Vale Patrick Ross McShane (1941-2023)

Station Year Season
Mawson 1981 Winter

The ANARE Club has received the sad news that Patrick Ross McShane passed away in September 2023.

Notified by Rowan Butler 30 January 2024

Patrick Ross McShane (24/9/1941-24/9/2023)

Mawson 1961

In 1981 when he wintered at Mawson, we all knew Patrick as Ross, his middle name, which he preferred at that time.

He was a Communications Officer (radio operator), which had also been his job previously in the Royal Australian Navy.

Ross McShane working in VLV Mawson. Photo: Rowan Butler

Patrick Ross McShane (24/9/1941-24/9/2023)

A Memorable Mawson 1961 Field Trip, by Rowan Butler

Ross, Rowan and five others were on a tractor train trip out of Mawson to Mt Twintop in August 1981 when we discovered for ourselves why there’s a dogleg in the marked track between the David and Masson Ranges – there’s a crevasse field in the direct route! Knowing that others had taken this shortcut the previous summer we headed across it but when a dozer opened up a small slot, we made a careful retreat.

However, a dozer towing fuel sleds crossed a hidden crevasse and weakened the snow bridge and two of the fuel sleds it was towing broke through, lodging on a lower snow bridge about seven metres down. The weather then changed to a blizz which buried sleds and drums in drift. The blizz over we roped up, went into the hole, dug them out and winched them to the surface. The lesson learned of course was stick to the marked track!

Ross standing above slotted sleds. Photo: Rowan Butler

Ross standing above slotted sleds. Photo: Rowan Butler