Anne may be at Scott centenary

Oamaru's planned commemoration of the centenary of Captain Robert Falcon Scott's doomed 1913 expedition to the Antarctic will not include an official royal visit, but royalty may be present, the Oamaru Scott 100 2013 Steering Committee says.

Last month it was revealed Princess Anne had expressed an interest in attending the town's commemorations.

Last week, the steering committee disclosed that although the Princess Royal would not make an official royal trip to Oamaru, she may still attend the town's five-day commemoration programme on February 6, in a private capacity as patron of the Antarctic Heritage Trust.

Committee co-ordinator Bruce Albiston said he had been in the UK for the London commemorations of the Scott centenary, where he had been "amazed" at the support for Oamaru hosting its own event.

"They are saying that it is fitting that Oamaru be seen as the culminating event for something that was as significant in the international press in 1913 as the sinking of the Titanic had been a year before."

He had spoken personally to Princess Anne, who had shown interest in attending.

Prime Minister John Key was also expected.

So far, a regatta on the Oamaru Harbour, a commemorative play, and a dawn re-enactment of the arrival of Scott's ship Terra Nova off the Oamaru coast have been pencilled in as key events.

Mr Albiston said the committee was keen that the event should have a lasting legacy for the town. A charitable trust had been set up to help fund the programme, details of which would be released on September 7.


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