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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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In the Warren and Timcke years many Bureau publications were produced using waxed stencils and roneo machines for typing and reproduction. Exceptions were printed Rainfall Reviews and Bulletins containing what were considered to be important scientific contributions to meteorological knowledge.

But the issues of the TWRB from May 1944 to April 1946, the WDRB from April 1945 to August 1951 and the AMM, in the Timcke years, were all produced using wax-stencils and roneo machines. Despite the lack of sophistication in the methods of reproduction the publications were interesting and informative. In these earlier years the Training Section was responsible for coordination of Bureau publications.

E. W. Timcke originally intended that the WDRB should be used for dissemination of papers dealing with scientific subjects and the AMM should be a newsy publication serving the purpose of a house journal. I believe he was persuaded to make this decision because some of the social notes included in the WDRB were somewhat light-hearted.

Timcke later altered this decision. The WDRB series was stopped in August 1951 and the AMM contained both serious scientific papers and social notes. In 1956 Len Dwyer gave Tom Hall (at that time Chief Clerk of the Bureau's Central Office) the task of issuing monthly notes about the Bureau with the title Weather News. Issue No 1 of Weather News dated 2 August 1956 contained a three paragraph foreword by Len Dwyer informing readers that the " . . . monthly news sheet has been commenced as a means of information regarding the major activities of the Bureau and important events concerning meteorology". Weather News was distributed to all Central Office sections, Divisional offices and field offices.

The three additional pages of Issue No 1 of Weather News gave information on the establishment of a meteorological station at Giles, an AWS in the Antarctic, a radiotheodolite installation at Lae, a facsimile network, an ozalid copying machine and air safety incident reports. Weather News became a diary of Bureau activities. Issues were made at the beginning of each month. There was no issue in May 1970. After June 1975, Government policy to reduce financial and manpower resources available to the Commonwealth Public Service resulted in issues becoming less regular.

Len Dwyer initiated monthly issues of Weather News to keep staff well-informed of progress in improving Bureau effectiveness. With the help of Tom Hall and later editors of Weather News he achieved this aim. Weather News also became a detailed record of many aspects of Bureau history of that time. When Len's reorganisation of the Bureau was approved by the Public Service Board in the late 1950s it included a new Section of Coordination and Planning under the overall control of Allan Atkins, whom Len had recruited into the Bureau as Assistant Director Management early in April 1959. Frank Hannan, an experienced weather officer with considerable fluency in a number of foreign languages, a meteorological member of ANARE expeditions and a man of considerable literary talent, was appointed External Relations Officer and took over as editor of Weather News early in 1959, continuing in this position until a journalist from the Australian (Commonwealth) News and Information Bureau was seconded to work in the Bureau and became editor with issue No 100 in November 1964.

An important recruit to the staff of the Bureau in 1959 was Doug Kreltzsheim. He had migrated to Australia from Ceylon (Sri Lanka) where he had held a senior post in the meteorological service. Doug's diligence, attention to detail and great modesty made him an ideal person to take over the responsibility for supervising Bureau publications.

New methods of preparation and reproduction of Bureau publications (including Weather News) improved the quality of reproduction of the text, diagrams and illustrations in the AMM and other publications. Weather News included lists of research projects, which were published in AMM or as Project Reports or Meteorological Studies. The quality of reproduction of these reports was also improved.

Publication of proceedings of the Bureau's internal conference on tropical cyclones, its rain seminar and similar conferences (many listed in Appendix 2) contained copies of papers presented and detailed records of discussions. I like to think that the report of the analysts' conference organised in the Warren years might have set a pattern followed in later years.

The reports of the proceedings of the Brisbane tropical cyclone symposium and Melbourne Antarctic symposium were reproduced by professional printers after a great deal of editorial work in the Central Office of the Bureau. Their quality is a reflection of the development of the Bureau during the Dwyer years.

People in Bright Sparcs - Dwyer, Leonard Joseph; Hall, Thomas Taylor (Tom); Timcke, Edward Waldemar; 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

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