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Geoff Oldman – Passed away 27/9/22 – Aged 82 years

30 Sep 22
Peter Bull

It is with great sadness that I relay the advice received from Ron Lukin that Geoff has passed away.

Ron received a phone call this morning from Colleen Oldman with the sad news that Geoff had a severe stroke some two weeks ago and passed away in the morning of  27th Sept.

His son and both daughters are currently supporting Colleen and Greg who has recently retired from IT is looking after the farm.

A memorial service is planned at their farm in Denman NSW at 11am on Wed 5 Oct.

Would appreciate it if you could pass this email onto Vet members and his Engineering Branch work mates.

May He Rest In Peace

If you have any Tributes that you would like to share with other members of the OTVA as well as Colleen and Geoff’s family please email them to me and I will pass them on. Also please indicate whether you agree for your Tribute to be shared with other members of the OTVA and Geoff’s family via the OTVA website.


  1. Peter Bull September 30, 2022 at 11:09 am

    Geoff was a nice bloke. I worked for him for a while in HO.

    If I recall correctly, Geoff worked at Carnarvon Tracking Station (NASA) in the early 70s in the SPAN (Solar Particle Alert Network) area. I’m not sure if he was there when my wife worked in SPAN.

    Ron Beckett

  2. Peter Bull September 30, 2022 at 11:10 am

    Dear Colleen,
    I’m so sorry for you and your families loss. Geoff was a wonderful man. He operated with such integrity and compassion – everyone had a voice in the team.

    Geoff was my boss when I I first moved to Australia with OTC. I really enjoyed working with Geoff whilst I was there. I was at OTC for a little over 2 years then joined Optus in July 1992. I always felt guilty about the move and felt I’d let Geoff down. I was so pleased to catch up with Geoff at one of the OTVA functions a few years ago. I had a great conversation with Geoff and raised the issue of me leaving and feeling guilty. Geoff’s face lit up at this and said ‘quite the reverse – you joined us from an Oil company, you had so many different ideas and approaches – you added real value and implemented change. Don’t feel guilty I was proud of your move’. It was wonderful to offload the feeling I’d had for so many years. I’m sure Geoff is still smiling wherever he is.

    I would love to come to the memorial next week but unfortunately I will be away with my daughter in the King Valley near Beechworth.

    My sincere condolences.
    John Currie

  3. Peter Bull September 30, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    When I joined OTC in about 1965, I was fortunate enough to work for Peter Gergely, a Senior Engineer and Geoff Oldman a Class 2 Engineer. I was a novice at that time, on probation.

    Geoff and I both worked for Peter Gergely, who was the Senior Engineer in the Operations Division of OTC responsible for the Coast Radio Stations (about 15 or twenty responsible for safety in vessels at sea) and all high frequency radio traffic with all commonwealth participants overseas, principally in the UK, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.

    Geoff Oldman had a reputation for being a totally dedicated and efficient Engineer.

    Geoff had a keen interest in negative impedance convertors and gyrators, which were unique and fascinating electronic circuits.

    A few of his many achievements were as follows:
    • A stepping receiver designed to scan the entire UHF frequency range (2-3 Mega Hertz). This used a Varactor Diode Circuit where the depletion layer on a back-biased diode acted as a variable capacitor that changed the resonance frequency of a tuned circuit by small steps so that coast watchers could be assured of hearing distress calls from ships the first time they scanned the UHF range.
    • A device that ensured that Intercontinental HF radio receivers in Australia at Bringelly could be tuned to the exact incoming frequency of the incoming transmissions even when the incoming frequencies were fluctuating.
    • Geoff always had a great idea and lent a wealth of experience to me, Rod Ruddock, and others in the test room, attempting to tame problem circuits, like the development of notch filters.

    On our trips to Doonside, the HF transmitting station and Bringelly, the HF receiving station, Geoff and I always raided the biscuit supplies and took ginger-nuts, which we both liked, on the outward leg to the HF stations, and on the return leg from the remote stations.

    As I recall, Geoff was an impatient driver and drove at break-neck speed in both directions despite any speed signs.

    I told him if he piled up the OTC car he would make the press with a headline that would read “maniac crashes car in Wallgrove eating ginger nuts”. He always found this very amusing. He also had a wicked sense of humour.

    I can recall how generous Geoff was generous to me when he was my boss. When I was working for Geoff at OTC house one day everything had gone wrong, and I felt discouraged and vulnerable. As I couldn’t stand to remain in the office any longer that day I decided to just catch a bus to my home in Kensington without telling anyone.

    I got off my bus in Anzac Parade and crossed the road, but I didn’t know that Geoff had decided to drive an OTC car to our coast radio station at La Perouse to experiment with one of his circuits.

    He tooted his horn and waved at me as he drove past, but he never asked me while I had gone home without permission.

    This was the measure of the man. He must have known how I felt that day.

    And finally, to live on in the hearts and minds of those we love, and those who love us, is not to die. For those of us who are left behind, we need to remember these words.

    And we should finish this dedication with a fitting poem, Miss Me but Let Me Go.
    When I come to the end of the road
    And the sun has set for me
    I want no tears in a gloom filled room
    Why cry for a soul set free
    For this is a journey we all must take
    And each must go alone
    It’s all a part of the Master’s plan
    A step on the road to home
    Miss me a little but not for long
    Not with your head bowed low
    Remember the love that we once shared
    Miss me but let me go

    May He Rest In Pace
    John Pitcher

  4. Peter Bull October 21, 2022 at 10:03 am

    Bev and I attended Geoff’s memorial service on Wed 5 October at their property at Denman. They had two marques up and it was a bit windy with some rain.
    Tributes were given by representatives from a number of local organisations and groups that Geoff actively participated in and supported. As far as I could see Bev and I were the only OTC people attending.

    His son Greg has retired from IT and is working on the farm assisting Colleen until after the next harvest. Both his daughters and families were also there looking after Colleen.

    I worked with Geoff on and off since the 60s and would have been first introduced to him on a brief visit to Spring St HQ in 1966. We were both in the HF and Coastal Radio Service under Peter Gergley. Geoff went back to NZ for a period then worked for AWA on the NASA tracking station at Carnarvon during the Apollo program before returning to OTC. Later on we also worked together on several projects in Engineering Branch. He also came up to Moree to help me “tame” the explosive Collins HPAs and get them back on line after extended downtime for a dual-polarisation upgrade of the dish.
    Ron Lukin

  5. Peter Bull October 21, 2022 at 10:06 am

    Dear Colleen, I have been travelling and only just caught up with the news about Geoff’s passing. As you will recall, Geoff worked for me in the 1975-1980 when I ran Network Development. I really enjoyed working with Geoff as he had such an analytical approach. He never responded impulsively to any enquiry but gave a very considered response which was invariably constructive. He taught me a lot about esoteric topics such as network dimensioning but clearly the most educational and memorable element related not to work but rather how to successfully rent out real estate properties. He had studied in great detail the economics around the securing of appropriate rental properties and the selection of renters and was more than happy to pass on the information. It was a wonderful education for me and I have never forgotten it..

    His unfortunate stroke and subsequent passing is a great shock to us all and obviously to you. As such you are in our thoughts at this time of grief.

    John Hibbard

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