After decades of spinning golden oldie records and entertaining the Tauranga community, Village Radio will make history and proudly celebrate its 35th anniversary this week.

The vintage station based in the Historic Village has been broadcasting daily since 1984 with a team of 28 dedicated volunteers.

Current volunteers, former announcers and listeners are invited to a get-together at the Matua Bowling Club on April 14 to celebrate the anniversary.

One of the station's most popular former announcers, Bonnie Leonard, would be back in town to broadcast a special programme on May 5.


Aside from being a local community gem, a visitor book in the station showed it attracted people from all around the world, from Australia to Germany to Canada.

Village Radio manager and announcer George Stewart said he got "terrific satisfaction" through his work at the station.

"I'm a friendly voice that listeners can relate to."

Aside from spinning classic records from the 1940s to 1990s, Stewart regularly interviewed community leaders, including Tauranga Mayor Greg Brownless, on his station.

Looking into the future, he hoped the station building, which had peeling paint on the outside and steep stairs, could be modified to be more accessible to the public.

Web support volunteer Shelia Lacey started volunteering at the station 14 years ago as a librarian and loved it.

"It's phenomenal," she said with a smile.

The station held the fourth-largest collection of vinyl in the country and some records were more than 100 years old, she said.


She loved meeting the listeners - the station's "lifeline" - who were strangers who quickly became friends.

Saturday announcer Brian Cotter previously had a career in radio and had been an announcer at the station for two years.

The station catered for a generation of people that didn't listen to commercial stations, he said.

The anniversary would be "a part of history", he said.

"What had started as an idea 35 years ago is now part of history."