Seaside FM founder Wayne Harrett remembered as patient, understanding mentor

·2 min read
Wayne Harrett, a local legend on the airwaves, died on Aug. 14. (Seaside FM - image credit)
Wayne Harrett, a local legend on the airwaves, died on Aug. 14. (Seaside FM - image credit)

The founder of Seaside FM, a popular community radio station in the Halifax area, has died after a long battle with cancer.

Wayne Harrett was also a general manager and program director at Seaside, which began out of his Eastern Passage home in 1999.

Harrett died Aug. 14 at the age of 60.

He had volunteered for six years with another community radio station before starting Seaside.

The easy listening station has long been a launch pad for radio students like Noah Widmeyer, who is now a volunteer on-air host with Seaside FM.

Not your average host

Widmeyer said he was inspired to get into the business because of Harrett. He said Harrett had been told he would never be on the radio because he didn't have the voice of a classic host.

But Widmeyer said that's what made people appreciate Harrett so much more.

"He showed his true personality and people love him because it's him," he told CBC Radio's Information Morning Tuesday.

For Widmeyer, that's why he walked into Seaside's doors. When his first night on air with Harrett didn't go as planned and he was left feeling defeated, Widmeyer said his mentor never stopped encouraging him.

"He said, 'It's OK. Just come back next week and we'll try again,'" said Widmeyer.

Community members have been sharing their fond memories of Harrett since his death. Details of a celebration of life are expected to be announced next month.

Widmeyer said a big reason why Seaside has a loyal audience — and why listeners enjoyed hearing Harrett on air — is because the station feels "like home."

When listeners are driving and can pick up the station's frequency, they know they're back in their community, he said.

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