||Federation and Meteorology
Table of Contents
ObituaryMr. L. J. Dwyer
Obituary: Mr. H. M. Treloar
James Charles Foley
Herb Whittingham Dies
Vale Fritz Loewe
Death of H. E. Banfield
Former RD Passes On [Pat Ryan]
Arthur Muffatti Dies
Mr E. W. Timcke
Sudden Death of Ross Maine
Ross MaineAn Appreciation
Dr Patrick Squires (19141990)
Bill Brann'Architect of the Observing System'
Vale Arch Shields
Dr John Farrands
Vale David Kupsch: A Death in the Family
Observers and Volunteers
Vale Fritz LoeweNo. 212 April 1974, Item 2579
"My time of wandering to unknown shores is over, intellectually as well as bodilv. What is left are memories, some still clear and heart warming, some already dissolving into blurred impressions and vague emotions. But I was happy in my time to have seen, understood and felt some of the wonders of earth and sky, and I take with me into the years that are left, a remembrance of the great and the good I have been privileged to see and know. . ."
Those words were spoken almost 14 years ago by Dr Fritz Loewe when he gave his retirement address at Melbourne University. Yet for the unassuming German-born scientist who breathed life into the study of meteorology and who taught so many of Australia's most Prominent met. men, it was far from the end of his travels or his work. That end came quietly and quickly on a cool Wednesday night late last month, appropriately enough after a full day's work at the doctor's beloved university.
To most people who knew him in Australia, it was Dr Loewe's connection with the Melbourne campus and in particular its department of meteorology that first came to mind. Yet even before he first set foot in Australia 37 years ago, he had reached out to explore a dimension few other men have had the courage to facethe polar regions, where "the small fiery ball of the sun shines from a dark blue sky and the rime crystals on the snow surface sparkle like millions of diamonds". Indeed, it was singularly appropriate that on the Friday following his death, the 79-year-old doctor was to have addressed Melbourne University's mountaineering club. The title of that address, "Sixty-five Years With Ice", captures a measure of one man's determination and devotion to his science.
Fritz Loewe was born in Berlin in 1895, the son of a Jewish judge. As a young man, he followed the fashionable an rather debonair trend of wanting to be a pilot, but his eyesight failed him and he had to be content with sitting in the rear cockpit, taking the measurements and readings that were to be such a passion of his life.
At the age of 18 he first became enamoured of ice and snow when he spent six months studying in France. He decided geography and physics would provide best for his interest in the elements and his judgement was vindicated in 1924 when he gained his doctorate in these two subjects, despite the intervention of World War I and four years as a radio operator with an artillery unit.
In 1925 he met his wife-to-be, Else, also a geography student. They were married two years later and in 1933 and 1934 Else gave birth to daughters Ruth and Susanne. Both now are married and living in the United States, while Mrs. Loewe is living in the Balwyn (Melbourne) home that was the base for so many of the Loewes' later adventures and trips. She is 72, intensely proud of her late husband's work, determined that she will not move again, and grateful for the respect shown her husband by colleagues and past students.
People in Bright Sparcs - Loewe, Fritz
© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher