One of Paul Bevan’s earlier experiences on radio revealed to him the intimacy of the medium, particularly when transmitted over local airwaves.
“I anchored an outside broadcast during the closure of the BHP, which was a very significant one to so many of the men who were leaving the BHP for the last time,” Mr Bevan said.
“I was born and bred in Mayfield so I had a long, personal history with the BHP. I ran into many old friends I had not seen since school.
“It was a big one for the city, and for me,” he said.
“Following how Newcastle has developed since then has been a great exploration.
“And the future looks to be extremely optimistic.”
So too does the future of the longtime ABC Newcastle radio presenter, who announced his retirement from the station’s weekday programming on air on Monday.
“I need to tell you something of a personal nature. It’s not the kidney stones again, don’t panic,” Mr Bevan told his listeners.
“I’m sad but excited, and if you’ve retired from a job that you love then you know how I feel,” he said.
Mr Bevan has presented the afternoon Drive program on 1233 ABC Newcastle for the past eight years, beginning his career at the local radio station in 1986.
During that time he served as a weekday presenter on ABC Classic FM for five years and hosted Mornings on 1233 ABC for eight years.
The Dudley resident, who has recently turned 60, said “retirement beckoned”.
“I have grandchildren, kids who live in different cities, and a lot of friends who have already retired saying we can go and do Europe together.”
He said he would remain “active” at the station “doing things yet to be worked out”, including relief and emergency broadcasts.
Mr Bevan will host his last Drive show on December 14.
He said he believed radio would continue to have “a vital role” in Newcastle into the future.
“There’s always stories that won’t get told without local media,” he said.
“Local stories are just as fascinating, just as significant as any story at a state or national level, and it’s our role to make sure those stories are still told.”