Australians are mourning the loss of Australia’s first weather presenter, Alan Wilkie, who sadly died at the age of 94.
The pioneering television personality reportedly passed away peacefully on Monday, July 10 surrounded by his family.
Although he originally had aspirations of becoming a teacher, Wilkie went on to study science at the University of Queensland before completing a post-graduate course in meteorology and commencing work with the Bureau of Meteorology.
Wilkie made his television debut and cemented his place as Australia’s first weather presenter with ABC News in 1956.
In an interview with The Australian Women’s Weekly in 1977, Wilkie reflected on his television debut, revealing that he was “so frightened”.
“It was in the very first week of television and I nearly died. I was so frightened. I don’t remember a single thing I said, but it must have been all right,” he said at the time.
Wilkie remained with the network until 1960, when he made the decision to step away from the television scene. However, his absence was short-lived as he resurfaced in 1986, gracing the airwaves once again, this time as part of the Seven network. A few years later, he embarked on a new chapter by transitioning to Channel 9, where he would spend 25 years presenting the weather.
Throughout his stellar career, Wilkie delivered the weather forecast more than 10,000 times, leaving an impressive mark on the industry.
Although he had an impressive television career, Wilkie previously revealed that he never considered himself a television personality.
“I don’t take myself seriously as a television personality but I do take the weather seriously,” he said.
“My day starts about 5.30 when I get up and ring the Weather Bureau to find out what’s been happening overnight to the systems, particularly in the upper atmosphere. I have a good think about it, stick my head out of the window for a look around and then do my 6.30 forecast for radio station 2SM.
“I get satellite pictures from Macquarie University about 8.30 and then I drive up to Pearce’s Corner, not far away, and watch cloud movements.
“You can’t just rely on charts. You have to look at what’s happening.”
As news of Wilkie’s passing broke, people from all corners of the country came together to pay tribute to the weather presenter, sharing heartfelt memories and reflecting on his remarkable career.
I remember him, seemed like a nice bloke!
— Tony Andrews (@TonyAnd83974548) July 11, 2023
Oh no. That’s awful news. I grew up watching Wilks.
— Gary Wynder (@WynderGary) July 11, 2023
He was a good weather man.
— David Newton (@simplysolo) July 11, 2023
I remember and liked him very much
— Polite Lion ???? (@Polite_Lion) July 11, 2023
????????. He was a lovely weather man ????. RIP
— Biffynz????????????♀️????????????????????????????????????✈️⛺️ (@biffynznewbie) July 11, 2023