Page 1413
Previous/Next Page
Federation and MeteorologyBureau of Meteorology
Table of Contents

Weather News



Personal Notes

Mr. B. W. Newman
Retirement of Walter Dwyer
Gerry O'Mahony—Thirty Years On
The Retoubtable George Mackey, Retd.
Retirement of ADR [Neil McRae]
A Long and Fruitful Innings [John Lillywhite]
Pat Ryan Retires
Harry Ashton Retires
'Fly Boy' Retires [Bill Brann]
Our Actor Steve [Lloyd]
Our Man in the Region Retires [Keith Hannay]
ADM Retires [Allen Bath]
Regional Director Queensland Retires [Arch Shields]
ANMRC Head Retires [Reg Clarke]
Vic Bahr's Last Bow
Long Serving Officers Retire [Jack Maher and Kev Lomas]
Allan Brunt Retires, 38 Years in 'the Met'
Henry Phillpot Retires
A Stout With a Dash! [Reg Stout]
Around the Regions [Keith Stibbs]
Bill Smith Bows Out—47 Year Record
Smooth Traffic Ahead for Keith Henderson
Happy Retirement, and Happy Birthday too! [Ralph de la Lande]
Air Dispersion Specialist Calls it a Day [Bill Moriarty]
Bob Crowder Retires
Grass Looks Greener for Tony [Powell]
Farewell France [Lajoie]
Forty Four Years in Meteorology—John Burn Remembers
Des Gaffney bows out
After Only 41 Years . . . Shaw, Enough! [Peter Shaw]
Brian Bradshaw departs, 45 Years On . . .
Bill Ware Ends on a High Note
Peter Barclay Retires
Mal Kennedy Retires
'The Ice Man Goeth . . .' DDS Neil Streten Calls it a Day
Dan of the 14,016 Days [Dan Lee]
A Launceston Boy Gone Wrong: Peter Noar Bows Out
It's Official—Climate Change Confirmed [Bill Kininmonth]
Victorian Forecasting Legend Bids Us Farewell [Ian Russell]
Gentleman Doug Gauntlett Retires
Queensland Regional Director Calls it a Day [Rex Falls]
Assistant Director (Services) Retires and Tributes Flow In [Bruce Neal]
NSW Regional Director Retires [Pat Sullivan]


Observers and Volunteers




Contact us

Bill Smith Bows Out—47 Year Record

No. 264 August 1983

Bill Smith PTO Queensland, retired on Wednesday 13 July, thereby bringing to an end a Bureau career spanning 47 years. Bill, who says he'll spend his retirement gracefully and quietly in Brisbane, has provided the following notes an his long career:

I began my public service career in 1934 at the tender age of 14 years as a PMG telegraph messenger in Hobart and joined the Bureau two years later as an Assistant (Met. Branch). In those days the Bureau's total staff numbered less than 100, and the Hobart office employed only five under the Divisional Meteorologist J. C. Foley.

Early Days

The Hobart Bureau functioned in two rooms, part of the Div. Met's residence. The building, located within Anglesea Army Barracks, had been handed over to the state as an observatory in 1881. Bulletins and forecasts were copied on Gelatine trays, using hectograph ink and ribbons, and were delivered by bicycle to the sole radio station 7ZL and exhibited at the GPO, a local park and some 15 suburban railway stations.

Around 1938, the first teleprinters were introduced; an early Halliwell-Dines pressure plate anemometer was replaced by the now familiar Dines D.R. pressure tube anemometer and the Australian word code finally gave way to the international figure code—to the dismay of PMG telegraphists who thereafter were unable to decode the weather telegrams.

The period immediately prior to the outbreak of war in 1939 also saw the formation of the Aviation Meteorological Service and staffing of Airport Met. Offices, although in Hobart this did not occur on a full time basis until 1951. Prior to that, staff travelled from the Bureau by taxi and river ferry to Cambridge Airport to service individual arrivals and departures.

Early in 1941 I volunteered for service as an observer on Willis Island, and arrangements for my enlistment in the newly formed RAAF Meteorological Service were cancelled to allow my transfer to the island as a civilian. I celebrated my 21st birthday on Willis in July of that year and, the following year, the 21st anniversary of the establishment of Willis as a Met. and radio station in 1921.

People in Bright Sparcs - Smith, Bill

Previous Page Bureau of Meteorology Next Page

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher