History shows that even at School Lionel Hooke  was  an ardent student of wireless telegraphy. In 1913,  the year after leaving  BGS,  Lionel joined the Marconi company as a marine wireless operator. In the following year Marconi merged with the Telefunken Company to form Amalgamated Wireless (Australasia) Ltd (AWA). On Christmas Day 1914,  Hooke  sailed from Hobart as wireless operator on board the Aurora carrying  the support party for Sir Ernest Shackleton’s proposed crossing of the Antarctic  continent. In March 1915  the ship was  moored in McMurdo Sound for the winter. An ice-field formed  around her. In May it began to move, severing her mooring  lines and  carrying  her northwards. She  was  trapped in the drifting floes until the ice melted in February 1916. After enduring appalling conditions for more  than  ten months, in March 1916,  Lionel miraculously established contact with the outside world 900km  away,  ultimately leading to their rescue. Later that year  Lionel sailed for England, joining the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. He served in anti- submarine vessels, commanded armed tugs and later qualified as a pilot. In 1918  he transferred to the Royal Air Force. Soon after his return  to AWA in 1919,  Lionel was  promoted Melbourne Manager. Under  the 1922  Wireless Agreement between the Government and AWA, the Commonwealth assumed a controlling interest in the firm. In return,  the Government provided additional capital,  promoted AWA’s concept of direct wireless telegraphy between Australia  and Britain and  transferred Australia’s coastal radio stations to the company. Hooke  was  in his element with the coastal radio operation, reorganizing and  re-equipping the stations. He loved the sea, and  travelled abroad by ship whenever possible. On land he was  a motoring enthusiast. His automatic distress transmitter (patented in 1929)  improved safety at sea by enabling emergency wireless messages to be sent from ships that did not carry an operator. Between the 20s  and  50s,  AWA acquired an enviable international reputation. In 1944  Lionel took over as Managing Director. Sir Lionel was  knighted in 1957  and  became Chairman of AWA in 1962.  He presided over the company’s  decisions to manufacture television transmitters, television receivers and  micro-electronics equipment and  to expand its research into solid-state electronics and  optical-fibre communications. Within the company he was held in such regard that it sometimes verged on awe and  reverence. Admired for his loyalty to AWA and  for the concern he showed for its staff, he appreciated the importance of being  visible to all.

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