President’s Midwinter Message
Midwinter is with us again and on behalf of National; Council and myself, I extend to you all the best wishes for Midwinter. We have already had two very successful dinners, in Melbourne and in Hobart and there will be others in the coming week.
I have great pleasure in passing on our congratulations to Dr Ian Allison for his appointment as an Officer of the Order of Australia in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours List. This is fitting and appropriate recognition for Ian’s contributions to Antarctic Glaciology over many years. Ian, as I am sure most of you know, was also the Phillip Law Medallist last year.
I also congratulate Andrew Jackson, formerly of the AAD in Hobart for his award of this year’s Phillip Law Medal. It gave me great pleasure to present him with the Medal at the Hobart Midwinter Dinner on Saturday 21st June.
Now, some thoughts about the Club on this most important day in the Antarctic Calendar:
Our Club is:
The principal repository of Australian Antarctic experience and endeavour
A body of people who have all been singularly privileged to have spent time in the Antarctic
An association of individuals from an extremely wide spectrum of skills, professions and backgrounds
An organisation uniquely positioned to support, advise and contribute to Australian Antarctic Endeavour
The Club is, like so many similar associations, encountering a climate of change. I believe that this is probably most noticeable to the older members, those, like me, whose Antarctic Adventure started in Melbourne, just off St Kilda Road. Since those early and intoxicating years, there has been a significant change in the Antarctic expeditioner’s environment. Exploration is giving way to investigation, surveying has surrendered to science, Morse Code has been displaced by megabytes, the traditional tradesman is being replaced by technicians and – dare I say it – the typical Antarctic expeditioner is today probably a summer scientist, a member of that breed of boffins and jaffas. Few of those now wintering have ever heard of WYLLA or YIKLA.
This does not mean for a moment that we abandon our traditions or permit our experience to be downgraded or discounted – there is still, and always will be, an unquestioned unique-ness in having been a winterer and to have sailed in a Dan ship.
We must, however, make our experiences more available to the uninitiated, to those who have never sensed Aurora’s song on a clear polar night, so, if you know former expeditioners who are not already members, but might wish to join this extraordinary association, now is the time and we would encourage them to become a part of this ongoing adventure.
National Council Membership
Club Members are reminded that this year’s AGM will be held on Monday 18th August at the Bayview Eden Hotel in Queens Road, Melbourne. All positions on Council become vacant at that meeting, so if you know of someone who would be a suitable candidate, or if you are interested in becoming a member of Council yourself, Nomination Forms are available from the Secretary, and details are on the web-page. Details of all nominations will be made available well before the AGM and I would urge those who cannot attend, to register a proxy vote with the Secretary at least a week before the meeting – in this way you can be certain your vote will count
Finally, I would like to congratulate the members responsible for the excellent functions in Melbourne and Hobart which, to many of the older ones among us can be summed up as YISYO – Midwinter was a great success.
President, ANARE Club.