Keeping the Memory Alive

40th Anniversary Messages

July 2009
40th Anniversary
of the First Lunar Landing


Regrettably we did not receive more than two messages
this time round.

From: Ena McAtee

Thank you for the information on the "get together". Regrettably it cannot be accepted.

For your information Colin died March 2006 after a series of strokes.

I do hope it is a great success and you all enjoy yourselves, perhaps have a drink for him, Colin did enjoy a good party.

It is unlikely people realise how important the tracking station was for Australia's development and it is good to see the participants in the station getting together.

With best wishes.

Ena McAtee


To the past members of the Carnarvon Australia Tracking Station, their family members, and friends

As we arrive to celebrate this 40th Reunion of the first Lunar Landing, I would like to reflect on the people worldwide who had the great opportunity to participate in this worldwide historical event. I recently delivered a Commencement Address to the college that I attended 58 years ago. I tried to explain to this graduating class, board of trustees, family members etc., the things all of us went through and accomplished in our individual endeavors to accomplish this historical event.

As I was writing this speech, I kept coming back to one specific statement that fit everyone involved, and that is "CAN DO". Looking back, I remember many arguments that went on with some saying, "We/I cannot do that," but in the end, the result was, "yes, we "CAN DO it". It didn't make any difference whether you were an Astronaut, Flight Director, Flight Controller, Engineer, Technician, Secretary, Book keeper or Travel agent etc., in the end, everyone had the same goal, which was to get the job done, so that we can proceed to the next "crisis" we will face to get to the Moon. Looking back, I realize now that we all had the "CAN DO" spirit; we just didn't know it at the time. This attitude followed everyone, no matter where they worked or who they worked for.

Upon arriving at Carnarvon for Gemini 4, and finding everything in the control room out of configuration, I remember meeting with Lewis Wainwright, and the M&O supervisor. I advised them of the problems, and they protested, "We CANNOT DO THAT." They told me how the previous team wanted it, and I directed them to bring the system up to configuration. That put the entire tracking station in an uproar, but when I arrived with my team the next day, the entire control room was reconfigured properly, and we proceeded with our pre-mission testing. Yes, it was the "CAN DO" attitude that we all lived by, worked by, and each did whatever it took to put a Man on the Moon.

All of us who were involved in this incredible accomplishment, no matter what happens to us, will remember this time in our lives for the rest of our lives. No matter what, we were part of it. Wow! How did each of us, each with our own stories, end up in the right place at the right time to be involved in this event? When I think about it, or write about my life, I find it absolutely incredible, and I am sure you all do also.

As I complete this note to you, I regret that I am not there to celebrate this fantastic event, and your accomplishments in assisting to make this happen. I salute all of the CRO (Carnarvon) personnel for their "CAN DO" attitude and spirit, and hope that you will include me and my fellow space travelers to your country in your toasts to your great accomplishments, and this incredible event.

Thank you, and the best of luck to you all,

Ed Fendell



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