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Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology


Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology 1929–1946 by Allan Cornish
Chapter 1: My Early Days in the Bureau
Chapter 2: Some New Vistas
Chapter 3: The RAAF Measures Upper Air Temperatures
Chapter 4: The Bureau Begins to Grow
Chapter 5: My Voyage in Discovery II
Chapter 6: The Birth of the Instrument Section
Chapter 7: Darwin Days
Chapter 8: I Leave the Bureau

History of Major Meteorological Installation in Australia from 1945 to 1981 by Reg Stout

Four Years in the RAAF Meteorological Service by Keith Swan

The Bureau of Meteorology in Papua New Guinea in the 1950s by Col Glendinning


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Chapter 1: My Early Days in the Bureau (continued)

The bulletins were written with a special ink. It was filthy stuff. There was a tray of gelatine outside the despatch room. The page on which the bulletin was written was spread over the tray of gelatine and left there for about 10 minutes. The bulletin was then removed leaving the ink embedded in the gelatine. A blank bulletin form was then placed on the gelatine tray thus transferring the data from the bulletin onto the blank form. When this form was removed ink remained on the gelatine enabling 60 or 70 copies to be produced. Messenger boys would then get on their bikes and deliver the copies of the bulletins to various subscribers.

Copies of bulletins were also attached to noticeboards in General Post Offices for the information of the general public.

Those engaged in the preparation of bulletins worked six days a week, Monday to Saturday. I felt disillusioned because there were a number of Meteorological Assistants senior to me, including Tregenza, Nance and a few others. Being the most recently recruited we three copped all the lower paid holidays. Some days were paid double-time and some weren't. I still remember working Cup Day which was double-time. When the fortnightly pay day came I thought I would get two lots of pay but I received only one extra day's. I remember complaining to Con McGrath who was the accountant in those days. I said 'I don't like this'. He explained that we were paid for Cup Day on our annual salary, and that with an extra day's pay we were receiving double-time. I could never quite see the logic of that. If we worked on Sunday we received two days' extra pay because our annual salary did not cover work on Sunday.

Good Friday and Christmas Day were also special days. We received two days' extra pay if we worked on those days.

When I first joined the Bureau I worked for Jack Hogan (1896–1970). This was my first job.

In retrospect I think we three Meteorological Assistants were very lucky because we were appointed during a period of severe economic depression. We three were the last permanent appointments to the Public Service for some years.

People in Bright Sparcs - Cornish, Allan William; Hogan, John

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Cornish, A., Stout, R., Swan, K and Glendinning, C. 1996 'Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology', Metarch Papers, No. 8 February 1996, Bureau of Meteorology

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