Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology

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Volunteer recognised for 50 years of rainfall records


Volunteer Peter Jones has been recognised with a Bureau of Meteorology Rainfall Excellence Award for his outstanding contribution in completing 50 years of rainfall observations for Tasmania.

The 84-year-old was presented with the award after recording rainfall observations in Kellatier for almost 34 years as well as over 18 years of observations for his current locality of Orford South.

Bureau of Meteorology Acting State Manager, Simon McCulloch, said the commitment to the community shown by Mr Jones was to be commended.

“Since February 1962, Mr Jones has recorded and reported daily rainfall observations for the Bureau providing both a continuous and reliable record of over more than 50 years,” Mr McCulloch said.

“Australia is a vast continent and while the Bureau’s network is extensive, there are many areas that are not covered except by the dedicated service of volunteers such as Mr Jones.”

Mr Jones began taking observations as an 18-year-old Boatswain's Mate in the Royal Australian Navy where it was considered 'part of the job' to capture four-hourly readings, and carried his enjoyment of this work into his civilian life with the help of his father-in-law.

"My late father-in-law thought I should have a rain gauge at my property and said he would speak to a friend of his who worked at the Bureau of Meteorology, which he did, and soon I was listed as a volunteer rainfall observer at Kellatier," he said.

"It takes only a few moments each day, a few minutes once a month – I do it for my own pleasure anyway, I have no intention of stopping."

Mr Jones recorded observations in Kellatier from February 1962 until December 1995 before moving with his wife Valerie to Spring Beach, and so enjoyed the work, that he took on the role of volunteer observer for Orford South in early 1999 after the passing of the previous volunteer.

He said he was pleased to receive the Rainfall Excellence Award for 50 years of service and was delighted that he had lasted the distance.

Mr McCulloch said these awards are a timely reminder to acknowledge all volunteers, including emergency services and many other organisations and individuals who selflessly provide their time and skills in the service of the community.

“The Bureau relies on a network of thousands of volunteers, a crucial network of dedicated people that provides the Bureau with the information it needs to deliver crucial weather and forecasting services to communities across Australia, and strengthen the long-term understanding of Australia’s climate.”