KRR celebrates 25 years

Community members joined KRR members for a barbecue to help celebrate 26 years since the station began.

Kandos Rylstone Community Radio 2KRR 98.7 FM opened its doors to the community on February 2 in celebration of 25 years since the station began in January 1994. During this last quarter of a century, KRR 98.7 FM has gone from strength to strength from those early days when a group of local people had a dream to start a community radio station.

The first broadcast was not without its hiccups and organisers breathed a sigh of relief as they successfully concluded the very first test transmission from an upstairs classroom at Kandos High School on Saturday, January 8, 1994.

Broadcasting originally as Twin Towns Radio TTT 90.7 FM, the group of volunteers received huge support from the small community with over 200 phone calls during their first evening request program.

Using borrowed equipment, loaned premises and just 90 days of air time over a 12 month period to learn the ropes and prove they were worthy of a full time licence, the station gradually improved and everything began to take shape.

During those early years the station used a number of different premises for its broadcasts and was required to change its FM frequency and call sign. This became KRR 98.7 FM and has become well-known across the region.

Local fund-raising barbecues and stalls enabled improvements to equipment and with sponsorship support and the offer of vendor finance the decision was made to purchase its own building in a central location at 50 Angus Avenue, Kandos.

The successful application for a grant of $20,000 under the Federal Government’s Federation Community Projects program enabled the construction of a modern studio – much of it constructed by community volunteers. It was officially opened by the late Peter Andren MP, Federal Member for Calare on Saturday, September 29, 2001.

Another tremendous milestone for station members and the local community was winning National Australia Bank’s Volunteer of the Year award for NSW in 2002 with a cheque for $5,000. President of KRR, Brent Barlow paid tribute to those people who had that dream all those years ago and to the local community for supporting them.

“This station truly represents what community is all about. Thank you listeners for your loyalty and support. Thank you members who have come and gone over the past 25 years. Thank you volunteers for your time and effort and for your work in helping to improve our station for our community and finally thank you to our sponsors and all those in the community who have supported us in so many ways.”
The open day with a free barbecue was well attended by members of the community who called in throughout the morning. Many of them took the opportunity to inspect the studios and chat with KRR members. One very kind Kandos resident swapped a couple of dozen hot scones and a jar of syrup for two sausage sandwiches. A delightful surprise for those lucky enough to sample the delicious treat, and a typical example of the kind of community support the station has received over the years.

KRR President Brent Barlow (centre) and Vice-President Brian Neaves (right) looked after the barbecue during the morning. Dave Yates (left) who now lives in Miriam Vale, QLD was a former member of the station and was thrilled that his visit to see family in Kandos coincided with KRR’s celebration.