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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

Chapter 6: A Springboard for the Future
My Springboard
Proposal for More Staff
Efforts to Improve Scientific Status of the Bureau
Gibbs-Priestley-White Prospectus
Successes and Struggles with Ministers and Permanent Heads
Submission to Royal Commission on Government Administration
The Committee of Inquiry
Achievements 1962 to 1978

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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Chapter 6: A Springboard for the Future (continued)

The growth of civil and military aviation in the 1930s and 1940s, and the dramatic postwar development of civil aviation, were important in persuading the Australian Government to provide those resources. It was Warren, Timcke and Dwyer who seized the opportunity to convince Government bureaucrats and politicians that they had the knowledge and management skills to plan and administer a program for the effective use of these resources. They also had the vision and experience and, most importantly, the support of the capable, loyal and dedicated staff of the Bureau. These Directors of Meteorology also required the cooperation of Ministers and Permanent Heads of the Department in which the Bureau was located in order to achieve their objectives.

Before his retirement George Mackey (longtime Deputy Director, WA) sent me an unsolicited note giving his assessment of the performance of all of the Directors of Meteorology under whom he had served, prior to my appointment. They were H. A. Hunt (the first Commonwealth Meteorologist), W. S. Watt, H. N. Warren, E. W. Timcke and L. J. Dwyer. George gave top marks to H. N. Warren, thought Hunt and Timcke were capable Directors and considered Watt somewhat ineffectual. In assessing Len Dwyer's performance George found it difficult to overlook Len's abrasiveness and lack of restraint.

I did not know Hunt or Watt but generally agreed with George's assessments of Warren and Timcke. But I believe that George might have overlooked Len Dwyer's irascibility and given credit to his vision, initiative and determination which were crucial in achieving major improvements in instruments and observations, international meteorology and public awareness of the importance of meteorology. Probably, most importantly, George might have emphasised Len's ability in establishing contacts with influential people in universities, the CSIRO, Government Departments and other bodies.

I appreciate that Len Dwyer's forthright and sometimes colourful language may have irritated George and other members of the Bureau's staff, but I cannot recall that George, or any other member of staff, were ever uncooperative or publicly critical of Len's performance.

Warren, Timcke and Dwyer provided a springboard for further development of the Bureau during my term as Director of Meteorology from 1962 to 1978. I continued as acting Director of Meteorology after Len's death and in due course received a telephone call from Mr W. A. McLaren, Secretary of the Department of the Interior, asking if I was interested in filling the position permanently. Having almost 23 years service in the Bureau and having acted in the position on a number of occasions I had no hesitation in confirming my interest.

People in Bright Sparcs - Dwyer, Leonard Joseph; Hunt, Henry Ambrose ; Mackey, George William; Timcke, Edward Waldemar; Warren, Herbert Norman; Watt, William Shand

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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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