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Antarctic Division
State Branches & Regions
NSW 2019 Midwinter
NSW 2019 Midwinter Lunch


Sydney: 29 June

   We scored a major success with our Midwinter event this year, with 56 expeditioners and friends sitting down to lunch, double the number that came

last year. Three reasons suggest themselves for the big turnout; by coming to lunch people can avoid driving at night, we had an excellent guest

speaker (more below) and everyone who booked early received gratis a specially made coffee mug that featured "Antarctic ships old and new"

(our theme this year); the venerable Aurora Australis and the soon-to-arrive 21st century Nuyina. Both of them starred in a stunning rolling slideshow

put together by Rowan Butler and featuring a cavalcade of Antarctic ships of all nations from the 19th century to the present day.

  Our numbers were also swelled by the presence of a table of intrepids who were among the first to occupy the newly built (and later demolished)

Casey (One) in 1969, and were therefore sharing a half-century reunion.


   We began with Homers at noon, progressed quickly to the class photograph, then a quick AGM when all the exiting Branch committee were persuaded

to go around yet again. As MC, David Ellyard (M66) proposed the toast to ANARE which was respnded to by Life Member Bill Burch (W61). John Pinn (M57

and almost the most senior expeditioner present) toasted the Expeditioners. The response to that came from Kirstie Fryirs (D09-10).

That she was the most recent expeditioner underscored the fact that for all our success this year, we did not have in attendance a single expeditioner from the last decade.

   The meal mostly done, we watched a series of short videos from the AAD showing highlights of the past season then on to our much anticipated guest

speaker. David Astbury works for the SERCO organisation, awarded the task of bringing to life our next ice-breaker to be known as Nuyina, which will be

ready for service to replace the "Orange Roughy" AA next year. Conceived in 2013, designed in Holland, build in Rumania, her propellor will first turn

in September before she heads north past Norway for trials among the icde.

   Everything about our new ship is impressive. She is costing the Australian taxpayer half a billion dollars, with a length of 165 metres, she is twice

the size of the AA, able to carry much more cargo and science facilities and to break ice 1.6 metres think. And she is (or will be) beautiful to look

at. Her prime purpose will be resupply, with science a close second. Unlike the AA which is owned and crewed by P and O, Nuyina will be owned by the

Australian Government, though SERCO has a 30 year contract to operate her.

    The climax of the night was as usual the Calling of the Years. most decades were well represented, other than the "Tens" (as noted), until we reached

The Fifties with just two representatives, the afore-mentioned John Pinn, and, beating him by one year, RAAF man John Seaton, who wintered at Mawson

in 1956. He was the last man standing in 2019.

John Pinn (M57) responds to a toast

The Last Man Standing: John Seaton (Mawson RAAF56)


The 2019 Midwinter mob in Sydney

List of who was there and more pictures

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