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Vale Chris Korgemets

Chris Korgemets, BACS systems analyst and programmer, passed away on New Year’s Day 2020 after a six-year battle with cancer. Having been part of BACS for 33 of the company’s 38 years, his absence is being felt by everyone at BACS who considered him not only a colleague but also a friend.

Chris 1999 Chris Korgemets 1999
Chris 2017 Chris Korgemets 2017

His time at BACS began in 1986, when the company was using a PC-based accounting software package developed in New Zealand called CBA. BACS owner Bob Allan had a desire to integrate the service scheduling process into the program, something previously done manually using a card system. Since no off-the-shelf application existed, he contacted several DataFlex programmers to explore developing it, one of whom was Chris.

Chris 2009 Chris Korgemets 2002
Chris celebrates 66th birthday Chris Korgemets 66th birthday

Originally from Estonia, Chris obtained a degree in Business Administration (Data Processing) in Canada and was a systems analyst and project leader prior to coming to Australia in 1972. He worked for Ampol Petroleum, Australian Guarantee Corporation and General Electric before he started programming for BACS. The BACS operations system (OPS) he helped design and build from scratch is a service scheduling and billing system with extensive capability to store customer information and communicate with customers and service staff via the internet and a mobile app. OPS continues to run our daily business today.

Over the years, Chris dedicated himself to optimising what he had created with skill, passion and dedication. Anna Parisi, BACS National Scheduling Coordinator, worked closely with Chris for over 20 years and recalls “Chris never once said no, I can’t help you. He was always available to work through any issues and remained contactable, regardless of where he was.”

Chris K at BACS Christmas party 2009
Chris K at BACS Christmas Party 2009

 

Chris, along with his partner Michele, split his time between homes in Sydney, Tasmania and France. An avid photographer, many of Chris’ images were exhibited in art shows, published in newspapers, and purchased by local collectors. Chris was also an amateur cinematographer and long-standing member of the Northside Camcorder Club. Colleagues remember how he continued to rent DVDs from his local Blockbuster store until it eventually closed. He was the person who documented all the BACS social functions for the past three decades and will be deeply missed at the next one.

Chris K at BACS Christmas lunch 2013
Chris K at BACS Christmas Party 2013