As our members age, some may be having trouble reading the email newsletter on their computer or phone. We’re interested to have you listen to this computer generated version of our latest Newsletter and would appreciate your comments.
Note: the download is 23 Mb and may take some time to arrive on your computer. Please be patient (who ever wanted to wait for a computer!). I expect the file (which is an mp3 file) will open an audio player in a new browser window on your computer or phone. The file is on an external site to OTVA.com. Playing this file will be about 50 minutes.
Alternative ways of listening to the Newsletter are:
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EFM (Expeditionary Force Messages) were used by members of the Armed Forces & civilians serving overseas, during wartime, with their families in both World Wars.
As part of our research for the September 2020 OTVA Newsletter, a copy of the EFM TEXTS from Cable and Wireless in Fiji, Suva from August 1944 were discovered in our archives.
To aid researchers, who may be interested in EFM Texts, the text of this Table of Codes of EFM’s are listed below.
The graphic of the EFM Texts is here. [Link: EFM TEXTS. Site OTVA.com]
FOR USE BY BRITISH AND AMERICAN ARMY, NAVY AND MERCHANT MARINE
FROM THE 1st AUGUST, 1944
ANY THREE OF THE UNDERMENTIONED TEXTS MAY BE USED.
PRICES FROM FIJI: 47 CENTS OR 2/6 PER MESSAGE.
IF UNABLE TO LODGE AT CABLE OFFICE MESSAGES CAN BE AIRMAILED TO
CABLE AND WIRELESS LTD., SUVA, FIJI.
|A – CORRESPONDENCE.
B – GREETINGS.
C – HEALTH.
D – PROMOTION.
E – MONEY.
F – CONGRATULATIONS.
H – MISCELLANEOUS.
I – BEREAVEMENT.
J – SUPPLEMENTARY CORRESPONDENCE.
K – SUPPLEMENTARY GREETINGS.
L – SUPPLEMENTARY HEALTH.
M – SUPPLEMENTARY MONEY.
N – SUPPLEMENTARY MISCELLANEOUS.
O – NOTIFICATION OF PERSONAL BROADCAST.
NOTE: x Texts 354 to 356 inclusive can be inserted following selection of items in Texts 176 to 179
Texts 319 and 320 for Jewish New Year.
Necessary additional information to be inserted by senders in texts where blank space provided.
Only one item can be inserted in Blank space of Texts 332 and 333.
* The amount in words to be inserted immediately following the text number.
TEXTS BELOW FOR USE BY BRITISH FORCES ONLY
G – WAR DAMAGE.
I. – BEREAVEMENT.
141. Sorry to tell you …. died.
This transcript is published for research of this little known method of telegraphy to keep defense forces in touch with home during WWII. The compression of the text into a simple 3 numeral code, allowed many more messages to be passed than would have been able using full telegraphic code. Note: Morse code would have been in normal use at that time. GM.
Southern Sydney Veterans and former OTC staff have been meeting regularly for over 2 years.
The origin of these Southside Catch-ups can be traced back to the Fuel Crises of the 1970’s when many of the staff at OTC’s Paddington terminal living south of Sydney used to car pool as their rosters permitted. The old cry just after 11 pm was “South Carpool about to leave” as the late leavers would rush to get home.
The Catch-Ups are held on the third Thursday of each month at The Carss Park Cafe in Carss Bush Park near Carwar Ave Carss Park. Carss Park is an idyllic location for a coffee and cake on any Thursday morning.
The get togethers are at 9:30 am with coffee or tea and many Vets having brunch of a muffin or Bacon and Egg Roll. Brunch usually lasts about 90 minutes.
Former OTC staff from the area and visitors are welcome to attend.
More info from Greg Martyn.
By Kevan Bourke.
On Tuesday the 19th of November, 2019 President Rod Pernich opened the 45th meeting of the Western Australian OTC Veteran’s and welcomed the Vet’s. There has been a large increase in attendance numbers over the past few years due to relaxing of the eligibility requirements, recruiting efforts and retirements.
A special thank you to Don Charles for his efforts on the recruiting front. The new attendees over recent years are mostly ex OTC staff from the Carnarvon earth station and Aussat/Optus. It’s been a bit sad to see the CRS side of attendees decline as they once made up the majority of members. Due to the large number of people present this year the formal part of the meeting was held in the PITC conference room before moving to the lunchroom for some light refreshments and catch up.
Guest Speaker Peter Lalor gave a short presentation on the Exmouth Communication Station where he worked for some time which was very interesting and well received.
Matt Saunders shared some photos from the early days at OTC’s Carnarvon SES. Many involving trail bike riding.
Denham Dunstall gave a plug for the Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum. They have just obtained two ex-NASA Tracking Station antenna’s which will be installed at the museum. Any other items people know about or have that are suitable for display at the museum would be greatly appreciated, especially anything OTC related.
Some photos from the occasion [Photos by Kevan Bourke]
Northern Rivers sub branch of the OTVA veterans invite any travellers are welcome to join them for lunch and a beer on Wednesday afternoon.
The venue is the Pavilions Hotel. 14 Henry Lawson Drive Terranora 2486 Wednesdays 12.30pm to 3pm.
Contact John Bennett for details.
Northern Rivers sub-branch may be known as the Tweed Valley sub-branch.
OTVA members met up the Christmas Reunion in Sydney at Club York on 28th November 2019. After congregating in the bar area on the 3rd floor they took their seats at one of 5 tables of ten.
Members who had passed away during the last 12 months were remembered with a minute’s silence at the beginning of formal proceedings.
A sumptuous lunch buffet had been prepared by the club staff and everyone had a hearty meal washed down by an ale or three. As usual, the king prawns were a hit and for many members formed an entree to the main course, where a there was plenty to choose from. Members visited the adjacent bar which provided a plentiful supply of drinks.
The OTVA subsidised the cost of the meal with more members attending than in the last few years. Members came from far and wide with some folk flying in for the festivities.
Many a story and memory was shared between the members. A good time was enjoyed by everyone who came along. After the lunch some members continued on downstairs till late afternoon.
Here are a few photos from Sydney OTVA Reunion at Club York. [Photos: Greg Martyn]
We hope to see you at the Reunion in November 2020!
With all the excitement and reminiscing around the Apollo 11 mission and Man Walking on the Moon for the first time, Bob Rayner recalls details for this story.
Note: Parkes Telescope is Receive Only!
Have been reading and watching TV with interest regarding the Apollo 11 moonwalk mission particularly the almost exclusive coverage to the role played by the Parkes Telescope. This facility had a couple of drawbacks. It is receive only. It will not depress down to the horizon. Not good for orbits due to the horizon problem and the speed of movement. It is quite a massive structure, I have been up into it a few times.
Getting to the point. No one has mentioned the problem of getting the video (analog those days) pics from Parkes Telescope and Honeysuckle Creek into the PMG (as this organisation was known) system to be passed to OTC and then Houston. Honeysuckle obviously had their voice and data circuits as it was being used for traffic both ways but apparently no video capability. Honeysuckle was a command station and transmits as well as receives. Had a 20 KW water cooled Klystron sitting under the dish.
Enter AWA Sydney and our little Field Engineering section. AWA at the time had several (don’t know how many) 7GHz Television microwave systems for hire. These were quite portable and housed in travel cum usage metal cases. Transmitter and receiver heads mounted directly behind the dish with a purpose made bracket which was bolted onto the dish and connected directly to horn feed. This then connected with a cable to the rest of the works in the travel cases. Dish and heads were normally then mounted on tripods and various means used to mount the whole thing to a tower or other site.
Maybe AWA’s involvement started with Apollo 8