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Polar Bytes - No. 9, October 1998

Polar Bytes - No. 9, October 1998

A word from our Chairman, Philippa Foster Back

I start this newsletter with the sad news that Cmdr Jim Simpson, ever a stalwart member, has stood down from your Committee. I'd like, on behalf of you all, to thank him and his wife Ann for their support and to wish him well in his "retirement". Also we mark another 'retirement,' that of our Executive Director, Dr John Heap, an occasion we shall officially honour at our AGM on November 21st. As indeed the great contribution made by Capt Joe Wubbold, who set sail at the end of August for his new home in the USA.

It has to be said that the new Library building is magnificent and I do hope as many of you as possible will be able to join the celebrations in November.

Regards the 'saving of pennies' ... Adventure Associates have confirmed prices for a trip to the Ross Sea area, leaving Hobart on 9th January 2000 and returning to Hobart on 1st February 2000, on board the Kapitan Khlebnikov. The prices are for three sharing a cabin, USD 10,995 each and for two sharing a cabin USD 14,695 each. These prices do not include air fares to and from Hobart. We are still awaiting brochures and the detailed itinerary but I have arranged for 20 berths to be reserved. I would ask for those with a definite interest, from whom AA would need a deposit of USD 500 each, to let me know. The trip is expensive but would be a once in a lifetime event! I look forward to hearing from you.

Celebrating the opening of the Shackleton Memorial Library, 21 November 1998

The Director of the Scott Polar Research Institute, Professor Keith Richards invited Friends to attend the opening of this major extension to the Institute's Library on Saturday, 21 November. Those of you who have not visited the Institute recently will be in for quite a surprise. From the outside you will notice a prominent three-story tower constructed from the materials matching those of the original 1934 building standing in a landscaped garden centred on Kathleen Scott's sculpture 'Lux perpetua luceat eis'. Within, you will find a refurbished foyer, lecture theatre and administrative office. New facilities within the Shackleton Memorial Library include the Friends Room, the Leslie Walls Map Room and the Thomas H Manning Polar Archive; the latter enclosing the existing archive, a new photographic store and an archives working area. Beautiful oak furniture characterises all library areas of the new building.

Events were as follows:

1400 - Doors open

1500 - "South". A rare showing of Frank Hurley's original film of Shackleton's Endurance expedition (1914-17) introduced by Robert Headland, Archivist and Curator.

1600 - Opportunity to view the Shackleton Memorial Library.

1700 - Shackleton, Manning and Shackleton: reflections on how the Shackleton Memorial Library became a reality. Dr John Heap, former Director.

1800 - Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Polar Institute followed by Friends of the Institute Buffet (with wine). N.B. All are welcome to the film and lecture but Friends only should attend the AGM. However, Friends and their family members are welcome to the Buffet.

"Polar Paraphernalia" from Anne Millar, the Secretary of the Friends

The first Friend's calendar is now in stock - it is a limited edition and represents a unique presentation of the original slides of the Borchgrevink 1898 Southern Cross Expedition.

The calendar is A4 size and depicts 12 images on high quality paper. It can also be seen on the Scott Polar Research Institute Web Page on

We can also send calendars and other items from the Museum Shop to friends and family for Christmas on receipt of the appropriate remittance. A new item now available is a limited commemorative edition bone china mug featuring Sir Ernest Shackleton and Endurance retailing at £7.99 available only to personal callers to the Museum Shop. Also a "Penguins" bone china mug at £5.99.

A new initiative for the Museum Shop and Picture Library is that we accept credit and debit cards. This has been sponsored by the Friends of the Polar Institute and Membership fees can also be paid by this method.

The Friends continue to support the Museum Shop which will be re-opening on 24th October 1998 and will be staffed at all lectures this term with the help of Friend's volunteers.

Coffee and biscuits will also be available after each lecture.

Membership Matters, from Jennifer Dale, Membership Secretary

The Royal Geographical Society (RGS) have kindly sent us 30 tickets for "The Worst Journey in the World" A new showing of this one-man play sensitively recalling Apsley Cherry-Garrard's narration of Scott's fatal expedition to the South Pole. Exploring the comradeship and passion of men caught in a glorious adventure. This is by John Gardiner and performed by Chris Crooks. The performance was on Tuesday 1 December 1998. at the RGS in Kensington Gore.

Membership of the Friends would be a very nice birthday or Christmas present for those interested in polar matters!

From Philippa Smith, Picture Library Manager

She would like to bring to your attention that on the 24th October a selection Southern Cross pictures will be available for sale and at subsequent lectures this term there will be a further selection of pictures for sale to complement each lecture. If there are any particular pictures you are interested in please contact her on 01223 336547.