Talk by Tom Muir

In the Wake of John Rae

A review of the talk by Tom Muir at Stromness Town Hall

Monday 2nd April 2018, 7.30pm

TM image 6

An audience of around fifty enjoyed a talk by Tom Muir, In the Wake of John Rae, at Stromness Town Hall on Monday 2nd April at 7.30pm. Tom is Exhibition & Engagement Officer at Orkney Museum, and a renowned storyteller and writer.

Tom said, “When the John Rae Society asked me to reprise the talk that I did for Stromness Museum in November 2017 about my trip through the North-West Passage I was glad to do so.

“It was a journey that gave me a greater appreciation of the incredible feats that Dr John Rae achieved; living off the land which at times looked barren and savagely hostile. Once you began to really look you found that life clings on amongst the rocks and scree-covered slopes, although it seems hardly sufficient to support the musk ox and caribou that Rae hunted. It was a great privilege to stand and gaze at the Franklin graves on Beechey Island, to see a mother polar bear and her cubs on the sea ice and visit abandoned Hudson’s Bay Company huts.

“Joining me on this amazing voyage was the internationally-renowned artist, Dr Barbara Rae CBE, who pulled the necessary strings to get me a place on the cruise, in return for lecturing on Dr John Rae.

Tom showed astounding images of the Arctic, including spectacular ice bergs, bleak cliffs, expanses of beach, and clustered houses in the settlements they visited. There were several questions afterwards and audience members were very generous in their donations towards the John Rae Society’s project to restore the Hall of Clestrain.

We are grateful to Tom for agreeing to repeat his talk and for his ongoing support of the Society.

By Rachel Boak - JRS Secretary

 

This is what Tom Muir said about his talk, In the Wake of John Rae, at Stromness Town Hall on Monday 2nd April at 7.30pm. Tom is Exhibition & Engagement Officer at Orkney Museum, and a renowned storyteller and writer.

TM image 4Tom writes, “When the John Rae Society asked me to reprise the talk that I did for Stromness Museum in November 2017 about my trip through the North-West Passage I was glad to do so.

“It was a journey that gave me a greater appreciation of the incredible feats that Dr John Rae achieved; living off the land which at times looked barren and savagely hostile. Once you began to really look you found that life clings on amongst the rocks and scree-covered slopes, although it seems hardly sufficient to support the musk ox and caribou that Rae hunted. It was a great privilege to stand and gaze at the Franklin graves on Beechey Island, to see a mother polar bear and her cubs on the sea ice and visit abandoned Hudson’s Bay Company huts. TM image 3

“Joining me on this amazing voyage was the internationally-renowned artist, Dr Barbara Rae CBE, who pulled the necessary strings to get me a place on the cruise, in return for lecturing on Dr John Rae.

“This talk will be similar, but not the same, as the previous one, as I never stick to the same script. In fact, I only know of scripts as theoretical things. I never follow them, if I can help it. So, come along and follow the ups and downs of a modern day traveller as I follow in the wake of John Rae through the Arctic.”

TM image1Tom’s talk was free to attend, but donations towards the Hall of Clestrain restoration project were welcome, and John Rae Society raffle, lottery tickets and merchandise were for sale.

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