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by Chris Tobin

Temuka man Trevor Norton (78) is offering his extraordinary lifetime’s collection of music and the chance to run a radio programme to the right person.

“Twelve months ago, I was given four months to live,” he said at his home this week.

“I was told it could be four months or 24; every day I wake I feel a bit deader.”

Mr Norton has been diagnosed with liver cancer and has made the difficult decision to call time on his long-running variety programme which broadcasts on Oamaru Heritage Radio each Tuesday evening from 4pm to 10pm.

He has established a small studio set-up in a bedroom with timetable, microphone, cassette deck, CD player, mixer and computer which is linked to the Oamaru Heritage Radio studio.

“A lot of this equipment is owned by the radio station and they would be willing to set up in the home of anyone willing to take it over.

“The main thing is being available every Tuesday.”

The station has 12 presenters/staff. When none of these people were on air, a Zara programme would be used that could access 10,000 songs.

“I joined Oamaru in 2004; before then I was with Radio Puketapu in Palmerston.”

His interest in radio started in 1980, when living in Rotorua, where he had a programme on Access Radio.

His weekly programme provided an eclectic mix of entertainment drawing from his vast collection.

“Other presenters could be only country and western, gospel or music from the ’50s.

“With my show they’re likely to get everything from jazz to classical music.”

There was also material for children which were popular nostalgia pieces for older people as well, a series reading from popular books – a John le Carre novel is the current title being read – comedy from classic shows featuring people like Bob Hope, documentaries from the BBC, bush tales and music from South Africa, Gregorian chants, and much more.

“I call it variety time,” he said.

Classics…Trevor Norton is also reluctantly prepared to part with his large collection of music. PHOTO: CHRIS TOBIN

In a shed at the back of his home Mr Norton has stored a large collection of CDs, cassettes and shelves of old records from popular to classical music as well as film music and soundtracks.

“Some of the 78s are 120 years old. I’ve got recordings of recordings going back to 1889.

“There’s one of John Philip Sousa’s original band going back to the 1890s. It’s not an original but a recording of the original.”

In a garage Mr Norton has stored more albums in boxes he has made which resembled beer crates.

“I don’t like the idea of giving up. I’d like to keep going but my voice is failing.”

He said anyone who wanted up to take his offer would have to gain the approval of the trust which operated Oamaru Heritage Radio.

They can email ohr@xtra.co.nz