Robert Hall has advised of the passing of JAMES FES.
Jim was a Member of the VIC Branch of the OTVA as well as the AWA Veterans Association.
Jim started his career in OTC as a Radio Technician at its Beam Wireless Station at Rockbank VIC in February 1949 and worked there until July 1957 after which we worked in the 3DB Broadcasting area of the Herald & Weekly Times in Melbourne.
Two years later he joined AWA. He worked for AWA in various capacities until his retirement in 1989.
Jim moved to TRARALGON about 2010 to be near relatives and in 2015 moved to BUPA Aged Care Traralgon.
The Funeral Service for Jim will be held at Gippsland Memorial Park Crematorium Chapel, Cemetery Drive Traralgon Victoria on Monday 21st October 2019 at 1.30pm.
Trevor Thatcher has passed on the sad news that Deane passed away yesterday Tuesday 8 October 2019 after losing a long battle with cancer.
Deane started work for AWA/OTC around August/Sept of 1946 during the transition year of the changeover from AWA Beam Wireless to OTC. Commenced as a “Circulation Clerk”.
He worked in the Melbourne Operating Room (MOR), Fanning Island, Cottesloe Cable Station and back to MOR before resigning from OTC in 1963 to take up a teaching job at the PNG technical college in Port Moresby.
When he arrived in Port Moresby he was met by the two bosses of the Posts & Telegraph Dept at the Port Moresby airport and was asked to go to Kavieng for a while because they were having extreme problems in that district.
Deane accepted the opportunity and liked Kavieng so much he asked to stay. Deane spent the next 7 years as OIC New Ireland District and also New Britain District.
Schooling and 3 adolescent daughters made it obvious that he needed to come back to Australia so returned to Brisbane 1970 to join PMG as a Radio Inspector. He didn’t last long in PMG as he was poached almost immediately by Jim Fez to join AWA as a Marine Radio Officer. He stayed with AWA until his retirement.
If you would like to share a Tribute to Deane with the wider OTVA fraternity please email it to me together with any photos that you might want to share. I will also pass them on to Deane’s family.
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: https://www.hq.nasa.gov/alsj/a11/a11_on_eagles_wings.pdf.
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. <https://1drv.ms/v/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.
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.
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.