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George Kennedy Passes Away – 16 August 2017 – Aged 80 Years

20 Aug 17
Peter Bull

Peter Dee passed on the sad news of George’s passing on or about Wednesday 16th August 2017 after losing his battle against several illnesses over recent years.

The details of a Funeral Service will be held for George are as follows:

WHEN:               2:00pm Thursday 24th August 2017

WHERE:            South Chapel, Northern Suburbs Crematorium

199 Delhi Road, North Ryde NSW

In lieu of floral tributes, people are asked to consider a donation to the Cancer Council, Kidney Health Australia or

any cat-related charity (my parents have been cat breeders and cat lovers for over 40 years).

George Kennedy Circa 1993


  1. Peter Bull August 21, 2017 at 8:20 am

    Sad news ..
    Many of us old Techs will remember George for this.

    Ray Pow

  2. Peter Bull August 21, 2017 at 8:23 am

    I liked George. I worked for him in Network Arrangements when he was Senior Engineer (NA) and also the RLO (Restoration Liaison Officer). I prepared a lot of the restoration plans at that time so there were many telexes between O/S admins and OTC. In those days, one wrote out the telexes, had our typist (no pool typist for NA!) type them up in triplicate, submitted them to George for approval before sending them to SOR for transmission.

    Invariably, at first, George would correct my grammar (not my spelling – I’m pretty good at that), and it would be sent back for re-typing. As George gradually improved my English, this to-and-froing got less often. Don’t forget, George was a Polish immigrant but his English was excellent as was his phone voice. [As an aside, now, on a number of internet fora I frequent, I’m considered the spelling and grammar guru – it’s all George’s fault]

    One problem with George was that the 7 hour 21 minute day didn’t apply to his underlings. I usually got in at about 8am and if I left before 5:30pm he’d comment on it. I liked to get away by then to catch the 5:55pm Blue Mountains train from Central – miss it and it was a long wait for the next one. It was always a rush to get to Central.

    His cats were his pride and joy. We didn’t have anything in common there – I’m a Labrador person.

    Generally speaking, I enjoyed working for George as he let me run with the job and I learned a lot from him. He was very knowledgeable.

    RIP George.

    Ron Beckett

  3. Peter Bull August 21, 2017 at 8:26 am

    This is Eliot Kennedy here, George Kennedy’s younger son.

    I was about to send you a message about my dad when I saw the message below. It’s amazing how quickly news passes on in this modern world!

    It is of course very sad but my dad had not been well for some time. He passed away early yesterday morning.

    There will be a formal notification in the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday, but FYI the funeral will be held in the South Chapel of the Northern Suburbs Crematorium, 199 Delhi Road, North Ryde on Thursday 24 August, commencing at 2.00pm.

    In lieu of floral tributes, people are asked to consider a donation to the Cancer Council, Kidney Health Australia or any cat-related charity (my parents have been cat breeders and cat lovers for over 40 years).

    I’d be very grateful if you could pass this information on to your members. I know my dad really loved his time working at OTC and was very proud of and committed to the work that it did.

    Best wishes.


  4. Peter Bull August 21, 2017 at 8:28 am

    That’s sad news.

    There was only one George Kennedy!


  5. Peter Bull August 21, 2017 at 8:30 am

    George was always very approachable and extremely supportive, if you were prepared to listen particularly for the younger guys. After all, George wrote the text book. He was a man of significant intellect and I went to him on many occasions for help. I recall one occasion fondly and have repeated it many times – I sat down across from George in his office with 8 or so questions written down in my scribble on a piece of scrap paper. I asked the first question and George answered it at length, he then proceeded to answer the remaining 7 questions completely – now here is the amazing part, I didn’t ask the final 7 questions yet he answered them. I left content that I had the answers but curiosity got the better of me and I returned and asked how he knew what I was going to ask? Without looking up he said ‘ I read upside down’. George was a unique guy and I was fortunate to cross paths with him

    David Neill

  6. Peter Bull August 21, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Omg. I have such fond memories of George and all the discussions about cats.

    Kind Regards
    Michelle Robbé

  7. Peter Bull August 24, 2017 at 9:57 am

    My wife Joan and I were saddened to hear of the loss of dear George Kennedy (known in OTC head office as ONA3)

    We would like to convey our sincere condolences to his wife and family and regret that we will be unable to show our respect by attending his funeral due to family illness.

    Forty years ago George visited me in hospital where I was recovering from injuries sustained in the Granville Train Accident. It was appreciated as he travelled to Parramatta hospital to see me and he cheered me up immensely with his many humorous stories regarding his cats. We will miss him.

    John and Joan McDermott

  8. Peter Bull August 25, 2017 at 10:26 am

    George was originally our communications teacher at North Sydney Technical College back in 1967-68. He wrote our text book named Communications for the TAFE. Originally published in paperback form. Later I’m told as a hard back version. I still have my original copy but the paper used was not high quality & the pages are now fragile.

    We enjoyed having George as our teacher. Sometimes he would crack a joke in class & no matter how corny it was we always laughed. It was believed that by being his favourite class, who laughed at his jokes, we would get a better mark in our exams.

    Our training officer Ray Baty would regularly post a yellow Staff Circular out from H.O. to our TAFE for us to read. One morning tea while we were out of the room George picked it up & we found him reading it when we returned. He stated that engineers in OTC were paid more than TAFE teachers. George rang Ray Baty to ask if he could apply for an internal OTC job & the rest is history.

    Neil Yakalis

  9. Peter Bull August 25, 2017 at 10:27 am

    There were about 35 to 40 people at the funeral service for George.

    From the OTC era there were:
    Tom Gruska
    Peter Dee & wife
    John Hibbard
    Judy Dunn and her dad – John.
    Bill Breeze


  10. Peter Bull August 26, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    On Thursday I went to George Kennedy’s funeral. Peter Dee, Helen Dunn, Tom Gruszka were there as was Bill Breeze. Bill spoke for OTC and held up his somewhat battered version of George’s book which was the bible for many OTC techs (and US technicians/engineers where it was a standard text in many colleges). I am sure many OTC vets would be interested to know that the book Electronic Communications Systems first published in 1970 ( and subsequently re-published in 1977, 1985 and 1993) had its 5th edition printed in India in 2011, retitled as “Kennedy’s Electronic Communications Systems” and is now a standard textbook across India. With the book still in widespread use after 47 years, it is obvious that the training that the book gave OTC techs has a real enduring quality about it. Thank you Bill for highlighting the significance of what George contributed to the developing the great skills in OTC.

    John Hibbard

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