Former Bundy man's journey to ice cool Antarctica
A BUNDABERG man is off on his fourth trip to Antarctica as part of the Australia's scientific mission to the world's coldest place.
Douglas McVeigh, a former Bundaberg High student, will be a base communications supervisor and flies out tomorrow.
His mother, Ivy McVeigh, said her son built his first working radio at 12 years old under the house in North Bundaberg with "bits and pieces".
"He had a table under the house," Mrs McVeigh said.
"He just loved it."
Mrs McVeigh, 83, said if any of his 10 brothers or sisters touched his things "there would be hell to pay".
"He would work down there until it got dark every night after school, and all weekend," she said.
"At 15 he got his first job at Bundaberg's 4BU radio station."
Mr McVeigh later studied engineering in Brisbane and became a communications engineer.
He has maintained TV and radio transmitter towers all over southern and central Queensland, including the transmitter near Childers, which relays signals for all TV stations and ABC radio stations in Bundaberg.
He has worked at NASA's Carnarvon Tracking Station in WA and on launch communication support for the European Space Program.
Mr McVeigh said he was working on the Jindalee over-the-horizon Radar Network, when he met an engineer who had worked in Antarctica, so he applied.
"I love the place," he said.
"Every time I go down there it's different.
"It's a pristine environment."
Mr McVeigh said the wildlife is prolific.
"They have no fear," he said.
"The 1.2 metre tall Emperor Penguins come right up to you."