Parkes Observatory 40th Anniversary Symposium

Parkes Observatory
40th Anniversary Symposium
1 November 2001.

On 31 October 1961, the Parkes Telescope was officially opened by the Governor General Lord De L'Isle. To commemorate the anniversary, a symposium was organised to highlight the developments at Parkes since the 30th anniversary symposium in 1991. Many former staff members and honoured guests gathered in the recently upgraded Visitors Centre to catch up with old friends and to reminisce.

Dr John Reynolds, formerly welcomed everyone to the symposium, and introduced the guest speakers for the day. Mr Mal Sinclair, Dr Rachel Webster, Dr Jim Caswell, Dr John Whiteoak, Dr Matthew Bailes, and Dr Naomi McClure-Griffiths.

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The Symposium
symposium: (among the ancient Greeks) a convivial meeting, usu. following a dinner, for drinking, conversation, and intellectual discussion. [L, from Gk symposion (def. 4)]

The "John Bolton Avenue"

During a ceremony following the symposium, the avenue of trees leading from the Telescope to the Observers Quarters, was officially renamed the "John Bolton Avenue". The Observatory was honoured that Mrs Letty Bolton was present to unveil the street sign. Following the brief ceremony, the Mayor of Parkes, Cr Robert Wilson, presented each of the guest speakers, with "Centenary of Federation" medallions. To Dr John Reynolds, he presented a clock so that he would always be on time for meetings.

Left - The Guest Speakers (L-R): Dr Jim Caswell, Mr Mal Sinclair, Dr John Whiteoak, Dr Rachel Webster, Dr Naomi McClure Griffiths and Dr Matthew Bailes.

Right - Those present at the Opening of the Telescope in 1961 (L-R): Bill Butler, Dick McGee, Bruce Slee, Bruce McAdam, Mrs Letty Bolton, Cliff Smith, Gordon Bennett and Sid Horner.

The Party

Beneath the great dish of the telescope, the guests enjoyed the pre-dinner drinks. Following the dinner, Dr John Reynolds presented each of the guest speakers with commemorative gifts. He also took the opportunity, on behalf of the Parkes Staff, to formerly wish Dr John Whiteoak and Mr Mal Sinclair happy retirements. Guests were then invited to share with everyone present, their recollections of the telescope and of the official opening in 1961.

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