David Munro has advised Paul Weirick that Fred James passed away recently & has asked him to pass the word to Fred’s OTC colleagues. Fred was an engineer who worked primarily in the cable planning area. Paul advises that many of our engineers in the Vets would have known Fred very well.
Fred had been battling Parkinson’s Disease for well over 5 years. Paul saw him about 5 years ago when the dementia was in its early stages. He & Marcia had moved into Woolooware Shores retirement village at Sylvania a few years earlier when Fred was first diagnosed. Marcia then cared for Fred at home until a few years ago, when he needed extra care & moved into Goodhew Gardens, the on-campus Residential Care facility.
David comments that Marcia & the family are coping well & had a lovely service for Fred, which included a folder with a collection of OTC memorabilia. “Fred was a great collector and there were pamphlets about cable systems, photos, announcements, newspaper articles etc.”
Apart from Fred’s OTC achievements, many of us might recall his heroic efforts during the 1994 Jannali/Como bushfires when Fred stayed to defend their house with the result that theirs was the only house in the street which survived the fire. When Paul last spoke with him 5 years ago, despite the advancing dementia, Fred remembered that day in great detail, along with various technical details of cable systems he had been involved with over the years at OTC. It’s amazing what the mind clings to.
We understand Fred was about 78.
Marcia is keen to talk to any of her old acquaintances from the OTC fraternity and I can provide her contact details to those who are keen to do that. Please email me at email@example.com for those details.
May He Rest In Peace.
Fred can be seen 2nd from the left (front row) in this picture from 1994 Transit when he worked in Network Planning.
Fred was a great person to know, so sorry to hear the news, Of all the engineers I remember him well as a terrific bloke, also his involvement in the fires and the heartache those fires caused to many families in the COMO area. As a volunteer we were there to help with the clean-up.
It seems that the good guys go early
I seem to recall that, as a young engineer, Fred worked on a cable ship laying the SEACOM cable in about 1966.Unfortunately he contracted a very serious illness from which he took a long time to recover – he lost considerable weight as a result.