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SPRI Review 2001: Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute

Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute

Chairman: Philippa Foster Back

The Friends had another very successful year and were able to make a donation of £5250 to support projects for the Library, Picture Library, Archives, and Museum. Interest continued, with regular new memberships taking current membership to nearly 520.

In continuing their support of the Institute, the Friends are in the process of taking over the running of the shop. Ruth Fleming has been appointed shop manager/museum attendant and it is planned, with Ruth's arrival, to open the Museum from Tuesday to Saturday. This will bring the Institute Museum in line with other University museums in Cambridge. It is anticipated that a regular Saturday opening, with an attendant on duty in the Museum, will encourage more visitors, particularly those with children.

Another very well attended and enjoyable summer lunch was held in June, again at Girton College. Following lunch, Jenny Coverack gave a very moving performance as Kathleen Scott in 'A father for my son.'

Prior to the annual general meeting in November, the choir of Papplewick School, Ascot, performed 'Great Scott! The musical,' based on Frank Debenham's diaries of Scott's last expedition. The lecture held on AGM day was given by Dr David Wilson on the Discovery Expedition, as part of the Institute's centenary celebration's of Scott's first expedition.

Attendance at the AGM and buffet supper continues to increase. This year more than 95 Friends and visitors attended the supper, with everyone enjoying the excellent food and the opportunity to meet with Friends from around the world. Some from overseas had come for a special reason the presentation to Irene Burns of tickets for a trip to Antarctica, which was made by Dr Pam Davis on behalf of the many, many friends Irene has worldwide, who all wished to show their appreciation for her support and friendship during her 16 years at the Institute. David Yelverton gave a lecture after the supper based on his definitive study, published as Antarctica unveiled.

The Antarctic 100 Committee met at the Discovery Centenary Exhibition in Dundee in October, and agreed that the various associations should continue to work together to publicise and promote further interest in the Antarctic. One idea being considered is a tourist-based enterprise detailing towns and sites within the UK with an Antarctic connection.

A questionnaire was recently circulated to discover more about the members and what they would like from the Friends. There was a tremendous response and the Committee will try to incorporate the many and varied suggestions in the planning of future events.

Our thanks again go to our loyal band of helpers, and to the Institute staff who so willingly help the Friends, in particular to Jennifer Dale for continuing as the Friends contact at the Institute, to William Mills and Bob Headland, and to Sally Stonehouse, Anne Todd, and Tony Billinghurst for their steadfast support at the evening lectures.

For more information on the Friends contact: http://www.spri.cam.ac.uk/friends.htm