By PTC Press Release

In Memoriam

Richard J. Barber passed away on 20 May 2014.

Dick’s life was devoted to PTC and he will always be fondly remembered with admiration and respect as the organization’s first Executive Director and pioneer in the establishment and development of the organization.

The idea for the Pacific Telecommunications Council was initiated by Dick after exploring the concept of a Pacific-based international telecommunications organization at a meeting in Washington, D.C. in 1977.

The first conference, jointly sponsored with IEEE, was held in 1978 and was attended by more than 100 international technology professionals. After that meeting, the Council was formed in 1979 and PTC was subsequently established as a legal non-profit entity in 1980. Dick was appointed Executive Director, a position he held until 1999.

The Hawaii-based annual conference eventually grew to a high of 1800+ attendees in the late 1990s and has again neared that in the past several years.

In addition to the annual conference, which remains the flagship event of the organization today, Dick facilitated numerous mid-year seminars and quarterly meetings, most held in locations throughout the Pacific region. These seminars helped to highlight the specific needs and aspirations of many countries in the development of their telecommunications systems and services in the belief that all people had the right to communicate.

Dick also attended many other industry events and promoted PTC at numerous international telecommunications conferences over the years, which helped immeasurably to grow the Council by drawing in many to the organization and its activities.

Dick was highly regarded by all for his tireless and professional conduct, calm demeanor, accessibility, friendliness, and can-do spirit. He never accepted failure and always had a smile. He was able to rally support around ideas that not only advanced the Council, but also made good on the promise of the mission of the organization to help improve the lives of the people of the Pacific Hemisphere.

Dick was a futurist in every sense of the word. His visions were reflected in the international meetings he created and the constant innovation he brought to the development of the organization and the content of the conferences.

He was always supportive of the inclusion of innovations that improved both the Council and the conference. That legacy continues as PTC strives to follow his example to be inclusive and mindful of present needs while also encouraging and fostering the innovations that bring vitality and sustainability to an organization that represents an ever-changing set of industries.

First and foremost, however, it was the community that Dick nurtured and the networks he formed of international telecommunications professionals from government, industry, and academia that brought vitality and purpose to PTC. Dick forged numerous partnerships with other organizations, many which endure today including the IEEE, the Pacific Islands Telecommunication Association (PITA), and CommunicAsia / Singapore Exhibition Services (SES), along with several universities among others.

Dick’s legacy lives on today in the organization that bears his indelible stamp.

We will all miss Dick and are indebted for his many years of service and devotion that formed the foundation of PTC. We will forever appreciate the path he laid out for us to continue to succeed in the future.