Chapter 43

Project Officer for the Bureau of Meteorology…………A job I was proud of

The automatic weather stations proposed for the Bureau of Meteorology required a project officer, who was normally an architect, but these had no architectural content and were basically structural as for Cooby Creek Satellite Tracking Station, I ended up with the job.
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Chapter 42

Family life late 1960’s

1966 was the year decimal currency was introduced for Australia. Pounds, shillings and pence, guineas, florins, two bobs were phased out and replaced with dollars and cents, with the dollar the basic unit. We went from 12 pence =1 shilling, 20shillings = 1 pound to 100 cents = 1 dollar and 2 dollars = 1 pound. Coins were 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents 10 cents, 20 cents and 50 cents. Notes were $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100. There was a period when both currencies were in use, then the pounds shillings and pence system was withdrawn and decimal currency prevailed. This simplified calculations, especially for projects and would eventually lead to the Imperial system being replaced by the metric system in Australia.

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Chapter 41

Concrete engineer, Cooby Creek Satellite tracking Station and Cato Island – Never a dull moment with Com Works

There was a lot of work in progress at Amberley as well as in Townsville where the army were expanding and Lavarack Barracks needed extra accommodation, ancillary facilities and store buildings with associated road works etc., With all the work in progress I was nominated the region’s Concrete Engineer as a part-time assignment. The Department had their laboratory at Nott Street, South Brisbane and this is where tests for gravel and concrete aggregate were done. Before a contract commenced representative samples were forwarded for testing to ensure they complied with the specification and check the mix design. Portland cement was not a problem as there were only a couple of cement works in Queensland and their products were known to comply with our standards, whereas in Papua New Guinea cement was shipped from practically every country in the world and care had to be exercised.

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Chapter 40

New career Path – Commonwealth Department of Works [Works and Perks or Works and Jerks?]

A vacancy arose for an Engineer Class 1 in the Engineering Design Section in Brisbane with a commencing salary of 2347 pounds. I applied for the position and was appointed on 1st November, 1965 with a six month probationary period. It was with reluctance that I handed in my notice to Tony Tod because I felt comfortable working there and was continually learning, but I was aware of the constant pressure which never seemed to let up; I left on good terms and joined the Commonwealth Department of Works, Terrica House, 130 Creek Street, Brisbane as Engineer Class 1. This was the starting classification for a qualified engineer in a four tier scale where you progress with experience, but not necessarily so, for when a vacancy arose either through expansion or promotion you could expect promotion to the next level. Class 3 was a supervising section and at Class 4 you were appointed head of the section answering to the Assistant Director of Works.

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Chapter 39

Establishing the Family

We made several trips to Bundaberg and Howard in the Singer when Betty’s mother was visiting her mother in Howard and we checked the land at Moore Park that had been left to Betty in her Eardley Grandfather’s will. This land was too far from Brisbane to build a holiday home on but would be ideal for a beach house, like the one at Woodgate which was my mother’s family retreat. Betty’s land consisted of two allotments on a sand hill separated from the main beach by another sand hill with tidal flats behind it. Of course, sand flies and mosquitoes were a problem.

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