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Autumn Reunion – Thursday 4 April 2024

05 Apr 24
Peter Bull
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The OTVA Autumn Reunion was a great success with the following OTVA members attending: Ben McGee, Dave Coutts, David Free, Frances Free, Geoff Whale, Greg Martyn, Jim Simpson, Lex Vipond, Mick Callaghan, Neil Yakalis, Orm Butler, Peter Bull, Robin Tuckfield, Shaun Higgins, Tom Barker, Trevor Housley.

The Function Manager of Club York had arranged for us to use the Phillip Room on Level 2 at no cost to the OTVA and for the Zabou Bar & Grill staff to bring our lunch orders upstairs to avoid us have to share space with other patrons of Zabou Bar & Grill. She offered this additional consideration as she was aware of the inconvenience that was caused to the OTVA group that attended the November 23 Reunion when we were crammed into a corner of the Zabou Bar & Grill that made conversation difficult. This was greatly appreciated by those present and made the Autumn Reunion much more enjoyable.

There was plenty to talk about as we had David & Frances Free who had travelled from the UK to visit David’s family in QLD but made time to visit Sydney and attend our luncheon. Frances’ brother has lived in Engadine NSW for over 10 years and she has visited Sydney several times. David had travelled from QLD to work for OTC between 1981 and 1986 primarily in the ITMCs at Paddington and Broadway so there were plenty of stories that centred around people that he knew from those days. After his OTC days David has had several contracts across a variety of industries spread across the UK and US so he regaled us with some of his exploits during his years abroad. David and Frances will be in Sydney for another few days before heading off to QLD to catch up with David’s family. They will be in Australia until May 24. We wished them well during their visit.

Shaun Higgins also attended. Shaun brought with him a lot of stories and memories of his years in NDC and Telstra. Shaun has agreed to make scanned copies of NDC and Telstra magazines available to the OTVA for inclusion in its library where appropriate. Shaun too had some interesting stories that related to his working life and his dealings with international communications.

David Free also actively engaged with Jim Simpson, Lex Vipond and Trevor Housley on the NASA missions and the Australian expertise that made them so successful especially where technological challenges were addressed and overcome by the knowledge and expertise and cooperation of OTC technical personnel.

The table of ex-Paddington and Broadway ITMC staff had multiple interesting conversations going on at the same time making it sometimes difficult to keep across the tread of some of the conversations. Some of these conversation got quite animated at times. Having said that everyone seemed to have a good time and were still there deep in conversation when I left at 2pm to go back to work.

Below: Carlo Viglianti, Peter Bull and Lex Vipond

Below: Geoff Whale, Robin Tuckfield, Orm Butler

Below: Neil Yakalis, Tom Barker, Trevor Housley

Below: Ben McGee, Shaun Higgins

Below: Orm Butler, Dave Coutts, Mick Callaghan

Below: Shaun Higgins, Greg Martyn, Neil Yakalis

The Paddington and Broadway ITMC crew: Mick Callaghan, Ben McGee, Geoff Whale, Greg Martyn, Robin Tuckfield, Orm Butler, Carlo Viglianti, Dave Coutts

Below: Lex Vipond, Frances Free, David Free, Jim Simpson

1 Comment

  1. Peter Bull April 7, 2024 at 10:40 am

    It’s nice to see so many OTVA ‘brethren’ (Peter Feely/Bob Goodman’s name for it) together and in good fettle keeping the flag proudly flying.

    Please convey my heartiest wishes to all.

    Many thanks for all the updates and my warm regards.

    Len Wylde

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