better known as "Blackie"
Married to Thelma
1954. Five children. Ten grandchildren
Now living in Hobart, Tasmania
At CONDOR May 1950 to Dec 1953.
1953 HMS Eagle and
Falcon as an AA5
HMS Seahawk (AA4) - Fireflies and Gannets
1956-57 HMS Sanderling (AA3) - Attackers and Seahawks
1957-60 HMS Falcon (AA1) - Sheetmetal shop (with Morph and Mike
!961 HMS Heron - Hunters
HMS Condor - Instructing Naval Air Mechanics
!965 HMS Daedalus - Conversion course to Electrical Artificer
HMS Fulmar (EA1) - Mk2 Buccaneers,
809 Squadron, HMS Hermes and Fulmar - Mk 2 Buccaneers.
1969-70 HMS Daedalus
- Naval Air Technical Evaluation Centre.
LEFT RN Oct 70 - Left the Navy on early retirement.
1970, with Britain�s economy appearing to be faltering and Australia
beckoning strongly as the country of the future, we decided that it would
be in the best interest of the children if we emigrated. Getting a job was
the next problem. Tasmania was our State of choice, but to emigrate there
you had to be sponsored. I therefore flooded all likely sources of
employment in Tasmania with my CV. There were many replies, but mostly it
was 'contact us when you arrive'. However I did receive a telegram from the
University of Tasmania asking if I knew anything about Maths
Spectrometers. Of course I hadn�t heard of it, but it was the first
positive reply I had received so I decided to tell a little white lie. I
replied back that I was indeed familiar with Maths Spectrometers. I had,
after all, progressed reasonably well in HNC maths and it was just the
spectrometer bit that confused me.
"Things happened very quickly then. I was
accepted on a three month trial period and because I was employed out of
Australia I received full removal allowances and a university house on
arrival. They even paid for shipment of my old Rover!
a six-week cruise on the Achille Lauro, I arrived at the Chemistry Dept
of the University to discover that the Maths Spectrometer that I claimed
to be an expert on was in actual fact a
Spectrometer. Someone had cocked up the telegram.
"The machine itself looked in a very sad state.
This was the first generation of complex analytical instruments that
universities were beginning to buy. It was an American instrument and the
sales pitch that came with it stated that it was so simple that 'even your
secretary can operate it'. Taking this at face value, the wife of an
administrator was offered the job. Unfortunately, she left in tears after
the first week. It was at this very fortunate moment that my CV arrived at
"I received a warm welcome on arrival and
was presented with a large pile of manuals, shown where the library was
situated, in case I needed more, and told that the Mass Spectrometer would
be required in two months when term started. Modifications were also
required for another analytical head to be fitted for a PhD student�s
research project. I set to work at once and with more than my share of
luck and with invaluable help from the workshop staff, I was able to get
the instrument producing data to the required specifications during the
"At this stage Professor Bloom, our head of department, confirmed my
appointment as being permanent, and with a smile asked,
the way Mr Power, what is this "Maths" Spectrometer that you are such an
"For seven years I worked very closely with
Professor Bloom in his environmental work. He was years ahead of his time
in his battle against industrial pollution, and I was fortunate to be part
of his team. Mainly through his efforts, Tasmania is now recognised
throughout Australia as the Clean Green State. We worked mainly on
developing methods for the determination of heavy metals in the air, water
and food chain. Our studies of base-line levels required us to analyse air
sampled from aircraft over the Tasman Sea and to also spend periods in
isolated areas such as Cape Grim, which is situated on the north west tip
of Tasmania. We lived in a NASA caravan on the edge of a cliff while
we did our sampling.
"In 1984 we inherited a Stable Isotope Mass Spectrometer from Geology. I
was fortunate again in that this procedure was beginning to take off.
There was very soon a waiting period of up to 12 months to use this
machine. It was then decided to create the Stable Isotope lab as a separate facility. I was promoted to Professional Officer in charge of
Stable Isotope Mass spectrometry and given authority to purchase another
"In addition to other elements, the lab analysed
oxygen isotopes from Antarctic ice cores, which fell as rain around a
thousand years ago. The objective was to determine past temperature
variations. I found it a novel experience to be using pure
one-thousand-year-old water in our department's Xmas drinks! But the
greatest use of it, by far, was by geologists in their exploration
studies. My greatest achievement was to develop (with the help of an
American Research fellow) the first fully automated laser ablation system
for sulphide determinations. It was featured on
Quantum, a prime-time TV science program. I retired at the mandatory 65
near the top of the Professional Officers scale (most unusual for a MATHS
"We live in a nice location and I enjoy
walking the dog on the beach. I sometimes go to the Navy club and chat to
friends over a beer. There are quite a lot of ex-RN personnel here. We
have a motor home and when the weather starts to cool we join the rest of
the Grey Nomads and head north to the tropics. Over the years we have
travelled all around Australia and up through the centre from Adelaide to
Darwin. We are very happy here, but I do miss not being able to
participate in the close
relationships that have formed since Alan tracked down the 49ers."