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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
Trevor Donald Tells It All; Life in the Bureau from 1947 to 1989
Ray Clarke Looks Back
Some Memories from Ralph Bulloch
Peter Copland Works in Meteorological Electronics
Some Titbits from Dave Grainger
A Very Modest Tale from Alf Svensson
Adrian Porter Pulls No Punches
Jack Tait Recalls
Some Stories by Colourful Freddie Soutter
Some Snippets from Noel Barrett
Stephen CourbÍt Has His Penny Wworth
And a Flyspeck or Two from Lenny Dawson
Some Interesting Reminiscences from Jannes Keuken
Brief Stories from Phil Black
From Gloria West, Wife of the Late Bob West
The Life and Bureau Times of Graham Linnett
Tales Out of School from Bill Hite
Peter Copland on Cyclone Tracy
Peter Broughton Tells the Story of Maralinga

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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Stephen CourbÍt Has His Penny Wworth

After I left Installation Section in 1976 I went to Darwin for a few years, then back to Melbourne as an Instructor, then to Alice Springs where I still am in September 1998.

While in Darwin we did several AWS trips on the Cape Don. These were always interesting in themselves, although one sticks in my memory more than the others. One evening there was a bit of a commotion on the aft deck. Being curious, I opened the cafe hatch to the aft deck, stepped out and stood facing a threshing two metre shark. Manuel, an engineer on board, hated sharks and his duty in life was to catch and kill them. I moved with the speed and grace of a gazelle and had the door shut virtually before my shadow got in. Some problems and dangers are never explained in training.

And a Flyspeck or Two from Lenny Dawson

I have not much to offer as far as personal experiences go. I joined in 1962 and then went to Cloncurry for 11 weeks and later to Moree where I helped George Khan put the WF2 radar in. I had a relief stint at Cobar for awhile; the AA3 Mk VII radar broke down and I hadn't a clue how to fix it even with the help of Trevor Donald.

I returned to Moree in 1969 and afterwards moved to Sydney with the other 'techs'. Then for a few years it was travel and more travel to New South Wales stations including Byron Bay and Lord Howe Island.

In 1977 I transferred to Queensland where I worked until retirement in 1982.

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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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