Olga Lopes Seale

Dame Olga Lopes Seale


Born in Guyana in December, 1918, she married a Barbadian, Dick Seale in 1939, and came to Barbados with her then young family in 1963. She was the first woman broadcaster in Guyana where she worked for ‘Radio Demerara’ and it was there that her charity worked began. She founded the ‘Needy Children's Fund first’ in Guyana and acquired the nick name “Auntie Olga”.

After settling in Barbados, Lope-Seale would join the then Barbados Rediffusion Services Limited  now known as Starcom  Network and she continued with helping children through her profession and community work.


She started the Needy Children's Fund in Barbados and has helped thousands of children throughout the island and this resulted in her being awarded the ‘Member of the Order of the British Empire’ (MBE) in 1981 by the Government of Barbados and in 2005, she was made a ‘Dame of St. Andrew’.


Perhaps the most notable part of Auntie Olga's charitable work was the attention she gave to each child. She visited children in their home environment, assessing their needs and the ways she could help improve their lives and she delivered hampers, food vouchers and clothing vouchers to them. Lopes-Seale also focused on the education of children making it possible for many to attend school and she also tried to make them feel special and important as individuals. She held a Christmas party for the children every year and gave birthday gifts to many.


Lopes-Seale died in Barbados in 2011 at the age of 92.

Our History of Broadcasting Excellence

The wired broadcasting system in Barbados was started by Commander Mansfield Robinson R.N. (Ret’d) who arrived in Barbados from England in 1934. The Company was formed on October 24th, 1934, under the name of Radio Distribution (Barbados) Ltd. The first manager was Mr. H.J. Witnell and on April 2nd, 1935, the first subscriber was connected to Cable Radio in Barbados. It is here that the STARCOM Story started, with a service called Radio Distribution operating from a building in Wildey. It was the start of the broadcasting era in Barbados and a tradition of excellence.

Regular daily transmission consisting of relays of programmes from the BBC and short wave stations in America and Canada, were first broadcast on a schedule from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. In 1936, transmissions were increased to include 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

The Company’s premises and amplifying equipment were destroyed by fire in 1938 but with new equipment and new premises, the Service was fully restored within two weeks.

Mr. J.M. Laing was appointed Manager on the outbreak of war in 1939 and programmes were improved by the introduction of a record library. A local news service was begun. Announcers and Operators were located at the receiving station outside the town, but in 1947 when the number of subscribers had risen to 1,800, a studio was built in the Bridgetown premises and regular broadcasts from the studio were undertaken.

At this stage, the Company received technical assistance from Broadcast Relay Service Ltd., of London. Mr. Laing was transferred to Radio Trinidad and Mr. J.H. Peacock became Manager/Engineer, being succeeded in Apil, 1951 by Colonel R.W.R. Oliver as General Manager, who retired in 1967 and was succeeded by the Chief Engineer, F.G. Duesbury, who became the first Barbadian General Manager. He retired in 1989.

Rediffusion

In September 1979, the Nation Corporation purchased Barbados Rediffusion Services Ltd., enabling the company to expand its broadcasting division through the launch of its second radio station, Voice of Barbados (790 VOB) on May 1st, 1981. VOB created the first morning show (the Roadrunner), in 1984, broadcasting live from neighbourhoods and villages throughout the island, Monday to Friday. On May 30th, 1988 YESS 104.1 FM was introduced as the company’s third radio service. On August 11th, 2013, Starcom Network will launch it's fourth station, LIFE 97.5, a rebranded and re-energised version og the original Gospel 97.5 station.

Early in 1951 the company was taken over by Rediffusion Services Ltd., a subsidiary of Overseas Rediffusion Ltd. of London. From a small studio at Trafalgar Street in 1947, the company relocated to the present River Road headquarters in 1958. Rediffusion’s innovation enabled it to blaze countless trails in the broadcast media, from radio relays in the early days to the full fledged dynamic broadcasting services of today.

In September 1979, the Nation Corporation purchased Barbados Rediffusion Services Ltd., enabling the company to expand its broadcasting division through the launch of its second radio station, Voice of Barbados (790 VOB) on May 1st, 1981. VOB created the first morning show (the Roadrunner), in 1984, broadcasting live from neighbourhoods and villages throughout the island, Monday to Friday. On May 30th, 1988 YESS 104.1 FM was introduced as the company’s third radio service.

A new station is born

On November 30th, 1997, Star Radio closed its doors and the next day December 1st, a new station was born. HOTT 95.3 FM caters to the under 25 age group and is hosted by some of the best young radio deejays on the island. It is the number one choice of youthful listeners.

On Friday November 27, 1999, Barbados Rediffusion Services Ltd. changed its name and image and became STARCOM Network Inc. Since then we have seen frequency switchovers on VOB from AM to FM to improve quality and embrace newer technologies.

Leading the industry

Today, STARCOM Network Inc. leads the commercial broadcasting industry in Barbados. STARCOM prides itself in providing its clients with the finest advertising products and services. 

For over seventy-five years, STARCOM Network Inc. has been shinning over Barbados in many different ways. Ours is a story of service and broadcasting excellence.