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Notes Prepared by John Hogan


I Join the Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology

H. A. Hunt (1866–1946) — First Commonwealth Meteorologist

Inigo Jones (1872–1954)

Griffith Taylor, D.SC, B.E., B.A. (1880–1963)

Edward Kidson, O.B.E., D.Sc., F. Inst. P. (1882–1939)

My Recollections of Captain Edward Kidson (R.E) O.B.E, D.Sc., F. Inst. P. (1882–1939)

Macquarie Island

Willis Island


Contact us
Willis Island (continued)

About this time the Federal Government approved the establishment of the wireless storm-warning station at Willis Island. Having got so far there appeared to be a danger of shelving the enterprise, until the Minister for Home and Territories called a meeting of interested parties in September 1921. The following attended: Secretary, Home and Territories (MacLaren), the Commonwealth Meteorologist (Hunt), the Director of Radio Services, P.M.G. (Malone) and the Director of navigation (Davis).

After lengthy discussions, no decision was reached; all agreed in principle with the enterprise, but the main point in dispute that militated against early action, was whether Willis Island would be habitable and the staff safe from inundation from ocean waters in cyclonic conditions.

On this point Davis criticised Hunt rather harshly for his lukewarm attitude in the matter of posting staff there. However it must be remembered that Hunt was haunted by the Power tragedy and was not at all sure that tragedy could not strike again.

Davis, a firm believer in the complete safety of life on the little island, pressed on with this view, arguing that if the project were postponed for twelve months, no-one would be any wiser then on this point. In order to test the doubt that some held, Davis offered to spend the first cyclone season at Willis Island himself. His offer was accepted and he was given the task of organising the whole enterprise, which he did efficiently and so expeditiously in the short time available that the station was established and the first meteorological radio message despatched on 8 November 1921. Davis spent about six months as meteorological observer and in addition during that time he surveyed and charted the island and surrounding sea in great detail.

The construction party of eleven, which had sailed with Davis on SS Innisfail from Townsville, left the island station by the same ship on 7 November 1921 for return to Townsville.

People in Bright Sparcs - Davis, John King; Hogan, John; Hunt, Henry Ambrose

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Hogan, J. 1986 'Notes Prepared by John Hogan (1896-1970)', Metarch Papers, No. 2 March 1986, Bureau of Meteorology

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