The Shackleton Autumn school which will take place this weekend in Athy is now in it’s 18th year.
Shackleton fans from far and wide including America, New Zealand, and Europe are expected to attend this year’s four day programme from Friday, October 26 to Monday, October 30.
“There are 29 people coming from Norway,” said Sinead Cullen with the Shackleton museum in Athy.
“We even had people from India one year. It is great for the fans as they get to meet up at all the polar events and they get to meet some of his family. Alexander Shackleton comes every year as well as the artic explorer Jonathan Shackleton. This is a major event of the year for them.”
According to Sinead the local economy also benefits from the school with hotels and B&B’s booked out months in advance.
This year visitors can also expect a new exhibtion on Shackleton which will be on loan from the Fram musuem in Norway, called ‘Exploring Shackleton’.
The exhibition was devised and created by the Fram Museum in Oslo and focuses on the life and expeditions of Shackleton.
It charts his whole life from his birth in Kilkea, Athy to his death and all the various expeditions in between.
The programme for this year includes a master class with sculptor Mark Richards who created Athy’s Shackleton statue and a book launch by author Shane Mc Corristine of his latest work “The Spectral Arctic: A History of Ghosts and Dreams in Polar Exploration”.
There will be several lectures on the Artic on both Saturday and Sunday.
These include ‘Lessons from the Artic: How Amundsen won the race to the South Pole’; ‘Stories from the Frozen Deep’; and’ What the sea floor can tell us about the great ice sheets and Isolation; working and wintering in Antarctica’.
A film will be shown on Sunday called “Ice and the Sky” at 3pm. This documentary follows the story of the French Scientist Claude Lorius who participated in 22 expeditions to the polar region since the 1960’s. Claude is a long time campaigner about global warming and in this film he reflects on his scientific endeavours. That evening a one man show called “Shackleton’s Carpenter” will be performed at 8pm by Malcolm Rennie. It tells the story of Harry McNish, the carpenter on Shackleton’s ill fated ship Endurance.
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