Page 1415
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
No. 264 August 1983 (continued)

Alice Springs 1964–72

I was selected as OIC Alice Springs towards the end of 1963 and arrived there in February 1964, during the worst of the major drought, 1958–1965. The years 1964 and 1965 were—or seemed to be—just one duststorm after another and on occasions the Met office was swept as many as five times in a day to make working conditions bearable.

During those early years in the Centre I became acquainted with the owner of CONNAIR airlines (E. J. Connellan) and he and his pilots helped considerably in improving my knowledge of the geography and weather of the Centre, and accepted my inevitable forecasting failures with kindly tolerance.

In July 1966 the N.T. Regional Office was officially opened and R/D Bob Southern moved from his small city office to a spacious suite of brand new offices. After attending the official opening, I returned to Alice and its tiny office to reflect that rank does indeed have its privileges. However, before I left the Alice some years later, I had the satisfaction of presiding over a brand new office myself.

The N.T. Bushfire Council was very active during the sixties and I served as Bob Southern's representative on the local committee during my term in the Centre. My three daughters left the nest in quick succession between 1966 and 1968 to set up homes of their own and when the time came to leave Alice Springs in 1972 my wife and I were on our own.

Port Hedland 1972–74

I arrived in Port Hedland in May 1972 and took over the office there for the next two years. Following my success in establishing a garden in the sand of Alice Springs (which had been featured on an ABC TV "Four Corners" program as a "typical suburban garden in the Centre"), I determined to transform a small section of Port Hedland into a similar oasis. I hadn't counted on the cyclones of the Northwest however and saw my efforts destroyed twice whilst I was there. The local horticultural judges took pity on me though and used my green finger and thumb efforts as a standard by which to judge gardens of less than six months in the new suburb of South Hedland. Some time after I left Port Hedland, yet another cyclone destroyed all my work, and most of the Met. house as well.

Brisbane 1974–83

Following the implementation of the RFC/WSO system in Brisbane in 1973, OIC Brisbane Airport Fred Bell departed to take up the first Queensland PTO position and I set off across the continent from Port Hedland to occupy Fred's chair in May 1974. I remained there for the next eight years and took over the PTO position in November 1982.

Bill Smith's 47 years with the Bureau is believed to constitute a record length of service. Other long-serving officers with comparable service include Jack Maher (who retired in 1979 with 45 years behind him), and Kevin Clarke (45 years and still going strong in the HO Facilities Branch). Bill Smith in fact had 49 years in the Public Service (the first two were with the PMG), but this was bettered by Harry Storer, who reached the half century with the PS when he retired as OIC Mildura in 1972. The first 18 years, however, were with the PMG, so Harry had a mere 32 years with the Bureau. Weather News would be glad to receive additional information on this subject.

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