Vale Tim Cassidy (1936-2023)

Station Year Season
Mawson 1969 Winter

The ANARE Club has received the sad news that Timothy “Tim” Cassidy, OIC Mawson 1969, passed away in December 2023.

Notified by his daughters, Georgia and Camilla Cassidy, 22/12/23

Timothy “Tim” Cassidy (1936-2023)

Mawson 1969 OIC

Tim Cassidy passed away in December 2023. He was expedition leader at Mawson Base, 1969, an experience that was integral to his adventurous life. He always looked forward to reunions with his ANARE mates.

Tim Cassidy, OIC Mawson 1969

Tim Cassidy, OIC Mawson 1969

From David and Liz Parer: “Tim led a memorable group of expeditioners including Jack Dart, Pat Moonie and Ian Allison. It was a big dog year with a trip to Kloa from memory. Two Americans with the Pageos program wintered and the Prince Charles Mountains Phases 1 and 2 summer expeditions were undertaken.

Tim Cassidy, OIC Mawson 1969

Tim Cassidy, OIC Mawson 1969

Farewell Tim as you journey to the eternal cosmos.”

Timothy (Tim) Cassidy

1936 – Dec 2023

Tim Cassidy was Officer-in-Charge (OiC) of the 1969 Mawson ANARE

Tim arrived at Mawson, via the Amery Ice Shelf, on Nella Dan on 15 January 1969 with the first tranche of the wintering team. The 1968 OiC also remained on station until early March, which led to some interesting interactions. Tim was appointed as the OiC “in charge”, but sometimes 1968 “experience” tried to overwhelm him. We 1969ers were generally impressed with the calm and rational way that Tim managed any potential conflicts. The full 1969 Mawson party of 28 (including four US participants involved in the PAGEOS geodetic program) was not in place until another visit from Nella in early February, and then the return of the remaining members of our team from the Amery Ice Shelf summer program in early March 1969.

Throughout 1969 Tim participated in numerous field trips out of Mawson. These included a couple of short fuel depoting trips to Hordern Gap; an autumn traverse to Depot B (which included a brief return to Mawson by Tim and dieso, Ken Withers, to build a valve lifter to repair one of the D4s); and a spring traverse to Moore Pyramid from late October until mid-December to support the 1969/70 Prince Charles Mountains summer program. Tim also went on an August dog-trip to the Taylor Glacier emperor penguin rookery which, after failed radio communication, led to a number of successive SAR missions, one of which needed rescuing itself. But all ended well. Any M69 field exploits were however vastly overshadowed by the landing of Apollo 11 on the moon on 16 July (as our US PAGEOS colleagues like to remind us!). Tim RTAed from Mawson on Nella Dan in mid-January 1970.

Tim attended most of our (infrequent) reunions, but we never knew much about his life outside ANARE, other than his passion for ocean sailing. He owned, raced and cruised at least 6 yachts, mostly wooden, starting with Tassie III, a 21-ft 1929-built yacht designed (very successfully) for estuary racing. In 1968, Tim and a crew of 5 sailed this boat from Brisbane to Lord Howe Island and back, not a trip it was designed for. Tim was a very accomplished (although sometimes in his youth, an over risky – and lucky-to-survive) ocean sailor. He completed the 1978 Sydney-Hobart race skippering his own boat, the smallest ever to complete that race. He also completed numerous Brisbane-Gladstone races on his own yachts, and achieved line-honours in that race as crew on another boat. Tim also briefly owned, and worked on, a prawn trawler. And of course, he was an enthusiastic advocate of the ice yacht built at Mawson in 1969 and sailed on the harbour.

More recently we learnt that, as a student and a member of the University of Queensland Bushwalking/Mountain Club, Tim had been a very active rock-climber. In June 1964 he made the first ascent of the South Face of Tibrogargan in the Glasshouse Mountains, and later in that year, with the same climbing partner, completed the first climb of all six major peaks of Mt. Barney in one day.

After more than 50 years, we (mostly younger) M69 survivors recall our winter as one with a collaborative and generally harmonious community. We have fond memories of a year of truly unique and wonderful experiences. Tim was interested and involved in all activities on station and that, plus his laid-back style of leadership, greatly contributed to a successful and memorable year.

Tim is survived by his daughters, Georgia and Camilla Cassidy.

Vale Tim

Ian Allison and the M69 survivors