Scott centennial launch

Robert Falcon Scott
Robert Falcon Scott
Oamaru was last night confirmed as the host of 34 events that will take place in February to mark the 100th anniversary of the arrival, off the Oamaru coast, of Captain Robert Falcon Scott's ship Terra Nova.

Dr Edward Atkinson and Lieutenant Harry Pennell were sent ashore from the ship to send a coded message to the expedition's New Zealand agent telling him Scott and his party had perished in the Antarctic.

The town's commemoration of the centenary of Scott's fateful 1913 Antarctic expedition will run for four days between February 6-10 next year.

At the programme launch, held in the Oamaru Opera House last night, Culture and Heritage Minister Chris Finlayson said Oamaru would play a "significant" part in the worldwide "Scott 100" year.

Mr Finlayson revealed that the National Maritime Museum, and international exhibitions from the UK-based Scott Polar Research Institute, as well as Australian-based exhibitors would be involved in the Oamaru commemorations.

Oamaru Scott 100 2013 steering committee co-ordinator Bruce Albiston said the launch had been a good platform to reveal some of the highlights of what was to come in February.

"Over 100 people, guests, performers and providers, participated in an evening that gave a window into the past, a view shaft into the polar regions and an exciting glimpse of how Oamaru will re-create and commemorate the days of the Terra Nova's return from Scott's last expedition.

"The Launch confirmed that Oamaru . . . will be host to a major international commemoration with guests from overseas and many from the wide community of Antarctic people - those whose identity, work, study and service continue in the worthy traditions of the Scott era," Mr Albiston said.

A major feature of the commemorations would include a re-enactment 100 years to the day of the Terra Nova's arrival at Oamaru, which would include participation from the town's heritage and arts community, as well as the world premiere of a play by Dr Paul Baker depicting the Oamaru connection with Scott.

- andrew.ashton@odt.co.nz

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