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Antarctic Division
State Branches & Regions
New South Wales

Sydney Midwinter Dinner 1998

The original plan was to hold a midwinter dinner with a minimum of formality, then came the news of the Antarctic Service Medallions! This provided the opportunity to honour those earlier expeditioners, who had not previously been recognised for their contribution to ANARE, by presenting the award at this dinner.

"Homers" commenced at 6.30 pm on Saturday 27 June and the evening was off to a convivial start. Before proceeding with the dinner, the renowned David Ellyard, as MC for the evening, chaired the AGM, Trevor Olrog, President of the NSW Branch confirmed his earlier decision to stand down from Council. His years of sterling work for the Club were recognised with acclaim. the 1998-99 NSW Council was elected and comprises Col Christiansen (President), Bill Burch, Lucinda Coates, Richard Roy, Kit Scally, Richard Stephens, Neville Smethurst, Bill Storer and Steve Symonds.

Expeditioners and guests and, in particular, the guest of honour Senator the Honourable Ian Macdonald, Parliamentary Secratary for the Antarctic, and his wife Lesley were welcomed by Trevor. With regards to the award of medallions, Trevor acknowledged the presence of Heldn Powning and Helen Vincent who were to accept the award for their brothers Richard Hoseason and Robert White. Richard who died at Heard Island in 1952, and Robert who died at Mawson in 1963, are names well known to ANARE expeditioners. their graves are stark reminders, to visitors to Heard Island and Mawson, of the isolation and the dangers that exist in the Antarctic.

Trevor thanked the NSW Council for their work and support throughout the year and spoke of worthy causes supported by the NSW Branch which include the Leopard Seal Project at Taronga Zoological Park, the Mawson Antarctic Collection appeal and AAP Mawson's Huts Project.

Helen Vincent proposed the toast to ANARE with special mention of serving expeditioners now in the Antarctic. Heldn gave an insight to the initially happy and rushed departure of her big brother and the great sadness as Robert's illness unfolded.

The response was given by Senator the Honourable Ian Macdonald. The senator thanked those Club members who, as former expeditioners, had given input to the Antarctic Science Advisory Committee (ASAC) Report. He then related some items of interest from the Government's response to that report. He referred to the challenge for the Antarctic Division to implement the ASAC recommendations and retain Australia's status as a leading Antarctic nation through to the next millennium.

During the course of the evening expeditioners and guests were interested to hear Colin Christiansen describe his recent round trip to Mawson and Davis on the Aurora Australis as the Club's representative. It is of interest to note that Colin won the "icebert sweep"; one of the benefits of antarctic experience.

Al Rooke, who had recently returned from Commonwealth Bay, spoke of the AAP Mawson's Huts Project. He gave a vivid description of the work and experiences during the course of the seven week project where morning katabatics made the working conditions quite arduous. Overall, the huts were in good condition. The main hut's uprights were found to be within 3-5mm of the specifications, even after 85 years of constant katabatics. the expedition architects initially considered, as many people had, that the ice inside the building was actually providing support. It is now apparent that the main hut is reasonable sound and the structure is not dependent on the ice for support. This means that the first kit home to be exported from Australia to Antarctica was an unqualified success!

The Antactic Service Medallion was awarded to 42 expeditioners and families by Senator Ian Macdonald. Presentation of the awards was undertaken by station, namely, Heard Island, Macquarie Island, Mawson, Davis and Wilkes. Families accepting awards included those of the late Lem Macey, Daniel Sweetensen, Bill Cartledge, Nev Woods and Keith (Curley) Watson. The Senator referred to the Government's appreciation of the hardships experience by wintering expeditioners in the isolated, harsh and potentially dangerous environment of the Antarctic. He also spoke of an awareness that the hardships would have been felt even more keenly by expeditioners, such as those receiving the award at this dinner, who wintered in the early days of ANARE.

All recipients were given the opportunity to "spin-a-yarn" revealing some wonderful anecdotes. Arthur Gwynn  outlined in most unusual term the circumstances of his and Otaker Recs emergency dash to Heard Island in 1950. Now we know the origin of those appendix stories. Incidentally, Otakar and his patient Jack Starr of the great 1951 Heard Island appendix operation were both present at the dinner. A gutsy story

This NSW Midwinter Dinner had expeditioners from 1947 to 1999 in attendance. A notable guest was Rudi Seveik who wintered with the South African National Antarctic Research Expedition at SANAE in 1973.

The Call of the Years brought forward an interesting aspect. Bob Sutton arose for Macquarie Island 1965 and then to everyone's surprise, stood up again for Mawson 1999. Is this 34 year interval between wintering expeditions a record?

At the evening's conclusion it was evident that, despite the full program, the 160 persons attending enjoyed themselves. it was certainly pleasing that so many expeditioners were present to receive the award of the Antarctic Service Medallion. The NSW Branch Midwinter Dinner next year will be held in Sydney on Saturday 26 June 1999

by Colin, Lucinda and Trevor

Who was there

Bill Burch W61
Robyn Burch
Kirsten Burch
Colin Christiansen M71 BAS C75 D77 HI85s v5/98
Janina Christiansen Qantas 78
Lucinda Coates PCM 92
Trevor Olrog  MI65 W67
Geoff Payne W67
Sharon Payne
Richard Roy M92
Anna Kolef
Kit Scally M71 91 D92s HI92s
Julie Finch-Scally 1st Qantas flight 77
Rob Sherwood C79
Richard Stephen C74
Penny Stephen
Steve Symonds MI72
Bob Taylor M80
Neil MacDonald M76
Rosalie MacDonald
Andre Phillips M84 M88s M89s Halley 95 South Pole 96/97 97/98
Sid Harvey W65
David Eastman HI47/48
Kerry Eastman
Shane Eastman
Hugh Doyle HI51/52 HI/MI50
Bruce Adam C84
Tom Arrowsmith M83
Elva Arrowsmith
Leon Sawyer C71 75
Terri Sawyer
Graeme Currie 1960-1998 All stations 11 winters
Helen Vincent Sister of Robert White, died Mawson 18/10/63
John Bunt MI51 M56 McMurdo s61-70 (USARP)
Ellie Bunt
Hilton Swan 91 96 summers
Don McIntyre Commonwealth Bay Winter 95 Summers 93 97 98
Margie McIntyre Commonwealth Bay Winter 95 Summers 97 98
Quentin Blades C69
Michelle Slack
Otakar Rec HI 50-51-52
Valda Rec
Marco Rec
Kathy Rec
Ken Powning
Helen Powning Sister of Richard Hoseason, died Heard Island 26/5/52.
Robin Thomas M84 C87
Olga Thomas
Graham Budd HI54 63-71 M59Adelie Land 81 Kerguelen/Crozet 86 Ant Peninsular 95
John Lavett HMA LST3501/HMAS Labuan 47-49 Dept of External Affairs
Pat Lavett Dept of External Affairs 61
John Seaton M56/RAAF
Barbara Seaton
Arthur Giese HI51 M83 MI85
Jill Giese
Phil Silvestro C81/82
Donna Silvestro
Harry Black MI57 W60
Caitlin Black
Paddy Butterworth M87 M91
Ann Butterworth
Ian Landon-Smith M62
John Starr HI51
John Starr
Helen Cai
Graeme Starr
Beverley Starr
Carolyn Mondy
Ted Foley MI59 M62 M65
Dorothy Foley
Phil Vardy D71
Paul Lytwyn M85 83/84
Dee Martin
Scott Neilson C86/87
Denise Neilson
George Lowe Kista Dan 54/55 M Vestfolds HI Kerguelen
Val Lowe
Clint Wright C71
Val Wright
John Toms D89 M92 MI94
Peter McGregor MI52 M56
Carol Watchman
Ian Macdonald Senator, Parliamentary Secretary for the Antarctic
Lesley Macdonald
James Shevlin Advisor to Mr Macdonald
Phil Wood AntDiv Public Affairs
Mark Elliot Advisor to Mr Macdonald
Bill Edgar M66 MI72
Rudi Sevcik SANAE 71-74
Jacki Sevcik
Neville Smethurst W61
Maureen Smethurst
Jim Smith W60
Shirley Smith
Richard Smith
Kevin Millar M62
Sue Millar
Jock McGhee W61 M65
David Woodsmith C75
Jack Sillick W66 C71
Shirley Sillick
Bill Robinson C84 87 Aurora Australis 91-98
John Watts M62
Judy Watts
Jim Davidson McMurdo summer
Irene Davidson
David Ellyard M66
Sue Ellyard
Bill Storer MI51 M54
Bill Watson Brother of Keith (Curley) Watson,  M65 68 70, died 20/7/95
Noelene Martin
Arthur Gwynn MI49 HI50 53
Josephine Gwynn
Ray Torckler D59 W61
Elizabeth Torckler
Ken Rowe
Rosemary Rowe
Peter Magill M79 83 AntDiv
Allen Rooke C79 M85 87 92 MI94 Commonwealth Bay AAP 98
Guest (Rooke)
Dick Thompson AntDiv 48-60
Bob Sutton MI65
Lin Gardner HI54 M56 D58 71
Thelma Gardner
Colleen Overstead
Tony Overstead
Paul Gray C90 M92
Kath Stokes
Marie Woods Wife of Nev, deceased, W64
Amanda Woods
Gary Bingham
Ron Webb MI72 M83
Glennis Wellings
Jean Cartledge Wife of Bill Cartledge W62 M66 Repstat68 M71 73, deceased.
Ian Kavanagh MI77 D79 AntDiv
Leila Kavanagh
John Webb D89 92
June Webb
Tony Verbruggen M77 MI81
Lynn Verbruggen
Marjorie Cooke
Paula Towns Niece of Daniel Sweetensen MI52 HI54, deceased.
Geoff Towns
Ken Hardy W59
Denise Hardy
Pat Lee Trans Antarctic Expedition Operation Deepfreeze 56/57 M66
Peg Macey Wife of Lem Macey HI48 M54 71 73 AntDiv, deceased 1986.
Damien Macey Son of Lem Macey
Ian Osborne D92
Jennifer Lawson Daughter Peter Lawson HI51
Cary Zhang
Dave Jenkins D92
Jennifer Jenkins
Peter Nicholls C99
Bill Breeze C76
Peter Bourke M85 MI87 89 D91
Gil Webster M65
Pam Webster
Gerry Lim M65
Dave Killick Commonwealth Bay  AAP 98
Nicole (Killick)



Gersh Major MI48
Isobel Bennett MI changeover 59, 60,64, 68
Keith Goodwin Father of Ian, Glacio 85 
Chris Hutchinson PCM 69/70
Ross Harvey W59 M62
Pam Edhouse Ross Sea MV Bremen 
John Edhouse Ross Sea MV Bremen
Peter Turner D58
Janet Reynolds D92 C97
Chris Gorman W62
Brian Fogarty W64
Ronald Reu W62
Lawrie Turnbull M65
Steve Grimsley W61 W63
Alan Hendry 68 Helio engineer
Arthur Goodall MI68
Rowan Butler M81 C84 ND85,87 BH86
Ray Brookes D72 74 MI CB78
Letty Brookes
Ian Tod   W59 M61
Bruce Smith M70
Liesl Smith
Craig Austin C72 M73/74 74/75
George Hinton LST 3501 47/48
Bas Rachinger M73
Ian Sutherland C97
Dave Rogers W64
Ivan Thomas MI60 63
Murray Doyle Aurora Australia 97/98
Mike Poulton M65
Jim Atkinson MI60
Neal Graham W60
Albert (Shorty) Carroll HI48
Vic Jabs   D61
Sandy Sandilands M57
Michael Lucas M62
Peter Lawson  HI51
Jim Hasick MI65 68 M86 92 95
John Hughes HI53 C74
Trish Gibson
Alistair Battye W62
Peter Treseder South Pole Walk 98
Tim Bowden
Phil Law Ant Div 47-66
Jim Linden C76
Mike Bryden MI65 McMurdo 73/74

Total ....46