Once again the general public will be able to send a telegram by morse code on souvenir stationery to anywhere they like on Friday and Saturday during the 2019 Parkes Elvis Festival.
Morse code was withdrawn from the telegraph network following the last telegram in 1962.
Following this all telegrams were sent by teleprinter until the service was withdrawn completely in 1988.
The morse code will be operating in Court Street between the Westpac Bank and Discount Dave’s from a unit supplied by the Telstra Museum in Bankstown and staffed by volunteers from the Sydney Morsecodian Fraternity – Brian Mullins from Sydney, Peter Hack (Temora), Eddie Parrott (Peak Hill), and Keith MacRae and Peter Cannon (Parkes).
Morse code was used and taught by the Postmaster Generals Department of which all volunteers were ex employees.
Morse code was invented by Samuel Morse and gradually introduced throughout the world from 1854.
The first contact from Australia to the outside world was following the completion of the overland telegraph line from Adelaide to Darwin in 1872.
This allowed the time taken for a message to reach the United Kingdom and back from a few months to just a few hours.
Gradually all post offices in Australia were connected to the morse code.
During the Elvis Festival telegrams lodged by the general public will be sent from Parkes to destinations such as Beechworth, Victoria, by morse code using the same equipment as was used in 1872, and posted from there to their destination for delivery by Australia Post.
A donation to cover the cost of printing and postage is appreciated.
As well the general public will be able to print out a message on a special monitor for themselves which converts the English language to morse code and prints out the message in both English and morse code.
This is particularly interesting to the younger generation.