THE Port Macquarie-Hastings community is mourning the loss of former ABC Radio morning and breakfast show announcer Michael Spooner.
He passed away on April 30 after 11 days of medical care at Port Macquarie Base Hospital. He was 64.
Michael arrived at the ABC Mid North Coast after being a late bloomer to the radio industry.
A life-long guitarist since leaving school in the late '70s, Michael had worked for the National Australia Bank for a decade - "a suitably undemanding job that enabled me to follow music but still get through the next day half-asleep", he quipped in an interview with journalist Peter Daniels in 2020.
Friend and colleague, Cameron Marshall, delivered a touching tribute to Michael, honouring his life, his friendship and a legacy of story-telling.
Cameron said Michael had a "child-like curiosity and a playful energy which was witty, fun-loving and spontaneous".
"He was easy to forgive, impossible to forget, quick to cry and even quicker to laugh. (He had) a capacity to light up a room and make you feel good. Clever but never conceited, kind and slightly infuriating all in one complex package of humanity," Cameron said.
Michael was married to Narelle and had a daughter, Zoe, and stepson, Trent.
In the mid-80s he earned an honours degree in Australian literature from Sydney University.
Despite enjoying a good lifestyle of work and family life, Michael decided to stretch his wings and started cutting his teeth in community radio.
In 1997 and aged 40, he joined the ABC in Rockhampton, which eventually saw him return to Sydney in 2001, working for 11 years at the ABC's Sydney headquarters at Ultimo.
Just over a decade into his ABC career he took a chance to do a short stint as mornings presenter with the ABC in Port Macquarie.
He would spend five years in the chair until his retirement from full-time broadcasting in 2017, but remained on the books as a casual presenter and producer. The bushfire and recent flood crisis saw Michael presenting many emergency broadcasting shifts.
Running parallel to his working life though, Michael always had a guitar nearby.
A highlight was playing at Circular Quay when Sydney was awarded the 2000 Olympic Games in 1993.
Michael played guitar productions of Grease and Spamalot for the Players Theatre.
He played in a number of bands in Sydney and around the country and was a member of the '60s revival band The Daytrippers.
His band mates saved his life after an earlier health scare with a blood clot in 2020.
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