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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 109

Death of Veteran Broadcaster Derek Maloney

By Janaka Perera

Colombo, 22 October, ( Sri Lankan-born veteran broadcaster, radio DJ, news reader and television presenter Derek Maloney passed away at the age of 58 in Perth , Australia on October 16.

He was also former Correspondent of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation and Rupavahini in Australia for many years.

Derek joined the SLBC as a Relief Announcer for the English Services in 1977 and worked there until he left for Australia in the early 1980s.

Sisira Chandrasekera, currently SLBC's London Correspondent - who was the first technical assistant to work with Derek on his very first shift on the SLBC commercial services live broadcast studio in 1977-says :

It was the year 1962 when first he walked into the studios of Radio Ceylon as a 13-year-old schoolboy lucky to be picked for the Wesley College school choir that made that first entry to one of the most famous buildings in the Indian sub continent. This was Radio Ceylon the home of some of Asia's best known broadcasters. Livy Wijamanne, Jimmy Barucha, Shirley Perera, Mil Sansoni, Chris Greet, Leon Belleth, Nihal Bharetti. This was the place where he met "The Movie Man About Town", Jimmy Barucha; happy go lucky Greg Roskoskie, Gingernut Vernon Corea and shortcake Leon Belleth and the great Livy Wijemanne, the man who's voice was on air when Tenszing and Hillary received Radio Ceylon on their tiny transistor radio from atop Mt Everest.

It was a few years later that he was introduced to the original "Mystique" of commercial radio Chris Greet, Chris was presenting a series of programmes for the English National Service and was in need of young voices for these programmes. So it began the love affair with the microphone, the only successful love affair to date. He was privileged to catch the eye of Hector Jayasinhe who was the head of Drama Section of the Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation, and so it was not long before he started attending the Corporations training institute down Jawatte Road . He believed it was his drama background under the care of B.B.C. radio's Stewart Wavell and John Hunt that contributed immensely to his broadcasting experience. Soon he was on the way to becoming a guest producer English National Service and so followed the programmes Radio Quiz Club, Just For Fun, The Soul Searchers and Lets Spin A Disc. These programmes were co-hosted by him with such radio personalities as Christine Blacker, Irangani Goonasinhe and Rohini Muthukrishna and Chris Greet.

Derek was at Radio Ceylon the station that entertained listeners not just in Ceylon , but all over the Asian sub continent He spent the last 19 years in Perth - 15 of them in the public service and part time broadcasting with the overseas service of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He made the occasional appearance on ethnic radio stations.

Whenever he came to Sri Lanka he did occasional announcing and new reading at the SLBC. He was a faithful sincere dedicated broadcaster to the SLBC who never thought of moving to a private radio station for extra money. He wasn't greedy for money at all if not he could have easily found a better job in a private broadcasting station in Sri Lanka . Derek donated hundreds of English music CDs to the SLBC English record Library. Even today you can see his name written on each CD saying "a gift from Derek

- Asian Tribune -

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