Jenna McKinnon (left) battles it out with Ken McPherson.
Jenna McKinnon (left) battles it out with Ken McPherson. The Northern Star/Emma O'Neill

Battle of the communicators

IT WAS a 60-second battle between generations that ended with a tense 'dash' to the line.

In the red corner and armed with a Samsung mobile phone was 18-year-old Casino text messaging speed star Jenna McKinnon, in the blue corner and armed with a mastery of dashes and dots was 78-year-old Morse code expert Ken McPherson, also of Casino.

Mr McPherson is one of the world's top Morse coders. He has sent Morse code messages from 53 post offices across the country and recently joined the Guinness World Record-holding Morse code team for a demonstration of the machine at Grafton's Jacaranda Festival.

Ms McKinnon has no particular notoriety as a text-messager, beyond being regarded by friends as a techno-buff with a flashy thumb.

Mr McPherson set a high bar, tapping out a cracking pace of 40 words per minute.

However, Ms McKinnon wasn't fazed and matched Mr McPherson's record exactly.

It was 40-40 and sceptics of technology had begun to rejoice, when Ms McKinnon pulled out a brand new Hiptop handset, complete with full keyboard, and hit 60 words a minute.

Round one goes to technology.



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