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.

  • 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

5 thoughts on “Jack Creswick

  1. Jack worked at Doonside when it moved from Pennant Hills in 1956. I remember him riding his bike in the canals & from memory he then lived somewhere near Campsie. Looking at the street maps he probably got into the Alexandra Canal which branched off Cooks River next to the International Terminal. That drain goes right into the back of Waterloo. Another memory I have is he never caught the bus to Paddo & could often be seen walking along Oxford Street. He was a clever man who liked to blaze new trails.

  2. I used to work with Jack on many a night shift at Broadway TELEX. Jack was happy to do all midnight shifts a it gave him extra time to design and build his concrete yacht project. I recall when he bought the new house, he marched straight to backyard to check if it would be ok to build the yacht in, much to the surprise of the estate agent that he wasn’t concerned about the house itself. Jack’s pencil designs were incredible with so much detail, not to mention all the tools he designed and built along the way to help construction. Not sure what happened with the yacht in the end as it was still in progress when I left but I know that his efforts in hand bending all the steel formwork gave him carpal tunnel syndrome which he had an operation to fix. After that I think things went a bit more slowly.

    I also remember those giant turkey legs that Jack used to cook on the midnight shifts, I am sure thay must have been a result of radiactive mutation.

  3. When Jack was at Broadway he swapped all his shifts to midnight so whenever I worked night it was with Jack. I spent many hours listening to Jack’s plans to build his boat.

    What happened to him? Last I knew he was living in Punchbowl with a half finished boat in the yard!

  4. I also remember the tales he told about the good old days in Fiji and Thursday Island (I think) when he was assigned there.

  5. Some news of Jack, but not great news. Our mate is in a nursing home. He has battled along for 10 years with spinal problems following a car accident, and entered the nursing home earlier this year. I spoke with his son after seeing this advertisement:

    “Ferro-Resin Yacht Bilge Keel – 52′ 6″
    Make an offer – all considered. You need to pickup. 52.5 ft, 16m, ferro-resin hull Hull complete, including superstructure BUT needs fairing coat. Father started to build but following car accident has had to move to a nursing home. Masts available.”

    Jack now goes by the name Bernadette as many of you already now and is not doing so well. I am sure visitors would be appreciated if anyone is in the area.

    The yacht has been sold and will be craned out of the yard this weekend. His son will probably send a photo. He has not been able to work on it after the car accident, but it looks like a serious sailor intends to finish the dream of it getting into the water. That will help make things right on that front his son says. After all the work it will produce some gratification to know it is sailing the seas!

    I will post more as I hear anything. If anyone has any other great memories, post them here and I expect since most of us only knew him as Jack I hope we will be forgiven for using the name “Jack” as that is what I remember..

    Whatever name we use, the point is he was a loveable person that did things differently and we sure needed people like that in our lives. It made us and OTC what it was!

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