Halley 50 Year Celebration - 2006

Saturday 14th - Sunday 15th October 2006
Park Inn, Northampton


A unique event to mark 50 years of Halley, Antarctica.

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Halley people not able to join the Z-50 festivities in Northampton were invited to send in brief messages to the assembled company. A few were read out after the dinner. All are reproduced below:

Jo Arendt:

At the last minute I cannot come but I hope you have a wonderful celebration. I will raise a glass (or two) to Halley people and especially to all the Halley docs and the willing volunteers for our Halley studies over the years. Lighten the darkness! Cheers, Jo
Gordon Artz:
I send the following message from the South African contingent at Halley Bay 1959, Johan Bothma and yours truly.
"When the IGYE base at Halley Bay was to be transferred from the Royal Society to FIDS, Johan and I were doing upper air obs at a new airport near Durban. Blissfully unaware of FIDS' staffing difficulties, we were surprised when selected late in October, 1958 as additional members of a party being assembled in the UK. Departure from Southampton was just weeks away and after frantic personal arrangements, we arrived in the UK a week before sailing date. A superficial briefing and minimal training followed, before we boarded m.v. Tottan for the journey South. During the next 12 months we endeavoured to succeed as blind dates.
To surviving colleagues of Base Z 1959 and indeed all who have wintered at Halley in the past 50 years, we send hearty greetings and congratulations. We would have liked to share the Golden Jubilee with you, but the prospect of intercontinental air travel is more daunting nowadays than the forbidding fo'c'sle of Tottan 48 years ago. Lang may yer lam reek."
I note that a maximum of 50 words is stipulated, but at age 82, I insist on having my say. Abbreviate this at your peril! Sincerely,
Gordon Artz CAPE TOWN and Johan Bothma PRETORIA.
Kenn Back:
1975 was the best wintering team I ever had Down South! I send you all nostalgic best wishes, and extreme apologies for not making it to Northampton tonight. I hope some of the younger base members have finally graduated from the university of life! If you haven't, it certainly won't be for lack of "professors" in 1975 !!! If anyone feels like a South American jolly, I can offer you free accommodation in Uruguay for an unlimited stay. The bad news is that you will have to feed my cat !!! [Andy Smith has Kenn's address]
Len Constantine:
Sorry, I would love to come but am in some remote part of Spain on the Camino. Best of good luck to everyone.
Chris Gostick
I'm afraid that at the very last minute I'm not going to be able to join you there after all. I have been suffering from a very severe viral infection for the past week or so, which has left me very debilitated, and although I am now on the road to recovery I am still not in any fit state to get to Northampton to be with you. Ironically, it is only two weeks ago that I strolled to the top of Snowdon, so hopefully I won't be too much longer in rehabilitation! Meantime, please pass on my apologies to the many old friends from 1965 to 1970 when I was proud to be a Z-Fid.
Jack Hill:
Greetings from Jack Hill to all Halleyites, especially 1962 winterers and in particular those present --- Chris, Bob, Frank, Paul, Martin, Stuart, Doug, Pete, Mike, John, Edwin. Had hoped to be with you but medical problem prevents.
A H ( after Halley ) became college senior lecturer in City & Guilds Furniture Studies. Also own workshop making traditional furniture --- mainly chairs; wrote and illustrated several books and many magazine articles.
After retirement promising new career as lecturer/guide on cruise ships cut short by onset Parkinson's. Now living West Sussex.
Cheers everyone, JACK
Janet Holt (widow of John):
To " The Frozen Chosen " who lived and worked at Base Z with John Holt, Cook, 1962 and 1963. I am quite sure that John will be with you all this weekend, in spirit. Have a great " 50 year " reunion.
Kindest Regards, Janet Holt.
Eamonn Liddle:
I am sorry to all that I shared my time with in Halley 1995-1997, I am working in Equatorial Guinea and I travel home to Rio de Janeiro on the 9th of October, attending a meeting for 2007 Rio Carnival, Porto Da Pedra Samba School. I wish and hope you all have a great re-union.
Ron Lloyd:
Greetings to all FIDS, especially Z66. Regrettably I have a heart problem and Kate has a hip problem but we hope to make the 75th reunion! I had looked forward to meeting Joe MacDowall because we had a lot in common (Wallasey, Base Z and the Ottawa Valley). Things have certainly changed since 1966 but I'm sure the sprit of adventure is still the same. I suppose the biggest change is having the fairer sex as companions. Cheers, Doc Ron
John Marshall:
Greetings to all at Northampton,

The ES at present in Dock 9, FSL, Portsmouth, but soon to be loading cargo in Immingham for the 2006/2007 Season and ZV - ZVI. May the reminiscences be long and happily told, and hopefully the beer very cold.

Good wishes to all - from the Officers & Crew onboard the RRS Ernest Shackleton.

John B. Marshall, Master, RRS Ernest Shackleton

John McClure:
Greetings to all FIDS, especially those from 74/75 from Hairbear. At least the hair is still there. Now living a "normal" life in hot Scottsdale, Arizona after years of travelling the world, FID style, as a geophysicist. It took a year to get used to the heat, Halley deja vue. Now working on GPS guidance for ag vehicle control. Apologies for not making it today - the cheap Scot continues. BAS is the best first job ever and I am happy it continues. This meeting proves it.
Lil Ng:
Dear Halley FIDS,
As I write this it's springtime and the days are getting longer down under in the alternative south...Aotearoa New Zealand. I would absolutely love to be with swigging a glass of champers back with you all but I'm trailing around a little 2 year old who needs quite a lot of attention and would probably miss me for the weekend!

Halley 2000 winter was marvellous and remains one of the best corners of my memory especially when I'm having a chaotic day...it's a place to escape to and take a deep breath to remember being in one the best spots on the planet. To any 2000 winterers at the reunion...you guys are bloody great and sorry about playing the electric guitar so loud during the winter. My best memories are skiing around the perimeter more often than not with the fabulous Erny Duston, being out watching those beautiful aurora and looking at the big silent night with the faint red glow...

Anyway enough waxing lyrical...from this end of the globe wishing you all a fantastic reunion...great to be part of a hardy group of Halley wintering folk who survived blizzards and living together in small spaces with so much good humour. So bravo to you all and look forward to seeing you at the next reunion.

With warmest wishes, Lil Ng

Matt Pickles:
Just a brief mail to wish all current and past Halley FIDS the very best at the Halley 50 celebration. Unfortunately my wife Rachel and I will not be able to attend as we will be in Japan.
My thoughts will be with all of you and I hope you have a fantastic event, and a special thought for all of those former Halley and Halley Bay FIDs who have taken the time to organise to re-union.
Having just got married I have an idea of the kind of organisation an event takes.
My very best wishes to you all, stay cool and safe!
Matt Pickles Winterer 98/99
Roy Piggott (sent by Dr Richard Parker - winter '82 )
He is sorry to miss the celebration. As some one who was involved with Halley over many years he would like to send his best wishes on this special anniversary. He sends special greeting to all those "beastie men" who wintered at Halley over the years. It brings a smile to his face when asked what a beastie man is, as very few of his nurses have ever heard of them. Roy Piggott Head of Atmospheric Sciences 1973-1979
Mark Stuart:
I moved to Chicago a few years ago, and people often complain about how cold it is in "the Windy City". I've got a line that stops them in their tracks... "Yes, it's cold, but I'll tell you about cold son, when I was in the Antarctic...." Have a great 50th, and I'm sorry I couldn't join you.
Mike Taplin:
Through the Harry Deepers Softers.
Through the blizzard, wind and snow.(poetic licence)
Through the whiteout in the nowhere.
To the reunion they go.
So I hope they will remember. Times gone by with joy and glee.
Even though you have to manage.
Without the likes of them and me.(not him)

So just enjoy it. Cheers Tappers.

Mark Vallance:
I'm really sorry not to be able to attend the 50th Anniversary celebrations. This has been the longest standing engagement I have ever had in my diary - 10% of my life! - and I'm going to miss it. Please give all my old friends my very best regards. Best wishes for a great reunion
Liz Weeks:
My husband, Alan Weeks, was in Halley Bay with BAS in 1965-66. He was thrilled to learn of the reunion and had hoped to be present. Very sadly he passed away on 24th April this year, having developed an illness which progressed very quickly. Alan took an 8mm movie of his year in the Antarctic, and hoped to have it at the reunion. I have had it put onto a DVD. I do hope it will be of some use at the reunion which I am sure will be full of wonderful memories and larger than life stories! All the best for the occasion.
Gary Wilson:
A big Hello to all those in attendance at what promises to be a great "gig". I'm quite miffed I cannot be there to celebrate it with you as I'm serving Queen and country in foreign parts. Have a great weekend - in the words of Kevin O´Rourke "the sun may return but the darkness never fades". I hope Alex Gaffikin is displaying the sophistication she learnt during her winters.
Gary 89022 to the core.

23 October 2006
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