Your back hurts. You have a hard time getting up in the morning. You keep falling asleep in front of the TV as soon as 8 o’clock passes. That’s okay – you’re 50 now, and a little wear in your concrete is to be expected. As your hip young offspring, we, Trent Radio wish you: “Happy Birthday, Trent University.”
You may have forgotten, Trent, but as the hippest alumni know, it was the same group of hyper-productive rascals early in Trent’s history who went around founding All The Things: Arthur, the Trent Student Association (TSA), and the “Trent Radio Service”, just to name a few.
As your artistically off-beat offspring, we have matured since the late 1960s, and now our name is “Trent Radio”, thank you very much. It’s like being called “Jamie” when you’re a little kid and then having to run around correcting everyone when you’re a teenager – “It’s JAMES, actually”; not that I would know anything about that. Well, in that vein, if you’re not in the know, I shall say in my most nasally teenage voice: “It’s TRENT RADIO, actually,” and cite our numbers: “CFFF, 92.7 FM on your dial!” (I’m sure your car stereo and clock radio will both receive it well.)
Radio is a transient medium and even those who were around don’t remember much of our murky, artistic, potentially obscene beginnings, but here’s what I know. When the Trent Radio Service began we broadcast only two hours on a Sunday night, all pre-recorded, providing the local content requirements for CHEX radio. CHEX has always been very kind to us, and back in the 60s they put up with our tom-foolery beyond any reasonable measure.
Of that time one of Trent Radio’s founders (also Arthur and the TSA) Stephen Stohn said to me at a Trent Radio reunion in 2005: “We used to leave mountains of tape on the floor, all for a three minute news segment!” This waste says to me: fun. These people had a lot of fun. And programmers at Trent Radio continue having a lot of fun today, without quite so much waste.
Now from the corners of Parkhill and George, right beside Peter Robinson College (or rather, the P.R.C.S.A) and Sadleir House, we broadcast all day long with about 100 students programming in a broadcast season. These programmers are first-year to tenth-year students and beyond – all volunteers, who just decided that radio might be a pretty cool thing to do with their time. Do you want to spend an hour a week spinning classical records, talking philosophy, Star Trek, trans psychedelic ephemera, house music, or just the sound of crickets?
Wait, have we been doing that for most of your 50 years? That’s a lot of radio. That’s a lot of fun.
So, your back may ache and you may need large print text books, Trent University, but you have left a strong heritage of creating student groups who love you. You are our big towered concrete rock. And a happy birthday also to Peter Robinson College – a strange collage of people. It was always just a short hop for all the wonderful weirdoes of Peter Robinson College to embrace the airwaves and play their reggae and their cricket sounds.
On this occasion we broadcast for you both a birthday song.