Morse code demonstration at the Parkes Elvis Festival

Anyone heading to the Parkes Elvis Festival on January 13 and 14 will have the opportunity to send a telegram by morse code to anywhere in the country.

That’s according to one of the organisers of the demonstration and local member of the Sydney Morsecodian Fraternity, Keith MacRae.

Mr MacRae has had 120 souvenir envelopes and stationery printed for the occasion, with 70 sent to Beechworth in Victoria where the messages will be received and distributed.

The demonstration will be located outside the Telstra Shop in Clarinda Street, where the public will be able to discuss any morse code matters with the operators.

Telegrams lodged by the public will be sent to Beechworth by morse code, received on the souvenir stationery and posted to their destination, on the next working day.

The morse code instruments that will be used are the same as those used sending and receiving in the telegraph network since the 1850s, until the morse code was withdrawn in 1962.

However it remained in Parkes and used as an order wire, until the last operator was transferred in 1965, and then withdrawn completely.

Teleprinters gradually introduced since the 1940s progressively took over the system in all major post offices throughout the PMG (Postmaster Generals) Department, until the telegraph service was completely withdrawn in 1988.

As an added attraction in 2017 the public will be able to print their own message on a keyboard and each letter will be shown on screen, and automatically inter-dispersed with the actual morse code symbols.

“This was first on display at the 2016 Grafton Jacaranda Festival and proved very popular with the general public,” Mr MacRae said.

“Also on display will be Ham Radio morse equipment that is still being used today.

“And the general public will be able to have their name sent by morse code on a local circuit, and pick it up at the other end, also on souvenir stationery.  

“This is particularly attractive to the younger generation.”

Can you decipher our Morse Code message?

Using the diagram below, try and decipher what the Morse code message is we’ve written for you.

.... . .-.. .-.. ---     ..-. .-. --- --     - .... .     .--. .- .-. -.- . ...     -.-. .... .- -- .--. .. --- -.     .--. --- ... - .- .-. .     -.-- --- ..-     .- ...     . -..- -.-. .. - . -..     ..-. --- .-.     - .... .     . .-.. ...- .. ...     ..-. . ... - .. ...- .- .-..     .- ...     .-- .     .- .-. .

If you think you’ve cracked it, leave a comment on our Facebook post about this story.