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Table of Contents

Memories of the Bureau, 1946 to 1962





Chapter 1: The Warren Years, 1946 to 1950

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
Leonard Joseph Dwyer—A Complex Character
Reorganising the Bureau
Public Weather Services
Forecasts for the General Public
Importance of Radio Stations
The Advent of Television
Automatic Telephone Forecast Service
Wording and Verification of Forecasts
Services for Aviation
Atomic Weapons Tests
Atomic Weapons Tests—Mosaic G1 and G2
Atomic Weapons Tests—Buffalo 1, 2, 3 and 4
Atomic Weapons Tests—Operations Antler, 2 and 3
Atomic Weapons Tests—Minor Trials
Instruments and Observations
Radar/Radio Winds and Radar Weather Watch
Automatic Weather Stations
Meteorological Satellites
Tropical Cyclones
Bureau Conference on Tropical Cyclones
International Symposium on Tropical Cyclones, Brisbane
Design of Water Storages, Etc
Flood Forecasting
Cloud Seeding
Reduction of Evaporation
Rain Seminar
Cloud Physics
Fire Weather
Research and Special Investigations
International Activities
The International Geophysical Year
The Antarctic and Southern Ocean
International Symposium on Antarctic Meteorology
International Antarctic Analysis Centre
ADP, EDP and Computers
Management Conference
Services Conference
CSIRO and the Universities
Achievements of the Dwyer Years

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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Hydrometeorology (continued)

Neil had joined the Bureau after a period as a Water Research Foundation fellow at the University of New South Wales where he had developed a number of new ideas for flood derivation based on the use of Utecom, the university's computer. He was young and enthusiastic like Allan and had an inquiring and innovative approach coupled with considerable ability in the use of computer techniques.

I will leave the remainder of the information provided by Neil for discussion under later headings in this chapter but I must here include a direct quotation from one of Neil's letters which have a particular Bureau flavour and a special appeal for me.

Neil says, with reference to a visit he and Allan Rainbird made to the US in April 1961, "just prior to this trip I had a demonstration of Lenny Dwyer's direct approach to bureaucratic affairs. At that time proposals for overseas trips were vetted by the OVC (Overseas Visits Committee) in Canberra. Unknown to me this committee had indicated that only one delegate could attend. Lenny called me to his office and told me this as I walked in the door and then told me to sit down. He then rang the committee chairman and had a preliminary skirmish about rights and authorities. At the end he said 'I am Director of Meteorology. I am not here to be buggered about by a bunch of incompetent nincompoops. If I say two are to go, two will go'. And hung up".

"Short silence. 'Have you got your passport?' 'Have you got your ticket?' 'Have a good trip!' Two days later after Allan and I had arrived in Washington we received a telex saying the OVC had approved two delegates".

Neil also remarked that "no discussion of that period of my time at the Bureau would be complete without mention of the counter lunches at the City Court Hotel. These provided an opportunity for those located in various buildings around the city to keep in contact, but more importantly, they fostered a continuation of the camaraderie which characterised the Bureau at that time. Of course they were also most enjoyable interludes. When Lenny attended, sometimes things got a bit out of hand".

These quotations indicate the perception of a newcomer to the Bureau who enjoyed the friendly reception he received. Some Bureau teetotallers attended the counter lunches for the sheer enjoyment of the company. Neil's reference to things getting out of hand reminds me of the story of one counter lunch at which Lenny wished to discuss a matter of detail with Allan Rainbird which proceeded well after the luncheon break. Apart from the occasional joke most of the conversation in the City Court Hotel revolved around matters meteorological.

People in Bright Sparcs - Dwyer, Leonard Joseph

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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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