Enid Hoggan, the reluctant announcer

BY FRANCES BALDWIN

 

Neale Hoggan discovered our Women in Radio curated collection, and he immediately thought of his mother. He decided to contact the NFSA and share the story of her years behind the microphone.

Enid Hoggan was employed in the late 1940s at radio 2CK Cessnock (now 2NM), as stenographer secretary to Jack Ryan, the manager.  She prepared scripts for on-air presentation and played pre-recorded material from the then-modern wire recorder.

Along with shorthand and typing Enid had studied elocution and spoke well. Jack Ryan recognised the quality of her voice and insisted that she try announcing. On air Enid presented news, music and read copy at various times of the day, throughout 1949 and 1950.

But Enid had been reluctant to announce, so when the other announcers required her to join Actors Equity or face a strike, she happily resumed her original role as secretary. She commented that announcers were paid at the base of the clerks' rate in those days, and that her position as stenographer secretary to the manager paid better. Perhaps Enid may have stayed on air if the remuneration had been fairer?

After her first broadcast Enid sat back and let out a great sigh of relief. She then looked at the desk and noticed the mic was still on! 

Neale said: ‘My mum was proud to work in radio and whilst she preferred shorthand and typing as an executive secretary, she took being on-air in her stride. I remember her telling me that on her first occasion on-air, at the end of her show, she sat back and let out a great sigh of relief. She then looked at the desk and noticed the mic was still on!  She switched it off and the following day people congratulated her for being “a young lady so nicely spoken” on-air, but others asked, “What was the sigh at the end for?"’

Enid left 2CK radio, got married and later moved from Cessnock. After her husband died, Enid, in her mid-50s, worked part time in the Sydney offices of radio stations 2CH and the ABC, but did not go on air again. She recently passed away at the age of 92, and her son has kindly shared her story and donated these photos to become part of the greater history of Australian women in radio.