James Blake to attend Scott event

James Blake
James Blake
Oamaru Scott 100 organisers are expecting an international panel of guests to attend four days of events to mark the arrival of Captain Robert Falcon Scott's ship Terra Nova to Oamaru in 1913.

Event co-convener Bruce Albiston said Antarctic adventurer and wildlife cameraman James Blake had been confirmed as the guest speaker for the Scott Commemoration dinner on February 9.

Mr Albiston said Mr Blake, son of New Zealand sailor the late Sir Peter Blake, had a long association with the Antarctic, and was part of a team responsible for the restoration of Shackleton's Hut in the Antarctic.

''We believe locals and visitors alike will want to hear James speak, as well as our international visitors. James has shown in his involvements the same spirit which imbued the Scott era a century ago. He has a contemporary perspective that will add real value to the Oamaru commemoration. James will be visiting schools and sharing in other Scott 100 activities.

''We are deeply grateful to the Sir Peter Blake Trust which, together with Antarctica NZ, has generously sponsored James' visit.''

He said Royal Society of New Zealand president Prof Sir David Skegg and United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust chairwoman Philippa Foster Back would also be present and contributing to the occasion, along with other international guests, including Zoe Young, the granddaughter of Captain Scott's widow Kathleen Scott and Lord Kennet.

Scott 100 celebrations in Oamaru will run from February 6 to February 10, and Mr Albiston said the event was creating a lot of interest.

''There is a remarkable level of interest generated by the Oamaru programme, and we are confident that those who join us will experience the historic significance of the Scott Polar epic that gripped the world a century ago.''

- andrew.ashton@odt.co.nz

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