Alf TraegerPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Stephen Warren

A sundial commemorates Alf Traeger (1895 - 1940). 

In 1999, the Wakefield Regional Council in South Australia commissioned a sundial and plaque to be placed at the southern entrance to Balaklava. Funding for the project came from the History Trust of South Australia, Wireless Institute of South Australia,  the 4WD enthusiasts' associations and the Council. The memorial was unveiled on Australia Day with his widow Joyce Traeger and other family members in attendance.

The Pedal Wireless and the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) was decided by the ingenuity of Alf Traeger, and the vision of the Reverend John Flynn.

Traeger was born at Glenlee Victoria in 1895 and the family moved to a farm near Balaklava. In 1929 Traeger installed the first RFDS base station at Cloncurry in Queensland, he then travelled to the outposts, installing sets and teaching the users Morse code and how to use the sets.

He continued to supply transceivers to the RFDS until he retired in 1975, however the name and the radios did not end at that time. Traeger Transceivers produced many models of radio over the years and many of these are still in regular use by travellers in the Outback. Alf Traeger died in Adelaide on July 31st 1980 and to commemorate his memory the Wakefield Regional Council in South Australia commissioned a Sundial / Plaque which has been placed at the southern entrance to Balaklava


Address:Gwy Terrace & Wallace Street, Balaklava, 5461
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.153706
Long: 138.416964
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Structure
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Tuesday 26th January, 1999
Front Inscription

In recognition of Alfred Hermann Traeger OBE 1895 - 1980

Alf Traeger designed and built a “pedal wireless”, a pedal operated power generator and transmitter / receiver - enabling John Flynn’s dream of a flying medical service and communications system to the outback to become a reality.

On his parent’s farm 5km south of Balaklava, at the age of 12, Alf made his first primitive communication system – linking the farmhouse with the im­plement shed 50 metres away (using farm materials).

His callsign was VK5AX and he was a member of the Wireless Institute of Australia - the worlds oldest amateur radio organisation, founded in 1910. The Royal Flying Doctor service began in 1928 with the School of the Air follow­ing.

Many Australians owe their lives to his genius and lifelong dedication and service to the RFDS.

The sun dial was unveiled by the Hon Neil Andrew MP Speaker of the House of Representatives
Member for Wakefield

26th January 1999

Remembered by the community and supported by the South Australian Government through the History Trust of South Australia

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design