exOTC Mailing List

New Email System on the Way for exOTC

I will try and get the exOTC mailing list going as my next priority. It was a vibrant way that we kept in touch in the past and although I no longer have the email server that provided the list, there are still a few options.

Until then here is a reminder of the sort of chatter that got about on the list:

Subject: Austrade push for Iraq telco work

From: Robert Brand
Sent: Wednesday, 30 April 2003 11:31

Bruce, good to see your name up in lights, but even better to see that mentioning OTC can still score you a point or two even after all these years.

Regards, Robert Brand

Austrade push for Iraq telco work
Simon Hayes
APRIL 29, 2003

AUSTRALIAN companies wanting access to the huge job of rebuilding Iraq’s devastated telecommunications network are joining Austrade seminars to prime them for contract bids.

But analysts are not confident Australia will get any of the telecommunications contracts, despite its participation with the US and Britain in military operations against the Saddam Hussein regime.
“These are very large-scale infrastructure projects and we are not a big infrastructure builder,” analyst Paul Budde said.

“Our companies are not particularly well positioned to offer a competitive solution.”

Iraq’s existing basic telecoms infrastructure – battered by the war and hit by years of sanctions – has virtually collapsed.

Telecoms is a subset of work in huge contracts currently being let by the US government. Austrade has held seminars on the issue and will hold more in capital cities in coming weeks.

Telecommunications reconstruction is covered by a $US680 million ($1.9 billion), 18-month infrastructure contract let this month by the US Agency for International Development to San Francisco company Bechtel.

Incorporating repair and reconstruction of power plants, electrical grids, water supplies and sewage systems, and telecommunications, the contract may also involve reconstruction of key public buildings.

Australian companies interested in the telecommunications portion of the deal will have to bid for subcontracting work.

Major Australian telcos with infrastructure capabilities appear unlikely contenders. A spokesman for Telstra and its construction arm, NDC, said only that he was “not aware” of any interest.

At least one local company, Sydney-based telecoms infrastructure firm Bytecan, is looking at the opportunity with interest.

Bytecan general manager Bruce Boler – an executive with OTC when it won the UN Cambodian telecommunications contract – said Bytecan was exploring opportunities.

Bytecan ran much of the East Timor telecommunications construction as a subcontractor to NDC under a UN contract.

“My concern is that the cost of maintaining a body in a place like that is high,” he said. “You’d have to ship in food, water and electricity.

“It’s definitely something we are actively pursuing, but I don’t necessarily have high hopes for it.”

Mr Boler said the work OTC did for the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia in 1991 was “a transplant of what’s needed in Baghdad”.

“The backbone was satellite with microwave links to buildings at each node,” he said.

The US could opt for a basic reconstruction by flying in pre-wired exchanges, and leave the more advanced work to later commercial contracts, he said.

European telecommunications firms could be losers, as the US was likely to opt for North American technology, analyst Mr Budde said.

“You will see American technology, rather than global technology,” he said.

“The Europeans are clearly being punished for not being part of the coalition.”

Mr Budde’s research shows Iraq had a pre-war telephone density of just 2.94 per cent. The country’s sole ISP, the government-run Uruklink – currently inoperative – had 12,500 subscribers in a total population of 24 million.

Pyramid Research estimates $US1 billion needs to be spent over 10 years to rehabilitate the fixed-line network.

The war leaves a question-mark over the future of French telecoms giant Alcatel’s UN food-for-oil contract to reconstruct Iraq’s telecommunications network.

The infrastructure installed under the program – much of it last year – is likely to have been devastated by bombing.

Internet access to the north is still active through Kurdistan Net

Subject: ANZCAN

From: paulk
Sent: Tuesday, 13 May 2003 23:33

Well, the old girl has been put down. So many of us worked on ANZCAN, me included. I was lucky to cop lots of O/S travel when the system was being built, and have many great memories (and photos to prove it). I was also lucky enough to work with lots of great people on ANZCAN, from OTC, STC, NEC, BT, NZPO, Teleglobe etc

I am putting together a CD-R of photos, covering manufacture in UK and Japan, installation at NI and Sydney, present day photos and the decommissioning “ceremony” and the sad day when it ended up in rubbish bins on L3 Paddo.

I’m looking for photos, anecdotes, chronology, planning and build history. Any contribs greatly appreciated. Anyone got anything? I even have the “SCAM” panel of OTC signatures from the cable terminating box from Paddo. Anyone got a photo of the green bikini at the landing at Bondi? Any videos that I might convert to Windows media format (I don’t have the gear to do this though).

Regards Paul Kerkin

Subject: RE: ANZCAN

From: Nimmo, Ross M
Sent: Wednesday, 14 May 2003 09:14


I think I took some photos at Bondi and I know that John Vossen features, and I think the young lady – I scanned them a few years ago, so I’ll have a look and send them to you.

Ross Nimmo
Infrastructure Services
Telstra Corporation

Subject: RE: ANZCAN

From: David Scott
Sent: Wednesday, 14 May 2003 18:56

\I’ve got a moth eaten copy of Transit showing all us trainees dragging the cable up the beach. I’ll scan and send.

Shouldn’t the bikini girl be better described as a mono-kini girl ???

Best Regards,
David Scott

Subject: Re: ANZCAN

From: Elias Abi Ghosn
Sent: Wednesday, 14 May 2003 09:42

Hi Paul,

Looking through the book “Invisible Bridges” I spotted a few pictures on page 117. Could be the trainees referred to in the email below. Unfortunately, no green bikini.

Best Regards,

Elias Abi Ghosn

Subject: for CSS investors

From: RT
Sent: Thursday, 15 May 2003 00:22

Hope you all do not mind, but I believe the following will be of interest to many.
For those exOTCers who have money invested with the CSS (Commonwealth Superannuation Scheme), I would like to recommend you visit the web site for the SCOA (Superannuated Commonwealth Officers Association). Whether you are collecting your super now, or in the future, their activity is trying to improve your situation. You may like to join in.


look at – policy and information/a matter of justice

Thank you to all for your stories and discussion. Always enjoy the read. Even when its an old cable biting the dust…. still good memories. ANZCAN must have made her 20th birthday just like COMPAC! Not all in one piece, but just held on in spite of everything.

Robin Tuckfield

Subject: Re: ANZCAN

From: Mark Hanrahan
Sent: Friday, 16 May 2003 08:58


I had some success finding a 20 minute film on the COMPAC cable should that be of
interest …….. I had it converted to video last year.

I will try contact the people I found last year (ex PMG / TELECOM / TELSTRA) and ask if
they have any films on ANZCAN.

If anyone knows of a title to a ANZCAN film, then I may be able to do a search of the film
library databases.

Mark Hanrahan

Subject: Re: ANZCAN

From: Dennis Grant [mailto:dgrant@smartchat.net.au]
Sent: Wednesday, 21 May 2003 10:29
To: otc@exotc.com

was the COMPAC film “80 Channels Under the Sea”. I can’t recall any re ANZCAN though.

Is Vince Donghue about? He was across a lot of the films and associated projection gear that was in the Broadway theatre.Might have something. VINCE??

cheers all

Subject: RE: ANZCAN

From: Cliff Varcoe
Sent: Wednesday, 21 May 2003 20:54


80 channels under the sea was COMPAC. I do recall a video that was used on Norfolk Is. Cable station that documented the laying of ANZCAN. I’m not sure who it was made by, either STC(UK), the owners of the Pacific Guardian or
OTC(A). It featured the usual cable laying process as well as the resort
highlights of each port of call.


Subject: Re: ANZCAN

From: Mike Murray
Sent: Thursday, 22 May 2003 11:13

Cliff/Dennis et all…was on Norfolk island at the time of the survey by a NZ Navy ship (name escapes me) which happened to have a small helicopter.
A small team of film makers was sent over from Sydney whilst survey ship was finding a suitable spot to beach into norfolk and am pretty the original landing point for the previous cable back in the ’50’s early 60’s was deemed still the best. A small shed from previous cable was intact ….

Although Chas Shaw or perhaps the station manager – John Brooksbank – at that time November 1980 – will have some further anecdotes and technical info – do remember some conversations with the photographer…he used the helicopter to great advantage to gain shots at extremely low level across the water racing cliffwards and then zooming above tree tops….photographer was in awe of the skill (daredevil) of the kiwi navy pilot.
There was also a very experienced old hand from C&W based in Vancouver as senior engineer on survey ship.

However, the photographer landed himself into a spot of personal bother….Although a married man, he decided to sample some local delights…
He teamed up for a few nights of fun with a young girl that happened to be living in a flat next door to myself….He even borrowed the Office station wagon to enjoy a spot of parking at the various romantic lookouts.
Would liked to been a fly on the wall when he got back to sydney, as the young lady in question was being sent home to New Zealand before xmas due to a rule on the island pertaining to non residents with Venereal disease….but do hope his photos turned out as well as other things he developed……

rgds Mike

Subject: RE: ANZCAN

From: Jeff Ham (EPA)
Sent: Thursday, 22 May 2003 08:45

Guys, found reference to this ANZCAN film on Smithsonian website:

BOX 811
FOLDER OF 205.59; MV 205.59
Voices From The Deep: The Anzcan Cable Story, 1984
16mm color composite optical track print, 916 feet
Scenic film of process of laying cable from Sydney, Australia, to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada via Fiji. Excellent “Facts and Figures” section at end detailing cable diameter, length, depth, circuit capacity, and repeater spacing.

(URL no longer valid)

Regards, Jeff.

Subject: RE: ANZCAN

From: Beckett, Ronald
Sent: Friday, 30 May 2003 11:00

Was the survey ship the RNZS Morawai?

Chas Shaw now lives in Currumbin in Qld.


Subject: By Gee Whiz John Walker

From: Mondrook Computers
Sent: Wednesday, 4 June 2003 11:21

Bye crikey by gee wiz by gingo Robert Brand I did not expect to discover you here…. tis that a pic of u on http://www.exotc.com/otc/ I lost all contact of OTC vets …. There were a lot of very nice people who I would like to know how they were/are….. but there were a lot of others who relied on their retirement to be nice … Where are you??? and what are you doing ???? Me ….I pulled the plug some years ago and am living in Taree ….. regards Rob ……. John Walker… ps …. I still remember when u left your penchant to establish a business in email ….WOW ….. how things have changed ………

Subject: John Walker

From: John Walker
Sent: Thursday, 5 June 2003 10:20

perchance you may add me to your mailing list …
Regards ….John Walker
1957-1995 (methinks)

Subject: Hello

From: Peter Warrilow
Sent: Saturday, 7 June 2003 18:18

Hi Rob,

Just heard about the exotc website, what a terrific idea! I submitted my application to join Eng Br list and look forward to emailing many friends in OTC. Had a call from Barry Stockbridge yesterday and passed on the website address to him as well.

On reflection, OTC was nearly a workers paradise compared to companies today, especially Telstra. This was especially true re the Credit Union, which was an integral part of the whole scene and very strongly supported by the Management. Pity it’s not the same now! I am still on the Board, now called Telstra Credit Union; Bobby Dean is Chairman and he plans to leave Telstra at the end of this month.

I appreciate the effort you and other members of the website team have put into making this site and hope to hear more of the doings of my old friends from OTC.

Cheers, Peter Warrilow

Subject: RE: John Walker

From: Beckett, Ronald
Sent: Wednesday, 11 June 2003 08:49

No, bugger you, JW!


Subject: RE: John Walker

From: ross.craig
Sent: Wednesday, 11 June 2003 22:28

Hey Buckets whats up with letting Whisky get a look in.


Subject: Re: John Walker

From: John Walker
Sent: Thursday, 12 June 2003 05:20

Knowing buckets rosco methinks he is joking …
hmmmmmmm hopefully …..
thanks for your reply the other day by the way …. nice to hear from you and the best of luck upon your return to oz…

Subject: Re: John Walker

From: Frank Richter
Sent: Thursday, 12 June 2003 09:28
To: otc@exotc.com

Hey John,

Long time no hear. You still up in the hills up north?

Frank Richter

Subject: RE: John Walker

From: Michael Saberton (EPA)
Sent: Thursday, 12 June 2003 10:07

Frank !! your still alive, you haven’t fallen off your bike

only joking

Subject: Re: RE: John Walker

From: Frank Richter
Sent: Thursday, 12 June 2003 10:54

HI Mike,

Yeah . . . still kicking. Thought I’d leave the Telco industry to do something else. It lasted on 18mths. Working for Primus Telecom now.

It was good to hear that you have recovered and well, I trust?


Subject: RE: John Walker

From: Beckett, Ronald
Sent: Thursday, 12 June 2003 12:56

Nothing, Ross. I forgot to put the smiley at the end of the message – sorry JW. Only too happy to see Johnny on the list – where do you live these days, John?.

That’s the trouble with e-mail, people can’t hear the tone of your voice nor the smile on the face.

Hey, Roscoe, when are you coming back to Australia?

All the best


That was the end of one of the email archives from nearly 10 years ago. We have lost many of those that were in the above chat and it makes me happy to remember them in this snapshot from the past. I will get to work and track down an email list server so that we can all stay in touch better,


One thought on “exOTC Mailing List

  1. Very annoying, my ISP – iinet – want $30 a month for me to get a fixed IP and that is needed for the list server! I will have to work on it. I believe that my mail software supports 10 mailing lists. Let me know if anyone is interested in contributing and getting a mail service for a small number of people. The old OTC mailing list was great when we had it. Fantastic for small groups to keep in touch easily.

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