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Herbert Henry (Bert) Cladingboel passed away 4/4/20 aged 97 years

07 Apr 20
Peter Bull

Allan McPherson (ex OTC payroll) has advised that a Herbert Henry (Bert) Cladingboel passed away 4/4/20 aged 97 years.


97 is a good innings in anyone’s book. He must have seen huge technological changes and social change in that time. I wonder what a 20 year old Bert would have thought of Tinder and G-string bikinis. He might have had a heart attack and then he would not have reached the age of 97.


May He Rest In Peace.


Our condolences go out to his family and friends.


  1. Peter Bull April 7, 2020 at 7:39 pm

    I worked with Bert for many years in the old Sydney operating Room (SOR)..

    Bert was a strong Union man, always looking out for any breeches of Union rules by OTC.

    He was a telegraphist when I first encountered him in 1952.
    He was previously with AWA working radio communications from York Street and came under OTC when the government took over communications.

    He was a quiet man, never spoke much about his life or family, I never knew much about his personal life at all.

    He never kept in touch with workmates, as far as I know, in later years. I never remember him going to the annual Vets lunches. Maybe he did at times as I did not attend all.

    Very glad to hear he reached 97, I hope he had an enjoyable retirement.
    I don’t think there are many left who worked there in the 1950 era.

    My condolences to his family.

    Vin Gibson

  2. Peter Bull April 7, 2020 at 7:41 pm

    I recall Bert Cladingboel very clearly.

    He was a Telegraphist and I recall him from my days in 47 York Street Beam Wireless operating room (AWA Building).

    He was of British origin. I think he was “A Ten-pound Pom”. He arrived in Australia around 1949 (my late wife, Phyllis, arrived around the same time from my recollection… which is pretty foggy these days!!)

    I lost track of his whereabouts after I went to Norfolk Island then to Suva, Fanning.

    He was a likeable fellah, with a great sense of humour.

    Surprised that he does not appear in your copy of the Seniority List.

    Unfortunately my copy is on an old Hard Drive, which is somewhere in my treasure trove junk boxes in the garage.

    But I have no anecdotes of his passage through the ranks of the old boys we so fondly remember.

    Trevor Thatcher

  3. Peter Bull April 7, 2020 at 7:54 pm

    I worked with Bert Cladingboel at SOR Spring St and Martin Place

    I had quite a few beers with him

    Good bloke

    Barry Riley

  4. Peter Bull April 7, 2020 at 7:56 pm

    I worked with Bert Cladingboel back in the SOR days when I first started with OTC in January 1959, based then in Spring Street, Sydney.

    Don’t recall Bert’s background prior to 1959. As I recall Bert worked his way up to through Operations to Supervisor level in the SOR.

    Unsure as to whether Bert moved with the SOR to the later OTC HO at Martin Place, as I moved to the Paddington Intl Gateway Exchange in advance of the SOR move to Martin Place, but others may have a better memory.

    Jim Simpson

  5. Peter Bull April 7, 2020 at 7:57 pm

    When I arrived at the Sydney Operating Room 8th August 1966 Bert Cladingboel was a Senior Telegraphist within Sydney Operating Room.

    Quite a jovial person.

    John Wall
    Manager, Operator Services Administration, SOR/MOR/BOR at time of retirement from OTC IN 1991

  6. Peter Bull April 9, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    when I joined OTC in 1966, Bert was a Senior Telegraphist, (sadly the telegraphist is now an extinct species!).

    Later when the operating room moved to Martin Place Bert became an Area Controller and then a Traffic Controller, not too sure but he may have acted up as Shift Controller.

    Sorry to say at 81 now my memory is a bit hazy re any other info on Bert.

    Bert joined OTC on 9th December 1946.

    Best Regards.
    John Smith.

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