Page 577
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

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


Contact us

Evaluating the Service (continued)

It is a fair question to ask me why, in the light of my evident appreciation of the profession of meteorology, and of my gratitude for the intellectual stimulation that profession afforded me, I chose not to accept the more than one invitation I received in 1946 to return to meteorology. By that time I was re-established in the teaching profession, was busily providing housing for my family, and had begun an honours course in History in the evening at the University of Sydney. I very seriously considered those invitations, but perceived, I believe correctly, that my lack of mathematics and physics at the tertiary level of study would prevent me from becoming the kind of meteorologist I would want to be. My preference really was for the humanities and social sciences, in which evening university courses were available to prepare me eventually for working at the boundaries of knowledge in my chosen discipline. The academic success I did achieve, while not relevant to this account, had some of its roots in the encouragement of Doug Forder, Neil McRae, and others; and I still, more than 50 years on, estimate the height of the base of clouds and measure in my mind the transparency of the atmosphere. I have even added to my meteorological armoury knowledge of the Southern Oscillation and the El Niņo phenomenon; but I have always steadfastly refused to take any blame when 'washing day' is ruined by rain!

My chief regret is that in the almost 50 years since I have returned to civilian life, I have rarely met any of those pleasant and very effective companions of the 1940s, except two members of No 7 Forecasting Officers Course who live not far from me in the Riverina of New South Wales—E. G. Cuthbertson, who still retains his Yorkshire accent and spent many years at the Agricultural Research Institute at Wagga Wagga, and W. J. Milthorpe, who remained in the weather service for many years before returning to a family farm on the Lachlan River near Hillston.

Keith Swan

Wagga Wagga
31 March 1995

People in Bright Sparcs - Forder, Douglas Highmoor (Doug); McRae, John Neil; Swan, Keith

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