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SPRI Review 2006: Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute

Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute

A watercolour 'Discovery in winter quarters, McMurdo Sound' by E.A. Wilson, from the Institute's Collection
Image as described adjacent

2006 saw the Friends celebrating our Diamond Jubilee with a splendid jamboree of special fund-raising events, in addition to our regular fixtures. From our first Great Arctic Sponsored Dog Sledge in the Finnmark of Norway in March (which raised £16,000), to Sir Ranulph Fiennes's lecture prior to our AGM (which raised £5,500), Friends enjoyed a busy year. Along the way we sold tickets for the Diamond Jubilee Prize Draw; and appreciated An Evening with Kari Herbert; Aidan Dooley's play, Tom Crean: Antarctic Explorer; a visit to HMS Endurance; The Hon. Edward Broke Evans (younger son of Scott's second-in-command, Lieutenant 'Teddy' Evans, later Lord Mountevans of the Broke), giving his father's talk, South With Scott; and a special Diamond Jubilee tea, during which we presented the Institute with a painting of Polar Bears by Keith Shackleton, in honour of our birthday.

The cheque to endow the William Mills Fund for the Library was also presented to the Institute during the Jubilee events. In the financial year to the end of July 2006 we donated £72,680 to the Institute; £52,299 to the Mills Fund and £20,381 in grants. Our membership also continued to rise and stood at 605 memberships at the end of 2006.

At the AGM in November, volunteers Solveig Gardner Servian, Jennifer Hirsh and Angela Haines were presented with special prints in thanks for their service to the Friends. I was also pleased to announce that Judy Skelton and Cathy Cooper had been elected to serve on the Committee for the next four years. Thanks are due to all the Friends for their considerable support throughout 2006 and in particular to those volunteers who serve on the Committee, assist at Friends events and those who work in the Archives, Library and Picture Library; along with those Trusts and companies that have supported our work through the Executive Friends.

My four-year term as Chairman is now over and I am pleased that Robin Back, grandson of Frank Debenham, has been elected to succeed me. I wish Robin every success.

Dr David M. Wilson (Chair, Friends of the Scott Polar Research Institute)