The book launch was a success! 20 people were there on a cold, windy and rainy evening, but it was a great atmosphere at the Naval Point Club in Lyttelton. Our treasurer, John (see picture) introduced Sue who lead through the evening. Lynda from the Akaroa Museum introduced the “young Frank Worsley”and Sue presented the journey in 1914-1917, especially the boat journey from Elephant Island to South Georgia. A great account to read next to the poem is “The great Antarctic Rescue. Shackleton’s Boat Journey” by Frank Worlsey himself. Even the title shows that Worsley kept Shackleton’s legacy alive and put himself in the background. The poem is a great way to give Worsley the credit he deserves.
18 Copies were sold and people not only like the poem, they love the line drawings by Myra Walton what ” brings the story very much alive” (quote of a buyer).
Thanks to Angus (in the picture left with the book) and Ethan (on the right), 2 bright year 5 pupils from Somerfield School, Christchurch, I had the opportunity to talk about Antarctic history.
I was invited by the pupils and their teachers to give them information on Robert Falcon Scott for their project on leadership and heroes. Scott is their first character they work on, but I have seen some other heroes on their pin board such as Edmund Hillary. It would be interesting what they find out about him. I got also an certificate as thank you for my presentation. The children were already well prepared what they wanted to know. They collected their thoughts on a mind map and I am glad that my presentation matched their expectation.
77 children participated, were communicative and had very interesting questions. It was inspiring.
To get a Marsden Fund is a lifetime opportunity for a researcher here in New Zealand. This year I was fortunate to get invited to submit a full proposal. After the fifth attempt, I made it into the second round! It was a lot of work before the submission. Many people supported me by discussing my ideas and helped me to find a way through it that in the end a proposal could be submitted. Now I have to wait for the comments of reviewers, can submit a response to it and at the end of October I will know then if I will have the chance to continue with my research on historic weather data and how early Antarctic explorer reacted to the extreme weather, and how their interactions, well-being, decision making, etc. were influenced by the low temperature and strong winds.
Preliminary results, which I worked on supported with a COMNAP research fellowship in 2012/2013, are published in the latest issue of the The Polar Journal. This is the basis for the Marsden Fast Start Fund proposal.
The picture shows scientists from the Drygalski Expedition (1901-1903) taking ice temperature.
This course introduces early Antarctic exploration and its link to New Zealand which played an important role at that time. Pressing scientific questions demanded collaboration between different countries. Of greater public interest, however, was the touch of adventure. World War 1 brought Antarctic science to a halt, with the exception of the epic Endurance expedition, led by Ernest Shackleton, in which a New Zealand captain played a crucial part. This course will shed light on all these aspects and much more. Dr Ursula Rack is an Adjunct Fellow at Gateway Antarctica, University of Canterbury, and has training and experience in environmental and social history.
Starts 1 November, 10 am – 12.30 pm, at the WEA, 59 Gloucester Street, 2 Saturdays, $20
For further information or to enrol, please phone the WEA at 366 0285, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or go online to: cwea.org.nz