Arctic Circle Assembly

30 October 2022

President of the John Rae Society, Andrew Appleby, has participated in the 2022 Arctic Circle Assembly from 13th Oct to 15th Oct in Reykjavik to promote John Rae’s pioneering work in the Arctic, meet and seek support from old and new friends.

There were just over two thousand delegates in the New Harpa Centre and the first pre-event on the evening of the 12th was the opening of an exhibition, ‘Art and The Arctic: A Celebration’ This indeed was a most stunning display of installations, major artworks and extreme talent that The Arctic communities have to offer. Representatives from over 60 countries with more than 600 speakers made this event a most amazing and stimulating conference. Each evening there was a reception for people to mingle and mix. At these, amazing Arctic cuisine was offered. My original intention was to have offered a presentation on John Rae and our proposed developments at The Hall of Clestrain. I am glad that this time I didn’t. Here was a chance to observe and experience the format. Now I have done this, I can see just how our John Rae Society can make its international presence felt. “

– President of John Rae Society, Andrew Appleby

Andrew spoke to H.E. Lilja Dogg Alfreosdottir, Minister of Culture and Business affairs, to promote the John Rae’s pioneering work in the Arctic and introduce our goal to create an internationally renowned Arctic Centre in his name. Like the majority of delegates and presenters he spoke to, she was not aware of the existence of our Dr John Rae…

At the Gathering, the Orkney Islands Council and the Scottish Parliament were well represented. The familiar faces of James Stockan, John Munro and Liam McArthur were ever present. Andrew spoke with Fiona Hyslop, who well remembered our event in the Orkney Distillery, voluntarily asked us to keep the Scottish Government up to date and informed of the activities and progress with the restoration of The Hall of Clestrain and our proposed Arctic Centre. We are sure she feels that the work of our society is of great importance to Scotland and the Scottish Arctic Policy.