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Bronze "Radio 5KA Tower" paperweight

Bronze "Radio 5KA Tower" paperweight

Frank Walsh (1897-1968) became the first Labor Premier of South Australia for 32 years in the 1965 election. He would have been Premier after the 1962 elections, where he got 54% of the popular vote, but for the LCL gerrymander (or Playmander as it became to known - Thomas Playford was the beneficiary but not the originator of this unrepresentative system) that favoured rural votes over city votes. Effectively one city vote was worth only half a rural vote, yet two thirds of the population lived in Adelaide. Rural conservatives thereby governed SA undemocratically.

Walsh only served in the top job for 2 years, being replaced by the charismatic Don Dunstan.  It was during his premiership that Walsh visited the studios of Radio 5KA and was given a bronze memento of the visit, in the from of this radio-themed paperweight. Radio 5 KA began broadcasting in 1927. In 1940 the Menzies government famously took the station off-air for "security reasons" that perhaps had more to do with the (then banned) Jehovah's Witnesses who owned the station.

5KA became an FM station in 1990 and is now known as 5 MMM.  The bronze paperweight on offer has the words "5KA The Voice Of South Australia" to the base and the style is reminiscent of the art deco RKO radio tower.

Provenance: The paperweight was purchased from Walsh's daughter-in-law.

Condition: Very good, nicely patinated with age. The tower is cast in the solid.

Height: 155 mm. Diameter of base: 80 mm.


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