New Year’s Eve: From Mary’s Diary

At the tail end of December in 1959 Mary Gillham and 3 other female scientists became the first British and Australian females to join a research trip in the Antarctic. The likelihood of females joining future research trips would depend on the success of these ground-breaking women. We’re retelling Mary’s tale and talking more about Macquarie Island where this was all to take place…

Thursday, 31st December 1959

Sunny and  blue at first and again later but a fog around midday as we came through Banks Strait and past (but not near) the Furneaux Group. Still miraculously calm. Entertaining in our cabin most of the morning, chiefly the Captain and Stefan.

Schnapps causing much merriment at lunch and being taken like medicine for the after effects. Roast turkey for New Years Eve dinner. Rodondo & Wilson’s Prom passed us by to starboard in the early afternoon and we were scheduled to reach Port Phillip heads at midnight and dock at 8:30 am next year (to avoid 6 months payment of income tax by incoming personnel).

New Year’s Eve dinner was a riotous affair, as we perceived it might be when we saw the table laid with 4 glasses apiece and groaning under fruit, nuts, sweets etc. The turkey came in lumps  –  great blocks of chest with the honeycombed bones chopped through, and one ate steadily until one could eat no more.

We retired at length after much merrymaking and impromptu speechifying, Hope and Isobel to play bridge and Susan and I to the cabin.

At 11:30 pm, while Susan was gazing from the open porthole at the lights of civilisation and I was on the last few pages of a “Who dunnit” we were invaded by 2 of the dukw crew informing us that this was New Year’s Eve and our presence was required. They tried cajoling, entreaty & force but I finally persuaded them to give me 5 minutes to find out who dunnit. In 5 minutes one was back and I was led to a group of merrimakers on deck. A beer was thrust into my hand, in spite of my protestations, but two sips was sufficient to tell me that Danish beer was no more palatable than British or Australian. Down eventually to the saloon where I was tried unsuccessfully with other alcoholics until finally the punch was brought in and the company began to arrive in various states of sozzlement.

The next hour was hectic in the extreme. O.I.C. Dick, very merry, mounted the table and said a few words, Captain Hans Peterson – still on his feet – said a few more and then everyone, ship’s company included, shook hands with everyone else. Never do I hope to be kissed by so many beards again, particularly the curly ginger variety, but it can be said that it was a New Year’s Eve with a difference. Hope had made a hit with a radio man who had a monopoly, so she missed most of the beards. It seemed a good time was had by all.

We slipped away eventually and were just in time to see the pilot come aboard at Port Phillip heads. The mother ship drew alongside in a blaze of lights and a boat took off with a trilby-hatted, over-coated city gentleman on board. I am always surprised when I see pilots come aboard up the Jacob’s Ladder thus attired, though I should be used to the sight by now.

And so we entered haven and our last night in bunks which didn’t send one ricocheting around like a pendulum all night.

Read on tomorrow!

Reference material and further reading:

Thanks to John Wilkins (MGAP volunteer) for coordinating this series of Macquarie blogs.

 

The Mary Gillham Archive Project is funded by HLF and managed by SEWBReC
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The fauna and flora of Macquarie Island in December 1959

At the tail end of December in 1959 Mary Gillham and 3 other female scientists became the first British and Australian females to join a research trip in the Antarctic. The likelihood of females joining future research trips would depend on the success of these ground-breaking women. We’re retelling Mary’s tale and talking more about Macquarie Island where this was all to take place…

The lists of flora and fauna that appear below are taken from Mary Gillham’s book describing her time on Macquarie Island in December of 1959.

The first image shows the cover of the above bookwhich was published in 1967 (i.e. some seven years or so after Mary’s Macquarie “expedition” ended).

Note – the pages of lists are interspersed with images (drawings and photographs) created by Mary during her time on the island.

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Mary’s book was reviewed – favourably – by the Antarctic News Bulletin in 1968. Take a look for yourself! The review is on page 59…

Read on tomorrow!

Reference material and further reading:

Thanks to John Wilkins (MGAP volunteer) for coordinating this series of Macquarie blogs.

The Mary Gillham Archive Project is funded by HLF and managed by SEWBReC
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Homeward bound

At the tail end of December in 1959 Mary Gillham and 3 other female scientists became the first British and Australian females to join a research trip in the Antarctic. The likelihood of females joining future research trips would depend on the success of these ground-breaking women. We’re retelling Mary’s tale and talking more about Macquarie Island where this was all to take place…

Three days of entries from Mary’s diary:

Monday 28th Dec 1959:

A calm sea, an unheard of easterly in the westerly belt flattening the usual swell. The captain said it must be due to the women on board but, whatever the cause, one of the effects was that we had few bird followers. It was likely that the albatrosses had not yet sighted us thro’ the thick fog but, in any case, birds which sail on the wings of the wind cannot be expected to be so numerous when the wings of the wind are folded.

A few black-browed albatrosses appeared later in the day but there was little else.

 Tuesday 29th Dec 1959:

Still amazingly calm & mild & once again we spent a considerable part of the day sitting on the deck reading. There were a few wandering albatrosses and mutton birds about today and several times the sun managed to struggle through the mist.

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Saw one of the tall-masted yachts engaged in the Sydney – Hobart sailing race  –  the only vessel sighted since we left the heads a fortnight before.

We had Captain Hans. Chris. Pat. and the two O.I.Cs. into sherry before dinner and after dinner attended an unsubtitled Danish peasant film and amused ourselves trying to work out the plot.

 Wednesday 30th Dec 1959:

Another calm untroubled day of reading on deck and writing in the cabin when driven below by drizzle. The radio brought the news that a hurricane at Mawson had destroyed the two aircraft there so the two which were to go on the Magga Dan to Wilkes to do some coastal exploration would now have to be diverted to Mawson to replace them.

If, as you’ve read your way through Mary Gillham’s diary entries for her time on Macquarie Island, you’ve noticed her frequent references to Prions”, “Stinkers” and “Wekas” and wondered what on earth these are then wonder no longer.

A prion is a small petrel sometimes known (for whatever reason) as a “whalebird”. It “hydroplanes” for food, skimming the surface of the water with its bill in the water.

Stinker” is the name given to the giant petrel.

Wekas are flightless birds of the rail family and are endemic to New Zealand. They are sturdy, brown birds (about the size of a chicken) and are omnivores. Wekas were introduced to Macquarie Island by sealers in the 19th.century and were eradicated there under the same programme that rid the island of feral cats.

Read on tomorrow!

Reference material and further reading:

Thanks to John Wilkins (MGAP volunteer) for coordinating this series of Macquarie blogs.

The Mary Gillham Archive Project is funded by HLF and managed by SEWBReC
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Explorers

At the tail end of December in 1959 Mary Gillham and 3 other female scientists became the first females to join a research trip in the Antarctic. The likelihood of females joining future research trips would depend on the success of these ground-breaking women. We’re retelling Mary’s tale and talking more about Macquarie Island where this was all to take place…

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von Bellingshausen

Approximately a decade after its “accidental” discovery by Hasselburgh, Macquarie Island was visited by a Russian expedition exploring the region in the name of Tsar Nicholas I and under the command of Thaddeus Thaddevitch / Fabien Gottlieb Thaddeus (Sources differ as to his forenames) von Bellingshausen. (See portrait, right.)

The Russian expedition sailed from Sydney on 11 November 1820 in two ships “Vostok” and “Mirnyi” (respectively “East” and “Peaceful”) and arrived at Macquarie Island on 28th of that month. Once there, von Bellingshausen’s men traded with the sealers living and working on the island, collected specimens of Macquarie’s flora and fauna and, quite literally, put the island on the map both determining its geographical position and mapping its coastline.

In 1822, just two years after von Bellingshausen’s expedition, Capt.Douglass of the ship “Mariner” failed to be impressed by his first sight of Macquarie deeming it: “the most wretched place of involuntary and slavish exilium that can possibly be conceived; nothing could warrant any civilised creature living on such a spot“.

Seemingly echoing this view (and despite the severe treatment meted out to convicts at this time in Australia’s history), the “authorities” concerned, having considered using Macquarie Island as a “prison colony”, turned down the idea thinking the place too hostile even for prisoners with a 1926 item in the Hobart Town Gazette reporting, “… the remote and stormy region in which Macquarie Island is placed is a strong reason against the adoption of that place as a penal settlement”.

For three and a half years beginning in 1896, Joseph Burton collected natural specimens from Macquarie while working with parties of oilers there.

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Shackleton and Scott

In 1901 and 1909 respectively, scientists working with Captain Robert Scott‘s and Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expeditions, also collected specimens on Macquarie though it is not clear if either of these renowned explorers set foot on the island.

 

An aside here: Evidence would seem to indicate that these two polar explorers who remain well known to us today, having been on an expedition together in the early years of the 20th Century did not like each other and would not work together after that time.

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Royal penguin collected from Macquarie Island by Shackleton showcased at the Explore Your Archive event at National Museum Cardiff.

sir_douglas_mawson_circa_1916Sir Douglas Mawson (1882–1958) was born in Shipley, Yorkshire but lived in Australia from two years old when his parents emigrated to that country. As a sixteen year old, he gained entrance to Sydney University where he studied engineering and geology and (while studying for his doctorate) his first Antarctic experience came through his membership of Shackleton’s 1907-09 Nimrod expedition. Originally intending to stay only for the duration of the ship’s presence in the first summer both he and his mentor, Edgeworth David, stayed an extra year. In doing so they became, in the company of Alistair Mackay, the first to climb to the the top of Mount Erebus and to trek to the South Magnetic Pole  –  which, at that time, was over land.

Disappointed by what he considered to be the “glory seeking” of those who sought to be the first to reach the South Pole, Mawson turned down the offer of a place on Scott’s “Terra Nova” expedition and, instead, led the Australian Antarctic Expedition of 1911-14 whose aim was entirely scientific / geographical and contained no attempt to reach the South Pole.

Setting out in the MY Aurora on 2 December 1911, Mawson reached Macquarie Island on 11th of that month. On the Aurora were appropriate materials for the construction of huts, wireless masts and thirty one men of whom five were to remain on Macquarie to man meteorological and radio bases on the island, these bases being the first objective of the mission. The supply vessel Toroa, which arrived shortly afterwards in support of Aurora, carried a further seventeen expeditioners, a flock of sheep and a load of coal. In addition to setting up the radio relay station (appropriately enough at Wireless Hill), the group of five men he left on Macquarie mapped the island, studied its botany, zoology, meteorology and geology and conducted geomagnetic observations.

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Macquarie Island Station party: Ainsworth, George F. – Leader, Meteorologist. Blake, Leslie Russell – Cartographer and Geologist. Hamilton, Harold – Biologist. Sandell, Charles A. – Wireless Operator & Mechanic. Sawyer, A.J. – Wireless Operator Image from http://www.coolantarctica.com/

The radio relay station was to meet most admirably the role that had been planned for it in allowing communication between Mawson’s Antarctic base at Commonwealth Bay and Macquarie Island, that island and Australia and, as might well be expected, in the reverse direction too.

The first aim of Mawson’s expedition having been achieved, the Aurora sailed south for the Antarctic “mainland” leaving Macquarie Island on 23 December 1911  –  forty eight years to the day before Mary Gillham landed there. Accounts of Mawson and his expedition after leaving Macquarie are well worth reading as these illustrate, in part, why Mawson has been considered to be a “Great Australian”.

The Ross Sea part of Shackleton’s Trans-Antarctic Expedition (again sailing on M.Y. “Aurora”) visited Macquarie in 1915.

Douglas Mawson himself returned to visit Macquarie Island (aboard “Discovery”) in 1930 with the British, Australian and New Zealand Research Expedition (BANZRE).

Moves were afoot to re-establish “sealing” on Macquarie. Mawson declared vehemently his opposition to this and (in part because of this opposition) the plan was refused.

Sir Douglas Mawson died in 1958, the year prior to the arrival of Mary Gillham and the other first female visitors to the Antarctic’s arrival on Macquarie Island.

A banknote, a coin and stamps issued in Australia all featuring Sir Douglas Mawson. Mawson’s image appeared on the A$100 note from 1984 – 96

He also appeared on the 2012 issue of the A$1 coin in the “Inspirational Australian” series of coins

Places named after Mawson are:

Mawson Peak on Heard Island, Mount Mawson in Tasmania, Mawson Station on Antarctica, Dorsa Mawson in the Mare Fecunditatis (on the Moon).

Additionally:

Suburbs of Canberra and of Adelaide are named Mawson

A campus of the University of South Australia, a sports house at Oxley college in Burradoo (NSW) and one at Clarence High School in Hobart (Tasmania) all bear his name as does the Geology building on the University of Adelaide’s main campus

The Mawson Collection of artefacts concerned with Antarctic exploration is on permanent display at the South Australian Museum

In Ranulph Fiennes’ book, “My Heroes: Extraordinary Courage, Exceptional People” he names Douglas Mawson as one of his heroes

2013 saw the “Australian Mawson Centenary expedition take place.

The ship carrying this expedition (the “MV Akademik Shokalskiy”) became trapped in Antarctic sea ice so, in December of 2013, members of the party revisited Mawson’s huts at Cape Denison on Commonwealth Bay.

Read on tomorrow!

Reference material and further reading:

Thanks to John Wilkins (MGAP volunteer) for coordinating this series of Macquarie blogs

The Mary Gillham Archive Project is funded by HLF and managed by SEWBReC
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Leaving Macquarie

At the tail end of December in 1959 Mary Gillham and 3 other female scientists became the first females to join a research trip in the Antarctic. The likelihood of females joining future research trips would depend on the success of these ground-breaking women. We’re retelling Mary’s tale and talking more about Macquarie Island where this was all to take place…

The following are extracts from Mary Gillham’s diary for her last day on Macquarie Island:

Sunday 27th December 1959:

Today dawned drizzly & misty, yesterday’s sun & blue skies forgotten and Macquarie back from her brief spell of tropical enchantment to the habitual grey. It was a disruptive and incomplete day involving no major expeditions. After a bout of packing I set off through the rain to collect plants for Beth Gott who was hoping for some “low temperature forms of common and not so common grasses”.

I went first to the Trent Hill gentoo colony, then rode through the big elephant wallow to the Antarctic terns on the opposite coast and back to the camp with the first haul.

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Out again, after morning tea to the rockhopper colony and so back to finish off packing.

At midday the old and the new Macquaryites gathered in the rec. room for the official changeover. Tom handed the keys to Mike and there was the general back scratching and speechifying, plus good humoured heckling. A typical speech would begin “Fellows, ladies & gentlemen” (from the back, “What about me?”) “and slaves”.

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Afterwards we queued at the kitchen hatch for dinner, boarding school style, and then amused ourselves as we willed until the 3 o’clock dukw.

Susan and I strolled along the beaches and met the dukw at the water’s edge. With difficulty I extricated the last lifejacket from beneath the recumbent form of a drunken Dane and had just about got it fixed by the time we got to the ship’s side. Up the Jacob’s Ladder, down another to the hold to get our various bits of equipment sorted out and we were once again back in the old routine getting our sea legs once more, tho’ the sea was more millpond still than anyone remembered it at changeover.

We had not yet shaken the dust from our feet and the boat steamed down the east coast, the half way point where 2 men had spent the last few days. The American physicist was to come on board and John Warham was being put ashore to walk the 12 miles back over the plateau with Ken Campbell. The best laid plans … etc., however, and a radio message came back from the ship’s boat stating that Ken had injured his knee, so all 3 came back to the ship and we headed once more North to Buckles Bay.

While the ship’s launch was ashore at Green Gorge a group of mixed males and females had been fishing for jellyfish with the plankton net and had succeeded, among cheers, in getting 2 on board. Beautiful ethereal creatures in the water with a tinge of blue and brown and about 6-8” long, they disintegrated to jelly when introduced to formalin and it was unlikely that there would be enough structure left to identify.

At Buckles Bay only the dinghy went ashore, we said our last farewells to John and Ken and set off in the dusk for the home continent.

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Read on tomorrow!

Reference material and further reading:

Thanks to John Wilkins (MGAP volunteer) for coordinating this series of Macquarie blogs.

The Mary Gillham Archive Project is funded by HLF and managed by SEWBReC
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Mary’s Last Full Day on Maquarie Island

At the tail end of December in 1959 Mary Gillham and 3 other female scientists became the first British and Australian females to join a research trip in the Antarctic. The likelihood of females joining future research trips would depend on the success of these ground-breaking women. We’re retelling Mary’s tale and talking more about Macquarie Island where this was all to take place…

The following are extracts from Mary’s diary for her party’s fourth and final full day on Macquarie this being one on which she waxes lyrical over Macquarie’s penguins and its weather and philosophises on great matters.

Saturday, 26th December 1959:

“John Warham, Susan & I had decided to go down the coast to the Nuggets about 3.5 miles. Each way today but the other 2 decided to go to the West coast so I had Chad Perry (New Guinea via Q.A. boy scout) as my companion instead.

 … we set off down the coast, over rocks & across the foot of gravel slides & tussock slopes. Sea elephants were strewn thickly on the beaches & we met several parties of king penguins.

 Until today I had seen only 1 bird, which march solemnly up the path to the camp past Ken Campbell & I on the first morning. Today we saw about 12 groups each of circa 12 birds. There were no chicks but many were moulting & looking exceedingly scruffy. Others were spruce as only a penguin can be, the golden patches on the cheeks paler in the juvenile birds.

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 Kings bred only in Lusitania Bay in the S., the isthmus colony having been destroyed by sealers. Eggs were laid Nov. to Jan. & hatched Jan. – Mar. the parents feeding the young till the following summer & breeding only in alternate years. These handsomest & largest of the penguins were very tame if approached circumspectly & bore themselves with the dignity appropriate to kings.

But the big sight of the day was the royal penguins  –  the sight of many thousands of them on the beach as I rounded Nuggets Point taking ones breath away.. I was reminiscent of Margate beach on a bank holiday, the sand packed to capacity with bodies & the margin of the sea almost equally full of bathers being tumbled around by the surf. It was quite easy to stroke their feathers or shake them by the hand as they regarded one with interest but never attempted to peck as did the more aggressive but otherwise similar rockhoppers. We marched through the seething millions and made our way …… to the first of several rookeries which were planted in clearings on the hillside. It was unbelievably comic the way there were 2 traffic streams, & the way the 2 streams kept to the left. Only locally after minor disturbances, did the 2 streams get temporarily mixed, but they usually sorted themselves out again. Presumably it was easier for birds going in 1 direction to follow each other rather than run the gauntlet of peckings & sparrings of birds moving the opposite way, but we could think of no reason why the streams should keep to the left.

Many of the unfortunate birds had to travel as much as 2 miles to the rookery to feed their chicks. …… They scrabbled their way up rocks, often sliding back down again, and skated down the further sides till the rocks were polished &a grooved with the passing of myriads of clawed feet over the centuries. The old sealers had had a camp rt. at the mouth of this stream & had exploited the royals when the kings had ceased to be profitable. But even they, with their ruthless boiling down of the friendly feathered creatures, had failed to make any lasting impression on the hordes. And this was not the largest rookery  –  the one we had viewed from the boat at Hurd Point Covered 16 and a half acres & numbered about half million breeding birds.

In the rookery we found groups of small & half grown chicks huddled together, about 6-12 birds at a time apparently in the charge of a nursemaid although populations were so dense that it was difficult to separate one group from another. Apparently the returning adults could do not only this but recognise their own chick as well before delivering up the food.

The noise of the rookery was bedlam & one could scarcely here oneself think. All vegetation but a few marginal tussocks had been destroyed & most of these were in a fairly bad way & supported one or more penguins resting in slight isolation from the mob. Some of these were asleep, head tucked under the flipper, others were standing with 1 or both flippers outstretched as though directing the traffic.

It was a blazingly hot day, & that is no extravagance, although the screen thermometer registered only 49F this was a very long way off the sun temperature. We shed as many garments as possible, rolled our sleeves up, applied a generous layer of sun tan oil & lay back across the tops of conveniently placed marginal tussocks to eat our lunch. Below us the penguins panted & gasped with the unaccustomed heat & back at the settlement the ‘boys’ envied us the opportunity to wander round on this rarest of all days  –  a day when the sky remained cloudless from dawn to dusk & the eternal Macquarie mist seemed lost in eternity.

After lunch we retraced our steps to the beach, not having the courage of the penguins to follow the much-used highway on uphill to the 2 inner rookeries. On along the beach where kings, royals & elephants mingled in unorganised profusion & so to the further end of the mob.

Here I lay near the water’s edge to get to know adults & juveniles at play, as opposed to those at work & on their way to the rookeries. Chad went on along the beach for a spell. As soon as I had settled the birds gathered round pecking inquisitively at the soles of my boots & later at portions of my clothing. So unafraid were they that some went to sleep within reach of my hand.

There were sparring incidents when one bird, startled by another’s peck, would scuttle off & shower a stream of pebbles over me. Some got engaged in momentary fights, others were preening each other, yet others picked up a pebble & stood with it wondering what to do next. I threw a ball of paper at one and it picked it up and dropped it innumerable times before it finally lost interest.

 …… most entertaining were those in the water. Some were porpoising just offshore between 2 spurs of rock, some sitting on the surface or being swept on & off rocks by the surf. The bull kelp got the hopelessly entangled as it swung in & out in great cloying sweeps with each wave. No penguin could stand against it & they were bowled over & over, often disappearing beneath the overlapping fronds only to bob up again like corks perhaps with a frond trailing scarf-like round their neck. Before they had time to recover the next wave hit them & the fun began all over again. And one can only assume that it was fun from their point of view as, even after breaking free, they usually went back for more. There were, of course, the inevitable sea elephants billowing round among them & adding to the kaleidoscope of colour & interest.

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Two sea elephants with the Thala Dan in the background

 I was fascinated by the back-turned, pale pink papillae on the roof of the mouth & upper surface of the tongue & decided that this must provide a much more efficient mechanism for holding fish that the serrated beak of the puffin. Tho’ the penguin did not retain its prey in its mouth as the puffin did so a less efficient mechanism was called for. I decided that their attitude of “room for all, human or otherwise” must stem from the innate sociability which must be a major attribute of birds living in such vast communities. It was a pleasing thought that man, who had once slaughtered them in large nos, was now acceptable and practically ignored as “just another individual”.

 In the face of such anthropomorphism one pushed to the back of one’s mind all that one had heard of the stupidity of this exceedingly primitive bird. On what standards are we to judge stupidity?

 One could have lain for hours in the warm sunshine watching the gambolling mob but we had 3 1/2 miles of rough going between us & the camp so we turned homewards to the end of the last full day’s adventures on this magic subantarctic isle.”

Read on tomorrow!

Reference material and further reading:

Thanks to John Wilkins (MGAP volunteer) for coordinating this series of Macquarie blogs

The Mary Gillham Archive Project is funded by HLF and managed by SEWBReC
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Macquarie Island’s 1959 Mary Christmas

At the tail end of December in 1959 Mary Gillham and 3 other female scientists became the first British and Australian females to join a research trip in the Antarctic. The likelihood of females joining future research trips would depend on the success of these ground-breaking women. We’re retelling Mary’s tale and talking more about Macquarie Island where this was all to take place…

The following is an account of Mary Gillham’s Christmas Day 1959 on Macquarie Island. The account is in Mary’s own words and in her own handwriting as it has been scanned from her diary for the day.

Look out for what Mary describes as the “highlight” of that Christmas Day then, perhaps, decide whether or not the highlight of yours for this year’s 25 December is as exciting as hers was!

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So, was the highlight of Mary’s Christmas Day more exciting than that of yours?

Did your Christmas Day entertainment feature anything like the “seal stakes” and, if so, did anyone get bitten?

Have you, as Mary did, “had to run the gauntlet of a few embraces”?

Have you managed, as Mary also did, to avoid mixing with “the partly drunken mob outside”?

Lastly (but most importantly): Have you enjoyed your Christmas Day as much as Mary appears to have done those fifty-seven years ago?

From everyone at the Mary Gillham Archive Project we hope you have had a wonderful day!

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A Christmas card sent from Hope MacPherson to Mary

Read on tomorrow!

Reference material and further reading:

Thanks to John Wilkins (MGAP volunteer) for coordinating this series of Macquarie blogs.

The Mary Gillham Archive Project is funded by HLF and managed by SEWBReC
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December 24th

At the tail end of December in 1959 Mary Gillham and 3 other female scientists became the first British and Australian females to join a research trip in the Antarctic. The likelihood of females joining future research trips would depend on the success of these ground-breaking women. We’re retelling Mary’s tale and talking more about Macquarie Island where this was all to take place…

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A pair of Royal Penguins

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Read on tomorrow!

Reference material and further reading:

Thanks to John Wilkins (MGAP volunteer) for coordinating this series of Macquarie blogs.

The Mary Gillham Archive Project is funded by HLF and managed by SEWBReC
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December 23rd

At the tail end of December in 1959 Mary Gillham and 3 other female scientists became the first British and Australian females to join a research trip in the Antarctic. The likelihood of females joining future research trips would depend on the success of these ground-breaking women. We’re retelling Mary’s tale and talking more about Macquarie Island where this was all to take place…

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Read on tomorrow!

Reference material and further reading:

Thanks to John Wilkins (MGAP volunteer) for coordinating this series of Macquarie blogs.

December 22nd

At the tail end of December in 1959 Mary Gillham and 3 other female scientists became the first British and Australian females to join a research trip in the Antarctic. The likelihood of females joining future research trips would depend on the success of these ground-breaking women. We’re retelling Mary’s tale and talking more about Macquarie Island where this was all to take place…

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Aggressive pose of mature bull sea elephant

Read on tomorrow!

Reference material and further reading:

Thanks to John Wilkins (MGAP volunteer) for coordinating this series of Macquarie blogs.

The Mary Gillham Archive Project is funded by HLF and managed by SEWBReC
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