The Overseas Telecommunications Veterans Association

Formed in 1956 the Overseas Telecommunications Veterans Association (OTVA) was founded by a group of like-minded veterans with a desire to maintain valuable friendships forged while working in the telecommunications industry.


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Latest Blog

Loads of great stories about the history of telecommunications in Australia and the South Pacific.

George Kennedy Passes Away – 16 August 2017 – Aged 80 Years

Peter Dee passed on the sad news of George’s passing on or about Wednesday 16th August 2017 after losing his battle against several illnesses over recent years. The details of a Funeral Service will be held for George are as follows: WHEN:               2:00pm Thursday 24th August 2017 WHERE: […]

20 Aug 17 Peter Bull

Noel Martin Passes Away 11 August 2017 Aged 91 Years

It is with great sadness that I pass on news from Barry Stockbridge that Noel passed away today. Noel was a big man and he had been suffering from dementia for at least the last 12 months. His wife,  Marion, had been unable to look after him so he moved to a Nursing Home in […]

11 Aug 17 Peter Bull

Pictures of the OTC Guam Site (post 2009)

From Laurie McIllree: Attached are a few photos of OTC, and also a shot of Tumon Bay, now loaded with hotels and strip malls. We sure lived there at a good time. A friend of mine who lived on Guam and was known by a lot of OTC folk visited there last week (circa 1/8/17) and […]

09 Aug 17 Peter Bull

Broome Radio

Jim Harte took a few photos during his recent trip to Broome.  

26 Jul 17 Peter Bull

Nomination of Carnarvon for Engineering Heritage Recognition

Many thanks to Jim Harte for sharing this link that provides me with some interesting reading as I had not come across it before. The document gives an outline of the history of the Carnarvon tracking station (AWA/NASA), and the raison d’etre for OTC Carnarvon. It’s a nice adjunct to the information previously provided […]

18 Jul 17 Peter Bull

Doreen Hansen – Passed Away 7 July 2017

Ted Bastow has advised us of the passing of Doreen Hansen, widow of Tony Hansen, who passed away at her nursing home in WA last Friday. No further details are available at this time. Doreen accompanied Tony to various outstations for OTC and she also worked in HO as a Tea Lady for a while […]

13 Jul 17 Peter Bull

Alan Harry Amos – Passed Away on 27 June 2017 – Aged 76

Alan started with OTC (A) in Lonsdale Street Melbourne as Traffic Assistant Gr. 1. on 17 April 1961 and resigned on 16 August 1968.  R.I.P. Funeral Service: WHEN: 12:00 pm Friday 7th July 2017 WHERE: St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, Corner Phyllis Street and Warruga Avenue, Bayswater Vic. Devoted husband of Pam cherished father and father-in-law of Kellie […]

04 Jul 17 Peter Bull

Photos of Ceduna SES Taken June 2017

Many thanks to John Iacus-Pisco for supplying these:

21 Jun 17 Peter Bull

Bernie White – Passed Away Monday 19 June 2017 – Aged 93 years

Fellow Members of the OTVA Bernie and his wife, Evelyn, have been living with their son, Laurie and his wife, Noelene, for some time now but had relocated to a nursing home prior to his passing. Bernie has been a great contributor to and supporter of the OTVA for many years and will be well […]

21 Jun 17 Peter Bull

Robert (Bob) Kraal – Passed Away 11/6/17 – Aged 73 Years

It is with great sadness that I relay to you the passing of Bob Kraal. I worked with Bob in the Paddington ITMC in the 1970s. He was a character that I will never forget. Bob also worked at Ceduna Earth Station & Scoresby Exchange. If you would like to send a Tribute to Bob’s […]

15 Jun 17 Peter Bull

ISTC Paddington

I did not work in ISTC at Paddington but I did work in the building from 1975 to 1991 and these photos did bring back a few memories and a few names: Tony Batoni John Hodgson Jack Creswick Neville Farrar Phil Ryan Peter Skinner John Newlyn Jack Orton Chris Stanley Ian Campbell How many others […]

08 Jun 17 Peter Bull

Broome Radio

Jim Harte recently returned from a trip to Broome where he took the below photos at the town Historic Museum that may be of interest to those with a HF/CRS background.         Below are some photos taken by Ernie Wan when he visited the same museum in Oct 2005. A story about the closing […]

18 May 17 Peter Bull

Phil Chapman – Passed away in Mid 2000s

Sandra Smith (nee Beatson) asked: Do you know if Phil Chapman is still alive.  I remember working for him when his Secretary went on long service leave.  A character to be sure.  He was Manager of the Coastal Radio Service and he had stored in his office lots of ships logs of sailing ships that […]

18 Apr 17 Peter Bull

Arch Barry – Passed Away Circa 1999

Subsequent to a question from Sandra Smith (nee Beatson) as to the whereabouts of Phil Chapman, Brendan Quirk asked whatever happened to Phil’s ever-present sidekick, Arch Barry. Tom Barker has advised that Arch died soon after Tom left Telstra in about 1999. Tom wanted to go to his funeral but his family (NZ) insisted it be […]

18 Apr 17 Peter Bull

Gerard Francis McCarthy – Passed Away Monday 3 April 2017

McCarthy – Gerard Francis Passed away peacefully, surrounded by family at R. M. Begg Kyneton Aged Care on Monday evening. Sadly missed by Maureen, all of his loving children and grandchildren. A life well lived ended with grace and dignity FUNERAL NOTICE McCARTHY – Requiem Mass for the repose of The soul of Gerard Francis […]

10 Apr 17 Peter Bull

Fashion Parade – 1970 to 1975 – Can you put names to the faces of the ladies present??

Sandra Smith (nee Beatson) was going through her old photos and came across several that she though might be of interest to ex-OTC personnel. Below is a photo of a Fashion Parade held in the Martin Place office during lunch hour.  I cannot remember why this was held.  I think it took place on the […]

04 Apr 17 Peter Bull

The Opening of the OTC’s Second International Communications Terminal at Broadway – February 21 1974

Sandra Smith (nee Beatson) was going through her old photos and came across several that she though might be of interest to ex-OTC personnel. This photo depicts the Whitlams being introduced to Board members at the official event celebrating the Opening of the Broadway Cable Terminal.  To the left of Whitlam is Sir Arthur Petfield, who was […]

04 Apr 17 Peter Bull

Moree SES – 50th Anniversary of Opening and 30th Anniversary of Closure

Moree officially opened on 29th March 1968 and officially closed in September 1988. Moree 1 was OTC’s first satellite earth station built specifically to convey public communications traffic; it opened with a two-way Australia/Japan broadcast via the Pacific Ocean Intelsat 11 satellite on 29 March 1968. Since that time, Moree 1 (and more recently Moree 2) has been Australia’s primary earth station for […]

30 Mar 17 Peter Bull

Derek Walker – 14/12/1930 to 03/03/2017

I think the Subject line says it all. It is with great sadness and relief that I need to let you know Dad died at 11.06 Friday 3rd March 2017. The three of us were with him. I think that is why he was hanging on. For anyone that saw Dad, especially over these last […]

06 Mar 17 Peter Bull

Rockhampton Radio – Closure 1992

Chris Alger has provided the below photo is recognition of the 25th Anniversary of that event.

06 Mar 17 Peter Bull

Dave Coutts – Retires

After 23 years with Verizon Dave Coutts has retired. Dave (Seniority 18.8.64) served OTC with great dedication and technical ability for 30 years before leaving to join Verizon in 1994. We wish him well in his retirement. He has earned it. Below is a picture of a younger version of Dave in 1988 when he […]

06 Mar 17 Peter Bull

NASA Awards to OTC

Doonside, Bringelly & Paddington OTC stations assisted ARIA in many space programs leading up to the 20th July 1969 landing on the moon. “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. We were using HF radio to communicate with US military aircraft, mainly in the Pacific Ocean, who were communicating directly with the […]

03 Mar 17 Peter Bull

Peter Frost – Passed Away 22 February 2017 – Aged 88 Years

Peter’s daughter, Jo Carver, advised that Peter passed away last night. His passing was peaceful and the family is grateful for that. Peter was living in Nambucca NSW independent & on his own until he became unwell in December. He never lost his fabulous sense of humour. I have no other details at this stage […]

22 Feb 17 Peter Bull

Thursday Island

In 1975 I was transferred as SRO from Townsvilleradio/VIT to Thursdayislandradio/VII. At that time OTC on T.I. was the only CRS station left manning a Flight Service (FS) Unit on behalf of D.C.A. At VII, CRS and FS units had separate operation rooms, divided by a large glass window. In 1977 Weipa took over the FS function […]

07 Feb 17 Peter Bull

Alex Griffiths – Passed Away 1 February 2017 – Aged 90 Something

Alex had a Seniority date of 17.2.1943 so that may make him about 92 years of age at his passing. Alex’s daughter, Christine Murdoch, advised Keith McCredden of Alex’s passing. No other details are known at this time but I will update you on funeral service details when they become known or you can check […]

06 Feb 17 Peter Bull

Carnarvon/Gnangara reunion 14th & 15th January 2017

A number of ex OTC work colleagues and partners gathered on the weekend of the 14th / 15th of January to celebrate Tom McKnight’s 60th Birthday. The friendships and associations spanned many years and included OTC training, Carnarvon Satellite Station and Perth ITC (Gnangara). Neil Atwell and Tom McKnight even spent time at school together […]

03 Feb 17 Peter Bull

Australia Day Celebrations – Direction Island – 26 January 2017

I had the rather enviable honour to attend the Australia Day Celebrations on none other than Direction Island yesterday. The site of the old cable station and wireless station are long gone, but the history of the site is well recorded with plaques along the walking trail. I’ve been truly humbled in the knowledge of […]

30 Jan 17 Peter Bull

Bribie Island Reunion – 22 January 2017

Had a great reunion with the ex – Brisbane Radio VIB mob at Bribie Island on Sunday. Stayed for nearly 5 hours and got sunburnt! Left to Right: Gareth Evans, Ross Dennis, Peter Hewitson, Kim Warren, Duncan Dadswell, Robyn Downey, Bob Perkins, Steve Fraser, Kneeling: Chris Joseph, Dean Fernandez Missing from the photo: Kirpal Singh who had […]

30 Jan 17 Peter Bull

Maurice (Maurie) Matthysz – Passed Away 22 January 2017 – Aged 90 Years

The daughter of Maurice (Maurie) Matthysz, Vivienne, has advised that Maurie passed away on Sunday 22 January 2017. Maurie commenced at OTC in Melbourne in 1955, transferred to Sydney and spent a lot of his working life at Paddington. Maurie worked in Madang in the early 70’s, Guam from 1980 to 1983, 1985 to 1987, […]

29 Jan 17 Peter Bull

40th Anniversary – Granville Train Disaster – 18/1/1977

I have been reminded by Robin Tuckfield of the near tragedy for OTC and its staff that occurred in the early hours of 18 January 1977 when a commuter train derailed at Granville NSW. It seems to me to be a timely reminder of what could have been and how lucky we are that no […]

18 Jan 17 Peter Bull

Retirement of Ray Wood (Doonside, ~1976) – Can You Verify the Names of Those In The Photo?

Can you fill in the missing names of this photo taken circa 1976 on the occasion of the retirement of STO2 Ray Woods from Doonside.  The photo was supplied from Alan Gravelle’s archives. Does anyone who attended know the details of the venue where the retirement function was held? Head Office staff are in the photo […]

11 Jan 17 Peter Bull

Dave Garrett – Passed Away November 29 2016 – Aged 84 Years

GARRETT, David Mitchell Formerly of Epping Passed away peacefully on November 29, 2016 aged 84 years. Loving and adored husband of Margaret. Proud father of Judy, Sally, Roger and Helen. Loved grandfather of Tori, Anthony, Angus, Keith and David. Younger brother of Margaret and Arnold. David’s family invited those who knew him to attend a […]

09 Jan 17 Peter Bull

Cyril Vahtrick – Passed Away 2/1/2017 – Aged 93 Years

Morrie O’Connor (MO’C) and Cyril’s son, Richard Vahtrick, have passed on the sad news that Cyril has succumbed to the illness that has apparently been negatively impacting his health for some time. Cyril’s wife, Maisie, has not been well for some time leaving Richard and his sister, Ann, to comfort Maisie and make the funeral […]

03 Jan 17 Peter Bull

Ian Barlow – Passed Away Monday 5 December 2016 – Aged 63

FROM GARY SAMUELS: It is with sadness that I advise you that my ‘old mate’ Ian Barlow passed away last Monday night after a long battle with cancer. Ian started with OTC in 1972 and on completion of training, was stationed at Paddington ISTC. After 16 years, he left from the Data Gateway in Broadway […]

09 Dec 16 Peter Bull

Happy 90th Birthday to Trevor Thatcher – 18 November 2016

Trevor Congratulations on achieving this significant milestone. I am told by the 95 year old father of one of my golfing mates that 90 is the new 80! Please accept my best wishes for a happy and healthy 2016/17. Peter Bull  

18 Nov 16 Peter Bull

George Bakunowicz – Passed Away in Early October 2016 – Aged 57 Years

    George’s passing has been very traumatic for his brother, Peter, and his wife, Chris, and his children Michael, David, Elyse and Kate. George suffered a cardiac arrest and went into a coma and passed away 3 weeks later. It was extraordinarily tragic and completely unexpected largely because he was a very fit and […]

02 Nov 16 Peter Bull

Down Under Comes Up Live – 50th Anniversary – first ever live TV transmission between Australia and overseas

Guntis (“Gus”) Berzins reminds us all the way from Latvia that another anniversary of an historic event in Australia telecommunications history is fast approaching. If you have any stories or photos that relate to this event please send them to me for circulation to the wider group.   A friend of Gus, Colin Mackellar,  reminds […]

02 Nov 16 Peter Bull

James (Jim) O’Toole – Passed Away 1 November 2016

Jim began his career in OTC in VIM (Melbourne) as a CRS Operator back in the late 1950’s. Jim and Keith McCredden studied for their Cable certificates in Sydney in 1961 along with Geoff McDonald. Jim was posted to Suva around 1962 and he & Keith were together at Cocos Island in 1964/5. Jim went […]

02 Nov 16 Peter Bull

Median Project – Mars Mission

From ROBERT BRAND Looks like ThunderStruck Aerospace is a major part of a Mars mission that just got one step closer to going to Mars. The project leverages, in some part, on the engineering knowledge acquired by Robert in his activities related to his hobby and passion of space travel & exploration as well as […]

31 Oct 16 Peter Bull

Jeannie Luck (nee Fryer) – Passed Away 5 October 2016

Jeannie worked in the office at Spring Street, Sydney. Thanks to John Morrison for alerting us. We extend our sincere condolences to Jeannie’s family in this time of sadness. We would also like to celebrate Jeannie’s contribution to OTC and to her friends and colleagues with whom she worked so if you have any photos […]

17 Oct 16 Peter Bull

OTVA Social Get-Together – Sunday 25 September 2016

TRAVEL:                              By car or by Ferry (for Ferry timetable see WHERE:                              Kissing Point Park, Putney NSW WHEN:                                Between 10am and 2pm Well the weather was ordinary but the camaraderie, conversations and memories were great! It is a great shame that we did not experience Saturday’s weather. Jim Simpson also would have preferred …

14 Oct 16 Peter Bull

Peter John Gorman – Passed Away 16 September – Aged in his mid-60s

Peter John Gorman passed away peacefully with me by his side after a long illness with prostate cancer on the 16th September. Peter’s Funeral will be on the 30th September at 1:30pm at St Marys Church, 240 Birrell Street, Waverley. On behalf of my family I would like to thank you for keeping in touch with […]

14 Oct 16 Peter Bull

Lesley Langley – Passed Away Tuesday 30 August 2016 – Aged 61 Years

I am saddened to report to you the passing of another member of the OTC family, Lesley Langley, wife of Owen, and mother to Owen Junior and Alison . On the morning of her passing Owen was to fly with Lesley to Townsville to visit their new and first grandchild (Victoria Amy Langley) who was born several hours after Lesley […]

14 Oct 16 Peter Bull

Barry Patrick McMillan – Passed Away 9 August 2016 – Aged 80 Years

11.04.1936  –  09.08.2016 Barry passed away on 9th August 2016 age 80 at the Casey Hospital Berwick. Barry is survived by his wife Lynne and loved father of Mark, Darren, Tracey and Leanne and cherished Poppy of 11 Great/Grandchildren. The Funeral service was held at Tobin Brothers 232 Cranbourne Road Frankston on 15/8/2016 at 2pm. […]

14 Oct 16 Peter Bull


McCONNACHIE Alan Alastair Formerly of Sydney and the Central Coast of NSW. Passed away peacefully at Caroona Kalina Nursing Home, Goonellabah on Saturday June 18th, 2016. Aged 84 years. Beloved husband of Romola and cherished father of Fiona, Catriona and Alastair. Dearly loved grandfather of Pieter, Madeleine, Angus and Annabel. Loved brother of David.   […]

14 Oct 16 Peter Bull


Today’s SMH has the death notice of Beryl Frances Molloy, wife of Thomas Molloy. Tom Molloy was OTC’s Director(Administration) from about 1959 to 1977. Beryl was aged 100 years. Her funeral is at St Joseph’s Catholic Church Edgecliff at 10.30 am on Wednesday. Thanks to David Richardson for circulating advice of her passing. May She Rest In Peace although […]

14 Oct 16 Peter Bull

John Burdinat Retires – End Of July 2016

A short note to let you know that I am also retiring at the end of July having commenced with Uncle OTC at DCA Waverton in 1970 then various locations around Sydney with Eng Branch then Radio Services at OTC house then Doonside, Laperouse, Townsville and finally at Brisbane Radio. I then left and joined […]

07 Jul 16 Peter Bull

David Solomon (Ex-OTC Carnarvon SES) Retires

After many years of working at various satellite facilities, tomorrow, 1st July will be his last day with Optus. Following his technician training in Sydney, he commenced at Carnarvon, Western Australia in May 1970, where he remained until he joined Aussat in 1983. After working with the Hughes and Aussat teams at the Hughes facility in Torrance, […]

01 Jul 16 Peter Bull

Alexander (‘Alec’) Griffiths – In a Nursing Home But Enjoys Reading Stories in the OTVA Newsletter – June 2016

From Daughter Christine: My father is Alexander Griffiths, he started to work in AWA in 1942 as a telegraphist. His work took the family to Western Australia, Suva, and Fanning Island and he worked on the Apollo missions as well. He and I share many memories, although mine are as a child. Unfortunately Mum passed away in 2002. […]

27 Jun 16 Peter Bull

Brian Callaghan – Passed Away Friday 24 June 2016

                      Brian’s son, Matthew Callaghan, advised Peter Feeley on Saturday that his father has passed away the previous night. Funeral Details to follow. May He Rest In Peace. Sales Support Manager, Brian Callaghan, retired in 1988 after a 37-year career with OTC. Well-liked and respected, […]

27 Jun 16 Peter Bull
24 Jun 16 Peter Bull

Passing of Greta Gergely – Aged 84 – Beloved Wife of Peter Gergely

David Richardson came across this notice in the Obituary section of the Sydney Morning Herald.   GERGELY, Greta Passed Away Peacefully on May 16, 2016 – Aged 84 years Loving wife of Peter. Devoted Mother and Mother-In-Law of Wolfgang & Inga and Reinhold & Jutta. Adored Omi of Pablo, Sara, Friedolin and Svanja. Dear sister […]

23 May 16 Peter Bull

Passing of William A A Brown – Aged 93 Years – Seniority 16 Oct 1951

Bill Brown’s son, Gerry, has advised of Bill’s passing on 13 May 2016. If you have any photos or words of Tribute to Bill that you would like to share with others via the OTVA web site, please send them to me for review and possible upload to the web site.           […]

23 May 16 Peter Bull

Ray Volpatti – 2nd Anniversary of Ray’s Passing – 15 April 2014

Neil Yakalis and Wendy Volpatti organised an event at the FM Radio Station to which Ray devoted a lot of his time. The visit on Friday (Friday 8th April 2016) to their tiny Gladesville radio station went really well. The 12 who visited were Ian Thomas, Robert Askew, Ian McDonald, Neil Yakalis, Wendy Volpatti, John Eades, Laurie McIllree, […]

13 May 16 admin

George Maltby Sacked on Thursday 22nd December 1988

After 42 years’ working his way to the top of Australia’s most profitable public utility, Maltby, a career public servant was out on his ear. Merry Christmas, George Maltby. Below is a comment from one of our members: It was interesting about the sacking of George Maltby. The way we saw it was that George […]

09 May 16 Peter Bull

PAUL JOHN MURPHY (known as PJ or Spongy) – Passed away 2 February 2016 – Aged 58 Years

Paul John Murphy (P J or Spongy) aged 58 passed away on 2nd February 2016 at his flat, a result from a fall going upstairs to the bedroom where he was found deceased by a neighbour. A Funeral Service was held on Friday 12th February at 2.30pm at the Le Pine Chapel 1048 Whitehorse Road […]

03 May 16 Peter Bull

Page Barrow – Passed Away 27 March 2016 – Aged 89 Years

PAGE ERNEST BARROW 11.1.1927  –  27.3.2016 Page Ernest Barrow passed away peacefully at Wantirna aged 89 and suffered from Dementia. Loved husband of Iris and father of Greg, Ann Marie (Dec), Marianne, Brian, Ray & Karen and father-in-law to Pauline and Grandfather of five and loved brother of Gordon and sister-in-law Margaret. The Funeral Service […]

03 May 16 Peter Bull

John Bede Lennon (1920-1981)

My Uncle, John Bede Lennon (1920-1981), joined the PMG as 14 year old in the Depression. He had along history with OTC and associated organisations in Cocos Keeling & New Guinea including Port Moresby, Wewak,  Rabaul,Fanning Is. He was occasionally at Paddington. I am interesting in knowing what sort of person he was at work […]

18 Apr 16 Peter Bull

Visit to FM Radio Station 2RRR – Ray Volpatti’s Last Hoorah – 8 April 2016

Neil Yakalis organised this tour and the pictures prove it. The group ended the day by heading off to Gladesville RSL for lunch and a few drinks that lasted another 2 hours. Attendees were: L to R: Ian Thomas, Bob Askew, Ian MacDonald, Neil Yakalis, Wendy Volpatti, John Eades, Laurie McIlree, Greg Martyn, Ray Dowsett (friend of […]

13 Apr 16 Peter Bull

Carnarvon 1984 – Check Out The Shorts!

Photo courtesy of Peter J Forrester   Rear: Andy Hemus, Les Bateman, Bill Jolly, Bill Klix, Don Charles, Rod Pernich, Dot Haggett, Jack Gray, Colin Benpoarth, Kommer Springvleod, Peter J. Forrester, Terry Blatch, Eric Lim, Chris Collisson, Ken True Front: Ray Azzopardi, Neil Robinson, Steve Rayner, Jim Harte, Terry Douglas, Frank Moran, Tom McKnight, John […]

12 Apr 16 Peter Bull

Geoffrey John Day – Passed away Thursday 17th March 2016 – Aged 91

My Dad, Geoff Day, has passed away this morning He was peaceful and passed away with his family around him Thanks for your support and friendship of Dad over his journey: he always valued his friendships with you and I thank you most sincerely for that love and support If you have any other questions […]

23 Mar 16 Peter Bull

Doonside Staff – 1966

From left to right – Harry Clay, Dave Stimson, (unknown), Station Manager (unknown), Ray Wood, Vince Sim, Stewart Hewison Can you put a name to the faces of those persons 3rd & 4th from the left in the above photo?

10 Mar 16 Peter Bull

Plaque Commemorating the Compac Cable – Installed by Telstra 5 February 2016

It has taken 10 years and many meetings to put forward the idea of having a plaque to commemorate the landing of the Compac Cable at Bondi in 1962 and the first telephone call on 3rd December 1963 between the Prime Ministers of Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United Kingdom. The Committee of the […]

12 Feb 16 Peter Bull

OTC 1946 to 1992 – Employees perspective

Denis Pickwell wrote: I was just going through some of last years Blogs and came across a short video (May 2015) entitled Memories – the OTC Story 1946-92. This is a complete misnomer as it obviously only covers a few years back from 1992. All the shots have computers in them! During my 10+ years […]

28 Jan 16 Peter Bull

Bribie Island

Peter Grove wrote: I visited Bribie Island last week at the end of my Queensland holiday but couldn’t find any mention of a radio station on local maps, and I’m wondering if anyone could clarify the situation? I am trying to recall when in OTC Supply purchasing and sending/shipping goods to a Coastal Radio Station […]

28 Jan 16 Peter Bull

Jeff Bultitude: Monday 4 January 2016 – Aged 60 something

I am shocked and saddened to hear of Jeff’s sudden and unexpected passing. In my mind he is still pictured to be young and full of life. I worked at Paddington and only had limited dealings with Jeff when he worked at Broadway. Jeff was well liked and respected by those who knew him and […]

11 Jan 16 Peter Bull

Apollo 11: July 1969


05 Jan 16 Peter Bull

ABC Program “Back Roads” Featuring Ceduna including the Satellite

Many thanks to Trevor Clay for alerting us to this program on Ceduna. Features the OTC Satellite Earth Station 17 minutes into the video. It was very interesting. Enjoy!

07 Dec 15 Peter Bull

Robert (“Bob”) Bramwell Reeks – Passed away 12 October 2015 – Aged 92 years

Much loved husband of Ruth. Cherished father of Julie, Geoffrey, Bill, Matt (dec’d) and Kaylie. Family and friends are invited to a Celebration of Life for BOB was held in the Chapel of Lake Macquarie Memorial Park, Cessnock Road, Ryhope on MONDAY (October 19th) commencing at 10:00 am *************************** Tim Jensen has come across this funeral notice in the Sydney Morning Herald […]

07 Dec 15 Peter Bull

Christmas Reunion 24 November 2015

The OTVA held its Christmas reunion in the function rooms at the Bowlers Club, 99 York Street, Sydney between midday and 3pm on Tuesday 24th November. There were 57 attendees: Allan, Peter;Anderson, Bob; Barker, Tom; Beaton, Gary; Beckett, Ron;Bennett, John; Breeze, Bill;Bull, Peter; Callaghan, Mick; Charles, Don;Clay, Trevor; Corben, Jules;Coutts, Dave; Craig, Ross; Currie, John; Davis, […]

26 Nov 15 Peter Bull

ISCC Paddington – Circa 1978

One of my first field training experiences was at the ISCC located on the old Level 1 at Paddington. I was introduced to Paul Mulcahy, Pat Anderson and Eddie Tammes. Pat and Paul were nice people but I found Eddie to be a very cranky and angry person. I was later told that this was […]

26 Nov 15 Peter Bull

John Bartlem Hopley – Passed Away 9 November 2015 – Aged 90 years

In yesterday’s SMH there was a Death Notice for John Bartlem HOPLEY (7.5.1925-9.11.15). John worked for OTC for over 20 years,firstly in the Methods Section and then in the Secretariat.He was a quiet and meticulous person whose work was always of a high standard.During WW2,he served in the RAF from 1943 to 1947.His last years […]

16 Nov 15 Peter Bull

William “Ern” Anthoney – Passed Away Saturday 7 November 2015

Debra Flaherty, the daughter of William “Ern” Anthoney, has advised that Ernie Anthoney passed away last Saturday night from a massive stroke. If any friends or colleagues of Ernie would like to attend his funeral it will be held on Friday 13th November at 11.45, St Catherine Laboure Catholic Church Gymea Bay Rd, Gymea NSW […]

10 Nov 15 Peter Bull

VIOLET MARGARET HARRISON – Born 11.7.1929 – Died 12.8.2015 aged 86

Vi passed away in Moe Victoria. Vi was cremated at the Bunurong Memorial Park Dandenong South. Vi commenced with OTC on 1.8.1954 as a Telephonist and later as a Phono/Printer/Beam Operator then Overseer Printergrams until retirement/redundancy. Vi loved her Golf being a Member of the Moe Golf Club also a keen Bird Watcher, Reader, Gardener […]

06 Nov 15 Peter Bull

JOAN MARJORIE MILLER – Born 11.2.1925 – Died 4.7.2015 aged 90

Joan passed away in the Linacre Hospital Hampton Victoria. Joan was cremated at Springvale Crematorium Since Joan’s parents passed away many years ago Joan has lived with her sister Hazel and her late husband Vern in Hampton Vic. Joan has had a few falls over the last few years, broken hip, and recently found she […]

06 Nov 15 Peter Bull

JOAN FERNE – Born 12.11.1934 – Died 22.8.2015 aged 80

Ferne passed away at the BUPA Coburg Vic. Beloved wife of Cyril (dec) Mother of David and Sue (dec) Mother-in-law to Rae and Grandmother to Shane, Rhiannon, Glen, Craig, Emma and Justin. Funeral held at Joyce Chapel Fawkner Cemetery 10.15am Wed. 26th August 2015. 22 persons were in attendance including OTVA Robert & Judith Hall, […]

06 Nov 15 Peter Bull

One cannot go anywhere without meeting someone on knows!

I was waiting for the tour guide at King Solomon’s Cave in northern Tassie on Saturday when I saw this bloke approaching at a rush so he could make the tour. It was Ian Marshall from Eng Branch. To compound the connection, I’d bought Ian’s Land Rover from him a few years back. Cheers, Ron […]

05 Nov 15 Peter Bull

A history of undersea cables from inception to now

Many thanks to Charlie Rudd for passing on this reference published in 2015. It makes interesting reading even to a person who did not have a lot to do with the introduction of undersea cables. The eBook costs $14.28 from Amazon ( which is an $80 saving to the actual printed book. The reference […]

05 Nov 15 Peter Bull

John Toland – 90th Birthday

Here are some pics from John’s 90th birthday celebrations, held at the Tweed Heads home of his son Mark. The Tweed Valley sub branch of the OTVA presented  John with a suitably aged scotch, and some glasses which we promptly filled and toasted to  his continued good health.               […]

19 Oct 15 Peter Bull

Kamal (Kim) Ayoub – Passed Away 10 August 2015

Vernon Yen has advised that Kim Ayoub passed away on 10 August 2015 after a long illness. Kim’s wife, Hiatt, contacted him recently and passed on the sad news. Our sincere condolences are extended to Kim’s family and friends. May He Rest In Peace.

08 Oct 15 Peter Bull

Henry Cranfield Passed Away Tuesday 29 September 2015 Aged 89 Years

                                                Allan Hennessy has just informed me that Henry’s Barbara has just given him the sad news that Henry passed away yesterday afternoon after he was released from St George Hospital and […]

30 Sep 15 Peter Bull

VALE – Lou Brown (E.L.Brown) Passed Away 21 July 2015 – Aged 90 Years

Keith McCredden and Ted Bastow have alerted me to the passing of Lou Brown yesterday. Lou and Keith worked together at Fanning Island in the early 1960s and they had remained good friends ever since. Keith will provide more detailed info when it comes to hand. May He Rest In Peace.   Lou retired in […]

22 Jul 15 Peter Bull

VALE: Charlie Maiden – Passed Away 29 June 2015

When Les Ayers spoke to Charlie in early to mid May Charlie had said that he was in considerable pain and off to see the doctor the following day. That is apparently when he was told that him that his cancer had returned. On Monday 15 June 2015 Les advised that Charlie was in the […]

01 Jul 15 Peter Bull

VALE – John Norris

Denis Chambers has advised that John Norris passed away a couple of months ago. John was a Melbourne man who will be well remembered by all those who went to Wagga on the Australia Day Weekend for all those years to play cricket.  He was a very good cricketer with both bat and ball and […]

24 Jun 15 Peter Bull

Vale: Ray Johnson – 4th June 2015 – Aged 81 Years

From Derek Walker: I was very saddened to get the news from a friend that Ray Johnson had died on 4th June from the cancer that he’d been diagnosed with only a few short months ago . Ray’s wife Pat died about five years ago. He is survived by his daughter Michelle I first met Ray […]

12 Jun 15 Peter Bull

VALE: Phil Harris – Passed Away 13 May 2015

I am writing to inform you of the death of Phil Harris (Rockbank, Fiskville, Moree, Ceduna, Guam, Cairns, Bringelly). Dad had been in declining health for the last year – since the death of my mother Thelma – and had been in residential care in Castlemaine for the last two months. As per the notice […]

22 May 15 Peter Bull

VALE: Peter Whisson – Passed Away 17 May 2015

                      I wish to inform the members that Peter Whisson of Berkeley Vale Formerly of Cable & Wireless and OTC has passed on last night 17/05/2015. He is survived by his wife Elva, his 4 children, 10 grandchildren and 1 great grand child and his […]

22 May 15 Peter Bull

VALE – Bruce Collett – 30 March 2015 – Aged 89 Years

It is sad to report that Bruce Collett passed away at 7am this morning after being in poor health for some time. His failing health caused him to move from his unit to a retirement home to be close to his daughter a couple of years ago. Bruce was born on 24 February 1926. He […]

31 Mar 15 Peter Bull

Cocos (Keeling) Island – Historical Society Newsletter – Dec 2014

This newsletter was supplied by Les Ayers who receives them on a semi regular basis from an acquitance. Please click on the below link to read the newsletter

03 Mar 15 Peter Bull

Cocos (Keeling) Island – Historical Society Newsletter – Mar 2011

This newsletter was supplied by Les Ayers. Les receives them on a semi regular basis from an acquaintence from CCS. Click on the link below to open the newsletter

03 Mar 15 Peter Bull

Cocos (Keeling) Island – Historical Society Newsletter – Sept 2011

This newsletter was supplied by Les Ayers. Les receives them on a semi regular basis from an acquaintence from CCS. Click on the link below to open the newsletter

03 Mar 15 Peter Bull

The History of Telecommunications in Australia – 5 Book Set – Produced by AOTC circa 1992

CLICK on the link below the name of the book to download the document from the server. It is easier to read if you download it to your computer and view it locally as you can rotate the view in your PDF Reader A PICTURE OF PROGRESS:                                                                           COAST RADIO CALLING – Part 1: The […]

18 Feb 15 Peter Bull

Alf Cannell – Passed Away 6 February 2015 – Aged 89 Years

Les Ayers advised  Alf Cannell passed away during the night.   His wife rang me this morning to advise.  I spoke to his son in law Richard and he advised me that no arrangements had been made as yet.  He will ring me as soon as something is formulated. Regards to all for now   Les….

10 Feb 15 Peter Bull

Life On Cottesloe – by Des Kinnersley

LIFE ON THE OTC COTTESLOE TELEGRAPH CABLE STATION 1952 -1954 After joining OTC in January 1952, after several years with Cable & Wireless having served at their Karachi Cable Station and their Bahrain Radio Station, I started as a telegraphist in SOR. I enjoyed SOR but was only fated to spend a few months there […]

24 Nov 14 Peter Bull

OTC Saves Apollo 11 – By Robert Brand

PREFACE: In the following article published in Spaceflight magazine it mentions the ESA Giotto probe and my deployment to Parkes in late 1985. At OTC we all had our areas of expertise. I was stationed at Broadway and was asked to go to Parkes to fix some Parkes – Paddington – Darmstadt  circuits. It was […]

14 Nov 14 Peter Bull

Cocos Island – German Landing 1914

THE LANDING ON COCOS ISLAND  This event is also significant for Australian wartime history in that the first Australian and New Zealand troop ship convoy was only 55 miles east of Cocos at the time of the Emden landing. These ships carried over 20,000 service men in 28 merchant ships accompanied by only 3 naval […]

07 Nov 14 Peter Bull

JACK BLENKIN WHITE – aged 88 – Passed away on Saturday 17th October 2014

Robert Hall (VIC OTVA) has provided the following: JACK BLENKIN WHITE (aged 88) passed away at the Knoxfield Private Hospital at about 8.30pm on Saturday 18th October 2014 Jack is survived by his three daughters Chris, Jen, Angela and Families Condolence or sympathy cards can be sent to the family addressed as follows: Chris Vink […]

21 Oct 14 Peter Bull

OTC Technical Training School – 20 Year Reunion – Saturday 11 October 2014

The 20 Year Reunion of the OTC Technical Training School was held on Saturday. It was a great day! Final attendees – Roman R M Targonski Gwen Schofield John C O’Shannassy ( Sick as a dog, from food poisoning. Get well soon.! ) John Merino Bob Emanuel Brad Albeck ( Still celebrating the NRL Rabbitos historic win ) […]

13 Oct 14 Peter Bull

Geoff Whale Living It Up In Spain – 13 October 2014

At the moment I am in Spain having a bloody wonderful time. Attached a photo from out hotel balcony before darkness and scotch.

13 Oct 14 Peter Bull

Mick Wood – Born 12/3/1926 – Passed Away 12/10/2014 – Aged 88 years

Mick Wood’s family has asked Deane Laws to alert the Vets to the fact that Mick was admitted to John Flynn Hospital (Tugun Qld) 5th October 2014 in a serious condition. Mick was well attended by family and close friends during his hospitalisation but unfortunately Mick’s son, Michael, advised Deane Laws at 9.10pm (Qld Time) on […]

13 Oct 14 Peter Bull

OTC Football Team at Rushcutters Bay Park – Circa 1958-59

  John Morrison remembered some of the names in the photo. Front Row: Mick Wilden, Les ‘Spike’ Jones, Ron Borg, John Morrison (self), Dave Cowie, Jim Davis (Team Manager and allround great guy), Col Motbey, Dave Thistlewaite. Back Row: 1. Nevyl Farrar,                  2 (don’t think he worked for O.T.C.) but was a relative of […]

03 Oct 14 Peter Bull

Spring St Telegraph Workshop

L to R: Alf Flood, Maurie Matthysz, Nevyl Farrar, Brian Steele, Ernie Anthony, Jack Kelly, Bruce Reiner, Bob Fisher, Alex Friend and Laurie McIlree  

03 Oct 14 Peter Bull

Vale – Jim Bairstow – Passed 9.9.2014 – Aged 87 Years

James BAIRSTOW Obituary BAIRSTOW James Percy (Jim): 25.5.1927 – 9.9.2014 Much loved husband of Patricia (dec) and father of Penny, Ian and Peter; grandfather of Tamara, Daniel, Patrick, James, Andrew, Kieran, Melissa, Cameron, Jarrad, Stephanie, Daniel and Sean; also father-in-law of Ed, Penny and Suzanne. A gentle and gracious man. He will be deeply missed. […]

16 Sep 14 Peter Bull

OTC Maritime – Alan Durham’s Retirement

The below photo was supplied by Arthur Major. Do you know any of the missing names? Are all of the names listed below correct?

06 Aug 14 Peter Bull

Jann Kohlman – Passed Away Friday 25 July 2014 – Aged in her early 50s

Michelle De Vries Robbe has delivered the sad news that Jann has passed away: 29 July 09:28 Jann Kohlman, OTC Direct Connect Manager (Strategy) in 1992, passed away on the weekend from cancer. For those who know her, she is a great loss. She was a wonderful marketing professional and taken rather young in her […]

30 Jul 14 Peter Bull

Charlie Carthew

Some of the old MOR staff will have memories of Charlie Carthew who ran the Telegraphists school. Some tended to deride Charlie but he really had at heart the interests of his students and also was very loyal to OTC. When you talk about mentors, I class Charlie as one of those. Everyone in his […]

29 Jul 14 Peter Bull

Denis Pickwell – Who Remembers Him

Hi Peter, Geof Hipwell sent me your application form. Geof and I worked together at Fiskville and he later became my brother-in-law. Small world. I would have joined the OTC Veterans many years ago but my work took me to Sydney (initially with OTC) and since I retired I have been living in Brisbane. So […]

25 Jul 14 Peter Bull

2014 AGM

OVERSEAS TELECOMMUNICATIONS VETERANS ASSOCIATION  ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING MINUTES Meeting held at NSW Bowler’s Club on Friday, 13 June 2014  Meeting Opened:             11:32am by the president Members present:           Peter Bull, Will Whyte, Kevin O’Brien, Bernie White, Allan Hennessy, David Richardson, Peter Allan, Bob Dean, Neil Yakalis, John Phillips, Jim Simpson, Bill Jolly, Bob Lions, Robin Tuckfield, […]

22 Jul 14 Peter Bull

Willam Hector Blemmings – ex SOR – Aged 89 Years

I have just received the sad news of the passing of “Bill” Blemings who passed away peacefully on 6th July 2014. I was advised, tonight, by his wife, Wendy. Bill will be remembered by those of us who worked at Central Operating Room, 47 York St., and at Sydney Operating Room, Spring St. during the […]

14 Jul 14 Peter Bull

Alice Springs Overland Telegraph Office

John Eades has just returned from Central Australia. While there he visited the Overland Telegraph Station at Alice Springs and was fascinated with the principle used for creating the battery power. Some of the old hands might be able to answer how they maintained the battery voltage of 2.5 volts per cell. There were no […]

02 Jul 14 Peter Bull

Antenna Tragedy (circa 1963)

Graham Watts posted in ex-OTC Facebook web site                                                   I think I took this shot sometime in 1963 at Bringelly while on field training. A helicopter was being used to assist in […]

30 Jun 14 Peter Bull

Northern Rivers Welcome

   The Northern Rivers sub branch would like to welcome any OTVA members travelling up this way the opportunity to have lunch and of course and a few beers with us. We meet every Wednesday in the restaurant from  1200pm until about 4pm at the Riverview Hotel 267 Tweed Valley Way Murwillumbah.        Those […]

26 Jun 14 Peter Bull

Darrel Savage – Passed Away 16 June 2014 – Aged 82

From Rob McAulay: It is my sad duty to advise that Darrel Savage passed away last night, 16th June 2014. Darrel was a Professional Engineer with OTC before moving on to chase sheep around on a small farm near Mudgee. When that got too difficult for him, he returned to the Central Coast of NSW […]

18 Jun 14 Peter Bull

OTVA Life Members as at 13 June 2014

The following persons have been awarded LIFE MEMBERSHIP by the members of the OTVA               Mr T H Barker Mr J H Collister             Mr K McCredden    Mr H F Cranfield             Mr B White    Mr A Hennessy

13 Jun 14 Peter Bull

JANE HODSON, 1957–2014

From Bob Emanuel: Few would remember Jane Hodson, former OTC tech and TO who spent her two-three years with OTC mainly in Perth.                   Her passing was noted in a large but warm obituary in today’s Sydney Morning Herald print edition and online. The SMH obit […]

22 May 14 Peter Bull

Helen Mirzoian – Passed Away 27 April 2014 – May She Rest In Peace

From Peter Grove: Helen Mirzoian (ex-OTC Public Relations and Transit editor) passed away peacefully on Sunday 27th April after losing a long battle against brain cancer.  She was a good lady who passed away far too young. Now there’s one more angel in heaven.  May she rest in peace.

01 May 14 Peter Bull

Ray Volpatti – Passed Away 15 April 2014 – Aged 76

It is with great sadness that I inform you of the passing of Ray Volpatti (ex-Paddington ITMC). Ray’s wife, Wendy, rang Laurie McIllree on the morning of April 16 to inform him of teh sad news. Ray went into Hospital last week for an operation and died of complications. Ray had only advised a few close […]

16 Apr 14 Peter Bull

Neil Yakalis Day Trip – ABC TV & Radio Studios –

Neil Yakalis organised a trip to the ABC Radio & TV Studios on Tuesday 8th April 2014. The ABC is located in Harris Street at Central near the UTS building. The ABC radio & TV studio outing went well today with a total of 18 going. They were Neil & Jeanette Yakalis, Robert Askew, George […]

10 Apr 14 Peter Bull

Peter Edwin Dennis – Aged 78 – May He Rest In Peace

Fropm Robert Hall, President VIC Branch of the OTVA: It is with much regret to advise you of the passing of Peter Edwin Dennis on 29th March 2014 aged 78.  Requiem Mass for the Repose of the Soul will be offered at St. Louis de Montfort Catholic Church   37 Dolphin Street Aspendale Vic. On FRIDAY […]

02 Apr 14 Peter Bull

Submarine Cable Map – Gold!

Coutesy of Noel Sutherland:

28 Mar 14 Peter Bull

Memories of Bringelly

From Joan Warby Cassin: Today on my way out to Bents Basin with the kids I stumbled upon a familiar site, the distinctive OTC Gate Monument which made me realise that I was driving past OTC Bringelly. I was instantly transported back to my early years (maybe I was 10) where I remember going to […]

20 Mar 14 Peter Bull

Paddington Memories

Hasler Exchange                                                         Message Relay Switching Centre (MRSC)  

20 Mar 14 Peter Bull

John Strmecki – Passed Away Saturday 22 February 2014 – Aged 52

From Carlo Cofini: Hello Friends and Colleagues, It saddens me very much to tell you that today we learn of the passing of John Strmecki.  Over the last several years John was fighting heart issues. He was recently released from hospital again, but passed away at his home last Saturday at age 52.  John commenced […]

25 Feb 14 Peter Bull

Shirley Richardson (Wife of David) – Passed Away Saturday 15th February 2014 – May She Rest In Peace

From Alison Archer, Shirley’s daughter: With great sadness, I wish to let you know, that my mother Shirley Richardson, wife of David Richardson, passed away peacefully on Saturday 15th February after a short period in hospital. We had hoped that a series of chemotherapy infusions would minimise the tumour but she was not well enough […]

19 Feb 14 Peter Bull

Mervyn de Courcey Jessop – Tuesday 21st January 2014 – Aged 73 – May He Rest In Peace

From Robert Hall, President, Victorian Branch OTVA Hi To All, Sadly I regret to inform you of the passing of our dear colleague Mervyn de Courcey Jessop after nine months suffering finally succumbed and died peacefully at 2.30am this morning Tuesday 21st January 2014 aged 73 Our sincere sympathy and condolences to his wife, Glenda, […]

22 Jan 14 Peter Bull

Ulo Kampus – Passed Away 19 January 2014 – Aged 84 – May He Rest In Peace

From Anne Kampus (Ulo’s Daughter): Hi.  I am writing to advise that Ulo Kampus has passed away on 19 January 2014. The funeral will be held at Rookwood Crematorium, South Chapel, on Friday 24 January at 1.30pm. Anyone that knew him from OTC is welcome. The family would be most grateful if his friends from […]

21 Jan 14 Peter Bull

Telstra Heritage

From Ron Beckett: Hi Peter,   Last week I went to Canberra and, whilst there, visited the Telstra Tower.  Downstairs they had an exhibit of Telstra memorabilia.  Here’s OTC’s contribution to Telstra  Ron  

06 Jan 14 Peter Bull

Vale – Bob Scherf – Passed Away 14 December 2013 – Aged 81

Robert H Scherf Bob lost his battle with cancer. Friends of Bob are invited to attend his funeral services to be held in its entirety in the Guardian Funeral Chapel, First Avenue, Blacktown on Friday 20th December, 2013 at 10.00am Please address any messages of condolence to his sister: Mrs M Turner 144 Northcott Road […]

18 Dec 13 Peter Bull

Graham Gosewinckel – 22 November 2013 Aged 83 Years

It is with great sadness that the family of William Graham Gosewinckel advise of his passing on Friday November 22 2013 Graham is survived by his wife, Diana, his children, Vanessa, Amanda and Martin and his granchildren, Adam, Matt, Jade, Natasha, Alex, Ben, Mitchelll and Madeleine. The family will be hosting a Memorial Celebration of […]

25 Nov 13 Peter Bull

Fanning Island (circa 1963)

Keith McCredden has provided the following photos:           L to R  Back Row.     Karl (Charlie) Raecke, Geof Day, Geof McDonald, Keith McCredden, Len Martyn. Front Row.      Alan Rogers (C&W), Dr Clarke, Manager R.H. (Randy) Payne, Peter Beechy (C&W) Alex Griffiths.             Mrs Betty Griffiths,  Mrs Molly Raecke,  Mrs […]

19 Nov 13 Peter Bull

39th Annual Meeting and Reunion of the WA Veterans – Midday Tuesday 19th of November 2013

The 39th Annual Meeting and Reunion of the WA Veterans will be held at mid-day on Tuesday the 19th of November at PITC. I need to know the numbers attending for catering purposes so please let me know by phone or e-mail no later than Friday the 15th of November if you wish to attend. […]

13 Nov 13 Peter Bull

Living At Doonside – From the Perspective of One of the Doonside Children (Lorraine Ritchie)

                                                                        LIFE ON THE CRESCENT                                                           (Nothing ever happens at Doonside) Our address was: Staff Cottage No. 8, OTC Doonside Crescent, Doonside. Our parents insisted that this was how we were to write it & write it we did! You didn’t argue with your parents in those days. We had the longest address […]

01 Nov 13 Peter Bull

Compac Cable – 50th Anniversary of Opening – 3rd December 1963

In Nov 1963, almost 50 years ago, the first undersea phone cable was opened. It was operated by Australia’s sole international carrier, OTC (Overseas Telecommunications Commission), and provided circuits to New Zealand, Fiji, US, Canada and the UK (primarily). It replaced the days of HF radio communications and was the first cable to allow reliable […]

24 Oct 13 Peter Bull

Vince Sim – Passed Away 2002 – 92 Years

From Phil Dickson, grandson of Vince Sim: I’ve stumbled across your wonderful site because I’m researching the family tree, and hence trying to get more background on what my grandfather actually did for a crust. The family all knows he worked at OTC but no one can put their finger on exactly what he did. […]

08 Oct 13 Peter Bull

VALE – David Smith – 16 July 2013

From Henry Cranfield Saturday 27th July 2013 There was a funeral notice in Saturday’s Herald that read as follows: “Dies suddenly on 16 July 2013 in Killarney (Ireland) whilst on a world cruise. David Smith of St Hubert’s Island, ex-OTC Sydney. A funeral service will be held at Greenway Chapel, 460 Avoca Drive Green Point on […]

25 Sep 13 Peter Bull

OTVA Newsletter – September 2013

Registered Address                                                                                                           […]

17 Sep 13 Peter Bull

OTVA Spring Reunion – Friday 20 September 2013 – Bowlers Club, Level 1 (Red Room), 95-97 York St, Sydney

The following RSVPs have been received indicating that they will attend this coming Friday’s social event. The attendees are: Peter Bull Ray Hookway Bill Jolly Colin Kelly Allan Hennessy Jim Simpson Keith McCredden If you would like to attend there is plenty of room. The cost will be about $25 to partake in the bistro […]

17 Sep 13 Peter Bull

VALE – Betty Toland – 4/9/13

Bob Collins has passed on the sad news of the passing of John Toland’s wife, Betty, last Wed 4th Sept. Betty (87 years young) passed away after battling dementia. Memorial service – Time:                    11:00 am Date:                     […]

12 Sep 13 Peter Bull

VALE – Brian Tudehope – 9 September 2013

From David Tudehope: It is with great sadness that I pass on to you the news that Brian (72 years young) passed away after a long battle with illness. Funeral arrangements – Where:                  St Joseph’s Church, Albert St, Edgecliff Time:               […]

10 Sep 13 Peter Bull

Jack Edwards – Relocated to Mayflower Nursing Home, Westmead

From Bernie White: Just a note to let you know that Doreen Edwards rang yesterday and told me that Jack is now in a Nursing Home at Westmead with a touch of dementia.   His address is Mayflower Nursing Home, Westmead near the Hospital.   Doreen said that Charlie Maiden calls into see him. Cheers  Bernie

06 Sep 13 Peter Bull

VALE – Allan Ritchie (29th July 1997)

From Allan’s daughter, Lorraine Thomas (nee Ritchie): My Dad, Allan, worked for the OTC at Doonside & we lived at Staff Cottage No 8 up to about 1969, when we moved to Baulkham Hills. Dad commuted to work from there before his retirement. I think he retired in 1979; I remember going to his retirement […]

02 Sep 13 Peter Bull

OTVA Newsletter – June 2013

 OTVA Newsletter June 2013  2013 NSW AGM Date: Friday 14 June at 11.30 Venue: Level 2 NSW Bowlers’ Club 99 York St, Sydney RSVP: By 7 th June 2013 call/SMS 0411 260 542 Interstate Vets are welcome to attend.   PRESIDENTS MESSAGE. Fellow Members of the OTVA, I hope that this newsletter finds you […]

22 Jul 13 Peter Bull

VALE – Brian Calder – 1/4/44 to 21/7/13

From Peter Burgess: Peter, It is with great sadness that I have to let you know that Brian Calder passed away early this morning in a Sydney hospital after a relatively short battle with cancer. No further details at this stage.   Appreciate if  you could send this to the OTVA team. — Regards Peter W […]

22 Jul 13 Peter Bull

Vale – Ron Cocker

                      From Des Kinnersley: Ron’s daughter, Debra Gaye, rang me on Sunday 14 July 2013 to advise that Ron Cocker has passed away. The funeral details will be in the West Australian in the next couple of days. Ron had been in poor shape with fluid […]

15 Jul 13 Peter Bull

Vale – Dave Wood – Satellite Operations (OTC & Optus)

It is with deep regret that I advise you of the passing of Dave Wood on 10 July 2013 aged 58. I went through training with Dave at the Dept Civil Aviation Training School at Waverton NSW between 1971 and 1975 and found him to be a very nice guy who will be remembered fondly […]

12 Jul 13 Peter Bull

Murray Oakley – May He Rest In Peace

From: McKnight, Tom I am deeply saddened to announce that Murray lost his battle against cancer on Friday night. His funeral will be held at 1.30pm on Thursday 20th June at Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park. Service 1.30 – 2.30pm. Burial 2.45 – 3.15pm. The service will be held in the Burial Cemetery Chapel (East). The […]

18 Jun 13 Peter Bull

John Oxley’s Photos

To view 81 photos provided by John Oxley please click on the below hyperlink

17 Jun 13 Peter Bull

Establishment of the OTC(A) Carnarvon Earth Station and the Historic Carnarvon – Goonhilly TV Broadcast

 by Guntis („Gus”) Berzins Background As part of its space programme the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1963 established a Tracking Station on Brown Range, about 10 km outside Carnarvon.  Subsequently, the USA embarked on Project Apollo, the project to put a man on the moon, and great emphasis was then […]

17 Jun 13 Peter Bull

VALE – John Brooksbank – 15 May 2013

From Julia Brooksbank Peter Sadly, I have to inform you John passed peacefully away on 15th May, 2013. Regards ,

05 Jun 13 Peter Bull

Financial Status of Members of the OTVA

Below is a list of Financial Members of the OTVA. Please check your financial status and if there are any omissions please reply to me via email ( and the committee will investigate and provide feedback. May-13 Mr E Anthoney May-13 Mr M Arias May-13 Mr I Atkinson LIFE Mr T H Barker May-13 Mr T Bastow May-13 Mr R Beaumont […]

31 May 13 Peter Bull

Mervyn Cooper – May He Rest In Peace


27 May 13 Peter Bull

Les Foley – May He Rest In Peace


27 May 13 Peter Bull

Vale – Peter Leslie Connors –

Received from Robert Hall, OTVA Victorian Branch President I regret to inform you of the Passing of a former colleague, Mr. Peter Leslie Connors, who has tragically passed away on 17th April 2013 . There has not or at least I have not seen notification of a funeral service.   May He Rest In Peace

30 Apr 13 Peter Bull

Tony Belts (ex-Carnarvon) Retiring

Dear All   With Perth (Gnangara) closing its HF station and no new business on the horizon, the time has come for me to hang up my earthing stick on 10th April and move on after a 43 year career in electronics and radio, 22 years with OTC/Telstra and 21 years with Air Services Australia. […]

08 Apr 13 Peter Bull

Digitisation of Contact Magasines

The editions of the Contact magasines that are missing from the list of magasines that have been found and scanned for loading onto DVD are listed below. If you have a copy of any of these magasines could you please either scan it/them and email to Peter Bull ( or post the magasines to Peter […]

25 Mar 13 Peter Bull

Digitisation of Transit Magasines

The editions of the Transit magasines that are missing from the list of magasines that have been found and scanned for loading onto DVD are listed below. If you have a copy of any of these magasines could you please either scan it/them and email to Peter Bull ( or post the magasines to Peter […]

25 Mar 13 Peter Bull

OTVA Newsletter – March 2013

OTVA Newsletter Mar 2013 Final to view the OTVA Newsletter in colour with pictures Overseas Telecommunication Veterans Newsletter                                                                       Registered   Address: 805/41 Meredith Street BANKSTOWN 2200 ISSN   1322-1906     March 2013.    Volume 14   Page 1   […]

25 Mar 13 Peter Bull

Vale – Annette Taylor – Passed Away 24th February 2013

From Tony Farrugia: On Sunday 3rd March I received a telephone call from Peter Gorman (ex OTC accounts branch) to advise me that he had seen a death notice in the SMH, that an Annette Taylor had passed away on Sunday 24th February 2013, and he  was wondering if I knew anything about it, and […]

05 Mar 13 Peter Bull

Valke – Rita Day

From Keith McCredden Regret to advise that Rita Day, wife of Geoff Day passed away on the 5th February 2013 and was buried today 11th Feb Rita spent some time at Norfolk Island, Suva and Fanning Island as well as Sydney and Melbourne as Geoff moved around with OTC. Geoff and Rita were regulars at the […]

12 Feb 13 Peter Bull

Peter John Seaton (92 years) – May He Rest In Peace

From Ed Willingham: I have been in contact with Peter Seaton over many years and have just learnt of his passing just prior to Christmas 2012 aged 92 years. I do not have much background on Peter however I met up with him at Moree in 1969. He was the respected elderly gentleman on the […]

17 Jan 13 Peter Bull

VALE – Danny Yee

It is with deep regret that I advise of the passing of Danny Yee last Friday 4-1-2013 aged  72 after a long illness which has been reported in the Sick List of this BLOG for several weeks. Many thanks to Paul Mulcahy, Vernon Yen and others for advising of Danny’s passing. More from Kevin O’Brien extracted from […]

06 Jan 13 Peter Bull

Jim Robinson – 1926 – 2012

Robert Hall (Hon. Secretary/Treasurer OTVA Melbourne) has passed on the sad news of Jim’s passing. Jim was an esteemed colleague and former Manager Melbourne in his OTC days.   Mr. James Alfred Robinson, aged 86 years, passed away peacefully at the Mt Martha Valley Lodge after a long illness.   Dearly beloved husband of Judith […]

28 Dec 12 Peter Bull

Vale – Des Woods

From Allan Hennessy: Des has been living in KINGSCLIFF until recently. His daughter, Debbie Thompson, advised that Des passed away last Saturday in a nursing home at Woodburn. No funeral details as yet,  Debbie can be contacted on 02 5602 1904. We also have Debbie’s postal address if needed. The picture below is of Des […]

18 Dec 12 Peter Bull

Gold Coast sub-branch of the OTVA

Col Kelly had lunch with the group in mid November 2012 at the Surf Club overlooking Kirra Beach. Those guys are certainly enjoying their lifestyle.  Mick Wood was not feeling the best and didn’t make it.  Unfortunately there was too much back light and the photos that I took didn’t turn out.  If anyone is […]

30 Nov 12 Peter Bull

Danny Yee

From Norm Stagnitta and Colin Kelly (ex-Paddington ITMC/INMC: Danny Yee is in Concord Hospital and is very sick. Apparently he has leukaemia and the chemotherapy is not going well. Best wishes to Danny and his family have been received from many people who have known and respected Danny over the years in which he worked at […]

28 Nov 12 Peter Bull

OTVA XMAS Reunion – 9 November at Bowlers Club, York St, Sydney

From Peter Bull: 50 of our members attended and enjoyed a sumptuous meal and a lot of banter and camaraderie. A good time was had by all.              

13 Nov 12 Peter Bull

Visit to Tramway Museum – By Neil Yakalis

A total of 18 turned up for this outing. Our volunteer tram driver was Bill Jolly.  After morning tea Bill drove us out to the Royal National Park in the RAAF tram 2001. Then we visited the huge museum containing historical trams. A highlight here was the prison van that Darcy Dugan broke out through […]

12 Nov 12 Peter Bull

VALE – Greg Hutchinson

From Geoff Larcombe In case you haven’t already heard the sad news… HUTCHINSON, Gregory Desmond Suddenly on Tuesday 30th October, 2012 Late of Baulkham Hills Dearly loved and devoted husband of Lyndahl. Loved father of Ben, Emma and Rebekah. Father-in-law of Brooke, Andy and Ricky. Cherished Pop to Joshua and Manson. Brother to Lorna, Megsie, […]

12 Nov 12 Peter Bull

Joan Sullivan – 87 Years Young

Info from Kim Hargreaves (Joan’s proud daughter): Joan Sullivan was a €10 pom who joined OTC in Spring St approx 1953/54 and retired 1985. From Spring St she went to Martin Place, Paddington, Broadway & back to Paddington where she retired. Attached are 2 photos taken today with her grandchildren and another last week on her 87th […]

09 Nov 12 Peter Bull

OTVA Newsletter – Nov 2012

OTVA Newsletter Nov 2012 to view the OTVA Newsletter in colour with pictures Overseas Telecommunications Veterans Newsletter Registered Address: 805/41 Meredith Street BANKSTOWN 2200 ISSN 1322-1906 November 2012. Volume 13 Page 52 President’s message 2012 has been a very good year from the perspective of our collective achievements and I look forward to being a part […]

02 Nov 12 Peter Bull

SOR Spring St Sydney before the move to Paddington circa 1963

From Laurie McIlree: Hi Peter, I took these photos when I worked in SOR Spring St Sydney before we moved to Paddington in about 1963, I particularly like the photograph of the control room with the open book sitting on the telephones and the empty chair. Number 1 photo shows  4 little black motors in […]

19 Oct 12 Peter Bull

Fanning Island – Is the photo of the CS Building in the attached story accurate?

  From Laurie McIlree: Hi Peter, The attached website contains a photograph of a cable station on Fanning Island and I am wondering if anyone can tell me if it resembles the original cable station there or a building later on as the site does make mention of cable station staff working on the island. […]

18 Oct 12 Peter Bull

Applecross Centenary Celebrations — By Brian Woods

Hi Peter/Neil…   Attached is the catalogue of events, anniversary day, which I neglected to enclose with material already posted….Probably one of the most important items, but ah well, it happens…..   Can’t add much except to say it was a bright sunshiney day and all present enjoyed themselves…Got nowhere with the speeches as couldn’t really hear what […]

17 Oct 12 Peter Bull

Vale – Denis Humphries (Ex-MOR)

Denis Humphries was born on 14/5/1930 departed this life  aged 82 on Friday 5th October at home in Banora Point. He had been ill for many years. He is survived by his wife, Pauline. Service is 2.30pm DST Wednesday 17th October at Melaleuca Station Remembrance Gardens, 9394 Tweed Valley Way, Chinderah NSW. He was an ex MOR […]

15 Oct 12 Peter Bull

NBN Considering Ex-OTC Satellite Facilities

Plays to history at Carnarvon. NBN Co has decided to build a satellite ground station near a former tracking station that was involved in NASA’s Apollo Moon project. The Shire of Carnarvon Council has approved negotiations for the sale of land adjacent to the former Overseas Telecommunications Commission (OTC) satellite earth station. The station provided mostly communications support for […]

12 Oct 12 Peter Bull

Cairns Cable Station – Repeaters Buried Behind Building?

Peter Burgess and Bruce Boler told Robert Brand that they recalled cable repeters being buried behind the station. If this is true it might be a good idea to approach Telstra to retrieve these items which may be of historical significance so that they can be displayed in the Powerhouse or Telstra Museums. Any ideas?

04 Oct 12 Peter Bull


THE SECRET SUBMARINE CABLE THAT NEVER EVENTUATED (Cyril Vahtrick) The 1956 Olympic Games had finished in Melbourne and OTC was still trying to come back to normal, with new equipment such as T.E.D. (Teleprinter Error Detection)  and T.O.C. (Teleprinter on Cable) to be brought into service. Christmas was approaching when Chief Engineer Bob Long summoned […]

03 Oct 12 Peter Bull

Vale – Eric Morgan

Chas Gregory has advised of the recent passing of his father-in-law, Eric Morgan. Eric served with distinction in the RAAF during WW2 and following the end of hostilities worked air charter in Western QLD and NSW, around Charleville and Cobar. He joined OTC in the early 60s working at Doonside. He then joined the satellite […]

27 Sep 12 Peter Bull

AWA Centenary Celebrations – 28th July 2013

                                                                                 Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Limited 1913 – CENTENARY CELEBRATIONS – 2013 The AWA Veterans Association will celebrate AWA’s centenary in July 2013 with a get-together of past or current employees and friends to socialise over a meal, relive old times, listen to guest speakers and inspect any memorabilia we can resurrect. To plan this important […]

17 Sep 12 Peter Bull

Ray Peacock – May He Rest In Peace

Message from Tony Bradney: Ray was not a financial member of the OTVA but I have been advised of his passing last week.  Apparently he worked in the Accounts Branch for many years.

17 Sep 12 Peter Bull

Compac Opening

Robert Brand has suggested: There should be a huge celebration of the 50th anniversary of the compact opening and Invite the Prime Minister, and/or Minister for Communications to attend with press, etc. A re-enactment of that first phone call that was ever so important hooking up all the prime ministers can also be an achievable goal.

06 Sep 12 Peter Bull

OTVA Newsletter – Sept 2012

Overseas Telecommunications Veterans Newsletter   Backrow – John Bennet (PAD ITMC), Bill Newman (Mgr Offshore Network Operations), Dave Kidd (Telegraph and Data Senior Engineer), Alan West (BWY ISTC and CNCC). Frontrow – Bob E, Gary “Sammy” Samuels (BWY ISTC), Donna Rampling (BWY Admin), Jeff Thwaites (BWY ISTC), Bob Collins (BWY ISTC and CNCC), Michelle Collins. […]

05 Sep 12 Peter Bull

Phone Phreaking via Australia

This story first published in 1974 was discovered by Robert Brand Phreaking = Hacking when it comes to making calls via the backdoor. Either cheaper or free – both qualify. Manipulating the phone network. The author of the story below appears to be British but contains some pretty accurate details on 2VF. I find the […]

22 Aug 12 Peter Bull

Dick Christoffersen – May He Rest In Peace

From Tom Barker: Jo Christoffersen phoned Saturday to advise of Dick’s passing.last week. Dick was one of the Inmarsat originals. If anyone has any pictures or nice stories about Dick that may be of interest/comfort to his family and friends please add a ‘Comment’ or email me and I can upload to the BLOG.

20 Aug 12 Peter Bull

Globe Wireless Seatex Service – Shutdown

From Tony Belts & Kevan Bourke: On the morning of August 17, 2012, the Globe Wireless Seatex service was shut down, this was the last remaining HF service at Gnangara Maritime Coast Station which has been operating in its current form for Globe Wireless since 1997, and many years before that when owned by OTC. […]

20 Aug 12 Peter Bull

Alison Young – May She Rest In Peace

14 August 2012: Message from Peter Burgess Alison Young (eldest daughter of Dale and Margaret) passed away after a long and painful battle with liver cancer. Her funeral will be held at 1.15pm Friday 17th August at Macquarie Park Crematorium, Sydney Another one taken from us too early. RIP Alison.

14 Aug 12 Peter Bull

VIETNAM: My Experiences by Geoff Oldman

1 How I became involved in Vietnam. I was an engineer with OTC (Overseas Telecommunications Corporation) from 1973 to 1994 when I retired. From 1985 I worked as the Project Manager in charge of a number of projects most of which were offshore; mainly in Vietnam and Malta as well as Laos and Cambodia. Vietnam […]

31 Jul 12 Peter Bull

Long Distance Blind Dating Courtesy of OTC – Steve Gray

eLONG DISTANCE BLIND DATE VIA OTC Introduction I was talking to my Aerobics instructor a little while ago at the YMCA in Alice Springs and she told me of her story about finding her future husband (living in Canada) on the Internet. Happily, several years and a couple of kids later they are still together. […]

31 Jul 12 Peter Bull

Paddington Telephone Exchange

From Kevin O’Brien Attached is a bit of Trivia from Wiki for you from the past about a second life for Australia’s first Intercontinental Telephone Exchange. After OTC installed & commissioned the Ericsson ARM, the British Post Office purchased the Paddo exchange from OTC. It was installed in Wood Street, London and was named the […]

23 Jul 12 Peter Bull

OTVA AGM June 2012

OVERSEAS TELECOMMUNICATIONS VETERANS ASSOCIATION 56TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING MINUTES Meeting held at NSW Bowler’s Club on Friday 15 June 2012, at 11:40am Members present:              Ernie Anthoney,   Tom  Barker,   Tony  Bradney,  Robert Brand,  Peter  Bull,  Denis Carroll,  Joe Collister,   Henry Cranfield,   Brian Curran,  John Currie,  Alex Ebert,   Bob  Emanuel,  Allan Hennessy, Jeff Hinwood ,John Hodgson,  Ray Hookway,  […]

12 Jul 12 Peter Bull

Visit to Tram Museum – Wednesday 7th November 2012

Date: Wednesday 7th November, 2012 Transport Cost: Seniors PET ticket $2.50 Museum Cost: $10 Seniors, $15 Adults   No money required upfront. Pay on the day. Seniors Special Lunch at Sutherland United Services Club: Cost: $10, About 10 choices like Fish & Chips, small Rump Steak & Chips, Chicken Schnitzel, Prawn Cutlets. Tea or coffee $2.80 […]

05 Jul 12 Peter Bull

Vijay Singh – May He Rest In Peace

From Vernon Yen to Roly Ayo: Roly, We lost Vijay at about 1300 today 29th June 2012.       He and his wife were on a trip to the U.S. visiting family and friends when he fell ill about a week after his arrival and was hospitalised in San Francisco for approx. 3 weeks. Apparently he had […]

02 Jul 12 Peter Bull

Carnarvon – Opening of Space Museum – Buzz Aldrin Visit

From Bob Shoemark: G’day Peter The email below mentions that the OTC dishes at Carnarvon were being identified as NASA dishes with the recent visit of Buzz Aldrin to Carnarvon. OTC is becoming bigger than life. Cheers, Bob —–Original Message—– From: Colin Mackellar [] Sent: Saturday, 23 June 2012 4:09 PM To: Honeysuckle Subject: Buzz […]

25 Jun 12 Peter Bull

Perth Centenary Wireless Hill Celebration

From Neil Yakalis: I have assisted the City of Melville Council with history of OTC’s involvement in the running of Applecross Radio station prior to its move to Gnangara in 1966. Yesterday I received an invitation from the Mayor to come to the 100 year celebration set for Sunday 30th September 2012. The celebrations are […]

21 Jun 12 Peter Bull

Wikipedia Reference

18 Jun 12 Peter Bull

Interesting Stories & Videos

Robert Brand has published some very interesting stories and videos. Please have a look and give me your feedback either via emailo or a comment below (requires you to register online with WordPress). Note: If you need advice on how to register check out the instructions available via the home page of the BLOG)

15 Jun 12 Peter Bull

Passing of Bruce Douglas Henderson – May He Rest In Peace

From Robert Hall   Hon. Secretary/Treasurer  OTVA Melbourne I wish to advise you of the passing of our dear colleague Bruce Douglas Henderson aged 57 on the 10th June 2012 at the Austin Hospital Heidelberg Vic. Bruce was there for around 12 months as he suffered from Asthma and related conditions most of his life. He […]

15 Jun 12 Peter Bull

The Next Mars Landing

From Jim Simpson: Memories of another time in space exploration… Just 100 days to next Mars landing.

13 Jun 12 Peter Bull

Sean Leahy (vk6bdb) — May He Rest In Peace

From Kevin Mulcahy & Ted Miles: SILENT KEY      As you know we seldom do ‘Silent Keys’ on the National News, instead leaving it to local club and state level news. However we have learnt of the passing recently of VK6BDB Sean Leahy. No, not the Cartoonist but his Father who was aged 86! A tribute written […]

13 Jun 12 Peter Bull

Fanning Island – Latest News from Rich Smith Via John Hibbard

Aloha, Hoping all is well with you. Some exciting developments have been taking place for Fanning Island. I am wanting to get you updated since we last met, communicated and/or traveled on the cruise ships. I have been consolidating all the business cards and contact information given to me from everyone who desired to know […]

13 Jun 12 Peter Bull

Jamesburg Earth Station — Robert Brand

Robert told me that the owner has scrapped a lot of the hardware associated with the site that would enable the disk to be returned to service but with a bit of lateral thinking the dish can still become useful in rebuilding the site as a piece of communications infrastructure. Check out the following web […]

13 Jun 12 Peter Bull

OTVA Newsletter May 2012

Overseas Telecommunications Veterans Association NEWSLETTER   Registered Address: 805/41 Meredith Street BANKSTOWN, 2200 June 2012                       ABN 75 502 170 235  Contents President’s Message                             34 Memories of the DCA RTS                     35 Allan Mason in PNG                              36 Artefacts Collection History                   37 Seacom Tales                                      39 OTC/DCA TiTs Reunion                         40 VALE                                                  40   Office Bearers 20011–12 President: Peter Bull […]

08 Jun 12 Peter Bull

2012 AGM – 15 June 2012

Overseas Telecommunications Veterans Association              OTVA 56th Annual General Meeting Friday 15th June 2012 at 11.00 AM NSW Bowlers Club Phillip Room, Level 2,   99 York Street, Sydney NSW   RSVP  to:    Email: Telephone or SMS:   0411 260542  by Friday 8 June 2012 The meeting is set down to […]

08 Jun 12 Peter Bull

Day Trip to Albion Park Aircraft Museum

 From Peter Bull: I have received several reports that the poor weather was the only negative to a thoroughly enjoyable day. Those who attended are looking forward to Neil’s next outing.         From Neil Yakalis: Total of 18 turned up & the day was voted a success despite the windy rain we […]

06 Jun 12 Peter Bull

Gordon Jesson – May He Rest In Peace

From Carol Jesson Just wanted to notify that my dear husband Gordon Jesson passed away yesterday 30th May 2012, of pancreatic cancer.  It has only been  2 weeks since diagnosis, so, of course we are all still in shock.  These are the details of the funeral arrangements if anyone is able to, and all would […]

04 Jun 12 Peter Bull

Gareth Thompson – May He Rest In Peace

From Keith McCredden and Les Ayers Gareth passed away on Saturday 26 May 2012. Gareth had a long history in international communications.  With Cable&Wireless NZ from 1941 with service in Auckland, Suva and Fanning Island until he transferred as a Cable Officer to OTC Sydney in 1946.  Then followed further postings to Cottesloe, Suva, Fanning […]

31 May 12 Peter Bull

Slide Rules

The following contribution from Tom Barker elaborates on the slide rule that was developed in Australia after WWII with the assistance of  Joe Reed: REED_Riddle_Solved  

30 May 12 Peter Bull

Des Kinnersley on Fanning Island

Fanning Island (From our Archives) Letter from Desmond Kinnersley (25/2/04): I am attaching some digital photos of some of the equipment in use on the old telegraph cables. They were taken at Fanning Island in 1962 about a year before the station closed due to COMPAC coming into service. The equipment pictured was the the […]

29 Apr 12 Peter Bull

Don Wade – Ex-Paddington ITMC

Message from Stephen Shaw: Subject: Don Wade. Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2012 11:23:06 +1000 Hi. I had a phone call a couple of days ago from Don Wade’s sister Jill, to tell me that today the Coroner’s Court will hold an inquest on Don, and declare him deceased, as it is over 30 years since […]

17 Apr 12 Peter Bull

How to Pay Membership of the OTVA

To join the OTVA you can simply deposit $10 annual membership fee into the following account:             ACCOUNT NAME:                     OTVA             BSB NO.:                                  802155             ACCOUNT NUMBER:                 2081862 Once the electronic funds transfer has been completed take a snapshot of the payment confirmation section of your computer screen and email it to and […]

22 Mar 12 Peter Bull

OTVA Newsletter – March 2012

Overseas Telecommunications Veterans Association NEWSLETTER   Registered Address: 1/284 Great North Road, Abbotsford, NSW, 2046 ISSN 1322-1906     March 2012.    Volume 12   Page 21   Contents President’s Message                            1 VIP PerthRadio Museum                       3 Heart Of Africa                                   4 Christmas 2001 Bushfires                     6 Last Word                                          8 Submarine Coaxial Cable Testing            9 VALE 4 The Overheads Office Bearers […]

20 Mar 12 Peter Bull

Reach/OTC Reunion – Sunday 11 March 2012

Reunion at the Rosella Picnic Area, Nurragingy Reserve, Doonside  – Sunday 11 March 2012 A big ‘thank you’ goes out to Maree Giddins who organised the day. Maree arrived before 10am to secure the site for us. Had the weather not been favourable we would have been even more grateful to Maree for her choice […]

13 Mar 12 Peter Bull

VALE – Reg Fernando (Ex-SOR/Paddington/Broadway)

Message from Les Ayers A bit more sad new I’m afraid – one of our old operators from the SOR passed away on Monday.   Reg Fernando, he came originally from Ceylon with service in the Navy and Cable & Wireless in Colombo prior to joining OTC.  He was employed in the SOR, Paddington and Broadway […]

22 Feb 12 Peter Bull

WA Veterans – Minutes 37th AGM – Held 22 November 2011

Minutes 37th AGM – 22.11.2011 OVERSEAS TELECOMMUNICATIONS VETERANS WA President Des Kinnersley opened the meeting at 13:10 p.m.  President Des welcomed WA Veterans Kevan Bourke, Ron Cocker, Jim Congdon, Kevin Hills, Keith Darwin, Ray Parkinson, Rod Pernich, Andy Hemus, Andrew Jones, Geoff Goddard, Neil Smith, Jim Keenan, Leif Akslen, Ian Briggs, Ted Wraight, Paul Crock, […]

07 Feb 12 Peter Bull

Back to the 60s Radio Tech Reunion

Paul Black (ex-DCA) organised a reunion of a few of his mates from his training days. Unfortunately Bill Black, ex-DCA Training School instructor, could not make it due to his frail condition but was in the thoughts and minds of those present who regaled him as the best teacher that they had ever experienced.  Dave Stimson […]

07 Feb 12 Peter Bull

Alan Durham’s Retirement

The attached phot is supplied by Arthur Major. The attached would have been taken circa 1988-1990. No doubt one with better resolution would be found in the Transit archives. The occasion was Alan Durham’s retirement and the venue 39 Herbert Street, St Leonard’s, Head Office, OTC Maritime.

07 Feb 12 Peter Bull

OTVA AGM Minutes June 2011

OVERSEAS TELECOMMUNICATIONS VETERANS ASSOCIATION   55th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING MINUTES Meeting held at NSW Bowler’s Club on Friday 17 June, 2010 at 11am. Members present:              Ernie Anthoney, Tom Barker, Ross Beaumont, Peter Bull, Ross Craig, Alex Ebert, Bob Emanuel, Allan Hennessy, Jeff Hindwood, Ray Hookway, Brian Hoschke, Bill Jolly, Colin Kelly, Arthur Major, John McDermott, […]

01 Feb 12 Peter Bull

Caving Enthusiasts

John Eades has supplied the attached photos. Can you name those in the photo?

01 Feb 12 Peter Bull

Bringelly & Paddington circa 1960

The below photos were scanned and provided by John Eades on 6 January 2011

06 Jan 12 Peter Bull


The following photos were provided by John Eades on 6 January 2011

06 Jan 12 Peter Bull

VALE – Roy Ayton – 27 October 2011

The below has been supplied by Vernon Yen: I received the very sad news a few days ago that our dear colleague, Roy Ayton, passed away on the 27th October, 2011 after a long illness.   Roy came to OTC(A) Marketing from the Motor Industry (Ford) around the late70s/early 80s.   His wife Barbara still resides at their […]

29 Dec 11 Peter Bull

VALE – Libby Bennett – Beloved wife of John (ex-Paddo ITMC)-25/12/2011

John Bennett has sent this tribute to his wife, Libby: Dear treasured friends,                                 On Christmas Day our beautiful Libby passed away peacefully in the presence of John, Lara and Christy. We held herhands and sang to her as she gracefully went on her way. She will be deeply missed and brought so much joy, […]

29 Dec 11 Peter Bull

Vale – Max Lang

Maxwell Smith Lang passed away on 27 August 2010. Max was a radio operator on Burns Philp ships and a member of Costal Radio Service from before WWII to 1979. He served in a number of costal radio stations including:  Port Moresby, Broome, Sydney, Melbourne, Rabaul, Darwin and Adelaide.  Max was OIC in Rabaul, Darwin and […]

28 Dec 11 admin

Paddington INMC Rogue’s Gallery

Kevin O’Brien found these photos.

01 Dec 11 Peter Bull

Kevan Hook – WA Vet – Ex-Rigger

Message from Don Charles: Just thought you OTC guys, I have in my address book, might be interested, last saw cuddly Kevan (not in my time) over at Olympics in Sydney were he was a trackside official. Went with him on one of our coinciding days off to show him a bit of Sydney, was […]

30 Nov 11 Peter Bull

Christmas Reunion – 11 November 2012

To be held in the York Room at the Bowler’s Club on Friday 11th November, 2011. Doors will open at 11.15am, with a BUFFET meal scheduled to commence at 12 noon. The cost of $35 per member will be subsidised by the OTVA membership to assist in the cost of the venue, the meal and the […]

08 Nov 11 Peter Bull

Alf Ricketts – May He Rest In Peace

Alf Ricketts passed away last night in hospital at 76 years young. Alf underwent an emergency operation to address fluid in his lung that was applying pressure on his heart. He appeared to be recovering from the operation but then complications set in that resulted in his passing. Alf had a bad heart over the […]

28 Oct 11 Peter Bull

Ceduna – Oct 2011

Mesage from Paul Horder So much has changed but then so many years have passed since I first visited Ceduna! I cannot believe I did the HSC 40 years ago. It was strange standing at the earth station and realising my last visit was at the start of my working life. It was sad to […]

27 Oct 11 Peter Bull

Paul Kerkin – Passed Away 20 October 2011

Fellows,  It’s we deep regret that I have to inform you of the passing of Paul Kerkin this morning.  Paul joined OTC in approximately 1974 and retired from Reach in mid 2011.  Paul had a melanoma removed several years ago and was given a clean bill of health but a medical check undertaken approximately six […]

21 Oct 11 Peter Bull

Jeff Pace – Eulogy by Daughter, Nerilee

My Dad, Jeffrey Wayne Pace was born 18th February 1960, the third child of Joyce & Bill Pace and little brother to Susan and Gary. Sister Susan was particularly delighted to have a little doll to dress up and push around in her pram.  While Jeffrey was a bit of a surprise to Joyce and […]

19 Oct 11 Peter Bull

OTVA Membership

Membership of the Overseas Telecommunications Veterans Association (OTVA) is open to anyone who has an interest in the history of communications in Australia. The cost to becoming a member is $10 through an annual subscription fee for which the members can gain access to the OTVA Newsletter which is distributed every 4 months. The newsletter contains interesting stories […]

10 Oct 11 Peter Bull

AGM Minutes – 17 June 2011

OVERSEAS TELECOMMUNICATIONS VETERANS ASSOCIATION  55th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING MINUTES  Meeting held at NSW Bowler’s Club on Friday 17 June, 2010 at 11am.  Members present:              Ernie Anthoney, Tom Barker, Ross Beaumont, Peter Bull, Ross Craig, Alex Ebert, Bob Emanuel, Allan Hennessy, Jeff Hindwood, Ray Hookway, Brian Hoschke, Bill Jolly, Colin Kelly, Arthur Major, John McDermott, Ted […]

10 Oct 11 Peter Bull

Vale – Jeff Pace

Unfortunately Jeff lost his battle with cancer this week.  Jeff joined OTC as a trainee technician in 1978 and worked in the Data Centre at Broadway for a number of years before moving to Head Office (231 Elizabeth Street). He joined iPrimus and held a senior position there until he took sick last year. Jeff was diagnosed […]

30 Sep 11 Peter Bull

John Grosbard at Work

In 1964 when these pictures were taken John Grosbard worked in the ISTC at Paddington. They may remind you of him. I remember John Grosbard very well. I worked with him in 1975 when I first joined the ITMC at Paddington until I was seconded to L M Ericsson for the development of the new AXE132 […]

26 Sep 11 Peter Bull

Brian Woods

Allan Hennessy has advised that Brian Woods had a fall last Friday night and is in Gosford Hospital recovering from an operation that he had on his hip last Monday (19/9/11). I will update this BLOG when I get more details on Brian’s condition.

22 Sep 11 Peter Bull

Aircraft Detection Before Radar

Aircraft Detection Before Radar

20 Sep 11 Peter Bull

Vale – Ian Reed, Melbourne.

As best as I can recall, it was probably during the mid 70’s when Ian & I first came to know one another. We had both emerged from OTC’s operational businesses of the 60’s & 70’s – the somewhat notorious Sydney & Melbourne Operating Rooms & international Telex Exchange at Paddington –  to find new […]

08 Sep 11 admin

Upcoming Social Events

Registered Address: 805/41 Meredith Street, Bankstown NSW 2200 NOTICE OTVA COMING EVENTS 2011 OTVA NSW Spring Reunion. To be held at 12 noon on Friday 23rd September, 2011 in the raised area of the Red Room on Level 1 of the Bowler’s Club, 95 York St Sydney To enable the club to allocate and reserve […]

08 Sep 11 Peter Bull

Wessel Johannes Koeman – May He Rest In Peace

Message from Kathy Palmer My father Wessel Johannes Koeman passed away on the 28th of August, 2011 in Townsville. He served with OTC his entire working life. He emigrated to Australia in the late 1950’s and I’m unsure as to exactly when he started with OTC. He served in Melbourne at Cape Shanck, had two […]

05 Sep 11 Peter Bull

Vale – Stew Taylor 29/8/11

Extract from Daily Telegraph Obituaries NX433176 TAYLOR, Stewart Edmund 29 August 2011 Late of Caringbah Dearly beloved husband of the late Marie. Loved father of Ann, Lyn, Jenny and father-in- law of Murray and Paul. Adored Granddad of Scott, Stuart, Kylie, Rebecca, Craig, Henry and Great Granddad of Lily, Archer, Jayden, Ryan and wee Leila. […]

01 Sep 11 Peter Bull


Registered Address: 805/41 Meredith Street, Bankstown NSW 2200 When: Friday 17 June 2011 at 11.00 am Where: NSW Bowlers Club Level 2, 99 York Street, Sydney NSW All acceptances by Friday 3 rd June 2011 Telephone or SMS 0411 260542 Please note:The meeting is set down to commence at 11.00 AM sharp. It will […]

24 Aug 11 admin

Vale – Brian Williams 23/5/11

Brian commenced with AWA on 14/5/1945 on 48 shillings per week as a Junior. Duties CRO started in Training School 5/5/1947, Telegraph Staff 12/11/1047 and provisionally classified as Telegraphist 3/6/1950 on 456-598 pounds per annum. Brian was appointed as Actg. Senior Telegraphist on 12/1/1957. Brian commenced Phototel duties on 22.9.1958 and carried on those duties […]

24 Aug 11 admin

Kamal (Kim) Ayoub

Message from Vernon Yen I spoke Kim today and he is in poor health suffering from Parkinsons. He has a slight problem with his speech for which he is undergoing therapy. Kim has asked that I pass on his fond regards to all his ex OTC colleagues. As he is a bit low at the […]

24 Aug 11 Peter Bull

Enquiry from Kerry Adams

Message from Kerry Adams Brian Woods kindly sent me some info on Thursday Island but I have some more questions which our members may be able to answer: When did Telstra close the remaining stations? How the New Zealand (TVNZ?) contract came into being? I only heard rumours of happenings after I closed Doonside and […]

23 Aug 11 Peter Bull

Photos From Guam

                              Ben McGee (partially obscured), Graham Stephens (back to camera), Visitor, John Scott (looking at camera)                                                   […]

27 Jun 11 Peter Bull

NOTICE – OTVA 55th Annual General Meeting

Registered Address: 805/41 Meredith Street, Bankstown NSW 2200   When:       Friday 17th June 2011 at 11.00 am Where:       NSW Bowlers Club Level 2,   99 York Street, Sydney NSW   Please note:            All acceptance  by Friday 3 rd June 2011. RSVP  to:  Telephone or SMS.  0411 260542. Please note: The meeting is set down to […]

25 May 11 admin

Vale – Brian Heywood Williams – 23/5/11

From Robert Hall I regret to inform you of the passing of Brian Heywood Williams aged 83 on 23 May 2011 from a  stroke.  The funeral service will be on Thursday 26 May 2011 at the Wilson Chapel Springvale Botanical Cemetery Princes Highway Springvale. Beloved husband of Betty, loving father of Michael and Sharon and father-in-law […]

25 May 11 admin

June 2011 Newsletter

Registered Address: 805/41 Meredith Street BANKSTOWN, 2200 ISSN 1322-1906 June 2011. Volume 12 Page 31 President’s Message – 32 PNG Adventures – 33 The History Of Masers – 34 Dodgy Practices- Telco Vendors – 36 VALE – Ian Reed – 38 Coming Events 2011 NSW AGM and June Reunion WHEN: Friday 17th June 2011 WHERE: 2nd Floor […]

23 May 11 admin

Sick list – Jeff Pace – 18/5/11

From David Neyle Mick Ward rang me this morning to give an update on Jeff Pace’s health.  For those of you who are not aware, Jeff was diagnosed with a brain tumour last year (ironically enough, at the same time as Kevin Huby’s death from the same problem).  Jeff has been going through the usual radio […]

21 May 11 Chris Bull

Vale – Ian Kenneth Reed – 21.4.2011

Ian Kenneth Reed –Obiturary 17.6.1943 – 21.4.2011 The Funeral service Mr. Ian Kenneth Reed is on Tuesday May 3rd at the Le Pine Chapel  132 Mt. Dandenong Road  CROYDON Victoria commencing at 2.30pm. This tribute from Robert & Judith Hall & Family Ian commenced with O.T.C. (A) on the 12.1.1959 as a Traffic Assistant Grade […]

04 May 11 Chris Bull
22 Apr 11 admin

John Newlyn passed away on 15/4/2011

Tribute from Bernie White:   John Newlyn was posted to the Brisbane Beam Office during WW2. His father was a supervisor posted up there from Melbourne. The office was set up to cater for McArthur’s Headquarters overseas communications outlet where communiqués issued from the Supreme Commander were distributed to all parts of the world. An […]

22 Apr 11 admin

March 2011 Newsletter

Overseas Telecommunications Veterans Association NEWSLETTER – March 2011 Registered Address: 805/41 Meredith Street BANKSTOWN, 2200 ISSN 1322-1906     March 2011.    Volume 12   Page 23          Contents   President’s Message                                                                              24 MRSC – The Message Relay Switching Centre at Paddington.                        25 The Univac 418 Control Panel                                                                 26 New Treasurer Required                                                                         26 WA Vets Reunion                                                                                 […]

20 Mar 11 Chris Bull

Fanning Island

Message from John Hibbard: I am trying to get information on Fanning Island as I met recently with a guy who services the telecoms equip on Fanning and gives talks on the cruise going there. The telecoms guy was asking for information and I want to put him in contact with the ex-OTC staff who were associated with Fanning […]

23 Mar 10 Peter Bull

Allan McPherson-ex Accounts Branch

I left OTC in 1989 after 20 years service. I had only one job before at the Sydney Water Board for 2 years after leaving school in 1967. Since my redundancy (one of the first) I worked for Boral, BT, had my own business(a sandwich shop in Blacktown) and in the Club industry as 2IC […]

18 Feb 10 Peter Bull

Meeting Place

This post starts a thread of conversations from members seeking to re-establish contact with lost work mates. Simply reply to this post and wait for a reply.

17 Feb 10 Chris Bull

Xmas Island

This blog invites comments from members about their experiences working on Xmas Island.

31 Oct 09 Chris Bull

How do I add a comment?

ONLY REGISTER USERS CAN LOGON AND ADD COMMENTS If you want to do more than just read the blog (i.e. if you want to  add comments) then you must first register with a valid email address. After registering you will be emailed a password allowing you to login. After logging in you are directed to your “Dashboard”  which is like a control centre […]

29 Oct 09 Chris Bull

Changing passwords

How do I change my system generated password?

13 Feb 09 Chris Bull

No Fault found (NFF)

This post invites comments and stories from members who have experienced strange and unexplainable events in their working lives.

13 Jan 09 Chris Bull

Stories (General)

In this blog you can comment on stories from workplaces with no category defined as yet.

13 Jan 09 Chris Bull

Broadway Stories

The Overseas Telecommunications Commission of Australia’s international terminal at Broadway was full of colourful characters involved in many memorable events. This blog is about stories of Broadway, so if you have an interesting or funny story to submit we invite your comment on this blog. Happy Blogging ….

07 Jan 09 admin

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question regarding the operation of this blog just comment on this blog and we’ll answer your question ASAP.

06 Jan 09 admin

Technical Forum

This post is a forum for technical discussions relating to telecommunciation equipment, techniques, and, technology. Happy blogging….

06 Jan 09 admin

Paddo Stories

The Overseas Telecommunications Commission of Australia’s international terminal at Paddington was full of colourful characters involved in many memorable events. This blog is about stories of Paddo, so if you have an interesting or amusing story to submit we invite your comment on this blog. Happy Blogging ….

06 Jan 09 admin