||Federation and Meteorology
Table of Contents
George Grant Bond
Register of Marks
Chapter 9 (continued)
Desirable as these new procedures undoubtedly were, it was recognised that their execution would involve considerable expense for the Weather Bureau. The small staff had no provisions for after-hours operations, except as extra unpaid duties for a few senior officers. Although the report was not implemented in full, an important section was adopted, and on the 7th May 1931, the Brisbane Bureau began issuing special Air Route forecasts at 8 pm for the following day, for the BrisbaneSydney and BrisbaneTownsville routes. The need for accuracy in these forecasts, with the Southern Cloud disaster so fresh in everyones mind, must have weighed heavily on the Divisional Meteorologist, and the additional work entailed for the already heavily burdened small staff, is obvious.
George Bond's decision to retire on his 60th birthday on the 23rd October 1934, necessitated taking out extra superannuation units, which added to his financial burden, but he realised that he was not going to be physically able to continue working beyond that point. But during the last years he carried on as usual, with the Weather Bureau playing an ever increasing role in the community. The small staff and little wooden building that in 1918 had seemed such luxury after all the years of odd rooms in a variety of Government buildings, were becoming increasingly inadequate.
March 10th 1934 brought reports from Willis Island of George Bond's very last cyclone approaching the coast near Mackay. Suddenly, as though taking a sardonic leave of the soon-to-retire Meteorologist, it changed course, throwing out carefully prepared predictions, and caused havoc at Port Douglas, Mosman and Daintree, instead. 'Cyclones', said Mr Bond disgustedly, 'are intensely capricious. Don't I know it only too well'. After 42 years of dealing with their vagaries, he did indeed.
On the 5th July 1934, the Courier Mail had a headline, 'Mr Bond Baffled'. Difficult to the end, the weather that last winter was unseasonably wet, and the cause was not apparent. 'The baffling part about these winters rains is that you cannot put your finger on the map and point to a definite depression', said Mr Bond yesterday, in discussing the weather. 'Meteorology', he said, 'is still a young and far from exact science. The Meteorological Department cannot claim any more than 85% accuracy'.
People in Bright Sparcs - Bond, George Grant
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