Reception for the 40th Anniversary of 4MBS Classic FM
Member for Greenslopes, Mr Joe Kelly MP; Chair of 4MBS Classic FM, Mr Matthew Farrell, and Board Directors; the magnificent staff, volunteers and supporters of 4MBS; ladies and gentlemen.
Welcome to Government House. Kaye and I are delighted to host this reception celebrating 40 years of 4MBS Classic FM.
The launch of the Music Broadcasting Society of Queensland, on the first of March 1979, was a landmark moment.
4MBS Classic FM was one the first FM radio stations in Queensland fully dedicated to classical music.
However, that was not our beloved station’s only groundbreaking aspect.
When 4MBS Classic FM took to the airwaves, those last two letters — FM — signified nothing short of a revolution. One could be forgiven for forgetting these, spoiled as we are with technology.
FM — or Frequency Modulation — had been patented by American inventor Edwin Howard Armstrong as early as 1933. Yet it would take until 1975 for the FM band to be opened in Australia.
The first work played on 4MBS Classic FMwas Ode for Saint Cecilia’s Day composed by George Friederich Händel in 1739. The improvement compared to AM was spectacular: superior stereo sound; crystal clear and free of interference. It was undoubtedly a great leap forward.
I wonder what Händel and his contemporaries would have thought of the radio. Prior to this spectacular invention, most people had no idea their music even existed.
In that wonderful way, the radio democratised music. It has democratised beauty.
I am inclined to believe Händel, as a child of the Enlightenment, would have applauded that.
Ladies and gentlemen, forty years is a significant achievement for any community organisation.
It is a testament to the vigour and vision of 4MBS staff and volunteers that this magnificent organisation has beneficially responded to further technological change. Your forays into digital radio, through MBS Light, and your bespoke ‘Silver Memories’ service, confirm this.
Nobody knows what lies ahead, but there is one thing I am absolutely certain of — our love for classical music will never fade. Classical music is forever. And so is our support for 4MBS Classic FM.
Kaye and I were thrilled in May last year to host a reception in honour of 25 years of the Festival of Classics. What a warmly memorable occasion that was.
I have always thought that event glowingly exemplifies your central mission: to spread the joy of classical music, to delighted and ever-approving audiences.
Now I know there is potential peril in revealing too much of one’s self in this role, and speaking of restraint, I am not wholly dependable.
But as one who listened attentively while otherwise studying the law to Arch McKirdy’s ‘Music to Midnight’ in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and matriculating to the ‘Village Music Hour’ as a barrister while preparing for court in the ‘80s, via ‘Sentimental Journey’ in the ‘70s (I am not sure what I was doing in the ‘90s), I am actually pleased that when the House staff and the Aides enter my Study these days, whether I am there or not, what is playing on the radio? MBS Light!
I am sure it lightens their day, as it does for so many people. And that is the achievement of 4MBS: forget the grandiloquent language of charters, simply enough, it makes people happy!
On behalf of all Queenslanders, Kaye and I congratulate you on your anniversary. We extend our gratitude to the staff, volunteers and generous donors and supporters – so many of whom are here tonight – who have made your station what it is today.
Thank you, and please enjoy tonight’s hospitality as a token of our gratitude for your immense contributions.