Tribute to Tony “Dicko” Dickinson

Staff Writer

With the passing of Tony "Dicko” Dickinson, who  sadly lost his battle with cancer this week, close personal friend of Tony, 4BC News Director Scott Mayman pays tribute to the man who meant so much to him and his career and many others in the industry.

 

Tony's service details have been released:

Monday September 29 – 1:30pm Hillside Chapel at Palmdale – Ourimbah (NSW Central Coast).

It is open to the public. 

 

By Scott Mayman

It was January 1977.  I was in Brisbane, aged about six or so.  I turned to my mother to ask her to call the TV station because Humphrey wasn’t being broadcast.  Instead, Channel Nine was broadcasting details about a train crash in Sydney.  Little did I know, this train wreck would have a connection with me,   many years later.

 

In 1979/1980, we moved to Adelaide where this bloke was reading Channel Ten’s 6pm news bulletin.   I was captivated by this broadcaster.  (Together with listening to Bazz and Pilko on 5AD),“Dicko” inspired me to consider a job as a newsreader.   My mum and dad thought I was crazy,  –  Why would a ten year old only watch Channel Ten news?  It was an hour long !

In 1982, we moved back to Brisbane.  Years later, I would enter radio and meet great mentors like John Knox, who took me under his wing and developed me.

In 1990, after being made redundant,  I applied for an open position at 2KY in Sydney – Tony Dickinson was the News Director.   I still remember asking myself:  Could I work for this guy who I had admired and watched on TV all those years ago?  

I got the job.   Dicko introduced me to Peter Shanahan, Ian Maurice and many other great broadcasters.  He became another strong mentor in my life.  He took me under his wing and showed me the ways – not just in news but across the board. 

I got a taste of Sydney radio – not just the big lights of it – but the inside scoop involving the traditions of broadcasting.  He used to tell me some of the most outlandish stories of what happened in radio’s golden years – Yes,  even a few secrets on John Laws and company!  Dicko was a great story teller.  You don’t get that opportunity these days.   

What I didn't know,  was that Dicko was first to break the news about the Granville Train Disaster – Tony was the breakfast newsreader on 2UE.   Any historian will tell you about the importance of this significant event – and how this news event in 1977 pretty much stopped the nation.  Australia had never before witnessed such calamity.   Fast forward many years later,   Dicko told me,  in detail,  how the broadcast that day unfolded and what was going on behind the scenes.  I will never forget his story.

Tony and I remained friends since then –  Our close ties extended to include  his wife and my family as well.   We just “connected”.   Some weeks ago, when he decided to go public with his condition,  he asked me to fly down to see him – tell me a few more stories – and asked if I’d deliver his Eulogy.

How could I say no?  It’s my honour to do so for a man who has had such an impact on me and for so many other people.  He was my friend.

I learned so many good things from this man and enjoyed the knowledge of how broadcasting should be.  Today,  I employ his techniques, his wisdom and his respect in my work place as I try to pass-on his knowledge to the next generation of broadcasters.

 

Tony's service details have been released:

Monday September 29 – 1:30pm Hillside Chapel at Palmdale – Ourimbah (NSW Central Coast).

It is open to the public. 

 

You can hear Scott's chat with Tony below:

http://radiotoday.com.au/music/tony dickinson tribute.mp3

 

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