The launch which attracted a fair size gathering was hosted by Radio DJ, “Kupid” and senior news journalist, Jason Davis.
Chairman for the ZIZ board of Directors, Peter Jenkins delivered the feature address. In his remarks, Jenkins described ZIZ as the foundation for radio and media in St. Kitts and Nevis.
“Back in 1961, ZIZ was the only radio station on the island, today there are over 10 radio stations around. But we continue to provide the type of entertainment as well as informative programs for our people. We are the Pulse of the Caribbean,” the Chairman stated.
Among the activities included in the launch was a series of giveaways, where questions were asked about the Corporation.
Performances were also made b calypsonian, “Gold Finger”, poetry by Ras Elie X and former Kittitian Superstar Runners-up, Charlie Miller.
The vote of thanks was made by the Acting General Manager, Viere Galloway.
ZIZ has had a very long a proud history. In 1955, when the idea of a Radio Station in St. Kitts was first discussed, conditions were promising for a positive outcome. The project became a favourite one for C.A. Paul Southwell, then Minister of Communications and Works, who devoted a great deal of time and effort to it.
Initially the Colonial Development and Welfare Fund identified the sum of £16,000 for the establishment of a Public Service Broadcasting Service owned and operated by the Government. By 1959 the amount had been increased to £23,000.
In 1960, Karney Osbourne was identified as the future Broadcasting and Public Relations Officer and sent to train in Canada and with the BBC in London. The responsibility of seeing the new station become a reality was placed in his hands and eventually so did its day-to-day activities.
On Sunday, the 5th March, 1961, the project became a reality. Punctually at 4.00 p.m. Administrator Lieutenant Colonel H.A.C. Howard opened the proceedings. The Hon. F.T. Williams then handed the keys to the building to the Chief Minister Southwell who delivered the feature address in which he gave a brief history of the project and acknowledged the contribution of all those involved.
He also explained the Government’s involvement in the project. He said that radio was considered such a potent and effective force for good or ill that governments all over the world found it necessary to control broadcasting in their territories. He also expressed the readiness of the St. Kitts Government to co-operate with the West Indies Federal Government in respect of any reasonable proposals for regional broadcasting.
At the end of his speech, Southwell handed the key to the building to Lord Hailes, Governor General of the Federation of the West Indies, who proceeded to open the Station.
Now 50 years after that historic day, the station is at the dawn of a new beginning, with the commemoration of its 50th birthday next March.
According to the station manager, an impressive list of activities will be incorporated into the celebrations that will accelerate in February 2011.