Views And Comments
Tribute To Late Professor Cooke To the Editor
G. F. DODWEL, Government Astronomer.
Sir—I would appreciate an oppor- tunity of paying a tribute of esteem to the memory of the late Professor W. Ernest Cooke, whose great ser-
vices to astronomy were so widely known, both in Australia and abroad. In his early work at the Adelaide Observatory from 1883 to 1895, be showed audi outstanding ability that he was chosen by Sir John (afterwards Lord) Forrest, on the recommendation of Sir Charles Todd, to initiate the Perth Observatory, which was then being founded. He was greatly attracted to the work of measuring tbe exact posi- tions and movements of the stars, and to the international programme of mapping the heavens by astro- nomical photography. Perth Ob- servatory, under his direction, be- came tbe best equipped observatory in Australia for this work, and his observations were of the highest order of accuracy and value. He also made a splendid contribution to tbe meteorology of Western Aus- tralia, and organised tbe Weather Bureau of that State on a very thorough basis. In 1908 tbe weather services were transferred to the Commonwealth, and from that time his attention was wholly devoted to astronomy. When, in 1912, he was appointed Government Astronomer of New South Wales, he had great hopes of reorganising and re-equipping the Sydney Observatory with tbe best modern instruments. If the World War bad not broken out in 1914, with its aftermath of turmoil and difficulties, he would have fulfilled this desire to make Sydney Obser- vatory one of the best in the world in tbe measurement of star posi- tions and distances. I was very happy in being asso- ciated wltb Professor Cooke, as a colleague in astronomical work from 1909 until his retirement in 1926, and enjoyed his friendship right up to the time of his death. We were in close touch in many astronomical works - solar eclipse expeditions, boundary and longi- tude determinations, investigations of terrestrial magnetism, &c., and in these and other scientific mat- ters his experience and advice were always fully and willingly given. He was a man of noble, kindly and brotherly character, and the good influences of his life will always live on in the memory of all who knew him.