Vale Dr Malcolm Cave Hay

Station Year Season
Davis 1961 Winter

The ANARE Club has been advised that Dr Malcolm Hay, OIC and Medical Officer at Davis 1961, passed away on 14 March 2021.

(Information received from Kevin Shepherd, 21 April 2024)

Vale: Malcolm Cave Hay OAM, 1934–2021

Officer in Charge and Medical Officer, Davis 1961

16 October 1934 – 14 March 2021

Dr Malcolm Hay led a distinguished life as an orthopaedic surgeon, philanthropist, adventurer and former ANARE OIC and Doctor.  At Davis in 1961 Malcolm took part in multiple exploratory field trips.  In late April 1961 Malcolm, Nils Lied and Frank Trajer conducted a survey trip with dogs to select the site for a field station at Platcha (Plateau Chateau).  In August 1961, Malcolm and Nils Lied carried out a survey of the proposed route along Crooked Fjord to access and cross the Sorsdal Glacier with a dog.  In September Malcolm, Alex Brown and Barry Mercer successfully completed the trip in nine days, taking seven to reach Rauer Islands and two to return to Davis.  Their journey is described by Alex Brown in “A Shaggy Dog Story”, in Huskies in Harness.  Malcolm was awarded the Polar medal in 1969.

In 1964/65 Malcolm was one of ten members of Warwick Deacock’s private expedition with Skipper Bill Tilman, Colin Putt, Antony Hill, Edwin Reid (Q61), Dr Russell Pardoe (M61), Dr Malcolm Hay (D61), Dr Grahame Budd (H54, M59), Philip Temple and John Crick.  The South Indian Ocean Expedition sailed to Heard Island via Kerguelen on the 63ft steel schooner Patanela, a former crayfishing boat.  It was the first private Australian expedition to the Antarctic since Sir Douglas Mawson’s in 1929-31.  Budd, Deacock, Putt, Temple and Crick successfully climbed Big Ben on 25 January 1965.  Footage from the expedition is held at the National Film and Sound Archive in Canberra.  The expedition’s story is told in the book “The Sea & The Snow”, by Philip Temple, with the ascent of Big Ben described to Tim Bowden by Budd and Deacock in Aurora Journal, Autumn 2011.

Reflecting on his own adventures Malcolm had followed a 1974 vision to secure WA’s first youth training tall ship, putting proposals to government and private investors, raising $3.5 million to construct the ship STS Leeuwin II, launched in 1986.  In 1992, Malcolm received the Medal of the Order of Australia as recognition of his services to youth programs, particularly through the Leeuwin Foundations’ experiential learning and leadership programs.

Malcolm played an important part in the formation of the Western Australia Maritime Heritage Association.  Announcing the passing of Malcolm Hay, the Association President described Malcolm as “one of the most eminent of our members and a giant in the maritime heritage of Western Australia.  We will not see his like again I fear”.

References and further reading:

Antarctic Place Names

Mount Hay:  Latitude: 71° 04′ 48.0″ S,  Longitude: 65° 39′ 33.0″ E

Mount Hay – A mountain about 33 km ENE of Mount Hicks in the Prince Charles Mountains. Plotted from ANARE air photographs taken in 1960. Named after Dr. M. Hay, medical officer and Officer-in-Charge at Davis in 1961.