Vale Lynn Saunders Station Year Season Casey 1969 Winter The Club regrets to advise the passing of Lynn Saunders, Senior Electrical Fitter-Mechanic, Casey 1969. Lyn was one of the electricians to spend the first year at the new Casey station in 1969. An excellent companion and conscientious worker. He attended many reunions over the […]
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Sadly Antarctic connection to passengers on MH17 Vale Dr Roger Guard- HI 1986 & wife Dr Jill Guard Peter Keage contacted me today to advise that Dr Roger Guard who was a member of a small ANARE Expedition to Heard Island 14/11/1986 – 21/1/1987 was aboard the ill fated flight MH17. Sadly Dr Guard and his wife […]
Vale Raymond David “BIG FELLA” Ash
(1927 to 2014)
Ray was born on 30 June at Parramatta and educated at Parramatta State School and Granville Technical College before entering his apprenticeship as an electrician.
Ray has an early fascination with aircraft and spent many years building and flying powered aircraft and gliders. parachuting for pleasure. His stories inspired at least two others of our team to learn to fly later on.
Ray was happily married to Mavis for many years and loved his daughter Peggy and his grandchildren very much.
Wilkes 1963 expeditioners will remember “The Big Fella” as a wonderful companion, a very important member of our tea and a great bloke who was always willing to provide that helping hand when you needed it.
Ray has joined most of the 1963 team in heaven, waiting for the rest of the lads to arrive before setting off to explore that new world.
Goodbye Ray. We will remember.
Ed Davern on behalf of the Wilkes 1963 expedition members.
Published Aurora Journal Summer 2014
Vale Bruce Allport
(1940 to 2014)
Bruce was a Radio Officer at Mawson in 1964 and died on 13 November 2014 in Pattaya, Thailand, aged 74, after suffering a series of brain tumours and cancer. He is survived by his daughter Tanya, son-in-law John, grand-daughters Zarah and Ana Lucia, sister Pat and brother Peter.
A Kiwi and a dedicated follower of the All Blacks, Bruce was trained as a Radio Operator with the Department of Civil Aviation in New Zealand. After working in NZ, Fiji and Australia, he achieved the pinnacle of his career in radio when accepted for the position of Radio Officer at Mawson.
During his 14 months down there, he assisted in many facets of Antarctic life. In addition to his radio duties, he was especially drawn to assisting the mechanics with the maintenance and preparation of the Caterpillar D4s, the SnoTracs and Weasels. All vehicles used in the three month expedition to the Prince Charles Mountains, for which he was appointed Radio Operator.
Returning from the Prince Charles Mountains, he was despatched, on the Nella Dan, to Enderby Land where he was a member of one of the survey parties which carried out a tellurometer traverse, passing through Leckie range in early 1965. It was as a consequence of his work at that time, that Mt. Allport was named after him.
His Antarctic experience uncovered a spirit of adventure in Bruce, especially that of the sea and he spent many of the ensuing years dedicated to a nautical life. After obtaining his Master’s Certificate he sailed the world – from Chinese Junks, to cargo vessels and finally, delivering luxury yachts to many exotic destinations. He finally settled in Thailand, where he was a part owner of an expatriates’ bar, until his passing in November.
Les Miller. Mawson 1964
Published Aurora Journal Summer 2014
Vale Danny “Finster” Foster
(1937 – 2014)
Danny passed away peacefully at his home on October 14, 2014 in Sarasota, Florida, following a long and hard fought battle with cancer.
Danny wintered at the original Wilkes Station in 1962, and was one of a group of four United States Meteorological personnel which shared duties with two Australian weather observers, Leon Fox and Eric Clague. Wilkes was originally built and manned by U.S. personnel from 1957 to 1959. (In 1959 the United States gifted the station to Australia, but continued to maintain a meteorological interest in its’ operations until the end of 1963, when the last group of Americans returned home).
I first met Danny L. Foster (aka ‘Finster’) in the original Antarctic Division Office at 187 Collins Street Melbourne Victoria in 1961. Later that day (as you do) we adjourned to the City Club Hotel handily situated at 207 Collins Street. It was not a great start for a Wintering Party, as the 4 Americans secluded themselves at one end of the bar, and their Australian counterparts at the other.
I was to share a room at Wilkes with Danny, and found out that the American group was at first mortified with we Australians because they could not understand us – we spoke too quickly and used so much slang. This of course soon changed and they were a great foursome. We all had a terrific 12 months together. Danny’s American colleagues were Burton (Bert) Goldenberg, (Meteorologist), Steve Bone, (Meteorologist and Physicist), and Marvin Haunn, (Engineer, electronics). The Americans, very much part of an Australian expedition, travelled to and from Wilkes on the Thala Dan.
Danny was a very clever person and had a fantastic sense of humour – his infectious laugh started from his boots and his whole body shook. He was the most popular person throughout the whole year at Wilkes. He was a member of the Vostok Trip that to this day remains one of the EPIC trips in Antarctica. His nickname ”Finster” was bestowed upon him from one of the old Cartoons and movies we had at the Station. ‘Baby Face Finster’ was a gangster character who robbed a bank and disguised his getaway imitating a baby – someone suggested he looked like Danny – and the name stuck to this day.
On our return to Australia in 1963 Danny and I decided to spend some of our ”hard earned’ cash and did a world tour together. We finished up at his small home town – Loudonville, Ohio – which he incessantly talked about, and obvious loved dearly. When I got there it was like I knew everything about it – The locals were absolutely marvellous people and I was made more than welcome, especially coming from Victoria, as one of the local industries was building buses for a large Victorian town – Geelong. A few years later we met up again in Melbourne, when Danny returned as part of his work as Head of Overseas Operations for the U.S. Meteorological Operations.
I consider my encounter with Danny and his lifelong friendship one of the highlights of my lifetime and describe him – to use an Aussie expression – “A Bloody Good Bloke”.
Through Mrs. Foster, one of Danny’s nieces has provided me with additional information about Danny.
Danny was born in Loudonville, Ohio, on August 20, 1937, the son of Carl and Thelma Foster. He was a 1955 graduate of Loudonville High School. Danny soon joined the Navy where he became interested in meteorology. He ventured on assigned treks to the Arctic and Antarctica where he was involved in international meteorological research.
In November, 1962, the goal of a lifetime was achieved when Danny became one of the first non-Russians to arrive at Vostok station, the coldest place on earth. (Vostok, the Russian station, having been temporarily vacated and left standing). Four Australians, one American, (Danny), and a New Zealander, travelled over 900 miles of uncharted territory over the Antarctic Plateau. A book, “The Coldest Place on Earth,” by Robert Thomson, was written about their expedition where temperatures reached 100 degrees Fahrenheit below zero.
Danny went on to earn a degree in engineering from the University of Michigan. Danny served, for most of his career, as head of Overseas Operations for the National Weather Service, NOAA. In that position, Danny travelled throughout the world assisting other nations to take much needed weather observations, which, especially in the days before satellite images, were critical for predicting weather in the United States, particularly hurricane forecasting. People throughout the Americas, as well as Europe, Asia, and Africa, respected Danny and he received many honours for the vital work that he did. In addition, Danny personally mentored others, both overseas and in the NWS, and provided higher education for select individuals, who later became leaders in their country. He served as Chairman of the Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization’s Technical Assistance Program for many years and was instrumental in coordinating agreements between nations.
Danny was well loved by his colleagues throughout the world and will be sorely missed by the nations and international organizations he helped. In addition to his professional career, he was an accomplished pianist and an avid Ohio State football fan.
Danny is survived by Lois, his wife of 47 years, a brother, three nieces and two nephews. A memorial service will be planned in Loudonville at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Tidewell Hospice and The Humane Society of the donor’s choice.
John O’Shea, Wilkes 1962.
Taken from Aurora Journal Summer 2014
Vale Doug Cameron
The Club regrets to advise the passing of Doug Cameron, Dieso Casey 1980, Davis 1987, Mawson 1989, Macquarie Island 1991. Died peacefully at home 2 August 2020. An asset to any expedition. Sadly missed.
Facebook notification from Philip Barnaart 8 August 2020
G’day ANARE folk,
It is with deep regret that I must inform you of the passing of former expeditioner Douglas John Cameron.
“Doug the Dieso” headed south on four occasions. He wintered at Davis, Casey, Mawson and Macquarie Is.
Many may not know that, following a motor bike accident in late 1995, Doug was rendered a quadreplegic. With the assistance of family and carers he managed to enjoy a comfortable and reasonably independent life at his own home in Wurtulla, Qld.
Following recent serious health issues Doug passed away peacefully on the evening of 2 August, 2020.
Thought you might like to know.
Bruce Cameron ( Doug’s brother )
Vale John “Windy” Windolf
John ‘Windy’ Windolf,
Wednesday 5th August 2020
Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions.
I trust I can give you comfort and assurance that John ‘Windy’ Windolf was held in the highest regard by all members of the ANARE fraternity. John was not just the cook down south but a true world explorer, a gentleman and a most knowledgeable one at that.
Just five years ago almost to the day I stood at this very spot and delivered a Eulogy for another one of our ANARE members, Kevin ‘Mumbles’ Walker. I mention this because we spent the summer of 69/70 at Mawson which is in the same era as John, who arrived at Mawson some 12 months later. I also mention this because of the names which various expeditioners are known by. ‘Mumbles’ was an Antarctic legend and known world-wide by that name with mail arriving in Noosa for decades addressed to Mumbles, Noosa. The mail was always delivered.
The name ‘Windy’ also had the same notoriety around his ANARE mates and no doubt around Coolum as well.
I put out a call to his remaining fellow Winterers to send in a one liner or two for this Eulogy and did manage to gather a couple.
First of all, sincerest condolences to Francis from Col Christiansen for your sad loss and a thank you to Col from myself TL, for arranging the email trail to allow me to gather the following missives.
Bob Tompkins, Mawson 1970/71 change over.
During the changeover period, life on the base can become most hectic and stressful with the incoming crew trying to establish their patch and the outgoing trying to finish off projects and pack up. I have received a note from one of our 1970 wintering crew Bob Tompkins who told me the storey of coming in off shift and walking into the dining room and kitchen wearing his cold wets which were our, around the base boots, cold and always wet. ‘Windy’ had just finished polishing the floors to the regulation spit and polish Navy standard and did not take to kindly to Bob leaving a trail of debris from his boots on his spic and span floors. After an exchange of some very testy words Bob did back down and agreed with John, it was not very polite to act in such a manner and did apologise for his actions. Peace was restored.
Paul Siddall, Mawson 1970/71 change over.
A phone call to Paul and he sends his sincere condolences. Paul our Chef for 1970 handed over to ‘Windy’ in 71 on our departure. Paul and Jane live just 10 minutes down the road from the Coolum home of John and Frances.
Garth Palmer, M71. August 5th.
A phone discussion this morning 5th with Garth Palmer ‘met tech’ 71, also living just 10 minutes down the road from Coolum at Minyama and just over the road in Parrearra from our 1970’s cook, Paul Siddall.
Garth informs me, if you ever complained about the food ‘Windy’ would reply ‘you are still alive aren’t you’ and someone else would shout out, who called the cook a B with the standard reply being, who called the B a cook and so the banter would go.
Sincere condolences to Frances.
Martin Betts, M71. August 1st
Very sorry to hear about John.
I have many memories of him at Mawson, including that he was on the spring traverse to Mount Cresswell of which I think, Kit and I are the only ones of the eight still left (could be wrong there). He went along for his navigation skills a subject about which he was very keen and could be seen out regularly as we ‘choofed’ along taking sun shots etc – no luxury of the GPS in them wild old days!
(TL. Myself and five others pioneered the track into Mt Cresswell, Spring 1970 and left marker canes with flags along the way. We also left the map with the Alan Foster, theodolite generated star shots at key points along the way. It would be interesting to compare readings and track taken by both expeditions. We also delivered the heaviest pay load ever hauled over the longest distance into the Antarctic at that time. I am also the last man standing).
Martin continues; Also, wasn’t he one of the ones that cranked up an ice yacht that had been bequeathed us by the 1970 party? I think he did a fair bit of sailing on Horseshoe Harbour on that.
John could turn on some very good tucker for us. I think the thing I remember though (and my family has had to put up with this over the last 50 years when I serve them up food), was how he used to lean over the servery, plate full of food in hand, and a smile on his face, and say as he handed the plate to you: “get that in your scurvy gut”. I can still see him now doing that. No doubt came from his Navy days. Thank you for letting us know Col. I look forward to the reunion whenever it proves to be possible. I had a really great time at Mawson in 71 – I thought so at the time but it seems to get better every year. Take care everyone. Martin Betts
Keith Gooley, 2nd August
Greetings Everyone. Thanks Col, for sending on the sad news of John’s passing. Thanks also to Marty for your comments, good to hear from you. I well remember John making that famous comment as he handed over the dinner. I have a B&W photo of him doing just that. I also remember his navigation skills as he tried hard to teach a few of us the rudiments of celestial navigation.
Vale Windy, Keith Gooley VK5OQ
Kit Scally, August 2nd.
Sorry to hear about Windy – will contact Frances and send a card this week. Yes, there were many memorable moments during the year – I also remember ‘Windy’ saying with a laughing lilt “get that into you .. !”. And not forgetting the memorable container of hoosh that “found another home” late one night while Lem and a few Intrepids were cooking up a midnight snack in the kitchen after a few homers in the Rec Room.
We may be the only 2 remaining from the Spring trip to Cresswell … and with the passing of Steve H in ’17, also the team the traverse left until the Summer party arrived. Also the chopper pilot, Vic Barkell who was first of the advance party that flew to Cresswell in the Porter, arriving late at night or was it early morning?
Subject to the whims of COVID-19, hope to see you all in Brisbane next year 2021. Cheers, Kitksi
Damien Macey August 2nd. (Son of the 71 Station Leader, Lem Macey)Sorry to hear of John’s passing. If anyone is in touch with John’s family, could they please pass on my most sincere condolences. Here’s a few pics from LEM’s Mawson ’71 album.
Regards and best wishes to you all, Damian Macey.
Roger Noble, Mawson 71, August 2nd
Hi All. Once again, we lose another member of our 71 crew. I will never forget our chef, cook and friend in fact until very recently I have been using the hand written recipe and oven instructions that he gave me when I took on the bread baking duties whilst the spring traverse was away. Let us hope that our lives will be back to a more normal style and our reunion can take place.
Regards to all.
Rod Buckland, August 3rd
I have received word from Colin Christiansen of John’s passing and I understand that you are looking for some anecdotes to include in your eulogy. John would be pleased to hear that his most memorable utterance – “Get it in yer scurvy guts!” has stood the test of time on the other side of the planet.
I have occasionally used it when taking my turn to serve tea and biscuits at local village hall meetings and in other settings. Many looks of disapproval have been experienced but so have enquiries from more inquisitive folk. I can assure Frances that Mac Robertson Land’s premier chef will continue to be remembered from time to time hereabouts.
Perhaps less well known to Macey’s Mob’ in 1971, was John’s interest in sunspots, which he and I observed using some makeshift equipment at Mawson. John would also be pleased to know that I’m hoping to use sunspot data from the European Space Agency’s Solar Orbiter spacecraft, launched in February, to continue our 1971 observations from the comfort of a computer terminal.
All the best Rodney Buckland, Cosray M71, School of Physical Sciences, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
- John did have a very rich experience down south for it is unusual to take the cook off base for such an extended period of time. I also agree with John, we feel most privileged to have been selected to work and live in the depths of Antarctica. For the record, I was born one day after John, 2nd August 1942. I must also add it is a tragedy for John to succumb to the ravages of Mesothelioma / Asbestosis. We also lost Alan Foster M70 to the same condition.
Rest in peace John.
Trevor Luff, Mawson 1970 / Round-trip 1998. Wednesday 5th August 2020.
Service held at Drysdale Funerals, Tewantin, Qld. August 5th 2020 @ 2.00pm.
Vale Kenneth “Frosty” McDonald – (1926 – 2014)
Of the four radio operators with the Mawson 1962 expedition, Ken McDonald was sadly the last of them to leave us. He started his working life as a telegraph messenger with the PMG in Paddington, Brisbane in 1941, not quite 15 years old, and spent some time in several outback areas of Queensland, in the Roma and Longreach post offices. There may have been others. It was in outback Queensland that he came by his nickname, ‘Frosty’, and was known by it all his life. Frosty to friends, and Uncle Frosty to his nieces and nephews.
By 1943 or 1944, Ken was selected to undergo a 9 months training course as a Telegraphist in Brisbane. War time was a busy period for telegraphists in the PMG and Ken became a first class Morse and machine operator. As Morse was overtaken by machine systems towards the end of the 1950’s, Ken occasionally operated the remaining Queensland Morse radio circuit from Brisbane to Thursday Island, and kept his hand in. (Ken also participated in temporary exchanges with telegraphists in Adelaide and Melbourne in the early 1950’s).
Ken’s Mawson radio group was a happy one and worthy of mention. John Watts, Supervising Technician (DCA), Ross Harvey (DCA), Ken Tate (PMG Melbourne) and Clarrie Melvold (PMG Perth). Ross Harvey, the senior operator, told in later years that they were all very good operators, with plenty of laughter and good humour, and he enjoyed working with them. When Ross was absent on one long field trip, Ken helped out by sending several of the required monthly radio operating reports to Melbourne. He spoke highly of John Watts’ technical skill during the year, and helped John on several occasions, rigging new aerials or straightening radio masts which had fallen prey to battering blizzards. Ken demonstrated his musical prowess in tuning and playing the old piano in the recreation room on party nights.
Ken resumed duty in the CTO Brisbane on return to Australia in March, 1963, but by October, 1964 he had been seconded again by the Department of External Affairs (which also controlled the Antarctic Division), to fill a communications role in our embassy in Vientiane, Laos. Ken worked there for over two years, and at postings end returned to Canberra in 1967 for debriefing. His efforts were not unrecognised and he was offered and accepted the position and promotion as Diplomatic Mails Officer, in the department in Canberra. During 1968, on learning that his father was terminally ill in Brisbane, Ken resigned and returned home to assist with his father’s care. In his eulogy the family acknowledged that this was an act of selfless love and concern – and that was the essence of Ken’s nature.
John (Snow) Williams of the 1962 group recently contacted us from New Zealand to tell of his meeting with Ken in Vientiane. Snow took leave while serving with the R.A.A.F. in Ubon, Thailand, and travelled by bus over many unmade and dusty roads to Nong Khai, on the Mekong River. He caught a ferry across this mighty river and was met by Ken at the Lao border crossing. They toured the town, taking in all the sights, and enjoyed the evening nightlife.
One bar, internationally ‘famous’, was the White Rose frequented by expatriates, and a good one to take first time visitors. That night Snow slept on the carpet of Ken’s small apartment, and the next day they caught a train to beautiful Chieng Mai in Northern Thailand, changing trains several times. They spent several days enjoying the sights, and returned south in a similar manner. Snow made his desired connection, but Ken missed his at Khorat (Nakon Ratchasima), and was late back to work.
By about 1970 Ken and his brother in law, John Manwaring, joined forces and purchased a joint newsagency/ Queensland “Casket” Lottery business in the centre of Brisbane city. The business was successful and Ken was often visited by his old friends and colleagues from the nearby CTO, or interstate friends visiting Brisbane. On the death of John, Ken continued for a while then sold the business. He kept fit riding his bicycle and golfing. He worked at the XXXX Brewery as a casual tour guide, and played the piano at a popular Paddington Italian restaurant, Gambaro’s.
On selling his Windsor home he lived at the Cleveland Gardens Retirement Village, and continued to entertain fellow residents with musical entertainment.
He lived here until the end, apart from a short final stay in a Brisbane hospital. Mentioned earlier as a keen piano player, Ken was also an accomplished organist, and had earlier accompanied singers at the Paddington Parish church in Brisbane. He also wrote music and scores.
Before Ken joined the Antarctic Division in October 1961, Melbourne telegraphists, John O’Shea and Eamonn (Joe) Gavaghan (both multiple expeditioners) had known Ken, and visited him several times in Brisbane, meeting socially and playing golf with him on occasion. Ken was a very good player but was easily unsettled by background chatter, often designed to rile him for a bit of fun. Allan Moore worked with Ken for a few months in the Brisbane CTO in 1961, and by coincidence, took over his sleeping cubicle in Balleny hut at Mawson, when a member of the 1963 relief radio group. By further coincidence Allan relieved Ken in Vientiane in May, 1967.
John O’Shea recalled the occasional radio social get together when the last ‘sked’ for the night between Mawson and Wilkes was concluded. (John was at Wilkes at the time). The Mawson radio operators following a party night, would join the on-duty operator and have a chat, mostly interspersed with wild laughter. 1962 was evidently a vintage year.
Ken liked to have a punt on horses, and had in earlier times been a parttime ‘SP bookie’ at the Brisbane CTO. (Bookies existed in all States CTOs and flourished because of the inconvenience of shift work, and operators not being able to attend race meetings).
The family was pleased that Dave Carstens and Mark Single, Surveyor and Senior Diesel Mechanic respectively of the Mawson 1962 party, were able to attend the funeral. Ken will have carried some mechanical skills learned from Mark, as one of his jobs in Vientiane was to run and help service the emergency generator at the embassy – powered no less than by a well-known Antarctic-type, D-4 Caterpillar diesel engine.
Among fellow telegraphists and radio operators, Ken was regarded as a top class operator, a decent man, a good family man and friend to many. He remained single, was humorous, mixed easily, was extremely well-liked, and his passing is sadly acknowledged. In John O’Shea’s words – ‘What you saw is what you got’. Farewell to a good mate.
John O’Shea and Allan & Lorraine Moore
Published Aurora Journal Summer 2014