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Table of Contents

Radio Technical Officers





Chapter 1: The Early Years

Chapter 2: The Training School

Chapter 3: Equipment Installation Records

Chapter 4: The 'Techs' in Antarctica

Chapter 5: The 'Techs' Tell Their Stories

Appendix 1: 'Techs' Roll Call

Appendix 2: Trainee Intakes

Appendix 3: 'Techs' Who Have Served in the Antarctic Region

Appendix 4: Summary of Major Installation Projects

Appendix 5: Summary of Major Equipment Variously Installed at Sites and Maintained by Radio Technical Officers


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I was asked, by Ray, to write this preface and it was with great pleasure that I agreed to do so as this publication has been several years in the making and Ray invested a large amount of time and effort to bring it to fruition.

Raymond W. Clarke was born in Punchbowl in the western suburbs of Sydney on 24 January 1930. His father's ancestors were pioneers in the Gundagai district of New South Wales having come to Australia as early as 1810. They were dairy and wheat farmers. His mother's people were of Irish descent (County Limerick) and emigrated to Australia in 1895.

Ray attended primary school in Brisbane at the Corinda Convent obtaining Queensland Scholarship honours before continuing on to secondary school at St Joseph's Christian Brothers' College, Gregory Terrace, where he successfully passed the Queensland Junior public examination.

Upon leaving school he became an apprentice to his uncle, a pharmacist, where for two years he passed all examinations and appeared headed for a career as a chemist. Unfortunately, being young, headstrong and not a little foolish, he terminated his apprenticeship to join the Army and see the world.

When he finished his rookies at Ingleburn, New South Wales, he was allocated to the Royal Australian Corps of Signals and posted to Balcombe, Victoria, to complete a 15 month Radio Technician's course. After completing the course he was posted to Cabarlah, just outside Toowoomba, on radio interception work.

He was promoted to corporal in 1952 and posted to 1st National Service Training Battalion where he became a drill instructor and technical instructor with the Sig. Platoon of E Company. In 1954 he returned to the School of Signals for refresher courses and then remained at the School as an instructor (T/Sgt) until the expiration of his term with the regular Australian Army in 1956.

From 1956 to 1961 he was employed by Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Ltd in Melbourne, initially as a radio technician followed by elevation to departmental manager of the sound and TV systems department in 1958. Poor remuneration for the degree of responsibility prompted him to try new fields. Consequently he applied for and was accepted as a trainee Observer (Radio) with the Bureau of Meteorology in 1961. Details of Ray's Bureau service are covered in this publication.

In 1979 he resigned his position as a Senior Technical Officer (Engineering) Grade 2 with the Bureau to return to his home state of Queensland for family reasons.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Ltd.

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Clarke, R. 1999 'Stories of the Bureau's Radio Technical Officers from 1948', Metarch Papers No. 14 February 1999, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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