Go to list of confirmed attendance
I still have memories of my time at the Marconi School, including the Chief Instructor Dr Baker. I am sure that, if we should gather together again, we would have many fascinating stories to listen to and tell, I recently attended a re-union at Sydney High School of its class of 1938, probably the school's most successful sporting year, and I can assure you that it was an unforgettable experience.
I remember Ces Bardwell, although he was not Principal while I was there, and his eightieth birthday would certainly be an appropriate occasion for a re-union. Would you please advise me if you have sufficient favourable response for this to occur.
Stan Ellis VK2DDL
And of course he ran the Sydney school when he went through the General Cert. course update in 1976.
So I would certainly endeavour to be an attendee at the reunion, even if it is in Sydney!!
Please keep me posted. Regards, Dave Jeanes (in semi-retirement on the Gold coast, and on 7060 at 5.30pm est each day as VK2BSJ
A picture of Dave on the Tolga taken in 1975.
Sorry, but Angus Allison cannot come (he was the R/O with P.G. Taylor on Frigate Bird 2 for that great historic flight to Chile via Easter Island). However I have sent David a photo of the crew of FB2for inclusion in the souvenir booklet, as being one of the many famous R/O's in history.
Dave Jeanes 4/9/97
I was at 69 Clarence St., June to December 1938 and at that period the staff and instructors were:
H.E. Buik, Superintentendent
Dr. W.G. Baker
Jim Trick Office Boy
Len Palmer (Chief Instructor, I think) went to the Island service I heard.
Marwick (ex Changte)
A H Gray (ex Morinda)
John Wilmott The only one still about with a ham licence. VK2AJX. John went to QANTAS and was with Q. for many years after war.
Humphries & Marwick went down on the Tanda in the Indian Ocean during the War as did Bill Harris, the Tanda No.1.
I thought that you may like to see how many operators there were on the Australian Coast in 1939. About 6 or 8 in the list are still about and note the opr of the Kowarra!!
Rod Torrington VK3TJ Pascoe Vale South Victoria
Dudley Reynolds VK2ANW Killara NSW
I passed the theory examination, but failed the Practical at first go. But passed it next time, and was issued with COCP No 1300 on 13th April 1948.
I do not remember the names of the Instructors including that of Cec Bardwell, but I think the Principals name was Atkin or something like that.
Jim Christensen VK2CAV Albion Park NSW
I am still serving at sea (On deck!)
Ron Brown VK4BL
Likewise fellow Melbournian students Brian Woods (VK2AZI) Bruce Collett (VKEBK) & Dean Laws (VK2ALN)- all QTHR, but contactable through me if required.
Also Gray MacDonald (VK2BTY) is a neighbour of the old Ces & Gray offers to drive the old gent to and from the function, if required.
St Ives NSW
Leon Dive Karana Downs QLD
Peter Pang VK2APV (Harold Gray's call sign)
A picture of Ces and Peter
I again became a student (part-time) for radio and electrical theory and CW at the end of 1949, and obtained my commercial ticket in early 1950 or thereabouts. I went to sea at this point in time. Can remember 47 York Str. well, and also premises used by AWA in Clarence St. for the overflow.
Sid Ward VK2SW
WAGGA WAGGA NSW
Ces Bardwell was one of the instructors along with a Mr King and a Mr Pope, two others whose names escape me!
I will not be able to attend as my wife is in a wheel chair and requires constant attention. However, any booklets and video's etc would be appreciated. Would you please advise any costs involved.
Regarding staff and students in Melbourne I remember Mr Quodling OIC School, King, Veall, Pope and of course Ces Bardwell. Students include Woods, Jobson (sunk off NSW coast) and Rupert Crosby.
Melbourne PMG examiners were Avaid and Pearson.
In Sydney instructors were mr Boadle and a genial darkheaded guy know as Mr Mac. There are a couple of others who have faded into the distance.
There was a radio engineering student called John Lamb who worked up on the 8th floor where I was when I was doing the Diploma in Radio Technology.
About myself, after obtaining the PMG 1st Class and Dip Radio Tech, I ended up in DCA as an aeradio operator at such places as Mount Isa, Oodnadatta, Parafield, Perth and Essendon. Flew with ANA on days off to get some hours as I wanted to join BCPA on the Pacific run. Left DCA in 1946 and went to the Government Aircraft Factory for five and half years as a radio electrics technician in the test flight crew. Crew consisted of Pilot, Enginner and self. Aircraft were Lincolns, Dakotas and experimental work with Beaufighters.
When the Lincoln project ran out, I went to Avalon as a control tower officer and was there for a further five and a half years. Thence to DCA Essendon, Morabbin and Melbourne in ATC finishing up as an instructor in the ATC Training School.
So there you are and also have a ham licence VK3XH.
All the best and hope to hear from you later.
Student Melb/Syd 1939/41
Further taining was undertaken over a life time of radio, TV and electronics but the basic knowledge was gleaned from burning the late oil with Marconi School of Wireless.
I suppose that its a function associated with getting older but I remember nostalgically the "old" days everytime I pass the spot where the Marconi building was.
John Hansen VK2AYQ
I met Cec. Bardwell in 1980 when, in my retirement, I requalified as an RO, and did a stint on the 'Cape Don' as a result of this.
I would be very interested to find out whether Mr. Marshall, who I regarded as our best theoretical teacher in Television servicing, would be in attendance.
Gymea Bay NSW
Lane Cove NSW
I was a lecturer at the school for about a year before going to sea.
I attended Marconi School full time at York and Clarence Streets (when Joe Hawkins was OIC) during 1948 and early 1949.
I also attended the Marconi School in Melbourne in 1949 to stay current in morse whilst I worked in Melbourne. Cec would not let me pay for this revision for which I was grateful at that time.
Cec and I had a close association during the four years I was president of the VK2 Division. His contribution to the Division in training new amateurs and generating funds there from was not known to many members
Bob Stone Turramurra NSW
Woy Woy NSW
This was more than I needed so I finished up at the WIA offices at Crows Nest, once again with Ces. I have very fond memories of this gentleman and would be pleased to attend a function to celebrate this fine fellow.
Bondi Junction NSW
I am wondering who would still be around from my time at the school. The only names that come to mind at present are:-
Rox Overell - deceased 1995. I kept in touch with Rox, who left the sea about 1941 to join the RAF to become a Pilot and later an airline Pilot.
Barry Jarman - I understand that Barry was killed on the Dutch troopship "Slamat" during the evacuation of Crete.
Bill Russell - From Brisbane - later AWA Marine Service/ Inspector.
Arthur Misdale - from Sydney (North Shore).
Jim Blakeney ? Curley Connors? ? Ackroyd?
The only local ex marconi fellow I know of are Joe Ellis/VK4AGL and Rex Shilton/VK4CAG (dec'd 1996)
After some years ashore (1952-1979), I re-validated my Cert. and went back to sea part time (1979-1989).
Regards to Cec Bardwell. I doubt if he would remember me as I was only there for a refresher course for a couple of weeks in 1978, at which time I fond Cec very helpful.
Laurie Znidersic St Helens Tasmania
I attended the Melbourne School during 1947 and 1948, the instructors at the time being Gordon Campbell, Nick Fermanis and Wilbur ? Pope, with Cec Bardwell Principal of School. I left the school in March of 1948 with a First Class Commercial Operators certificate, aged 19 years - I was a full time student.
East Lindfield NSW
I was in the same class as Steve Piedemont.
It is possible that I'm the only person alive in Australia today who holds the old and original "spark" ticket. Mine was the last issued. Only 8 candidates sat and 4 past. I was 20 years of age, the others older than I.
At the time the School was equipped with three types of spark transmitter only, and when I went to sea all ships were equippet with spark only - the original Marconi system. The thermonic valve was discovered shortly before this time.
This is a very brief outline of those days because I had a varied experience including officer in charge VSZ Tarawa - spark installed. Qantas Chief Radio Officer during the War and which I flew on the survey flight and first service Q1 of what was considered one of World War II wonders - the crossing of the Indian Ocean 3513 miles under Japanese surviellence all without guns.
Another student during my time who is still in the electronic industry is Evan Moffit. Other students that I do not knwo their wherebouts are; Phillip Rutter - was living in St Ives, George Thatcher - was in the lighting industry - was living near Oyster Bay. Did you remember Vic Humphries who worked for A.W. Barrs and EMI as their car radio expert.
C J Augustine YAMBA NSW
Congratulations on you Marconi Homepage. I have only recently heard about it and have enjoyed looking up my old friends and a few of the ships I served on.
Would you kindly including the following on your visitors page.
....Congratulation to those who have gone to the effort to organize this get together and particularly to Cec Bardwell, a great contributor to the early days of communications.
My stint at Marconi school,York St., qualified me for the C.O.C.P. certificate dated 1st. November 1948,(I still have this Certificate). Cec was there with Joe Hawkins, Dr. Baker and E.J.Glaisher with Mat Jobson at A.W.A. marine department. Mat was there to tell us how important a marine radio officers job was and to do it RIGHT or else. He scared me so much that on my first trip at sea on the SS Noora I changed the radio room GMT clock back half an hour on the way to Adelaide.
I often speak to young (and old) enthusiasts about my days at sea and of the old gear, particularly about not being permitted to use the 250 watt SPARK transmitter in Sydney harbour as it wiped out all the broadcast band.
Please accept my apologies for not attending, I would certainly like to see the old faces again however the distance was the deciding factor.
Enjoy yourselves and trust there will be more reunions in the future.
Graham E. Nixon ( formally Nixon-Smith)
Australia was one of the last Countries to award the Merchant Navy with a pension.
Many are members of the RSL Merchant navy Sub-branch and others like me Merchant Navy Association. About 100 of us march ANZAC day Sydney each year. All have stacks of medals. I have 6 and any WW2 R/O's would be welcome.
There have been plenty of films and publications about the Army, Navy and Airforce but not much about the Merchant Navy and all grossly inaccurate except "San Denetrio London: where was all ships crew plus one comedian.
As it happens, my Dad is a member of the Bowlers Club in York Street, so we know its location. We will be travelling by bus: don't want any problems with DUI from the Police Service on the way home.
I'm sure Chas will be able to tell a story or two: he was in the Broadcast Branch of AWA for several years, after he swallowed the anchor.
As for memorabilia. I have very little among my souvenirs to remind me of the School. I'm sure other people will have retained lots. My Dad has even less, after all it is over 60 years since he was a student.
My Dad has settled into a quiet inactive live. I am in full time employment at the Tech, and am chairman/treasurer/secretary of the Body Corporate where I live, also I am very active in local charity work, so I think I had better bow out of assisting with the organising. I have not kept in touch with the old Boys and Girls of the School, but I happened to discover an Old Boy amongst our part time students at the Tech. I have passed on your message to him.
I have not ventured onto the internet so far, but if I can visit an internet cafe, I will contact your site.
Thank you for your effort at lifting the event off the ground. I'll see you at the Club.
Regards and 73's
I transferred to "Queen Elizabeth" with the Chief Radio Officer from 22/7/44 to 8/3/46.
Fairwell trip on Queen Mary 28/3/46 to 13/4/46 and returned to Sydney.
The Marconi School of wireless has, and will always be, a special place to me.
Ces Bardwell and the other lecturers providing excellent tuition and inspiration.
I attended the School in 1979 where I studied for, and was successful in obtaining my B.O.C.P. It was my first year out of High School but now I was studying something that I was really interested in!
it would be great to attend such a reunion and re-kindle memories, meet others and hear the stories of what's happened since we left the School.
Mark W Gibbons
I send greetings to all past students who no doubt suffered the trembles when having to sit for the morse exams as I did.
In my case (working at Mascot Airport on the mighty DC3 aircraft - frontline aircraft of the day) I attended night school when on day shift and vice versa.
Our group sat for all exams before we should have done (just for the experience) and a good few of us passed. That shows the ability of the instructors!!
I remember doing the "Q" code quiz work in class, the only girl in the class was always being asked QRM?... Are you being interfered with!!!!!
1st class Ticket 1947 Class Sydney.
If my memory serves me well I think the School was located on the 4th floor of a timber frame and brick exterior building which would not have been out of fashion when Governor Macquarie was in charge in the Colony.
The fourth floor of that old building still holds many memories for me. I was straight out of High School and studying what I wanted to do. I knew what I wanted and that was the 1st Class commercial ticket. Nothing less would do!
I remember a visit to Ces Bardwell's office with my father before enrolling. Although I was keen and did lots of home brewing of various projects, Ces brought be back to Earth by saying in no uncertain term that I was there at the School to gain qualifications and that I should not get too involved in project building whilst still a student.
The 1966 class was quite a big one as I can remember. There were two classes starting and the group that I can remember are:
Wally Grummet, Chris Young, Peter Bedford, David Thomas, David Bisset, Nigel Fisher, Steve Peidemont and Bob Hurndell.
Instructors include Harold Grey, mr Snape and John Eggleton to whom I am eternally grateful for their keen and enthusiastic lectures.
Contrary to popular belief, I never found morse an easy subject to master. I can remember Chris Young having no difficulty in copying 33wpm by hand just prior to sitting for the examination. (I was good to about 28wpm)
In fact the morse examination in September 1967 was an interesting one. The examiner had prepared a hand sent exam at 25wpm which was not sent the best. In a group of 20 or so candidates, Chris was the only one to pass. Ces who always listened in on the exams agreed it was one of the worse he had ever herd and suggested that we all submit a complaint about the quality of the signal sent to us. The authorities agreed to our complaint and on the re-examination I and several other students passed. Chris, however, got it first time, crook morse and all. I ended up with my First Class No 2059 in 1967. Who ever held Australian First Class No1? Who was the last to be issued with the old 1st Class ticket before the General Class ticket was introduced? Anyone know?
Steve Peidemont went down with the MV Noongah in 1969 and David Thomas was electrocuted on the Cape Don or Cape Arnhem in the early seventies. They like many R/O's before them paid the ulitimate sacrifice in their chosen careers. They will always be remembered by me>
I look forward to seeing as many old students and staff at this re-union. I am especially looking forward to honouring Ces, who gave so much of his life to the School and starting us all off in the wonderful career of radio, television and electronics.
Pier Street 1966/67
1920 was the year that I was first introduced to wireless as it was called in those days.
I listened to an early broadcasting station called 3UZ. I was finishing school at Scotch College in Melbourne, and being science minded (my best subject at school was Physics) I was attracted to the new science of Wireless.
So I took a correspondence course in wireless telegraphy in 1924 with the Marconi School of Wireless. They issued me with a "REXONA GRAMOPHONE" and a record for morse practice. However, after a while I had memorised its contents, so I built a one valve set using a 201A valve and honeycomb coils to listen to the Melbourne shore station VIM and any ships in the Bay on 600 metres.
In 1925 I was called up to the Marconi School in the AWA building in Queen Street Melbourne to finish my course. An old ships operator Mr Burbery operated a key at the end of the table and a buzzer in the middle of the table. Eight of us trainees copied morse until we were proficient at 25 wpm.
In the final exam, the practical, we were asked to find a fault in the transmitter. What a simple fault! A piece of paper had been put between the contacts of they key!!
The transmitter was a 500 watt rotary gap spark transmitter. We were situated in the basement of the AWA building in Queen Street, and in the footpath outside our room was a ventilator. People walking across the ventilator when we closed the key got the fright of their lives because all hell was let loose.
After the exam, the eight of us were lined up and a Mr Sunter came into the room "I have got a job for one of you boys" He said "Whoever steps forward first gets the job" I immediately stepped forward and got a job with a firm in Swanston Street called "Crystal Clear Radio" as their wireless set maintenance employee and salesman.
After nine months a call came for me to go to Darwin to board a tramp steamer as wireless operator/purser, supply your own uniforms (a blue and white one) at a salary of 14 pounds a month. Being comfortable installed at Crystal Clear I refused the offer. I have since wondered whether I did the right thing?
In my case the Marconi training stood me in good stead during WW2. In 1940 I enlisted in the Royal Australian Airforce (RAAF) in the mustering of Wireless Operators and was posted to many parts of Australia as such. I have since joined the Wireless Institute of Australia, applied for an Amateur licence and issued with the callsign VK3LC.
However, I have enclosed two photographs [These will be published in the Magazine...ED] of students at that time.the group picture shows from left I J Walker, Bill Bruce ex marine/ex aeradio, a student in the Radio Engineers course named (I think) Harris then Jeff Buckland who went to New Guinea and was a coast watcher (now dead). Next we have Phil ex AWA Marine, then Dick or Owen Bale ex aeradio. Finally another Radio Engineering student whose name I have forgotten. We all used to Park for lunch and a chat.
I, Jeff Buckland and Dick Bale were suspended by Mr Buick, then the Principal, for a week for alleged misbehaviour.
The second picture is one of me centre, Dick Bale and Harris.
Sorry I am unable to attend but these photographs could engender some talk.
John G Walker
After obtaining my first class certificate in March 1942 I joined my first ship the SS Caledon, 18 years old, me not the ship. When I saw it, it could have been 100 years old!
See you at the reunion
Regards Don Collis 1941/42