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September 2019 – OTVA Newsletter

10 Sep 19
Peter Bull
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27 August 2019 – 50th Anniversary – Apollo 11 Lunar Landing – Plaque Unveiling Ceremony

02 Sep 19
Peter Bull
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Carlo Cofini worked with Ted Price, Facilities Manger Telstra, to get the Apollo 11 Moon Landing plaque mounted on the Oxford St wall of the Paddington Terminal building located at 363 Oxford Street.

Carlo also facilitated access to the building and its amenities for the members of the OTVA, CSIRO and guests coordinating with Telstra Security. Well done, Carlo.

Jim Simpson, who represented the OTVA in the series of meetings in Canberra attended by NASA, CSIRO and Telstra prior to the Apollo 11 Anniversary Celebrations, officiated and from all accounts did another excellent job.

The ceremony on 27 August started with REGISTRATION at 12:30pm in the Security area of the Paddington terminal followed by the Plaque unveiling at 1.30pm in the Level 6 Auditorium/Lunch Room during which a light lunch was served. The OTVA also extends its sincere thanks to David Piltz (Chairman of Telstra Heritage) for his support for the installation of the bronze plaque at the Paddington International Terminal to celebrate the contribution of the staff operating the ‘Sydney Video’ centre to the success of the showcasing to the world of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing in July 1969.

The OTVA also extends its heart-felt thanks to Charlie Rudd for his generous donation of the high-quality bronze plaque as he did for the matching bronze plaque installed at the same site to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the commissioning of the Compac cable (3rd December 1963, co-incidentally, Jim Simpson’s 21st birthday!).

Jim Simpson acted as Master of Ceremonies for the event introducing the principal presenters and providing those present with first-hand information about the celebrations that occurred in Canberra, Parkes, Honeysuckle Creek and Tidbinbilla over the anniversary weekend 18-21 July 2019.


David Piltz (Telstra Director Fixed & Data Access Engineering & also Chairman, Telstra Heritage Australia) welcomes those present to the ceremony.


David Piltz and Jim Simpson unveil a replica of the new bronze plaque that has now been installed on the Oxford Street wall of the Paddington International Terminal.


Significantly David outlined his vision of a future Australian Telecommunications Museum embracing all participants in Australia’s telecommunications history. David’s vision was applauded by those present and his vision is supported by the OTVA.


John Sarkissian (CSIRO) outlined the contribution of the staff at the Deep Space Radio-Telescope at Parkes, NSW where there were besieged by some 19,500 visitors to ‘The Dish’ over the weekend of 20th-21st July 2019, also celebrating the key role that Parkes played with providing optimum TV signals from the Moon to the world via OTC Australia. For an outline from John on the extensive involvement of Australians, including OTC Paddington, in the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing click the link below:



Colin Mackellar OAM represented the staff of Honeysuckle Creek that received pictures of that first famous step onto the Moon by astronaut, Neil Armstrong with his now famous words “One Small Step for Man, One Giant Leap for Mankind” & outlined Honeysuckle Creek’s vital role in the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing, not least mission critical telemetry regarding the health & well-being of the astronauts as well as the interaction that they had with the staff with “Sydney Video”.

Some of those present at the ceremony in the former OTC (now Telstra) Lunch Room on Level 6 of the Paddington International Terminal


Colin Mackellar OAM, Michelle Hayward (Photographer), Jim Simpson, David Piltz and Ngar Rairoa (Telstra Security).

















Group photo taken on the roof area of Level 6 at Paddo


In the foreground below are Brian Travis, Bruce Boardman, Kevin O’Brien and Owen Duffy


Bob Lewis, Greg Martyn and Doug Kentwell


Owen Langley, John Gibbling, Robin Tuckfield, Will Whyte and Bruce Boardman


Orm Butler, Carlo Viglianti, George Woloszuk and Alfio Vitaliti. Alf was one our quality tour guides of Paddo that is still providing a high level, critical role in Australia’s telecommunications services!


Neil Yakalis, Paul Cope and Tim Jensen


John Sarkissian (CSIRO) and Jim Simpson after reviewing the installation of the plaque.


Jim Simpson, (sporting an OTC tie) & Dagmar Perumal, both from the heady Spring Street days before OTC moved its head office to Martin Place.  In those days, Dagmar was the only female working in OTC’s Drawing office whereas Jim started his time with OTC in January 1959 in the very male dominated Sydney Operating Room when cable code & Morse code were king!

Special Mention: The below link leads to the interview between Luke Hopewell (Telstra Exchange) & Bob Goodman, who was OTC’s prime interface with NASA from ‘Sydney Video’ within the Paddington International Gateway Exchange during NASA’s space program in the late 1960’’s, early 1970’s. <!Aq9X-j6yYt0cwFNqvaoftItu1rhV>

It was unfortunate that Bob’s health didn’t permit him joining those present at the Unveiling. It is of great benefit to all of us that the interview was undertaken by Telstra and recorded for posterity.

Stan Bray – Passed Away Monday 8 July 2019

19 Jul 19
Peter Bull
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Graeme Hanigan passed on the sad news conveyed to him by the Moree Earth Station Receptionist, Jenny Reti.

 “Stan Bray died on Monday 8 July 2019. Stan was the storeman at MOREE. He came to the reunion last year.”

 May He Rest In Peace.

 If you have any Tributes to Stan and/or any photos please send them to me and I will upload to the web site.


Zeljko Bedic – Awarded OAM

28 Jun 19
Peter Bull
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Zeljko worked for OTC/Telstra between 1981 and 1997.

Zeljko was awarded an OAM in June 2019 in recognition of his contribution to music.

You can read his BIO at

The fact that he was able to accomplish so much while holding down a full-time job in OTC is most impressive.


Ray Pow – Retires From Telstra 1 July 2019

28 Jun 19
Peter Bull

It must be getting contagious! On the back of the advice that Doc Roberts is retiring, Ray Pow has announced that he too has decided to stop to smell the daisies!

Ray’s last day at Telstra will be 1 July 2019 after 48 years with OTC/TELECOM/TELSTRA/REACH/TELSTRA.

Ray has been looking forward to retirement for a few years now so the offer of redundancy from Telstra has made it a very sweet and easy decision.

I asked Ray what he would be doing with all of his spare time and he responded that “the jobs to be done just keep piling up”.

Ray and his wife are expecting their first grandchild in a few months in London so a few more trips to the UK will be on the agenda. He also plans to continue with his passion for restoring old cars. He has a 1934 Buick on the go at the moment. He wants to build a new bigger garage to house his cars and help with plenty of other long deferred projects around home.

We wish Ray and his family well in his retirement

Mark (“Doc”) Roberts Retires

28 Jun 19
Peter Bull
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Mark has decided to retire after 35 years with Optus which includes 8 with Aussat.

He has decided that it is time to go and enjoy life without working.

We congratulate Mark on his long career and wish him well in his retirement.

Noel Chapman – Passed Away Early 2019

25 Jun 19
Peter Bull
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Keith McCredden advised at the June AGM that he had received a call from Noel’s wife that he had passed away early in 2019.

Noel started working for OTC in 1955 as a Traffic Assistant after coming to Sydney from Armidale NSW.

He underwent telegraphist training just before the 1956 Olympics and this was where he learned Morse Code.

He spent time working in Spring Street and on Fanning Island, Norfolk Island and Cocos Island before finishing up at Paddington & Broadway as an INTLX operator where he provided training to operators on the Hasler Telex exchange.

Noel was a keen cricketer and featured often in Transit articles detailing his successes as a batsman.

The below photo is from the September 1972 edition of Transit shows Noel alongside Keith McCredden and others.





Noel Sutherland – Leaving Telstra

05 Jun 19
Peter Bull
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After 46 years with OTC & Telstra Noel Sutherland has accepted a redundancy and will be leaving Telstra on Thursday 6th June 2019.

42 of his 46 years with OTC & Telstra has been in the Maritime Radio and Land Mobile Radio areas progressing from valve based HF transmitters & receivers through the microprocessor era and into digital TMR technology. He looks back on an amazing journey with many career highlights, major network builds and technology changes.

His career would not have been as rewarding as it has been without the many friendships he has made along the way with great work colleagues, suppliers and customers.

He started with OTC in the Technical Officer in Training Class of ’73 and after graduation moved into OTC’s HF Radio Services later renamed OTC Maritime then Telstra Maritime before this amazing team was split apart and destroyed by Telstra.

There have been many highlights that he has had over the years and here are only a few of them:

  • VHF Auto-Seaphone Network
  • Fleetcoms National Trunked Mobile Radio Network
  • Victorian State Mobile Radio Network (VicSMR)
  • Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Radio Network
  • South Australian Government Radio Network (SAGRN)
  • SANTOS P24 Trunked Radio Network
  • Queensland Government Wireless Network (QGWN)

He considers that he has hiked, flown by helicopter or battled his way via 4WD to the top of most of the mountain ranges in Australia to maintain, install or find new radio sites for OTC/Telstra. He thinks that it is time he actually slowed down and had a better look at the scenery.

He still remembers the words from the Senior Technical Officer in the OTC Paddington Telex Exchange given to him when he decided to move into HF Radio “Radio is a dead end job, Telex is the future”. He soon had to eat those words.

He is not sure if he will slip quietly into retirement. He has plans in place for the next 6 – 9 month with trips to the UK & Europe, down to Tassie and to WA in his caravan but he may consider returning to the industry in the future just to keep his mind active.

He wishes you and your families all the best for the future.

He will to try to keep in touch but if anyone is coming near Bribie Island they are always welcome to drop in and say hello.

George Maltby – Passed Away – Thursday 30 May 2019

30 May 19
Peter Bull

Sadly George passed away in the early hours of this morning.

George was born on 31 January 1928 so he was 91 years of age when he passed.

George had a great impact upon OTC and many of us who worked for that very successful organisation.

George will have the honour of being the only CEO/Managing Director of a company for whom the staff went on strike when he was sacked. It hasn’t happened since and will never happen again, I am sure!

George will be greatly missed by many who he mentored and many more who knew him.

May He Rest In Peace.


Details of the funeral service for George are:

Friday 14 June 2019 at 12 noon

South Chapel, Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park

12 Military Road, Matraville


There will be light refreshments afterwards in the Condolence Room at the Memorial Centre.

OTVA Newsletter – June 2019

29 May 19
Peter Bull
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