Author Archives: Peter Bull

2018 AGM – OTVA – 14 June 2018

18 Jun 18
Peter Bull
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Fellow Members of the OTVA

WHEN:                 11:00am arrival for an 11:30am start

Thursday 14 June 2018.

WHERE:               ANZAC room

Level 2, 99OnYork (Bowlers Club),

99 York St, Sydney.

The following members attended:

  1. Allan Hennessy
  2. Bill Jolly
  3. Dagmar Perumal
  4. David Richardson
  5. Ian Thomas
  6. Jim Simpson
  7. Kevin O’Brien
  8. Neil Yakalis
  9. Peter Bull
  10. Robin Tuckfield
  11. Trevor Housley
  12. Will Whyte
  13. Keith McCredden
  14. Greg Martyn
  15. Ron Beckett
  16. Phill Wall
  17. Tom Barker
  18. John Eades
  19. Mick Callaghan
  20. Les Ayers
  21. Bob Anderson
  22. John Phillips

COULD NOT ATTEND

Ben McGee, Bill Breeze, Bob Dean, Bob Dentskevich, Bob Emanuel, Bob Lions, Brian Collath, Graham Collath, Carlo Cofini, Chas Gregory, Colin Kelly

Dennis Grant, Denis Pickwell, Duyet LE VAN, Garry Hausfeld, Geoff Oldman , Geoff Whale, Graeme Hanigan, Gregg Francis, Guntis Berzins, Jim Hulme

John Bracks, John Taylor, John Wall, Jules Corben, Maree Giddins, Matt Saunders, Mick Quinlan, MO’C, Owen Langley, Paul McCann, Peter Burgess

Peter Rexstraw, Peter Trebeck, Richard Cleave, Rob McAulay, Roger Boyden, Ross Craig, Ross Smith, Steve Frendo, Steve Gray, Ted Bastow,  Tom Neeson

Tony Bradney, Tony Lowther, Tony Stuart, Trevor Clay, Trevor Pike, Trevor Thatcher, Vernon Yen

A one minute silence was held to remember those of our fraternity who passed away in the past 12 months:

  1. John Myors (Drawing Office) – Aged 88 Years
  2. Owen Harris (Operations Broadway) – Aged 65 Years
  3. Ken Howe (OTC Construction) – Aged in his early 80s
  4. Eric Cockle (Accounts Branch) – Aged 93 Years
  5. Neil Jackson (Operations Paddington) – Aged 77 Years
  6. Kim Hopkins (Operations Paddington & Broadway) – Aged 62 Years
  7. Malcolm Irvine – Aged 57 Years
  8. Brian Brennan (Operations Paddington) – Aged in his early 60s
  9. Maisie Vahtrick, wife of teh late Cyril Vahtrick
  10. Wife of Sheldon (“Shelley”) De Silva
  11. Jack Bowes (Sydney Operating Room) – Aged 88 Years
  12. George Kennedy (Senior Engineer, Operations, OTC HO, Sydney) – Aged 80 Years
  13. Noel Martin (Manager Schedule Resources, HO, Sydney) – Aged 91 Years
  14. Doreen Hansen
  15. Alan Harry Amos (Melbourne Operating Room) – Aged 76 Years
  16. Bernie White – (Pay Clerk & Administration Officer, Operations Branch) – Aged 93 Years
  17. Robert Kraal (Operations Branch) – Aged 73 Years

After the AGM, those present descended to the Red Room on Level 1 for a delicious lunch.

John Myors – Drawing Office – Passed Away 3 June 2018 – Aged 88 Years

08 Jun 18
Peter Bull
one comments

John’s son, Glen, has informed me that his father passed away on June 3.

John died peacefully in his sleep with complications from dementia.

Memorial Service

WHEN:                 1:30pm Tuesday 12 June 2018

WHERE:               St Paul’s Anglican Church

129 Gymea Bay Road, Gymea

If any of John’s workmates would like to attend, the family has said that you are most welcome.

Ray Thompson (Engineering Branch) – In Concord Hospital – 5 June 2018

08 Jun 18
Peter Bull
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From John Marosszeky:

I just wanted to share with other OTC Vets the unfortunate news that Ray Thompson (OTC Engineering) is in Concord Hospital with a broken back.

Ray & I both live in the suburb of Glen Alpine and occasionally bump into each other for a chat.

I hadn’t seen him for some weeks until last week when I visited him in hospital after his wife Elizabeth told me that Ray had a fall some 12 weeks ago and had been stuck at home for 10 weeks in agony due to a misdiagnosis by his local GP. As he wasn’t improving they sought a second opinion which resulted in an MRI which found Ray had broken a vertebrae and bone was poking into his spinal cord.  He will undergo major surgery, however, in the meantime he is under strict orders to remain flat on his back in hospital.

I am hoping you can let other Vets know in the hope that maybe some who live in the Concord area remember Ray and might visit him in hospital. As you can imagine Ray’s  predicament is pleasant and friendly face and conversation, particularly about good old OTC days, would be a great tonic for him.

Cocos Keeling Island – Australia’s Forgotten Islands

05 Jun 18
Peter Bull
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From Peter Bull:

Following on from the reference to Cocos Keeling Islands in our latest newsletter, I recommend to you this link to a documentary on Cocos Keeling Islands provided by John Phillips. You have to sign up for a SBS on demand account with a valid email address to which a validation email can be sent to watch it but you should find it to be worthwhile for our members who have served or visited the islands in the past.

https://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/1235286083719/australias-forgotten-islands

It doesn’t cost anything and I found it to be very interesting because I knew very little about the cultural influence and strategic location of Cocos Keeling Islands. I am now better informed.

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From Tony Fisher

This video is definitely worth watching.

There is no mention in the program about OTC’s long history and involvement on Cocos-Keeling Islands, – with the wireless and cable station, – and much later with the Vista service that brought modern day communications to the people of Cocos-Keeling.

Never the less, – the SBS program is not about the history, – more of the uncertainty of the future of the people and their very insular way of life.

For any-one interested in the history of the Cocos Keeling Islands, – there are a couple of very well written books to be tracked down, – one from each of the “perspectives” of the ruling Clunies-Ross family, and that of the Cocos-Malay people.

“Cocos” is an incredible place to visit. I was lucky enough to be there over the Australia Day long weekend in 2017.

Regrettably it is a very strategic location for Australia’s defence capability. Absolutely no doubt in my mind that this was the sole reason the Australian Government went out of their way to de-stabilise and bankrupt the Clunies-Ross family back in the ’70’s, – which paved the way for Australia to “offer” self determination to the local people, and the grand carrot to become part of Australia.

Up to the north, – Christmas Island (Indian Ocean Territories) is facing the same dilemma in respect of its strategic location. In some respects even more so that Cocos Keeling, as “The Rock” is far and away more defensible than the coral atoll at Cocos.

Defence is moving ahead with plans for militarisation of both these Australian Territories. Cocos will lose it’s “golf course”.

The CI runway will need to be extended, and thank goodness it will finally get an ALS. Landings there are pretty “seat of the pants” when the cloud cover is down at or near ground level, – which is pretty frequent.

Apparently the new fibre cable is already landed on CI, – but the Australian Government has kept pretty quiet about it. It does make me wonder though, – why NBN has pushed ahead and installed literally thousands of satellite services on CI. It is actually quite humorous to see. In the 12 months between my last 2 trips, they have sprouted like a mushroom farm on just about every building on the island.

P.s. The old OTC Cocos Island 7.3m Vista dish (West Island) is still there, (probably installed by Greg Suttle circa 1985???), – albeit re-furbished and most likely in use for something else these days. It still has its original “opening” plaque on the base.. The Vista facility was officially opened by Sir Ninian Stephens.  It is the satellite dish in the SBS footage.

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From Noel Sutherland

Some old photos taken from the top of the 20m mast at West Island which is beside the old OTC Vista dish in 2011.

The site is owned by Air Services with Telstra facilities co-located.

Noel Sutherland’s only recollection of Cocos Is was landing on the island in an RAAF chartered 707 in 1965 on the way to Penang, Malaysia with his parents. Due to the Indonesia Confrontation at the time they could not fly over Indonesia.

He remembers walking across the runway from one beach to the other.

OTVA Newsletter – June 2018

04 Jun 18
Peter Bull
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Owen Harris – Passed Away 5:30am 24 May – Aged 65 Years

31 May 18
Peter Bull
one comments

Gerry Serrao was contacted by Robert Michell [Ex OTC Broadway] over the weekend to advise the passing of Owen Harris. [Ex-OTC Broadway 1980’s – 1992?]

I underwent training with Owen in the early 1970s. He was a very likeable guy with long black hair then and drove a black Torana in those early years which was admired by many of us that did not have a ‘cool’ car.

After completing his 4-year training course Owen apparently worked in Melbourne supporting the HF Radio teams while some of their staff served in Antarctica before undertaking a stint in Satellites and finally working out his career in OTC at the Broadway terminal.

In recent years Owen had been battling cancer from its first diagnosis in his early 50s. It finally won the battle while he was investigating the purchase of property in the Tea Gardens area and that is why his daughters chose this location for his funeral service and burial.

Owen will be sadly missed by his family (wife and 4 daughters).

The details of the funeral service are as follows:

WHEN:               1.00pm Thursday 31st May

WHERE:             St Stephen’s Church
                         Tea Gardens NSW 2324

A Celebration of Owen’s Life will follow at:

Tea Gardens Country Club & Motel

2 Yalinbah St, Tea Gardens NSW 2324.

MAY HE REST IN PEACE

Peter Bull

OTVA Newsletter – February 2018

09 Mar 18
Peter Bull
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What is left of the OTC Bringelly HF Radio Station Site

09 Mar 18
Peter Bull
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I took a run out along Badgery’s Creek Rd a couple of weeks back to see if I could find Bringelly HF Rx.

I had previously done a Google Maps search and found this:  https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-33.9165863,150.7355267,739m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

It had to be the station site – who else would make a sealed road into a paddock.  I think it’s pretty obvious the U was where the staff cottages were.

Street View shows the old entry brickwork as was used at Doonside: https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-33.9167736,150.7304006,3a,24.9y,29.64h,93.36t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1szHK703kDdJ1QL8nZjuR59g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

I stopped and took a few pics:

Cheers

Ron Beckett

VK2OTC

Ken Howe – Passed Away 5 March 2018 – Aged in his early 80s

08 Mar 18
Peter Bull
one comments

Ken has been battling cancer but it finally won.

His family (wife Jan, previously Secretary to W G Gosewinckel, etc, ) is arranging a private funeral service.

He was in OTC Construction especially Satellite Earth Stations for many years and worked with Jim Robertson and Phil Humphries; all radio specialists.

Ken designed and supervised the construction of  the Moree,  Carnarvon and Ceduna satellite earth stations.

When he retired orm OTC he was probably Class 5 Engineer or above in the old terminology.

OTC Bringelly – What does the site look like in 2018?

05 Feb 18
Peter Bull
2 comments

I took a run out along Badgery’s Creek Rd a couple of weeks back to see if I could find Bringelly HF Rx.

I had previously done a Google Maps search and found this:  https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-33.9165863,150.7355267,739m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

It had to be the station site – who else would make a sealed road into a paddock.  I think it’s pretty obvious the U was where the staff cottages were.

Street View shows the old entry brickwork as was used at Doonside: https://www.google.com.au/maps/@-33.9167736,150.7304006,3a,24.9y,29.64h,93.36t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1szHK703kDdJ1QL8nZjuR59g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

I stopped and took a few pics:

Cheers

Ron Beckett

VK2OTC