Vale Rod Christopher

Rod Christopher has passed away.

Wayne McCardell has kindly supplied radioinfo with his memories of Rod Christopher.

I’ve since been in contact with Rod’s daughter Lissa who confirmed, “Dad had bronchial pneumonia just two weeks before he died. It is likely that the bushfire smoke made him vulnerable to the original infection as it was fierce in this region for quite a while from about November.

Dad seemed to have recovered from it, which is part of why it was such a terrible shock. He played golf on Monday morning and died on Thursday evening 6 February. Prior to that, he was unnervingly fit and could still wield an axe”.

Rod was living in the small midcoast town of NSW, Laurieton at the time of his death.

As for radio, Rod was a long-serving member of the formidable 11-10 Men DJs on 2UW where he did the early evening slot from 1964 till 1970.

For part of that time Rod was up against his radio school alumni Mike Walsh, a 2SM Good Guy at night. Both attended the renowned Lee Murray school of radio in Melbourne.

Notching up country radio positions at 7AD Davenport, 3UL Warragul and 2GZ Orange he arrived for duty at 2UW in Kent St the week the Beatles landed in Australia, June 1964.

Rod a had smooth, warm, delivery not all over-the-top even though he was playing the latest Top 40 screamers each weeknight, 7-10, but like many of his generation of DJs pop music wasn’t really his thing.

He told me once: “Jazz was my scene. Playing the Top 40 was a job and I didn’t really connect with it the way that say, Ward (Austin) did”.

Outside of his nightly radio show Rod – perhaps uncharacteristically for a DJ – studied economics, played clarinet and became a keen golfer.

He’d married Peggy in 1961 and they had a daughter Lissa who became a journalist with the Sydney Morning Herald.

Rod departed 2UW and the radio industry in 1970.

Apart from some v/o work at TCN 9 he followed a career as journalist working for many years at home and abroad in the former Australian Information Service, an arm of the Commonwealth Government.

Shortly after retirement he and Peggy sold up in Canberra and re-settled in the Coffs Harbour district.

Living a prosperous, active and heathy life in retirement became Rod’s ‘new normal’. Not only was golf his enduring passion he’d been teaching himself guitar for years and had more recently taken to the ukelele. He had really fallen for it, was playing in two groups and had just started playing a bass ukelele.

For me, I met Rod when I was just 11 years old. A radio station groupie I was and the NEWUW in Kent St was my school holiday hangout. Rod was one of my faves given that his was the voice I so often heard on my radio when dropping off to sleep as a kid in the sixties.

Rod Christopher was 81 and is survived by wife Peggy and daughter Lissa.

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