This Saturday morning, the team of 11 Antarctica New Zealand employees wintering over at Scott Base, will hold a special ANZAC Day service on the ice.
Every year the winter over teams hold a small service on the 25th of April, but this year it will be one of the only ANZAC gatherings in the world.
Scott Base winter leader Rory O’Connor says they’ve found themselves in a unique position during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We’re free to assemble because Antarctica remains COVID-19 virus free, so we have no restrictions on gatherings like back home.
“ANZAC Day is a hugely important occasion for many people, my address will reflect on the meaning of the day, the spirit of the ANZACs and what it means to us today, as well as acknowledging people around the world supporting the COVID-19 response,” he says.
Antarctica New Zealand CEO Sarah Williamson says although a ceremony at Scott Base is held most years, this year’s seems a little more special.
“Antarctica New Zealand has a close partnership with the New Zealand Defence Force who support our operations on ice, so it is important to be able to remember the sacrifice made by members of our military all those years ago.
“On a personal note it is heartening to know that Kiwis and Australians – supported by our American friends, are gathering together to mark this occasion.
“The Scott Base crew are coming together in commemoration at the bottom of the world, on behalf of all of us back home,” she says.
It’s not just Kiwis that will be represented at the service, three of the 11 Scott Base winter crew are Australian and around 30 people from the American base nearby, McMurdo Station, will also attend.
A trumpeter from McMurdo will play The Last Post and Reveille.