Back in the 1950's and early 1960's very few people had radios in our village of Cumbiem Morod in Guirim, Bardez, Goa. All the boys met at the cross-paths in the centre of the village opposite the chapel before we proceeded on our way walking single-file to school early in the morning on a 1.5 mile trek up the hillock to St. Anthony's High School, Monte de Guirim.
As we all walked to school we would pass through several villages that had their radios tuned to the news broadcast by the 'Radio Ceylon' - the Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation in Colombo, Ceylon, (now Sri Lanka). As more students joined us along the way, they would tell us about the latest news they heard on the radio and we would in turn pass it on to other boys that joined the line.
Radio Ceylon was probably most renowned for its 'Binaca Hit Parade' on Sundays, playing the latest English vocal top tunes that played a part in greatly influencing the generation of that era by playing American and English music hits, but more importantly it was well-known for the BBC News that the radio station relayed at 7.30 am. everyday.
'This is the BBC World Service’ came the announcement preceding the news. The news began at the end of the familiar six distinct 'pips' of Greenwich Time Signal. This was also the time when family members automatically turned towards their clocks and check watches to check their accuracy. It would have been precisely 0200 hrs GMT, in London. It was good news and bad news from the Western world that was often heard relayed by Radio Ceylon through the years. Good news included in these broadcast were reports about Soviet Union's Yuri Gagarin orbiting earth, and bad news was about the assassination of President Kennedy, the Air India crash on Mont Blanc, the explosion aboard the s.s. Dara near Dubai, the deaths of 3 astronauts in the launch pad fire at the start of the first manned Apollo mission, the death of Marilyn Monroe and the tragedy of the Vietnam War. By the time we reached school we relayed the news we had heard on our way to school in turn to other boys and by the first recess everyone knew about the most exciting or tragic news of the day.