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Paul Kerkin – Passed Away 20 October 2011

21 Oct 11
Peter Bull


 It’s we deep regret that I have to inform you of the passing of Paul Kerkin this morning.

L – R Laurie McIllree, Geoff Parr, Phil Murphy, Ron Becket, Ken Arnold, Eric Fielding-Smith, Phil Wall, Paul Kerkin, John Bracks.

 Paul joined OTC in approximately 1974 and retired from Reach in mid 2011.

 Paul had a melanoma removed several years ago and was given a clean bill of health but a medical check undertaken approximately six weeks ago showed that the cancer had returned. It was obviously a very aggressive cancer that must have spread very quickly.

 This information has been provided by Ken Arnold who still works at the Paddington terminal and knew Paul very well.

 I will update this blog once I have details of the funeral arrangements.


  1. Peter Bull October 21, 2011 at 9:17 am

    From John Eades

    Now that is getting close to “home”. I also new Paul quite well during my time at Paddo, his cheery face is something I can recall quite clearly. I can’t remember exactly but he was a collector of old electronic equipment or something similar. Ken you will be able to correct me on what he collected.

    So sorry to hear that bit of news and my thoughts go out his family.

  2. Peter Bull October 21, 2011 at 9:18 am

    From Jeff Bultitude

    I will be unable to attend the funeral, Can you pass on my condolences to all the family and friends, I knew Paul well too and worked with up until October 2004 at Reach. He was a valued team member.

    Too Sad.

  3. Peter Bull October 21, 2011 at 9:19 am

    From Peter Burgess who is in Bahrain

    That is very sad.. I really liked Paul “Jerkin’ the Gherkin”..

    He had a passion for collecting the Loony Toons cartoons .. and was a wonderful character to work with.

    Please pass on my respects if you are going to the funeral mate…

    Mate, there are too many going too often… Frightens me a bit..

  4. Peter Bull October 21, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Orm Butler and Noel Oxley also send their condolences.

  5. Peter Bull October 21, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Richard Jary and RJ Taylor also expressed sadness at the loss of another valuable member of the OTC fraternity who they remembered as a well liked and respected person within OTC and then in AOTC, Telstra & then Reach.

  6. Peter Bull October 21, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    Paul was married but was divorced a long time ago and there were no children. Both his mother and father have passed away but he had 2 siblings to whom he was very close, his sister Wendy and his brother Adrian.

    I have just spoken to Wendy and she said that the funeral is open to all Paul’s family and friends and will be held at:

    The funeral is at 10.30am Monday 24th
    South Chapel
    Forest Lawn Crematorium

    Afterwards there will be a gathering at his sister Wendy’s house
    13 Cashmere Drive

  7. Peter Bull November 16, 2011 at 9:18 am


    Phil Murphy was invited to say a few words about Paul, also known as kerko, and also known as PK.

    For those that do not know me, I am Philip Murphy.
    • PK and myself have worked in similar areas on and off starting about 30 years in OTC.
    • PK was also the god father of my son Matthew. He served that god father role as more of a technical adviser, fishing companion and a provider of great humour.

    PK and I first worked in the same area about 1981/2/3/4 when we worked on the ANZCAN submarine cable system. ANZCAN went from Sydney to Norfolk Island to Fiji to Hawaii to Canada. PK got a lot of travel out of ANZCAN and spent fair bit of time in England and Japan, where bits of ANZCAN built, and he also visited some of the cable landings. PK made close friendships on ANZCAN that continued throughout his life.

    Some attributes of PK that I will always remember include:

    1. Helpful friend – I know he helped others with painting, moving, fixing things and other stuff, but in my case his help included:
    • Time a big tree fell in my backyard and he got a chainsaw and cut it into pieces that fitted in the fireplace in my house. The sound of that chainsaw had every greeny in the neighbourhood checking PK out.
    • When my wife was about to have our first child, and was having nesting instinct and wanted everything painted and moved. PK helped with architrave plastering and also with lots of preparation and painting.

    2. Fishing buddy – with PK and me it was a case of “not the destination but the journey”
    • We paddled canoes around inlets around Sydney and sometimes the sky would be blue, the temperature just right, tree covered hills, sandy beaches – and not a bite.
    • We chugged in his tinny (when he got it started) around Lake Conjola with beautiful south coast scenery, great sunsets – and not a bite.
    • I know PK had his successful fishing trips but most with me were like I said, “not the destination but the journey”, and the journey was good fun.

    3. Third attribute of PK was he was a good old fashioned engineer with a great sense of humour.
    • PK was known for tinkering with stuff including his restoration of old radios – he would get a thrill out of getting his hands on some obscure valve via Ebay. The guard at Paddington was not surprised when some strange package would show up addressed to Paul Kerkin.
    • PK was a trivia king – this included a period of being “Paul from Camden” on club veg on the radio. Having PK on your table at a trivia night was a great benefit as long as not too many questions about music after about 1995.
    • PK could make very amusing conversation as people would know from working with him, having a coffee break with him or a few quiet beers. It was more than once that I was in tears from laughing at some story his was telling.

    Summing up on him being a great friend, and a helper, when my wife Mary and myself visited Paul in hospital about a week ago, he was, as he had sent in a text message a few days earlier, in a very, very serious condition.

    Even though he could hardly move or talk he expressed appreciation for the visit and then mentioned the M7 and M2 were the fastest way home for us. For me, that was a simple reminder of him suggesting a better way as he had done many times before.

    I will leave it there. PK – rest in peace.

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