The Adrian Smith story

Adrian Smith

Adrian Smith had a passion for gems and minerals, and over his lifetime amassed a collection of over 3,000 specimens from Australia and throughout the world.

In 1941, at the age of 18, Adrian enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force and was posted to the Catalinas, which were also known as the Black Cat flying boats. He travelled all over Australia and the Pacific including to Cairns, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Adrian was honourably discharged from the Air Force in January 1946.

After the War, Adrian studied Geology and Science at the University of Sydney, and later obtained a Diploma in Gemology in Brisbane. His passion for science led him into a career in science working for the CSIRO and later at Watson Victor Pty Ltd in the scientific equipment division.

Adrian’s career enabled him to travel the world, and he made many connections with other collectors of gems and minerals. He began collecting specimens on his overseas trips, and soon also began travelling with friends and family on weekends and holidays to add to his collection.

Adrian was well known for wanting to share his passion with others, especially children. His collection was donated in his memory to the Tweed Shire Council by his family Max Smith, Cynthia Beattie, Denise Evans, Robyn Miani, Ashley Smith and Deb Randall. This permanent exhibition features the very best specimens from the Adrian Smith Collection.

Tweed Shire Council and Tweed Regional Museum wish to acknowledge the contribution and support of the Geological Survey of New South Wales (Division of Resources and Geoscience of the Department of Planning and Environment) in curating the extensive collection of rocks and minerals compiled by Adrian Smith.

Particular thanks is given to Paul Meszaros, curator of the Economic Rock and Mineral Collection of the Geological Survey, for his time and effort in evaluating, documenting and curating the mineral collection and advising on the mineralogical classification scheme that frames the Adrian Smith Mineral Collection. Paul Meszaros also compiled comprehensive public program source materials in the science of mineralogy to enable the development of educational and public program resources.