Story and photos by Dan Flett
Preface by Robert Brand: I received this email from an interested party, nothing to do with OTC, but was kind enough to send me some great photos of the Moree site that re recently visited. I will spread the photos out over a few postings, but here is his email. Thanks so much Dan.
Hi Robert, My name is Dan Flett, and I discovered your site, exotc.org indirectly via www.honeysucklecreek.net – my new favourite website. 🙂 The only vaguely tangental personal connection I might have with OTC is that my wife used to work for Telstra and has a few Telstra and ex-Telstra friends – some of whom may have worked for OTC in the past.
I’ve been spending a bit of time reading the articles on www.honeysucklecreek.net and have taken an interest in the old tracking station sites and the photos of their current condition. I noticed that there wasn’t any photos of the current condition of OTC Earth Station Moree, despite there being a lovely scan of an OTC publication from 1969 with the Moree Dish on the cover. I’m currently on holiday – I with my family have just completed a road-trip from Melbourne to Brisbane, and we stopped two nights ago in Moree. I did a Google search for the Earth Station and found the current owner of the site and was able to contact him and set up a visit. I was amazed that while the building is now being used for an engineering business, there is still a bit of the original signage and equipment in place (such as the original generator control panel). I was given an escorted tour of the tower – the owner seems proud of the building’s OTC heritage and the important role it played, and is happy for people with an interest to have a look around (within limits I would imagine).
Jim Spain, who either works for or owns Irritek, the current owner of the building, has given me permission to release the photos I took to the Honeysuckle Creek website – I have been in email contact with Colin Mackellar for a couple of months now. He seems quite fine with people taking an interest with the building and I’d imagine he wouldn’t mind you using the photos on your site – I can double check with him if you like. If you’d like high-res versions of the photos I took while I was there I’d be quite happy to send them to you. I intend to annotate the photos in the next few days before I forget the details.
I myself am a Broadcast Engineer with Global Televsion – a provider of broadcast television services and facilities to the TV networks in Australia. I mainly work in outside broadcasts, mostly with the V8 Supercars and also for AFL and NRL for Foxtel. So I like my gadgets and big technology. The history of manned spaceflight and in particular the Apollo program is an amateur interest of mine, so I like to visit sites and meet people that had an involvement in those programs. Hope to hear from you… Cheers, Dan Flett
As you can see, Dan has sent me the photos and I will add them over a number of posts. Again, thanks Dan for Making the effort to bring us this update. More in Part 2…