Author Archives: %s

OTVA XMAS Reunion Held Thursday 9/11/23

13 Nov 23
Peter Bull
No Comments

In attendance were:

Allan Hennessy; Ben McGee; Bill Breeze; Bill Davey; Brian Travis; Carl Viglianti; Col Jones; Dave Coutts; Dean Veverka; Dennis Grant; Gary Beaton; George Woloszuk; Greg Martyn;

Ian McDonald; Jim Simpson; John Eades; Kevin O’Brien; Lex Vipond; Mal Carson; Neil Yakalis; Neville Hainke; Orm Butler; Peter Bull; Robert Brand; Robert Lewis; Robin Tuckfield;

Ross Smith; Tom Barker

Those present were reminded of those who had passed away over the past 12 months and the contributions that they may have had on our lives during and after our years in OTC.

The conversations started immediately people arrived to find out who was who (as some of us have aged more than others). For example: Neville Hainke and Dean Veverka still have their boyish good looks and age does not seem to have harmed them at all. Although Dean told us that he had some crippling back pain while on a working trip to SE Asia on his way to a conference in Europe that necessitated a quick trip home for urgent surgery but he is much better now. Bill Davey and Ray Pow too do not seem to have aged much at least to the point that I was easily able to recognize them.

Those present were happy to see that Tom Barker and Allan Hennessy were not hampered by mobility or health issues and were able to join the social gathering. They both appeared to be well and in good spirits.  Their attendance and contribution to the collective memories and stories was much appreciated by all in attendance.

Stories were told and memories relived as those in attendance recalled their experiences in their OTC years. Much laughter ensued as someone related a particularly interesting or controversial event that had happened OR when someone recalled a ‘remember when (person) did (what)” story that was considered memorable either due to its level of excellence or its larrikinism.

Unfortunately the venue could have been better. We had booked 3 tables of 10 in the Red Room on Level 1 but unfortunately the other booking in the Red Room did not want to share and we were moved at the last minute to the Bistro area which was a bit loud and distracting. Peter Bull extended his apology on behalf of the Committee to those in attendance and promised to do better next year. The Function Manager of Club York and the Bistro Manager also apologized but the situation was apparently unavoidable due to the sensitivity of some of the topics being discussed in the Red Room by the other group which had larger numbers than the OTVA. Having said that, the food was very good as was the service by the wait staff. The general noise of our conversations and occasional raucous laughter may have caused some other patrons to move giving us more room in which to spread out which was welcomed by the majority.

All those in attendance appeared to thoroughly enjoying the event and conversation with many still being there talking well after 3:30pm.

Thanks to Robin Tuckfield who provided name tags to facilitate in those awkward moments when you cannot recall a person’s name.

Thanks to Orm Butler and John Eades for taking the below photos:

Mary Betts – Passed Away 16 September 2023 – Aged 99 years

22 Sep 23
Peter Bull
one comments

Mary Betts obituary appeared in the Herald today, sourced from the Telegraph, London.

Here’s a link that may work for folk to read about her.

There were stories in past Newsletters about codebreakers in the WWII and Mary was one of the WRENs, (in the UK) who performed the work.

Bob Pearson – Passed Away 12/9/2023 – Aged 73 years

17 Sep 23
Peter Bull

Thanks to Trevor Clay for passing on the sad news from Bob’s daughter, Cathy, of the passing of big Bob Pearson on 12 September

My Dad (Bob) passed away on Tuesday (12th Sept). Although we knew he was having ongoing heart issues he went downhill very quickly and passed due to heart failure.

He just had his 73rd birthday on the 2nd of September.

Dad and mum(Pam) both appreciated the friendship of OTC Vets, so I know you will be feeling this loss too. Sending love from our family to yours.

We will be holding a funeral service for Dad on Friday 22nd September 10am here in Adelaide at Harrison’s funerals Port Rd Queenstown, but the service will also be live-streamed (post Covid norm) for family and friends. I will send through the link and code for this when I receive them.

Much love Cathy Jackson

Chris Collisson – Passed Away 10 September 2023 – Aged 70 years

13 Sep 23
Peter Bull

David Solomon has passed on the news of the passing of Chris Collisson.

Chris joined OTC in 1971.

When I first met him he was working in the Paddington ARM Telephone Exchange. He was a fun-loving character who always made us laugh and on our toes for any of his practical jokes. Another thing that I remember is that he had a phenomenal ability to consume food.

Within a few years of me meeting him he moved to Carnarvon and as with most of those who travelled west with OTC I do not recall him ever coming back.

His ex-wife, Ruth Mary McCready, passed on the sad news to David and others via the ex-OTC Facebook web site.

No details of a the cause of his passing and a funeral service are currently available. I will forward those details on if they become available.

Photo of Chris, Garry Chapple and John Robinson below provided by Kevan Bourke

Dagmar Perumal – Passed Away Saturday 9 September 2023 – Aged 83 years

11 Sep 23
Peter Bull
one comments

The above photo was taken outside of the Paddington Cable Terminal building, 363 Oxford Street Paddington at the celebrations for the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing in 2019:

Some OTVA Members may recall, Dagmar Perumal (former wife of Peru, now deceased) who was first employed in OTC’s Drawing Office in Spring Street, Sydney (circa 1961 where I & other OTVA Members first met her some 62 years ago) following her arrival from Germany as a then 21-year-old immigrant.

Dagmar attended a few OTVA Sydney luncheons where Jim Simpson recalls she had a great time reminiscing with those attendees whose memories dated back to those halcyon days when OTC was first headquartered in Spring Street, Sydney post formation in 1946.

Dagmar passed away yesterday, 9th Sept 2023 aged 83 following a long battle against ovarian cancer at the Palliative Care Unit, Concord Hospital.

Dagmar’s funeral service will take place at 11am on Saturday 16th Sept 2023 at St Christophorus German speaking Church, 112 Edwin Street North, Croydon 2132.

Jim Simpson will be attending her funeral, representing both OTC(A) & also Five Dock Rotary where Jim renewed his acquaintance with her some 58 years later, thanks to Rotary & local Ashfield Bunnings BBQ fund raiser activities in support of her local church & choir group at nearby Croydon, NSW.

Dagmar is succeeded by 3-children, Usha, Stephan & Navesh & 6 grand-children.  Dagmar came to live at nearby Lilyfield in the early 1990’s.  Jim maintained a long friendship with Dagmar & her family, some of whom (grandkids) play in the same Net-ball competition as do his grandchildren.

May She Rest In Peace


Marion McCormack – Passed away 22 July 2023 – Aged 70 years

11 Sep 23
Peter Bull

Bruce Boler has passed on the sad news of the passing of our close friend Marion McCormack on 22nd July.    Marion will be remembered by many folks as a popular secretary within Engineering Branch.

In later years, Marion moved to Adelaide to be close to family and passed after a long illness.

Please see the below snip from the SMH.


Marion Therese

Passed away peacefully on 22nd July 2023 at Laurel Hospice Adelaide after a long illness. Aged 70 years

Loving daughter of Willian and Eileen (both deceased)

Beloved sister of ‘Bill’ to Trish, Paul, Pete, Mark (deceased) and Mick.

Much loved Aunty to Julia, Ben, Matt, Adam, Phil, Mark, Carla, Clare, Hugh and Ange.

Michael Carton – Passed Away Aged 62 years

05 Sep 23
Peter Bull

Garry Dunn has provided the sad news of Michael’s unexpected passing.

Michael was known to one and all in Engineering simply as ‘BOX’.

The details of Michael’s ‘Celebration of Life’ service are below in the post from his wife Julie. I am sure it would be a comfort to the family to have some of his old work mates attend the service.


OTVA AGM 9 June 2023

17 Jun 23
Peter Bull
No Comments

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.

Below is a photo of Col with his wife, Andrea, in better days: