Living History! What a fabulous experience to be in the same room with
descendants of Sir Douglas Mawson and the original Expedition members of 1911, and hear their connections,
their stories their pride in their relatives…
There were 67 tables of 10 at the hotel Grand Chancellor in Hobart, Tasmania, on Thursday night 1st December 2011, each
table filled with people connected to Antarctica. Not only descendants, but modern scientists and historians,
modern pioneers and explorers, people who have visited the frozen continent, people who have worked there, who
have wintered over, who have written about their experiences, who have imminent departure. All these people
like-minded, with a heart and soul for the bitterly cold, blue/white continent, each of these people had a yarn
The Mawson’s Huts Foundation, in organizing this event, had brought together all facets of
Australian Antarctic History. They understood that the achievements of Sir Douglas Mawson and the
Australian Antarctic Expedition of 1911 were and are many and varied, important to the
Australian identity – and psyche –and it is good and right to honour them.
As Patron of the Mawson’s Huts Foundation, the Governor General of Australia, Her Excellency, Ms Quentin Bryce and her husband Mr Michael
Bryce attended the Dinner. She addressed the guests with her own impressions of Mawson and the Expedition, but
not before inspecting the balaclava and hearing about its creation!
The Governor of Tasmania Mr Peter Underwood and his wife, and the Mayor of Hobart, along with an
array of political figures added their special touch to the historic occasion.
As for me, spinning yarn at Cape Denison gave me a yarn to spin at this Dinner! Meet Emma McEwin,
Sir Douglas Mawson's Great Granddaughter....