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Antarctic Division
State Branches & Regions
New South Wales

Sydney Midwinter 2000

David Ellyard once again was master of ceremonies as our 75 members and guests enjoyed the company, food, wine and of course the event of the year at the Parramatta Leagues Club. A backdrop video projection of the 1961 Wilkes expedition added to the nostalgia for the large number of ex-Wilkes explorers present. The multitudes of penguins dancing, and bobbing along below the helium-filled balloons and on the tables were skillfully created and executed by Lucinda Coates.

Steve symonds started the evening off on a high note as he gave the toast to ANARE, being the most recently returned expeditioner. We were treated to a most entertaining account of his voyage as the Club's 1999/2000 representative.

Harry Black (MI57, and part of the Wilkes '60 reunion) told tales of Mawson's derring do who, as he told Harry, would have died on that ill-fated trip if he had made the ship and not had a year to wait and recover. Tribute was paid to Rudi Honkala (also part of the Wilkes '60 reunion) who had been 2IC at Heard Island and heard of the Met. group and who was on the first expedition to Wilkes in '57. Along with Dick Cameron, John Mohl, Paul Newman and Carl Eklund, he traversed 50 miles inland to S2 and set up a station there. Rudi came all the way from Bethel, Maine for the reunion, Other notable salts present were Clive Jewel (three years wintered in a row - "53-'55), 'Chompers' Currie and the and the indomitable Pat Moonie.

The branch president, after welcoming one and all, reported on the progress of the medallions - 600 out of 800 have been found. Col also informed the gathering that, as of that evening $5,300 had been raised for the Zoo, and $1,900 for the Mawson Antarctic Collection Appeal (and a further $2000 when the Branch assisted AAP). hanks were give to the outgoing Branch Council and the new one was welcomed - Col Christiansen is captaining the ship again, with willing crew members Kit Scally, Bill urch, Lucinda Coates, Steve Symonds.

Peter Lawson (HI 51) gave notice that all the crew would be at the MWD in 2001 to celebrate their 50th Anniversary, including Philip Giese - it will indeed be an occasion to remember. John Starr, on the Great Heard Island Appendix Operation, mentioning what a pity it was that the said appendix was not kept for posterity. Rudi told us about S2, where "the Rest Home" hut (geophysical research) was build in late February 1957 with the help of three Weasels. Various other Antarctic encounters were related around the tables.

The raffle was drawn with much ado, the first prize going to a daughter of Neville Woods, second to John Starr and third to Terry Wetherson. The call of the Years bridged the period of 1999/2000 back to 1947 (with a few "missing" years.)

Further reminiscences were aired. David Eastman recalled the fun of going into the unknown, and applauded the Government for doing so much to preserve the Antarctic, as he looked back over the years, and around at the faced who had visited her. John Starr related the return of the first voyage to Macquarie Island, in a ship equipped with radar that worked off batteries that ran out after half an hour. There was a full gale on the port beam for 4-1/2 sun or stars...flat-bottomed and keel-less so considerable leeway was required (15 degrees was given). They were meant to sight Tasmania in order to go up the Derwent at five to 12. Where were they? They had a little meeting on the bridge. There were two schools of thought: basically one wanted to head north and the other south - south won. Suddenly, the Captain saw breakers ahead - "Hard aport" Luckily they got out of it, as they were only pulling 18 inches of water at the front. In fact, they were in the middle of the Derwent and, if they had continued another 20 minutes to the north, would have reached Hobart, Now that's navigation!

And that's the end of yet another funfilled NSW midwinter dinner. We hope to see you all again, and to welcome new members and guests at the next one - stay tuned!


 Rudi Honkala

Rudi Honkala Wilkes 1960 from Bethel, Maine, U.S.A. speaks of the construction of S2 in 1957.

David Eastman

David Eastman photographer 1st ANARE, first ashore Heard Island December 1947.

Peter Blaxland John Lavett

Peter Blaxland and John Lavett of LST3501 Heard Island, Macquarie Island 1947/48.

Terry Weatherson Patrick Moonie

Terry Weatherson and Patrick Moonie

Who was there

Colin Christiansen M71 C75 D77
Kit Scally M71 M91
Julie Finch-Scally Qantas
Richard Roy M92
Anna Kolef  
Lucinda Coates PCM 92
Bill Burch W61
Robyn Burch  
Paul Lytwyn M85
Dee Lytwyn  
Steve Symonds MI72 V5-99/00
Rosea Kemp  
Michael Tomkins M95 MI98 C98/99
Rosemary Milsom Sunday Life/Sun Herald
Ian Sutherland Casey 97
Jacqueline Sutherland  
Terry McCarron   Casey 97
Elaine McCarron  
Clive Jewell South Georgia 53/54/55
Jill Jewell  
Hugh Doyle HI51
David Eastman HI47/48
Sally-Anne Proctor  
John Gordon M65
Erica Gordon  
John Starr HI51
John Starr  
Patrick Omik Moonie M67 69 71 73 75
Gary Eagles CS88 CS89 DS91 MS97 MIS99
Inhal White  
Jim Smith W60
Shirley Smith  
Sue Proctor  
Brian Wall W60
Gwen Wall  
Ian Kavanagh MI77 D79 HO80-97
Leila Kavanagh  
Harry Black MI57 W60
John Watts M62
Paddy Butterworth M87 M91
Ann Butterworth  
Neal "Monty" Graham W60
Dianne Graham  
Neville Smethurst W61
Maureen Smethurst  
David Ellyard M66
Sue Ellyard  
John Lavett LST3501, Labuan 47-49
Pat Lavett  Foreign Affairs
Marie Woods Neville W64
Amanda Woods  
Nickki Woods  
Michael Campbell W60
Trevor Olrog MI65 W67
Keith Lodwick HI54
Rudi Honkala W57 60 Palmer 66-67
Ron Webb MI72 M83
Jock McGhee W61 M65
Mary McGhee  
Peter Bourke D91
Terry Weatherson M70 C72 M74
Lauraine Weatherson  
Graeme Burkett W60
Owen Holmwood C89
Phillip Sylvestro C
Donna Sylvestro  
Geoff Payne W67
Sharon Payne  
Otakar Rec HI
Valda Rec  
Peter Lawson HI51 
Jennifer Lawson   
Bill Breeze C74
Peter Blaxland LST3501 47/48
Kevin Miller M62
Sue Miller  


Tim Bowden "Silence Calling"

Bill Storer MI51 M54 - Going to Melbourne

Syd Kirkby M56 60 80 Please pass on my good wishes to all at the Sydney reunion.

John Bunt MI51 M56

Rowan Butler M81 C84 in Nepal

Mike Bryden  MI65 in Queensland

Isobel Bennett MI S59 S60 S65 S68

Alistair Battye W62

Geoff and Sue Robinson M73

Ray Brookes D72 74

John Seaton M56

John Bunt MI51 56

Mike Poulton M65

MrsRob AntDiv

Chris Gorman W62

Jack Sillick

Leon Sawyer C73 75