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Table of Contents

Seventy-Five Years at Willis Island



Chapter 1: Willis Island Today

Chapter 2: Willis Island is Conceived

Chapter 3: Willis Island is Born

Chapter 4: The Early Years

Chapter 5: Life in the 1930s

Chapter 6: Willis Island at War (1941–42)

Chapter 7: After the War

Chapter 8: Willis Island—1960s Style

Chapter 9: The Value of Willis Island

Chapter 10: The Original Inhabitants

Appendix 1: Willis Island Milestones

Appendix 2: Willis Island Officers

Appendix 3: Log of Willis Island Observations, December 1922

Appendix 4: References


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Preface (continued)

Peter joined the Bureau of Meteorology as a Technical Officer in 1970 and has served at Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns, Mt Isa and Williamtown in a variety of positions. He was married in Cairns in 1974, and he and his wife Mary have two children, Susan and William.

Although Peter has not visited Willis Island, he has developed a keen interest in its observations from the time he served in the Tropical Cyclone Section of the Bureau's Regional Office in Brisbane. As a member of the Queensland Field Station Management Committee he has collected reminiscences of some of the inhabitants of Willis Island.

Many years ago I visited Willis Island with the then Regional Director, Queensland, Arch Shields. I remember seeing a journal of former residents dating back many years and now wonder if that is still maintained on the Island. Among the residents of the island listed in Appendix 2 of this issue of Metarch Papers, I have known J. K. Davis, John Hogan (1896–1970), Les Nelson, Leo Day, Joe Radich, Walter Dwyer, Jack Sammons and Paul Ruckert.

Metarch Papers No. 2, in part, contains the account of the term served on Willis Island by Jack Hogan (1896–1970) and should be read in conjunction with this Metarch Paper. Paul Ruckert's reminiscences form Chapter 7 of this Metarch Paper.

There are many stories to be told of life on remote Bureau observing stations. Perhaps this issue of Metarch Papers will prompt other present or former members of the Bureau to write further about life in these remote locations.

W. J. Gibbs

October 1996

People in Bright Sparcs - Davis, John King; Dwyer, Walter Anthony; Gibbs, William James (Bill); Hogan, John; Shields, Archibald John

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Fletcher, P. 1996 'Seventy-Five Years at Willis Island', Metarch Papers, No. 9 December 1996, Bureau of Meteorology

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