Celebrating SA’s Polar Heritage

As South Africans we celebrate our Heritage during the month of September. Also, during the second last week of September all over the globe researchers celebrate ‘International Polar Week’. In 2017 Antarctic Legacy of South Africa came up with a slogan to combine the two celebrations: “Celebrating South Africa’s Polar Heritage’.

This slogan is to remind all South Africans of our involvement in the Antarctic region since 1947/1948, when South Africa Annexed the sub-Antarctic Marion and Prince Edward Islands. In 1955 the first South African (Hannes la Grange) set foot on the Antarctic Continent and the foundation was laid for all future South African Antarctic expeditions. On 3 December 1959 South Africa’s first Antarctic overwintering team (South African National Antarctic Expedition – SANAE1) departed from Cape Town Harbour on the Polarbjørn.

This year South Africa’s Polar Heritage will be celebrated by four events (three organised and hosted by APECS South Africa and one event hosted by Iziko Museums of South Africa):

2018 Polar Heritage Celebrations (Events)

OrganiserEvent Location Date More information
APECS-SATalk: CHEMTAX determination of southern ocean phytoplankton distribution and adaptation.Stellenbosch University, Geology Building, de Kock Venue (room 1004), 13:00 - 13:5017 September Click here
APECS-SASeries of talks that involves the sub-Antarctic Marion Island and Antarctica. University of Pretoria, Geography building, (Hatfield campus),
12:30-13:20,
17 - 21 September Click here
APECS-SATalk: Life on Marion Island and Stellenbosch's legacy in Antarctic research.Stellenbosch University (exact location and time to be announced) 21 September To be announced
Iziko Museums of South Africa
(ALSA supplied material)
Antarctic related activities in the Marion Island Exhibition area (ground floor).Iziko Museum - Cape Town 24 September Click here

Why is ‘Polar Week’ celebrated in September (and also in March)?

“The equinoxes in September and March are the only time when everywhere on earth the day length is 12 hours, a perfect opportunity to celebrate the poles on a global scale!” (APECS – Association of Polar Early Career Scientists).

 

Click here to see where Antarctic Legacy of South Africa was in involved in 2017.

 

Author: Anche Louw (Antarctic Legacy of South Africa), 14 September 2018

 

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