Vale - Kevin (Mooch) Moody


With Kevin’s passing on April 1st 2012, Natmap lost one of its longest serving members and a friend and colleague to all.


Prior to joining Natmap in 1961, Kevin had served three years in the RAE (Engineers) before being assigned to the 7/55 Basic Survey Course at Balcombe, to learn something about surveying. On successfully passing the course, he transferred to RA Svy serving a further three years. During this period he was part of two major field operations; Project Cutlass – the shoreship survey of New Ireland in 1956/57 of fifteen months duration and then the Charters Towers to Tennant Creek Tellurometer traverse of eight months duration. On leaving the army in 1959, he worked for Geosurveys in South Australia and spent quite some time on survey work in Portuguese Timor, now East Timor.


In the Royal Australian Survey Corps Association Queensland Bulletin, Kevin wrote after revisiting Fortuna in 2009; “I began to see Fortuna as it was for me in 1956-59. I could see seven figure log books pushed to the end of a desk, to make room for a Brunsviga calculator and a small Curta equivalent nearby waiting to slide into someone's pocket. Wild T2 theodolites and Tellurometer EDMs should have been in the storeroom and Multiplex men with their red and blue spectacles who didn't leave their darkened den, but I knew where they were. A slotted template assembly lay on the floor upstairs near a group of neatly uniformed WRAACS, who performed their work with quiet efficiency.


Kevin arrived at Natmap with a contingent of ex-RA Svy personnel, including his best mates Lou Summers and John Van de Graf. Others were Alec Pond, Bernie Snell, Blue Lalor, Bob Chomley and Darryl Parker. Initially working on PNG mapping, he later spent some time in the field in 1965, around Roma with Aerodist, arriving with Terry Larkin & Bob Foster to break out Aerodist charts. In the later Rialto years of Natmap, Kevin is probably best remembered for his development work on the Wild B8 Stereomats (see photo below), followed by similar work with the Zeiss Jena Topocarts and Zeiss Oberkochen SEG V rectifier. These instruments worked “round the clock” then, producing Orthophotomaps (OPMs).


When I joined in the late 60s and was being given work in all the areas of Natmap to understand how it all fitted together I spent some time with Kevin “gridding” on the Stereomats. Kevin was only too eager to tell of his “best” job – contouring a pair of female breasts on the Stereomat! It was part of an early medical study into breast cancer to see if the cancer caused deformations in the breast. If these deformations could not be seen, could they be enhanced if stereo-images were contoured and would the auto-contouring Stereomat achieve this quickly? As Kevin said in a concerned tone “this was a serious study and I was happy to help as if this method provided any early indication of cancer it could save lives therefore you understand how I gave it my full and undivided attention” now with a laugh.


Kevin’s work with Geosurveys gave him an insight into the value of the OPM to industry as the ‘minerals push’ was well underway in Australia. The mining/minerals sector required a form of map that had the detail of the aerial photograph but from which accurate coordinates could also be derived so that mining claims/mineral rights could be quickly & accurately referenced, without the need for expensive and time consuming survey. Remember that speed & secrecy was essential to the industry and in the regions being explored a nearby survey mark was not yet readily available. The Orthophotomap seemed to meet that requirement as well as being a form of “rapid mapping”.


After the 1977 Review and move to Dandenong, Kevin was promoted and jointly managed, until his retirement in 1989, one of the two teams undertaking map compilation. The Hermansburg (5450) 1:100,000 scale map sheet was not only the first to be fully compiled, by stereoplotting and table digitising, by National Mapping, it was the last map required to complete the NTMS program. Kevin had the pleasure of seeing his Team’s map endorsed by the Hon. Stewart West MP in October 1987.


He was an adventurer who over several years travelled (in different craft) the course of the Murray River from its “actual” source to the sea. He enjoyed his golf and played in many of Natmap’s golf days having varied success. An ardent Bombers supporter he (with others) was a frequent visitor to the old AFL Waverley ground while living at Wheelers Hill.


The photo above is probably how most of us remember Kevin, as in the later years he supported the Social Club’s 7th floor functions as we all enjoyed a drink together and had a laugh. During these occasions Kevin always had a funny story or experience to relate and his good humour seemed to make the world a better place.



Kevin (far left) as part of the Stereomat Team (circa late 1960s)