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Europe Midwinter 2013

ANARE Club – European Group 2013 MidWinter Lunch

( Woking, Surrey, United Kingdom Saturday 18 May 2013 )

- from Paul Gigg (M’90, Q’98) and Ian Thomas (M’67, NZARP ’75-‘84)

This was an early celebration on 18 May of Mid Winter 2013, to both commemorate the centenary of the formative Australasian Antarctic Expedition (AAE) of 1911-1914, led by Douglas Mawson, and his birthday on 05 May 1882 in Shipley, Yorkshire; plus his return to Cape Denison in early 2013 after the loss of Ninnis & Mertz. [As it happens Mawson’s birthplace is some two miles from where one of the ANARE-Eur Group lives, with another of the Group having “geologised” to the top of Mt Gaussberg, and viewed the message left by one of the AAE Western Base’s Sledging Parties over Christmas in 1912].

Thirteen old and new friends (including spouses and partners) met again for our third year and enjoyed comparing experiences that ranged from the handover of Wilkes from the Americans to the Australians, to weather vagaries on the Peninsula at Hope Bay that even exceeded the unsettled nature of UK Surrey’s attempts to thwart our garden Lunch !!

Chris Simpson, visiting from Australia, led us through some extra insights into Douglas Mawson – the person - in addition to the well recalled highlights when he was with Shackleton and later leading the AAE. Chris Brading, after bringing us very warm fraternal greetings from the British Antarctic Survey Club, offered his own insights into life as a surveyor at Hope Bay – experiences we could all well identify with.

In a developing tradition it was a privilege too to welcome visiting Australian ANARE representatives: George Cresswell from Tasmania, Chris Simpson from Victoria, and David Dodd (ANARE Council) per telephone from Aberdeen.

The ANARE-Eur Group presently has a core of some 18 members (plus spouses and partners) who predominantly reside in Western Europe, with the majority scattered through the UK. After co-ordinating the Group for some three years Paul Gigg and Ian Thomas, who are both returning to Australasia, opened the discussion on how the Group wished to proceed, or not; and included the results of a survey of the Group to include the views of those not present. In discussion the Group decided that they would like to continue, to continue as an informal fraternal Group but being aligned with the ANARE Club Council, to continue with the Lunch format, and to appreciate the fraternal “committee-level” links with the BAS Club (which was reciprocated). To take this forward the kind offers from John Barnes and Rodney Buckland were accepted and they will now liaise and link and plan the ways forward.


If any Club Members reading this, and not already on the ANARE-Eur Group email list, would be interested in keeping aware of the ANARE-Eur Group’s activities, please email either:

John Barnes (MacqIs ‘67/’68)  or Rodney Buckland (Mawson ’71)

2013 Midwinter Lunch  in United Kingdom Sat 18 May 2013

Recently the European-sector ANARE Club Members have enjoyed two Mid Winter Functions: a Dinner in 2011 and a Lunch in 2012.
Both were held in the UK, with the 2012 Lunch having a British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Club representative joining the ANARE Club Members.

Paul Gigg* and Ian Thomas* are again planning to organise such a Midwinter Lunch for 2013 in the UK and would like to invite any ANARE Club Members who are resident in the UK / Europe, or planning to be in the general London area
on Saturday 18 May 2013
to consider joining in this get-together and celebration of our times working in Antarctica

Due to timing constraints in Paul's and Ian's movements after May, the Lunch has had to be brought forward to 18 May (and closer to the anniversary date of Sir Douglas Mawson's birth in Shipley Yorkshire on 05 May 1882). 

It is planned to have a buffet lunch at Ian and Fiona's home in Surrey, with hopefully a representative of the BAS Club again joining the ANARE members. 

Costings:  Paul and Ian will again provide 'softs', water and juices, with each person separately bringing their own beers/wines etc and funding all transport and accommodation costs. 

If any Club Member who is not already in touch with Paul Gigg or Ian Thomas and is interested in so participating, please contact the organisers before 29 March 2013 on the email addresses below, and they will ensure they update you via email with further details.

Equally, if you are interested in linking in Europe but cannot join in the 2013 MWD Lunch and have not contacted Ian or Paul before, please also do respond and indicate your interest and you will be added to the 'e-mail-out' contact list. 

*  Just as background: 

Paul Gigg was a radio technician at Mawson in 1990 and at Macquarie in 1998 and is the UK on a posting.  Email:
Paul Gigg

Ian Thomas was an auroral physicist at Mawson in 1967, and worked with NZARP over 1975-1984 based on Scott Base; and has been resident in the UK from 1984 consulting on environmental satellite applications.  Email:Ian Thomas