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Betty Kinnersley – Passed Away 24 April 2024 – Aged in 95 years

12 May 24
Peter Bull
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Lorraine Bartels, daughter of Des Kinnersley, has advised that Des’ wife, Betty, passed away on 24th April 2024. Her health had been in steady decline for some time.

Lorraine describes it being a tough time up to her passing for the  whole family.

May She Rest In Peace

The below photo is of Des & Betty on the occasion of their 71st wedding anniversary earlier in 2024.

Keith Hungerford – Passed Away 1 May 2024 – Aged 79 years

10 May 24
Peter Bull
one comments

Gregory Sachs has relayed the sad new provided by Carole Hungerford, Keith’s wife, through Gay O’Connor.

Keith passed away in RPA hospital last Wednesday night, from a heart attack.

He had been ill on and off which was actually long COVID and was in hospital after having some infusions that made him feel stronger.  But the heart attack came, unexpectedly.

The family is shocked. It was so sudden and unexpected.

May He Rest in Peace

Noel McKertich – Passed Away 1 September 2023 – Aged 93 years

19 Apr 24
Peter Bull
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Honorine McKertich, Noel’s wife, has with deep sorrow informed the Vets that Noel McKertich, a retired  employee of OTC, passed away peacefully at home on 1 September 2023 of COVID-19 Pneumonia with all his family at his bedside. He was just 2 weeks short of celebrating his 94th birthday.

“Please remember my beloved husband and devoted father of 5 children, grand father of 14 and great grand father of 4 in your prayers and thoughts.”

A search of the Transit magazine library did not uncover any photos.

If any ex-OTC staff have any photos of Noel from his working years in OTC or any stories about Noel and any of his memorable antics or achievements please email them to me for consideration for posting.

Autumn Reunion – Thursday 4 April 2024

05 Apr 24
Peter Bull
one comments

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

William (Bill) Frederick CARTER, OBE (27 May 1998, aged 74)

29 Mar 24
Peter Bull
one comments

Shaun Higgins asked for news of Bill Carter.

Neil Yakalis offered this for Bill Carter. Unfortunately, he passed away in 1998.

Bill was Director of P&T at one stage. Were he to still be alive today he would be 99 or 100 this year.

William (Bill) Frederick CARTER, OBE (27 May 1998, aged 74)

Before going to PNG, Bill was a telecommunications engineer with the PMG Department in NSW, responsible for an Engineering Division with headquarters in Parkes. He was chosen by Paul Hasluck, then Minister for Territories, to create a Department of Posts & Telegraphs in PNG. Bill was then 30 years of age. Most of the postal and telecommunication services in PNG at that time were inefficient and were heavily subsidised by the Government, and there was no in-service staff training for Papua New Guineans. By the time he retired in 1975, both services were operating in a healthy profit position and about 98% of postal staff and 80% of telecommunications staff were Papua New Guineans.

Bill’s interests extended well beyond the running of his Department. He was an avid bushwalker, surfer, skier, and family man. He helped build the Kone Pre-School and was a  Trustee for many years. He was active in the Apex movement and was made a Life Member. He became Chief Commissioner in the Scouting movement. He was an Official Member of the PNG Legislative Council (1959-64) and the House of Assembly (1964-68) (he requested not to be appointed to the Second House of Assembly as he wanted to concentrate on his own Department).  He was a senior member of numerous high-level advisory committees. After leaving PNG Bill did some consultancy work in connection with the building of Black Mountain Tower in Canberra.

Bill’s wife, Anne, predeceased him. He is survived by daughter Beverley, and sons Andrew, Stuart and Bruce.


OTC shared the transmitter building in Boroko Port Moresby with P&T. They had small 1Kw or less inter island transmitters in their half while we had big STC 10kw international circuit transmitters up our end. An internal partition divided the building in two. This site, opposite the ABC studios on St Hubert Murray Highway, is now occupied by a church.

Here is a photo of that building from the P&T end. The car parked under the awning is a 1950’s Ford Prefect.

Gwendoline Ellen Wilson – Passed Away 2/3/24 – Aged 85 years.

27 Mar 24
Peter Bull
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Yashmin Beaumont (President OTVA Melbourne has passed on the sad news of Gwen’s passing.

Melbourne has lost another one.

The service took place on 12th March. The Vets had one attendee in Dimi Krisa.

Gwendoline Ellen Wilson 06/09/1938 to 02/03/2024.

Gwen began working for OTC in Lonsdale Street Melbourne on 04/04/1961 as a switchboard operator.

Resigning on 24/05/1963 to get married and rejoining OTC 06/01/1967. Gwen took the redundancy package on 30/01/1987 and then went to work at the Mercy Maternity Hospital for 20 years as their receptionist retiring at the spritely age of 75, she loved her job.

In April 2023, Gwen moved into care as her Dementia had advanced.

Attached is a photo of her back in 1980 at OTC and a photo taken several years ago.

Phillip Hastings – Passed Away 16/3/2024 – Aged 77 years

25 Mar 24
Peter Bull

Jim Simpson, Graham Hansen, Tim Jensen and Don Koulaouzos have passed on the sad news of the passing of Phil Hastings.

The below photo is from the funeral service booklet provided by Phil’s family for the use of those who attended the funeral service.

Don Withers – Passed Away 26/2/2024 – Aged 84 years

08 Mar 24
Peter Bull
one comments

Neil Yakalis has advised:

Don Withers’ daughter, Claire Bate, advised the passing of her father, Don Withers, on 26th February 2024 aged 84. The service was held at Northern Suburbs Crematorium on 5th March 2024.

Don started with OTC in 1963 with a posting to Rockbank radio receiving station Victoria. He also worked at Bringelly receiving and Doonside radio transmitting stations. Due to ongoing health problems he left OTC in the late 1970’s.


David Peel – Passed Away 22 February 2024 – Aged 77 years

23 Feb 24
Peter Bull
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Ross Martin has passed on the sad news of David’s passing in hospital after a long illness.

David spent time at Carnarvon, Ceduna, Moree and Scoresby as well as other work locations while working for OTC.

The details for David’s funeral are as follows; (Information provided by Irene Peel)

Monday March 4th, 11am,
Handley & Anderson, 3085 Loch-Wonthaggi Rd, North Wonthaggi.
Afterwards at Anderson Inlet Fishing Club, 88 The Esplanade, Inverloch.

David’s funeral service will be live streamed via Handley and Anderson Funeral Directors website.  It will also be available to watch within 24hrs if you can’t watch the livestream via the website.
Thank you
Irene, Jodie, Rebecca and Mathew

John Arthur Davey – ex Melbourne Office – Passed Away 7/2/24 – Aged 83 years

20 Feb 24
Peter Bull
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Yashmin Beaumont, President OTVA Melbourne, has advised us of the passing of John Arthur Davey from Melbourne Office (MOR) on 7th February due to a heart attack at Monash Medical Centre Clayton.

John’s health had not been good of late.

Not advised of a service as John’s relatives all live interstate. TBA.

The below photo is of John with Abbey Marie taken in 1985.

The below photo is of JD with Robert Hall taken in 2018.