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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.

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