The End of the Heroic Era – Conference

A conference, organised by the NZ Antarctic Society and the Royal NZ Navy, was held in Auckland. Friday, 24 March 2017, was the cocktail party at the Naval Museum in Devonport where the participants came together in a relaxed atmosphere.

IMG_9871The picture shows me, Philippa Ross and Myra Walton in the Naval Museum.

On Saturday, 25 March, were the presentations of different speakers. I have been invited to this conference to present the international perspective of the Heroic Era. My focus was on the German, Swedish, Japanese and French expeditions which took place at this time. I also provided a context of why these expeditions undertook science in the Antarctic and how it was linked to the economic and political circumstances at the time. Some of these links are still in place and are regulated by the Antarctic Treaty System.  It turned out during the conference that the Heroic Era is mainly a British Edwardian concept. This time of Antarctic explorations is stated usually from 1897 – 1917; however, sometimes it is also pointed out that the end was at 1922 when Ernest Shackleton died at Grytviken on a heart attack. This is a matter of debate but much more logical to end it in 1917.

A service was held on Sunday at the chapel of St Christopher. After the service a guided tour took place around the Naval Base.

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“Nathanial Palmer” in the dry dock for repair and participants of the conference at the tour.

After lunch the presentations continued until 4 pm in the afternoon. The conference was concluded with drinks and lots of lively discussions until 5:30pm.

The conference was very well prepared by Brett Fotheringham, CDR, Roger McGarry and Mike Wing from the Auckland Branch of the NZAS. Of course many people helped in the background for the the conference run smoothly.

More photos can be found on the NZAS Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/150773471684015/?ref=bookmarks