Nominee: Les Harper
N Nominated by: Royal SA Yacht Squadron
« Les Harper is the reassuring voice heard by SA yachtsmen on VHF Channel 80 - COAST GUARD OYSTER BAY, from his home in Stansbury on York Peninsular.
« Les commenced his radio days with an experimental station in 1947 and has operated the Australian Volunteer Coastguard Radio Base Station since December 1983.
« Les has monitored his marine radio station day and night for more than 40 years and maintained a log of all boating in Gulf St Vincent. SA boaties have signed-on and signed-off with Les as they begin and end their diverse boating adventures in local waters. He also provides regular updates on weather and sea conditions.
« Les has been the reliable voice for sailors in South Australia’s offshore racing fleet including boats from the CYCSA, the RSAYS and other SA clubs.
« He has given his ever watchful ear to monitor the safety of competitors in the annual Adelaide to Port Lincoln Blue Water Classic race and enabled the fleet to complete their compulsory radio schedules.
« Les Harper is thoughtful, helpful, selfless and committed, Les is truly is a real character and an invaluable member of the SA boating community.
« Despite his age approaching 90 years Les was available at all hours to operate the skeds both late at night and early in the morning, to take information on retirements or signoffs as vessels completed the race frequently spanning the night through to the early hours of the morning
« Les was a foundation member of the CYCSA and a member of the RSAYS.
« He has held a Master Class 5 qualification since 1998 and holds a 1st Class Radio Operators License.
« Les was awarded an Australian War Service Medal (1939 - 1945), received a Medal of the Order of Australia in June 1089 and has received service medals from the Australian Volunteer Coastguard Service and the Country Fire Service
« With 90 year old Les having finally hung up his microphone now for the last time, he has been acutely missed in the safety monitoring of our waters via the airways. The service and reassurance that “COAST GUARD OYSTER BAY’ has happily given to SA boaties during his legendary career has set a benchmark in selfless dedicated performance and friendly desire to help attitude where almost no request was too difficult