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Table of Contents

Memories of the Bureau, 1946 to 1962





Chapter 1: The Warren Years, 1946 to 1950
Warren the Man
Warren Joins the Bureau
Wartime Perceptions and Attitudes
Return to Civvy Street
People in the Bureau
Re-establishing and Reorganising the Bureau
Reorganisation of Central Office
The Position of Chief Scientific Officer
Post-War Reorganisation
The Haldane Story
Public Weather Services
The New South Wales Divisional Office
The Victorian Divisional Office
The Queensland Divisional Office
The South Australian Divisional Office
The Western Australian Divisional Office
The Tasmanian Divisional Office
Pre-war Services for Civil Aviation
Post-War Meteorological Service for Aviation
Indian Ocean Survey Flight
The Aviation Field Staff
Synoptic Analysis, Prognosis and Forecasting
Antarctic and Southern Ocean Meteorology
A Wider Scientific Horizon
Research, Development and Special Investigations
Analysts' Conference, April 1950
Instruments and Observations
Radar Winds and Radar Weather Watch
Climate and Statistics
The Universities
Achievements of the Warren Years

Chapter 2: International Meteorology

Chapter 3: The Timcke Years, 1950 to 1955

Chapter 4: A Year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Chapter 5: The Dwyer Years, 1955 to 1962

Chapter 6: A Springboard for the Future

Appendix 1: References

Appendix 2: Reports, Papers, Manuscripts

Appendix 3: Milestones

Appendix 4: Acknowledgements

Appendix 5: Summary by H. N. Warren of the Operation of the Meteorological Section of Allied Air Headquarters, Brisbane, 1942–45



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People in the Bureau (continued)

Looking for a job after demobilisation, Trevor was persuaded to join the Bureau by his half-brother, Alan Walker, who had joined the RAAF Meteorological Service during the war and remained with the Bureau on demobilisation.

With the intake of mature young men like Col, Ray and Trevor, Warren had a firm base on which to plan the future of the Bureau.

The remarkable feature of Bureau staff in 1946 was their cohesiveness, their sense of adventure and their maturity. These attributes were undoubtedly a product of experiences in the war years.

Another characteristic was the social contact they had out of office hours. In Central Office a social club was formed soon after the war, with Ralph Holmes, my OIC in RAAF Command days, playing a prominent role in its creation and in the organisation of many social occasions. Ralph also arranged end of year parties, attended by a large number of staff, which often became boisterous affairs with copious quantities of beer being consumed.

But Ralph remembered the families of staff and each year wives and children were invited to a Christmas Party where Napier, one of the Bureau's cleaning staff, acted as Father Christmas complete with robe, hood, whiskers and a bag of goodies. Ralph's inspiration was to invite each year some children from an orphanage to share in the festivities.

Other functions arranged each year by the social club were the annual ball, the annual picnic and the ANZAC-eve reunion. The ball was a very formal affair with wives and girl-friends dressed in long evening gowns and fellows in dinner suits. The picnic, usually held at Mount Evelyn, had races for men, women and children and an adequate supply of beer. The ANZAC-eve function was a social gathering for Bureau ex-servicemen, usually held in a rented hall with a supply of firkins (five gallon kegs) of beer.

Weather Bureau Ball

Figure 5 Bureau employees and wives at a Weather Bureau Ball soon after the war. Left to right Frank and Margret Hannan, Sarsha and Allen Bath, Audrey and Bill Gibbs. The Ball was one of the many regular gatherings organised by the Bureau's Social Committee.


Figure 6 Another of the many reunions organised by the Bureau's Social Committee in the early post-war years. Aub Gotley, Barney Newman and Keith Hannay are the three (left to right) on the left in the front row. Des Halsted, Steve Lloyd, Bill Gibbs are the three (left to right) on the right in the back row. Bruce Kell is in front of Steve and Bill.

Those participating in social club activities came from all sections of Bureau staff located in Melbourne, at Central Office and field offices at Essendon and Laverton aerodromes, and included administrative, clerical, professional and sub-professional staff. H. N. Warren and his wife usually attended the annual ball and his Christmas speech was usually punctuated with humorous, but never offensive, interjections.

People in Bright Sparcs - Holmes, Ralph Aubrey Edward; Warren, Herbert Norman

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Gibbs, W. J. 1999 'A Very Special Family: Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology 1946 to 1962', Metarch Papers, No. 13 May 1999, Bureau of Meteorology

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