SHACKLETON NEWS ARCHIVE
IN CELEBRATION OF THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FIRST SUCCESSFUL CROSSING OF ANTARCTICA
Wednesday October 24th 2007 sees the launch of a Public Appeal to mark the relaunch of the Fuchs Foundation (Patron: Sir Ranulph Fiennes) with a programme of illustrated Lectures and a Reception at the Royal Geographical Society, Kensington Gore, London, starting at 7.00 p.m.
'Inspiring Teachers - Changing Lives' celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the beginning of the First Crossing of Antarctica by The Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1956-58, led by Sir Vivian Fuchs (1908-99), Past President of the RGS, and wishes 'bon voyage' to the first Fuchs Foundation teachers expedition to the Antarctic (details below). Effecting the first ever crossing of Antarctica was the project planned by Shackleton for his 1914-16 Imperial Transantartic Expedition.
The Vivian Fuchs evening's Programme will be: 6.00 Doors open (pay bar available). At 7.00 there follow two lectures, introduced by the evening's host, the Environmental Consultant Tom Heap: "Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition - The Last Heroic Age Expedition", by Peter Fuchs - an account by the Explorer's son of the planning, difficulties overcome and final success of the 1956-8 Expedition; and "The Science Legacy: Antarctic Science Today", by Prof. Lloyd Peck, scientist at the British Antarctic Survey, examining the legacy of the Trans-Antarctic Expedition. At 8.30 there follow a Reception (wine, refreshments and canapes, together with a pay bar) and an Exhibition of memorabilia of the Transantactic Expedition.
The idea of founding a Fuchs Foundation was conceived by a party of British Antarctic Survey scientists wintering on South Georgia in 1973/4. Its prime objective was, fittingly, to mark the service of Sir Vivian Fuchs as the first Director of the BAS. It was Fuchs who, in partnership with Sir Edmund Hillary, succeeded in fulfilling Sir Ernest Shackleton's ambition of crossing Antarctica from the Weddell Sea to the Ross Sea via the South Pole - the objective which Shackleton's 1914-16 Endurance expedition was unable to achieve when it became trapped in the ice.
According to the original Trust deed, the stated objective was: "To provide education and character training, physical moral and spiritual for boys and girls and young men and women who are in necessitous circumstances, through adventurous and challenging experiences."
Over the first 30 years of its existence the Fuchs Foundation has helped over 200 young people in this way.
The Foundation has now been re-launched as a purely Educational
charity which will send Science and Geography teachers to the Polar regions. On 3 November 2008 four young teachers will be setting off to experience immense challenges in a dangerous and extreme environment in Antarctica.
The aim for the teachers will be challenging themselves to undertake useful projects which they will convert into exciting lessons for their students, helping them with the National Curriculum. The present expedition will head for the Ellsworth Mountains (approximately 80 degrees S and 83 degrees W), deep inland on Western Antarctica. The team of two leaders (from the expedition's coordinators, Bull Precision Expeditions) and four teachers will fly in to the Patriots Hills base of Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions, on their first flight of the 2007/8 austral summer.