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RIP Matthew Buck

13/07/2019
Matthew Buck, Karas – Namibia 2008 pic by A.Louw

It is with great shock that we at Bush Radio learnt this evening of the passing of Matthew Buck. Matthew was a volunteer, trainer and eventually Bush Radio’s main technical support and installer for our studios.

Below is an extract from a social media post by Adrian Louw our Programme Integrator:

“It’s Friday evening around 8pm on 28 July 1995, Matt and myself were the last two people in the building. The final touches to Africa’s oldest community radio station project’s first legal on-air studio were being put in place.

Then the worst possible thing happened – a buzz, then a click. The Soundcraft Series5 mixer’s power supply had blown. With just over a week to go for the official broadcast and now legal switch-on, it was a disaster.
Matt called the supplier from his Motorola (he was the first person I knew who owned a cellphone) and after a few hours of intense cursing and fancy soldering, he had the power supply fixed.

Fast forward to 2008, and I was on one of my training missions in a town called Karas in Namibia, and Matt and his team were building the studios. Again, final testing for the handover to the crew there and then something on the telephone hybrid blew.

Ever since, Matt and I agreed that I would not be there when they did any final handovers. And so, when Bush Radio moved on to a digital studio in 2012, I took a day’s leave at the end of the install and handover… Matt and his team were responsible for the installation of most of the studios from the initial licensing of Community Radio in South Africa.

And, with so many who continue to exploit the sector, he was one of the few people we could rely on at Bush Radio.

Matthew (as I always insisted on calling him), I will miss you.

His final message to me was “Tell Adrian not to worry.”

To Levi, his family and friends: there would be no community radio sector in South Africa if it wasn’t for people like Matthew.

Matthew chose to walk with the people of South Africa and this continent.

We need more like him. “

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