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Obituaries & Tributes

Obituaries and Tributes 2019


Vale- Reg Hopley

Station Year Season
Wilkes 1967 Winter
Macquarie Island 1971 Winter
Mawson 1978 Winter

We regret the club was recently informed of the passing of Reg Hopley

Email received from Trevor Olrog on behalf of Reg's wife, 19/11/19

 

Vale- Dr Malcolm Evans

We regret the club was recently informed of the passing of Dr Malcolm Evans

Email received from Richard Evans (son), 16/10/19

 

Vale- Donald (Don) F. Creighton

Station Year Season
Mawson 1963 Winter

It is with a deep sadness I have to tell you that Don Creighton died yesterday 9th of October. Some of you may not have known Don, but he was my Electronics Engineer at Mawson Station in 1963.

After his time down south, Don worked alongside Dr Fred Jacka in the Mawson Institute at the Adelaide University, Following the closure of the Mawson Institute faculty at the Adelaide University, Don remained in the physics department as a turor, instructor and mentor to the PhD students who were studying electronic engineering.

Don had suffered from an inoperable cancer for some time and of recent days his body weakened to the point of his admission to the Adelaide Hospital where he die peacefully shortly after admission.

Email received from Ray (Gaffer) McMahon, 10/10/19

 

Vale- Robert Tracy (Bob) Jones

Station Year Season
Macquarie Island 1992 Winter OIC
Mawson 1994 Winter OIC
Mawson 1997 Winter OIC
Davis 2000 Winter OIC
Davis 2004 Winter OIC
Casey 2008 Winter OIC
Mawson 2012 Winter OIC

It is with a great deal of sadness that I must inform you of the death of Robert Tracy (Bob) Jones, who passed away on Friday 5 July after a long illness.
Bob was an outstanding Antarctic expeditioner who made a major contribution to the Australian Antarctic Program over a period of more than two decades. He initially made three trips to Heard Island as a biologist, after which he served as a Station Leader on seven occasions between 1992 and 2012. He served at all four stations: most recently at Mawson in the winter of 2012, when the position became unexpectedly vacant in the week before the ship departed for the station, and Bob did us an enormous favour by agreeing to take over the role with only a few days to prepare himself.
Bob was awarded an Australian Antarctic Medal in 1996, in recognition of his work both as a biologist and as a Station Leader.
Bob passed away peacefully at his home in Bendigo with his family around him, proud to the end of his achievements in Antarctica, which he considered to be his life's work. And rightly so.
He will be greatly missed by all of us who knew him.

Email received from Rob Wooding 13 July 2019

Vale- Peter Baggott

Station Year Season
Mawson 1965 Winter
Wilkes 1967 Winter

We've received notification of the passing of Peter Baggott, Radio Operator at Mawson in 1965 and Wilkes in 1967.
Peter died on the Gold Coast on 6th June 2019 aged 82. The funeral will be held on the Gold Coast on Tuesday 11th June 2019.

Email received from Ros Shennan 9 June 2019

Peter Baggott, Obituary
Peter James Baggott was born in Penshurst, New South Wales on 1st July 1936, the son of Leo and Lilian Baggott. He grew up in Sydney, attending Marist Brothers High School in Kogarah. At the age of 17, he signed up in the Royal Australian Navy. After training at Cerberus, he served on numerous vessels including HMAS Barcoo and Quadrant. He trained as a telegraphist. In 1960, Peter signed on for another three years during which he was Leading Radio Officer. Great friendships were formed during Peter’s Navy days, several of whom, like Peter, went on to serve with ANARE expeditions, including Brian Jackson, “Blue” McDonald, “Hooby” Warriner, and “Red Ryder”.
Peter received his discharge from the Navy in June 1963 and in 1965 went to Mawson as a Radio Operator. Peter spent 1967 at Wilkes, before returning to Sydney, where he had a laundry at Manly. He then bought a taxi licence in Sydney and later moved to the Gold Coast where he also had taxis. Peter was a great joker and made various appearances at his birthday celebrations in costume. Captain Cook was one such appearance as was a WRAN. Peter loved sport and was a very accomplished tennis player. Later, his sport of choice was golf.
Peter maintained his navy and ANARE friendships, attending many reunions and get-togethers, including most recently the Wilkes 1967 reunion in 2017.
Family, friends, beer and sport were his great loves, not necessarily in that order. Peter died on the Gold Coast on 6th June 2019, survived by wife Peggy, daughters Kelly, Sharon and Tracey and son Kevin.

Email received from Ros Shennan 10 June 2019

Vale- Charlie Weir

Station Year Season
Wilkes 1967 Winter
Casey 1969 Winter
Davis 1985 Winter
Mawson 1987 Winter
Macq Island 1989 Winter
Mawson 1991 Winter
Macq Island 1993 Winter

I received the sad news this evening that Charlie Weir has died. Many of us will have spent time down south and in Australia with Charlie and will have fond memories of him.
Charlie was a Dieso and Plant Inspector. His times down south included W67, C69, D85, M87,Q89, M91 and Q93. I know he had more recent periods down south but I don't have a record of them.
Charlie was awarded the Antarctic Medal in 1990. Note from the AAD website
"Charlie Weir has the distinction of having served at five ANARE stations over a 22 year period. In addition to the mechanical tasks on the station plant, he also did outstanding work on preparing vehicles and equipment for traverses.
Charlie's arrival at Casey in 1969 was at the time of the changeover from Wilkes station to Casey, a task which was made more difficult due to the late arrival of the relief ship.
Charlie has proved to be an excellent all-round expeditioner and has supported many scientific programs."
Charlie Weir's funeral will be at Woodenbong Public Hall, 21 Unumgar St., Woodenbong, NSW 2476, Thursday, 21st March at 11.00am NSW time.
Email received from Jan Adolph, 13/03/19

I wintered with Charlie at Wilkes, his first trip, in 1967. Charlie was well liked by everyone. He was a great team member, and highly regarded as a very capable mechanic. He was at our 40 year Wilkes re-union but health issues prevented him travelling to our 50 year re-union in 2017 . He was one of nature's hard working gentlemen. Rest peacefully Charlie.
Message from Geoff Payne, 14/03/19
I drove up to Woodenbong to Charlies funera llast Thurs.
It was held in the Old Movie Theatre, now the Public Hall. The place was packed, standing room only and most of the shops shut for a few hours. Quite a few ANARE people were there, mostly from QLD.
Message from Graeme (Chompers) Currie), 23/03/19
An ANARE contingent attended the funeral of Charlie Weir in Woodenbong NSW, Thursday 21st March 2019. Contingent included Graeme 'Chompers' Currie, Kit and Mrs Scally, Mike Pache, Callum Young, John Hetherington, Dr Julie Kibby, Trevor Luff along with Peter and Mrs Thompson.
Amongst the Eulogies on the day, Chompers Currie presented the four Winters he spent with Charlie W67,C69,M87 and Q89. Trevor Luff passed on most sincere condolences to Shirley and family from our National Council President Joe Johnson. Trevor Luff also pointed out how Charlie lived through rapid life changes including communication which saw the last use of the Morse Code WYSSA to now using laptops on site. Trevor then read a note from Brian Harvey of Charlie being a true ANARE man who understood the meaning of comrade ship. If a task was to be done he just got on with it and the job was done.
The Town Hall was packed and it was noted time was not wasted by settling into the Golf Club very smartly, for the afters drink in true Charlie Weir fashion.
Rest in peace Charlie.
Message from Trevor Luff, 22/03/19

Vale- Jim (James) Edward Bleasel

It is with great sadness that I write to let you know former Director of the AAD, Jim Bleasel, died in the Royal Hobart Hospital over the weekend.
Jim (James Edward Bleasel) headed the Division from 1984-1988. He oversaw a high-tempo period of the Division's history, with a major rebuilding program and increased scientific activity.
During his tenure shipping was a big focus. The AAD chartered the Icebird alongside the long-serving Nella Dan to help transport the cargo and equipment needed for the station rebuilds. But in 1987 the Nella Dan dragged anchor at Macquarie Island and was driven aground. She was irreparably damaged and eventually scuttled off the Island. It was also during Jim's Directorship that the decision to build our current icebreaker, Aurora Australis, was made.
Jim spearheaded a push to expand Australia's presence in Antarctica, establishing a number of small summer stations, including Law Base in the Larsemann Hills, Edgeworth David Base in the Bunger Hills, and a hut at Cape Denison, near Mawson's Huts.
With a background in engineering, specialising in electronics and communication, Jim was particularly keen to improve the communication systems in Antarctica. In 1984 the first satellite link, INMARSAT, was established to Mawson station and quickly extended to Davis, Casey, and Macca. By the 1990's all stations were linked to head office and Australia by telephone.
Jim also introduced long-term planning, improved recruitment practices including the first female Station Leader, the RTA of rubbish and a new science research grants scheme administered by an Antarctic Science Advisory Committee.
He retired as Director of the Division in 1988.
A Service for Jim will be held at St Mary's Cathedral, Harrington Street, Hobart on Wednesday (February 6, 2019) at 1.00 pm.
Email received from Rob Bryson, General Manager, AAD, via Jan Adolph, 4/02/19

I'm sad to forward this message on to you about the death of Jim Bleasel.
From my perspective Jim was always very friendly, sociable and supportive. I can remember some great "End of Voyage" dinners on the Nella Dan and Icebird with him too!
Email received from Jan Adolph, 4/02/19
 



Vale- Fred White

Station Year Season
Casey 1973 Winter
Macquarie Island 1975 Winter

We regret the club was informed of the passing of Fred White during the year

Email received from Membership Officer, 19/07/19

 

Vale- Dr John Jackson

Station Year Season
Davis 1972 Winter
Prince Charles Mountains 1973 Doctor

We regret the club was informed of the passing of Dr John Jackson during the year

Email received from Membership Officer, 19/07/19

 

Vale- Major General Neville Smethurst

Station Year Season
Wilkes 1961 Winter OIC

I am very sad to report the death of Nev Smethurst on Tuesday July 2nd. Nev, was the Officer - in - Charge (the 'OIC') of the 14th ANARE team at Wilkes 1961.
His funeral is to be held at Duntroon Military College in Canberra on Friday July 19 at 10h00 for 10h30. All the former Wilkes '61 crew have been notified, but there may well be other former ANARE folks who would be interested in attending.
If anyone is keen to follow up, would they email me on wburch@optusnet.com.au or call 02 8065 5179.

Email received from Bill Burch, 7/07/19

 

Vale- Peter Clemence

Station Year Season
RAAF Antarctic Flight 1955/56 Resupply Pilot
Mawson 1957 OIC RAAF Flight
Polar Medal 1960
PCM and Lambert Glacier 1969/70 Pilot
PCM and Lambert Glacier 1971/72 Pilot
Enderby Land 1974/75 Pilot

Peter Clemence passed away last Tuesday and his daughter has asked to advise ANARE Club members of this. He is well-known to many. He suffered unexpected lung failure and died in hospital, aged 94.

His funeral is to be held on Thursday 27 June at St James the Less Church cnr Nepean Hwy & Koetong Pde, Mt Eliza. Refreshments afterwards at the Ranelagh Club - Rosserdale Ave, Mt Eliza. All friends & ANARE people who knew him welcome.

Peter was on the 1955/6 Changeover/Resupply trip on the Kista Dan as a Pilot with the RAAF Antarctic Flight and involved in erecting the hanger at Mawson.
The following year 1957 he wintered at Mawson in command of the RAAF Flight for the IGY program.
In 1969/70 and 1971/2 summers with Jayrow Helicopters, he flew supporting the surveying of the the Prince Charles Mountain & the Lambert Glacier.
He completed a Round Trip on the Thala Dan Jan-Feb 1973 & was part of the Helicopter Support in Summer 1974/5 in Enderby Land. He received a Polar Medal in 1960.

Memories of an Antarctic Aviator - July 2019

Email received from Liz Parer-Cook , 22/06/19

 

Vale- Robert "Bob" Clough

Station Year Season
Macquarie Island 1978 Winter

Am sorry to advise the sad passing of Robert "Bob" Clough. Bob was a valuable member of the Macquarie Island '78 team, an excellent Met Man and a great contributor to our year. Thoughts are with his wife Linda, family and friends. I last caught up with Bob in 2013 here in Melbourne.

Funeral for Bob Clough is Monday 8th April 10am
Turnbull Funeral Chapel 71 Letitia Street, North Hobart.

Email received from Ralph Fletcher, 3/04/19

 

Vale- John Charles McNally

Station Year Season
Macquarie Island 1961 Winter

My uncle was a radio officer and captain of Army Dukw on Macquarie island 1961 expedition.
He passed away peacefully on the 4th March, 2019 aged 82 years, leaving his wife Virginia McNally.
He has resided in the Sutherland Shire in Sydney since 1980.
I wrote a biography of my uncle when I was 15 which talks about his time on Macquarie Island.
Email received from Michelle Howden, 12/03/19

 

Vale- Alan Elcheikh

Station Year Season
Amery Ice Shelf

Alan Elcheikh passed away yesterday (Monday) morning.
He had been ill for some months with leukaemia. He is survived by his wife Fiona and 2 young children.
I'm pretty sure he wasn't an ANARE club member, but he's been going south since the early 90's and was much loved by all. He was an engineer who worked on the Amery Ice shelf drilling project for many years, as well as with the US Antarctic program on Operation Ice-Cube, drilling to install sensors deep in the ice near the south pole. He has most recently been back with AAD.
The funeral service to remember and celebrate Al Elcheikh's life will be held this Saturday, 9th February at 11am at Millingtons Funeral Centre, 25 Mcintyre St, Mornington.
Fiona has asked people not to bring flowers. Instead please donate to the https://www.leukaemia.org.au.
Email received from Darren Harpur via Jan Adolph, 5/02/19
 

Vale- Kent Keith

Station Year Season
Macquarie Island 1956 Winter

Ian McLeod (M58) has just informed me that Kent Keith, zoologist at Macquarie Island in 1956, passed away in Canberra on 3 January.
Another sad loss of one of our early expeditioners.
Email received from Jan Adolph, 5/02/19
 

Vale- David Johns

Station Year Season
Macq Island 1954 Winter
Mawson 1957 Winter

It's not been a good start to the New Year!
Sadly, David Johns passed away peacefully on Monday, 7 January aged 89. David wintered at Macquarie Island in 1954 and Mawson in 1957 as a Cosray Physicist.
He was a long time member of the ANARE Club and a regular attendee at the Tasmanian Mid-Winter Dinner. In 2018 he was the last person to stand in the count back of "Calling the Years."
A Memorial Service for David will be held at the Uniting Church in Australia, 2 Swan Street, North Hobart on Monday, January 14, 2019 at 11am.
Email received from Jan Adolph, 10/01/19
 

Vale- Brian Turnbull

Station Year Season
Mawson 1984 Winter

Sad news to start the New Year I'm afraid.
Brian Turnbull passed away on 2 January. Brian was OIC at Mawson in 1984 and a long time employee of the Antarctic Division. Brian was the Ant Div Project Manager, working with Dept Housing and Construction (later Aust Construction Services) on the Antarctic Rebuilding Program.
There will be a Celebration of Brian's Life at the Kingston Beach Golf Club, Channel Hwy, Kingston Monday January 21, 2019 at 2.30 pm.
Email received from Jan Adolph, 05/01/19