Saturday, March 24, 2018

Francis Michael 'Frank' HALL (1923-2005)

My grandfather's brother was Francis Michael 'Frank' HALL (1923-2005). Frank was the HALL family historian and I have benefited greatly from the research he conducted - several people I've contact over the years have told me that they remember Frank visiting their family in Australia (or even England!) as part of his travels.

Frank married Emily May Jean COATES in 1951 at Bulli NSW (near Wollongong) and they had two children (Mary Ellen - married Richard OTTAWAY, and Laurence John). Frank and his wife died just a week apart in 2005.

Like his father (Normal Hall my gr grandfather), Frank was a chemist, and taught at the University of Wollongong (I too earned my PhD in chemistry). I found this notice regarding Frank's retirement in 1983 from the University of Wollongong. Frank spent a significant amount if time in retirement working on genealogy.

University Of Wollongong Campus News, 22 July 1983

In Carters Lane, Fairy Meadow, there is a green spot called Hall Park, named after Alderman Norman Hall. His son, Frank Hall, left the University on 15 July 1983 after teaching generations of Wollongong students.

Frank joined the University before it existed. That is, he joined in February 1949, teaching Chemistry and Metallurgy in the Technical College at Gladstone Avenue, later the Wollongong Division of the University of Technology.

The Head of the Department then was Max Steele, a man who lost his leg to a shark when he was 19 years old and who still lives here in Wollongong.

The Division became the Wollongong University College of the University of New South Wales on 1 July 1954. Dr. Phillip Baxter was the first Director of the University of Technology, and Arthur Denning was the Director of Technical Education (now T.A.F.E.). Both men were knighted and Sir Arthur went on to become the High Commissioner in New York while Sir Phillip became the first Vice-Chancellor of the University of New South Wales.

When Frank began in 1949, he was one of 10 staff.

When the Gladstone Avenue set-up moved to the present site at the foot of Mt. Keira, there were 19 staff. Some of them are still here. Frank mentioned Bill Upfold, Ron Kinnell, Archie Cartwright, Emery Gellert and Bill Hannan and Abe Segal and there may be some others. Peter Beckman replaced Max Steele and shortly after in 1958 Emery Gellert headed up the Chemistry Depart- ment. Bert Halpern arrived in the early 70's.

Looking back Frank remembers serving on the first Advisory Committee of the Wollongong University College, and he was one of the creators of the University Union serving on the House Committee for the first three years. In those days the Union consisted of what is now the Northern Wing.

Frank also served on the University Senate in the late 70's.

An Industrial and Analytical Chemist by training, Frank has seen Chemistry change to a very theoretical discipline and now it is returning back again to an applied science. The new appointment to the Chair of Chemistry reflects this trend.

No comments: