Supporter The Ancient Aeronauts

David Secomb
+ 61 3 9527 2059


The body now dignified with the title "The Ancient Aeronauts" had its origin in occasional luncheons held on the initiative of Mr Jack Dance to meet at the Riversdale Golf Club with a handful of his colleagues from the Aeronautical Research Laboratories (ARL) and the Materials Research Laboratories (MRL). These Laboratories now form part of the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO).

Mr Dance had a long and distinguished career at the Laboratories. He was Superintendent of the Materials Division of ARL from 1950 to 1960 and then of the Structures Division until his retirement in 1976. He deputised for the Chief Superintendent of ARL on many occasions.

With the passage of the years the invitation list was extended, again under Mr Dance's initiative, until his death in 1995, to include primarily retired senior staff who had worked under the founder Chief of ARL, Dr L P Coombes.

Early in 1997 Mr Alan Jones, a former Principal Engineer of ARL, assembled a small group to continue arranging these annual luncheons. Their main purpose continued to be to provide a social occasion for members and their partners.

The invitation list was extended by suggestions from those already on it, with an emphasis on retired ARL staff who worked in aeronautics at Fishermens Bend. However, the amalgamation of ARL with MRL to form the Aeronautical and Maritime Research Laboratory of the DSTO commenced in 1994. As this process has taken effect, invitations have progressively been made on a broader basis.

Ancient Aeronauts who have contributed to the Coombes Appeal to support these pages are Betty Cumming, Dora Dance, Jessica Farrands, F.A. Fox, H.A. Gorges, C.R. Guy, Dr Frederick Hooke, C.N. King, Nigel McCleave, Dorothy McKenzie, R.V. Pavia, Prof. Ian Polmear, Dr Peter Preston, David Secomb, Max Williams and John Wisdom.

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