Page 883
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 Western Australian Divisional Office (continued)

That grandfather married an immigrant Irish lass but died at the early age of 39 when Gerry's father was only three. Family circumstances were such that Gerry's father left school at 13 to take a job in the Government audit office, where he was employed until aged 50. He married a lass whose English family had migrated from Victoria to Coolgardie, where her father leased a hotel and became mayor of the town; later he moved to Perth where he leased the Palace Hotel.

At 50, Gerry's father was asked by the Premier of Western Australia to become manager of the State Charities Commission. He continued in that position until his death at 60.

Although the economic depression continued, Gerry was lucky enough to be one of the applicants to find employment in one of six clerical positions advertised by the Postmaster General (PMG)'s Department. He was given responsibility for producing the Perth telephone directory, a position which no doubt inspired the attention to detail he later exhibited.

After six years with the PMG's Department, Gerry heard that the Bureau was seeking young people with a good secondary education. Following an interview by Divisional Meteorologist Akeroyd, he was promoted to the position of meteorological assistant in 1940. Another successful applicant was Colin Ramm, who did not continue with the Bureau because Professor Ross persuaded him to undertake other work related to the war effort. Colin later became Professor of Nuclear Physics at an European university and still later was Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Melbourne.

When the RAAF Meteorological Service was created in April 1941, Gerry, like the majority of male staff, donned RAAF uniform. He was transferred to Melbourne to take a forecasters' course under L. J. Dwyer before being posted to Parafield Elementary Flying Training School in Adelaide. When not forecasting he persuaded instructors to teach him to fly a Tiger Moth (DH82), using a typical O'Mahony persuasive argument that he could better teach meteorology if he knew more about flying.

Towards the end of 1942, after a brief time at Pearce (Perth), he was posted to Headquarters North-west Area where he served under a succession of Area Meteorological Officers, George Mackey, Henry Banfield, John Lillywhite and Keith Hannay. During this 16 months Gerry's whimsical humour, which emerged during his briefing of senior RAAF officers of NW Area, was apparently appreciated for he was persuaded to fly in Liberators (B-24s) of the 319 USAAC on lengthy operational missions over enemy-held territory in March 1943 and with the US Heavy Bombardment Group in July of that year.

People in Bright Sparcs - Akeroyd, Arthur Gordon; Banfield, Henry Evans; Dwyer, Leonard Joseph; Hannay, Alexander Keith (Keith); Lillywhite, John Wilson; O'Mahony, Gerard (Gerry); 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