my collection.


During the fifties, the Central African Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was created, consisting of present-day Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi. The Federal Broadcasting Corporation was set up in 1958 and was modeled on the BBC. It existed until the end of 1963 when the Federation was dissolved prior to the independence of Malawi and Zambia. Southern Rhodesia then became a separate country, and the Rhodesia Broadcasting Corporation was formed.

In 1968, the RBC expanded its services further with a number of local community stations. The first of these was known as Radio Jacaranda in Salisbury, named for the purple-blossomed trees that line its streets in September and October. This was followed by Radio Matopos in Bulawayo. The Matopos is a hilly area near the city, and also the site of Cecil Rhodes' grave. The last local station, Radio Manica, was located in Umtali, a picturesque town situated on the Mozambique border.

Zimbabwe gained independence on the 18th April 1980 when the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) was created.

The Victoria Falls as seen from the "Rain Forest", photographed in 1968 during our family holiday to Rhodesia (present-day Zimbabwe).

1 comment:

gjutaren said...

In the early 60s when I was radioofficer on Swedish merchant vessel, when in southafrican Waters I often listend to a radiostaion in former Rhodesia and Nyasaland. I can´t find anyting about that station but I recall they called themself "The happyStation"
Do you know anying about the station+