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.
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.
Ray was born 24th November 1929. He was 89 years and six months when he passed.
The stories that some of the OTC Vets have provided that were passed on to Fazeley, Ray’s partner, and Janelle, Fazeley’s nice, were apparently greatly enjoyed by Ray in his last days. The family thanks you for making his last hours so memorable for all concerned.
Ray’s funeral service will be held at 2:30pm on Wednesday 22nd May
Macquarie Park Crematorium
(Cnr Plassey & Delhi Rds)
Macquarie Park NSW 2113
An afternoon tea will be held on site after the funeral service to celebrate Ray’s life. There will be an “open mic” at afternoon tea for anyone who wants to share a word or two.
The below was found in the August 1994 Transit on the occasion of Ray Hookway’s Retirement
After almost fifty year’s in the international telecommunications business, MS&RS Technical Services Manager,
Ray Hookway, decided it was time for a change. This month he starts a new, full-time career – fishing, cross-country skiing and bush walking!
Ray started his career in 1945 when, at the age of 17, he worked as a telegram messenger for AWA (Amalgamated
Wireless Australasia). Two years later saw the beginning of OTC’s operations (through the merger of AWA, the Coastal Radio Service and the Australian arm of Cable & Wireless), and Ray became a Circulation Clerk in Sydney’s city district.
He subsequently went ‘semi-rural’, moving to the Pennant Hills radio station workshop to assist in the manufacture of transmitters and ancillary equipment for the new Doonside and Bringelly stations. The workshop was transferred to Marrickville in 1953, prior to the Pennant Hills radio station’s relocation to Doonside.
Ray stayed at”, the Marrickville Workshop until 1958, when he was promoted to Technical Assistant in the Operations Group. Since then he has held positions of Technical Officer and Manager Doonside, before taking up his Current role as Manager Technical Services for Mobile Satellite & Radio Services (fOlwerly ‘Maritime’).
Tremendous changes have taken place in the communications industry over the past 50 years, and Ray said there have been many memorable moments. ‘Helping to commission the Seacom cable to South-East Asia was interesting’, he recalled, ‘as was working on the modernisation of radio stations such as La Perouse (NSW) and Rockbank (Victoria) – and maintenance of the OTC Cable System.
‘When I look back over the year’s, I feel a great deal of satisfaction knowing that – in some small way – I have made a
contribution to modem-day communications.’
Daryll Smith, General Manager of Telstra Mobile Satellite & Radio Services, paid tribute to Ray’s career and said he came from an environment of submarine telegraph cables and Beam Wireless building blocks for today’s ‘information super highways’.
Like his peers, Ray was a pioneer for many of us’, said Daryll, ‘and we that follow him salute his efforts’.
Ray will continue to ‘dabble’ in communications during retirement; he plans to expand his amateur radio facilities and, in so doing, keep in touch with old friends. In the short-term, however, he intends to do a lot of leisurely travelling.
Age catches up all with us and it finally has for an Engineering Branch legend, Al Salmon.
I think many would agree that Al influenced the careers of so many technical staff in the halcyon days of Engineering Branch in the late 1960’s and the 1970’ until he took leave to establish his own very successful Marine business in Sorrento, Victoria.
Al had the ability to turn a blank canvas into a work of art. Guam Cable Station at the Northern end of Seacom is a great example of this. But Al did not do things on his own and it was his ability to relate to and mentor his team members that was amazing. Al did not own the job, his team did.
Although I had known Al for a number of years, in about 1973 I was assigned to work as one of his TO 11’s at Broadway alongside Jeff (Harold) Hatchman and editor Mick (Mouse) Callaghan. After having been in Head Office until then, a stint in the field was what I needed to develop and who better to have as my boss than Al. I loved my time at Broadway and, to this day both me and wife Robyn see Al regularly.
Life for Al is never dull and for many years since his retirement has contributed generously to various aspects of the Noosa Classic Car Club.
Al will celebrate his 80th birthday with his family and friends at his home in Buderim on the Queensland Sunshine Coast.
I would like to think that all of us can wish Al a very Happy 80th Birthday. Hip hip hooray!