Vale Syd Kirkby

From the President of the ANARE Club David Dodd. It is with deep regret that the Club announces the passing of Sydney Lorrimar Kirkby AO MBE aged 91 years, on 7 July 2024, a pioneer stalwart of the ANARE Club at rest.

Notified by email from Max Corry 7 July 2024

See below for the many contributions, achievements and recognitions during Syd Kirkby’s distinguished career

Station Year Season
Mawson 1956 Winter
Mawson 1960 Winter
Oates/Victoria Lands Explorations 1961-62 Summer
King George V Land Exploration 1962-63 Summer
Enderby Land 1964-65 Summer
Mawson 1980 Winter

Syd Kirkby

Syd astrofixing, Napier Mtns, Enderby Land © Mawson 1960 wintering party

Syd Kirkby, OIC, Mawson 1980

Syd Kirkby, OIC, Mawson 1980

Syd Kirkby, Phillip Law Medal, 2020

Commitment to the ANARE Club

Sydney (Syd) Lorrimar Kirkby, AO, MBE joined the ANARE Club in 1957, and served as ANARE Club President 2005-07.

In 1999 Syd Kirkby was elected a Life Member of the ANARE Club.

The Phillip Law Medal was awarded to Syd Kirkby on 15 August 2020.

Contributions to Aurora Journal

Mawson Winterers Syd Kirkby, Ian Bird 43 4 11 Aurora Journal Winter 2024
Law Medal for Syd Kirkby 40 1 4 Aurora Journal Spring 2020
Book Review: Fixing Antarctica (mapping the frozen south), By Syd Kirkby Bill Burch 33 4 11 Aurora Journal Winter 2014
Book Review: Chill Out, By Brian Gaull Syd Kirkby 34 2 9 Aurora Journal Summer 2014
Book Review: Putting South Georgia on the Map by Alec Trendall Syd Kirkby 31 1 16 Aurora Journal Spring 2011
Sledging the Prince Charles Mountains Syd Kirkby 29 1 6 Aurora Journal Spring 2009
Northern Prince Charles sketches and maps Syd Kirkby 29 1 I B C Aurora Journal Spring 2009
Stalwarts of early ANARE: Syd Kirkby Dave Carstens 23 1 6 Aurora Journal Spring 2003
Letter: Inclusion in The Living Century as an adventurer Syd Kirkby 19 2 2 Aurora Journal Summer 1999
The Spirit of ANARE Syd Kirkby 17 1 2 Aurora Journal Spring 1997
Better than the movies? Antarctica on the Really Big Screen Syd Kirkby 15 4 2 Aurora Journal Winter 1996
Mapping Prince Charles Mountains – Starting from Scratch: Part 2 Syd Kirkby 11 1 8 Aurora Journal Spring 1991
Mapping Prince Charles Mountains – Starting from Scratch : Part 1 Syd Kirkby 10 4 25 Aurora Journal Winter 1991
Dogs to the Rescue [Mawson 1960] Syd Kirkby 8 1 11 Aurora Journal Spring 1988
The Second Eleven Syd Kirkby 8 1 15 Aurora Journal Spring 1988
A Jolly in Enderby Land Syd Kirkby 6 3 12 Aurora Journal Autumn 1987
The Joys of Dog Sledging – 20 years on Syd Kirkby 3 1 Aurora Journal Autumn 1982

Awards and Recognition

Award Year
Polar Medal 1958
Member of the Order of the British Empire 1966
Gold Medal of the Australian Geographic Society as Adventurer of the Year 1997
Nominated by the The Australian newspaper as one of the ten greatest Australian adventurers of the 20th century 1999
John Park Thomson (Founder’s) Medal, the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia, Queensland Branch 2002
Officer of the Order of Australia 2018
Phillip Law Medal (ANARE Club) 2020

Antarctic Place Names

Kirkby Glacier – A glacier at least 18 miles long, flowing northwards to the coast three miles of Cape North. Named by ANARE after S L Kirkby, surveyor, with the ANARE 1962, lead by Phillip Law, which explored this area. [Reference]

Kirkby Head – A sheer coastal outcrop on Tange Promontory, Enderby Land. Continental ice reaches almost to the top on its southern side. Plotted from air photographs taken from an ANARE aircraft in 1956. First visited by an ANARE party led by SL Kirkby in November, 1960. Named after SL Kirkby, surveyor at Mawson in 1960. [Reference]

Kirkby Shoal – A small shoal area with depths of less than 18 m extending about 140 m westwards and SSW, about 3.4 km from the summit of Shirley Island, Windmill Islands. Discovered and charted during a hydrographic survey of Newcomb Bay and approaches by d’A.T. Gale hydrographic surveyor, with the ANARE Expedition on the MV Thala Dan, 1962, led by Phillip Law. Named after S.L. Kirkby, surveyor with the expedition. [Reference]

Mount Kirkby – A very large, prominent, flat-topped mountain on the northern face of the Porthos Range in the Prince Charles Mountains. It is approximately 9 km long east-west and 4 km wide at the western end, tapering to the east. It rises to approximately 2,100m (about 460 m above the plateau). First visited by the ANARE southern party led by William G. Bewsher in December, 1956. Named after S.L. Kirkby, surveyor at Mawson in 1956 and 1960. [Reference]

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