RTS Fellow Bernadette Rogers, who died in May at the age of 89, was a former director of research at Rank and a chief scientific adviser to the government on broadcast technology.
Bernard, as he then was, joined the Society in June 1958 and became a Fellow in 1975. At the time, he was chief engineer and manager of the Advanced Laboratory at Rank Radio International, as well as vice chairman of the British Radio and Electronic Equipment Manufacturers’ Association’s technical committee.
In 1952, Bernard was taken on by the Rank Organisation to work on colour television research. He went on to advise Margaret Thatcher’s government. One of his tasks was to win acceptance for the British Teletext system from standards bodies in Europe and the US.
Bernard was born and brought up in south London, and married Joyce in the late 1960s. In 1991, he underwent gender reassignment surgery, becoming Bernadette.
After taking six weeks off work to recover from the surgery, she returned to work in Whitehall as Bernadette. Years later, she told her local newspaper, the Northampton Chronicle & Echo: “On the first day I sat in the big chairman’s chair and in front of me was a big envelope. In it was only one thing – the key to the ladies’ loo. Even Whitehall could act very sensitively.”
The Gender Recognition Act in 2004 gave Bernadette legal acknowledgement of the change in her gender status and to be issued with a new birth certificate as a woman. In 2005, she and Joyce divorced so they could become civil partners.
Bernadette told BBC News, which reported the couple’s civil partnership ceremony, that she had always known she was really a woman. “I have been waiting 71 years for this.”
Bernadette was also a keen organist and Chairman of Woodford Halse parish council in Northamptonshire.