In November 1963 the Compac cable was opened with a massive fanfare of hope and expectation. Heads of state joined in the event with a conference call never heard of in this and other countries. For the first time, there was clear and easily connected calls that would not fade or suffer from noise interference as did the radio waves. They would also not suffer from lack of privacy as did the HF radio calls of the past. The world changed and Australia became connected to the growing world of modern day telephony. Reliable “high density” data was suddenly possible and the growth in telex and other low speed services was immense.
I believe that the picture above shows the Australia / New Zealand section of the cable being opened. I believe the 50th celebration of that event has already past.
I propose that we organise some very large celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the cable’s completion. That event changed our nation and our very perception of ourselves and our place in the world. I have written to the OTVA to take lead as their status will gain more respect that anything else that can be organised. We have 18 months to easily pull off a major celebration of a OTC in its true coming of age. The OTVA board meets this week and will consider the proposal. I have agreed to assist with the event which I think will get significant international and especially national TV and radio coverage.
I would like to get the Prime Minister to re-enact the call that opened the cable and also have the Minister in charge of Telecommunications present. That would be an easy thing to organise although we have to take into account the possibility of any Parliamentary issues getting in the way, but for something this high profile, it would have to be a big issue. Heads of state will be the easy part and I expect that they will also do a TV hookup as part of that.
There are other opportunities such as these
- An Australian Amateur Radio event to celebrate
- A set of stamps in celebration
- Special events from various Telco organisations
- Speaking engagements
- Comms Conference themes
- OTC (OTVA) dinner – get Telstra to sponsor.
All of this will bring OTVA and exOTC people out from the shadows. I would envisage a grand dinner for a massive reunion in Sydney. Possibly separate ones in other states. I would also see that it will be possible to get an OTVA stamp made if we move quickly!
Telstra will do this anyway. We might as well take the lead in these events and get them to come along for the ride and foot the bill.