Arctic Return

1 January 2018

We have heard from our friends in Canada that there is an expedition to the arctic planned in 2019 in commemoration of John Rae’s exploits.

arctic logo

This is from the expedition website

“In March 2019, the Arctic Return Expedition team will return to Naujaat and embark upon on a 650-kilometre trek across Boothia Peninsula that will follow the route taken by Rae and his indigenous companions.

​Traveling on skis and snowshoes, expedition leader David Reid and the Arctic Return team will pay tribute to and honour one of the greatest Arctic explorers. John Rae’s success was due in great part to his willingness to learn from the indigenous people of the region. He traveled with patience, humility, respect and honesty. The Arctic Return team will follow that example. The expedition and team will bear witness to a land, a people and a history, and attempt to understand what it meant, 165 years ago, to enter into and travel through this white, dangerous and uncharted wilderness.

​The 2019 expedition is driven also by a concern for John Rae’s birthplace and boyhood home, the Hall of Clestrain. Built in Orphir near Stromness, Orkney, in 1769, it is in urgent need of repair and restoration. The expedition enthusiastically supports the John Rae Society in its determination to renovate the Hall and transform it into a world-class interpretive centre. That centre will not only honour Rae and his accomplishments, but celebrate Arctic exploration and the importance of indigenous knowledge in that endeavour.

​Reid will partner on this project with award winning author and historian Ken McGoogan to produce a book that will tell the story of the 2019 expedition and at the same time look back to 1854.”

It is hoped that the publicity from this will help raise awareness and funds for the restoration of the Hall of Clestrain and it’s reuse as a dynamic visitor attraction and community resource.

If you would like to support us by donating then please go to our Just Giving web page