65th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
These are a collection of stories and journals written by or about the early expeditioners at Mawson
Mawson 1962 Wintering Party © AAD
Enthusiasm is mounting for the upcoming Mawson 65th Anniversary Celebration
in Hobart this September. Stories & photos are slowly coming in and we encourage you to add to this page by
sending in any anecdotes from your OWN time down South at Mawson. The more the merrier!! Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: The stories are listed by reverse chronoloigal order in which they are
received; i.e. the most recently received is at the top
RAAF Base Mawson
Compiled by Brendan Godwin
They were simply called Antarctic Flight. Not No. 1 Antarctic Flight or 1 AF as is traditional
with the naming of Air Force units. The Air Force use No’s and acronyms for most of their
units but 1 AF is an acronym for something else on the RAAF acronym list.
Nightwatchman - Law Hut 1960
Compiled by George Creswell
The job of nightwatchman started in the afternoon at the toilet hut, known as Law Hut, named after, but certainly not by, nor in the presence of, the ANARE director, Dr Philip Law. It is worth describing this building, the only toilet for the whole station, and there is no point in avoiding details that would normally be judged unseemly.
PETER CLEMENCE: MEMORIES OF AN ANTARCTIC AVIATOR - 2019
By David Parer & Elizabeth Parer-Cook
After service in WW2 and Korea, pilot, Peter Clemence wintered at Mawson during the IGY in 1957 with the RAAF Flight team. He flew hundreds of hours of exploration and mapping in the mountains up to 1200 kilometres from the station.
He returned to Mawson over four more summers from 1970 as a commercial helicopter pilot to continue the work. Peter is a legend of Antarctic aviation.
CLOTH BADGES OF MAWSON - 2019
By Rod Johns
Rod is an avid collector of Antarctic cloth badges who is always on the lookout for more to fill the many gaps in his collection.
LEGENDS FROM THE BOOK OF MAW - 2008
By 2008 Mawson Team
The Brotherhood movement is taking off amongst the team. After an evening movie viewing of "They Call Me Trinity" (a spaghetti western) followed by "Trinity is Still My Name", the males on station shaved their beards into an Amish style. A few of the females are wearing beards from the dress-up collection. The team are now calling each other "brothers" and performing the "secret brotherhood handshake".
THE MAWSON MAIZE - 1958
By Ian McLeod
Geologist, Ian McLeod, relates how type written sheets headed 'THE MAWSON MAIZE' appeared mysteriously on the stations notice board on weekly film nights. They contained mini-reports referring to recent happenings on the base. Their author remained a mystery until years end.
Antarctic Rebuilding Program at Mawson 1979 - 1987
By Bob McEwan
In 1981 Bob McEwan, Chief Structural Engineer of the Australian Construction
Services, formed a team of engineers and established a research program to design
and construct new building at
Australia's three continental stations. The oldest station was Mawson where
some of the huts dated back to the 1940's. They were small, lacked privacy and
a fire risk. Bob spent two summers down south supervising the work, and oversaw
the whole project.
SOUTHERN PRINCE CHARLES
MOUNTAINS TRAVERSE 1960
By Ian Bird
Electronics Engineer, Ian Bird tells the story of his spring traverse into the
Southern Prince Charles Mountains with geologist Rick Ruker and Senior Diesel
Mechanic Neville "Gringo" Collins to map and collect geology
samples. For the 22-year-old Bird it was the adventure of a lifetime. His job
was to maintain communications with Mawson, and help run the dog teams.
By Ian McNaughton
Cosray Physicist, Ian McNaughton recounts what living & working in the Antarctic was like during his 18 months
down South at Mawson from 24 Jan 1961 - 18 Mar 1962 & Dec 1962 - Mar 1963. He describes his job, a brain operation,
visits from the Russians, dog trips and helicopter travel with numerous photographs and some maps.
INTO THE WHITE
Mawson to Enderby Land, 1974
By Dave Luders
OIC, Dave Luders recounts a traverse to Enderby Land in 1974 to set up a base camp for the 1974/5 summer operations.
He describes navigating by astrocompass, blizzards, temperatures of -30 degrees for weeks on end, tractors
breaking through snowbridges, crevasses, Knuckey Peaks and more - a high point of his 1974 winter.
The story includes photographs and a map of the traverse undertaken.