Supporter The Ancient Aeronauts & Mariners

David Secomb
+ 61 3 9527 2059


One of the pages listed below was first sponsored in 1999 by a body entitled The Ancient Aeronauts. This body had its origin in occasional luncheons held on the initiative of Mr Jack Dance 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 are incorporated within the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) of the Department of Defence.

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.

Mr Dance continued to arrange these luncheons until his death in 1995, inviting mainly 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 the 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 had commenced in 1994. As this process took effect, invitations were progressively made on a broader basis.

Then, in August 2001, the broader nature of the body was recognised by changing its title to The Ancient Aeronauts & Mariners. Also, the support of Bright Sparcs was extended to a page about Dr F A Fox, Chief Superintendent of the Defence Standards Laboratories (DSL) from 1957 to 1970. DSL became MRL in 1974.

In June 2005 the DSTO Alumni Association was established. Details are available at http://www.dsto.defence.gov.au. Its objectives encompass those of The Ancient Aeronauts & Mariners, which accordingly was disbanded. Its members were recommended to join the new body. The inaugural meeting of the DSTO Alumni - Melbourne was held on 3 November 2005.

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