Saturday March 16, 2016.
Those of you who know my history will know that my dad spent his career with the British Forces Broadcasting Service – BFBS. In his more than thirty years with them he worked with innumerable great broadcasters. As I grew up I listened to the finest artists of the airwaves in existence. I even got to watch them at work. Men and Women who knew their business and when the call came, they were at the side of Britain’s armed services, regardless of who might be firing live munitions in their general direction. It was one of the great BFBS traditions. When dad retired those traditions continued and those who came after dad’s time carried it as well as those who had gone before. Dad encountered few of them however, but I have had the great privilege of meeting just a small number. The man responsible for my being able to do so was dad’s great mate and my source of wisdom, Peter McDonagh. McD is no longer with us and as with dad, I miss him. Of dad’s successors, even though I may not have known them well, or perhaps even met them at all, those who have moved on to join dad and Peter I will also miss. Those such as Dave Raven. Dave the Rave left us within these past few days and not only did I meet Dave but he was of great help with my compiling of McD’s facebook posts into a book, ‘The Posts of Roche Fokke’. There is of course, a reason for McD’s facebook name but as Peter himself would say, you had to be there… For that help Dave, thanks. When I left youth behind and returned to the UK, BFBS became a part of my past. I listened to UK radio but never took to it. It wasn’t as good as that with which I had grown up. It is still thus today. It is so thanks to the broadcasters, the engineers and their colleagues of BFBS, past and present, like Peter McDonagh and yes, dad too, along with all those others who educated, informed and entertained. Like Dave Raven.