Control Data Australia Memories compiled by Brian Membrey

Ex-CDA comments, suggestions, criticisms

There have been many, many tributes to John forthcoming, perhaps the most touching and relevant that from John Smith who passed on the sad news after being advised by Jo O’Neil of her beloved husband’s death …

“I weep as I write these words. John was my first contact at CDA 51 years ago and through the years has maintained a solid friendship. He was a man of dignity, grace, forgiveness and much intellect”.

Remembered with much admiration”


Remembered with much admiration

 held up his start date). </span></p>


Remembered with much admiration”


Remembered with much admiration

 held up his start date). </span></p>


Thanks to Peter Johnson (aka “parity-error”), we’ve included link to both a Slideshow and Photo Gallery of images he has posted on an alternate site.

This is a remarkable collection from Peter’s past, the likes of which I suspect we have never seen before!



Remembered with much admiration

 held up his start date). </span></p>


“Nostalgia Ain’t What It Used To Be!”


December, 2018

The major upgrade is a series of images uploaded by Peter Johnson at the links below - astonishing photos including the 3600 (presumably) at ABS Melbourne being cut in half as the mainframe (swung in by crane prior to the building being completed) was too long to fit into the lifts after de-commissioning - the look of Customer Engineer Wai Chan as he ponders the result is a classic! Others include the “QTAB Graveyard” (System 17s dumped at Moorabbin after the CRISP cancellation), rare shots from the Thornbury Regional Warehouse, Natal TAB and others

or (static display) at

(Don’t think the direct links need a password - if required, its tic toc

(all one word, all lower case, and appropriate if you worked on GWS!)

The images and the details attached have led to some updates to existing articles : check out my Briefs above right for details

November, 2018

Again not much new - maybe there isn’t anything else out there other than memories, and there are sweet-bugger-all of those ever contributed other than an occasional flash-back from the Bird-man

Friday and not Friggday?  

Lost Racecourses of Melbourne

If you were bred and born in Melbourne, there was probably a racecourse nearby over the last hundred years or so .  Added to this section Spring Vale, St. Kilda, Thomastown and Preston (aka Irishtown).

This section has now officially Gone To The Dogs!

Officially "coursing", we now cover tracks for the "dish-lickers" at  Arden Street (aka North Melbourne Football Ground), Gracedale Park (Spring Vale), Maribyrnong, Napier Park (North Essendon), Sandown Park and White City (Tottenham).

The introduction of the Poor Man’s sport of dog racing as opposed to “The Sport of Kings” leads to something of a conundrum - the “plebs” held a huge advantage!

You can feed a slow racehorse to a greyhound, but it doesn’t work the other way round!

And for "petrol heads", this is a substantial update to the original release of Sandown Park which reveals a motor racing meeting (believed the first in Victoria) held in 1904! (Many of our friends from the Light Car Club  noted in attendance)!

Rather more however in the main section of OzSportsHistory … for the last couple of months, I’ve been researching the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games which most (barring Poms and, shudder, even Kiwis) will remember.

Not the performances, but the background to the successful bid and the battle to establish the Main Stadium, a debate which almost saw the Games forfeited, as did Australian Quarantine laws which prevented the Equestrian events being held locally (a requirement under Olympic Rules.

The Main Stadium? The Showgrounds, Princes Park, the M.C.G?

Gosh!  The Olympic Village in Heidelberg was only a short bike ride for a ten-year-old kid from Preston, so there’s an outside chance I’m in there hunting autographs somewhere … the little bloke bottom right looks a bit familiar

Now read on …

LATEST NEWS : December, 2018

A site dedicated to sharing memories of Control Data Australia and Control Data Corporation and the myriad of ex CDA employees still closely linked by the ethos of a remarkable workplace, largely inherited from Bill Norris of CDC and whole-heartedly adopted by Trevor Robinson after the incorporation of CDA on 17 May, 1963.

Many more CDC brochures and specs at

Ex-CDA minor updates and additions to existing articles Ex-CDA links to pages of interest Ex CDA : Wrigley's Juct Fruit and how it affected our day-to-day lives Ex-CDA : Some new "old" press clippings

One that got away!

In 1960, CDC acquired Arbitron (market research, formerly American Research Bureau founded in 1943.

Whether it was a profitable exercise is debatable : in the words of Bob Price :

“It was probably the worst marketing organization you can imagine. Shortly after I took over the services group that summer, I made a tour with the vice president of sales for Arbitron … I came back and wrote a one-line trip report:

“In the words of the immortal Pogo, I have met the enemy and he is us.”   Pogo

Sorry, Mr. Price, but something went right somewhere along the line - Arbitron passed to Ceridian Corporation in 1991 as part of the CDC split, eventually split off to key shareholders in 2001 as a separate company and was sold in 2013 to major competitor A. C. Nielsen for a lazy $1.26 billion!

(Rather more than the shell of CDC that Price left in his wake)

Below : the original American Research Bureau in Maryland, 1957

ex-CDA free downloads

Just an image I dug out of Between Ourselves on “Dick” Dacey’s birthday, 17 November. Glad he got the order, otherwise he’d probably look miserable!

Glynn was last seen trying to extract his fingers from the cabinet. Damn that new Super Glue!