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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 2: Some New Vistas (continued)

The University of Melbourne was preoccupied with economic geography because a pastoralist named Ritchie in Western Victoria had provided the finance for the creation of a Research Associate Professorship in the Economics School. Barkley had close associations with that school and developed a keen interest in the aspects of their work which had meteorological implications.

Barkley's title was Assistant Director Research and the Assistant Meteorologists in his section were Timcke, Treloar and Jack Hogan (1896–1970), with Meteorological Assistants Cornish and Tregenza. The Research Section did little work on the physics and dynamics of the atmosphere.

Treloar was interested in those aspects and told me one day that if the mathematical equations of the dynamics of the atmosphere were known and if there were sufficient observations of the state of the atmosphere it would be possible to construct tomorrow's weather chart. He added that it might take three years to finish the computations. So Treloar anticipated numerical prediction in meteorology. He may have learnt of Richardson's work in England.

Treloar used to sit in a corner of the room he shared with other staff and study such subjects. He had a science degree from the University of Adelaide at that time.

His brothers ran a legal firm and with the idea that he might join the firm one day he mentioned that he contemplated working to gain a law degree. I asked him whether he had studied Latin, which was a prerequisite for law students in those days. He replied that he was studying at night to gain that necessary qualification. He achieved his ambition by obtaining LLB by part-time study.

Although a small man, Treloar was a good athlete, playing as rover for the Torrens Australian Rules football club in Adelaide, playing cricket as wicket-keeper and playing a great deal of tennis in later life.

Treloar was unconventional in many ways. He called tenders in the local newspaper at Camberwell inviting tenders for medical services to his family. Twenty medical practitioners responded and he signed a contract with one to attend to any member of his family for any illness in the coming year.

People in Bright Sparcs - Cornish, Allan William; Hogan, John; Hunt, Henry Ambrose ; Timcke, Edward Waldemar; Treloar, Harry Mayne

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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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