IBM Quarter Century Club logo

Australian Chapters
of the
IBM Quarter Century Club
General Pages Home/News About Us QCC Contacts Lost Contact Vale IBMA Community IBMA HR Discounts Links
State Pages ACT NSW NT Qld SA Vic & Tas WA    

Page Index

Vale Notices

Frank Bourke

John Harvey

Bob Savage

David Pearson

Mike Ward

IBM at 100

IBM Alumni

IBM Mainframes 45 Years of Evolution


Last updated 10 Feb 2018

Welcome to the home of the Australian Chapters of the IBM Quarter Century Club.  We celebrated IBM's Centenary on 16th June 2011 and our 50th year on 5th May 2016.

Feedback on this web site is always welcome.  So if you have any suggestions or updates, please send an email to 


IBM News and IBMA QCC News

Vale Notices

The Sydney Chapter of the QCC has taken it upon itself, on a purely voluntary, best effort basis,  to inform the IBMA QCC community of the death of one of its Australian members. It is not in our charter and we only send notices concerning IBMA QCC members.

Our apologies if we inadvertently miss the sad news of someone's passing. We do our best to ensure that the web site and the annual Members List are complete and up to date but we do depend entirely upon family and friends informing one of the Sydney QCC committee. IBM is not involved.

If we have missed someone, or included someone who should not be there, please let us know by email to See the Contacts page for other committee member's details.

We have a flag on our database for those who wish to receive an email when we hear of someone's passing. (Sorry, we do not send physical letters.) If you have qualified for the IBMA QCC and would like us to include you in the Vale Notice distribution list, or to remove you, please let the know by email. That will ensure that we respect your wishes and have your current contact details.

Bob Savage

With sadness we advise that QCC member Bob Savage passed away yesterday (15/9/2016). Bob was one of IBM's great leaders.  He was Managing Director between 1996 and 1999. All those who worked for IBM Australia and IBM New Zealand during that period will remember him as a man of honour and conviction.
The Quarter Century Club sends condolences to his wife Cheryl and their family.
This entry will be updated when funeral information becomes available.

[Doug Elix] - My sympathies go to Cheryl and the family at this time.  I remember Bob with great fondness and admiration.  As a young IBMer, Bob was my mentor, my boss and a friend.  I owe much of my career to Bob's patience, advice and support.  As we both headed overseas, Bob was a business colleague.  After I returned to Australia, and was later given the opportunity to again transfer overseas, I asked Bob if he would be prepared to return to Australia to be my successor as CEO of IBM Australia and New Zealand.  Continuing his career-long commitment to IBM, Bob agreed, and carried out that role with distinction.   We will all miss such a strong business leader and good friend. 

[Rory & Sue Mack] - We were saddened to learn of Bob’s passing. He will surely be missed. We worked together in a number of roles including a period in the Asia Pacific region. I enjoyed our working relationship and the challenging times working in a foreign country. He was my manager for a number of years whilst he was the Managing Director of IBM ANZ. He was always a fair, understanding and generous manager whilst being firm and respectful to those with whom he worked. He always represented IBM in a very positive manner both internally & externally. He was a sought-after speaker and presenter and continually received high praise for the variety and quality of subjects covered. We send our condolences to Cheryl and family and trust they have very fond memories of their loving husband and father. Warm regards.

[Graham Murray] - I will always be grateful to Bob for his management advice, Cheryl for generosity when we first moved to Sydney and Bob's daughter, Tracey, who continues to provide professional legal advice. A great gentlemen, IBMer and NZer.

[John Bligh] - My condolences to Bob's family at this very sad time. I got to know Bob during his management  of the Greater China business when his leadership skill was so important for IBM's growth in that region. More recently, I was pleased to reconnect with Bob as we both worked with the same fitness trainer in a Neutral Bay gym. I admired how he fought so hard to keep his illness at bay.  He was a great business leader who will be sadly missed. 

[Bruce and Heather Rogan] - Dearest Cheryl, Heather and I would like to send you our kindest thoughts and best wishes at this sad time in your life. You were our dearest friends in Australia, and we recall with fondness all the wonderful fun times we had together. With all our love,

[John Derrett] - Great Man, Great Fun, truly missed - the old great IBM 

[Rex Swensen] - Very sorry to learn that Bob has passed away. I worked with Bob over many years in and around IBM’s Sydney Branch. I held Bob in very high esteem as did everyone who worked with him. I followed his career with interest after he had left IBM. May I offer my condolences to Cheryl and the family. Sincerely,

[Suzanne Williams] - Bob, you were a wonderful man, full of personality and wisdom. Enjoy the next journey. Kind Regards,

[Terry Bowden, Auckland] - I was hired by IBM after graduating from Auckland University.  My training started in the first month when I was sent with 8 other Kiwis to Sydney for Class One. It was here that I first came across Bob Savage, an impressive, knowledgeable, gentle giant of a man.  Unlike us raw recruits, he already had industry experience, having worked in a Data Centre. He already knew how to put punch cards through the sorters, plug wires into the collators, even how to program the accounting machines. I watched him, awe-struck by his expertise as I struggled with this new-fangled technology. Bob showed tremendous patience and was the essence of both expert and peer coach rolled into one. He remains forever in my memory as a wisecracking, genial personality who always went out of his way to help others. May he rest in peace.

Frank Bourke

Frank passed away in March this year, aged 92. He maintained IBM business machines at ammunition works in Queensland and NSW during World War II, but only formally joined IBM in Melbourne in 1946.  There was only a small team of IBMers in Melbourne at that time and Frank and some others began a custom of Christmas parties and social get-togethers for IBMers and their families.  He worked in a number of areas of IBM, including Customer Engineering, where he rose to State manager.  He also worked in Office Supplies Sales and he was inducted into thirteen 100% Clubs for achieving annual sales targets.

Frank retired from IBM at the age of 60, after 37 years of service.  His time at IBM was a great source of pride to him.

Frank’s son Rodney, sent us some photos related to the early days of IBM. The 3rd item is of particular interest, a letter from Thomas J Watson, congratulating Frank and his wife Gwen on the birth of their son Rodney. Amazing... just shows how big and impersonal IBM has grown.  There is probably an IBM historian somewhere, who would be very interested in the letter.  The ‘Golf ball’ tie pin and cuff links are a blast from the past also. Rodney said one of Frank’s Grandchildren wore the Golf ball Cuff Links at Frank's Funeral.

Congratulations David Pearson

Administrator's Medal, June 2014 and inaugural Northern Territory Award, October 2014

David Pearson has recently been recognised for his work with the Government House Foundation of the Northern Territory and presented with The Administrator's Medal by the Northern Territory Administrator, Her Honour The Honourable Sally Thomas AC. (The Administrator is the equivalent of the Governor in the state jurisdictions.)

David, a member of the Sydney Chapter, moved to Darwin in 1992 and has been involved with the Foundation for 13 years, serving as Chairman and committee member until he recently retired. He became only the second person to receive this award and is justly proud and very moved by the honour. He tells us that he and the Administrator have been friends for many years and was overwhelmed to receive it from her.

David was also recognised for his many acts of service to the community in an award by the Northern Territory government.

The photo above is of David being presented with his award by Her Honour the Honourable Sally Thomas AC Administrator of the Northern Territory and The Honourable Peter Styles MLA Minster for Seniors. Both are very close friends of his and he is holding the award and certificate of citation. The citation reads:

"David has provided over 40,000 hours of voluntary service to the community and he hasn’t stopped yet.
David came to Darwin in 1992 from Sydney with his wife MarieLouise and twin sons Shaun and Stephen.
David is very community minded being involved in:

  • Donating 100 full blood donations receiving an award from the Red Cross for his generosity.

  • Committee and Chairman of Government House Foundation of the Northern Territory for 13 years for which he has recently been awarded the Administrators Medal

  • NT Seniors member running the Seniors Race Day for over 7 years.

  • Regular assistant at the Chung Wah Society helping visitors and tourists to understand our Chinese Heritage.

  • Volunteered with Community Radio for 12 years as a sports broadcaster at TOPFM.

  • Rotary member for over 20 years.

  • Public Officer for Beat the Heat.

Nominated by Hon Kon Vatskalis MLA"

Its been an amazing year for David and his family with many awards. On 3rd Oct 2014 at a black tie dinner (very rare in Darwin - they are too casual for that) hosted by Rotary he was awarded a beautiful engraved crystal wine decanter for his contribution to Rotary. 

Mike Ward - Major Milestone

On 19th February, 2013, Mike Ward Celebrated his 50th Anniversary with IBM.

This a significant event, and breaks many Records. I am sure you join me in congratulating Mike for this amazing achievement.

Jenny Anderson

April 2013

IBM at 100

There comes a time when every enterprise must ask itself: What difference have we made? What impact have we had on the world? What have we changed?

In 2011, IBM reflects on 100 years of innovation, bold risks and transformative breakthroughs. We celebrate the big wins—and the mistakes we've overcome. We renew our purpose, unite in our legacy and define our aspirations for the future.

Welcome to IBM at 100.   More, including:

  • a message from Sam Palmisano
  • The invention of Service Science
  • A celebration of Service
  • Films "They were there" and "100x100"
  • The book "Making the world a better place"
  • The ideas that shaped a century
  • Memorabilia

New IBM A/NZ Alumni

IBM has just launched a new alumni program for current and former IBMers in Australia and New Zealand.

It's part of the existing global Greater IBM Connection ( network, so you can be in the global group but also stay connected locally. As a member, you will get the latest local news, be able to participate in face-to-face events and discussion forums, gain business insights, get Lenovo discounts and learn about job opportunities here and abroad.

All you need to do is register
for the global site - it only takes a few minutes.
Once you've registered (or if you're already a global member), join Greater IBM – A/NZ  (
Just go to the "Groups" menu on the top of the screen and scroll down the list for the A/NZ Group. Once you are in there, click on “join”.

There’s also a new A/NZ LinkedIn Group ( you can join in addition to the Greater IBM – A/NZ program.

25 June 2010

John Harvey receives Order of Australia in 2010 Queen's Birthday Honours list

Congratulations to John Harvey on being appointed an Officer (AO) in the General Division for distinguished service to the information technology industry, particularly through developing partnerships with government and educational institutions, and to the community.
(Extract from Sydney Morning Herald - 14 June 2010)

18 June 2010

Graham Cormack celebrates 40 years

Graham Cormack celebrated his 40th anniversary on 9 Feb 2010 - not wedding or birthday - but anniversary of starting work at IBM in 1970. He is still working full-time at IBM Cumberland Forest. 40 years in IBM is a major achievement.
Congratulations Graham.

Feb 2010

IBM Mainframes - 45 Years of Evolution

Jim Elliott, Consulting Sales Specialist - System z, IBM Canada, has produced a fascinating account of the evolution of IBM Mainframes over the years. It resides on his web site as a pdf document which you can download here.

To quote his summary:

  • From System/360 in 1964 to today’s System z and zSeries, we have seen an evolution that has preserved customer investments in a unique way
  • From OS/360 to MVS to OS/390 to z/OS, we have seen an evolution of the operating system that is core to most corporate IT environments
  • From DOS/360 to VSE/ESA to z/VSE, we have seen this operating system thrive meeting the needs in smaller environments
  • From CP/67 as a research project and VM/370 as a migration tool, VM has evolved to today’s z/VM as the core of IBM’s zSeries virtualization technology
  • And now with Linux on System z, we have a truly open operating environment

Back to top

What's New

24 Sept 2017
It is with the deepest regret that we record the death of
Geoff Sutherland
See Vale list.

31 Jan 2018
It is with the deepest regret that we record the death of
Bob Hall
on 22 Jan 2018
 See Vale list.

15 Jan 2018
Added Vale text for
David Young
who died 9 Sept 2016
See Vale list.

8 Jan 2018
It is with the deepest regret that we record the death of
John (Jack) Porrill
on 5 Feb 2017.
Little is known about him. Our Secretary would appreciate any knowledge you may care to share.
See Vale list.

4 Jan 2018
Replaced Queensland contact with
Bruce James.
Contact details to be confirmed.

8 Dec 2017
It is with the deepest regret that we record the death of
Doug Kerr
See Vale list.

3 Nov 2017 (update)
It is with the deepest regret that we record the death of
Rex Jarman
on Saturday 29 Oct 2017.
See Vale list.

31 Oct 2017
It is with the deepest regret that we record the death of
Garry Webb.  
See Vale list.

5 Oct 2017
Added to the NSW page, a YouTube slide show of the NSW Chapter weekend away in Nelson Bay.

2 Oct 2017
Added Robert Fell's IBM history to his Vale notice.
See Vale list.

28 Sept 2017
It is with the deepest regret that we record the death of
David Adrian Young
on 9th Sept 2016.
See Vale list.

Regretfully, we have only just heard of his passing.

If anyone has knowledge of David's IBM history, would you please send it to the Webmaster or the the Secretary of the Victorian Chapter so we can included it in the Vale list.

Chapters of the IBM Quarter Century Club are not entities of IBM Corporation, IBM Australia Limited, IBM Global Services Australia Limited nor of any other affiliated IBM company.  They are autonomous social clubs formed, operated and financed by Chapter members entirely for their own purposes. - free web hosting. Free hosting with no banners.

Back to top