Page 877
Previous/Next Page
Federation and MeteorologyBureau of Meteorology
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



Contact us

The New South Wales Divisional Office

The NSW Divisional Office had one of the longest histories because it succeeded the meteorological section which had been established in the NSW astronomical observatory in 1859. Gibbs (1996) has described the ensuing heady days when H. C. Russell as Government Astronomer developed the meteorological office.

John Hogan (1896–1970) was promoted to the position of Deputy Director (NSW) in 1948 to succeed David Mares, who had occupied the position of Divisional Meteorologist for about 30 years and had retired in March 1945. The title Deputy Director replaced that of Divisional Meteorologist in Warren's post-war reorganisation of the Bureau.

Between the retirement of David Mares and the appointment of John Hogan (1896–1970), B. W. Newman acted as Divisional Meteorologist/Deputy Director, Sydney with G. W. Mackey as his principal assistant.

Hogan, Newman and Mackey were all long-serving members of the Bureau and all had science degrees, mainly gained from part-time university study over a period of many years. All had learnt their meteorology from textbooks and from Bureau people like Kidson and Barkley.

Keith Hannay and Jack Wiesner, former high school teachers with more recent science degrees, were some of the younger generation of meteorologists who had begun their meteorological education in the Bureau's Training School and who joined the Sydney Divisional Office shortly after demobilisation from the RAAF Meteorological Service. They brought a more modern approach to the provision of public weather services.

Jack developed a special interest in the problem of flood forecasting and may be considered one of the first to attempt to develop a specialised system for predicting the degree of inundation of flood plains. Keith Hannay developed a special interest in the effect of weather on the outbreak and spread of bushfires, working with Harry Luke of the NSW Forestry Department.

This focus on flood and bushfire warning raised the question of Commonwealth/State responsibilities. The States had all taken a role in civil defence, originally during the war. After the war this extended to protection of the civil population from floods and bushfires.

The news media were much keener to present weather information than they had been pre-war. Weather forecasts had been the butt of ridicule by some of the general public but as the newspapers and Government and commercial radio stations competed in presenting weather forecasts, the public took a greater interest in the information provided by Divisional Offices. Special forecasts were sought for broadcast to the general public. Newspapers had been the main source of weather information before the war but, now, radio stations sought to supply more up-to-date information.

People in Bright Sparcs - Hannay, Alexander Keith (Keith); Hogan, John; Kidson, Edward; Mackey, George William; Mares, David John; Newman, Bernard William (Bernie); Russell, Henry Chamberlain; Warren, Herbert Norman

Previous Page Bureau of Meteorology Next Page

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
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher