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Table of Contents

Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology


Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology 1929–1946 by Allan Cornish
Chapter 1: My Early Days in the Bureau
Chapter 2: Some New Vistas
Chapter 3: The RAAF Measures Upper Air Temperatures
Chapter 4: The Bureau Begins to Grow
Chapter 5: My Voyage in Discovery II
Chapter 6: The Birth of the Instrument Section
Chapter 7: Darwin Days
Chapter 8: I Leave the Bureau

History of Major Meteorological Installation in Australia from 1945 to 1981 by Reg Stout

Four Years in the RAAF Meteorological Service by Keith Swan

The Bureau of Meteorology in Papua New Guinea in the 1950s by Col Glendinning


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Foreword (continued)

The armistice ending World War I was signed on Allan's eighth birthday. At that time the family had left the farm and was living in Brunswick. In those days there were no radio broadcasts so news was gathered from newspapers or word of mouth. There was only one telephone in the street in which his family lived. It was quite a long street—about half a mile in length. Allan recalled that Mrs Allan, the owner of that only telephone in the street, came running down the street at about half past eight on that particular evening, calling out 'it's over, it's over'. He was allowed out of bed to join in the celebrations. A special edition of the newspaper, which was printed to commemorate the end of the war, appeared on the streets about midnight.

In those days the Melbourne newspapers were The Herald, The Age and The Argus. The Argus was a morning paper and was right-wing. The Age was left-wing.

Allan recalled with surprise the extent to which newspapers influenced the political views of people in those days. His father was an extreme right-wing anti-unionist and read The Argus. His father's morning routine was to collect The Argus from the front verandah as soon as he got out of bed, and first read the Births, Deaths and Marriages column which was on the front page along with other public notices and classified advertisements.

Later, when Allan was about 10 or 11 The Argus became a tabloid. His father was disturbed to see that the Births, Deaths and Marriages notices were no longer on the front page and became so annoyed that he said to Allan's mother 'cancel the order for The Argus and get The Age as from tomorrow'. The front page of The Age was filled with columns of advertisements.

After twelve months reading The Age, Allan's father, a highly intelligent man, switched from his extreme right-wing position and became very tolerant of Labor politics.

In 1916 Allan's mother contracted pneumonia. In those days pneumonia was often fatal. She was taken to a hospital in Melbourne and Allan was sent to live with his grandmother on a potato farm near Daylesford. He was an only child. There were three generations at the farmhouse in which six of Allan's uncles and three of his aunts lived. Allan attended school there for about two years.

People in Bright Sparcs - Cornish, Allan William

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Cornish, A., Stout, R., Swan, K and Glendinning, C. 1996 'Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology', Metarch Papers, No. 8 February 1996, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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