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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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CSIRO (continued)

As Gardner points out (p 16), while on a visit to England in March 1946 to attend various meetings. Warren met and had discussions with the newly appointed head of the CSIR's Section of Meteorological Physics and assured him of all possible assistance when the new Section was located at Aspendale, near Melbourne. It was inevitable that Warren and Priestley would become competitive. Priestley wanted a share of the Australian resources of manpower and finance. Warren was attempting to rebuild a new Bureau.

Bill Priestley's section of CSIR was established in Aspendale in 1947 with Bill Swinbank, Len Deacon and Andrjez Berson on his staff, all former colleagues from the UK Meteorological Office and all, like Bill, first rate scientists with significant research accomplishments.

They obviously suffered from a culture shock as the Australian culture had vastly different attitudes from those prevailing in England. The scientific meteorological aura of the Royal Society and the Royal Meteorological Society was not evident in Australia.

The Bureau's urgent activities in obtaining the manpower and materials to meet requirements for meteorological services were in sharp contrast with the leisurely long-range objectives of CSIR's Section of Meteorological Physics.

Nevertheless, as described in earlier paragraphs there was communication between the Research Section of the Bureau and Bill Priestley and other staff of the CSIR at Aspendale. They were working on turbulence near the ground and had designed a data-gathering instrument array on a large field at Edithvale. Although this properly belonged to the category of basic research there were promises of applications in the field of agrometeorology if heat and moisture exchanges between the ground and the atmosphere could be better understood. We were invited to visit Bill Priestley at Aspendale and readily responded to the invitation. He and his staff were willing participants in the monthly colloquia and we soon became accustomed to the incisive and blunt comments of Bill Swinbank when he participated in the ensuing discussions.

When Sir David Rivett retired in May 1949 his place as Chairman of the CSIRO was taken by lan Clunies Ross. Clunies Ross was born in Bathurst, NSW, on 22 February 1899. Educated at Newington College, Sydney, he graduated B.VSc. from the University of Sydney in 1921. Awarded the Walter and Eliza Hall Research Fellowship in 1922 he was subsequently appointed parasitologist with CSIR in 1926. His field of work was animal health, particularly the health of sheep. He was concerned with the application of scientific knowledge rather than with basic research. In 1928 he gained D.VSc. for his work on hydatid in 1928 and was appointed a full time member of the CSIR Executive Committee in January 1946. Fred White was a member of the Executive of CSIR and CSIRO and was the main point of contact with Warren in the post-war years.

People in Bright Sparcs - Clunies Ross, Ian; Priestley, Charles Henry Brian (Bill); Swinbank, William Christopher Swinbank, William Christopher; Warren, Herbert Norman; White, Frederick William George

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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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