If we look back to a more innocent world where STD did not mean something nasty but Subscriber Trunk Dialing, when 007 was not Bond James Bond but just the dialing code for his car phone and when Big Pond meant that place you'd go in the summer, fishin' for yabbies, mate, yeah.
In 1975 after the PMG split into the Australian Postal Commission (when it only cost 10c to mail a letter) and Telecom, a new superstar was born, a hero who would win the fame and ovation of the people forever. That hero was:
Beepa the Owl.
Beepa got his got job in 1956 bewteen between Dandenong and Melbourne and St Marys and Sydney so customers knew that they were making a timed, long distance call.
He worked diligently on every phone call letting you know of you were making or receiving a telephone call from another STD area. Beepa championed ringing off peak to save you money, but sadly the familiar "beep, beep, beep, beep, beep" that you hear when making a Subscriber Trunk Call (STD) call will soon become a sound you will never hear again.
For what is glibly deemed "technological reasons" Beepa is being killed. I for one think that the pips are an integral part of the network. You can't just disturb the sanctity of the pips. It would be like taking the pips away from the top of the hour on the ABC.
Besides, Beepa lets you know if you're getting a phone call from your far away relatives, or perhaps that telemarketer in a call centre in Overseas Land who constantly disturbs you right in the middle of your Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup. Beepa had the decency to let you know about them but now Telstra have written his death warrant and are ready to smash his little skull on the Steinway.
Meanies. Heartless Owl Killers.
For one last look at the magic that was Beepa, click the link below.
Beepa the Owl
1956 - 2009
Gone but not forgotten.