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Mick Wood – Born 12/3/1926 – Passed Away 12/10/2014 – Aged 88 years

13 Oct 14
Peter Bull

Mick Wood’s family has asked Deane Laws to alert the Vets to the fact that Mick was admitted to John Flynn Hospital (Tugun Qld) 5th October 2014 in a serious condition. Mick was well attended by family and close friends during his hospitalisation but unfortunately Mick’s son, Michael, advised Deane Laws at 9.10pm (Qld Time) on Sunday 12th October 2014 that Mick had passed away about 15 mins earlier.


WHERE:  “Braeside Chapel”

                    251 Gooding Drive

                    Merrimac QLD

WHEN:      11am (Qld time)

                     Monday 20th October


Mick’s residence at 6/6 Burrabee St Burleigh Heads.


(07)  5535 2417 for a family member or email Deane Laws ( who will forward any emails to the family.

Mick Wood 88 with Chris and John Vossen Mick Wood Aged 88 













Attached are a couple of photos containing Mick from Guam in 1975 provided by Bruce Mayberry.

  • BBQ – BBQ at Guam Cable Station early in the TASI-A installation trip – L-R Mick Wood, Jim Pickworth, Don Hacker, Bill Kay, Laci Csont

TASI A Install 1975




















  • MYC – OTC Team in the Marianas Yacht Club Half Ton Challenge – L-R Charlie Hale, Mick Wood, Bob Heron, Bill Kay, Bruce Mayberry, John Vossen.


Marianas Yacht Club  Half Ton Challenge 1975



















From Jim Keenan – the Opening of Seacom – Mick is absent from the photo as he may have been pouring drinks with Charlie Hale.

 Opening Day of Seacom with Names 


  Can you name the engineer from Head Office?


  1. Peter Bull October 13, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Deane Laws advised:
    Mick’s son, Michael, advised Deane Laws at 9.10pm (Qld Time) on Sunday 12th October 2014 that Mick had passed away about 15 mins earlier.

    We will keep you advised of future developments.

  2. Peter Bull October 13, 2014 at 9:38 am

    From Ben McGee:
    How sad.
    I remember Mick as a really nice bloke. A genuine good guy.

  3. Peter Bull October 13, 2014 at 9:40 am

    40+ years ago, as a graduate of the OTC technical training system, we were high on enthusiasm and low on life skills because that isn’t taught in education facilities. Typically the shift leaders became our mentors to polish the rough edges and inevitably set standards by which we all grew into professionals.

    Mick was up there with the best in that regard, and it was really a pleasure and an honour to have known and worked for and with him for many years.

    As some of us move to different places we lose touch, so it is with much sadness that I hear Mick has passed away and that I haven’t seen him for a very long time, but I still have a vivid memory of how he looked when I last worked with him.

    Jim Hulme

  4. Peter Bull October 13, 2014 at 10:13 am

    It is very sad to learn of Mick Wood’s passing.
    I was at Fanning and Cocos Islands with Mick and Betty.
    I will see if I can find a photo of the 2002 reunion at Southport that was taken by Trevor Thatcher and includes the ‘Big 3’ (Jimmy Rodda, Noel Chapman, Mick Wood). We were known as the big 3, as we had the biggest bar bills.
    Mick was a great character and I have very fond memories of him.
    Regards Noel Chapman…

  5. Peter Bull October 13, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    From Garry Hausfeld:
    A quick search of the OTVA newsletters back to 1996 found several mentions of Mick Wood, but no photos.
    Sadly issues prior to November 1996 are not searchable.

    November 1996
    – Geoff Whitmore mentions a regular ham radio sked for OTVA members, including Mick Wood VK2VX.

    September 2001
    – In a review of a new book about Cocos Island history, Mick Wood counts himself among “the handful of OTVA members who had “done time’ on Cocos.”

    June 2002
    – Mentions how “Former Manager Norfolk Island, Mick Wood” managed to save and preserve a historic marker at the cable station used by astronomers on Norfolk in 1903.
    – Mick Wood is mentioned as one of the Fanning Island telegraph staff in Des Kinnersley’s description of life there in the early 1960’s.
    – Mentions how “Mick Wood hasbeen co-ordinating matters at Southport” for the Pacific Cable Centenary Commemoration there at the Southport School.

    September 2002
    – Mentions “Mick Wood, who has been busy up in Southport, organising a celebration of the centenary of the opening of the Pacific Telegraph Cable.”
    – Mentions how selected historical items from the OTC collection were sent “to Mick Wood’s garage, where they will be held and have been lovingly polished with” Brasso”, pending their display at the school, in October.”

    December 2002
    -Has a description of the Southport celebrations, with particular credit given to Mick Wood and Deane Laws.

    March 2003
    – Past OTVA President Tom Barker included Mick Wood in a long list of those active in helping in OTVA matters.

    September 2003
    – Keith McCredden’s notes on the AGM include thanks to “Mick Wood and Dean Laws for the work they did on our behalf in Southport”.
    – Also mentions that cable artifacts sent for the Cable Centenary “are now located at the Southport Museum….displayed in glass cases with labels and explanations provided by Mick Wood”.

    August 2004
    – Mentions “Mick Wood’s idea of “Commemorative plaques for places of Telecommunications History.””
    – An article by Mick Wood mentions his visit to Bundaberg and attempts to find any relics of the cable from New Caledonia that came ashore there from 1893-1923.

    May 2005
    – Henry Cranfield’s story of the night shift on Guam mentions “STO (Mick Wood)”.

    May 2007
    – Mentions Mick Wood’s report on the “Heritage Conservation of the former cable hut at Southport”.

    September 2008
    – Mentions that work as a Traffic Assistant in MOR in 1955 “included numbering and checking inwards and outwards telegrams as well as that duty made famous by Mick Wood’s write-up on Bundling.”

  6. Peter Bull October 13, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    From John Eades:
    I received your email re Mick Woods. My first reaction is he is not old enough to pass and then I added 10 -15 years onto my age and it slowly sinks in – (bugger!!)

    He was a great bloke to know, always up to something which added humour and a smile to everyone who worked with him.

    A person who passes through one’s life and leaves an indelible mark, a face and an attitude to life that you never forget.

  7. Peter Bull October 14, 2014 at 10:10 am

    I remember Mick well and have fond memories of a wonderful bloke. His Amateur Radio exploits have given me and fellow AWA/OTC members much joy in that field. He will be sadly missed.

    John Bennett
    sometime AWA Melbourne
    OTVA Victoria

  8. Peter Bull October 14, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    From Bruce Mayberry:
    Mick was a bit of a practical joker as I recall. Bill Kay, Doc Roberts, Peter Straughan and myself were invited over to Mick and Betty’s place in Sydney for dinner around 1976 after we’d all returned from Guam. Needless to say a few beers were consumed and there could have been people driving home when maybe they shouldn’t have. The next day Mick rang Bill pretending to be a police officer from the local station and questioned him regarding some erratic driving he had observed the previous evening. It had Bill in quite a state until Mick couldn’t keep up the ruse any longer and had to come clean.

  9. Peter Bull October 15, 2014 at 7:57 am

    From Bill Kay:
    The memories keep coming. The first time I met Mick was at Paddo and what struck me was the fact that he was always willing to help and advise and off course take the –p out of you when you let your guard down but was always ready to have a good laugh with you and not at you. He was the one that broke down the Mobie / Mungo barriers and I did my best to keep them down. The years have passed so quick yet I remember him as if it was yesterday…..I will miss him.

  10. Peter Bull October 15, 2014 at 8:14 am

    From Jim Keenan:
    I am saddened to hear of Micks passing and wish to express my condolence to Helen and Michael. Mick was my neighbour on Guam and was a treasured friend.
    We were members of the initial operations group attached to Guam 1966.

    On reflection I have formed the opinion that the members of that group were not only chosen for their technical ability but, for their social skills. Mick was a leader in the social arena as many a party was endured along with our American friends during that time. Mick was even better at the bullshit than the yanks and that is a very admirable status to achieve.

    I can still picture sitting with Mick at sunset on the front porch overlooking Tumon Bay and throwing a few ambers down our throats. We would sit there and take bets on how long it would take the B 52,S to fly overhead once they were spotted returning from Vietnam. Vapour trails could be detected up to 30 mins ahead with the flying altitude of 60,000 ft.

    Mick was a keen sailor and was a member of the Proteus Yacht club. Bar duty was his favourite duty. Of course no booze buses up there. Fond memories indeed and to many to reveal.

    I have attached a pic of the SEACOM opening on Guam for the benefit of Helen and Michael (see body of Post above). Unfortunately, Mick is not in it as I guess he was pouring the drinks
    alonside Charlie Hale the manager.

    RIP Mick

    Jim Keenan
    Sorrento W.A.

  11. Peter Bull October 15, 2014 at 9:03 am

    From Bruce Mayberry:
    I’m just sorry I didn’t get to catch up with him for so long. I last heard from him when there was an article in the Vets newsletter about our 30th Bondi reunion which contained contact numbers for a few of us and he called me out of the blue at work to have a chat. I hadn’t spoken to him for probably 15 years. One of nature’s gentlemen.

  12. Peter Bull October 15, 2014 at 9:07 am

    From Mark (Doc) Roberts:

    Mick was an all-round good guy. Very sociable and most hospitable. When the Engineering Branch team arrived in Guam in May 1975 to install the TASI system on the SEACOM cable, Mick as a Senior Operation person was the first to welcome the team. He arranged numerous social functions(this seemed to be his forte), introduced us to the local OTC Operations guys, their families and some of the locals as well. He also arranged games of Croquet on the OTC station lawn which he had specially trimmed for the events. Apparently the Guam Ops guys had requested a swimming pool from the Sydney OTC social club but were refused because of the expense. Mick stated that they may as well send them a Croquet set instead, so they did! Mick and the Ops guys subsequently set it up and played regular games after work over a few beers. It turned out to be a lot of fun and quite competitive.

    He also introduced us to his local yacht club after which some of the Eng Branch guys joined the club and bought yachts for the seven and a half months that they were located in Guam on the TASI job. Bruce Mayberry, Bill Kay, Peter Straughan and Mark Roberts amongst others. Once again Mick was in his element as a social organiser.

    Mick was also welcoming to Aussies who arrived in Guam on cruise ships. He’d was known to greet the odd cruise ship and ask if there were aussies on board. He would then take the time to drive them around the island in his van and show them the sights. For no other reason than he enjoyed it.

    A nice guy indeed and one of those most memorable characters. A sad loss.

    Mark Roberts

  13. Peter Bull October 15, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    From John Vossen:
    It is really sad to here today of Mick Woods passing, we saw him just, what seems like, a few days ago. However we did have a good visit at his home for a good 3-4 hours and he walked to the car to say goodbye. We had a good laugh about the days on Guam and the way Betty (Mick’s late spouse) used to enjoy baby-sitting our eldest son Lee.
    We took some photos at the time I will send them today.
    Thanks and regards
    John Vossen

  14. Peter Bull October 16, 2014 at 8:01 am

    A couple of pictures (see body of Post) of our recent visit with Mick on 30th September 2014.
    We will miss him, he was a great man, we will always keep the fond memories and we are both so glad to have had to opportunity to visit Mick, whilst in
    Queensland last month.

    Thanks and regards
    John and Chris Vossen and Sons.

  15. Peter Bull October 22, 2014 at 9:39 am

    From John Bennett:
    I attended Mick Woods funeral yesterday on the Gold Coast. The funeral service was a appropriate celebration of Micks life.
    There were lots of humerous stories about Mickspast exploits.
    The coffin was painted with a south sea scene to reflect the many postings that Mick had with OTC, i.e. Fanning Island, Cocos Island, Guam, and Norfolk Island.
    The following ex OTC staff attended:
    Deane Laws
    Trevor Thatcher
    Jim Hume
    Liz & Bruce Boardman
    Bill Newman
    Brian Travis
    John Bennett
    Sadie Vincent [Keith Vincent’s widow]

  16. Peter Bull October 22, 2014 at 9:47 am

    From Jim Hulme:
    Mick’s funeral was held in a small chapel in beautiful surroundings in the western suburbs of the Gold coast on a fantastic summer day.

    It was well attended by family and friends, followed by a casual morning tea outside the chapel in the shady gardens, and later, for those who wished, a wake was held at the home in Burleigh.

    The funeral included a slideshow of various photos of Mick, tributes from Micks lifelong friend Deane Laws, both Mick’s children and grandchildren.

    I was pleased to see some ex-OTC staff joining me to represent OTC, as Mick had dedicated his life to the communications industry there. The people I met there were Trevor Thatcher, Brian Travis, Bruce and Liz Boardman, John Bennett and Bill Newman.

    Mick’s lifelong friend Deane Laws was also in OTC too.

    A fitting farewell to an interesting and generous man.

  17. Peter Bull October 23, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    From Bruce Boardman:
    Liz and I went to Mick’s funeral. It was interesting to recognise Mick’s attributes in his son, Michael. There were a number of OTC people there, which was nice to see. Mick’s son described his parents as irresponsible for travelling the world and raising their children on far-flung pacific islands, however he was quick to explain that they enjoyed every minute of it.

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