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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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Introduction (continued)

John Hogan's memoirs (in Bureau of Meteorology Metarch Paper No. 3,1986) give an insight into the personalities in the Bureau and their difficulties between 1915 and 1936. During this period professionals in the Bureau required no formal academic qualification and gained their knowledge of the infant science of meteorology from on-the-job training by senior staff and by reading the few available texts on the subject. Some of the senior staff had relevant formal academic qualifications and Hunt, Taylor, Quayle, Kidson and Barkley made important contributions to the knowledge of Australian meteorology.

The 1937 training course for meteorologists was a significant turning point in Bureau development brought about by an awareness of the importance of meteorological services for aviation and defence.

The second of the memoirs describes the formation in 1976 of the Frosterley Club, whose members were long-serving members of Bureau of Meteorology staff many of whom had been in uniform in the RAAF Meteorological Service which had been formed during World War II and disbanded in 1946 after the war's end.

John's memoir raises speculation why there was such an enthusiastic response to the proposal for the formation of the Club.

One possible explanation is the participation of many Bureau employees in the great wars of 1914–18 and 1939–45. Active war service tends to produce distinctive attitudes to life. Postwar disillusion with rapidly-changing public attitudes tends to contribute to the development of close ties between ex-servicemen. The considerable number of young men who joined the Bureau in the late 1930s and the 1940s were intrigued by a number of their older colleagues who had served in the 1914–18 war. They were somewhat colourful characters—E. W. Timcke, Tommy Camm, Arthur White, Con McGrath, H. E. Banfield, to mention a few. The fact that a second world war was imminent produced a certain devil-may-care attitude among the trainees who were aware they may soon be serving as meteorologists in war theatres. Many did become involved in hazardous situations in tropical areas—Alan Martin, Bryan Rofe, Neil McRae, Keith Hannay and Ralph Holmes are examples—so that with the cessation of hostilities in 1945 those who returned to service in the Bureau carried with them memories of wartime camaraderie. The strong social bonds which developed led to the organisation of many shared leisure-time activities.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Frosterley Club

People in Bright Sparcs - Banfield, Henry Evans; Gibbs, William James (Bill); Hannay, Alexander Keith (Keith); Hogan, John; Holmes, Ralph Aubrey Edward; Hunt, Henry Ambrose ; Kidson, Edward; Lillywhite, John Wilson; McRae, John Neil; Quayle, Edwin Thomas; Rofe, Bryan; Taylor, Thomas Griffith; Timcke, Edward Waldemar; White, Arthur Charles

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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
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