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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)

Among these were regular Anzac-eve parties. The venue tended to change annually because the somewhat exuberant gatherings caused the proprietors to encourage us to seek another location for the following year. The Bureau Social Club organised two main functions each year—the Annual Ball and the Annual Picnic. The Annual Ball was a lively affair although somewhat more decorous than the Anzac-eve functions; no doubt because of the moderating presence of wives and girlfriends. The Annual Picnic, held at venues such as the Mt Evelyn Picnic Ground, was a family affair with races and other competitions for the children and the more active adults. The organisers, among whom Ralph Holmes was probably the hardest working, arranged that a number of orphan children would be our guests and as the picnic was held in December, they and the other children would receive gifts from a bearded, red-robed, perspiring Father Christmas played by our Bureau cleaner, 'Nap' Napier. It was thirsty work, organising and participating in races, caring for children, preparing barbecue meals, and the organising committee had the foresight to arrange that a number of barrels of cold beer would be available, 'fives' and 'niners', so a good time was had by all.

As older members of the Bureau retired and others transferred to other areas of employment there was a widespread and strong desire among people still in the Bureau not to lose contact with them. Christmas time has traditionally been an occasion for parties in the various sections of Head Office and Regional and Field Offices and some retired officers participated. A number of those with associations dating back to the earliest postwar years felt it would be agreeable to have an annual reunion with their retired colleagues so that each December or thereabouts the still-serving officers played host to their retired colleagues at restaurants such as Cacciatoria in Drummond Street.

It was from these gatherings between long-serving and retired officers that the idea of the Frosterley Club developed. It was thought that, in addition to annual gatherings, monthly luncheons would promote the continuation of long-time association. John Lillywhite's reminiscences which follow spell out in detail the circumstances of the formation of Frosterley. The name is particularly appropriate—not only does it have a meteorological connotation but it is the name of the building, which still stands at No. 2 Drummond Street, in which the Head Office of the newly-formed Bureau of Meteorology was first housed on 1 January 1908. The meteorological connotation goes further—the building was formerly the residence of a Dr. Snowball who had a medical practice for a number of years at that address.

July 1991


Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Frosterley Club

People in Bright Sparcs - Gibbs, William James (Bill); Hogan, John; Holmes, Ralph Aubrey Edward; Lillywhite, John Wilson; Snowball, 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
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