Author Archives: %s

OTVA AGM – Held Midday 8 June 2023

08 Jun 23
Peter Bull
No Comments

The following members attended today’s AGM held on Level 2, Club York, 95-97 York St Sydney.

  1. Allan Hennessy
  2. Ben McGee
  3. David Richardson
  4. Greg Martyn
  5. Jim Simpson
  6. John Phillips
  7. Kevin O’Brien
  8. Lex Vipond
  9. Mike Elliott
  10. Neil Yakalis
  11. Paul Cope
  12. Peter Bull
  13. Robin Tuckfield
  14. Steve Corrigan
  15. Tom Barker
  16. Tony Kalcina
  17. Will Whyte

A pay-as-you-go luncheon at the Zabou Bar & Grill followed the AGM where reminiscences of some rekindled memories for many.

The 2022-2023 Committee has been reappointed unopposed for the next 12 months.

  1. President                            (Peter Bull)
  2. Vice President                   (Mick Callaghan)
  3. Secretary                            (Will Whyte)
  4. Treasurer                           (Robin Tuckfield)
  5. Subscription Officer        (Robin Tuckfield)
  6. Auditors                             (Ken Theaker and Tony Farrugia)
  7. Newsletter editor             (Greg Martyn)
  8. Committee                         (Orm Butler, Kevin O’Brien, David Richardson.)

The incoming committee thanks the members of the OTVA for its confidence in the ability of the incoming committee to continue to deliver benefits to members of the OTVA.

Minutes to follow in the next few weeks.



Colin Coles – Passed Away 6/6/23 – Aged 69 years

07 Jun 23
Peter Bull
No Comments

Graham Hanigan passed along the sad news of the passing of Colin Coles yesterday (6 June).

Graham has no other details, but will pass them on when they become available.

Peter Burgess provided the below photo of Col who was a good mate of his way back during training days etc. Peter has spoken to Col’s wife on Col’s mobile number. She promised to send him detail of the funeral but she’s obviously in shock at this time.

Peter recalls that Col trained as  TRTO in DCA Training School at Waverton in NSW and that he was an avid Ham Radio guy..  Call sign  VK2ZZU

After he finished his training, Col spent quite a while in Carnarvon Earth Station and later on in his career he worked in Police Radio.

You will be updated as information is passed on.

Darryl Steer – Passed Away 6/7/23 – Aged in his early 60s (I think)

07 Jun 23
Peter Bull


Jules Corben has passed on the sad news of Darryl’s passing yesterday 6 June 2023. I extend my condolences to his wife (Andrea), his teenage son (Christopher) and his many friends and extended family members. Our prayers are with them all during this very sad time. Below is a better photo taken in Optus OCS, level 33 North Sydney in April 2007 (or thereabouts).


Details of Darryl’s funeral service will be passed on when I am advised of them.

May He Rest In Peace.

Geoffrey Gordon Whitmore – Passed Away Sunday 28/5/23 – Aged 97 years

05 Jun 23
Peter Bull
one comments

Robert Hall has passed on the sad news of the passing of Geoffrey Gordon Whitmore on Sunday 28th May 2023 aged 97 at the Doncaster Nursing Home.

Geoff worked in MOR and in the Facsimile section and retired as Shift Controller.

Funeral Service to be held at Tobin Brothers Reflections of Life Chapel, 816 Doncaster Road Doncaster, on Tuesday 6TH June 2023, commencing at 2.00 PM   A private cremation will follow.

For those unable to attend in person, this service will be live streamed. To view the Webcast check the Tobin Brothers Doncaster Website (

Please add your tributes and memories for the family to enjoy using the “Upload Your Memories” button.

Geoff’s Daughter Sue Heinicke   0407227120    email


May He Rest In Peace

Col Sainty – Passed Away 19/9/22 – Aged 70 years

03 May 23
Peter Bull

Col Sainty’s son Dan advised me today that Col had passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack on 19th Sept 2022. I haven’t seen any notices from yourself so I assume you are unaware of this and so many of the vets may also be unaware.

Col and his wife Julie had been living in Rutherglen for the last ten years. Following his passing Julie has moved into a nursing home in Nowra near Dan. They have another son Ben.

I lost contact with Col for a while but re-established contact about 5 years ago and visited him at Rutherglen. I understand Col was very active and respected within the Rutherglen community, involving himself in community events and fund raising.

In recent years Tweed vets Jeff Thwaites and Gary Samuels also visited Col and Julie in Rutherglen and both Col and Julie came up here to meet other Tweed vets who had worked with him.

To refresh the memory of the vets, Col started with OTC in SOR and moved to the BWY ISTC when the Hasler T202 telex exchange was commissioned and he was PTO of the BWY CNCC before he resigned.

Col was very popular and had many friends in OTC who I am sure have countless fond memories of him.

I have attached a photo of Col celebrating his 70th birthday at his favourite watering hole, the Star Rutherglen Hotel, where they have a memorial plaque mounted in his honour.

May he rest in peace.

Bob Collins

Raoul Velcich – Passed away 12 April 2023 – Aged 62 years

14 Apr 23
Peter Bull

Raoul had worked most of his OTC technical career with the OTC Maritime Engineering group then later with Telstra Mobile Satellite and Radio Services. Raoul installed/commissioned most of the Auto Seaphone radio sites around Australia and after moving with his family from Sydney to Brisbane (Brisbane Radio) he worked with Mike Elliott on the ICO satellite facility at Ningi. With the demise of ICO he resigned from Telstra and worked in the mining industry. A work related road accident in the Tanamai NT forced him into early retirement.

Raoul was born in 1960.

The service for Raoul will be at the Buderim Crematorium at 1PM on Monday 17 April 2023.

Buderim Crematorium & Memorial Gardens

Mooloolaba Rd, Buderim, Qld 4556

The service will also be live streamed by Premier Funeral Group, Buderim

May He Rest In Peace

Bruce Hardiman – Passed away aged 79 years

28 Feb 23
Peter Bull
No Comments

Neil Yakalis has advised of the passing of Bruce Hardiman who was employed by Ray Hookway & worked at La Perouse & then Doonside until it closed in 1997. After a long illness Bruce died at home aged 79 years.

Neil received the sad new from Bruce’s wife, Haydee.

Bruce’s funeral is to be held at the Penrith Presbyterian Church located at 9 Doonmore Street, Penrith NSW on Friday 3th March at 10am.

May he rest in Peace

Ernie Wan – Passed Away on 14 February 2023 – Aged 82 years

16 Feb 23
Peter Bull

This news that has been provided by John Hibbard is very sad news indeed.

Hello family and friends of Ernie Wan

It is with immense sadness that we share the news that Ernie Wan passed away on 14 February 2023 at Hornsby Hospital aged 82. His wife Trish, and children Marina and Steven were by his side in his final hours and he passed peacefully due to complications of pancreatitis. Ernie had a great love for his family in Hong Kong and Australia, and his global network of friends and colleagues were very important to him. For all his accomplishments in life and business, his greatest love was for his grandchildren Charlotte, Patrick, Cooper and Isla, who will greatly miss his vibrant and playful energy.

A celebration of Ernie’s life will be held on Thursday 23 February at 1pm in The South Chapel – Northern Suburbs Crematorium. 199 Delhi Road, North Ryde NSW, Australia

For those unable to attend in person the service will be live streamed and available for later viewing.


A wake will be held at Steven & Sara-Jane’s home from 2:30pm at 20 Johnston Crescent, Lane Cove North. If you would like to attend the wake please RSVP to by Tuesday 21 February for catering purposes.

Warm regards,

Trish, Marina and Steven



Alex Ebert – Passed Away 21/1/23

16 Feb 23
Peter Bull
No Comments

Paul Naggar advised that he received a call from a mutual friend who told him that Alex had passed away on Saturday 21 January 2023.

Alex Ebert was told by his doctors in early 2022 that his cancer was progressive and untreatable and that XMAS 2022 would be the last one that he saw. Alex was determined to prove them wrong and lasted longer than some of his doctors expected.

Alex had limited feeling in his hands and feet towards the end but was still upbeat and continued to travel to work each day from his aged care facility in Concord to keep his mind and body active. He greatly appreciated the occasional call from OTC Vets which lifted his spirits by talking/reminiscing about the good old days of OTC. He recalled his days with the Vets and working for OTC fondly and greatly enjoyed rekindling those memories.

Alex had been the Treasurer of the OTVA for a brief period in 2011/12.

Alex became an accountant after he left OTC/Telstra. Alex’s father, Tony Ebert, was a Shift Controller in SOR in his later years in OTC who passed away in 2004. Alex’s mother passed away in 2019.

The below photo is from the April 1988 edition of Transit:

Funeral Details:

Wednesday 1st February 2023 at 1pm

Holy Family Church Maroubra

214 Maroubra Road, Maroubra.

May He Rest In Peace.

Phill Wall – Passed Away 13 February 2023 – Aged 66 years

13 Feb 23
Peter Bull

Bill Newman and Ron Beckett have passed on the sad news of Phil’s passing.

Phill Wall passed away today at Nepean Hospital when he finally succumbed to the progressively debilitating auto immune disease called CREST. Phill was stoic but suffering towards the end but he even  managed an arduous trip last month for a last farewell to his friends in the Tweed Valley. (Photo attached). Phil can be seen 3rd from right behind John Bennett

Many members will have worked with Phill and no doubt would have had great respect for him over his career which included work at Paddo, Broadway, Guam, San Francisco and Hong Kong.

It is a shame there aren’t more Phills in the world.


Bill Newman


Phill’s daughter, Lynette, has provided the link to his funeral service to be held on Friday 24th Feb.

Christine Wall requests that in lieu of flowers could people please donate to Schleroderma Australia under Phill’s name.


The below photo was provided by Shaune Walsh and is a photo of Phil taken in Feb 1995 when Shaune and Phill travelled to a DCME workshop held in Israel.



Tweed  Valley  OTVA

We  were  all able  to  welcome Phil  Wall  visiting  from Sydney at our usual  meeting  held at  the  Riverview Hotel  Murwillumbah  on  Wednesday  18th  Jan.  2023.

We  understood  that  Phil had  health  issues and  we appreciated the  opportunity to  farewell Phil  for the  last  time.

Those present  L  to  R  ,

Bob Collins,  Bill  Newman, Steve Marshall, Gary Samuels,  Peter  [local], Paul  [local], Dave Kidd, Phill  Wall, John Bennett, Shane [Steve Marshall’s son].

John  Bennett


From Will Whyte

I’m attaching 3 photos.
The first 2 are combined and taken on a bushwalking trip to the Buderwang National Park, West of Ulladulla in July 1981. The left hand photo shows Phill second from the left in the back row.
The third photo shows Phill between Bruce Mayberry and Steve Marshall at our 2017 Christmas reunion.