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Table of Contents

George Grant Bond



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10


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Chapter 7 (continued)

On receipt of a message at the Brisbane Telegraph Office, an official would telephone it immediately to the Weather Office or the Divisional Meteorologist's home, after hours, at any time of day or night. In the same press report, Mr Bond spoke in eulogistic terms of the assistance he had received from the Electric Telegraph Department. One wonders if the citizens of Brisbane, worrying about their flood, ever spared a thought for all the people who were monitoring it for them—the country Post Mistress rapping out the morse code flood messages through the night, the policemen sallying forth in the pouring rain as often as the situation required, to read the river gauges, and Mr Bond, or perhaps his reliable deputy, Mr Hartshorn, receiving the messages throughout the night, and plotting them to derive an estimation of the height that the flood would reach in Ipswich and Brisbane.

It was a stressful period for George Bond. Three new babies had arrived at home in the years 1912 to 1915, those years when demands for better weather services were growing, especially in the summer seasons of cyclone and flood. The war was, of course, first priority for Government planning and spending, and while increasing demands were made on the Weather Service, no additions were made to the staff. Each improvement to the system, desirable as it was, nevertheless meant extra work—more reports coming in to be plotted on the charts, more warnings to be prepared and sent, and in time of cyclone and flood, an almost unbearable burden of night watches for the senior staff of two or three people, who must carry the daytime responsibility between them as well. And always for the Chief, there were the added pressures of vital decisions, and 'the copping of the flak' when predictions proved inaccurate or warnings tardy.

After the 1918 cyclone which caused havoc in Mackay, the press again expressed criticism of the Bureau for inadequate warning, and George Bond explained yet again, 'It must be borne in mind that absolutely no information as to the state of atmospheric pressure over the ocean outside the Barrier Reef, is ever available on a regular basis (occasionally reports were received from passing ships) and it is therefore impossible to estimate the intensity of the tropical disturbance which is known to be approaching'.[10] Mr Hunt, in Melbourne, defended his Brisbane Office from the criticism of Captains of the two ships Wyreema and Hopewell of lack of warning of the same cyclone. 'With regard to this storm, all warning that was possible, was given'.[11]

People in Bright Sparcs - Bond, George Grant; Hunt, Henry Ambrose

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Spinks, D. and Haynes, I. 1986 'The Life of George Grant Bond Early Queensland Weather Forecaster', Metarch Papers, No. 3 October 1986, Bureau of Meteorology

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