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.
Yes, Jack was a character, 2 examples spring to mind. He had an obsession with OTC dust coats.For whatever reason, he decided that it was his job to ensure that every tech on duty was wearing his OTC issued dust coat. I liked to wear mine when I felt a bit cold. Remember the white ones. We had to go see Reg, the store-man once a week and change for a freshly laundered one. This was in the days before store-men were deemed to be surplus to requirements and an unnecessary expense. Out went Reg and every section had to get in their own supplies. Keep it simple, stupid was not a saying followed by our admin.
The other thing I especially remember about Jack was an ongoing dispute about the layout of locker rooms. Jack had been working at Broadway, where he rode his bike and I was at the ISTC on level 5 at Paddo. Level 5 at the time wasn’t densely populated so some of us would take the 3 lockers per cabinet and use them for our blankets, pillows, book and assorted gear. I had swung my cabinet around so as to make an alcove at the end of passageway in the locker room. Jack was transferred from Broadway to Paddo, might have been filling Chris Bulls position. Next thing I noticed when next on duty was that the lockers had been neatly lined up as per regulation, so I just shoved them round back into the correct position. And so it went on for quite a while. There were no names on the locker so Jack never spoke to me about it but someone told me that it was Jack doing the re-arrangements. Something to do with in case of fire, being able to exit a room in a straight line!!! It reached the point where I had every yellow/white pages directory on level 5 in my 3 lockers, all topped up with those huge heavy computer printouts that we used to store in covers. Boy, was my locker heavy but I couldn’t stop Jack. I thought of Ramsetting it to the floor but never got around to it.
In 1968, level 6 at Paddo was empty except for 2 rooms outside the lifts and lunch room where eventually the telex exchange control room and toll ticketing was placed. I guess works were installing the crossbar, but that was on the Oxford street side of the building, the old FIR-FAY repeaters and the SNORs and queuing equipment. Those 2 rooms were Jacks training school. The SCG side of the floor was empty and was being used to unpack and test the new KDUs for the message gateway telegraph system. They had big sheets of aluminium foil pasted on the wall. Apparently, every 40 secs or so spurious characters would appear on the KDU screen. It turned out to be due to the radar at the airport. Even many years later, if you happened to watch the radar antenna while holding the phone handset, you would hear a slight blip if you knew what to listen for.
Robert Brandon October 13, 2012 at 4:43 pm said:
Yes, I remember that. Seems that the radar at Garden Island was also a culprit, but it only ran when conducting tests.
I really enjoyed Jack’s company and I always found people that thought outside the box inspirational on the whole. We were a great band of people doing great things at the time and Jack was one of the examples of what made us stand apart from others in the comms business.
Ed: If anyone has a photo of Jack, please send to me. homepc at rbrand dot com