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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 (continued)

In those days the library was downstairs on the ground floor, probably an offshoot of the Statistical Section. The librarian was a Mr McDonald, a queer old bachelor of 60 or more and a believer of astrology. He had predicted 2000 deaths in strange circumstances for the previous Friday, but nothing came of it. He used to cast his own horoscopes and choose signing-on time each day to accord with his most favourable circumstances. He used to stand by the attendance book so he could sign on at exactly the right moment.

I occupied Cornish's desk in Mr Treloar's room for about six weeks or so. There was a fourth desk, a rather smaller one, which was occupied by a very charming young arts graduate from Melbourne University who had been engaged to translate some German books in particular when Dr Fritz Loewe had arrived a couple of months previously. This was Miss Genevieve Carey whom I got to know very well indeed. She later succeeded old MacDonald as Librarian. Miss Carey and I did not address each other by Christian names but had interesting discussions on the meaning of words, the English language, and any other interesting subject under the sun.

I didn't see much of the people on the ground floor in the Statistics Section or even those in the weather room in those days. It was a time of many retirements from and transfers within the Bureau, not only in the Aviation Section for people like Walter Dwyer. The two divisional meteorologists in Perth and Brisbane had just retired, Curlewis in Perth and George Bond in Brisbane. From the staff in Melbourne, Ackeroyd had been selected to go to Perth and Richards to go to Brisbane. Graduates of the June Forecasters' Course had gone out as OICs of the aerodrome offices in various places, including Arthur White and Jack Nance. Chester Coombes, who was somewhat older than the others, had gone to Hobart to relieve the then divisional Meteorologist Mr J. C. Foley, who did not come to Melbourne until 1938. Land had gone to Archfleld Aerodrome in Brisbane, Ray Wyatt had returned to Adelaide but was scheduled to go to Mayfield in Perth. Ralph Holmes, younger than the others, had returned temporarily to the Perth Divisional Office. Con McGrath remained in Melbourne and Tregenza had gone to share the duties at Western Junction near Launceston with Alf Rose. Deering and Day were still in Melbourne awaiting proper accommodation or completing their affairs. Alf Rose was a bumptious little fellow, Deering very pleasant but somewhat self-effacing. I only met Leo Day once or twice. He was going to Canberra and had a farewell party at the same time as Ackeroyd and Richards. Others I have not yet mentioned were Hutchinson, originally from Adelaide, where he had been one of the blue-bloods and had gone to Townsville, and Shinkfleld who was to be my boss at Parafield in a few months time. He had been Assistant Meteorologist in Adelaide under Bromley the Divisional Meteorologist.

People in Bright Sparcs - Bond, George Grant; Curlewis, Harold Burnham; Dwyer, Walter Anthony; Foley, James Charles; Holmes, Ralph Aubrey Edward; Lillywhite, John Wilson; Loewe, Fritz; Richards, Alfred Stanley (Stan); Treloar, Harry Mayne; 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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