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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 10

A family photo of George Bond taken a few years before his retirement shows him as a frail ageing man. His four children had not all finished their education, and he felt the financial necessity of remaining in office until he reached retirement age. That he was able to do so, was probably due to his stable and supportive home life.

He had been fortunate—or discerning enough—to acquire a wife who gave him unswerving devotion, and had been happy to give to her role as homemaker, her full and undivided attention, and to defer to him as head of the household. Whether this in all aspects was a desirable state of affairs for Milly is certainly questionable, and her earlier life was in fact, a very poor preparation for the forty years of widowhood which followed her husband's death. But for George, stressful days were followed by a return to a well-ordered household, and a wife always ready to listen to his troubles and to cosset his often frail health. Both George and Milly were products of their time and upbringing, and their lives up to the time of their marriage had prepared each for these future domestic roles which fitted so neatly together.


We took Father's extra work very much for granted. His invariable habit, as soon as dinner was over, was to lie on the sofa for a nap, while Mother and the girls washed up, and the boys went about their own affairs. (The sexes always played their traditional roles in our household.) But at 8.30 pm. Father would repair to his study to receive the coded weather reports from all over Queensland. 'Able, Victor, Charley', we would hear him repeat. If cyclone or flood threatened, the phone rang constantly, and the work session went on into the night. But I gave it little thought. It was just part of 'Father's work'. In fact, it is only now, after doing this research, that I realised just how hard my father did work, and the stresses that were placed on a conscientious man, intent on doing his job well. On the more desperate occasions of cyclone and flood, Father stayed all night at the Office, where a folding stretcher-bed was provided for such emergencies.



The well-earned and eagerly awaited years of retirement were all too brief. George Bond's love of reading had been one of the luxuries he had denied himself, as the busy years sped by, and this was one of the leisurely pursuits he hoped to indulge in, with no disturbing thoughts of cyclone or flood. But just at this time, his second son, who had taken up some land near Chinchilla when the Depression of the 30s had closed other avenues of completion of his studies at the Brisbane Grammar School, was in need of help, and it was decided to sell the house at Enoggera, and to move up there. But houses in the mid 30s were hard to sell, and in desperation the house was let. The two years at Chinchilla were a complete change, and although he did not undertake any of the strenuous work, the frustrations of trying to establish a dairy farm in years of drought were hard to bear. The property was sold, and our mother and father returned to Brisbane to live in the old home, 'Oxnead'. It was there that George Bond enjoyed briefly the leisurely life, with time at last to relax, to listen to music and occasionally to drive into the country.

Our parents had spent their honeymoon in 1911 at the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, and had always hoped to return there. So they decided they would make the journey by train. And it was at Katoomba, reliving the happy memories of 27 years before, that George Bond died suddenly of a heart attack in October 1938.

It was sad that he died so far from home, but the quiet little service in Sydney, attended by his wife, three of his children and his sister Elizabeth, would have been all that he desired.

Our mother lived on to enjoy an active and useful life, for another 39 years, dying in 1977 at the age of 93.

People in Bright Sparcs - Bond, George Grant

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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

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