Wednesday, January 06, 2021

So long, Anton

On Tuesday evening, January 5, there was more sad news from Twente in the east of the Netherlands when I heard of the death of Antonius Ruhof, better known to pirate radio listeners around Europe as Radio Anton. He was 87 years old.

Anton's distinctive voice could often be heard on or around 1610 kHz in recent years, where he would spin records and chat to other stations in his area.

Pirate operators throughout the Netherlands have paid tribute to the elder statesman of the airwaves, expressing their condolences during a difficult time that has also seen the recent deaths of veteran pirates Zender Johan and Hennie Veldwijk.

The operator of Radio Mondeo said: "Anton always had special broadcasts, varying from 50s music to modern ... ”the Pastor of the medium wave“ I once heard him called because he could speak so beautifully."

Radio Pacman remembers: "When I met Anton we talked only some words about our radio hobby. Often we talked about his son who took part in a TV programme in which you could see a little shot from Anton's studio. We talked also about farms and tractors, all the time with a big smile."

Shortwave pirate Elvis also has fond memories of the longtime pirate and says: "A few years ago I was working with the new owner of the farm where he lives, and at Anton and his wife we ​​got coffee in the morning and in the afternoon - what warm people they were. And I have never met anyone who was so obsessed with music and who full of such great stories like Anton. So sad he is gone . . . I wish all family and friends my condolences and strength."

In all my visits to the Netherlands I never met Anton, but everybody I have asked has spoken very highly of him. Another voice is lost from our radios, but we have memories and his voice will live on in the recordings here and those made by other pirate radio enthusiasts. 

I wish Anton's family all the very best at such a sad time and hope that you have the strength to get through the weeks and months ahead.

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