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Biographies

Neil Wilfred ARCHBOLD

1950 - 2006

Neil Wilfred Archbold, born 14 August 1950 in Ringwood, Victoria, his family closely associated with the gold mining town of Chewton in central Victoria where Archbold's Gold Treatment Works had been operated by the Archbold family for over 100 years.

Neil had an early passion for all aspects of natural history, with a special love of Lepidoptera and arachnids, which he maintained throughout his life. Neil's secondary school education at Camberwell Grammar in Canterbury, Melbourne and went on to Melbourne University, where he undertook degrees if BA, funded by a Commonwealth University Scholarship, MSc and then a PhD, completed in 1983.

In 1973 he was awarded the C.M. Tattam Scholarship in Geology and was awarded a University of Melbourne Postgraduate Scholarship (1976-1979) enabling him to undertake a PhD on Permian brachiopods. Neil's research focussed on the spectacular Permian faunas of Western Australia, especially the brachiopods, the dominant element in most of those faunas.

While doing his postgraduate degrees, Neil was employed as a part-time tutor (1973-1980) and then full-time tutor (1980-1982) in the Geology Department of the University of Melbourne, during which time he also tutored for the Council of Adult Education in Melbourne. This he continued for 17 years (1973-1989) until full-time employment as Lecturer in Earth Sciences at the Rusden Campus of Victoria College (incorporated into Deakin University, 1992).

For many years (1983-1988) he continued his association with Melbourne University as a Research Associate in its School of Earth Sciences but his new roles at Deakin made continued association with and frequent travel to his alma mater increasingly difficult. He had taught Higher School Certificate evening classes at University High School for three years (1977-1980), had temporary employment as a Scientific Services Officer in the Division of Geomechanics with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Melbourne (1983-1986), and had stints as a contract lecturer in the Department of Earth Sciences at Monash University (1984-1988), in the Department of Geology at Melbourne University (1986) and with the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at the Melbourne College of Advanced Education (1988-1989).

The patchwork of short-term teaching commitments came to an end when he was appointed Senior Tutor in Earth Sciences at Victoria College (1989). When Neil joined Deakin University, its Earth Science discipline was a minor entity focused on undergraduate teaching. He soon developed it into a nationally and internationally recognised teaching and research group with a wide range of linkages to overseas institutions.

Neil served as a member of various advisory committees concerned with the School of Mining, Geology and Metallurgy of the Ballarat University/University of Ballarat (1989-1998) and of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (1991-1998). Among numerous honours was his appointment (1994 until his death) as Guest Professor at the China University of Mining & Technology.

Neil was prominent in activities of the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS), having been a titular member of its Subcommissions on Gondwana Stratigraphy (1986-2005) and History of Geology (1992-2005), as well as corresponding member of the Permian and Carboniferous subcommissions (1986 until his death, and 1992-2005 respectively). He was co-convenor of the Australian Working Group on 'Using Permian mixed biota's as gateways for Permian global correlations', had been a member of the International Geological Correlation Program project 203 on 'Permo-Triassic events if the eastern Tethys region and their intercontinental correlation' (1985-1988), and had been a member of the Working Group on the 'Carboniferous-Permian Boundary' (1987-1993).

Neil was a member of the Royal Society of Victoria (from 1973), the Geological Society of Australia (from 1973), the Coal Geology Group of the GSA, the Association of Australasian Palaeontologists, the Palaeontological Society (U.S.A.) and the Palaeontological Associations of Argentina and Spain. He had been a committee member (1982) and, subsequently treasurer (1983-1985) of the Victorian Division of the Geological Society of Australia (GSA), chairman of the DE Thomas Memorial Medal Committee (1985-2005), a committee member of the Association of Australasian Palaeontologists (AAP, 1982-83), and secretary of AAP (1994-1996).

From his initial core area of research on the taxonomy of Permian brachiopods from Western Australia, he spread into considerations of other taxonomic groups (especially bivalves and trilobites), palaeogeography and palaeobiology, palaeoclimatology and palaeoecology, oceanic circulation patterns, and global stratigraphic alignments for the Permian and, later, Carboniferous systems. His taxonomic output included more than 150 new subfamilies and one new family of brachiopods as well as a new species.

One of his major achievements was a pivotal role in publication (1995) of a comprehensive volume in Serbian and English on the Carboniferous of northwest Serbia by six authors, with himself and Smiljana Stojanovi-Kuzenko contributing the large and copiously illustrated chapter on brachiopods. Neil was also knowledgeable on the Cainozoic stratigraphy of south-eastern Australia, publishing a modicum of work on Cainozoic brachiopods, echinoids and marsupials.

JOHN A. TALENT, Macquarie University
Compilation of the fuller, original obituary was facilitated by information supplied by Linda Archbold, Monica Campi, Bernie Joyce, Guang Shi, Fons Vanden Berg and Liz Weldon. This version has been edited for brevity in TAG's pages. Ed.
TAG #138, March 2006

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Peter BAILLIE

Fellow of the Geological Society of Australia

Born in Hobart in 1949, my lifelong interest in geology and the natural world really commenced in 1966 during my final year of secondary school at Hobart Martriculation College where I had a great teacher of geology (Roy Pallett, with some assistance from Jim Jago). Subsequent undergraduate and post-gradute studies in geology were undertaken at the University of Tasmania (1967-69) and Macquarie University (1983-88) where I was fortunate enough to learn from the likes of Professor Sam Carey and Drs Max Banks, Pat Conaghan and Chris Powell.

I was employed at the Tasmanian Department of Mines from 1970 until 1993 and held various positions in regional geological mapping and petroleum exploration administration. In 1993 I moved to the Department of Minerals and Energy in Western Australia as Manager of the Exploration and Production Branch in the Petroleum Division, responsible for all geotechnical matters relating to petroleum exploration and production in Australia's premier hydrocarbon province. I joined TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company in 1997 and am currently Chief Geologist Asia Pacific, involved in the development and marketing of non-exclusive seismic surveys throughout the Asia Pacific region.
I joined the GSA as a Student Member in 1967 (in an early first year lecture Mike Solomon extolled the virtues of the society, encouraged us to join and facilitated the membership process) and was first "elected" to the Tasmania Divisional Committee around 1975. I subsequently helped organise several regional symposia whereby we tried to provide something for our members who did not reside in Hobart.

I was Convenor of the 10th Australian Geological Convention held in Hobart in February 1990 -- although I had a great committee to do the real work, our planning efforts were somewhat hindered by the 1989 national pilot's strike, which threatened not only this event, but had major economic and social ramications throught the country. Following the convention I became national Secretary (Prof. David Green, President) and had a further stint on the Executive as Proxy for the Past-President following my move to Perth in 1993. I have been a member of the AJES Editorial Board since 2003.

A fervent advocate of the value of professional and learned societies, I am also a member of the geological societies of America, London and Malaysia, together with the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia (PESA) and the royal societies of Tasmania and New Zealand.

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Gordon BAKER

Foundation Member of the Geological Society of Australia

I graduated from the University of Western Australia in 1951 and went on to do my B.Sc. Hons and M.Sc. there, during the time when Professor Rex Prider was Head of Department.

After finishing at UWA, over the next 13 years I worked as an engineering geologist, first with the Main Roads Department of Western Australia and engaged in location of road construction materials, materials quality control and drill logging for bridge foundations. Following this, was my secondment to the Australian Road Research Board for a research project investigating the effects of seal design on the life of sealed roads in W.A.

After a change of direction, for a few years I worked with Halpern, Glick and Lewis, Perth consulting engineers, doing subsurface foundation investigations for city building sites, small building projects, industrial sites and projected offshore sites for jack-up oil drilling rigs.

At this time, a new Western Australian mining boom was underway following the 1967 Kambalda nickel discovery, and the proving of economic ore reserves by Western Mining Corporation. This fired my interest and I obtained work in 1970 with WMC. Initially I was seconded to assist in the Darling Range bauxite exploration programme for Alcoa Australia (in which WMC had an interest). Then afterwards I worked on exploration for iron ore (Tallering Peak), talc (Three Springs) and gold (Kalgoorlie region).

Ultimately in late 1975, I changed direction again and began working as a mining geologist with Alcoa Australia. This turned into a long-term commitment and I stayed with Alcoa until my retirement in 2001. This period in the production environment was a very satisfying time and covered a number of work areas including operational grade control, ore reconciliation, bauxite ore development, mineable ore definition, project work and ore quality control.

My association with GSA began in my graduate days in 1952, the inaugural year of the Society. As I recall, the staff of the WA Geology Department took an active part in moves towards the formation of the Society, and this had a strong positive influence on the student body. Since those days, I have never regretted being a GSA member and value this association increasingly as the years go by. Membership is of great assistance in retaining my interest in the wider geological world and I value the opportunity to attend local society meetings and conventions and being able to make or renew contacts with other geologists.

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Basil BALME

Foundation Member of the Geological Society of Australia

I was born in Perth in 1923 and educated in Distance Education Classes, various State Schools and as a scholarship pupil at Scotch College, Claremont. In 1941 I completed the first year of a Science degree at the University of Western Australia and in 1942 enlisted in the RAN, in which I subsequently served as a corvette Petty Officer (Radar) in the southern and western Pacific.

Following demobilisation early in 1946 I returned to the University of Western Australia and completed a B.Sc. under the post-war reconstruction scheme majoring in Geology. My palynological career began in my final honours year when, at the suggestion of Joe Lord, I followed John Dulhunty's pioneering work in NSW and studied the spores and pollen of the Permian Collie Coal Measures.

I continued palynological research after graduation initially confining it to coal measure sequences in Great Britain from 1949 to1952 and New South Wales between 1952 and 1955. With the expansion of Australian oil exploration activity following WAPET's strike at Rough Range the emphasis of my studies changed. Since 1955 my principal research aims have been the application of fossil dispersed spores and pollen to the elucidation of stratigraphic problems, especially those relating to hydrocarbon exploration and to the study of plant evolution and palaeogeography. A more specialised interest has been the documentation and interpretation of palynological modifications manifesting the Permian-Triassic mass extinctions.

Important sequences I have studied include the Late Palaeozoic of Libya, as consultant to Amoseas Petroleum, the Permian-Triassic of the Salt Range Pakistan in collaboration with Curt Teichert and Bernhard Kummel, the Permian-Triassic of Greenland, again with Teichert and Kummel, and the Permian-Triassic of the North Slope-Alaska as consultant to Standard Oil of California. I have also published a range of papers treating the palynostratigraphy of Western Australian sedimentary basins with emphasis on the Palaeozoic and early Mesozoic.

I spent 1962 and early 1963 as Professor of Geology at New York University while in receipt of a Senior Fulbright Award and 1978-79 as Visiting Fellow at Aarhus University, Denmark.

In 1968 I became an Associate Professor and since my retirement in 1988 have served as an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences, University of Western Australia. In 1988 I was awarded the W.R.Browne Medal by the Society.

The results of my researches and those with my collaborators formed the basis of 81 publications and in addition over 400 indexed unpublished reports are held on file and may be accessed in the E. de C. Clarke Museum, University of Western Australia.

In addition to my teaching and research commitments I served on the University Senate (1975-78), the University Press Board (1973-78), University Research Committee (1976-80) and as Chairman of the University Scholarships Committee (1973-73). I was also on the Editorial Committee of Micropaleontology (1962-72) and Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology (1967-94). External to the University I was a member of the Fulbright Selection Committee (1979-82) and the State Government Conservation through Reserves Committee (1972-77). I served on the Scotch College Council from 1975-86 and as Chairman in 1985-86.

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Max BANKS

AM, DSc, D.(HC)

Foundation Member of the Geological Society of Australia
Honorary Member of the Geological Society of Australia

Born in Puchbowl, NSW, 1925, I attended local primary and high schools where an interest in working as an industrial chemist was triggered; during schooldays comments on gold prospecting by an uncle and bushwalking with a neighbour fostered interest in searching for things in the bush. On leaving school, I took a position as a cadet chemist but won a Public Exhibition which enabled me to study in the Faculty of Science at the University of Sydney. Advice from the chemist at my (temporary) workplace, A. James Lambeth (graduate in geology from the University of Sydney), was that geology was an interesting subject.

I enrolled in the Faculty of Science in 1943 including geology, without any previous knowledge of it. After a field excursion or two I hd become enraptured to find out what could be deduced by observation and deduction from an outcrop of rock. I won the Slade Prize for Palaeontology in Second Year, was elected President of the Students' Geological Society in that year, and worked as a geological assistant on the Warragamba Dam site over the 1944-45 long vacation. In Third Year a friend, Neville Stevens, and I had a short paper "Continents on the Move", published in the Science Yearbook (Sydney University Science Association) and I read a book on experimental geophysical prospecting by Edge and Laby which I found very interesting. In 1946, I enjoyed field work at Stroud and Raymond Terrace as part of the Petrology Honours course for which I was awarded First Class Honours and a University Medal.

Early in 1947 I came to Tasmania to work as a Demonstrator in the newly-established Department of Geology under Professor S.W. Carey. It was decided that I was to teach "soft-rock" geography – stratigraphy, palaeontology, sedimentology and the geology of fuels and, to first years, geomorphology; which I did until I retired in 1990. I was promoted through the academic ranks until I became Reader in 1966. I enjoyed teaching because it made me keep up with developments in the science and allowed interaction between my mind and that of others and occasionally produced a new thought. I was particularly interested in the supervision of research students – I saw students suddenly "catch fire" and watch new ideas born and the develop. I supervised honours, masters and PhD students, including some from Lille, France. I was a member of the Faculty of Science and, for a time(1973-75) Dean of Science. Another form of contact with students was through Fellowships at Colleges – I was Fellow and then Senior Fellow at two Colleges.

As part of my duties in the Department of Geology I was a member of the Schools Board Science Committee and the higher School Geology Syllabus Committee and a judge in the Science Talent Quest for some years. These activities involved working with teachers, visiting schools and colleges and preparing teaching aids to be used in geology courses. I ran courses for the Workers Education Association and the Adult Education Board, gave talks to and ran excursions for bodies such as the Hobart Walking Club and the Tasmanian Field Naturalists Club. Part of my work in the extension field was the broadcast of a series of talks on Applied Geology and some TV appearances.

A particularly enjoyable part of my duties was doing research - almost exclusively on Tasmanian topics; the thrill of discovery was intense, the need to prove the new observations and deductions a challenge and the results were rewarding. I worked on rocks and fossils ranging in age from Precambrian to Quaternary in many parts of the main island and on a number of offshore islands – the physical challenge was at times considerable but the wok very useful. The main thrust of my work was on Ordovician and Permo-Triassic rocks and fossils. I became interested in the history of geology in Tasmania and have had about a dozen papers dealing with historical aspects published, including two on Charles Darwin's visit to Hobart in 1836. Since retirement in 1990 I have been an Honorary Associate of the University of Tasmania and have continued my previous interests in fossils and the history of geology.

My teaching and research activities have resulted in publication of more than 130 papers, some designed for information for the Tasmanian public, most for use by geologists in Tasmania, interstate and overseas – almost halp were published outside Tasmania. My first solo publication, on Permian, Triassic and Jurassic rocks was published in 1952 – a paper for the 19th International Geological Congress at the Gondwana Symposium in Algiers. I was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science by the University of Tasmania in 1978 for my contributions to the geology of Tasmania.

Since coming to Tasmania, I have been associated with many societies, some professional, some scientific or technical and some serving the wider community. Of the professional bodies three have been palaeontological; the forth has wider interests, the Geological Society of Australia. I was a Foundation Member of that Society, held office in the Tasmania Division (including Divisional Chairman in 1957-59 and 1964-65) and Federal President (1965-67). I held office in the Tasmania Division of ANZAAS in connection with meetings of that body in Tasmania. I joined the Royal Society of Tasmania in 1947 and have held office as Councillor, Honorary Secretary (1995-96), Honorary Editor (1974-2000) and Vice-President (1971-73, 1993-94). I was elected by the Royal Society as a Trustee of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery annually from 1974 to 1984 and was Chairman of Trustees from 1979 to 1984. Among other groups on which I served are the Tasmanian Caverneering Club (President 1953-55) and the Australian Institute of Cartographers (Federal President, 1960).

My activities as an academic, a geologist and as a member of community bodies has been rewarded with "public recognition" - a Doctorate (Honoris Causa) from the University of Lille (1977), the Royal Society of Tasmania Medal (1978), Honorary Life Membership of the Royal Society of Tasmania (1986) and Honorary Life Membership of the Geological Society of Australia (1992), and the University of Sydney Alumni Award for Achievement in Community Service (1998). In 1990 the Banks Prize for Geology II Palaeontology was established at the University of Tasmania, and the Royal Society of Tasmania instituted in 1997 the Banks Medal for outstanding achievement by a scholar in mid-career.

I married Doris Ingram, an honours graduate in Zoology, in 1955 and we have five children. I have enjoyed life as an "academic" geologist.

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Jim BEESTON

Jim started his geological career while attending Salisbury High School in the southern suburbs of Brisbane. He entered the University of Queensland, St Lucia, in 1967 and joined the Geological Survey of Queensland (GSQ) as a scholar ship holder the following year. He graduated with a BSc in 1972, at the same time taking over the handson running of the Coal Petrology Laboratory of the GSQ Coal Section at Redbank.

Nine years later the Coal Group moved to Brisbane. By this time Jim had 20 published papers under his belt, largely to do with coal, including a major examination of coal rank variation in the Bowen Basin. This work stood the test of over 30 years of coal exploration in the Basin and gained him a Master of Science degree from the University of Queensland in 1981.

Fifteen years later he received an extension of responsibilities from coal to include basin studies and editing. During that time he produced a further 41 papers on coal, basin studies and paleobotany. In 198 8 he published a major contribution to a study of the Denison Trough combining coal petrology, paleobotany and palynology with sedimentological observations.

An extension of t his work was prepared and sub mitted to the University of Queensland as a sub mission for a Doctor of Philosophy degree. The thesis includes a re-look at aspects of coal deposition, and the origin of petroleum. Jim was awarded his PhD in 1998 and received the Zinc Corporation Prize for best thesis of the year.

Jim’s editing responsibilities took over more and more of his time, particularly when combined with the duties involved in promoting and marketing the GSQ.

Jim is mostly known in geological circles for his establishment of the Geological Society of Australia Coal Geology Group in 1978 as Inaugural Chairman. His other title s include Honorary Editor of the
group’s journal Australian Coal Geology since 1986.

He has also been active in the Bowen Basin Geologists Group, editing and producing the Bowen Basin Symposium Proceedings volumes every five years over several decades.

In 2011 the Bowen Basin Geologists Group awarded him the Leichhardt  Award, given to those who have made a lasting contribution to coal geology.

Jim retired in August 2011 but still retains an interest in coal geology and paleobotany.
He currently holds the position of Chairman/Honorary Editor of the Coal Geology Group.

Donald Alexander BERKMAN

Donald Alexander BERKMAN (1934 - )

Starting at the Telstra Technicians Training School in Brisbane in 1950, I followed an unconventional path to a B Sc degree from Queensland University, majoring in geology, with two years of a BE degree en route. I came upon geology as a science and a possible career as part of the BE course, and had passed enough first year subjects studied in that course so that I was able to continue my university studies at 2nd year B Sc level, in 1955. My enthusiasm was reinforced by three months working in the mine Geology Department at Mount Isa during the 1955-56 long vacation, and I sailed through the B Sc degree course with a bag of distinctions and credits.

There was a shortage of exploration geologists at this time, and I went from my final exams in November 1956 to employment as a junior geologist at the Mary Kathleen mine more or less on the next day. Here I met a mentor in the form of Frank Hughes, the mine’s only geologist, and started to learn from him the practicalities of mine and exploration geology. In May 1957 I left Mary K, to work as an exploration geologist with Australasian Oil Exploration (AOE), who were developing a black sands mining operation on the Queensland Gold Coast. Again I was fortunate in my mentors, Des Dimmick, Keith Miles and Jack Ridgway, each with +20 years exploration experience. Most of my time with AOE was spent on North Stradbroke Island, managing two teams using lightweight ‘Banka’ drilling gear, and culminated in the delineation of a large but low grade rutile-zircon deposit. AOE went into a decline at the end of that year, and I was retrenched in October, but started work with Keith Miles the next day. This led to two years work with the Reynolds (USA) aluminium group, on bauxite search, using a Cessna 180 amphibious aircraft to prospect the red cliffs along the Australian coastline from Gove to Perth.

Retrenched again, this led to nine years (1960-68) of employment with Consolidated Zinc (later CRA and latterly Rio Tinto). The first two years were spent on bauxite search, in Cape York and in the North Island of New Zealand, and from 1962 to 1968 as mine and exploration geologist at the Rum Jungle uranium-base metals operations. These operations were an early example of mine management in which the department heads met daily, with the agenda solely focused on optimising mine and ore treatment efficiency.
The start of the ‘Poseidon boom’ sent me to Australian Oil & Gas Corporation (AOG) as Chief Geologist – Minerals, from 1968 to 1980, leading up to ten geologists seeking ore deposits throughout Australia and Papua New Guinea. This episode ended with the formation of AOG Minerals Ltd, capitalised at $16 million, in 1980. During this time I compiled the ‘Field Geologists’ Manual’, which was published by The Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy (AusIMM) in 1976. It was produced with the objective of providing the ultimate reference that all field geologists would carry on any field project, and has been a considerable success, with a print run of perhaps 20 000 and currently in its 5th edition. This success was recognised by The AusIMM by the grant of the President’s award for the year 2001, with the citation ‘For extraordinary contribution to the Institute publications, especially the Field Geologists’ Manual which is the Institute’s most successful publication’.

Seeking new pastures I then went to Mobil Energy Minerals for two years, as Manager – Exploration Operations, largely involved with research into Alligator River type uranium deposits. Retrenched in 1983, I set up as a consulting/contracting exploration geologist, first in Melbourne (to 1990) and then in Brisbane. I offered a mixture of skills, in target generation, field operations, training in field methods for newly-graduated geologists, geowriting and safety in exploration.
During this time I helped Frank Hughes with the editing of the AusIMM’s 1990 2-volume ‘Geology of the Mineral Deposits of Australia and PNG’ (Monograph 14) and co-edited its 1990 successor (Monograph 22). I also wrote ‘Making the Mount Isa Mine, 1923-1933’, a history of early technical operations at Mount Isa, published by The AusIMM as its Spectrum Series No. 1.


Günther Christian Oskar BISCHOFF

1928 - 1999

Günther Bischoff passed away in Sydney on Nov. 23, 1999, after a short illness, aged almost 71 years. He is greatly missed by family, university colleagues and ex-students, and by professional/industry associates and friends within Australia and overseas. Günther is survived by his wife, Rosemarie, and his married sons Dirk and Lars. He is remembered by many with affection for his warmth, generosity, and his professionalism. In this brief account of his life, and about some of his contributions to science and to his collegiate community, I write about the personal qualities of the man that I came to know as a valued colleague.
Having grown into adolescence in Germany during WWII, and having been caught up in the tumult and chaos of the war and the social and economic impacts of its immediate aftermath, there are many facets of Günther's life that few are familiar with.

Günther was born and spent his early years in what was then East Prussia. He belonged to a large family and had fond memories of growing up in a beautiful countryside. This was shattered by the outbreak of WWII which was to cause much hardship to him and to his family. At 16 years of age he was inducted into the German army and served on the Eastern Front. He was subsequently captured and held POW by the Russians for several months in the former USSR. Around 1946 he and his surviving family relocated to West Germany. During these difficult times Günther worked as a coal-miner and supported his mother. In the period 1953-1955 he worked for 6 months each year as a geological assistant in an oil-exploration company. At the same time he undertook study to become a geologist and then to complete a Doc. rer. nat. degree at Philipps-Universitaet, Marburg/Lahn. His doctoral thesis, "Conodonten un die Wende Mitteldevon/Oberdevon und Oberdevon/Untercarbon", awarded in 1956, attracted the Philipps-Universitaet Science Prize for that year. He met his future wife, Rosemarie, while undertaking his doctorate. They married in that same year, 1956; their honeymoon was spent with Günther still writing his thesis and Rosemarie typing it.

This period was the beginning of Günther's love for palaeontology, and especially micropalaeontology, a field that led him to study numerous taxonomic groups, and which eventually led him in the last decade of his career to research the relatively new field of the role of microbes in the bioaccumulation and biodegradation of minerals and metals (including gold) in natural systems - subjects that he was still pursuing at the time of his death. The focus of Günther's early publications (1950s) was the pioneering taxonomy of Middle and Upper Devonian and Lower Carboniferous condones and their use in biostratigraphy, embodied in his 1957 monograph with Willi Ziegler.

After completing his doctorate in 1956 Günther returned to full-time work as a Mining and Exploration Geologist with Harz-Lahn-Erzbergbau AG, the same company for whom he had worked as a coal-miner immediately after the war. His major responsibility was exploring for Palaeozoic and Mesozoic iron-ores within Germany; but on the side he brought to publication his doctoral condone research and related results. In the period 1958 to early 1969 Günther worked as an Oilfield and Petroleum-Exploration Geologist and micro palaeontologist for the German oil-production and exploration company: Gewerkschaft Elwerath. Initially the Company deployed him as an Oilfield Geologist in the Westemsland Oil Province , NW Germany (1958-1959; when his first son, Dirk, was born); then had him undertake micro palaeontological research in Lebanon, probably including work on North African materials (1959-1960); then returned him to Germany where he again worked as an Oilfield Geologist and Micro palaeontologist (1960-1961); followed by more micro palaeontological research in Lebanon concurrently with geological investigations in South Africa (1961-1962); and finally (after a stint back in Germany in 1963 during which his second son, Lars, was born) moved him to Australia (1964-1965), based initially in Canberra, to investigate petroleum-exploration prospects in this country. In Canberra Günther quickly established contact with palaeontologists at the BMR (now ASGO), including Peter Jones (now at ANU). At that time Peter had just begun using condononts as biostratigraphic indices to underpin ongoing BMR mapping programmes in various Australian sedimentary basins, including the Bonaparte Gulf Basin (e.g., Veevers' and Roberts' work therein), and he recalls that at that time "virtually nothing was known of conodont biostratigraphy in Australia." Günther was of immediate help to Peter in his taxonomic and biostratigraphic work, not only with regard to conodonts , but also with ostrocods; and he and Günther soon became great friends, as Günther did also with other palaeontologists in the BMR. Günther's and Peter's professional association was to last intermittently for nearly three decades and included (in 1990) Günther guiding Peter to fossil localities in the Orange area (NSW) in connection with a forthcoming geological field-excursion that Peter had the responsibility of organising.

In 1966 Gewerkschaft Elwerath made Günther its Exploration Manager in Australia and he moved to Perth from where he planned and oversaw the drilling of his Company's first exploration well in this country. This well (Yulleroo No. 1; TD = 15,010 feet; drilled May-November 1967; abandoned December 1967) is located about 72 km ENE of Broome in the west-central part of the Fitzroy Trough (north Canning Basin) between the Jurgurra Terrace and the Lennard Shelf. It was drilled on a seismically-defined NW-SE-tending anticlinal closure to test the hydrocarbon-producing potential of the Lower Palaeozoic section in this part of the basin and to explore its sub-Upper Carboniferous stratigraphy. This latter objective was particularly important given that, as Günther argued in his " Application for Drilling Subsidy": "There has been no well drilled in the central Fitzroy Basin between the Lennard Shelf and the Jurgurra Terrace which has penetrated through the Upper Carboniferous let alone that entire Carboniferous sequence." This exploration-well fulfilled Günther's stated stratigraphic-test objectives by penetrating an unexpectedly thick Carboniferous succession (10,594 ft in all) before terminating (at the planned TD) in Upper Devonian marine sediments. Günther was to make a major contribution to understanding the stratigraphy of the latest Devonian to Early Carboniferous succession of the basin by finding late Famennian (Stufen V and VI) and Early Carboniferous (both Tournasian and Viséan) conodonts in drillcore and cuttings of these rocks within a succession of fine to medium grained intercalated marine and continental classics and carbonates (Fairfield Group and overlying Anderson Formation), as documented by him in the well-completion report (Gewerkschaft Elwerath Inc., 1976). This new evidence pointed to the existence of a latest Famennian through early Carboniferous major marine transgression on the basin (previously known only in outcrop of much thinner development to the north on the Lennard Shelf: cf. "Fairfield Formation" of Playford, 1967, fig. 5, and p.363), and whose deposits were subsequently shown by more drill-holes to be largely confined to the then-rapidly-subsiding Fitzroy Graben/Trough within which Yulleroo No. 1 had been spudded (see also Yeates et al., 1984, p. 33, and figs. 2,7).

Günther's applied micropalaeontological work for petroleum exploration activities in (especially) Mesozoic and Tertiary successions in Germany, Lebanon and North Africa, including intercalated strata of marine and brackish-marine affinities, led him to use charophytes, ostracods and foraminifera as palaeo-environmental and biostratigraphic indices. Consequently, in 1963 and 1964, he published several papers on ostracod taxonomy and biostratigraphy, including a monograph (19630 entitled "ostracoden-Studien inm Libanon, 1: Die Gattung Cythereis in der UnterKreide" (Senck. Ieth., 44: 1-77). This was to be the first in a series of five papers in the ostracod faunas of Lebanon, the last two both appearing in print in 1990. Moreover, his 1963 paper with J. Wolburg ("Zur Entwicklung des Ober-Malm im Emsland"; Erdoel-Zeitschrift, 10: 445-472) is an excellent example of the integration of (in particular, ostracod-)biostratigraphy and geophysical well-log correlation to solve a long-standing problem of stratigraphic alignment between strata of marine and brackish-marine affinities in the Jurassic of northern Europe, and hence to reconstruct the multi-stage Upper Malm (latest Jurassic) transgression and the associated palaeogeographies in the Netherlands-German border region.
Günther's work in Australia took him to many parts of the continent; but in late 1968 or early 1969 Gewerkschaft was taken over by Royal Dutch Shell Petroleum, and Günther had to move back to Germany. But at that time (coincident with the ongoing, unprecedented, and then-still-burgeoning Australian "mineral boom") that late Professor Alan Voisey was recruiting teaching staff for the School of Earth Sciences at the then-fledgling Macquarie University in North Ryde, Sydney. Günther saw this as an opportunity for a new life for himself and his family back in Australia; thus, he applied for and was offered a teaching position as a Senior Lecturer in Earth Sciences at the new university. Günther and I were among Voisey's earliest soft-rock recruits, both of us commencing teaching duties in early 1969, and soon to occupy adjacent offices.
Those early years at Macquarie were hectic and left little time for research. Teaching was ongoing on all fronts (day, evening and external), with large numbers of students in every course in offer. And so it was not until 1971 that Günther was able to initiate new research that involved fieldwork; and not until 1973 that he managed to get back in print with his controversial paper: "On the nature of the conodont animal" (Geologica et Palaeontologica, 7: 147-174); in which he speculated on the possible biological affinity of simple cone-type conodonts and conulariids.

Over the next 20 year Günther's palaeontological output ranged widely taxonomically, with the erection of numerous new taxa; some (it is claimed by some, e.g.: Conti S. & Serpagli E. [1984], Bollettino Societa Palaeontologica Italiana 23: 3-20) in error, evidently because he did not routinely invite informal expert peer-review of his manuscripts, and because of his predilection to publish almost exclusively in German serials which practised (until very recently in the case of some) limited or no independent outside review as opposed to in-house editorial review. Günther probably preferred to publish in German journals because of the quality of their photographic plates, which has always been infinitely superior to that of plates in Australian journals. His preference to publish his ideas "uncensored" and to await the outcome regardless of what may is not without precedent, and presumably reflected his European background.

In addition to publications on conodonts and ostracods and their biostratigraphy, the fossil groups represented in his publications include: tommotiids (Cambrian); byroniids (thecate scyphopolyps, early Palaeozoic); trepostome bryozoans (but regarded by Günther as a new class of cnidarians; Silurian); carareous algae (Silurian and Devonian); inarticulate brachiopods (late Cambrian and Ordovician); conulariids (Silurian); molluscs (Pelagiellidae, Cambrian); polyplacophorans (Silurian); and echinoderms (Silurian). In addition to minor silicified faunal remains, much of the palaeontological material that Günther worked on in these papers constituted phosphatic biological remains: either primary, or of early replacement origin, in some cases preserving soft parts/tissues of the animals (as in his 1980 paper [with S. Jane Hall] on the growth history of post-larval echinoderm endoskeletons [Senckenbergiana lethaea 61: 145-171]). Most of this phosphatic/phosphatized and silicified material constituted incidental discoveries in acid-residues from carbonate samples that he had collected in the search for conodonts, especially from Silurian successions of central-west NSW. He corked too on microborings/biodegradation (two papers), on micro-coprolites (two papers); and on microproblematica (Cambrian-Devonian; one posthumous publication - Conaghan and Bischoff 2000).

In his capacity as an Applied Micro palaeontologist, both in Industry and Academia, Günther was also knowledgeable about other biostratigraphically-important groups of microfossils that he did not publish on (such as foraminifera, chitinozoans, and acritarchs). He supervised Honours and Masters students on projects on such groups (in addition to many projects on conodonts and ostrocods) and at the time of his death he still had one Masters students working on early Palaeozoic chitinozoans from Libya. His largest publication in his time as an academic in Australia, and the largest since his 1957 work with Willi Ziegler, is his 1986 monograph: "Early and Middle Silurian conodonts from mid-western New South Wales (Cour. Forsch. - Inst. Senckenberg 89: 1-337), a work that stemmed ultimately from fieldwork that he began in the early 1970s. This work, based on 14 stratigraphic sections near Orange, NSW, constitutes a major contribution to the non-coniform conodont biostratigraphy of the Silurian in Australia, and in which Günther's major objective was to correlate his conodont assemblages with the standard graptolite zones (previously discriminated by Jenkins, 1978) and with the previously established conodont zones from overseas. Günther's contribution to Silurian conodont biostratigraphy in eastern Australia has been reviewed in a wider context by Simpson (1995). In the last two conodont papers published before he died (1997 and 1998) he erected new species of biostratigraphically important coniform conodonts from these same Silurian rocks.

In the last decade of his life Günther's research concentrated mainly on the topics of bioaccumulation and biodegradation of various minerals and metals in natural systems, in particular supergene environments; and he co-supervised (with Blair Hosteler) a PhD student in such topics. The first three publications and the sixth in this field (1992, 1994, 1994, 1997; the first two coauthored variously with Robert Coenraads and John Lusk) dealt with the microbial accumulation and microbial dissolution of alluvial gold, controversial topics that Günther and his co-workers were among the first to explore. Interspersed with and following these papers in gold were seven other articles (spanning the years 1994 to 2000) that explored : (1) Fossil and Recent traces of biodegradation of heavy minerals (1994; with Robert Coenraads); (2) adsorption of aluminosilicates by living microbes in acidic metal-contaminated water (1997); (3) [ad]sorption of various associations of metals (Pb-Cu-Mn; Pb-Cu-Fe; and Bi)by aluminosilicified micro-organisms in various gossan environments (1995, 1997, 2000); and (4) microbial biodegradation in lateritic bauxite biodegradation (1997). At the time of his death Günther had almost completed a sequel to the last-named paper in this list, namely a paper about microbial bioaccumulation in lateritic bauxite.

Throughout his career Günther was meticulous in the preparation of his scientific illustrations, especially the photomicrographs of the materials that he studied. He was an excellent incident-light and electron microscopist; was always quick to utilise the best and most up-to-date technology in this regard, and began using SEM (and later, as the need arose, EDS) technology right from the start of his academic career in Australia (initially at the University of NSW in the days before Macquarie University acquired its own SEM). But he never got around to putting his hands on a computer keyboard and continued to use (for small jobs) a standard mechanical typewriter and depended on School/Departmental secretarial/"typing-pool" staff for word-processing the bulk of his manuscript work. Right to the end he hand-wrote (in large clear script) the initial draft of his manuscripts. Likewise, in his semi-retirement years, he was ever the practical man in his own family scene: not only did he work tirelessly in his own garden (even to the extent of carrying out major new landscaping himself), but he also actively participated over a protracted period in the restoration of the houses of his two sons.

Since his retirement from teaching in 1997 Günther continued his research as an Honorary Associate on a part-time basis, firstly in the School of Earth Sciences, and subsequent to the vertical restructuring of Macquarie University (effective 1.1.1999), in the newly-formed Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. In this period he collaborated with Malcolm Walters Neoproterozoic Research Group at Macquarie, and in particularly with: Khaled Al-Aroui on the extraction and isolation of biomarker analysis of palynomorphs on Neoproterozoic sediments of the Centralian Superbasin; with myself on SEM and EDS analyses of microbial mats and associated microbially-mediated carbonates in Neoproterozoic sediments of the Officer Basin of South Australia; and with Malcolm Walter in miscellaneous microbial problematica in stratiform sulphides and associated sediments of the McArthur River Basin of the Northern Territory. A paper that Günther coauthored with Al-Aroui, myself, Walter, and Kath Grey (Geol. Surv. WA; formerly of Macquarie Univ.) on the Officer Basin of South Australia was published in March 2000 (Precambrian Research 100: 235-280) and is chronologically the last paper to have been published bearing Günther's name in a refereed journal, though others (not yet completed) may yet appear.

Günther was unpretentious and liked social informality. But when formality was called for he invariably presented himself impeccably. He was rarely absent at student social functions, especially MUGS (Macquarie University Geosciences Society) BBQs, where he liked to drink beer and engage in conversation with students and staff. Günther's second-year Palaeontology course was popular, as much with biology students as with Earth Science students, as was his more advanced course in Micropalaeontology. Testimony to his popularity as a teach is the fact that MUGS voted him "Teacher of the Year" in 1991 and runner-up to this category in 1992, and also organised a special farewell dinner for him to commemorate his retirement, a unique honour if my memory serves me right. He got on well with most people and was well liked. Importantly, he was very generous with his time, and was always willing to help colleagues and students. On several occasions he went in to bat for students who had had misadventures. In his own special ways Günther was an innovator. He always took it upon himself to promote the School and the University by preparing palaeontological displays, and exhibiting them in person: both on campus (Open Days etc.); and off campus (at Science Fairs etc.; e.g. at the Macquarie Shopping Complex). In his time at Macquarie he encouraged and supervised many Honours, Masters, and Masters-Honours students on projects in micropalaeontology, co-supervised others in field-mapping-based projects that contained, inter alia, biostratigraphicc objectives based on microfossils; and supervised a few projects in petroleum geology. But, strangely, the only two PhD students he ever got to supervise were (effectively) in economic geology (and these were on a co-supervised basis with other colleagues).

In the course of his career, both in Industry and Academia, Günther amassed a huge collection of reference microfossils representing many taxonomic groups. After he retired from teaching he prepared a very large portion of these materials (but restricted to material that he collected/acquired prior to his time at Macquarie University) for donation to the ANU in Canberra (this was at the suggestion of his former Macquarie University research-student, and now ANU staff-member, Patrick De Deckker). The materials in this donation (which are available to any researchers wanting to study them) come variously from surface outcrop and cores and cuttings; they represent Palaeozoic, Mesozoic and Tertiary sections variously in Lebanon, Israel, North Africa (Algeria, Libya, Ethiopia), Europe (France, Germany, Holland, Switzerland), USA, Brazil, and Western Australia (including microfossils from Yulleroo No. 1).

During his career as a academic in Australia, all of the figured material that he published in Geologica et Palaeontologica in 1973 (i.e., the "conodont animal" paper), and all that figured in the five papers he published in Senckenbergiana Iethaea in the period from 1976 to 1981, is archived respectively in the collections of the Phillips-University (Marburg) and the Senckenberg-Museum (Frankfurt am Main), at the request of those institutions. In archiving his type-materials in the country of publication Günther was following former tradition. But, in the 1980s the wider Australian palaeontological community decided that this traditional practice of archiving overseas the type-specimens of Australian fossils must cease, and they lobbied for and obtained from the Australian Federal Government special legislation to prevent/control the permanent export of such scientific/heritage/cultural materials. Subsequent to 1981/1982 (when presumably the new legislation came into effect) Günther archived all his type-material (as far as I am aware) in the Macquarie University School of Earth Sciences collections (regardless of where he published), but also archived representative similar specimens at the Senckenberg Museum whenever he again published in Senckenbergiana Iethaea (this was presumably at the request of the latter institution). Against the backdrop of the aforesaid Australian scientific political machinations precipitated in a large part by Günther, how ironic it now is that the parlous state to which Australian universities (and AGSO itself) have been reduced under the present Federal Government threatens the continued maintenance, and even the very existence, of the scientific archives and reference collections of those institutions. As I recently quipped (apropos of the content of the last few sentences) to a colleague and former student of Günther's, Andrew Simpson, the current (part-time) "Museums Educator" at Macquarie University (and Silurian conodont worker): "Providing the Germans don't ever start WW3, Günther's type-materials of Australian fossils that are archived in Germany are probably much safer there than the ones archived back here in Australia are now, and presently look like ever being!" Andrew responded: "I agree."

Günther was always a friend and colleague to me, as he was also to many others. He frequently sought my knowledge and advice in research matters where he needed technical or general help resolving problems that lay outside his own areas of expertise but potentially in mine (not that I was his only source of advice in such matters: John Lusk especially was another). Perhaps my most endearing consultation initiated by Günther was as follows: he was investigating (characteristically, to help an Honours student in Physical Geography or Environmental Studies who was working on acid-sulphate soils) some aspects of a foul-looking Quaternary-aged black organic/peaty mud that contained (as he incidentally mentioned to me at the time) spectacular pyrite framboids; and in the context of needing to know what appropriate name he should use for this sediment in writing up his report for the student or the student's supervisor, he asked me, "Pat, what name should I call this by?" I said: "Günther, the correct technical term for this stuff is muck"; whereupon I opened up my copy of the 1972 edition of the AGI Glossary of Geology (to p.467) and showed him the definition of "muck". I recall that he went away looking quite contented if not a little amused with the technical outcome of his query, manifested by a smile on his face!

I collaborated with Günther on various research projects over the years, and on occasions discovered that he could be extremely stubborn and impossible to shift in his scientific opinions, or even on matters of style in reporting factual (including non-palaeontological) details. Nevertheless, despite the fact that we occasionally agreed to disagree, Günther and I always remained good working mates. He and I still have quite a deal of unfinished research business to be attended to, God willing.
When Günther's wife, Rosemarie, looked through Günther's papers the day after he died she found his Certificate of Confirmation in the Lutheran Church. On it was a proverb, which she thought expressed his ideals:
"Sei getreu bis inden Tod
So will ich dir die Krone des Lebens geben"

In English,
"Be true to yourself unto death
and you will receive the crown of life.
You will live forever."

PATRICK J. CONAGHAN, Macquarie University

Addendum: This obituary incorporates beneficial suggestions and feedback on factual matters from Günther's family and, variously, from Macquarie University former-/colleagues of both Günther and myself, from several former undergraduate and postgraduate students of Günther's, and from outside Macquarie University. I thank all these persons for their contributions. This brief summary of Günther's life and geological career does not pretend nor should it be construed to be a critical professional (specialist's ) assessment of Günther's contributions to science, and especially to palaeontology. Not being primarily a palaeontologist myself, I leave that to be written by others.

References Cited:
CONAGHAN P.J. & BISCHOFF G.C.O. 2000. Honeycombe-template-pattern-likemineral-occlusion problematica of closed ostracod carapaces in Lower New South Wales explained as fossilised trapped taphonomic gas-bubble complexes that formed diagenetically at shallow burial depths. Palaeontology Down Under 2000, Geological Society of Australia, Abstracts 61, 19-23.
GEWERKYSCHAFT ELWERATH INC. 1976. Yulleroo No. 1 Well: Well Completion Report. Bureau of Mineral Resources Australia, File 67/4249 (unpublished).
JENKINS C.J. 1978. Llandovery and Wenlock stratigraphy of the Four Mile Creek and "Angullong" area, central New South Wales. Linn. Soc. N.S.W. Proc. 102, 109-130.
PLAYFORD P.E. 1967. Devonian reef complexes in the northern Canning Basin, Western Australia. In Oswald D.H. (Ed.), International Symposium on the Devonian System, Calgary 1967, vol. II, pp.351-364.
SIMPSON A. 1995. Silurian conodont biostratigraphy in Australia: A review and critique. Cour. Forsch. - Inst. Senckenberg 1982, 325-345, 4 text-figs.
YEATES A.N. GIBSON D.I. TOWNER R.R. & CROWE R.W.A 1984. Regional Geology of the Onshore Canning Basin, W.A. In Purcell P.G. (Ed.), The Canning Basin, W.A. Proceedings of Geol. Soc. Aust./Pet. Expl. Soc. Aust. Symposium, Perth; pp. 23-55.

PATRICK J. CONAGHAN, Macquarie University
TAG #116, September 2000

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David BLIGHT

1947 - 2005

David Frank Blight died suddenly of a coronary occlusion at his home in Nedlands, Perth on the morning of 3 October 2005. David was a member of the Geological Society of Australia, the Australian Institute of Geoscientists, The Society of Economic Geologists and a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. David's distinguished geoscientific career spanned a broad range of fields in government and industry, where he has left numerous enduring monuments to his work and initiatives, and a very large number of bereft friends, colleagues and acquaintances across the minerals industry of Australia.

Born in Melbourne, 17 June 1947, David served his undergraduate years at the University of Adelaide where he graduated with a BSc (Hons) in geology and chemistry. He then continued with the University to complete his PhD in 1975 in metamorphic petrology, which included a season's fieldwork around the Australian Antarctic base at Casey. He was an outstanding student, but it was probably the Casey experience where he often worked alone, and occasionally in life-threatening circumstances, that cemented his strong and independent character for life. One particularly graphic story involved his return alone on his snowmobile after field observation and rock collecting, even to within sight of the base, before being suddenly overtaken by a snowstorm and that most-feared of Antarctic phenomena, complete white-out. He followed survival protocol and dug himself a cave in the snow, but the many hours of solitary contemplation waiting for the storm to abate was a challenging exercise in the knowledge that there could be no external rescue.

In an environment of extreme competition for geological postings, he was appointed to the Geological Survey of Western Australia in 1976, where over the ensuing 6 years he worked as a petrologist, in regional mapping (Barlee, Bencubbin, 1:250 000 sheets) and as a mineral resource geologist. At the Survey he quickly developed a reputation for being a fun person, usually to be found in the middle of 'High Noon' shoot-outs in the corridors, or strongly suspected of a role in a series of garden gnome sightings around the Perth suburbs.
Following separation from his first wife, Judy, David eventually came to know Margaret, a colleague at the Survey, who became his wife and, ultimately, mother to their children Luke and Claire.

In 1982, his interest in mineral resources and an improved mining environment led him into thirteen years of aggressive mineral exploration, initially with Union Oil searching Australia for carbonatite intrusions associated with rare earth and specialty metal deposits. It was during this time that David's interest in enhancement of the professional environment for geologists led him to become the inaugural
Secretary to the WA branch of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists, an organisation that has thrived and prospered in subsequent years.

It was also during this period that his natural spirit of enquiry, and possibly a streak of devilment at upsetting conventional theory, led him to write what he considered to be his most satisfying technical paper, which after several rejections was eventually published in, of all places considering his line of work, a major palaeontological journal (Palaeo cubed)! David's father, an aeronautical engineer, had noticed the beautiful aerofoil shape of a certain family of sea-floor dwelling fossil shells. So they set about attaching a model of one of these beasts to the bottom of the family swimming pool in front of the water inlet, thus imitating submarine tidal water flows, and for Mr Blight senior, the next best thing to a wind tunnel. As anticipated, the fossil flew, but it took a lot of experimental refinement with electric drills winding the model the length of the pool before the paper was completed. From this piece of aquatic frolicking by two rather large scientists, came the seminal paper: 'Flying spiriferids: some thoughts on the life style of a Devonian Brachiopod' by F G and D F Blight.

By 1985, gold was becoming a focus for explorers in WA and David joined Hampton Australia as Exploration Manager, but the flurry of gold industry corporate mergers and takeovers that characterised the mid-80s included folding Hampton into the Dallhold Resources stable. David was uncomfortable with the ensuing corporate environment, and under encouragement from his long-time mentor at the Geological Survey, the late Joe Lord, became an Executive Director for Mt Martin Gold Mines, and Noble Resources.
This resulted in David and his family moving to Kalgoorlie, where he was proud to have Luke and Claire attend North Kalgoorlie Primary School, a symbol of the mining industry he loved, and the egalitarianism he espoused. David entered enthusiastically into the life of Kalgoorlie, becoming a member of Hannans Club, a Board Member of the WA Kalgoorlie-Boulder Museum that established the Hannan St
Mining Museum and, under pressure from his wife to take up a healthy sport, a member of the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Pistol club.

As his children reached high school age, David and the family returned to Perth in 1994. It was at this time that Margaret died suddenly of leukaemia.

He threw himself into single parenting with energy and almost military discipline, making a week's worth of lunch sandwiches on Sunday night, and as Claire later ruefully remarked, hardly something to look forward to each day at school as they were all invariably the same. David realised his Mrs Doubtfire role was incompatible with corporate travel and fieldwork, and with characteristic pragmatism, took the
advice of friends and returned to the Geological Survey of Western Australia, this time as Perth-based Deputy Director.

It was not long before he met, and soon married, Paula, who took on with enthusiasm and passion, the role of wife and surrogate Mum to the children.

In 1998 he was promoted to Director of the Geological Survey, and in 2000 moved back to South Australia to become Executive Director of the Minerals and Energy Division of the South Australian Government. In this position he oversaw significant expansion of exploration and mining development activity in South Australia and commitment by the Government of a $15 million industry incentive package. This incentive in the form of an exploration drilling subsidy has already borne fruit with the discovery of completely new mineralization.
In April 2004 he resigned from the South Australian Government to take on the role of Chief Executive Officer and driver for the genesis and listing on the Australian Stock Exchange of Abra Mining Limited. With a major drilling program currently underway on a potentially very large ore body, there is every chance that David's dream of proving up a world-class polymetallic mine will be eventually realised, a fitting tribute to his career in economic geology.

The geological community within Australia has lost, far too early, a fine geologist and man of many parts. We, and our colleagues, deeply mourn David's passing and extend our sympathy to Paula, Luke and Claire, and all members of his family

ROB DUNCAN, IAN NOWAK
TAG #137, November 2005

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A.H. (Hugh) BLISSETT

1920 - 2002

Hugh Blissett died on 13 June 2002 aged 81 years.

Hugh was born on 20 September 1920 and raised in Lincolnshire, England. Following war service with the RAF in North Africa and Italy, where he lost the sight of one eye and suffered a severely injured right arm, he acquired a Master of Science degree in Geology from the Imperial College, London and later emigrated to Australia, joining the Geological Survey of Tasmania from 1957 to 1962.

In 1963, Hugh joined the Geological Survey of South Australia and commenced duties in the Mineral Resources Division, working in both the Non-Metallics (to 1971) and Metallics Sections. Among his achievements during this period was his contribution on Economic Geology to Bulletin 43 on the Mount Painter Province.

In 1972, at the age of 52, Hugh transferred to the Regional Mapping Section (headed by Bren Thomson and Bryan Forbes). Here, he commenced detailed geological mapping of the Gawler Range Volcanics, assisted by Frank Radke (Amdel) and Alistair Crooks. This resulted in publication of the CHILDARA, GAIRDNER and YARDEA 1: 250 000 geological maps, and Explanatory Notes for CHILDARA and GAIRDNER. Hugh's expertise on this important province of Mesoproterozoic acid volcanics culminated in his compilation of the Special map (1: 500 000 scale) "Geological setting of the Gawler Range Volcanics" (1987), and his contribution to Chapter 5 of The Geology of South Australia (Vol. 1) (1993) published after his retirement at the age of 65 in 1985.
In many ways Hugh was ahead of his time. Between 1975 and 1979 he was instrumental in setting up the Rock Sample database, which was one of the first computerised databases created by the Geological Survey. The Rock Sample database now contains more than 600 000 entries and is a key component of the Geoscientific GIS data packages compiled by the Geological Survey Branch of Primary Industries and Resources SA, and by similar organisations throughout Australia and overseas.

Hugh was a kindly, patient and polite gentleman who was always willing to assist with any geological problem. He was never critical of others and was a very private and independent person with a wide interest in other areas of science such as astronomy, as well as current affairs. Hugh always set his own pace and had his own way of doing things. He will be sadly missed

PAUL A. ROGERS, Geological Survey Branch SA
TAG #127, June 2003

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David BRANAGAN

Foundation Member of the Geological Society of Australia
Honorary Member of the Geological Society of Australia

David Branagan is an Honorary Research Associate, School of Geosciences, Sydney University, where he taught for thirty years. Born at Broken Hill, NSW, he had an undistinguished undergraduate few years at Sydney University, enjoying athletics, music, bushwalking , caving and table tennis, and benefiting from some great teachers of geology, notably W.R. Browne, Germaine Joplin, George Osborne, John Dulhunty, Florrie Quodling, Ida Brown and Frank Rickwood.

He joined the Geological Survey of New South Wales in December 1950 and, over the next three years or so, gained wonderful experience in many parts of the State with Len Hall, Jim Lloyd, Col Adamson, Jack Harrison, Fred Booker, and most particularly with his mentor E.O. (Ted) Rayner in the Western Coalfield.

Having missed out on an Antarctic job in 1953 he joined National Lead of New York, under John Ivanac in exploration for copper, lead and uranium in Central Australia and NW Queensland, and a brief contact with sand-mining on the east coast.

From mid 1954 to early 1957 was spent in Europe, studying music with a stint of high school teaching, followed by work on African photogeology for Hunting Technical Services, and getting married.

Return to Sydney via the USA saw brief stints as a builders' labourer (a great job!) and in medical equipment sales (not my cup of tea). Serendipity (someone leaving at short notice and a chance lunchtime phone call to Prof Charles Marshall) took me back to the Department of Geology & Geophysics at Sydney Uni into coal research, and the chance to do a Ph.D. The pay was even higher than in the private sector –imagine that!

Serendipity struck again in 1960 when an eminent and better-qualified person declined the offer to lecture to hordes of Geology 1 students. I took the job and, in the days of tenure, they were more or less stuck with me.

The next thirty years or so were great fun with lots happening in the geological world and at the University, which in those days was well-funded. Field trips were particularly memorable, and helped inspire the production, in association with Gordon Packham (a true genius in the field), of Field Geology of New South Wales. Combined field trips with the University of New South Wales and support from the Geological Survey of New South Wales, begun by Cliff McElroy and Ken Glasson at Joadja moved north, settling for a few years at Glenbawn Dam, where well over a hundred aspiring geos perspired in February warmth to solve the stratigraphic and structural puzzles. They were good days indeed. Later excursions in New Zealand and Western Victoria were similarly memorable, at least to me.

I migrated a little to Engineering and Mining Geology (when the latter course still existed at SU) and particularly enjoyed the practical aspects of applying geology to 'real' problems (landslides, dams, tunnels etc.). There was always a lot to learn.

Since retirement in 1989 I have spent more time on the history of Australian geology, but the Sydney Basin has not been forgotten and odd bits of its geology are still being pursued. I have enjoyed the friendship of many fine colleagues, some sadly already passed on, and got to know uncountable students and to respect their abilities. I cannot imagine a better career than that of a geologist.

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Colin BRANCH

Fellow of the Geological Society of Australia

Colin BRANCH, B.Sc.(Hons), Ph.D. (Syd), FGSA

CAREER
I was enthused by Geology at Newington College (1951-52), and obtained a Commonwealth Scholarship to The University of Sydney (1953-56), graduating B.Sc. with First Class Honours in Geology. An Atomic Energy Commission Scholarship awarded in 1954, bonded me to the Commonwealth Bureau of Mineral Resources (now Geoscience Australia) where I was assigned to a regional mapping party in far North Queensland, spending six months straight in the field and six months in Canberra, for the next five years. My interest in the Palaeozoic acid volcanics and granites led to a Ph.D. at Sydney University on 'The volcanic cauldrons, ring complexes and associated granites of the Georgetown Inlier, Queensland' [also BMR Bulletin 76]. The thesis was submitted while on my way through Sydney to be the Senior Volcanologist in Papua New Guinea (1963-65) based in Rabaul, but surveillance of active volcanoes and earthquakes took me to many remote locations and also made me aware that our Planet is alive and tectonically active (this was well before plate tectonics became popular).

On return to BMR in Canberra I was the Petrologist-in-charge of the X-ray diffraction and spectrography laboratory (1965-68). I became increasingly concerned that newly graduating geologists generally did not value field work but thought all problems could be solved by analytical means, so in 1969 I was appointed the Senior Lecturer in Applied Geology at what is now the University of Southern Queensland and planned a three-year degree course. But I became frustrated at how slowly the bureaucracy moved, so in late 1970 I accepted the position of Foundation Head of the Department of Applied Geology at what is now the University of South Australia. Degree and Post-Graduate courses were quickly accredited and our graduates were readily accepted by industry. ARGC awards over three years also allowed me to map a volcanic complex in the Gawler Range Volcanic Province.

While establishing the new Department I recognised my responsibility to become involved in Academic Boards and Committees in order to apply my four dimensional geological style of reasoning to influence major decision making, as opposed to the generally linear methods used by engineers, economists and administrators. This led me in 1976 to become the Director (Resources) and Government Geologist in the South Australian Department of Mines and Energy, where a highlight was my role as negotiator for Aboriginal Land Rights legislation. I also was an assessor of World Bank and United Nations funded projects in Irian Jaya, Kalimantan and Myanmar. In 1987 I joined the Department of Minerals and Energy in Western Australia as Deputy Director General and amongst many activities I chaired Ministerial inquiries into conservation and rehabilitation in relation to quarrying, onshore seismic lines, gold mining, mineral sands mining, and uranium. I retired in 1999. While with the department, in 1990 I was appointed Chairman of the Minerals and Energy Research Institute of Western Australia from which I retired in 2006.

GSA INVOLVEMENT
Recording Secretary, Territories Division 1965-66
SGGMP – inaugural National Secretary/Treasurer 1968-69
Chairman SA Division 1973-74
Geological Monuments – inaugural National Convenor 1974-79
President 1980-81. At the GSA AGM I chaired in Perth it was agreed to support the formation of both the Australian Geoscience Council and the Australian Institute of Geoscientists.
Convenor, Eighth AGC Convention Adelaide 1985-86

RELATED INVOLVEMENTS
Australian Geoscience Council – inaugural Secretary 1981-82; President 1984-85
Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies – inaugural Board Member for the Geoscientific Societies, and inaugural Executive Secretary – 1985-87
Australian UNESCO Committee for the International Geological Correlation Program – Chairman 1985-88
Australian Ionising Radiation Advisory Council – AGC representative 1986-94
Australasian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy – Councillor, Vice-President, Ethics Committee Chairman 1988-96

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Kirsty Margot BROWN

The death of Kirsty Brown was a tragedy. Kirsty was fulfilling the role of an eager, curiosity-driven geobioscientist with all the attributes of a young woman with much to offer the world. And then the world lost her - and her friends and family are distraught and bewildered.

Australians were "exposed" to Kirsty from the late 1990s. She turned up at the Geology Dept at Adelaide University, and asked the Manager who she should see to study Marine Geology. He directed her to me, as the 1st year Co-ordinator. This 5ft "youngster" looked at him with her twinkling eyes and a big smile, and said, "Well, actually, I've already got an MSc in Marine Geology - I was thinking more of a PhD..."
Her research on the volume and biotic source of calcareous material hosted on sea-grasses took her into the Australian coastal and shallow-shelf waters. It also took her onto these seas, aboard cruises to the GAB on RV Franklin (CSIRO), the SA gulfs on RV Nigerin and on customs vessels to the Ashmore Reef area. She completed her field and laboratory work, presenting it at a number of Conferences, including two AGCs, where it was well acclaimed. She was busy writing her thesis, along with activity in a myriad of other interests, e.g. Sec., SA Branch, GSA, driving her beloved 4WD vehicle, out-drinking all male companions, helping all and sundry - often against the admonitions of her friends, financially supporting children overseas, tutoring undergraduate classes, etc...

Then along came an enticing opportunity to apply for a position with the British Antactic Survey to study the affect on sea-floor biota of the grounding and movement of glaciers. We all encouraged her to apply, as going to the Antarctic was a longstanding goal, especially after her widely-acclaimed underwater photographic successes in the Arctic, under the auspices of Doug Shearman and Dan Bosence. She was offered the job from a selection of over 100 applicants. She loved the job - and spent some of her spare time continuing to write her thesis.

Leopard seals are poorly understood, but not usually seen as a human threat. Kirsty and her dive buddy wee snorkelling and routinely, i.e. strict safety procedures in place, scanning the sea-floor with powerful strobes as additional back-up work to their daily underwater diving. A leopard seal suddenly appeared, grabbed Kirsty and dove with her to the sea-floor some 70 metres below. It then released her. The coroner stated that she was probably dead by the time she was at -2m.

Kirsty's memory will never fade as it is too strongly held by the incredible range of people who knew her. Her work will be completed, with her PhD submitted posthumously and her work published with her as first author. An Australian blue gum has been planted in the woods on her parent's property, where she grew up - and it bears a plaque from her Australian friends - that it is in memory of our Friend, Student and Colleague.

YVONNE BONE, Geology Dept. University of Adelaide (Kirsty's supervisor)
TAG #129, December 2003

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Ken CAMPBELL

                                                                                                                                             
Like so many of my colleagues, I took Geology as a fourth subject in my science degree. I studied Pure
Mathematics and Geology through the course.  I was granted First Class Degree in Geology.  Then in conjunction
with the Queensland Geological Survey and the University of Queensland, I spent a year geologically interpreting
the air photos of the area west of Townsville and Cairns. This work was published on the 40 mile map of Queensland
in 1953. In 1952 I began 10 years of teaching and researching in the New England University College, and began
studying the Devonian to Permian rocks west of the Hunter-Bowen Fault.  It was exhilarating to see so many of our
students go on to successful careers in industry and teaching. Four of them did Honours with me, then did PhDs at
other Universities.  They went on to Senior positions in Universities or Surveys.  At the end of 1957 I won a Nuffield
Dominion Travelling Fellowship to Cambridge, to work on Permian brachiopods, and this work was subsequently published.
In 1961 I came to ANU as a Senior Lecturer. I had a number of postgraduate students on scholarships, and the Early
Devonian limestones at Taemas and Wee Jasper offered treasures for research.  

Overseas students came to work on brachiopods, trilobites, ostracods and bryozoans, and Australian students also
came to work on trilobites from north Queensland and crinoids from the Permian on the South Coast.  Regional field
work in NSW and the Yass Syncline attracted both honours and PhD students, and most of these students are now in 
senior positions in industry, museums  or universities  here and overseas..  
Also a Geology of Australia and New Zealand was published with D.A Brown and K.A.W. Crook. In 1965 I won a
Fulbright Fellowship to study trilobites at Harvard.  I published work on trilobites from the Silurian and Devonian of
Oklahoma and the Silurian of Maine.  This study enhanced my supervision of our postgraduate students. I represented
Australia in 1978 at a meeting in Russia of the International Committee on the Siluro-Devonian Boundary.  
In 1969 I organised and edited a volume of essays in honour of Dorothy Hill, and in 1975 I edited the volume for the
Third Gondwana Symposium.  In 1986  I was awarded the Mawson Medal, in 2007 the W.R.Browne Medal,  and in 2010  
the W.B. Clarke Medal for contributions to Australian Geology. Meanwhile I had discovered an Early Devonian lungfish at
Taemas, and this started me on a new research project.  

With R.E.Barwick, we published numerous papers on Palaeozoic dipnoans. This work also attracted several research
students who have done excellent work on the Devonian fishes of Australia.  
It also enabled me to collaborate with workers in China and Europe. In the Geology Department I had become Dean
of Science from 1980-1982, and then was appointed Professor of Geology in 1983.  I chaired several University Committees, 
including the ANU Press.  Also in 1983 I was elected to a Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Science.  I served on the 
Council of that body from1990-1993.
I retired from the University in 1993, and a volume of the Memoirs of the Palaeontological Association of Australasia was
published in my honour at that time.

John CANN

In 1937, John Cann was born at The Rock, a little known town in New South Wales; how many geologists could claim such a start in life? He showed an early economic interest in rocks and minerals; quartz crystals collected from mullock around mine shafts at Forbes were identified as diamonds and chalcopyrite he found at Cloncurry was thought to be gold.

John’s formal geological education began in 1956 at the University of New England where he studied to become a secondary science teacher. Geology was selected initially as a fourth subject, after Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics, but under the tuition of people such as Alan Voisey, Ken Campbell, John Wilkinson and Keith Crook he soon developed a lasting passion for the Earth sciences and went on to a double major in geology for his BSc. His DipEd thesis (1959) proposed a case for the inclusion of geology in the NSW junior secondary science program, a case that was then successfully argued by Alan Voisey.

John’s career in science teaching began in 1960 at Canberra Grammar School. In his second year of teaching he introduced geology as a senior science subject, and as the restructured four year junior science program was phased into NSW and ACT secondary schools, he was given the task of preparing a curriculum in which geology enjoyed an equal place with the other more traditional sciences. Moreover, at that time, he was the only science teacher in Canberra who had formal qualifications in geology, so found himself playing a pivotal role as mentor in the ACT Science Teachers Association. He later took charge of the science department at Canberra Grammar School.

During 1969-1970 John Cann was principal of the Nauru Secondary School. This was an interesting time for him, both personally and professionally, but he did not easily accommodate the reality of the separation from class room teaching that accompanies school administration. This fact, together with a difficult bureaucracy, convinced him to reconsider his career options. However, it was in Nauru that he developed his interest in coral reefs, carbonates and phosphates.

In 1971 he was appointed foundation lecturer in geology at Salisbury Teachers College (an institution which underwent subsequent changes of name and status, amalgamations, and eventually became a component of the University of South Australia). At this time Australia was enjoying a resources boom and there was much interest in geology and geological education. Student numbers increased rapidly and an expanded Earth Science Department was established to meet the demand. Subsequently, John took charge of the secondary mathematics and science teacher education degree program and his colleague William (‘Haggis’) Shackleton became head of department.

In the early 1970s John studied an assemblage of late Pleistocene molluscan fossils that had been excavated from a coastal site near Salisbury, and recognised several species (such as the Shark Bay pearl oyster) of tropical affinity. Thus he learned of the ‘last interglacial’, stimulating his interest in past climates and sea levels. At Adelaide University, Brian McGowran persuaded him that foraminifera have greater potential value than molluscs as environmental proxies, and so John enrolled in a PhD with Brian as supervisor, exploring the distribution of benthic foraminifera in the South Australian gulfs and adjacent continental shelf, and the fossil equivalents of these same species in Quaternary marine sediments. As this work progressed, influential research colleagues included Tony Belperio, Patrick DeDeckker, Victor Gostin and Colin Murray-Wallace, all of whom made valuable contributions to his professional development.

In the rationalisation of staff and campuses that followed the formation of the University of South Australia, John (now Associate Professor) joined the Applied Geology staff at The Levels campus (subsequently renamed Mawson Lakes). In 1997, with further rationalisation of staff numbers, John accepted early official retirement, but remained as an adjunct, teaching in his areas of specialisation and supervising student research. He was thus able to devote more time to research and consulting.

During 1990-2001 John was a visiting academic at the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, U.S.A. During that time he taught aspects of his research interests to both undergraduate and graduate classes, gave seminars at several American universities and worked jointly with researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey on postglacial sedimentation in Chesapeake Bay. His close associations with Steven Stanley (palaeontologist) and Lawrence Hardie (carbonates and evaporites) at Johns Hopkins were particularly rewarding.

For most of the past decade John has been Adjunct Professor (Geology) in the School of Natural and Built
Environments at the University of South Australia. He has been chairman and secretary of the SA Division
of the Geological Society and remains particularly active in the preparation of field guides, such as that for
the Coorong Lagoon and adjacent environments. He was the 2007 recipient of the Webb Medal. Now (2012)
in his 75th year he remains an active teacher and researcher. 


John Cann's Geological career and profile

Samuel Warren CAREY AO

Foundation Member of the Geological Society of Australia
Honorary Member of the Geological Society of Australia

1911- 2002

Professor S. Warren Carey died peacefully on 20 March 2002 at Hobart Private Hospital.

He will be missed by a large community of Australian geologists who were either his students, those who worked for or with him, or who were influenced by his many ideas on the way the earth works.

Samuel Warren Carey was born near Campbelltown, New South Wales on 1 November 1911. His schooling was at Campbelltown and later at Canterbury High School where he was a high achiever. From here, he entered the University of Sydney in 1929, during the depression years, enrolling in chemistry, physics and mathematics, taking geology as a fourth, fill-in subject on the advice of his high school teacher James ('Jerry') Jervis. Here he came under the influence of the retired Sir T.W. Edgeworth David, a leading participant in Ernest Shackleton's 1907-1909 Antarctic expedition. A picture of David always hung over Carey's desk. Carey graduated with First Class Honours in Geology in 1932 and received the Science Research Scholarship which allowed him to go to a Master of Science degree. This was conferred in 1934 for work in the Werrie Basin of northern New South Wales. In addition to his studies, he was a member of the University regiment and active in rowing. He founded the Students' Geological Society and was its first president.

From academia, he joined Oil Search in Papua New Guinea and explored many areas where white men had not been seen. He was an outstanding field geologist, very concerned for the welfare of his field staff, the local people and his equipment. He showed in this period the dedication to the small details that made the exploration effort successful. This was a lifetime attitude. His activities in New Guinea convinced him of the dynamic nature of the earth and stirred the lifelong interest in tectonics (science of large-scale movements of the earth - continental drift and the like). He moved from Oil Search to the Australasian Petroleum Company and wrote a thesis entitled Tectonic Evolution of New Guinea and Melanesia which earned him a Doctor of Science degree from the University of Sydney. The drama of the transport of this thesis overseas for examination is a story in itself and reflects the transport and communications problems of a world at war. During this time, in June 1940, he married Austral.

He remained in industry until 1942 when events in New Guinea led to evacuation of the Careys to Melbourne. He joined a special unit - Z-Force - and returned to port Moresby to recruit and train personnel for work behind enemy lines and in preparation for a raid on Rabaul. He also became a paratrooper. Here again, his attention to detail in design of boats and field equipment came to the fore. He was involved in the famous dummy limpet mining of ships in Townsville Harbour, written up in R. McKie's The Heroes and dramatised some years ago by ABC radio.

With the winding down of the war effort, Carey returned to Melbourne and moved to Tasmania to take up the position of Chief Government Geologist for Tasmania. He retained this position until 1946 when he was appointed the Foundation Professor of Geology at the University of Tasmania. It was from this position that he made his name, building on all the earlier experiences.

While the University of Tasmania was a small university in an isolated state of small population, it developed an outstanding reputation and large geology student body, due almost entirely on the drive of Carey and a very few well-chosen initial staff. Carey insisted on giving the first year lectures and in consequence he had a very high recruitment to second year because of the quality of his teaching. Many distinguished geologists were attracted to the discipline through Carey's approach to teaching. He was the God-Professor and drove his department rather than simply managing it. He was a real leader in the academic environment and a respected thorn in the side of many a vice-chancellor.

He ensured that there were good working relationships between University, Geological Survey, the geological branch of the Hydro-Electric Commission and industry. This led to co-operative development of research projects for the many students who went on the higher degrees. But his interest in Papua New Guinea remained and in the 1960s he had a group of PhD and Honours students who conducted a series of complementary research projects covering a large area of that part of the world.

At about the same time, Australia recognised the need to find its own hydrocarbon resources. Lewis Weeks, based on his knowledge of the Lakes Entrance Oil Shaft and Carey's sketch map of anticlines extending into the offshore Gippsland Basin, led BHP to take up exploration acreage. At a meeting in Launceston in 1984, Geoffrey Blainey pointed out that the Weeks/Carey association was of historical significance.

He retired as Professor of Geology in 1976 and was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1977.
He was not a narrow scientist but one who saw geology as the great integrating science and used this philosophy to pull together a vast amount of knowledge into his tectonic theories. These theories commonly were controversial and not fully accepted internationally but they have stimulated a large professional interest and study. Many of his ideas are now mainstream and are used by scientists who may not even realise the source of a concept they employ on a daily basis.

He was an extrovert and enjoyed the controversial limelight.

He convened a series of international symposia at the University of Tasmania. The driving force behind each one was the existence of a geological debate that was best addressed by calling the various schools of thought together. Perhaps the most influential of these was the Continental Drift Symposium of 1956 (results published in 1958) which influenced many of the workers in the field, and helped cement his international reputation.

While concerned mainly with large scale geological features, Carey never lost sight of the human dimension and was an active participant in Legacy, and ready to speak to any small group of people who wanted a talk on geology, or weather, or any area of science in which he felt qualified to speak. He was a great publicist for science in communities beyond the normal scientific arena.

He is renowned as a provocative generator of new major integrative hypotheses that are revolutionary but highly credible and concern the dynamics of our earth. In addition he made major contributions to our understanding of the deposition of sediments in a glacial marine environment. Many of his ideas were well ahead of their time and influenced the direction of tectonic studies globally. Idea generation was supported by a very strong personality dedicated to the promotion of these ideas.

He will be remembered as one who initiated ideas, stimulated students at all levels, and produced an impressive community of leading scientists in geology and geophysics. Many came from leading overseas universities. All speak glowingly of the influence of Carey in their scientific development.
He "retired" in 1976 but retained a very active scientific lifestyle. He is recognised by many awards nationally and internationally.

He pursued enthusiastically the promotion of science to the public through personal involvement with organisations such as the Geological Society of Australia, Royal Society of Tasmania, and the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science, to which he dedicated very significant energy over many years.

The scientific world was very much the better for his presence.

He is survived by wife Austral, their four children Tegwen, Harley, Robin and David, grandchildren Krista, Sam, Warren, Sarah, Eleanor, Sean and Geoffrey. And great grandchildren Caitlin and Phoebe.
He would have enjoyed recent correspondence in TAG, on the subject of tectonics.

This obituary was assembled by a group of his friends.
TAG #123, June 2002

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E Keith CARTER

Foundation Member of the Geological Society of Australia

1919 - 2013

Biography of Dr. Keith (E.K) Carter for GSA

Keith and his twin brother Ross were born in Benalla, Victoria, in December 1919 – the 4th and 5th of six siblings. He was educated at Benalla Primary and High Schools, and completed his secondary education at Melbourne Boys’ High. In 1938 he started working in the Victorian Tax Office, later transferring to the Commonwealth Tax Office. In July 1940 he enlisted in the 2nd AIF (anti-aircraft) and served in Palestine, Lebanon, Milne Bay, Lae and Labuan, attaining the rank of sergeant. He was subsequently Mentioned in Despatches for distinguished service. On discharge from the army Keith undertook a full time degree course in geology at Melbourne University, under the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme – this choice was never regretted. He graduated BSc with honours in 1948. In April 1949 he became a geologist with the Commonwealth Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics, having worked there as a student in the two previous summers. Work as a student involved geological mapping in the Snowy Mountains, and the Kowen District of the Australian Capital Territory. About this time he joined the newly formed Geological Society of Australia..

In his first year as a graduate he was a member of a team under Hector Ward mapping an area south of Cobar, NSW, following the usual practice of winter in the field and the rest of the year producing maps and reports and preparing for the next field season. 1950 field work was in the Tennant Creek district, NT, under John Ivanac and 1951 at Rum Jungle and other potentially uranium-bearing areas. From 1952-1960 he was involved in the geological mapping of the Precambrian of north-western Queensland (south of Cloncurry and Mt Isa through to the Constance Range, on the NT border). This resulted in the first systematic map coverage of that region and the discovery of the Constance Range iron ore deposits – of which he is officially recorded as the discoverer. In 1953 he became project leader and senior author of the maps and reports on the region. By arrangement between the BMR and Australian National University (Geophysics Dept.) Keith was able to submit a thesis on ‘The Precambrian Orogenic Belt of NW Queensland: a Study of Orogeny’ and was awarded a PhD in 1960.

In 1960 Keith was made Assistant Chief Geologist, Geological Services, and in due course became deputy to the Chief Geologist, John Casey, and acted in his position whenever he was absent. Other responsibilities – though more notional than real - were for the Geological Drawing Office and the Library (both of which in fact reported directly to the Chief Geologist). His main responsibility was for Engineering Geology. Involvement in engineering geology, largely at the supervisory level, included ACT urban development and water supply projects (dams, etc.) and Papua New Guinea water supply and hydro-electric projects. Training in engineering geology included a short visit to the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Authority and a 3-month study tour to the USA, Britain, France and Italy. Shortly after his return he was made a member of a 3-man team, under the leadership of Alan Wilson (Australian Atomic Energy Commission), which visited the USA to study the peaceful uses of atomic energy (nuclear explosives). A couple of sites in Western Australia were subsequently examined as potential test sites.

For several years he was convenor of the Stratigraphic Nomenclature Committee of the Geological Society and played a large part in the Society’s adoption of the International Stratigraphic Guide. He produced the first draft of the Field Geologists’ Guide to Lithostratigraphic Nomenclature in Australia.
Keith retired from BMR on his 65th birthday but was engaged for some years on contract to manage (mainly financial management) an aid project (geological mapping) in West Papua (Irian Jaya) and North Borneo.

Anthony E (Tony) COCKBAIN

Fellow of the Geological Society of Australia
Honorary Member of the Geological Society of Australia

Tony Cockbain was born in the Old Warps Home, Warrington, England in 1934 and educated at the local grammar school and University of Nottingham. He has enjoyed working in universities [Institute of Oceanography (IOUBC), University of British Columbia, Vancouver; Department of Geology, University of Canterbury, Christchurch], geological surveys [Cyprus; Western Australia (GSWA)] and (briefly) in industry (William Johnson & Associates), and meeting a host of colleagues who became friends.

Cyprus introduced him to foraminifera. While he was able to put an age to the foraminifera-bearing rocks he was surprised to be asked about the environment of deposition. So on leaving Cyprus he went to IOUBC Vancouver to look at recent foraminifera in the straits between Vancouver Island and mainland Canada and the controls on their distribution. But seasickness told him that marine geology was not for him and he returned to land-based geology by going to New Zealand. While lecturing was a priority he managed to look at Devonian stromatoporoids and became interested in mathematical geology.

After the cold climates of Vancouver and Christchurch it was a pleasure to move to sunny Perth where as a GSWA palaeontologist he was able to look at a wide range of fossils including foraminifera, radiolarians, bryozoans and brachiopods, and see a lot of Western Australia. After a brief period in industry looking for oil and coal, he returned to GSWA to work on basin studies, Devonian stromatoporoids, and finally administration.

Tony joined the Geological Society in 1966 when he arrived in Perth, and after a stint as State Convenor of the-then Stratigraphic Names Committee became Editor of the Australian Journal of Earth Sciences in 1993, a year after he retired. He regards his time of stewardship of the journal as being his most useful contribution to geology.

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Charles David Alan COIN

1949 - 2001

Charles Coin, geologist, coal and coke scientist, cyclist, sceptic and inventor, died on the 16th January after a two month battle with melanoma. According to his family he was comfortable and peaceful at home until the end. His funeral on the 19th January was packed, with mourners spilling out of the chapel and dozens of people congregated at the doors and windows to hear the many tributes to his life. The diverse range of people present reflected the divergent nature of Charles' many interests and contributions.

Charles was born on 31st of March 1949 in Adelaide. A passionate cyclist, he represented South Australia as a junior. In 1967, Charles was part of the biggest first year Geology class in the history of the Department of Geology and Mineralogy at the University of Adelaide. The class was too big for the Mawson Lecture Theatre, with many forced to sit on the steps in the aisles. Geology was to become on of Charles' lifelong passions. He and his long-time friend Rod Hill made names for themselves by attending the 3rd year undergraduate field trip to the Flinders Ranges with caravan in tow, becoming immensely popular with the class when the weather turned sour. Charles loved to pass on his geological knowledge to other people, as one friend, Michael Doube, describes, "a man of huge enthusiasm and knowledge who loved to share his knowledge and who generated an infectious enthusiasm for his subject."

After completing an Honours project mapping in isolation on an Aboriginal reserve in the Musgrave Ranges (the remote NW of SA), Charles went on to complete a PhD under the supervision of Robin Oliver, on the petrology of the rocks around Tumby Bay on Eyre Peninsula. Typical of Charles, his thesis challenged the thinking of the time but his theories were later verified. As there were few opportunities for employment in metamorphic petrology when he graduated Charles was glad to accept a position as a Research Scientist with BHP Central Laboratories (CRL) in Newcastle in 1977. His work involved a dramatic shift away from metamorphic petrology to investigating coal combustion. Rather than being a hindrance to his work, Charles quickly discovered the positive benefits of changing fields as was soon able to apply his considerable mental resources to make a significant contribution in coal coking technology.

While in Newcastle, Charles became a founding member and driving force behind the Newcastle Cycle ways movement (NCM) which blossomed into a leading social and political lobby group for cyclists. Charles was passionate about bicycle safety and pushed for compulsory use of bike helmets. Consistent with Charles' rational mind, and a passion for encouraging people to think rationally for themselves, he was a founding member of the Australian Skeptics in Newcastle.

In 1990 Charles was recruited to run the Australian Coal Industry Research Laboratory's new Coking Research Centre in Brisbane. Charles was a prolific scientist - generating more than 80 published papers in the field of coal science and the utilisation of coal, with the last one completed the day he was admitted to hospital. He was an expert on coal coking technology and was called upon to troubleshoot in countries such as Germany, Romania, India and China. According to his son Lachlan, Charles was, "A strong believer in mentoring, and transferring his knowledge and skills to his colleagues, he inspired respect and friendship amongst his "crew". In his way, Charles had a legacy of not just innovative research, but also a group of people who will continue his passion for critical thinking in the coal industry."

Charles was a long-time member of the Geological Society. Charles is survived by his wife Sue and two sons Lachlan and Adam. To understand why Charles made an impact on the lives of so many around him is to understand his philosophy on life. According to his family, "Charles would tell us not to repay the many kindnesses, but to pass them on to others, and in this way leave an excess of kindness in the world. We know that generosity, in spreading an excess of favours in the world, was one of Dad's most prominent messages.

TAG #118, March 2001
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Patrick Coleman

Vale Patrick J Coleman
1926–2011

Patrick Coleman died at home on 22 May 2011. He was about to turn 85. Patrick Coleman entered the University of Western Australia (UWA) as an undergraduate in the Faculty of Science, majoring in Geology in 1944. He graduated with First Class Honours in April 1948 after working
on foraminifera from the subsurface of the Perth Basin (published as an article in the Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia in 1952). He was born in Narrogin on 30 May 1926 and was educated in a convent in Manjimup. He won a High School Scholarship to St Ildephonsus College at New Norcia.

I first met Patrick when he was a young-looking Honours student in 1946 at the time that Basil Balme and I returned from the Services. It is an indication of the almost familial atmosphere of the Department of Geology in those days that I remember hearing Professor E de C Clarke saying to the Secretary how fortunate it was that Patrick and Basil were attracted to such charming girls as Marjorie and Helen:
each pair later became life partners.

After obtaining Honours, Patrick worked as an Assistant Micropaleontologist with the Australasian Petroleum Company in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea under Martin Glaessner. This introduced him to his life-long consuming research interest in the Western Pacific. He returned to UWA in 1949 to begin a PhD on Permian Brachiopoda from Western Australia, which he completed in 1953 (and published as BMR
Bulletin 40 in 1957). Patrick was the first PhD graduate in Geology from UWA. While in the early stages of his PhD in 1950 he joined the teaching staff of the University of Sydney as Lecturer, then Senior Lecturer (from 1957). He married Marjorie in 1955. After ten years in Sydney they returned to Perth and Patrick became Senior Lecturer and then Reader at the Department of Geology, UWA. He was responsible for all
paleontological courses offered in the Department (with the exception of palynology) and also taught geological mapping and tectonics until his retirement in 1984. He succeeded Brian Glenister, who had gone to Iowa, and was eventually succeeded by David Haig, a former Queenslander, who also had experience in New Guinea.

After Patrick completed his PhD, his main research interests turned to the Western Pacific island arcs and young orogenic belts. He was a major contributor to Sydney University’s geological mapping of the British Solomon Islands in the 1950s and continued this work during the 1960s from UWA. Patrick used both his micropaleontological and stratigraphic mapping skills, and his growing fascination with plate
tectonics, to determine the geological history of these islands. His most outstanding paleontological contribution after his PhD was a description of the Cenozoic larger (complex) foraminifera that he was using to place the shallow-water carbonates of the Solomon Islands into a stratigraphic
context (published in 1963 in Micropaleontology 9, 1–38). As well as publishing on the geology of particular islands in the Solomons, he produced landmark reviews on island arcs (Earth Science Reviews 11, 47–80), plate boundaries (with Gordon Packham in Earth Science Reviews 12, 197–233 and with HF Ryan in Marine and Petroleum Geology 9, 89–97), subduction without volcanism (with LW Kroenke in Geo-Marine Letters 1, 129–134) and tsunamis as geological agents (Journal of the Geological Society of Australia 15, 267–273).
He edited The Western Pacific: island arcs, marginal seas, geochemistry (1973, UWA press). Papers in Nature included recognition of the Solomon Islands as an island arc (211, 1249–1251), determination of the age of basal schists in the Solomon Islands (with JR Richards and others, 211, 1251–1252) and some very innovative thoughts on the distribution of the green turtle in relation to sea-floor spreading in the Pacific (249, 128–130). In recognition of Patrick’s work on the Western Pacific, the University of Sydney awarded him a Doctor of Science in 1977.

In retirement, Patrick continued his work on the Western Pacific, mainly concerned with reviews of the mineral and petroleum prospects of various islands of the Melanesian Arc, collaborating with Geoscience Australia (and its predecessor the Australian Geological Survey Organisation), the East–West Center in Honolulu, the Circum-Pacific Council of Energy and Mineral Resources, the Geological Survey of Papua
New Guinea and the Lamont Doherty Geological Observatory.

It is impossible to describe Patrick’s mannerisms and traits in a few words. Scott Fitzgerald described ‘personality’ as an unbroken series of successful gestures. I remember recalling this one day after Patrick had been away for a few weeks. We had been speaking seriously for some time, when he suddenly said, “I have an urgent message” and rushed up to someone passing. I then saw him interrupt that conversation with
great energy to catch someone else, and then he moved on to another. Socially, he had made up for his earlier absence in a few minutes. These bursts of energy were characteristic, which is not to deny his generally more thoughtful and reflective manner.

I found that as the leader of student field parties he combined instruction with humour and exhortation, often with a wry expression suggesting that he didn’t expect perfection from the group that he was talking to, but that he wanted them to do their best anyway. He was entertaining and got results.

Patrick was fascinated by music, art and the natural environment, and he enjoyed farming. But of all his varied interests, family life was his main influence. He collapsed suddenly at home when nearing the age of 85 while with Marjorie.

A moving account by his son Nick can be found at
http://www.nickcoleman.org/blog/index.cgi?post=dad!201105221630!general
JOHN GLOVER

Alan Cook

1935–2011

Professor Alan Cook was the Foundation Professor of Geology at Wollongong University and world renowned
organic petrologist – sought after for his expertise by coal and petroleum companies from around the world.
Alan was probably the foremost organic petrologist
Australia has ever known or likely to know. His enduring legacy may be his scientific discoveries that have
proved so valuable to Australia and indeed the world, or perhaps his students, who have spread out
across the globe, many having become captains of industry.

Alan Cecil Cook was born August, 1935 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northern England, surrounded by the coal mining industry that was to become such a huge part of his life. Alan attended the local grammar school and won an exhibition scholarship to Cambridge. At Cambridge he studied geology, physics and mathematics with a major in palaeontology, and subsequently received his MSc, PhD and in 1990 the prestigious ScD for his international contribution to science. Alan started work for the UK National Coal Board but in 1959 moved
to CSIRO in Sydney, Australia to begin what would become his life-long research work in coal and organic petrology. He had a short stint at the NSW Joint Coal Board where he was introduced to large computer databases. In 1964 Alan took up a position at the Wollongong University
(initially part of UNSW), first in the Metallurgy Department, and then starting the Department of Geology, together with a small group of exceptional geologists and teachers (including Drs Evan Philips, Richard Facer and Tony Wright), becoming Foundation Professor at the early age of 35.

While Alan was well prepared for stratigraphy, sedimentology and biostratigraphy, teaching in a small university required him to master subjects including crystallography, organic chemistry and coal beneficiation. His grounding in mathematics allowed him to branch into
mathematical geology, geostatistics and computing, becoming a founding member and initial Australian representative for the International Society of Mathematical Geology. One of his first Ph.D students was Bob Johnson who went on to found Maptek a leading Australian mining software company.

Alan clearly had a gift to inspire and encourage his students to achieve great things. The archetypal Cambridge professor, good students flourished under his laid-back teaching style. He preferred to sow the seeds of knowledge rather than force feed reams of lecture notes. The results for a small university are truly astounding, with a number rising to chief geologist/exploration managers for CSIRO, BHP,
Esso and Woodside, while some have started world class companies in mining software, or their own small mining companies, and others have excelled in universities, research and consulting. Remarkably, at one time most of the major petroleum companies in Australia were led by Alan’s students!

Alan published well over 100 journal papers and many more articles on a large range of topics, from the sedimentology of coal measures, coking behaviour, vitrinite reflectance and coal macerals, oil shales, stress in coal mines, and basin heating models. Alan and his students were driving forces in the development and use of vitrinite reflectance to measure the metamorphic rank of organic matter and predict the potential generation of oil and gas. This is now the adopted standard used worldwide by the petroleum industry – clearly one of Alan’s greatest achievements. For the coal industry, together with colleagues at CSIRO, Alan was instrumental in recording and understanding how coal formed coke. Brown, Taylor & Cook (1964), showed that Australian Permian coals with a mixture of vitrinite and inertinite and minor exinite, over a particular range of reflectance, formed the strongest cokes available in the world. This was crucial in getting a premium price for the emerging Australian coal industry on overseas markets. Alan generously served on numerous professional committees and editorial boards, including early work for the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, the International Journal of Mathematical Geology, the International Journal of Coal Geology, the AAPG Bulletin and Australian Coal. He roamed the world lecturing and giving short courses at Universities, for major companies and government organisations.
He received many awards including Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and the prestigious Reinhardt Thiessen Medal in 1996 for outstanding service to coal science. He never ceased promoting the International Committee for Coal Petrology, serving on many sub-committees and accreditation boards, with input to their textbooks, guidelines, standards, conferences
and was elected President 1999–2007.

A final venture was to start Keiraville Konsultants to handle the burgeoning requests for petrographic analyses
from the coal and petroleum industries, allowing Alan to retire from the university in 1990. Alan spent the
latter part of his life at the Keiraville residence with his wife Dian, listening to classical music or studying
aircraft, his two other fascinations, or together on one of their many overseas journeys back
to the UK or Indonesia. Alan died doing what he loved most — working in his “petrology lab”. He will be
sorely missed by many in the industry, an irreplaceable store of knowledge on the subject of coal and everything
related to it. Hard to imagine a world without coal, or an Alan Cook to ramble on seemingly forever about its myriad
of uses, what to others are its forbidden secrets, but to Alan were its inherent beauty.

Alan had been a member of GSA since 1960

Peter COOK

Fellow of the Geological Society of Australia

Professor Cook is one of Australia’s foremost earth scientists and technology leaders in the areas of  energy, greenhouse technology and sustainability. He is currently a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne, a company Director, consultant, senior advisor and author. His latest book “Clean Energy Climate and Carbon” was published in February, 2012.

 Professor Cook has been a consultant and adviser on resource and energy issues in Australia, Finland, Greece, Germany, Japan, Netherlands and Portugal.  He has been a consultant to NASA, various national governments, and a range of companies, and has served on Boards and Advisory Boards in Australia, the UK and for international bodies

 

Professor Cook has held academic positions in the UK, Australia, France and the USA. and has received many awards and honours for his work. He is the author or co-author of more than 150 publications and has given many international invited lectures and keynote addresses on energy, resource, environmental and sustainability issues and on many aspects of carbon dioxide capture and storage; he was a Co-ordinating Lead Author for the IPCC Special Volume on CO2 Capture and Storage.

 

Professor Cook has occupied a number of senior executive positions during his career: Until August 2011, he was the Chief Executive of  the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC), a major research consortium of universities, industry and government institution involving more than 200 researchers. 

Professor Cook was Executive Director of British Geological Survey (BGS) from 1990 - 1998, an organization of 850 staff active in forty countries.  It was during this time that he first became involved in greenhouse technology issues. During this same period he was inaugural President of EuroGeoSurvey, a Brussels-based consortium of the European Union. He was also the Chair of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission on offshore resources and co editor/author of a major volume on the Continental Shelf

From 1982-1990 Professor Cook was Division Chief/Associate Director of the Bureau of Mineral Resources (BMR) in Canberra. During this time he initiated new mapping programs, a major program to define the evolution of Australia (resulting in the book ‘Australia; evolution of a continent’) and a focus for groundwater studies in the Murray-Darling Basin. From 1976-1982 Dr Cook was Senior Research Fellow at the Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University.. During this time he was the leader of a global project investigating phosphorus and its impact on biological evolution, which resulted in a three volume series published by CUP. Previously, Dr Cook was a participant and project leader in systematic geological mapping program in Central and Northern Australia, the study of modern estuarine systems, and in the understanding of sea level change in southern Australia.

Barry John COOPER

Fellow of the Geological Society of Australia

Barry became enthusiastic about geology as an adolescent when he joined a Junior Field Naturalists Club in Melbourne. School provided another motivation and Barry studied Year 12 Geology in Victoria attaining second place in the State examinations. This led to undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Melbourne (1967-1972) and Ohio State University, USA (1972-1974) with later management education at the Australian Graduate School of Management (1992).

Barry started professional life as a geologist specialising in palaeontology and stratigraphy at the Geological Survey of South Australia in 1975 and since then has made Adelaide his base. He spent 1978-1979 as a Visiting Professor at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

Since 1972, Barry has published more than 100 geological and related articles on conodont taxonomy and biostratigraphy, Cenozoic biostratigraphy, Permian spore-pollen stratigraphy, the history of geology, dimension stone industry development and professional issues. Two volumes dealing with the history of Australian geology have been co-edited with Colin Gatehouse in the journal "Earth Sciences History".

Since 1989, within the South Australian Government, Barry has focussed on administrative issues involving minerals. He has had a major role in formulating a Government Minerals policy. A Chair in Petroleum Geology at the University of Adelaide has been created with his strong input. Barry negotiated an international Bilateral Agreement between the Italian and South Australia Governments on Dimension Stone Industry development with resulting facilitation of stands at fairs in Verona and Carrara. New marble and granite mining operations were established in South Australia with his encouragement and a strategic plan for the dimension stone industry completed with his major input.

Barry has had a long GSA association, joining as a Student Member of the Victorian Division. He was Secretary of the South Australian Division from 1975-1978 and was also SA correspondent for AAP (Palaeontology Specialist Group) during this period. During the 1980s, Barry was instrumental in establishing the Earth Sciences History Group within GSA and became its first Chair. He was also Chronostratigraphy Co-ordinator for the Stratigraphic Names Subcommittee. In 1994, he worked with David Branagan to prepare "Rock Me Hard, Rock Me Soft: A History of the Geological Society of Australia. Subsequently he has been Federal Treasurer (2002-2004) and Chair of the South Australian Division (2004-5).

Barry gains a sense of achievement and satisfaction in geology through contributing to the science, to the profession and to the related industries, with further insight learned from studying their interrelated histories.

Barry is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists. His efforts in palaeontology have been recognised by the naming of a new genus and a new species of conodont animals in his honour. The first appearance of one of these, Cooperignathus aranda (Cooper), is currently being considered as the likely global marker for the base of the Middle Ordovician. His efforts in the history of the geology have been recognised through membership of INHIGEO (International Commission for the History of Geological Sciences).

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Keith A W CROOK

Foundation Member of the Geological Society of Australia
Honorary Member of the Geological Society of Australia

I completed the last 2 years of primary and the 5 years of secondary school at Newington College (a Methodist "Great Public School") in Stanmore, a suburb of Sydney. It was one of only four schools in NSW that taught geology as a subject for matriculation to Sydney University - the only University in NSW at that time. The other schools were the Presbyterian Ladies College, Pymble; the Tamworth Agricultural High School, and (I think) Barker College in Hornsby.

Gordon Packham, John Veevers and I, with several others, were each taught geology & chemistry at Newington College in the late 1940s by Harry Cortis-Jones, an "Old Boy" (by virtue of having completed the last 18 months of his secondary education at Newington), who had then gone on to Sydney University, where he majored in Latin and Ancient History, and then returned to his alma mater to teach. As part of his degree Cortis-Jones had completed one unit in science: a special 3-term (1 year) course offered by the Faculty of Science to students in the Faculty of Arts, comprising one term of chemistry, one term of physics, and one term of physiography; the last being taught by Prof. Edgeworth David.

The then Headmaster at Newington had a problem on his hands. Too many of his students were hopeless at Classics (Latin and Greek), and those students wanted to pursue studies in "the Modern Side" (i.e. maths, science etc...). However none of the existing staff were competent in those fields. So the Headmaster appointed two new teachers, Harry Cortis-Jones to teach science, and Benjamin Jarvie to teach mathematics: the former in 1898 and the latter in 1899!

Packham and Veevers were two years ahead of me, I think, completing the Leaving Certificate in 1947. I first encountered Cortis-Jones in 1948 when he was teaching both matriculation chemistry and geology. He was known to students a "Fiz", not because he taught chemistry as well as geology, but because as a young man he had a good head of red hair, and the appellation for such men in those days was "Fiz". Of course, his hair was mainly gray and white by the time I knew him. He finally retired from teaching in 1953. Some time after his appointment, Cortis-Jones completed a MA at Sydney University, I think in classics. But he also must have either attended Prof. T. W. Edgeworth David's Geology I course, or obtained the lecture notes for that course, because that's what he taught us - in one school year plus three weeks of the next year. The rest of the second year was revision.

Furthermore, when I started at Sydney Uni in 1950, the Geology I syllabus was essentially the same as that taught to us by "Fiz". I still have my exercise books of hand-written class notes that Fiz dictated. Of course, there was a post-war problem with text-books, particularly for the Honours program, which required students to study "the geology of New South Wales". The only book on that which was comprehensive was C. A. Sussmilch's "An Introduction to the Geology of New South Wales", 2nd Edition, published in 1914. I found a second-hand copy of the third edition of 1922, which included data on the Australian Permo-Carboniferous glaciation. Fiz was very interested, and I was asked to read parts of the new information to the class. The other book available was Edgeworth David's "Explanatory Notes to accompany a new Geological Map of the Commonwealth of Australia" (1932), edited by W.R. Browne. Again I located a second-hand copy, including the map. Alas, both were destroyed in the New England University Science Building fire in 1958.

So Newington produced John Veevers, Gordon Packham and myself in the 1940's, and also Colin Branch after us in 1951-52 (who later joined the WA Geol Survey). We all went to Sydney University KNOWING that we wanted to major in Geology, and we all graduated with BSc(Hons) degrees.

Written by Keith A. W. Crook 20 May 2007, and completed 28 May 2008

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Stuart S. DERRINGTON

1931 - 2001

Stuart Derrington, a pioneer of the development of the Queensland oil and gas industry, died in November 2001 after a long battle with cancer.

Stuart graduated in 1953 with a BSc (Hons) in geology. He was employed in 1954 by Dick Mott, the Acting Chief Geologist for Associated Australian Oilfields N.L. and its administration arm, Mines Administration Pty Ltd (Minad). AAO had taken over the four petroleum tenements round Roma still held from the 1930s. Stuart was Minad's first employee, later joined by Doug Traves, John Glover and myself. Stuart was sent to Roma to sit on AAO4 (Hospital Hill) which produced gas; followed by AAO5 and 6, which were dry, and AAO7 (Arcadia), also a gas producer. The formation names Stuart first used in that period, Hospital Hill Sandstone, Showgrounds Sandstone, Timbury Hills Formation, are still used. In those days the well site geologist, besides logging the cuttings and cores, calculated the cement jobs, supervised the drilling mud program, and the formation testing. Stuart made himself thoroughly familiar with the primitive Johnson packers then used. He then was a well site geologist for the two Associated Freney wells, Nerrima and Myroodah.

In between these Stuart worked on the Minad field parties, first John Glover's in the Theodore area, then in Minad field parties in Victoria Basin (NT) and Bonaparte Gulf (NT and WA). In 1956 he ran a large geological/gravity party in the Part Keats area (NT), and The Sisters (Canning Basin WA). In 1958 Stuart, with Kevin Morgan mapped the Blackwater/Comet area in the Bowen Basin.

By that time Minad geologists had mapped the whole of the Bowen Basin before any work had been done by the Bureau of Mineral Resources field parties. Their work was included in the compilation, 'Geology of Queensland', Volume 7 of the Journal of the Geological Society of Australia edited by Dorothy Hill and Alan Denmead in 1961. Derrington and Morgan named for the first time the structural features of the Bowen Basin, the Denison Trough, the Comet Ridge, and the Dawson Tectonic Zone, also giving formal names to the rocks of the eastern flank of the Bowen Basin.

In 1959 Minad returned to Roma and drilled AAO Timbury Hills 2. Stuart was the well site geologist, and the successful production of gas from that well on a proven seismic structure changed the fortunes of the Associated Group. It was followed by other successful gas discoveries, and the construction of the gas pipeline to Brisbane.

By 1964 Stuart was Operations Manager for the Associated Group, supervising and training numbers of geologists who are now senior figures in the industry. From 1972-1980 he was a Director of Richter Drilling, and from 1978-1980 Chairman Hail Creek Associates Pty Ltd. In 1962 he obtained his M.Sc. degree from the University of Queensland.

In 1980 he left the Associated Group, working as a consultant mostly as a petroleum engineer. During this period he designed and supervised wells for some thirty major clients. He was also Exploration Manager for Apex Oil from 1984-1985. From 1985-1990 he was consultant petroleum inspector to Papua New Guinea government, supervising the company wells and testing. He also drafted the PNG petroleum regulations.
He was a Fellow and Chartered Professional Geologist of the AusIMM, Member of the AAPG, Member of the Institute of Engineers (Australia), Member of the Geological Society of Australia, and PESA.
Stuart was one of Nature's gentlemen, always quietly spoken and easy to get along with, even in the trying circumstances of the early Minad field and drilling camps. He leaves a wife Carmel and a son, daughter, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren.

I would like to thank Stuart's family, Rod Allen, and Greg Swindon for assistance in preparing this.

COLIN LAING, Bellbowrie, Queensland
TAG #122, March 2002

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James MacGregor (Mac) DICKINS

Foundation Member of the Geological Society of Australia

1923 - 2006

Mac was born on 7 September 1923 in Geelong, Victoria, the eldest of six siblings. He received his later education at Melbourne High School (1937-1941), before he enlisted in the army, at the age of 18, during World War II.

He went on to study at Melbourne University for a BSc degree (1947-1949) and completed his honours degree whilst a Cadet Geologist with the Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics (BMR). He then worked for BMR – then in Melbourne – with Curt Teichert, a senior lecturer at Melbourne University.
After Mac moved to Canberra, with the relocation of the Geological Branch of BMR in 1951, his first task was to take part in a survey of the Jervis Bay Territory (ACT) and adjacent parts of the Sydney Basin. From 1952 to 1958 he participated in field mapping and palaeontological research on the Permian rocks of the Carnarvon and Canning basins. The preliminary results of this work were published (with GA Thomas) in 1954, followed by a series of detailed systematic papers on Permian bivalves and gastropods, for which Mac was awarded the MSc degree from Melbourne University in 1958.

During the 1960s Mac continued publishing a prolific stream of papers on Permian molluscs from Western Australia, was awarded the PhD degree from the University of Queensland in 1962, and later turned his attention to the Permian macrofaunas of the Bowen and Sydney basins of eastern Australia. This provided a firm basis for his later research on Permian global biostratigraphy, on which he established an international reputation, receiving the Mining, Geological and Metallurgical Society of India's Chrestian Mica Gondwanaland Medal.

In the 1970s Mac administered the Palaeontology Group of BMR. He coordinated the group program and liaison and co-operation with the palaeontological groups of state geological surveys, and was curator for the Commonwealth Palaeontological Collection. During this period Mac developed his ideas on palaeoclimate and palaeogeography for the Carboniferous, Permian and Triassic periods. He continued his taxonomic work, which formed the basis of local correlation schemes, and recognised the problems involved with establishing a global time scale for the Permian.

Mac formally retired from the Australian Geological Survey Organisation in 1988, but continued his research for another 16 years, publishing several taxonomic papers, such as on Lower Permian molluscs from Oman, Late Carboniferous brachiopods from Antarctica, as well as on palaeoclimate, and global tectonics.
Mac has an excellent record of service to the geological community both in Australia and internationally. He was a Founding Member of the Geological Society of Australia (GSA) in 1952, Federal Secretary (GSA) in 1959-1961, Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Commonwealth Territories Division (GSA) 1963, 1964, 1977 and 1978, Chairman of the Steering Committee for the formation of the GSA Specialist Group in Palaeontology and Biostratigraphy (the forerunner of the Australasian Association of Palaeontologists) in 1970.

Internationally, Mac served as Chairman of the IUGS Subcommission on Gondwana Stratigraphy in 1970, he chaired the organising committee for the 3rd International Gondwana Symposium held in Canberra 1973, and served on the organising committees for several subsequent Gondwana symposia. He served as Vice-Chairman of the Permian Sub-commission (1984), and was a titular member for many years. Mac has served on working groups on the Carboniferous-Permian boundary, and the Permian-Triassic boundary. He was also Co-leader of the successful IGCP Project203, Permo-Triassic events of east Tethys and their international correlation.

Mac wrote or co-authored over 100 scientific papers, most on aspects of Permian, or Triassic, molluscs and biostratigraphy. Many of these were fundamental to our early understanding of the distribution and stratigraphic relationships of Permian sediments in Australia. In addition to his authorship, Mac also promoted his science by undertaking an editorial role on numerous volumes, especially those dealing with Gondwana and the Tethys regions.

Mac placed great emphasis on original thought in research, and never felt constrained to accept current geological dogma, such as the plate tectonic model. In his retirement years Mac became strongly involved in alternative tectonic thought. This iconoclastic approach was exemplified in his editing with Dong Choi a newsletter on New Concepts in Global Tectonics.

Mac will be remembered for his scientific achievements by his colleagues both in Australia, and throughout the world. He will also be remembered for his strong social activities by his local community.

Peter Jones and Robert Nicoll, Department of Earth and Marine Sciences, The Australian National University. TAG 138: March 2006.

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Sir Samuel Benson DICKINSON

Foundation Member of the Geological Society of Australia
Honorary Member of the Geological Society of Australia

1912 - 2000

Ben Dickinson's parents were Quakers; both were Principals of schools in Hobart. As the family moved to take up new school appointments he was educated successively at Leslie house (Hobart), Christ College (Wellington), Andrews College (Christchurch) and Haileybury College (Melbourne) the last named a proprietary school bought by his father after World War I. He began a mining course at Melbourne University before taking a job as a field assistant with the Aerial, Geological and Geophysical Survey (AGGSNA) in 1934, where he came under the influence of PB Nye and John Sullivan - also Roland Blanchard of Mt Isa Mines.

Dickinson returned to the University of Melbourne to be awarded a first class BSc Honours degree and, later, MSc in Geology under Professor Skeats, where staff included Edwin Hills, Frank Stilwell and Austin Edwards. He was employed as a mine geologist by Gold Mines of Australia Ltd ("The Collins House Group") at Morning Star (gold), Costerfield (gold, antimony), Rosebery (lead, zinc), Hercules (lead, zinc) and Mt Lyell (copper), where he became associated with HJC Connolly, Don Campbell, Haddon King and Reg Hare.

He was appointed to the SA Public Service as Assistant Government Geologist in 1940 (when there was only one other on field duties - Ralph Segnit); he became Deputy Director of Mines and Deputy Government Geologist in 1942. He married Jessica, the eldest daughter of Dr L Keith Ward; on retirement of his father-in-law in 1944 he was appointed Director of Mines, Government Geologist, Supervisor of Boring Operations, Warden and Secretary to the Minister of Mines. Coping with the supply of World War II strategic minerals brought him into contact with Essington Lewis, David Rivett, AJ Keast, George Fisher, Maurice Mawby and Malcolm Newman.

After war-time, a number of ingredients combined to assure the place of the Department of Mines in securing the State's industrial development through its natural resources base. These included a premier (Tom Playford) with the outlook of a statesman, a supportive Minister (Lyell McEwin) as his ally, and an astute Director of Mines attuned to the requirements for assessment of mineral resources and their development to enhance SA population growth and income. The new Director was softly spoken and may have appeared quiet and withdrawn, but the new opportunities on offer showed that he had vision, boundless reserves of energy and drive. Dickinson proved by his own detailed investigations of copper fields at Moonta, Kadina, Kapunda, Burra, Kanmantoo, Mt Gunson and in the Flinders ranges; of coal at Leigh Creek, of uranium at Mt Painter; and of phosphate rock, talc and gypsum, that he was an extremely able field geologist. He also proved to be an able administrator and to possess a political flair for fostering new and expanded mineral industry development. He recognised the value of scientific research and the establishment of such facilities on a scale commensurate with the magnitude of the development problems peculiar to Australia.

Dickinson's greatest achievement is seen to be the creation of the Geological Survey of SA, within and as the spearhead to a dynamic Department of Mines - it would become the blueprint for the other states to emulate. He set about the appointment of geological staff during the decade that followed; he recruited experienced geologists - Keith Miles, Ted Broadhurst, Tom Barnes, Lee Parkin, Reg Sprigg, Jack Ridgway, Alick Whittle, Eric Anderson, Colin Kerr-Grant - specialists in groundwater investigations; mineral resource assessment; coal exploration; regional geological mapping and the application of geophysical techniques. Equipped with exceptionally good exploration facilities, drilling and allied support and laboratories for mineralogical, petrological, chemical, physical, pilot scale mining and industrial studies, they were alert to opportunities on offer.

Shortage of coal supplies from New South Wales for electricity generation, industry and the SA Railways encouraged the SA Government to take over the assets of the Adelaide Electric Supply Co in 1946 and to develop the Leigh Creek coal field, where assessment by Dickinson and his Department led to open cast mining operations. The urgent need for uranium in connection with the Manhattan Project of the US and UK Governments was a task entrusted to the Department on behalf of the Commonwealth Government, firstly at Mt Painter and then for peacetime nuclear reactor requirements at Radium Hill; this led to the recovery of uranium ore from underground mining and the production of yellow cake at Port Pirie - under Dickinson's direction. The SA government, with Dickinson's support, were successful in applying pressure for the establishment of a fully integrated steel works at Whyalla, culminating in the enactment of the BHP Company Steelworks Induenture Act in 1958.

Other elements catalytic to Departmental development included a broadening of expertise to ensure in-house ability to foster the further processing of uranium and other minerals. Dickinson recruited staff and procured equipment to set up a Research and Development Branch of the Department of Mines - later to become the Australian Mineral Development Laboratories (and subsequently AMDEL). A drilling fleet was established to secure supplies of subterranean water in the Adelaide metropolitan area because of prevailing drought conditions early in this period; such expertise, enhanced by the acquisition of rotary drilling equipment, would be used to great effect in defining coal reserves at Leigh Creek, uranium ore at Radium Hill, iron ore in the Middle back Range and other mineral deposits throughout the State, and for stratigraphic drilling. Thus the Mines Department would prosper in much of the form and broad activities that were established by Ben Dickinson for the 40 years that ensued following his departure in 1956.

Dickinson resigned to become Director of Exploration for Rio Tinto Australia, based in Melbourne - taking with him Bruno Campana, Merv Wade, Frank Hughes, Don King and Ron Coats. Their efforts were directed to mineral search in northwest Tasmania, evaluation of Mary Kathleen uranium, Hammersly Range iron and New South Wales coal.

Moving to Sydney in 1960, he provided services to Sir Frank Duval and Sir Arthur Fadden in the export of iron ore from the Pilbara and from Frances Creek (NT); in bauxite assessment at Gove, consulting to Daniel K Ludwig and clutha Development Co; coal on the east coast and at Blair Athol; he became a Director of North Bulli Colliery; he sought to develop gypsum at Lake MacDonnell through Peninsula Prospecting and Mining Pty Ltd.

On 'retirement', Dickinson returned to Adelaide in 1975 where he served as an advisor to successive Ministers of Mines for the following 10 years, in promotion of uranium conversion and enrichment in SA. And he continued to dispense advice on a range of mineral-related matters to bureaucracies and industry chiefs; there were few doors of Commonwealth and State Minitries (on all sides of the political spectrum) who were concerned with the uranium fuel cycle through which he did not pass.

For service to the mining industry he was created Knight Bachelor in the 1980 Queen's Birthday honours. He was foundation Chairman of Burmine Ltd, which he relinquished in 1989; interest in the processing of iron ore at Whyalla was rekindled and the direct reduction of iron ore (in particular) was pursued with vigour.

Sir Ben Dickinson became a regular contributor to the "Letters to the Editor" column of the local daily morning newspaper, espousing a wide range if social causes, mineral development and energy policy issues - all of which exercised his mind to the last. He is survived by sons Allan and Graham (by his first marriage); his wife Dorothy, daughter Margaret, son Peter and six grandchildren.

KEITH JOHNS, Glandore SA
TAG #115, June 2000

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Geoffrey Owen DICKSON

1938 - 2000

Geoff Dickson, exploration geophysicist, died on Monday July 10th, 2000, after a long battle with cancer.

Born and educated in Sydney, Geoff graduated from the University of Sydney in 1961 with a BSc with majors in mathematics and geology, and was awarded an MSc in geophysics in 1962. His Masters research, which resulted in the publication of three papers on thermo remanent magnetism, led him to pursue further studies at Columbia University, New York City, USA. Geoff completed his doctoral thesis, entitled "Magnetic Anomalies in the South Atlantic Ocean", under the guidance of Dr Maurice Ewing and was awarded his PhD in March 1968. His research made a significant contribution to the early theories on sea-floor spreading , shared by his co-researchers W.C. Pitman, X. LePichon, E.M. Herron and J.M. Heirztler.

During his PhD studies Geoff was employed on a part-time basis at Lamont Doherty Geological Observatory, Palisades, NY, and spent several months in the North and South Atlantic on the Research Vessel Robert D. Conrad. Among his experiences, he was involved in the search for the USS Thresher, a nuclear submarine that sank off Boston in the mid 1960s. The search was undertaken using a deep towed magnetometer. In 1967, Geoff served as Chief Scientist on the RV Conrad during a ten-week cruise of the South Indian Ocean, starting in Cape Town and ending in Fremantle.

On gaining his PhD, Geoff joined Newmont Exploration Limited in Danbury, Connecticut, and worked with an exceptionally talented team of geophysicists which included Arthur Brant, Maurie Davidson, Misac Nabighian, George McLaughlin, Brent Fuller, Colin Barnett and Jack Parry. Together they made an extraordinary impact on the then new discipline of mining geophysics. Geoff's work was mostly with Newmont of Canada, where he and W.M. Dolan mastered the range of techniques used in base metal exploration. In 1969, Geoff returned to Australia to take up the position of Chief Geophysicist at Newmont Holdings Pty Ltd, the Australian arm of Newmont. During the 1970s Geoff and the Newmont exploration group shared in the exciting discovery of the Telfer gold deposit in Western Australia.

In 1979 Geoff set up his consulting company, G O Dickson & Associates Pty Ltd. His list of clients, which included both Newmont and Newcrest, reads like a roll call of Australian explorers. Geoff loved the challenges of geophysics and rarely accepted anything on faith. He possessed a remarkable talent to examine each problem from first principles, and would often devise a simpler, more practical solution. Geoff was an active member of the ASEG and SEG and a past member of the GSA. He served as first president of the Victorian ASEG, and as a member of the ASEG Publications Committee.

For the past decade (1989-99) Geoff was Lecturer in Geophysics at the University of Ballarat, on a sessional basis. He will be remembered by a generation of graduates as a kind, gentle person with a profound understanding of his subject. Highly respected and well liked as a teacher, he was admired for his sharp intellect and enjoyed for his dry sense of humour. Geoff's dedication in tracking the progress of each individual student made it impossible to slip anything past him. Geoff taught by setting practical problems for his students, often on work he had recently completed. To his students, his initials said it all - he was a G.O.D. of geophysics. Looking into his class on Friday afternoon, one would see groups of students tracing over images, plotting data and matching graphs. Many graduates count themselves lucky to have encountered him as a teacher.

Many of us feel blessed to have known him as a friend and colleague. Geoff is survived by his wife Leta, a music teacher, his song Greg and Simon and his stepchildren, Rachelle and Phillip.

Peter Dalhaus, University of Ballarat
TAG #116, September 2000

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Dr John Gordon George (Jack) DOUGLAS

Honorary Member of the Geological Society of Australia

1929 - 2007

Jack Douglas, renowned palaeobotanist, died of heart disease in Warrnambool while playing tennis. He was 77.

Jack's first passion was the bush. Born at Colac on 2 June 1929, his interest in nature was kindled during hikes in the Otway Ranges with his father who taught, among other subjects, nature studies at Lavers Hill. Here his knowledge of botany, especially of native plants, took root. Jack was to become a member, and eventually President, of the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria.

From St Kevin's College in Toorak he won a free place to Melbourne University, choosing Agricultural Science because 'it sounded a bit outdoorish'. He graduated in 1954 with BSc. During a year's study of forestry in Canberra, Jack furthered his knowledge of the native flora, providing a solid basis for his later career.

Sport was Jack's second passion. Always a gifted athlete, he represented St Kevin's at athletics and played football at the highest level with the Hawthorn VFL team for two years. On occasion this clashed with his undergraduate studies. When he preferred football to a geology excursion on the day of an important game, his professor, E.S. Hills, was not amused. One of Jack's proudest memories goes back to 1953 when he beat Australia's soon-to-be world mile record holder, John Landy, in a 440-yard race. Jack was in the running for a place in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics but missed being selected. In Europe he ran in international meets. Jack took up squash in his fifties and competitive tennis even later, honing his skills with colleagues Peter Kenley, Keith Bowen and Houw Tan. He even ventured in front of the footlights, playing the Major in an amateur dramatics production of Separate Tables.

Jack's third, and greatest, passion was his family. As the eldest of five children, his siblings remember him as a loving and protective brother. He married Anne Moore, his laboratory assistant, on Melbourne Cup Day in 1960. He gained great happiness from his family life, his wife of 46 years, his six children and 16 grandchildren.

Jack's passion for botany was one he eventually fashioned into a career. He became a geologist in 1955 when A.D.N. Bain, then Deputy Director of the Geological Survey of Victoria, hired him when Jack walked into his office asking for a job. A second chance event, the inspection of a lens of black coal near Traralgon that contained Cretaceous plants, kindled his lifelong interest in the Cretaceous flora. He made it the subject of his doctoral thesis in the early 1960s, later published as a Geological Survey of Victoria Memoir which earned him a worldwide reputation. He pioneered the use of plant cuticles for taxonomic purposes. He published widely on his research into palaeobotany and palynology with a record of over 70 scientific papers. Through his contributions to palaeobotany he was much in demand at both local and international conferences devoted to his specialty. He was Australia's representative of the International Organisation of Palaeobotanists at their Australian conference. He gained a large circle of international palaeobotanical (and athletics) friends and colleagues, many of whom he visited in the course of his travels and who in turn stayed with Anne and Jack on their visits to Australia.

Unhappy that scientific papers were inaccessible to the general public, Jack conveyed his love for palaeobotany in a booklet titled 'What fossil plant is that?' In this he showed what these earlier plants looked like, and how plant communities developed during their 420-million-year long evolution. Jack's passion for fossil plants took him into the public arena when it became clear that a plant fossil locality near Yea was in danger of being destroyed. This locality in central Victoria contains the earliest land plants in the world and the only ones known from the Late Silurian. They include the world-famous Baragwanathia. Pointing out its unique value, Jack gained the cooperation of the shire to preserve the site as a geological monument, thus saving it for study by future generations of fossil hunters and professional sleuths. The site has recently been added to the National Heritage list.

A grant from Ian Potter Foundation provided the start of many state government-funded overseas trips. He obtained a Government Scholarship from France and studied at the Sorbonne. He presented many papers at international conferences, travelling to the USSR, France, Canada, USA, China, Romania, Argentina, and Morocco to share his wealth of knowledge. He participated in a visit to the Sakhalin Island Cretaceous, making him one of the few Australians to have been there. This gave him a spot in the media when he was interviewed on TV after a plane crashed on the island.

Jack's organisational skills came to the fore when, together with J.A. (Lex) Ferguson, he accepted the task of getting the first Geology of Victoria out of the doldrums. This first comprehensive account of Victoria's rocks and geological history, to which nearly sixty Earth Scientists contributed, was published in 1976 and rapidly became the 'bible' for all Earth Scientists keen to learn about Victoria's rocks, minerals and resources, fossils and Earth structures. As if that weren't enough, Jack and Lex repeated the exercise with a second edition published in 1988. Jack contributed a most readable chapter on the Victorian Division to Rock me hard, rock me soft, the history of the Geological Society of Australia compiled by Cooper and Branagan (1994).

Jack spent most of his working life at the Geological Survey of Victoria, mostly as Officer-in-Charge of the Regional Geology Section. During his twenty-odd years there he oversaw the completion of the first 1:250 000 scale geological mapping program. He even completed several of these maps himself, showing that drawing cross-sections was not his forte. His management style was very relaxed, letting his staff get on with their job with a minimum of interference - those chosen few that were fortunate enough to join the small mapping crew regarded him more as a friend than a boss.

In 1977 Jack was invited to join the organising committee for the Atlas of Victoria. To this atlas, published in 1982, he not only contributed the Geology chapter but also the Sport and Recreation chapter! This included the first account of Australian Rules Football's history in Victoria, with Country 'footy' given a prominent place.

Jack never hid his political beliefs. He was firmly on the side of the 'common man' and a long-time member of the Labor Party. He represented the Geological Survey on the Public Service Association for most of his working life, negotiating a substantial salary increase for geologists of the Survey. He fought hard, and successfully, to shift the GSV out of its totally inadequate accommodation in a converted garage on Russell Street. He was an equally devoted Christian, firmly believing that adherence to a religion was no bar to a scientist. Former colleagues will look fondly back to Christmas parties at the Douglas clan's Monbulk property—these ceased only when the Monbulk property was swapped for another at Princetown.

In retirement Jack maintained his varied interests. He spent much of his time on his beloved Cretaceous fossils, and at his block near the Twelve Apostles, where he established a significant habitat for the endangered Rufous Bristlebird. His most recent publication was The Nature of Warrnambool (Warrnambool Field Naturalist Club Inc., 2004) and at the time of his death he was working on a book on The Whales of Warrnambool. Emails asking for updates on the age of the Grampians rocks were still flying around in the months leading to Jack's death. Suffering from cancer in his final years, he nevertheless remained an active sportsman, using tennis to gauge the effect that chemotherapy was having on his body.

He died on 6 February from a heart attack during his regular Tuesday afternoon tennis game (he won the point).

Jack was an Honorary Member of the Geological Society of Australia.

This obituary was compiled by Fons VandenBerg, with additional material from Anne Douglas and Paula Tovey (nee Douglas), Peter Kenley and Keith Bowen.
TAG #143 June 2007

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Hugh DOYLE

1927 - 2003

Many earth scientists will have learnt with sadness the death at 76 of Hugh Aynsley Doyle in Sydney, on August 29, 2003. Hugh was born in Sydney, the son of Richard and Alma Sadie Doyle on April 21, 1927. He graduated from the university of Sydney with BSc in 1947, and subsequently undertook pioneering geophysical work in many parts of the Australian continent, its offshore possessions, and New Guinea. He marries Brenda Clark, an American. Some of the observations given below come from an unpublished manuscript entitled Fifty Years in Geophysics, written by Hugh himself.

Hugh was employed as a geophysicist with the Bureau of Mineral Resources from 1948-1956. In 1951, he began a year at Heard Island as the first geophysicist to winter there. In 1952, by contrast, he took part in a search of the Port Moresby area for the site of a proposed seismic magnetic and ionospheric observatory. Six years later, he was to return to New Guinea to record US nuclear explosions in the Pacific. In 1953 he was assigned to record the first nuclear explosion at the Emu site near Maralinga in South Australia. The seismic party recorded a reflection from the Moho, for the first time in Australia. The following year he was transferred to the Watheroo Magnetic Observatory in Western Australia, which, although professionally rewarding, seems to have represented a low spot on his social calendar. In 1956 he made seismic records of atomic explosions in Australia, producing the first accurate measurements of Australia's crustal thickness along the Trans-Australia railway line, where it averages 37km. The results appeared in Nature.

Hugh was Senior Lecturer at the University of Western Australia from 1970-89, and was the first lecturer in geophysics in Western Australia. He kept his student lecture material meticulously up to date, and was noted for his rigorous marking of student assignments. Hugh was conservative in many of his views, and not surprisingly in a university environment, was rarely short of participants for lively debate. At the conclusion of his teaching career, he generously donated capital for the establishment of the Hugh Doyle Prize in Geophysics, to be awarded annually at The University of Western Australia. He was appointed Honorary Senior Research Fellow at UWA.

After the publication of his book Seismology, Hugh retired to Sydney. He leaves his daughter Anna Clark Doyle, who is a Chinese language specialist.

JOHN GLOVER, University of Western Australia
TAG #129, December 2003

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Robin M. L. ELLIOTT

Foundation Member of the Geological Society of Australia
Fellow of the Geological Society of Australia

Robin Elliott, a well-known Australian petroleum geologist, died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Roleystone on 15 May 2012. He was almost 84. Robin Maitland Lloyd Elliott was born in Perth on 25 May 1928. He grew up on his father’s Tallering sheep station in the Lower Murchison district. This exposed him to bush conditions and led to his keen interest in the outback. His primary education was initially by correspondence and subsequently at Woodbridge in Guildford. He developed an interest in geology during his secondary
education at Christchurch Grammar School, where the headmaster (Reverend LR Jupp) taught geology and put together a good mineral and rock collection.

In 1945, after completing his schooling, Robin spent a year working on Tallering before entering the Kalgoorlie School of Mines, and then UWA. He completed a BSc in geology in 1951. Robin joined West Australian Petroleum Pty Ltd (WAPET) in 1952, working initially as an exploration geologist mapping in the Canning Basin. After the Rough Range oil discovery in 1953 he joined Jim Parry
in detailed mapping of the Rough Range Anticline. The Rough Range discovery aroused enormous enthusiasm, resulting in major oil and mineral exploration throughout Australia, even though subsequent drilling showed that the discovery was uneconomic.

Robin was involved in mapping the Grant Range Anticline, selecting the site for WAPET’s first test well in the Canning Basin, Grant Range No 1. In 1954 he participated in geological mapping of the Stansmore Range in a remote part of the Great Sandy Desert, south of Balgo. This was regarded as a rather dangerous mission because of the presence of so-called ‘troublesome natives’ in the area. The Police issued him with a
revolver and ammunition for personal protection. In fact the party never sighted any nomadic Aboriginal people and returned the revolver,unused, to the Police.

In 1964, more than 10 years after the Rough Range discovery, WAPET found oil and gas at Yardarino in the Perth Basin and oil at Barrow Island in the Carnarvon Basin. The Yardarino discovery led to development of the Dongara Gasfield, while the Barrow Island find resulted in development of the Barrow Island Oilfield, still the largest oilfield to have been found in Western Australia. Robin had by then
moved into well-site geology and was promoted to the position of supervising well-site geologist.

The development of the Barrow Island field was a highlight of Robin’s career. Production drilling involved the completion of a production well every three days, resulting in an unprecedented volume of samples, core and electric logs for analysis under his direction. Robin moved to Melbourne in 1971 to become Managing Director of Allstates Mining Finance Ltd, advising A C Goode & Co on mineral and petroleum exploration. He returned to oil exploration in 1977, joining the Oil and Gas Division of the Victorian Department of Minerals
and Energy as Senior Geologist. In 1997 and 1998 he was Chairman of the Victoria–Tasmania Branch of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia. In 1980 he was appointed as General Manager and Exploration
Manager of Mincorp Oil Pty Ltd, and became involved in many joint ventures throughout Australia.

Robin was very active in the Geological Society of Australia, being a Foundation Member and Fellow of the Society. He was Chairman of the Western Australian Division in 1964 and 1970, Chairman of the Victorian Division in 1974 and Federal Treasurer in 1978–1980. When Mincorp was taken over by the Bell Group in 1984, Robin returned to his homeland of Western Australia to take up a position as
Senior Geologist in the Geological Survey of WA. In that position he was responsible for the appraisal of petroleum tenement applications and work commitments throughout the State and its offshore areas. He retired from the position in 1988, taking up a small rural property in Roleystone, 35 km southeast of Perth, where he and his wife Jacqueline grew roses, vegetables and fruit trees, and played tennis on their own
court. He assisted in several voluntary organisations in the area, including the Araluen Botanic Park and the Churchman’s Bushland
Group.

Robin Elliott is survived by his wife Jacqueline (née Hanrahan),
six children and eight grandsons.


PHILLIP PLAYFORD

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Rhodes Whitmore Fairbridge

In 1950 there was no scientific institute in Australia dedicated solely to geology and geologists. Although geology was one of the sub-disciplines of The Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, that institute also represented many other professions associated with mining. Rhodes Fairbridge concluded that a new institute should be established for Australian geologists, one that catered for both the academic aspects of the science and the professional interests of geologists. Consequently he proposed, at a meeting of the Western Australian Geology Club in 1950, that an Australian Institute of Geology be established. This was agreed on unanimously at the meeting, but subsequently it was modified in the Eastern States, where most geologists were based at that time. Some powerful academics in the east maintained that Fairbridge’s proposal resembled a ‘Geologists’ Union’ and that instead a learned society should be established purely to promote the science of geology in Australia,. This resulted in the Geological Society of Australia being founded in 1952. However, the need for a body that could also cater for the professional interests of geologists remained, and consequently The Australian Institute of Geoscientists was established in 1981. It has recently been proposed, unsuccessfully, that the two organizations be merged, and I am sure that such an action would have been strongly supported by Rhodes Fairbridge.

 Rhodes Fairbridge was born in Pinjarra, Western Australia, on 21 May 1914, the first child of Kingsley and Ruby Fairbridge. He had two siblings, a brother, Wolfe, and a sister, Elizabeth. In 1912 his father had founded the Fairbridge Farm School at Pinjarra, for disadvantaged child migrants from Britain. He brought them up in a healthy and homely environment while training them for employment in the agricultural industry. Kingsley Fairbridge, originally from South Africa, named his son after that much-admired English colonist, Cecil Rhodes.

After the premature death of his father in 1924, Rhodes Fairbridge received his schooling in England, before graduating as a geologist with degrees from Queen’s University (Ontario) and Oxford University. He received a Doctor of Science degree from The University of Western Australia (UWA) in 1942. His first job, before World War II, was in oil exploration in Iraq. During the War he served in the Royal Australian Air Force as an intelligence officer. He was appointed as a Lecturer in Geology at UWA in 1946 and remained there until 1955, when he was appointed as Professor of Geology at Columbia University, New York. At the time of his death he held the position of Professor Emeritus at the Centre for Climate Systems Research at Columbia. Although much of his work was carried out outside Australia, Professor Fairbridge never gave up his Australian citizenship.

While at UWA Rhodes became very interested in the evidence for recent sea-level and climate change that is so well displayed along the South West coast, and especially on Rottnest Island. That interest never left him, as he became an international expert on climate change. He always maintained that the best evidence for recent variations in global sea level (controlled by changing climate) is to be seen on Rottnest Island.

It is an amazing coincidence that on the day of his death an international geological excursion (for the AAPG meeting in Perth) was visiting Rottnest to examine the evidence seen there for recent sea-level and climate change. The first place that participants visited on the island was Fairbridge Bluff, which I had named in honour of Rhodes Fairbridge in 1976, where a coral reef from the last interglacial period is well exposed.

In 1949-51 the academic staff of the Department of Geology at UWA consisted of only three lecturers, Professor Rex Prider (head of the department), Rhodes Fairbridge, and (from 1950) Alan Wilson. At that time more than 20 students graduated each year with BSc or BSc Honours degrees in geology.

Opinions are divided among UWA geology graduates regarding Rhodes Fairbridge’s ability as a teacher. Some found him to be inspirational (myself included), but others were less impressed by his relaxed approach to student instruction and his devil-may-care field excursions that often turned into riotous adventures! Fairbridge always graded his students on his intuitive opinion of their worth as scholars, rather than on their examination results alone. This approach complemented that of Professor Prider, an excellent lecturer who took his teaching responsibilities very seriously and placed major emphasis on exams.

Rhodes Fairbridge’s lectures were a lot of fun, delivered casually, off-the-cuff, but many lacked information that could usefully be recorded in lecture notes. His students gained many laughs and interesting perspectives from those lectures, but no notes! For example, one of his memorable second-year palaeontology lectures dealt with ‘the sex life of dinosaurs’.

I feel sure that Rhodes Fairbridge’s approach to teaching resulted from the example of his father, Kingsley Fairbridge, who left school at the age of 11, but recommenced his education ten years later, on his own initiative and with limited help from tutors. He passed his examinations with distinction, and was eventually awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. At Oxford he earned a degree in forestry and a blue in boxing. This example of his father’s initiative must have had a deep effect on Rhodes. Accordingly he encouraged students to study independently, while stimulating their interest in geology as a science, rather than simply feeding them facts. In this way the students largely taught themselves, and I feel sure that they emerged from that experience as better geologists.

Rhodes always had an encyclopaedic knowledge of topics that interested him. This was first expressed in his book ‘Australian Stratigraphy’, a comprehensive compilation of what was known in 1953 about the sedimentary rocks of the continent. It remains a valuable source book today. After moving to Columbia University, Professor Fairbridge accepted a commission to edit a series of encyclopaedias on various aspects of geology and related sciences, completing more than 30 excellent volumes over the next 45 years. He was working on his latest encyclopaedia, dealing with palaeoclimatology, when he passed away.

In Rhodes Fairbridge’s last paper on climate change, published in August 2006, he emphasized that the earth’s climate is always changing naturally, and sometimes very abruptly. He pointed out that there is no proof that the current phase of global warming is primarily linked to human rather than natural causes, although he agreed that carbon-dioxide emissions are having adverse effects on the world’s climate. The main question that remains is how much of the present warming trend is due to natural rather than human causes. Rhodes Fairbridge quoted an eminent U.S. senator, chairman of the Senate Environment Committee, as stating that ‘man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people’. Rhodes Fairbridge concluded that ‘whatever the present trend, the last word will always be political’. He also pointed to the large number of little-understood variables that control world climate, and to the fact that many of these cannot be modelled adequately through existing computer programs. In other words he believed that we currently have no reliable means of predicting trends for the immediate future of the world’s climate.

Fairbridge died on 8 November 2006 in Amagansett, New York, aged 92. as a result of a brain tumour. He was survived by his wife, Delores, his son Kingsley, and one grandson. In an e-mail message to me in the year before he died (headed ‘ow are yer mite, as the local advertising puts it’) he observed that his grandson was studying classical pottery in Japan and that ‘the madness gene of the Fairbridges is alive and kicking’.

Phillip Playford

Robert Geoffrey ELMS

Foundation Member of the Geological Society of Australia

Born Melbourne, 1932, educated at Melbourne Boys' High School and Melbourne University, graduated Bachelor of Science in 1955. Later awards were Bachelor of Science(Hons) from University of Tasmania in 1965 and Graduate Diploma of Business Administration from Curtin University in 1981. Shirley and I married in 1956 and had a family of three - a son Andrew, and two daughters, Elizabeth and Miriam.

In 1956 I joined North Broken Hill Limited to work as a mine geologist before leaving in late 1957 to join The Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Co. Ltd. where Merv Wade was Chief Geologist. Meeting a gentleman like Merv was one of my better experiences. Although he left after only one year, his encouragement and friendship was beyond words, and continued long after his departure. My first 3 years in Tasmania were spent primarily as an exploration geologist working on the belt of Mount Read Volcanics south of Macquarie Harbour. In spite of the benefits of the most modern exploration techniques of the time, the exercise was unsuccessful.

The next two years were spent mapping on the Queenstown mine lease, investigation of geophysical anomalies, logging old drill core and studying and collating old records. This led to the generation of multiple drill targets. I was appointed Chief Geologist in late1962 to oversee a major ongoing drilling program. This verified my concept that the West Lyell mineralisation was not disseminated but consisted of well defined regular bodies, some 37 million tonnes of 1.25% copper ore being defined in this phase which involved very deep diamond drilling and untried multiple drillhole deflection techniques. Among other orebodies found was the high grade "12 West". In 1965 I was privileged to undertake a study tour of mining areas in Japan, North America, Spain, and Africa.

Finally tempted by the nickel boom I moved to Western Australia in 1968. There I worked for Union Miniere Development and Mining Corporation Limited to establish their nickel exploration activities in the Eastern and Yilgarn Goldfields. Exploration for base metals was also carried out in the Ashburton Basin.

In November 1970 I joined Research and Exploration Management Pty.Ltd. as W.A. Manager. In this organisation I was fortunate to have Joe McCall as an associate to help with his amazing energy, insights and especially his enduring friendship in what turned out to be a very difficult and painful period.

Following the discovery of a major occurrence of heavy mineral sands at Eneabba my major function was to manage the evaluation, planning and development activities there, leading to the establishment of a major mining operation. Unfortunately, as a result of conflict in the Melbourne boardroom the organisation was dismantled. I moved on and spent 1973 with Chevron Exploration Corporation researching uranium mineralisation in Proterozoic sedimentary sequences.

In early 1974 I joined Pacminex Pty. Limited (CSR Limited) as Regional Geologist (W.A). Activities were concentrated in the Pilbara and Bangemall regions searching for iron ore, uranium, and base metals. The highlight was the location and evaluation of the Yandicoogina pisolitic iron deposit, some 3 billion tonnes.

In 1980 I was transferred to Western Collieries Ltd., another CSR company, to establish an organisation to explore for coal in W.A., evaluate the coal resources of the Collie Basin leases, and to provide technical support to mining operations. Over the next few years I oversaw the consolidation of drillhole records into a data base, the systematic evaluation of the property, the introduction of modern drilling and downhole logging techniques to the site, eventually strengthening the reserve position to 300+ million tonnes. Regional work located significant brown coal deposits at Cranbrook and Esperance. As a result of policy changes in Sydney head office, I became redundant and moved into the consultancy field in early 1987.

Apart from finding some economic mineral deposits, my greatest satisfactions while in company employment came from being able to build up harmonious and successful geological teams and in improving the status of geologists, particularly with Mr Lyell.

Until my retirement in 1996 I operated as an independent consultant in W.A. engaged in the exploration and mining industry preparing prospectuses, carrying out regional studies, prospect selection and evaluation, planning and supervision of exploration programs, and resource calculations, mainly in the fields of gold, nickel, and heavy mineral sands.

In addition to membership in the G.S.A., I was a sometime Fellow of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, The Institution of Mining and Metallurgy and a Member of the Society of Economic Geologists.

In retirement I keep busy with family and local church activities, while trying to stay fit.

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Rhodes Whitmore FAIRBRIDGE

1914 - 2006

Rhodes Whitmore Fairbridge, a world-renowned Australian geologist, died on 8 November 2006 in Amagansett, New York, aged 92.

Rhodes Fairbridge was born in Pinjarra, Western Australia, on 21 May 1914, the first child of Kingsley and Ruby Fairbridge. He had two siblings, a brother, Wolfe, and a sister, Elizabeth. In 1912 his father had founded the Fairbridge Farm School at Pinjarra, for disadvantaged child migrants from Britain. He brought them up in a healthy and homely environment while training them for employment in the agricultural industry. Kingsley Fairbridge, originally from South Africa, named his son after that muchadmired English colonist, Cecil Rhodes.

After the premature death of his father in 1924, Rhodes Fairbridge received his schooling in England, before graduating as a geologist with degrees from Queen's University (Ontario) and Oxford University. He received a Doctor of Science degree from The University of Western Australia (UWA) in 1942. His first job, before World War II, was in oil exploration in Iraq. During the War he served in the Royal Australian Air Force as an intelligence officer. He was appointed as a Lecturer in Geology at UWA in 1946 and remained there until 1955, when he was appointed as Professor of Geology at Columbia University, New York. At the time of his death he held the position of Professor Emeritus at the Centre for Climate Systems Research at Columbia. Although much of his work was carried out outside Australia, Professor Fairbridge never gave up his Australian citizenship.

While at UWA Rhodes became very interested in the evidence for recent sea-level and climate change that is so well displayed along the South West coast, and especially on Rottnest Island. That interest never left him, as he became an international expert on climate change. He always maintained that the best evidence for recent variations in global sea level (controlled by changing climate) is to be seen on Rottnest Island.

It is an amazing coincidence that on the day of his death an international geological excursion (for the AAPG meeting in Perth) was visiting Rottnest to examine the evidence seen there for recent sea-level and climate change. The first place that participants visited on the island was Fairbridge Bluff, which I had named in honour of Rhodes Fairbridge in 1976, where a coral reef from the last interglacial period is well exposed.

In 1949-51 the academic staff of the Department of Geology at UWA consisted of only three lecturers - Professor Rex Prider (head of the department), Rhodes Fairbridge, and (from 1950) Alan Wilson. At that time more than twenty students graduated each year with BSc or BSc Honours degrees in geology. It is a measure of changes that have occurred since then that in 2006 only seven students graduated at UWA with equivalent degrees in Earth Science, whereas the academic staff (many engaged in research only) had risen to more than thirty five.

Opinions are divided among UWA geology graduates regarding Rhodes Fairbridge's ability as a teacher. Some, including me, found him to be inspirational, but others were less impressed by his rather relaxed approach to student instruction and his devil-may-care field excursions that often turned into riotous adventures. Fairbridge always graded his students on his intuitive opinion of their worth as scholars, rather than on their examination results alone. This approach complemented that of Professor Prider, an excellent lecturer who took his teaching responsibilities very seriously and placed major emphasis on exams.

Rhodes Fairbridge's lectures were a lot of fun, delivered casually, off-the-cuff, but many lacked information that could usefully be recorded in lecture notes. His students gained many laughs and interesting perspectives from those lectures, but no notes! For example, one of his memorable second-year palaeontology lectures dealt with 'the sex life of dinosaurs'.

I feel sure that Rhodes Fairbridge's approach to teaching resulted from the example of his father, Kingsley Fairbridge, who left school at the age of eleven, but recommenced his education ten years later, on his own initiative and with limited help from tutors. He passed his examinations with distinction, and was eventually awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. At Oxford he earned a degree in forestry and a blue in boxing. This example of his father's initiative must have had a deep effect on Rhodes. Accordingly he encouraged students to study independently, while stimulating their interest in geology as a science, rather than simply feeding them facts. In this way the students largely taught themselves, and I feel sure that they emerged from that experience as better geologists.

In 1950 there was no scientific institute in Australia dedicated solely to geology and geologists. Although geology was one of the sub-disciplines of The Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, that institute also represented many other professions associated with mining. Rhodes Fairbridge concluded that a new institute should be established for Australian geologists, catering not only for the professional interests of geologists, but also for academic aspects of the science. Consequently he proposed, at a meeting of the Western Australian Geology Club in 1950 that an Australian Institute of Geology be established. This was agreed on unanimously at the meeting, but subsequently it was rejected in the eastern States, where most geologists were based at that time. Some powerful academics in the east maintained that Fairbridge's proposal resembled a 'Geologists' Union' and that instead a learned society should be established purely to promote the science of geology in Australia,. This resulted in the Geological Society of Australia being founded in 1952. However, the need for a body that could also cater for the professional interests of geologists remained, and consequently The Australian Institute of Geoscientists was established in 1981. It has recently been proposed that the two organizations should be merged, and I am sure that such an action would have been strongly supported by Rhodes Fairbridge.

Rhodes always had an encyclopaedic knowledge of topics that interested him. This was first expressed in his book 'Australian Stratigraphy', a comprehensive compilation of what was known in 1953 about the sedimentary rocks of the continent. It remains a valuable source book today. After moving to Columbia University, Professor Fairbridge accepted a commission to edit a series of encyclopaedias on various aspects of geology and related sciences, completing more than thirty excellent volumes over the next forty five years. He was working on his latest encyclopaedia, dealing with palaeoclimatology, when he passed away.

In Rhodes Fairbridge's last paper on climate change, published in August 2006, he emphasised that the Earth's climate is always changing naturally, and sometimes very abruptly. He pointed out that there is no proof that the current phase of global warming is primarily linked to human rather than natural causes, although he agreed that carbon-dioxide emissions are having adverse effects on the world's climate. The main question that remains is how much of the present warming trend is due to natural rather than human causes. Rhodes Fairbridge quoted an eminent U.S. senator, chairman of the Senate Environment Committee, as stating that "man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people". Rhodes Fairbridge concluded that "whatever the present trend, the last word will always be political". He also pointed to the large number of little-understood variables that control world climate, and to the fact that many of these cannot be modelled adequately through existing computer programs. In other words he believed that we currently have no reliable means of predicting trends for the immediate future of the world's climate.

Fairbridge died as a result of a brain tumour. He is survived by his wife, Delores, his son Kingsley, and one grandson. In an e-mail message to me last year he observed that his grandson was studying classical pottery in Japan and that "the madness gene of the Fairbridges is alive and kicking".

TAG #142, March 2007

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John Alexander FERGUSON

Foundation Member of the Geological Society of Australia
Fellow of the Geolgical Society of Australia

John Alexander (Lex) Ferguson
12 October 1925 – 20 May 2011

The only known group photograph of notable geologists who became foundation members of the GSA was taken at the
ANZAAS conference in Brisbane in May 1951. Amongst the serried ranks of suited men (and five
women), up the back on the left, appears one ‘L. Ferguson’. Known by all as ‘Lex’, John Alexander
Ferguson led a remarkable, eclectic life up until his death in May, from cancer, in his 86th year.

When the photograph was taken, Lex had just completed his PhD at the University of Illinois, studying
industrial clays from the Brisbane district. His interest in clays had been sparked by his old Professor at the University of Queensland, W. H. Bryan. Chicago was a long way from Lex’s upbringing in Cooran, near Gympie, where his parents ran a dairy farm. He had Scottish ancestors, with his paternal great-grandfather involved in coal mining around Maryborough and gold mining at Gympie in the 1860s, so maybe an interest in geology was predetermined. His boyhood corresponded with the 1930s depression, so involved him in hard work on the farm, but schooling was regarded as highly important as well. It was there that his interest in geology was aroused by an influential teacher. Lex’s considerable academic abilities saw him matriculate from Gympie High School in 1942, from where a Commonwealth Scholarship enabled him to undertake his university course.

Lex graduated with first class honours in geology, then obtained his MSc in 1948 with a thesis based on geological mapping of the country between Monkland and Cooroy. From 1946 to 1948, Lex had been employed by the Queensland Government on a special project mapping the Great Artesian Basin. This involved using data from 10 400 bore logs accumulated since the 1870s to map the underground structure of the aquifers and relate them to intake outcrops along the Great Dividing Range. He was successful in winning a CSIR overseas studentship that took him to Chicago for his PhD research.

After a few years in the early 1950s working at CSIRO’s Division of Building Research in Melbourne, Lex spent most of the next decade at academic posts in the USA, where his knowledge of clay mineralogy was highly sought after for the ceramics industry. He took up a position with the Armour Research Foundation in Chicago between 1953 and 1956, then moved to the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research in Pittsburgh until 1962, when he returned to Australia to join Brick and Pipe Industries. During a career of 28 years with that company, Lex served as chief geologist, research team leader and director, until his retirement in 1990. During his time, the company became the largest brick producer in southeastern
Australia, assisted by Lex’s introduction of modern manufacturing methods. He maintained his interest in clay
research by investigating the many deposits found around Melbourne. This, in turn, led to an interest in the geological history of the Yarra River, a project which he wasn’t able to complete, but his assembled notes and maps provide the basis for an interesting and important publication. Lex’s contribution to geology in Victoria isn’t measured in terms of scholarly publications or conference abstracts, but more by his input into divisional initiatives and administration. He served on the divisional committee,
including as Chairman (1973), for several decades, and established the procedures for the Selwyn Medal to recognise distinguished contributors to Victorian geology. He was a regular attendee at monthly divisional meetings and symposia, and also participated in Australian GeologicalConventions, the last occasion in Canberra in 2010.

Lex was joint editor (with the late Jack Douglas) of the first two volumes
of Geology of Victoria (1976 and 1988 respectively) and was an invaluable member of the editorial committee for the third edition, produced as Special Publication 23 of the GSA in 2003. Lex assembled both the reference list and the index for SP23, as well as contributing a section on industrial clays. Family links were a key part of Lex’s life. He had married Eva Dreikurs, who he met during his PhD in Illinois, and they had four children, who now all live in the USA with their families. He married his second wife, Rita, who had two children, in 1970. Lex and Rita have travelled the world, not just to the USA for many reunions of the two families, but also to attend conferences and experience the wonders of geology firsthand. Their last trip was to the Hawaiian Islands in late 2010, where Lex first felt the effects of his illness.
I’m sure Lex would be the first to agree that his was a life well led, with substantial contributions to scientific knowledge and industry, balanced by his love of family and his community activities.

He was a real gentleman, who
expressed his opinions carefully and thoughtfully, and was always good company, as I can attest to during our regular lunches, with fellow editorial committeeman Peter Forwood, held since the publication of SP23. Lex has left us all in the geological community with deep regrets at his passing, but with great respect and fond memories as a lasting testament to his remarkable and rewarding life.

BILL BIRCH
[I have based this commemoration of Lex on family documents kindly
supplied by Rita Ferguson, as well as on an obituary prepared by his
stepson Mark Patrick and published in The Saturday Age (Melbourne) 10
September 2011].

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John B FIRMAN

Fellow of the Geological Society of Australia

I graduated from the University of Western Australia with a B.Sc. (Hons.) degree and joined the Bureau of Mineral Resources. In 1953 I began regional mapping for the Bureau with the Waterhouse Group in the Rum Jungle area, N.T. In 1956 I worked with the Georgetown/Clarke River Group in the Georgetown and Einasleigh River 1:250,000 areas in Queensland. I began mapping in the Calvert Hills and Robinson River 1:250,000 areas in the Northern Territory in 1958.

In 1960 I transferred from the Bureau of Mineral Resources to the Soil-Geology Section of the South Australian Department of Mines. Soil-Geology was developed by CSIRO Soil Mechanics Section and the Geological Survey of South Australia with the assistance of CSIRO Soils Division. The section provided information of foundation failures in domestic buildings in the Adelaide metropolitan area. Climate and hydrology, parent material, topography and soil were all involved in foundation failures and soil profiles were used as a guide to problem soils. Members of the section recommended footings for buildings, tank and silo sites, power stations and also provided advice on route selection for roads, pipelines and other communication links elsewhere in South Australia.

In 1970 I was invited by Professorial Fellow Joe Jennings to attend the ANU as a Research Fellow. I wrote a regional stratigraphy of surficial deposits in the Murray Basin and transferred to the Regional Mapping Section as a specialist in Quaternary Studies. Traverses were made to inland areas to link the stratigraphy of southern areas with that being mapped inland. I am credited with contributions to the mapping of fifteen published geological maps (most in the 1:250,000 series). Five of these provide stratigraphic data on the distribution or named palaeosols in South Australia.

I compiled the geology of South Australia for the Encyclopaedia of World Regional Geology (Rhodes Fairbridge, Editor) in 1975.

A Post-Graduate Diploma in Natural Resources was awarded by Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1982. The thesis set down for the first time how, when and where soils at the level of the great soil group developed. It also provided an extended time scale for the Pleistocene.

A M.Sc. was awarded in the same year by Flinders University for my thesis on the regolith of the Great Australian Basin.

In 1985 I set up a company to promote the study of the regolith on a not-for-profit basis and retired from the Geological Survey of South Australia.

I promoted an international conference – Landscapes of the 'Southern Hemisphere – which was held at Roseworthy Agricultural College in 1986. By 1991 I had promoted another international conference on deserts and their future evolution with Nicole Petit Maire of the Laboratoire de Geologie du Quaternaire, CNRS, which was held at the University of Western Australia.

In my most recent paper, my associates and I introduced sequence stratigraphy as a basis for soil studies on the Australian Precambrian Shield. For assistance with my publications I acknowledge the Science and Industry Endowment Fund administered by CSIRO, the Australian UNESCO Committee (for IGCP252) and of CSIRO Exploration and Mining (CLC LEME), Western Australia.

In conclusion, I must acknowledge Dr Joe Jennings. If he had not arranged for me to attend the Australian National University I would have worked in some other branch of earth science. My colleagues in the South Australian Department of Mines and Energy have published an excellent section on the Quaternary in their Geology of South Australia (Bulletin 54, 1995) that will serve as a tribute to him.

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Norman Henry FISHER

Foundation Member of the Geological Society of Australia
Honorary Member of the Geological Society of Australia

Norman Henry Fisher was born on 30th September 1909 at Hay, New South Wales. His father, F.A.E. Fisher, a grazier and wheat farmer, moved the family to the Darling Downs, Queensland, a year or so later. Norman was educated at the Southbrook Central State School, passé the scholarship exam, (9th in Queensland) in 1923, and spent the next 4½ years as a boarder at Toowoomba Grammar School.

He obtained an Open Scholarship to Queensland University in the Senior Public Examination at the end of 1927, and was a resident of St. John's College, then located at Kangaroo Point, for the next four years. He studied science at Queensland University, then situated at George Street, next to the Botanic Gardens, majoring in geology and chemistry. He graduated B.Sc. at the end of 1930 and obtained Honours (2nd Class) in geology the following year.

He represented the University at tennis and St. John's College at tennis, football (rugby), cricket and rowing.

At the end of 1929, through the good offices of Professor H.C. Richards, he obtained a vacation position with the Imperial Geophysical Experimental Survey, in a party working at Mungana in Northern Queensland. Besides the leader, an English geologist named Ferguson, the other members of the party were Lew Richardson and Bob Thyer.

At the end of 1931 (after being interviewed by Julius Kruttschnitt) he accepted a position as Mine Geologist with Mt. Isa Mines Limited. The only other geologist on the mine at that time was Roland Blanchard, Chief Geologist, who proved an able and patient supervisor, initiating the new recruit into the practise of mine geology and indeed of mining and ore handling and treatment generally. Fisher's work during the following three years consisted mainly of mapping the underground workings, current and past, with some surface mapping, and accompanying Blanchard on examinations of prospects in the Cloncurry district. In 1933 he was sent by the company to examine and report on the newly discovered Tennant Creek field in the Northern Territory, and in 1934 on gold prospects at Portland Roads in North Queensland.

In September 1934 he resigned from Mt. Isa Mines to accept the position of Government Geologist in the Mandated Territory of New Guinea. During the next eight years, stationed at either Wau or Rabaul, he was occupied examining and mapping mines and prospects throughout the Territory but mainly on the Morobe Goldfield, and in reconnaissance geological excursions in various parts of the Territory, including the Waria Valley, the Central Highlands, the Sepik District, New Britain, Tabar Islands, and Bougainville. After the Rabaul eruption in 1937, a good deal of his time was devoted to volcanic studies, and in 1939 he was sent ot the (then) Dutch East Indies for three months to study vulcanology with Dr. Ch. E. Stehn, who had reported on the Rabaul eruption for the Commonwealth Government. During 1939-40 he supervised the establishment in Rabaul of a Vulcanological Observatory and Observation Posts.

In 1941 he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science for studies in the fineness of gold. In the same year, whilst on leave in Brisbane from New Guinea, he spent three months working on photogeology with Shell (Qld.) Development Ltd.

As a member of the New Guinea Volunteer Rifles he took an active part in the defence of Rabaul in January 1942 and afterwards made an adventurous escape to Port Moresby. Suffering from tropical ulcers and malaria, he was hosptialised for some weeks and eventually returned to Australia. After convalescence he transferred to the Mineral Resources Survey in Canberra – a process that was in train when the Japanese attacked Rabaul – and was discharged from the army with the rank of corporal. Shortly afterwards he was appointed Chief Geologist of the Mineral Resources Survey. The war years, from April 1942, were spent in surveying and assessing strategic mineral deposits i.e. those in short supply for the Allied war effort – Mo, Sn, W, Cu, quartz crystal, U, monazite, Sb, rutile, some non-metallics – and compiling reports on Australia's mineral resources. During 1944 six months were spent in Brisbane on loan to the U.S. Army Engineer Intelligence Corps carrying out terrain studies in connection with the advance of armed forces through New Guinea and the East Indies.

When the Bureau of Mineral Resources was established in May-June 1946, Dr. Fisher was appointed Chief Geologist, a position he held (although the title varied) until 1969 when he succeeded J.M Rayner as Director. He retired at age 65 at the end of September, 1974.

During the early years of B.M.R., he was mainly concerned with building up staff and other establishment problems, and initiating a programme of field work, together with laying the foundation for a unified scheme of geological map production, in cooperation with the Geological Surveys of the States. As the field program developed, he directed the B.M.R.'s geological activities more and more to systematic geological mapping, in the Northern Territory, and, in accordance with agreements between the Commonwealth and State Governments, in Queensland and Western Australia, jointly with the Geological Surveys of those states. Papua New Guinea was also on the mapping programme but this was largely delayed until aerial photographs and maps became available and helicopters an established mode of transport.

As Director he initiated, amongst other things, the B.M.R.'s annual conference and the very successful Open Days and placed increasing emphasis on the production of regional geophysical maps and on offshore geophysical surveys. Throughout his career with the B.M.R. he always gave priority to the publication of results of its work in the form of reports and maps and to making available as quickly as possible to companies engaged in exploration the information gained by B.M.R. field parties.

During 1954-55 he was given a year's leave of absence to undertake a United Nations appointment as adviser on mineral development to the government of Bolivia. One of the outcomes of this appointment was setting up, with UN and US assistance, of a full geology degree course in the University of La Paz.

In 1963-64 he undertook a similar UN assignment as adviser to the government of Israel for 3 months.

Prior to his retirement, Dr. Fisher took a leading role in obtaining the agreement of the world geological community for the holding of the International Geological Congress in Sydney in 1976. He was Chairman of the Organising Committee and eventually President of the Congress, which was generally regarded as an outstanding success, due to the enthusiastic cooperation and help of large numbers of Australian geologists.

After retirement, Dr. Fisher carried out some consulting assignments, and was a Director of Ampol Exploration Ltd. (1974-81), Paringa Mining and Exploration Co. Ltd. (1979-81) and Afmeco Pty. Ltd. (1978-87). In September-October 1977 he was a member of the International Union of Geological Sciences delegation to China to help organise China's participation in the work of the Union. He had earlier been largely instrumental in having the Republic of China accepted into the Union as representing China, replacing the geological fraternity in Taiwan in that capacity.

In November 1981 to February 1982 he was a member of a four-man mission to Saudi Arabia to advise the Saudi Government on the implementation of its Five-year Plan for the exploration and development of mineral resources.

In recognition of his work first as Chief Geologist and later as Director of the Bureau of Mineral Resources, particularly of his contributions to the geological mapping of Australia and to international relations in the geological sciences, Dr. Fisher was awarded the following honours:

1976 Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)
1976 Spendiarov Prize, International Geological Congress
1979 President's Award, Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
1981 W.R. Browne Medal, Geological Society of Australia
1985 Honorary Fellow of St. John's College, University of Queensland

His special interests in the earth sciences were geological mapping of Australia and Papua New Guinea, the geology of ore deposits, particularly stratiform ores, and vulcanology.

Marital status: 1. Wife Ellice Marguerite, née Summers, one son. August 1938 - August 1993. 2. Mary Elderslaw Bowman, née Mason. December 1994 – present.

Positions held in Professional Bodies:

Geological Society of Australia President 1959-61. Chairman, Territories Division 1958-59. Convenor of Committee On Stratigraphic Nomenclature 1959-72. Member of Council 1957-77. Public Officer 1968-77. Honorary Member 1975-
Society of Economic Geologists Regional Vice-President 1950, 1952, 1953. Associate Editor 1960-71
Society for Geology applied to Mineral Deposits Associate Editor 1966-
Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Chairman, Southern Tablelands Branch 1958. Member Organising Committee and Editorial Panel, Volume on the Geology of Australian Ore Deposits, 8th Commonwealth Mining and Metallurgical Congress. Member Committee for 3rd Edition of Geology of Australian Ore Deposits
Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science, Section 3 (C) Geology President 1974. Chairman 1964. Hon. Secretary 1954. Chairman Organising
Committee 1975. Vice-President 1952, 1955, 1967. Presented papers at meetings
1939, 1951, 1958, 1959, 1965, 1970, 1971
Royal Society of Canberra President 1964
Membership of Committees of the Australian Academy of Science National Committee for Geological Sciences 1962-77 (Convenor until 1965).
Standing Committee, later National Committee, for Hydrology 1958-71. National
Committee for Geodesy and Geophysics 1970-74. Subcommittee on Volcanology
and Chemistry of the Earth's interior, Chairman 1956-74. National Committee for
Antarctic Research 1959-66

Membership of International Committees
at various times

Commission for the Geological Map of the World – Vice President for Oceania 19. Sub-Commission for the Metallogenic Map of the World – Convener for Australia. Member of: Sub-Commissions (of International Commission on Stratigraphy) on Stratigraphic Classification and for the Stratigraphic Lexicon. Working Group on the World Volcanological Map (of the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior). Standing committee on Solid Earth Sciences, Pacific Science Association 1953-1971. Commonwealth Committee on Mineral Resources and Geology 1953-71. International Geological Congress: Chairman Organising Committee, 25th Congress 1976, Sydney 1972-76. President 1976-80. International Union of Geological Sciences: Member of Executive Committee 1972- 76. UNESCO/IUGS International Geological Correlation Programme. Member of Scientific Committee II 1973-77. Member of Board 1979-80
Membership of other Committees Deputy Chairman and Convener, Technical Committee on Underground Water of the Australian Water Resources Council. Water Resources Research Grants Committee.
National Committee for the World Petroleum Congress. Executive and Technical
Committees of the Bass-Becking Geobiological Research Laboratory. Chairman,
Australian Mineral Development Laboratories (AMDEL) (alternate member).
Council of Australian Mineral Foundation. Interim Council Australian Institute of
Marine Sciences.

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Bryan FORBES

Foundation Member of the Geological Society of Australia

Bryan Forbes was born in Beverley, Western Australia, 1930. Bryan completed year seven in South Australia and secondary schooling at Unley High School. In 1948 he began courses at the University of Adelaide as a cadet in the mining department of the School of Mines. He switched from mining engineering to geology and fortunately secured the privileged position of cadet under Sir Douglas Mawson 1949.

Advantages were getting to know the staff, including A.F. Wilson, Paul Hossfeld, Alf Kleeman and the many-facetted technician, Hector Brock. After graduating in 1951 he gained valuable mapping experience working out of the Tumut Pond camp for the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Authority in an area best suited to mountain goats. As one of Mawson's last Honours students, including A.J.R. White and R.B. Leslie, in 1952 Bryan mapped the Adelaidean and Kanmantoo Group between the Myponga Inlier and Port Elliot.

In 1955 he completed his PhD thesis on the sedimentary magnesite- bearing sequence in the Lower Burra Group of the Adelaidean. He enjoyed the kindly supervision of Prof. Arthur Alderman. Late 1955 he was granted an 1851 Senior Studentship, allowing research on evaporates under F.H. Stewart and Prof. K.C. Dunham at the Durham Colleges in the University of Durham. Prior to sailing to the UK he married Judith Newmarch who had obligingly and expertly typed his PhD thesis. Durham treated the young couple well (and later, son Michael) but only one publication, on folded Permian gypsum in Yorkshire, resulted from this sojourn. A petrological report on subsurface evaporates from southeastern Durham was also presented.

From late 1957 Bryan worked with the South Australian Geological Survey and enjoyed going bush again. Effort was initially on non-metallics such as beryl, gypsum, phosphate and road metal, under R. Keith Johns, but later mainly regional geological mapping under Bruce Webb, Brendan Thomson and C.R. Dalgarno. Like a good geological wife, Judith coped with children Michael, Helen and Kathryn and the leaking roof of the house at Hillcrest. Bryan was author of the Clare 1-mile, Marree and Kopperamanna 1:250 000 geological map sheets. All of this was only possible through the skilled work of the Survey's drafting branch.

A demanding and satisfying experience was field direction of an extended geological survey aided by helicopter in the Great Victoria Desert. Before retirement in 1987 Bryan was privileged to lead the Survey's regional mapping group whose stimulating company was subsequently missed. Modest services to the GSA included leading of field excursions with the likes of Ron Coats, Brian Daily and Brendan Thomson, a term as divisional secretary and the contribution of the SA Division's history in 'Rock me hard, rock me soft…'.

In retirement Bryan has enjoyed minor dabbling in geology, notably writing book reviews for the Australian Mineral Foundation, local church involvement, bush conservation, music, reading, cycling and grand children.

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Brenda FRANKLIN

Fellow of the Geological Society of Australia

Honorary Member of the Geological Society of Australia

I was born in Sri Lanka, mainly by accident; my father was a Scottish Engineer who built roads on tea plantations and my mother an Australian High School Science Teacher, who just happened to meet him there on holiday. I grew up on the northern beaches of Sydney at Dee Why, where I still live. I was educated at Dee Why Primary and North Sydney Girls’ High School.

I attended Sydney University (the third in line from my family to do so), with the avowed intention of doing Physics and only took Geology I because the lectures were at 11 am and Zoology (my preferred option) started at 9 am, and I lived a fair distance from the University. My mother before me had also done Geology I, in the company of no less than Alan Voisey and Sam Carey, and apparently did better in the subject than either of them. (This fact I was never allowed to forget whenever I saw either of these two eminent geologists).

After I graduated in 1961, I worked for a time at the BHP Research Laboratories at Shortland, Newcastle, reaching into the mineralogy of slags and after that, for Consolidated Goldfields P/L in Sydney. At that time there were very limited opportunities for fieldwork for female geologists and I became very tired of drawing and stencilling letters on maps (at which I was very bad) and making inventory lists for the field geologists there.

I decided to return to a more academic life and went to the University of New South Wales in 1962 where I did my MSc on metamorphosed mafic rocks on the Kanangra Plateau in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney and a PhD on the Coolac Ophiolite Suite, near Gundagai in southern NSW. I also became a Tutor in the Department of Applied Geology. In the late 1960s I took a year away from Australia to take up a Research Fellowship at the Mineralogy-Petrology Institute in Heidelberg, Germany. While there I worked on the problems of Alpine spilites and similar rocks (at that time a red-hot debating topic). I was also, a fairly good tennis player, and spent some time in England where I played several of the tournaments leading up to Wimbledon. (I should mention that tennis was all amateur and the standard was far less competitive in those days than it is now, and it was relatively easy to get into the tournaments as a visiting Australian player. Needless to say I didn’t win much but enjoyed the experience thoroughly).

In 1971, I applied for and gained a permanent lecturing position with the relatively new Department of Applied Geology at NSW Institute of Technology (now the University of Technology, Sydney). I remained at UTS until my retirement in 1996 holding the positions of Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor and SubDean, and was Head of Department during my last two years. My main research interests continued to be the petrology of a broad range of mafic and ultramafic rocks and ophiolites in particular, although I have always had a broad interest in all types of rocks and minerals.

In 1981/82 I did a Diploma in Gemmology with the Gemmological Association of Australia and was awarded the Keith McKenzie Medal of the Society. I spent one sabbatical with a gemmological firm, researching mainly on the distinctions between ‘kimberlitic’ and ‘non-kimberlitic’ garnets. The work culminated in an extended visit to my birthplace in Sri Lanka and the ‘Ceylon’ sapphire workings. My link with the Gemmological Association has continued, both as a lecturer and in an advisory capacity on their Accreditation Board.

In 1984 I became Honorary Editor of The Australian Geologist (TAG) replacing the foundation Editor, David Branagan. I continued in that capacity until 1992.  My time as editor was very rewarding and often quite eventful. Letter writers could get very irate. Several controversies raged during the period – notably the saga on ‘creationism’, the “Gupta” debate and ‘dolomite’ vs ‘dolostone’ among others. During my time as editor, I tried to make TAG as interesting and diverse as possible and apart from the more regular geologically oriented material, always put in a few’ fillers’ to fill otherwise blank spaces. A couple of my favourites are:

From News of the World
“In Chester, NW England, anthropologists dug up a human skull near a secluded cottage. On questioning the owner admitted to killing his wife there 23 years ago and burying her body. He was later charged with her murder. Subsequent tests on the skull showed it to be 2000 years old. The trial is continuing and the man has changed his plea to ‘not guilty’”.

From The Sydney Morning Herald:
Two students overheard at Central Railway Station:
One: What did you say magma was?
The other: No idea. I put down car of the year.

I became an Honorary Member of the Geological Society of Australia in 1994. I have been a member of the UNESCO Committee for the International Geological Correlation Program for over 20 years. In 2002 I was awarded the WR Browne Medal of the Society.

When I formally retired in 1996 my career took a completely unexpected turn. I became involved with the restoration and conservation of Sydney’s historic sandstone buildings, an activity with which I am still closely associated. In the last 15 years I have written over 800 technical reports on sandstone from various locations and quarries and for almost every prominent sandstone building in Sydney. In 2000 Greg McNally and myself edited the Environmental, Engineering & Hydrogeology Specialist Group Monograph No. 5: Sandstone City – Sydney’s Dimension Stone and other Sandstone Geomaterials.

In my private life, my husband Martin (another University of Sydney Geology graduate) and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary in 2011. We both play golf twice a week when the weather is good. Our two children – Nic (an Environmental Scientist) and Garth (an online Hollywood Movie Journalist) and our son-in-law Alan (an Archaeologist) still all live with us at Dee Why (that’s what comes of having a house right opposite the beach).

In conclusion I would like to finish with a brilliant quote from William Cowper (1731-1800; English poet), which very well might have been written on ‘creationism’:

“Some drill and bore the solid earth,
And, from the strata there
Extract a register, From which we learn,
That HE who made it, and revealed its date to Moses,
Was MISTAKEN in its age.”

Michael John FREEMAN

Fellow of the Geological Society of Australia

Born in Nottingham, UK, on 16/9/46, my interest in geology was awakened by family camping trips in SA to historic mining towns (Moonta-Wallaroo, Kapunda and Burra), fossil hunting along the Murray River, and then in the SA Junior Field Naturalists Society. At Elizabeth High School in mid-year 11 the principal, Tom Booker, encouraged me to take up geology as an extra subject. The next year, 1963, with the principal's encouragement, saw me top the State in geology.

After that, the career was in no doubt – geology, graduating from Adelaide University in 1969. After some complications through national service, I joined the Geological Survey of SA as an engineering geologist and then as a hydrogeologist.

However, industry called, and so in the boom-time of 1970, I started an eight-year career with Broken Hill South Ltd, initially at Broken Hill exploring for a repeat of that orebody, then feasibility studies on NW Qld phosphate, and then exploration at Mt Isa.

I left for the NT Geological Survey in Alice Springs initially helping prospectors and then regional mapping initially on joint BMR-NTGS teams then solely NT mapping of Arunta basement, Georgina and Amadeus sediments and regolith northeast and then south of Alice. Palaeontological colleague, John Laurie, located a new trilobite during this mapping and named it Lycophron freemani. Another result of the mapping was the publication of HUCKITTA, the first 1:250 000 map and explanatory notes for the NTGS, in 1986.

Advantage was taken of the 1987 exploration boom to move to Perth to join Kalbara Mining. Six months later after drilling, my work had defined a 1 Mt orebody at 3.7g Au/t. However, the company was stripped by a "goldfields entrepreneur" who disappeared to Mexico beyond the reach of Aussie law aided, involuntarily, by a number of shareholders who contributed funds to his escape.

After a year as a consultant with Griffin Coal, modelling part of the Collie Basin for coal for electricity generation, I then joined the Geological Survey of WA as part of the WA Government's team helping mineral resource access to conservation lands. However, in mid-1990 the GSWA "provided" me to assist the WA Police investigate an alleged salting, where a company paid $6M for a prospect that one geologist suggested could contain 12.9 Mt @ 12.2g Au/t (i.e. with a 2007 value of $6.5 G). It culminated in a 2-week drilling and excavating "exploration program" with six armed detectives forming my bodyguard. My sampling readily showed there was no gold deposit there and the prospect was a sham. The accused prospectors were found guilty in 1993, although later an appeal resulted in the convictions being quashed.

My most satisfying role was to compile a set of maps of the south Perth Basin that showed the outlines of all the competing miners' titanium-zircon mineral ore outlines and extensions. After long negotiations with corporate management, the maps were released, and State and local Government planners are required to include the areas as protected lands to stop rezoning or development approvals until after mining and rehabilitation. This has probably saved hundreds of millions of dollars of minerals from sterilization.

Support of the science and profession has always been important to me, having joined the GSA on graduation and later was a founding member of the AIG. In 1990 I joined the WA Divisional committee, was Membership Secretary during 1993-1997, and was the Division representative on the Federal Executive 1994-1996. I also joined the organizing committee for the 1994 AGC and compiled the Abstracts Volume. Earlier, in the 1980s, Albert Brakel, chairman of the Stratigraphic Nomenclature Committee, had sought a NT representative for the Committee and so I joined his group.

Alice Springs was a bit of an academic backwater but we used to get many visiting geologists. So, with another geologist, we started the Central Australian Earth Science Association to give talks to the local geologists.

There are many fabulous outcrops in Central Australia that influenced my career. Geoheritage issues became an item of concern at times through inappropriate promotion by nongeologists. In particular I did work to improve protection for Henbury and Gosses Bluff extraterrestrial impact features. I also enjoyed running annual courses on Geology and Landforms of Central Australia for the public for many years.

I regard myself as having been very fortunate having a career in geology for the benefit of myself, my family and also the community. However, I do find it disappointing at how little credibility is given to its relevance as one of the fundamental environmental sciences.

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