Men sought for Scott retelling

The original European newspaper headlines detailing the death of Captain Robert Falcon Scott 100 years ago will be read out on the steps of the former P and T Cable building in Oamaru next month, as part of a re-enactment of the arrival of Scott's ship SS Terra Nova in the town in 1913.

A cable detailing the tragic end of Scott's Antarctic expedition was sent around the world from the P and T Cable building on February 10, 1913, and a re-enactment of the event will form part of centennial commemorations.

Oamaru Scott 100 co-convener Helen Stead said as part of the re-enactment, male Norwegian, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and Russian language speakers were needed to read the original foreign news headlines that followed in the wake of the arrival of the SS Terra Nova, a century ago.

''The dramatic nature of the Terra Nova, arriving in the dark, two men rowing to Sumpter Wharf, refusing to identify themselves, but firmly requesting the sending of a cable with news from Antarctica was to make headlines throughout the world.

''Here, in Oamaru, the mystery, sadness and significance has echoed ever since.''

The retelling will take place on the steps of the P and T Cable building, which now houses the Waitaki District Council, at 11am on February 10. Only male speakers are required.

''To be historically accurate, but now considered discriminatory, we are looking for men only, as announcers in 1913 were usually male.

''The intention is to bring the news as a 'radio' version that is heard only.

''Readers' voices will be taped and broadcast from the steps of Oamaru's 1884 Post Office from whence the original information was sent.

''Readers will not appear reading the headline on the Post Office steps in person.

Their voices only will be heard, much as they might have been over the `wireless' in 1913.''

- andrew.ashton@odt.co.nz