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Table of Contents

Early Years in the Bureau


My Early Years in the Bureau of Meteorology

The Formation of the Frosterley Club

Attachment A

Attachment B

Attachment C

Attachment D

Attachment E

Attachment F

Attachment G

Attachment H

Attachment I


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My Early Years in the Bureau of Meteorology: The Formation of the Frosterley Club


Some years ago I persuaded John Lillywhite to tape-record his memories of the circumstances which led to his becoming a member of the Bureau of Meteorology and his experiences in the Bureau in the prewar years.

On another occasion I persuaded him to tape-record his memories of the formation of the Frosterley Club.

For various reason these memoirs have not previously been published but the time now seems appropriate and Dr J. W. Zillman, Commonwealth Director of Meteorology, has agreed that they be published in the Metarch Papers series of Bureau publications.

In editing the tape-recordings I have done no more than remove repetitious material and make minor amendments or additions to make the memoirs more understandable to those not closely associated with the Bureau in that era.

John Wilson Lillywhite was born in Adelaide on 12 July 1914. His grandparents were born in England. His father, who taught at Unley High School for 34 years and was deputy principal for 20 years, met and married John's mother in Adelaide. John was educated at Unley and Adelaide High Schools and at Adelaide University where he graduated B.Sc in 1936. His career in the Bureau (summarised in Weather News No. 216, August 1974) included forecasting duties on aerodromes, in the Melbourne Regional Office, and during the war in the RAAF Meteorological Service from which he was discharged in 1946 with the rank of Squadron Leader. After the war he worked in the Central Analysis Section, was in charge of the Training School, and occupied positions of Regional Director, Victoria and Assistant Director (Services).

The first of these memoirs deals with the John's memories of his first two or three years in the Bureau. When he joined in July 1937 the Bureau had begun to emerge from a long period of slow development with an intake of Science graduates with major studies in mathematics and physics for a formal Bureau training course in meteorology. From the time of its creation in 1908 the Bureau had received pathetically inadequate resources from the Commonwealth bureaucracy and H. A. Hunt, the first Commonwealth Meteorologist, had great difficulty in meeting requirements for meteorological services needed by the developing nation.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Frosterley Club

People in Bright Sparcs - Gibbs, William James (Bill); Hunt, Henry Ambrose ; Lillywhite, John Wilson; Zillman, John William

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Lillywhite, J. 1992 'My Early Years in the Bureau of Meteorology: The Formation of the Frosterley Club', Metarch Papers, No. 4 February 1992, Bureau of Meteorology

© 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