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Former British Ambassador Donald Lamont is to become the new Chairman of the Trust replacing Philippa Foster Back OBE who retires having served as Trustee since 2000 and Chairman for the past seven years.
Donald Lamont has extensive knowledge of British Antarctic affairs, having served as Governor of the Falkland Islands and Commissioner for South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands from 1999-2002. He has been a Trustee of the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust since 2008.
Born in Aberdeen, Donald attended Aberdeen Grammar School and in 1970 graduated MA (Hons Russian Studies) from Aberdeen University. After four years in the motor industry, Donald was appointed to HM Diplomatic Service in 1974, serving in Vienna, Moscow, Berlin (through the fall of the Wall) and Sarajevo (with the Office of the High Representative). He served as Ambassador to Uruguay from 1991-1994 and as Ambassador to Venezuela from 2003-2006. After retirement from the Diplomatic Service he was Chief Executive of Wilton Park from 2007-2009.
Donald’s other current activities include: Founding Board Member of ‘Sistema Scotland’ (applying in Scotland the Venezuelan system of teaching classical orchestral music to children from deprived areas); Trustee of ‘Enable Me’ (a disability awareness charity based in Sussex); Deputy Chairman of the British Uruguayan Society; Chairman of Friends of the Falkland Islands Museum and the Jane Cameron National Archive; Governor of Steyning Grammar School; Member of the Shadow Board of Sussex Arts Academy. Donald lives in Sussex with his wife Lynda and they have two children – Louise and Ian.
Philippa Foster Back, whose grandfather Professor Frank Debenham was a geologist on Captain Scott’s expedition to Antarctica in 1910, and Founder Director in 1920 of the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge, says “It has been an enormous privilege to serve as Chair of the UKAHT. The Trust operates at the forefront of Antarctic affairs and carries out vital work to safeguard historic buildings in Antarctica for future generations. Antarctica is now a continent of increasing global interest and importance and there has never been a better time to tell the story of Britain’s long and distinguished Antarctic endeavour”.
Donald Lamont said “I am honoured to follow Philippa as Chairman of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust. Following in the footsteps of her distinguished predecessors, Philippa has guided the Trust through a period of exciting growth and diversification in its activities. I feel privileged to serve as Chairman of a Trust that enjoys such a strong reputation within the Antarctic community in the UK and overseas”.
Rachel Morgan, Director of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, says “We are delighted to welcome Donald as Chairman and look forward to his leadership over the coming years, in particular as we prepare for the centenary of Ernest Shackleton’s heroic expedition of 1914-17 – an important milestone in British Antarctic history. Donald has a strong understanding of the Antarctic community and its needs and brings with him a wealth of international experience which will benefit the Trust as we seek to expand our outreach activity abroad”.
The Trust is thrilled to announce that Capital Group has awarded the British Antarctic Oral History Project a further £4000 this year. We also wish to thank the British Antarctic Survey Club (BASC) for their £1400 donation and the South Georgia Association who will fund one interview. Thanks also go to the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Archives Service who catalogue and store the interviews and offer expert advice. Volunteers are an essential part of the project and without them our work would be greatly diminished.
The project preserves the memories of those extraordinary, dedicated and often heroic individuals involved in British endeavour in Antarctica. The recollections offer us a unique, often entertaining insight into personal, social, political and scientific interactions and varied perspectives on the challenges and eccentricities of living in one of the world’s most hostile environments. This is a public collection that will inspire people for generations to come.
Our long term goal is to make the interviews easily accessible to everyone (it is possible to listen to them through the BAS Archives Service on request). In 2013/2014 we will be exploring the best ways to do this online. A selection of extracts can be listened to on the project’s webpage http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/oralhistory.
The project is a collaboration between the UKAHT, BAS, BAS Club, the Scott Polar Research Institute and the British Museum.
The Centenary Statue for Scott and Wilson in Kirriemiur was unveiled in Glen Prosen on Saturday 8th December 2012 by Falcon Scott and David Wilson. The Trust is delighted to have supported this monument which was instigated by Kirriemuir Landward East Community Council. Other contributors include Breedon Aggregates of Aberdeenshire (who donated the granite) and the Angus Environmental Trust (through the Landfill Communities Fund).
Local sculptor Bruce Walker was commissioned to design and carve the granite which is 10 feet tall and weighs around 15 tonnes. The design includes life-size figures of Captain Scott and Dr Wilson, penguins, huskies, Siberian ponies, a globe depicting their route from New Zealand to the Pole and impressions of two famous drawings made by Wilson during the expedition. Also included in the sculpture are two pieces of text, one written by Wilson describing the beauty of Antarctica and the other taken from Scott’s last letter, written as he lay dying in his tent on the way back from the Pole.
More on the background here.
The discovery of the SS Terra Nova by the Schmidt Ocean Institute off the coast of Greenland is an important addition to Britain’s exciting story of Antarctic involvement.
“Britain has a long and distinguished history of exploration and scientific endeavour in Antarctica”, says Rachel Morgan, Director of the UKAHT, “from Captain Cook’s circumnavigation in 1773 right up to the present day”.
“The Terra Nova is an iconic part of Britain’s Antarctic heritage and was a critical part of one of the most famous expeditions in British history. As such, we welcome Schmidt Ocean’s discovery of her exact location”.
The UKAHT responds to Google Earth's 3D panoramas of Antarctic historic huts.
Rachel Morgan, Director of the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust, says:
“We welcome Google Earth’s new panoramas as an opportunity for greater numbers of people to learn more about Antarctic heritage, both in Britain and around the world”.
“Today, in the centenary year of his expedition to the South Pole, Scott's hut still stands as testament to the spirit of adventure, stoicism and bravery with which he and his men faced their time in Antarctica and, as such, it should be treasured by the international community along with Shackleton's hut at Cape Royds”.
The memorial to Scott and Wilson in Kirriemiur is quickly taking shape. Wilson the Globe, two huskies and Scott's face are all now clearly visible as they are being carved out of 40 tonnes of granite!
The Trust is delighted to be supporting this plan. More on this story here.
The party at Cape Evans had to endure the winter not knowing the exact fate of Scott and his four companions - they were sure they must have perished out on the Barrier. Nor did they know how the six men of the Northern party fared - where were they? were they alive? It would be months before they were to find out about either. The winter is most easily read about in Apsley Cherry-Garrard's 'The Worst Journey in the World'.
- Hampshire, the Oates Museum in Hampshire has opened its newly re-furbished Galleries
- London, Natural History Museum, Scott’s Last Expedition (the centrepiece of the exhibition, the ward room table). You can also watch some of the film material that is shown as part of the NHM exhibit.
- York Royal Dragoon Guards Museum, Captain L.E.G.Oates: the Gallant Gentleman
You can see more details of of these and all the other exhibitions underway at www.scott100.org
Philippa Foster Back OBE, Chairman of the Trust receive the award from the Socie
We have an all new look newsletter. Bergy Bits has now been re-named The Antarctic Times (not everyone knows what a Bergy Bit is!). We were thrilled to find that noone else that has used the title Antarctic Times so we have. Do let us know if you know differently. Our Friends of Antarctica have had a copy posted to them. But you can read it online here.
Vale of Glamorgan Festival
Composer Craig Vear will premiere his new piece of work at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival.The piece entitled 'Three Last Letters (In memoriam of Cpt. Scott, Dr.Wilson and Lt Bowers)' will premiere at Art Central, Barry on Monday 7th May 2012. Celebrating the centenary of the Terra Nova expedition, it has particular resonance in Wales having set off originally from Cardiff. To support Craig and for the chance to receive an exclusive invitation to the performance please click here.