Alf Ricketts passed away last night in hospital at 76 years young.
Alf underwent an emergency operation to address fluid in his lung that was applying pressure on his heart. He appeared to be recovering from the operation but then complications set in that resulted in his passing.
Alf had a bad heart over the past 17 years for which he had received multiple operations and several pace makers.
His wife, Marjorie, wanted his friends a colleagues to be made aware of his passing. She told me that Alf had always referred to OTC as his family and he often talked fondly and enthusiastically about his friends from the OTC days. He had been looking forward to catching up with Keith McCredden and Geoff Day next week.
Marjorie expects that the funeral will be next week. I have asked her to keep me informed so that I can let his OTC family know.
From John Caulfield:
Appreciate you updating me on Alf’s passing. He is a very fondly remembered colleague of ours, from the operations and commercial/sales area….quite a character with lots of stories etc and his passing is a BIG shock then again didnt realise he was in his mid 70’s….He did love a drink and a joke.
Will pass it onto my fellow OTC colleagues who dont attend the Vets but certainly wud like to know this news. !!! Alf and Ian Reed were good friends and mates….so both of them passing in the past 12 months aint good news.
From Len Wylde
Thank you Peter.
This is indeed an unhappy surprise I would have paid quids not to hear. From the Operating Room to Marketing Branch Alf was always within earshot.
From Vernon Yen
Many Thanks for this sad info. Alf and Marj were very close friends of ours. I’ve been in contact with Marj and she seems to be bearing up well considering the circumstances.
A ceremony will be held for Alf Ricketts in the East Chapel of Northern Suburbs Crematorium located at 199 Delhi Road, North Ryde at 11.30am Tuesday 1 November 2011.
There is seating for 75 inside the chapel with standing room for another 25. If you are intending to attend to pay your last respects to Alf and require a seat I suggest that you arrive early to have a greater chance of scoring one.
Keith McCredden has advised that there is also a Church service for Alf at 10am at the Presbyterian Church, Gladesville. This is on the corner of Victoria Road and Pittwater Road Gladesville.
There is some parking at a public car park a short distance down Pittwater Road.
The below has been privided by Alf’s beloved wife, Marjorie:
Alf Ricketts grew up in the Sutherland Shire and then later at Newtown, attending Fort Street Boys High School in his senior years.
His working career began at the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) at Mascot Airport, as a junior Telegraphist. He was in one of the last classes to learn Morse Code at the Marconi School of Wireless in the old AWA building in York Street Sydney, his teacher was the famous “Mrs Mac”.
This training eventually saw him gain employment at OTC (Overseas Telecommunications Commission) the international government commission for overseas communications between Australia and the world. Commencing employment with them in December 1954 aged 19 he faithfully served OTC for 38 years until retirement in 1992 at the young age of 57.
His career began in the Sydney Operating Room, better known as the SOR in Spring Street, Sydney. Alf’s first major challenge was being sent to Melbourne for the Olympic Games in 1956, he then realised the possibilities of being an active participant in the future of this industry, as an explosion of new methods of telecommunications were beginning to appear around the world.
Possibly the most challenging projects were his involvement in the American space programmes and putting man into orbit. He then moved from technical to sales/marketing/training – this new pathway led him into being involved in marketing and public relations throughout Austalia and the world.
Alf went on to participate in the Brisbane Commonwealth Games, the Olympic Games in Los Angeles and the Edinburgh Commonwealth Games – Marjorie, Matt and Alison joined him there and after the Games drove from the top of Scotland to the bottom end of England having a wonderful family holiday together for eight weeks.
Involvement in the introduction and consequential customer training of new products was a an important aspect of his part in the OTC network, working out of Martin Place, the Paddington Station and in his final years from his Broadway office all showing his immense knowledge and dedication which were greatly admired by his colleagues and customers…………….
Seventeen years ago he had a triple by-pass and 3 replacement pace-makers over the years, his health gradually deteriorated over the past 12 months with other medical problems surfacing that caused his final admission to the Macquarie University Hospital, where after an emergency operation he had another major attack leading to his death.
Marjorie Ricketts and family would like to thank all the Veterans and OTC friends who attended Alf’s Church Service and the Northern Suburbs Crematorium on the 1st November 2011 celebrating his life. There are simply no words to express our heartfelt thanks for the sympathy and support you have extended to our family on the death of our beloved Alf. Please accept our sincere gratitude and love.
Message from Kevin O’Brien (KOB):
He is a pix of Alfi Ricketts and another of a few other criminals. Both 1990.
For a time Alfi was a Telex operator at Paddo next door to ITSC.
He and Phil Ryan were mad stock market players during one of the booms.