From Phil Dickson, grandson of Vince Sim:
I’ve stumbled across your wonderful site because I’m researching the family tree, and hence trying to get more background on what my grandfather actually did for a crust. The family all knows he worked at OTC but no one can put their finger on exactly what he did.
My grandfather, or Pop as he was so well known, was Vince Sim, who sadly passed away in 2002 at 92 years of age. I have great memories of the staff houses at Doonside, the tennis court, the parties, fooling around down at the creek etc which is why it’s been good to stumble on this site full of great photos and anecdotes.
So if any of your visitors could shed some technical light on what Vince actually did at OTC (I know he was at Pennant Hills and moved out to Doonside) it would be greatly appreciated.
From: Neil Yakalis on October 5, 2013 at 12:29 pm:
Vince told me he started work at age 14 in Melbourne from memory. He was a telegram messenger which he delivered on push bike. I don’t believe he did any war service but you can check the roll yourself at http://www.ww2roll.gov.au/NameSearch.aspx Vince may have been a radio operator with a first class ticket before he became a technician repairing radio equipment. He was one of my two TO2 supervisors, along with Alan Ritchie when I started work at Doonside in 1969. When Vince retired in the 1970′s he had clocked up a full 50 years service & received a gold watch. One of the few to achieve that as most employees who started work at age 15 achieved only 49 years service such as Ces Mills at Bringelly. We lived next door to Vince & his wife Thelma at Doonside before he retired & moved up to Mermaid Beach Qld. We visited them up there a few years after they moved north.
Found from March 2003 OTVA Newsletter by Garry Hausfeld:
This life history of Vince was penned by his daughter Pam for her father’s memorial service and we are indebted to the family for permission to publish same.
Vince Sim was the eldest of four children born to Beatrice and Daniel Sim on 23 November 1910 at Peak Hill. The family lived at Peak Hill, with a short time spent in Dubbo, until Vince was about 10 years of age when they moved to the inner city and then out to Carlingford. Vince’s schooling took place in Peak Hill, Forest Lodge and Carlingford. His happiest childhood memories were associated with Peak Hill playing with younger brother, Ron and following his grandfather, Papa, around the Government Tank agistment property of which Tom was the manager. He remembered with deep affection his grandparents, Tom and Kate, especially their love and guidance administered firmly but fairly.
After the family moved to Adderton Road, Carlingford, in 1922, Vince found himself living next door to the grandmother of his future wife, Thelma. They married in 1937 and had five children, two daughters and three sons.
When he was 14, Vince left school and joined AWA in Spring Street Sydney. Vince was a pioneer in the world of radio communications and continued as a wireless technician with AWA and then with OTC when AWA was absorbed by them, going to Tech to obtain his qualifications. He worked shift work for many years, firstly at Pennant Hills and then at the Transmitting Station at Doonside. He stayed with OTC until he was 65, making 50+ years of service.
In 1974 Thelma suffered a life threatening case of meningitis but thankfully survived and she and Vince retired to Mermaid Beach in December 1975. Here they lived in their own unit quite close to the beach until Thelma suddenly died in May 1983, aged just 71. During their time together at Mermaid Beach Thel and Vince enjoyed two overseas trips for which the family was grateful they had been able to do together. After Thel’s death, Vince continued to live by himself in their unit and despite being severely affected by glaucoma, was able to manage his independence until the end.
On 5 December, his brother died and Vince went to Sydney to attend the funeral on Monday 9th December. Sadly Vince never made it to the funeral – instead he was rushed to Prince of Wales Hospital, Randwick in the early hours of 9 December suffering a brain stem stroke, which took his life on Sunday, 15 December 2002.
A devoted family man, Vince is survived by his five children, 11 grandchildren and 9+ great grandchildren as well as a brother and sister.
PS. This is an excerpt from a paper we found re Vince’s retirement dinner. -Vince started with AWA in 1925 as “general boy” in the Sales Accounts department, becoming part of OTC’s technical staff when the Commission was founded in 1946.(Vince was then a senior technician, having been transferred to AWA’s technical division way back in 1926).On August 31,1975, Vince, by then technical officer grade 2, had completed 50 years’ service in overseas telecommunications.
Fron Transit (Nov 19758 p15):