Vale Ken Bennett

Station Year Season Role
Mawson 1960 Winter Radio Officer
Wilkes 1965 Winter Radio Operator
Mawson 1967 Winter Radio Operator in Charge
Davis 1969 Winter Radio Officer
Macquarie Island 1973 Winter Radio Operator
Macquarie Island 1976 Winter Radio Operator in Charge
Macquarie Island 1982 Winter Communications Officer Gr 2
Davis 1986 Winter Communications Officer Gr 2

The ANARE Club has received the sad news that Ken Bennett, Radio Operator at Mawson, Wilkes, Davis and Macquarie Island between 1960 and 1986, passed away on 9 August 2023.
(Email received from Ros Shennan, 21 February 2024)

Kenneth Lyle Bennett 1936-2023

Radio Operator at Mawson, Wilkes, Davis and Macquarie Island between 1960 and 1986

A veteran of seven winters, Kenneth Lyle Bennett, or KB as he was known to most, died on 9th August 2023.

Ken was born in Parramatta, New South Wales on 15th January 1936.  He attended school in Sydney, conducted by the Marist Brothers.  On leaving school, he worked for the Postmaster General’s Department, where he learned, among other things, morse code.  His first trip to Antarctica was in 1960 when he went to Mawson as a Radio Officer.  He was one of three expeditioners on a seven-week dog trip to the Napier Mountains in Enderby Land, and has a mountain in that area named in his honour.

Ken returned to Antarctica in 1965, as Radio Officer at Wilkes.  This was followed by a year at Mawson I 1967 as Radio-Officer-in-Charge and 2IC of the station.  He was awarded the Polar Medal for that year.  In 1969, Ken was at Davis as Radio Officer and 2IC, in 1973 he went to Macquarie Island as Radio Officer and returned there in 1976 as Radio- Officer-in-Charge and in 1982 as Communications Officer.  During the years at Macquarie, Ken ran the greenhouse, growing fresh herbs and vegetables (at least those that the insects and rabbits didn’t destroy).

Apart from his years with the Antarctic Division, Ken was an astute real estate investor in Queensland, a keen bushwalker and was able to travel throughout the country for much of the year in his caravan.  He lived in various parts of the Sunshine Coast, Tasmania and parts of Victoria before settling on the New South Wales Coast.

Antarctic Place Names

Mount Bennett -66.5436, 53.6557

A dark, steep-sided peak about 1,970 m above sea level, about 20 km SSE of Armstrong Peak, Napier Mountains, Enderby Land. Mapped from air photographs taken by the Lars Christensen Expedition and called Stor Hanakken by Norwegian cartographers. Photographed from ANARE aircraft in 1956. First visited in 1960 by an ANARE party led by S L Kirkby.

Named after K L Bennett, radio operator at Mawson in 1960 and 1967 and radio operator-in-charge at Davis in 1969