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John Bishop VK2ZOI - SK

It is with great sadness that we share the news that John Bishop VK2ZOI (VK2BK), long-time President of Hornsby And Districts Amateur Radio Club (HADARC), became a silent key in the early hours of Friday, 29th January 2021.

John sadly lost his battle with metastatic melanoma, which was only diagnosed in early December. While suffering through his medical treatment, John withdrew from regular radio operations, although he was able to concentrate on both HADARC matters and the transition of stewardship.

In his final days, he recalled fond memories of family and friends, and in his final over, John spoke of the radio club that was such an important part of his life. John was particularly proud of the teamwork club member displayed at the very successful Wireless Centenary event held just outside Sir Earnest Fisk’s home in Wahroonga on the 22nd September 2018.

John was in his 50th year as an Amateur Radio Operator, and joined the Wireless Institute, NSW Division on 27th July 1962, 58 years ago. While only 75 years of age, he may have been an OM but was definitely not an old man.

John began his working life as a young 17-year-old trainee at Amalgamated Wireless Valve Co, North Ryde, in Jan 1963 in the “Semiconductor Section” where he qualified as a technician. He later became a Technical Officer in the “Receiving Valve Section”. John eventually gained a degree in Electrical Engineering and worked in the specialist area of the “Power Valve and Special (CV) Valve Section”. John was astute enough to see the writing on the wall for AWV, and left in August 1975.

John then moved on to The Department of Defence where he held various positions in Defence - (Navy) Chief Armament, Superintendent Navy Armament Engineering (Naval Support Command), Regional Director Defence Quality Assurance (NSW), and finally, before retirement, Regional Director Defence Acquisition Office Sydney. It was during this time John began a lifelong friendship with Tony VK2BTL.

Click here for more details of John's career.

John has also been actively involved in Hornsby Seniors. He became the Public Officer for Hornsby Seniors and was their go-to-guy when it came to anything involving technology for the group.

Back in 1977, John was involved with establishing training and education courses for those interested in becoming amateur radio operators. As this early intake of students was quite large, John was also among our early trainers. He even encouraged Dot to sit for and successfully obtain her Novice licence. John was also instrumental a few years later in getting three of his sons into amateur radio - Ben and Roger via the Foundation licence and Peter via the Advanced licence.

John remained in the training role into the mid 80s and then continued his activities on the HADARC committee, ultimately being appointed HADARC’s President. John held the position of President very close to his heart throughout his entire presidency, something that can be clearly seen with some of his last words concerning the club. Over the last 30 years as President, John’s has stamped his vision on HADARC, which has both been stable and very involved with all aspects of Amateur Radio. One of the other reasons John enjoyed being President was that he was able to continue to use the managerial skills that he developed during his working life in dealing with various official bodies (Hornsby Council being just one of many examples, hi-hi!)

John was definitely one of a kind. Apart from being an extremely keen amateur radio operator that participated in numerous radio nets during the week, he also participated in nearly every HADARC net, including running his share of nets and encouraging club members to participate in nets online via Jitsi. His large boots will be very hard to fill, and his absence leaves a hole in all our hearts.

John leaves behind his loving YL, Dot VK2DB, who he married on Boxing Day 1966, as well as four sons, many grandchildren, and a legacy of many home-built Flowerpot antennas, not only in Australia but around the world.

John’s Funeral will be held 2:00-2:45pm Friday, 12 February 2021, Magnolia Chapel, Macquarie Park Cemetery and Crematorium. After the funeral a wake for John will be held at The Asquith Bowling Club (1 Lodge St, Hornsby NSW 2077) between 3:30-6:00pm.

Please contact the Secretary of HADARC if you wish to attend either the funeral or wake as number are presently limited to 100 for each. Hopefully, this will change before the 12th of February.

The family has asked that you not to send flowers to John’s funeral, but to make a donation to The Melanoma Institute Australia at https://www.melanoma.org.au/get-involved/donate/ instead.

John’s funeral webcast will be available HERE (pin, if required, is 1306) either on or before the day of the funeral.

Vale John Bishop, VK2ZOI / VK2BK (12th Oct 1945 – 29th Jan 2021)


Some highlights of John’s Working Life

1963 – 1975 Amalgamated Wireless Valve Company

Jan 1963 – Jan 1966 -- Trainee Technician, AWV, Rydalmere

Participated in the company trainee scheme whilst undertaking the Electronics and Communications Certificate with the NSW Department of Technical Education.

Jan 1966 – Apr 1971 -- Technician, progressing to Technical Officer

Experience gained in semiconductors, receiving and transmitting valve manufacture, testing and applications. Commenced part-time study at NSW Institute of Technology towards a Diploma in Technology (Electronics Engineering), completed 1970.

Apr 1971 – Sep 1975 -- Engineer (? AWA, Ashfield?)

Assigned to the Special and Power Valve Sections. Manufacture and testing of power transmission valves, magnetrons, miniature and sub-miniature special purpose vacuum tubes. Defect analysis. Responsible for design, calibration and maintenance of test equipment for special and power valves. Experience gained in high vacuum systems and mass spectrometry leak detection.

In Aug 1974 designed colour kinescope test equipment and involved in the testing and quality of colour kinescopes.

1975 – 2001 Department of Defence

Naval Ordnance Inspection and Design Branch

Sep 1975 - June 1978 -- Engineer Class 2

Project officer for the Naval Ordnance Electronics Laboratory. Performed engineering work associated with Quality Assurance and Technical problems related to test equipment calibration and supplied electrical components. Investigated serviceability and suitability of test equipment and electrical apparatus used in the manufacture and testing of naval armament stores.

Responsible for Fleet Services section. Controlled the operation and maintenance of Ikara telemetry (a radio-commanded ship-borne long-range anti-submarine guided weapon).

Participated in RIMPAC 77 - a four-nation open-ocean exercise held in the mid-Pacific Ocean involving 38 ships, 25 aircraft, and 20,000 men.

June 1978 - Dec 1978 -- Acting Engineer Class 3

Managed the Engineering Services Section.

Dec 1978 - Dec 1979

Seconded to Ministry of Defence Procurement Executive, UK

1979 - Naval Ordnance Quality Assurance Course (Dux of course), Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham, Wiltshire, UK

A study of science and technology in the field of Munitions covering the entire spectrum of weapons.

Also completed courses in Contractor Assessment (Portsmouth Polytechnic School of Management Studies), Quality Assurance Management (Guildford County College of Technology), Naval Guided Weapons (HMS Dryad).

Dec 1979 - May 1981 -- Engineer Class 2

Responsible for the Naval Ordnance Electronics Laboratory and Technical Support Section.

Assisted with Electrical Explosive Hazards trials for RAAF at Air bases Williamstown and Butterworth.

Team leader for assessing government and private firms' Quality Control systems.

May 1981 - May 1987 -- Engineer Class 3

Managed the Engineering Support Group, including the Naval Ordnance Electronics Laboratory, Technical Support cell, Electro-Explosive Hazards cell, and Data Processing cell.

Member of the Electrical Explosive Hazards Committee of the Australian Ordnance Council.

1982 - Completed with distinction the Naval Staff Course at RAN Staff College, HMAS Penguin.

"He plans well, and his judgement is sound and consistent"
"He controls group activities firmly and successfully"
"He should make a very successful career in Defence and can be expected to be very effective in committee work"
"Recommended for Directing Staff"
"This officer is assessed as being suitable for demanding appointments requiring a high level of staff ability and initiative."
"His intelligence, alertness and pleasant personality have combined to gain him the respect of the rest of the group and his contributions have been readily accepted."
"Answers to questions are erudite, economical and logical. He is highly suited to committee work."
"His tactful and co-operative approach to both service and civilian co-workers has contributed significantly to the elimination of historical antagonisms between various internal and associated regional technical groups."
— RAN Commander N.C. Burt, Inspector of Naval Ordnance (in 1983)

May 1987 - Aug 1988 -- Engineer Class 4, Navy Armament Engineering Service Headquarters

Managed the Headquarters staff undertaking engineering support, management auditing, developed Support Command Armament Engineering policy and standards. Chairman of the Electrical Explosive Hazards Committee of the Australian Ordnance Council.

Aug 1988 - ? -- Acting Superintendent Navy Armament Engineering

Function head of the Navy Armament Engineering Service within the Naval Support Command. Directed the Headquarters and Regional Armament Engineering Service organisations in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth.

1990 – Quality Assurance Manager

Dec 1991 - promoted to Engineer Class 5, Defence Logistics Division

1996 – Acquisition Manager

19?? – Director of Defence Acquisition Regional Office (NSW), Defence Quality Assurance Organisation

2000 – transferred to Support Command Australia

2001 – Retired