Gregory Sachs has passed on the sad news that he has received verbal advice via an “old boy” network that Brian Curran passed away on Christmas Day.
Brian passed just short of his 82nd birthday. Brian’s birthday was 6th January
Brian’s funeral is to be at: St Joseph’s College in Mark Street Hunters Hill
When: 11am Friday 6th January 2023
May He Rest In Peace
Soon after I joined OTC(A), I met Brian a young engineer from Operations Branch in 1968.
Brian was a recognised expert in data and telex communications, and was invited to join the OTC team located in Bern, Switzerland in 1970 to oversight the development by Hasler AG of a new computer controlled Telex Exchange to be installed in Sydney.
Three OTC families including six small children were involved, initially to visit for one year, but stayed a little longer.
On returning to Sydney in 1974, Brian’s expertise along with software staff and Hasler/OTC engineers succeeded in commissioning a new state of the art Telex switch, which operated well until superseded by waves of new technology during the following 50 years.
Brian was a respected friendly professional, who assisted many others along the way.
Photo shows Dave Abercrombie (left, glasses, previous OTC chief Engineer) and wife visiting OTC families, including Brian Curran, on day off in the Swiss mountains around 1972.
Over the years up till my departure from OTC in 1986, I had many encounters with Brian concerning Data, Telex, MUXs, etc. He was always across his specialities and no questions were ever too difficult for him. He was uncomplicated and a pleasure to work with at all times. He was very much dedicated to his work and was the epitome of an excellent Professional Engineer. He avoided politics and stuck to the Profession. He was an excellent example to others and especially raw young newcomers from the Halls of Academia. His cheerfulness at times of stress was a credit to him and he had an ability to see through a project or problem calmly and without fuss. He would never talk down to others but take the time to ensure that his understanding and expertise were transferred thoroughly and perceptibly. While a “throne” (within Australia or Internationally) to mark his status might have been judged by some as being deserved, Brian was too much the regular guy for such pretention.
Wallace W DONALD
I remember Brian Curran as an affable gentleman, and I was pleased to meet up with him at a Godless Lunch three years ago, particularly as I know his second cousin. His second cousin advised me: “My mother … was a first cousin to Brian’s mother and asked whether I knew Brian from my OTC days. Brian was very interested to hear that I knew his second cousin.
My understanding is that Brian’s birthday was 6 January 1941, the same date, 6 January, as his funeral.
My sister … expects to be at the funeral service at St Joseph’s College. I do not plan to attend in view of possible exposure to COVID-19 yesterday.”
Brian Curran was one of the group of five Cadet Engineers, of which I was also one, who joined OTC in March 1958.
These were the first Cadet Engineers that OTC took on since it was established, and the competition for the positions was tough, as I was told later that there had been about 200 applications.
Brian and I subsequently had different roles in OTC, as I have no recollection of his further career in the organisation.
Attached, for interest, is the advertisement on the 18th January 1958 to which Brian and I apparently responded.
May he rest in peace.
Guntis (Gus) Berzins
From a news clipping from 1958 supplied Bob Lions:
CURRAN, Brian J., B.Sc, Stud. I.E. Aust. St Josephs College
1959, young, innocent, sober, hard-working O.T.C. Cadet.
In the meantime we have seen an affinity for many things, including women (one close at hand most of the time); beer (he is reputed to enjoy parties mist in an attitude of horizontal repose); power prac. (where his study of the effects of random operation of switches remains a classic); and the Police and Transport Depts. (“Cost me 25 quid so far”).
He has shown O.T.C. the benefits of direct connected valves and their saving on sockets has been considerable. He denies that coaching and demonstrating allow him to live on immoral earnings, which is a good thing, since his Austin has been converted to run on pure money after it lost a brawl with Bob’s Packard after an Eng. Informal.
Beer drinking has had its effect, and a pretty Mech. Secretary was heard to comment “you were worth a second look last year”
Next year O.T.C. had better look. Look out, that is: but we wish him and them the best of luck.
When I arrived at OTC Operations in 1965 as a novice class 1 engineer, Brian was already an established telex and data engineer recognised by his colleagues for his efficiency.
I was always impressed by Brian’s ability to function efficiently in all circumstances, even when others with less experience were panicking and displaying “headless chook” symptoms.
He and Ross Beaumont were recognised as being the giants in their field, and they actually understood the innards of telex machines, how they communicated between continents, and how they processed ARQ requests. They spent most of their time in the SOR, sometimes with mechanical components spread over the top of a work-bench.
Many of the junior engineers and technicians did not pay due respect to Brian’s or Ross’ superior knowledge because they couldn’t understand the principles that made the Telex Machines work.
Brian will be sadly missed by me and his other colleagues.