A man who was instrumental in the early days of Radio 2ST and was regarded as the “go to man” in radio,TV and communications industries across the country has passed away.
Rob Waller passed away after a long illness on May 11 at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, aged 74.
Mr Waller, of North Nowra, was highly regarded in the communications industries, building up a reputation over a lifetime as the “go to man” when it came to fixing technical problems, which defied solution.
Born in Ashfield, Sydney, Mr Waller moved to Berry as a youngster to live with his aunt and uncle after his father was left a paraplegic in an accident.
He went to Berry Public School before attending the highly acclaimed Fort Street Boys High in Sydney.
While proud to attend such an elite school, it wasn’t the happiest time of his life, as he was a victim of bullying.
After leaving school he became a trainee accountant with Qantas, but later found his calling when he got a job as an electronics engineer with the Christian Broadcasting Association at Five Dock.
He then moved to WIN Television in Wollongong as an engineer.
Part of his job at WIN included a two-year stint as onsite engineer at the Knight’s Hill transmitter complex near Robertson.
In 1969 he married his lifelong soulmate Ruth (nee Weatherstone), at Dalton, near Gunning.
In the early ’70s Rob became the engineer responsible for the fitting out of the Radio 2ST studios at North Nowra.
At various stages he was not only the chief engineer, but also station manager and news editor - at one stage holding down all three jobs at the same time.
At various stages he was not only the chief engineer, but also station manager and news editor at 2ST - at one stage holding down all three jobs at the same time.
In the early ’80s he left 2ST and installed stereo equipment at many AM radio stations across Australia.
With Ruth he opened the Tandy electronics store in Nowra, later being named the national dealer of the year.
They also operated Sight and Sound Electronics at North Nowra.
His final gig was with Shoalhaven City Council, where he looked after communications for 14 years before retiring.
Longtime friend and former 2ST News Director Graham French described Mr Waller as a “gentleman’s gentleman”.
“The number of people who we come across in our existence, and who leave a lifelong indelible mark on our lives, would be lucky to cover all of our fingers and toes,” he said.
“For me one such person was Rob Waller.”
Mr French said if you were able to model your life on someone else’s example, Rob Waller would be your man.
“I’m not sure he was aware of the defining impression he made on so many people’s lives,” he said.
Rob is survived by his wife Ruth and sons Cam and Scott.
His funeral service will be held at this Saturday, May 19 at the Uniting Church in Berry at 2pm.