For each of the past 16 years. a feature of life in Manningham has been the presentation of "Menzies Community Australia Day Awards". They are presented by Hon Kevin Andrews MP, the Member for the Menzies electorate – to Manningham residents considered to have provided the community with outstanding service in their particular field. Manningham being part of our radio province, it was fitting that among the 2010 recipients was our Adrian Hook.
It is almost 23 years since a number of enthusiasts came together to focus their experience and skills on establishing a radio station for Melbourne’s inner north east. If they had commissioned a coat-of-arms for themselves - apart from illustrations of wires, second-hand panels and microphones - the dominant feature would be symbolic reams of paperwork and the whole darn thing appropriately trimmed with lashings of red tape. When the Department of Transport and Communications finished their testing in December 1990, Inner FM received its "birth certificate" and began its duty of broadcasting to the communities of Heidelberg (now Banyule), Preston (Darebin) and Doncaster-Templestowe (Manningham). Throughout most of those 23 years one person has been a pacemaker to the heart of the station. Such is the extent of his involvement, innovation and influence, that it will never be fully known.
Yes, his name appears in the Committee of Management minutes, after all he has worn several committee hats over the years – most notably as Secretary. As the Public Officer he keeps up with all mandatory documentation and registrations and currently wears the Treasurer’s hat with all its demands. All these are matters of public record but it is the phantom stuff we will never know about. Who, for instance, prepares the daily schedules which provide presenters with their pre-recorded/computerised messages? For that matter, who helps sponsors in wording their messages and commissioning the voices? Who – in the football season – can be seen lugging furniture, large logo signs and outside broadcast equipment in assisting Tim Armstrong and Co to ensure that quality footy calls are heard on each footy day of the year. And while on the subject, who scripts his own promotional messages each week with that warm London voice?
But even this is only scratching the surface. We will never know the full story because Adrian Hook is such a modest, self effacing role model of a person that he alone will know of the hours, the energy, integrity and personal cost he has expended for our beloved 96.5FM.
Adrian Hook - we salute you!
By David Small - from Wavelength, February 2010