Page 502
Previous/Next Page
Federation and MeteorologyBureau of Meteorology
Table of Contents

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


Contact us

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

When I started at the Bureau a time book was located just inside the main door of the old Frosterley building. We signed in there, having ten minutes latitude for late arrival. Ten minutes after starting time the book was taken upstairs to the Chief Clerk's room. We had to report to the Chief Clerk to be signed in after that. At the top of the stairway was an anemometer on your right and on your left was a room where Jack Nance, Con McGrath and Dan Hodge, the Chief Clerk, sat. I remember that Dan Hodge always addressed the junior messenger boy, aged 12, as Mr Smith. Old Dan was very correct in addressing staff.

The Commonwealth Meteorologist, H. A. Hunt occupied the Director's room. Hunt was quite a personality. He regularly played chess when he lunched at the Melbourne Club. There was a garage at the rear of the Frosterley building for the car which he owned. Hunt would arrive about 9.20 am and Fitzgerald the caretaker would have the garage door open for him. Hunt would park the car in the garage and come up to his room. The Meteorological Assistant would take the bulletin to the Director's room so that Hunt could prepare a forecast for the day.

The forecast was displayed on a flag flown from the roof of the Bureau and flags flown in other parts of the city. The only means of communicating the forecast to the general public was by flying the flags or publishing the forecast in newspapers. Radio broadcasting was in its infancy. 3LO had opened in 1924. I cannot remember whether the weather information was broadcast by radio in those early years.

The weather forecast flags were still flying in 1929 from the roof of the Bureau, on top of the General Post Office and at Williamstown. The pattern on the flags indicated the type of weather expected.

We Met Assistants took the bulletin to Hunt's room before 10 am, the time the forecast was issued. Hunt made the forecast solely on information in the bulletin; no weather chart, only the bulletin. His forecast would be brief—fine; showers later, or something like that. I discovered that you daren't go to his room without the report from Hamilton in western Victoria being in the Bulletin. Hamilton was his key for the forecast. If the report from Hamilton was not in the bulletin he would send you back to get it. Hamilton was the main ingredient in his forecast.

People in Bright Sparcs - Cornish, Allan William; Hunt, Henry Ambrose

Previous Page Bureau of Meteorology Next Page

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
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher