Earlier this month, I read that there was going to be a presentation at the Australian Antarctic Division by Dr George Cresswell, previous Mawson winter expeditioner in 1960. What really caught my attention was the topic of his presentation: ‘Motorcycling in Antarctica and life at Mawson Station in 1960'. As someone who really enjoys the nuances of these older motorcycles, I had arranged to video link into this presentation in the early hours, Mawson time.
The link on that morning was not very successful, so it was arranged (with the help of lots of people and the permission of George) to have the presentation uploaded to our server at Mawson. Once that was accomplished, I unanimously decided a time and place for the showing.
On the evening there was full house ready to watch. After Trevor sorted out a couple of minor technical glitches, we were underway. The presentation consisted of many photographs taken at Mawson during the 1960s through to the early 80s. They showed a wide range of motorcycles (BSA, Matchless, Triumph, Vespa, Roken) and other vehicles involved in a number of activities such as towing sleds, doing the gash (rubbish) run, going on field trips, having sidecars fitted and other more recreational activities.
I think it was the other recreational activities and what these earlier expeditioners got up to during those long winter evenings in the workshops, on the sea ice and up on the plateau, that really made the presentation fantastic for all of us watching.
Thanks to Dr George Creswell, for providing our 2015 Mawson winter expeditioners with a thoroughly enjoyable evening and a brief look into an area of our Australian Antarctic history.
Next week: A look into life during George’s year here at Mawson in 1960 as the Auroral Physicist and member of Binders Base traverse party.