Celebrations kick off for Antarctica NZ's 60th anniversary

Gin Wigmore tries her Antarctica gears on for size in preparation for the 60th anniversary of Scott Base. Photo / Gin Wigmore/Facebook
Gin Wigmore tries her Antarctica gears on for size in preparation for the 60th anniversary of Scott Base. Photo / Gin Wigmore/Facebook

Celebrations are kicking off in Antarctica today as Scott Base celebrates its 60th anniversary.

Among the key events is the live broadcast of the pre-recorded TEDx talks featuring award-winning Kiwi musician Gin Wigmore, US astronaut Dr Dan Barry, who has logged more than 734 hours in space, and Ashlan Cousteau, a veteran US journalist, environmental advocate and granddaughter-in-law of French documentary-maker Jacques Cousteau.

New Zealand was one of the first countries to establish a base on the frozen continent, and over the six decades since, the country had been at the forefront of scientific research and exploration on the ice, Antarctica New Zealand chief executive Peter Beggs said.

On January 20, 1957, a flag-raising ceremony was held outside the original Scott Base that had just been built by a team led by Sir Edmund Hillary.

Gin Wigmore was all smiles as she got ready to head to Antarctica earlier this month. Her live concert will be broadcast live this morning. Photo / Gin Wigmore/Facebook
Gin Wigmore was all smiles as she got ready to head to Antarctica earlier this month. Her live concert will be broadcast live this morning. Photo / Gin Wigmore/Facebook

Beggs said Antarctica New Zealand wanted to do more than just cut a cake to mark the milestone.

"We wanted to celebrate our history and success at Scott Base, but we wanted to use the anniversary to draw attention to the significance of Antarctica, how the continent is changing, and the impact this has on the rest of the world."

Wigmore earlier wrote on her Facebook page that the Scott Base concert would be "one of the coolest gigs of my life".

Otago University PHD student Ngahuia Mita, who is also an assistant research fellow in the Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge, kicked off proceedings with a karakia.

- NZ Herald

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