Radio Ceylon - Happy 85th Birthday.
I first heard Radio Ceylon in the 50s on my grandpa`s PYE Radio (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pye_Radio) which operated by a car battery. So every couple of days, I remember him carrying the battery to get it charged. After a few years I saw the first `Transistor Radio` which was Hitachi. I was fascinated how a small gadget produced sounds. That was the first time I heard the word `Transistor`.
Radio Ceylon is the oldest radio station in Asia. Broadcasting was started on an experimental basis in Ceylon by the Telegraph Department on 16th December, 1923, just three years after the inauguration of broadcasting in Europe.
On 29 May 1953. Soon after Edmund Hillary climbed Everest he reported to have listened to a broadcast of the overseas channel Radio Ceylon , perhaps the only English broadcast reaching that altitude.
Edward Harper who came to Ceylon as Chief Engineer of the Telegraph Office in 1921 was the first person to actively promote broadcasting in Ceylon.
In the first ever radio experiments in Colombo, gramophone music was broadcast from a tiny room in the Central Telegraph Office with the aid of a small transmitter built by the Telegraph Department engineers from the radio equipment of a captured German submarine.
The experiment was a real success and three years later, on December 16, 1925, a regular broadcasting service came to be instituted in Ceylon - the station was called Colombo Radio with the call sign `Colombo Calling.`
Radio Ceylon has produced some of the finest announcers of South Asia among them Livy Wijemanne, Vernon Corea, Pearl Ondaatje, Tim Horshington, Greg Roskowski, Jimmy Bharucha, Mil Sansoni, Eardley Peiris, Shirley Perera, Bob Harvie, B.H.Abdul Hameed, Claude Selveratnam, Christopher Greet, Prosper Fernando, Ameen Sayani (of Binaca Geetmala fame), S.P.Mylvaganam (the first Tamil Announcer on the Commercial Service),Thevis Guruge, H.M.Gunasekera, A.W.Dharmapala, Karunaratne Abeysekera, Mervyn Jayasuriya, Vijaya Corea, Elmo Fernando, Eric Fernando, Nihal Bhareti (Anil Bhareti`s Bro) and Leon Belleth.
Radio Ceylon had a very lucrative arm - the Hindi Service of the station launched in the early 1950s. Millions of rupees in terms of advertising revenue came from India. The station employed some of the most popular Indian announcers who played a vital role in establishing Radio Ceylon as the `King of the Airwaves` in South Asia, among them, Gopal Sharma,Vijay Kishore Dubey, Shiv Kumar Saroj, and Manohar Mahajan. Sunil Dutt (who went on to become a film star in Bollywood), Ameen Sayani and elder brother Hamid Sayani though not hired by Radio Ceylon became popular by using Radio Ceylon for broadcasting programs like `Binaca Geetmala` (first broadcast in 1952) and `Lipton Ke Sitaare.`
Radio Ceylon became a public corporation on 30th September 1967 and the station`s name was changed to the Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation. Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake appointed a distinguished Ceylonese civil servant, Neville Jayaweera to head the CBC.
When Sri Lanka became a republic in 1972 the station underwent yet another name change as the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC).
In December 2005 Sri Lanka celebrated eighty years in broadcasting, a historic landmark in the world of broadcasting.  On January 5, 2007 the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation celebrated forty years as a public broadcasting corporation.
Thanks to the Internet I keep myself informed by listening to SLBC from thousands of miles away.
Hope to listen when you`ll celebrate the 100 the Birthday.