New Author: Walter Pearce

Walter Pearce to assist me at

Walter kindly sent this offer of help and I will be taking it up immediately on recommendation from Neil Yakalis.

I am ex OTC and have been visiting your website. I previously worked for Maritime (MS & RS) at Auburn with Neil Yakalis before I retired in 2001.

I would like to submit a story with a few photos and comment on posts
etc. Can you grant me publishing access at your convenience. Continue reading

Jack Creswick

Who Has a Story about Jack?

Neil Yakalis Asks:

Many of us remember Jack Creswick. He was the OTC Training School in its original form long before Paddo got its formal training setup. I would love to hear some of the stories about Jack as he was a unique character.

  • Jack always liked to do things differently and he worked out that he could bypass a lot of traffic riding his bike to work through the storm water canals and a few drains. This worked like a treat until one day his front wheel jammed in an expansion joint in the concrete catapulting jack over the handlebars and onto a mess in the storm water drain! I’m not sure whether Jack continued the drain shortcuts and just took more care, but it was one hell of a scare for him! Sydney water never really structured their drains for bikes. Continue reading

The Cairns Repeaters


The Great Repeater Hunt

The story so far: Peter Burgess told Robert Brand that when he recently visited the site of OTC’s Cairns Cable Station he noted that it was up for sale/lease. Peter Burgess & Bruce Boler told Robert Brand that they recalled land based cable repeaters being buried behind the station. They considered that if this is true it might be a good idea to approach Telstra to retrieve these items which may be of historical significance so that they can be displayed in the Powerhouse or Telstra Museums Continue reading

Sydney Get-together

Possible Fire Ban for Sydney Meet-Up

Sunday 14 October Nurragingy Reserve. Lorikeet Picnic Area

Maree Giddins says:


For all the people who are planning to go to the “Catch Up” at Nurragingy Reserve on Sunday 14 October, if there is a Total Fire Ban on the day that will mean that you will not be able to use the BBQs so you will need to bring a picnic which will not need to be BBQed. I have checked the 7 day forecast and it looks like there will be a cool change later today (Friday 5 Oct) followed by Continue reading

The Secret Submarine Cable


by Cyril Vahtrick

[Ed: This fabulous story of what might have been is from Cyril Vahtrick and permission to reprint from the OTVA. Thanks to both]

The 1956 Olympic Games had finished in Melbourne and OTC was still trying to come back to normal, with new equipment such as T.E.D. (Teleprinter Error Detection)  and T.O.C. (Teleprinter on Cable) to be brought into service. Christmas was approaching when Chief Engineer Bob Long summoned me into his office with some excitement. He had on the table a pink covered document marked “Secret”.  I hadn’t seen an official secret document since my Radar days with the Air Force during WW2 and was intrigued at what this might be about. Continue reading

Life After OTC

Neil Yakalis

by Neil Yakalis

My Corolla KE20 will be in the Sydney Motor Show!

My 42 year old Corolla has been selected to represent the 2nd Generation of Corollas at the coming Sydney Motor Show. Toyota are picking it up on Friday & are giving me a new loan car.

Toyota will then launch the 11th generation Corolla next month at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney’s Darling Harbour. Continue reading