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New South Wales- Midwinters
These are the main reason for our existence. We have changed our venue every three years or so. Venues have included the Air Force Association Club, Sydney University, Taronga Zoological Park, the Cyprus Hellene Club, Macquarie University, The Bowlers’ Club (Sydney), The RSL Club and Parramatta Leagues Club, and our themes and speakers have varied even more. As previously intimated, our Midwinter dinners have been formally organised since 1976 and partners have been included since 1981. For the last 20 years they have been MCed by David Ellyard, and we have had guest speakers from the early 1980s onwards. David introduced the Call of the Years in 1988, following the excellent example of the Melbourne Midwinter Dinner of 1987. The NSW Branch suggested the idea of staggered dates for MWDs, mainly for the event of the Jubilee years (for ANARE and for the Club) in order to allow members to attend more than one event.
Here is a summary of our Midwinter dings.
1966 Mosman Rowing Club
1968 North Sydney RSL Club
1969 North Sydney RSL Club
1970 North Sydney RSL Club
1971 North Sydney RSL Club
1972 NSW Leagues Club
1973 Tai Yuen Restaurant
1974 Airforce Association Club
1975 Combined Services Club
1976 Combined Services Club
1977 Airforce Association Club
1978 Cyprus Hellene Club
1979 Cyprus Hellene Club
1980 Cyprus Hellene Club
1981 Lotus Room The Mandarin Club Guest Speaker Dr Peter Gormley AAD
1982 Mandarin Club Guest speaker Clarrie McCue AAD Director
1983 Holm and Sutherland Rooms University of Sydney Guest speaker Martin Betts Information Officer AAD
1984 Holm and Sutherland Rooms University of Sydney Guest speaker Ross Vining Project Blizzard Mawsons Hut
1985 Sydney University Union Guest speakers Bill Blunt and Jonathon Chester Project Blizzard
1986 Refectory University of Sydney
1987 The North Sydney Club Guest speaker Philip Law
1988 The North Sydney Club Guest speaker Tony Armstrong Carrington Slipways - building Aurora Australis
1989 The North Sydney Club Sydney Guest speaker Tim Bowden ABC
1990 The Cyprus Hellene Club Sydney Guest speaker David Iggulden Greenpeace Australia
1991 – Taronga Zoo Tracy Rogers and Cathy Horvat gave wonderful audience-interactive presentations on the elephant and leopard seals at the Zoo. A direct link-up between some of the Antarctic Stations was organised.
1992 Cyprus Hellene Club Guest speaker John Weilly - IMAX film - Antarctica
1993 Macquarie University Union Guest speaker Dr Pat Quilty AAD
1994 – Macquarie University Union Guest speaker Dave Pottage described the incredible journey of the Mawson huskies to Minnesota. As Dave said, nothing can replace the personal challenge, sharing and camaraderie of running with a dog team.
1995 – Macquarie University Council put on a performance (and it really was) of Cinderella, and sundry supporting acts such as the fabulous Brass Monkeys singing quartet, to various insults from the audience (such as one might find on Midwinter’s Night at any Australian Antarctic station). Geoff Payne pulled our heartstrings as Cinders, Steve Symonds was an overpowering Gertie, Dale Main a scarily-fetching Agatha, Clint Wright was electrifyingly stunning as the fairy godmother and Denise Allen played the drunken Baron to perfection. Tim Bowden MC
1996 – Bowlers Club Sydney - The Great Antarctic Trivia Quiz was run by Quizmaster Steve Symonds. We hosted two Mawson reunions – ’66 and ’86. Special guest was Koshi Kizaski (’66 glaciologist), who had travelled from Japan for the occasion. Report and who was there.
1997 – Bowlers Club Sydney - this very special event was celebrated by choosing a representative from each decade of ANARE Service to speak on the characteristics of their time down south. For the 1940s we had Arthur Scholes; Bill Storer spoke as a member of the founding 1954 Mawson party; 1960s – Neville Smethurst; 1970s – Jim Milne, 1980s – Lynn Williams and 1990s – Christian Gallagher. We also promoted Tim Bowden’s book, The Silence Calling. Report and who was there.
1998 – Bowlers Club Sydney - Senator the Honourable Ian Macdonald, Parliamentary Secretary for the Antarctic, awarded the Antarctic Service Medallions to those earlier expeditioners who had not previously been recognised for their contribution to ANARE. The medallion was awarded to 42 expeditioners and families. Report and who was there.
1999 – Park Royal Hotel Parramatta - Peter Treseder (part of the first Australian team to traverse the Antarctic continent to the South Pole unsupported) displayed Mawson’s famous balaclava. This was en route to the Mawson Antarctic Collection in Adelaide, having travelled to the South Pole with Peter and team on their epic traverse. Another item which had made the trip was a piece of walrus tusk carved by Amundsen’s cook, which had previously made the trip in 1911.
Report and who was there.
2000 – Parramatta Leagues Club - in a convivial atmosphere some of our ANARE Intrepids shared Antarctic anecdotes and reminiscences with the gathering. We heard about S2, Mawson and others. Steve Symonds gave the response to the toast to ANARE, and reported on his recent voyage as the Club Representative. As a backdrop to the evening, and as an adjunct to the 30th reunion of the Casey men of ’60, there was video footage of the Wilkes 1961 ANARE. Special visitor was Rudi Honkala (W60, currently living in Maine, USA). Report and who was there.
2001 – The North Sydney Club - Lincoln Hall (member of the first Australian team to climb Mt Everest, 1984) illustrated his talk – “Australia and the Spirit of Adventure” – with, amongst other expeditions, the bicentennial Antarctic expedition of 1987-88 to Mt Minto. Awe-inspiring. We were very proud to host the 50th reunion of the Heard Island ’51 lads. Report and who was there.
2002 Cello's Restaurant, Sydney Guest speaker Mike Williamson from Collex, waste remediation at Casey. Report and who was there.
2003 Cello's Restaurant, Sydney Guest speaker, Skytraders' Director, Andrew Niemeyer Casey runway operations. Report, pictures and who was there.
2004 Cello's Restaurant, Sydney Paul Willis ABC Guest Speaker Mawson 50 Years Who was there.
2005 Haberfield Rowing Club. Our guest speaker, Dr Michael Burton. Looking up from Down South: Astronomy in Antarctica Report and who was there.
2006 Haberfield Rowing Club. Greg Mortimer OAM Guest speaker Photos and who was there.
2007 Haberfield Rowing Club Guest speaker Estelle Lazer Archaeologist Cape Denison 84/85 97/98 00/01 02/03 Photos and who was there.
2008 Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club Guest speaker Alasdair McGregor Photos and who was there.
2009 Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club Guest speaker Emma McEwan Great Grand Daughter of Sir Douglas Mawson Report, photo and who was there.
2010 Epping Club Guest speaker Dr Tas Van Ommen Guest speaker Glaciologist AAD Report, photo and who was there.
2011 Epping Club Guest speakers, Nisha Harris from the Division, John Hooke AWA Report, photo and who was there.
2012 Epping Club Commonwealth Bay Centenary voyage - David Ellyard. Report, photo and who was there.
2013 Epping Club Guest speaker Andrew Denton.
2014 Epping Club Guest Speaker: Professor Will Stefan - "Science at high latitudes".
2015 Epping Club Guest speaker Prof Chris Turney UNSW Footsteps of Mawson expedition. Full report, who was there, and photos
2016 Victoria and Albert Guest house Mt Victoria. guest speaker Murray Doyle - Master Aurora Australis. Lunchtime. Report,group photo and who was there.
2017 Flemish Flavours Leura. guest speaker Lucinda Coates, Club representative voyage 3 2016/17, Lunchtime. Report, group photo and who was there.
2018 Epping Tracks, Epping Hotel. Guest speaker Patricia Selkirk - Macquarie Island 70 years of ANARE research. Lunchtime. Report, photos and who was there.
2019 Epping Tracks. Epping Hotel. Guest speaker David Astbury - SERCO, ASRV Nuyina project. Lunchtime. Report, photos and who was there.