In Mailbox this week: response to Radio Prague’s special 85th anniversary broadcast; a new TV ad trying to lure tourists to Prague. Listeners quoted: Aloisie Krasny, Brian Kendall, Imo-Obong Umana, Anne Fanelli, Soumya Bhattacharjee, Ashraful Islam, Wang Li, Erik Koie, Jonathon Pukila.

85th anniversary of Czech Radio
Welcome to Mailbox! Reception reports have been pouring in from all over the world in the wake of Radio Prague’s special programme last Sunday to mark the 85th anniversary of Czech Radio. We’ve received reports from our regular listeners as well as from first-timers from all around the globe. It’s a great pleasure to know you are out there listening and – as many of you write – that you enjoy our broadcasts. Thank you very much for your interest and your special QSL cards are in the post.

We’ll quote from some of your reports later but first of all, here’s an e-mail from Aloisie Krasny, from Sydney, Australia responding to this week’s report on a new TV ad trying to lure tourists to Prague.

Photo: Štěpánka Budková
“Prague is such a beautiful city filled with history, art, culture, architecture, great pubs, food, wine and beer. It offers so much and to advertise using models is quite unnecessary. The city advertises itself, many Australians go to Prague and love it; you need to get someone like the Mayor of Prague to walk through the streets and different places to advertise it. I think Mr. Richter's concept of attracting those tourists that stay in luxury hotels and eat at chic restaurants is all wrong. That is not Prague. People come to Prague to absorb the city in all its glory, after all it is known as Golden Prague.”

Now on to your reception reports responding to our special programme to mark the 85th birthday of Czech Radio:

Brian Kendall tuned into the broadcast in England:

“I have, incidentally, been listening to broadcasts from Prague for over half of that period of eighty-five years. You, I think, are ageing better than I am! (I did, of course, recognize the snatch of ‘Forward Left’ which you included in the musical introduction to your special feature. It was quite a stirring song I think.)”

Imo-Obong Umana listened in Ibom State, Nigeria:

“Hollaaao! First and foremost, greetings from the dark, lovely, shiny, black coals of the Africa Continent. I would love to SHOUT a Happy Birthday to Radio Prague on your 85th birthday! Congratulations, for being on air for 85 good years of solid broadcasting with all the hurdles and throes that go with it. You know it's not an easy task. Anyway, I wish you more ‘babies’ and a longer life on air.”

Anne Fanelli tuned in to our broadcast in New York where, unfortunately, there were rather poor reception conditions:

“I have listened to Radio Prague since 1966, and my favorite current program is ‘Sound Czech’. I also enjoy your Czech broadcasts; I studied Czech for a year in college many years ago and, when I go back to my textbooks, I'll be able to understand more! Since yours was one of the first QSLs I ever received, I hope you will be able to send me an 85th-anniversary QSL. Wishing you much success in 2008 and well into the future.”

Thank you and your QSL is in the post.

Soumya Bhattacharjee is our regular listener from West Bengal:

“Congratulations Český rozhlas on your 85th anniversary. I’m very happy to find you still smiling and remaining forever young. These days we DXers are always afraid of the deteriorating future of shortwave radio broadcasting and such anniversaries encourage us and we see a line of hope. I hope to see you celebrating more anniversaries in the future.”

Ashraful Islam from Bangladesh is also a faithful listener:

“Congrats! It’s really an achievement for Czech Radio to pass 85 years successfully. As listeners we are also very happy to be part of this historical event. You will be happy to know that we observed the 85th birth anniversary of Czech Radio. In our club office we arranged a gathering on this very happy occasion.”

Wang Li writes from China:

“Congratulations on Czech Radio's 85th birthday! This is really an interesting and memorable programme. I felt that I traveled in history over the airwaves. How time flies! Since I became acquainted with Radio Prague in 1993 on short wave, Czech broadcasting has been my favourite world-wide. Although your transmission is rather weak on most occasions, I am fond of listening to your station.”

Erik Koie tuned in in Denmark:

“Congratulations on Czech Radio’s 85th birthday! I listened with interest to your excellent Sunday program, and note that Radio Prague itself started in 1936, and I still have your 65-year anniversary broadcast from September 2, 2001, also heard on 5930 kHz!”

Jonathon Pukila was listening in Canada:

“This was a well-presented programme and a thoughtful look at Czech Radio's history. I've come to appreciate Radio Prague for your insightful presentations on material from your archives. Instead of letting the material sit there and collect dust, you actively engage it for the audience to understand and explore. Speaking of which, when is David Vaughan's series From the Archives going to return?”

I have good news for you: From the Archives will be back in the summer.

We also received many other reports from Japan, Italy, Russia, China, Sri Lanka and also Venezuela. Kraig Krist from Virginia even sent us a link to his website where he displays all his QSLs he ever received (including those from Radio Prague) – quite an impressive collection, I must say.

And finally, before I say good-bye, I need to repeat our competition question:

We would like you to tell us the name of the first ever Czech to win an Olympic medal. Here’s a clue: it was at the 1900 Paris Olympics and he competed in the same discipline as Olga Fikotová, our April mystery lady.

Please note that there was another medallist from this country who, however, was not a member of the Czech Olympic delegation. But either name qualifies as a correct answer. The address for your answers as well as reception reports is [email protected] or Radio Prague, 12099 Prague.

Until next week, take care and happy listening!