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Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology


Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology 1929–1946 by Allan Cornish

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

Four Years in the RAAF Meteorological Service by Keith Swan
Enlistment in the RAAF, July 1941
Meteorological Observer Training, January-April 1942
Meteorological Observer, May-December 1942
Learning to Forecast, January-July 1943
Forecasting in Victoria, July-October 1943
Tropical Forecasting in New Guinea, October 1943-February 1945
Temperate East Coast Forecasting, February 1945-January 1946
Evaluating the Service

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


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Four Years in the RAAF Meteorological Service by Keith Swan


Keith Swan was born in Sydney in 1916 and received his primary education in various towns in the State where his father was headmaster of a number of primary schools. Keith was the eldest of the four sons of George and Lilian Swan, both of whom were schoolteachers.

Keith's paternal grandfather, John Swan, was a builder who emigrated from the village of Orwell, near Cambridge in England in 1879. In the early 1880s he married Agnes Brown who was born near Lake Bolac in Victoria, the youngest of 11 children of Scottish 'bounty immigrants' who arrived in Australia in 1838. Keith's father, George, was born in Corowa, New South Wales, in 1887.

Keith's maternal great-grandfather, John Green, came to New South Wales in the early 1850s and taught in Anglican denominational schools in the Hunter Valley. John Parsons Green, Keith's maternal grandfather, was also a teacher when the denominational schools had been replaced by government schools. Keith's mother, Lilian Green, was also a teacher in New South Wales State schools.

Keith's first wife, Jean Varcoe, came from a farming and grazing family in the Hay-Hillston area of New South Wales. They had three sons and two daughters. Keith's second wife, Vera, is a university librarian who migrated with her parents from England in 1948. They have two sons.

Keith received his secondary education at Armidale High School and attended Armidale Teachers College in 1934 and 1935. He taught in various primary schools before enlisting in the RAAF in July 1941.

People in Bright Sparcs - Swan, Keith

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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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