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Sidney Raymond (Mick) Cornick (?–1974)

by Jack Blamey

Sidney Raymond Cornick, universally known as Mick, and formerly Chief Technical Officer of the Research School of Physical Sciences, died suddenly on the golf links on Saturday 16 August.

For many years at Birmingham University, Mick was invited by Professor Mark Oliphant to join ANU on 1 October 1948. In June 1949 he arrived in Australia with Mr Jack W. Blamey to survey prospects and facilities for the construction of a large cyclotron - now the homopolar generator. When after two weeks Blamey returned to the UK, Mick became the first member of the Department of Particle Physics to take up duties in Australia, Oliphant and Edwards arriving many months later. Mick had, therefore, to play a very responsible part in this preliminary establishment of the school and of buildings, equipment, large projects and industrial contacts.

Mick carried out his work with verve, enjoyment and capability, spreading his influence and personality not only around ANU, but also in Canberra and many other places. His good judgement and wide technical knowledge stood him in good stead as Chief Technical Officer and resulted in the development of a high level technical staff, training schemes and harmonious relationships.

After his retirement on 24 December 1963, a general purpose common room in the Cockcroft Building was named 'The Cornick Room'.

From the onset of his life in Canberra, Mick expanded his activities into many fields of social, sporting and community effort and in technical education. He was a well-known member and active official of several clubs, notably the Canberra Club and the Royal Canberra Golf Club.

Since retirement he had continued and enlarged these activities and also taken up further employment with Monier Concrete, entering into all of these with great enthusiasm. Probably few people in Canberra have been as well known and appreciated as Mick for his wide interests, his humour, understanding and his wide range of anecdotes. Withal however, he was a modest if not retiring man.

All his past and present associates will remember him for his deeds and qualities and the many firm foundations he has laid. Until the day of his death Mick was active and apparently in very good health. It is some consolation for his many life-long friends to know that Mick died in action — on the links, clubs in hand and engaged in his favourite sport with well-loved companions.

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Citation details

Jack Blamey, 'Cornick, Sidney Raymond (Mick) (?–1974)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 April 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


16 August, 1974
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

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