ZJB-Radio Montserrat: A Montserrat institution
ZJB-Radio Montserrat was founded in 1952 by Frank Delisle (who also set up what was later to become the regional airline LIAT).
The first broadcast was from his home in Olveston with a team of volunteers.
Five years later in 1957 the station was handed over to the Government of Montserrat, although it was still manned by volunteers.
In 1964 ZJB-Radio Montserrat became a full department of the civil service, where it has remained ever since.
Through the years the station, then located in the Groves Botanical Station, has been a source of information, entertainment -and inspiration- to the local community – and now the diaspora, thanks to the internet.
It has also ‘weathered many storms’.
In 1989 ZJB-Radio Montserrat was, like over 90% of Montserrat, caught in the strike path and extensively damaged by Hurricane Hugo.
The station was relocated into new facilities on Lovers Lane in 1992 only to suffer the same fate again at the hands of a different type of natural disaster; this time the eruption of the Soufriere Hills volcano.
Since then it has operated from temporary locations in the northern safe zone and is soon to be moved into a new permanent home now being built at Davy Hill.
ZJB-Radio Montserrat has earned its place and reputation as a ‘Montserrat institution’ for being an ever-present core element of the Montserrat community at home and more recently abroad.
The station has also been the training ground for numerous local broadcasters many of whom have become household names beyond the shores of Montserrat.
Among them are; Christine Carty, Steadman Mathew, Rose Willock, George ‘JGP’ Piper, Kevin Lewis, Frankie Aaron, Franklyn Algie Greaves, Basil Chambers, Mike Jarvis, Keith ‘Stone’ Greaves, Juliette Brade, Gus White, Howell Bramble, Freddy Jules, David Edgecombe, Brian Meade, Dora Farrell, Pinky Skerrit, Carl “Kool Karlo” Greenaway, Greg Lewis, DEsmond “Double Dynamite” Daley, Rocky Martin, Wilsie White, Molly Campbell and many others including the large number on non-staff members who have volunteered their services and expertise to the station’s output over the years.
The current manager is Herman Sergeant who also started his career here.
The station also provides an outlet for a range of independent programs covering a variety of topics and disciplines, developed and produced by mainly local talent.
ZJB-Radio Montserrat continues to be a training ground for many in all aspects of the media profession from journalists, to announcers/djs, technicians, and now video production and online journalism. as it embarks on a multi-media format.
The development of the Government Information Unit as a radio, online and emerging video content provider has also added to the range of programs provided via the station’s on-air and online platforms.
ZJB-Montserrat is expected to move into its new premises by March 2015, at a site overlooking the Little Bay new town development, now also being built.