Century-old whisky returned to Antarctic stash
Sun, 20 Jan 2013 6:12p.m.
By Samantha Hayes
A carved totara statue has been unveiled in Antarctica as part of celebrations marking the 56th anniversary of Scott Base – the bright green Kiwi compound on Ross Island in Antarctica.
Staff at the base had said they'd like their home-away-from-home to be a little bit more Kiwi, and that wish was realised today with the gift of a pou whenua.
In sub-zero conditions the sleeping bag was removed, unveiling the totora statue carved from two West Coast trees by Ngai Tahu.
“It's not ‘hey, this is Ngai Tahu’, it's about the Maori culture of New Zealand, so it represents all Maori,” says Ngai Tahu leader Sir Mark Solomon.
In only a short time, the pou whenua was settling into the conditions, one face nestled in snow, the other atop a long neck, gazing towards the sky and stars, which the early explorers used to navigate.
And Ngai Tahu says, like the British heroes Cook, Scott and Shackleton, its people may also have travelled as far south as Antarctica.
“Ngai Tahu has a tradition of a land of ice, but as I assured the Prime Minister we are not claiming Antarctica,” says Sir Mark.
“No, I can't see us having to settle that one,” jokes John Key.
Of course placing a statue the world's driest and coldest continent was always going to have its challenges. Scott Base staff spent two weeks digging through snow, top soil, rock and permafrost to lay the foundations for the pou whenua so it can stand up to any weather Antarctica throws at it.
"In the end it's nice to see it up and be able to say it's a bit of my own legacy," says Joe Kanongata’a of Scott Base.
While history was being made, and recorded by 15 cameras mounted in a backpack for Google Street View, last night a priceless piece of history was gifted back to the Antarctic Heritage Trust.
In 2007, three bottles of Earnest Shackleton's top drop was discovered encased in ice under his Cape Royds hut. It was 100 years old, and after careful excavation and defrosting, found to be in perfect condition.
Very few have had the privilege of tasting the whisky find of the century. Environment advisor at Antarctica New Zealand says it should be preserved.
The Antarctic Treaty prevents anything of historical significance being taken from the ice, but permission was granted for the bottles to travel to Scotland so a replica could be created.
Tonight at the Scott Base Tatty Flag Bar, 3 News is being offered the chance to taste the replica from Whyte and Mackay Distillery.
But diaries from Shakleton's 1907 Nimrod Expedition, in which he failed to reach the South Pole, suggest he wasn't that fond of drinking, but perhaps ordered 300 bottles knowing the Scottish whisky would keep his crew happy during the long, dark winter.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
21/01/2013 10:31:27 a.m.
@Braam, Does it matter so much to you that you have to categorialise people? Are we not all human with our different ideas and as Katrina half states, life would be darn boring without our differences. Your idea that because people are struggling and want accountability for their HARD earned money, Yes they have a job and work hard, means they are socialist? Perhaps they just want to feed and clothe their kids.
21/01/2013 7:44:37 a.m.
JK in a world of his own. wrote:
JK lives in his world, as he has said himself more than once, but he was elected to serve NZ in the REAL world. When will he stop stuffing around and start doing something to HELP ordinary kiwis. He is pathetic.
20/01/2013 11:45:04 p.m.
Simple Simon wrote:
Well John, If you were'nt a tosser then, then you sure are one now!
20/01/2013 11:43:54 p.m.
You can look at it that way Jane or you can realise that life would be darn boring without art, history and beautiful things.
20/01/2013 10:56:49 p.m.
@Jane, Why do people who are not successful with settling jobs want what hard working people have. Socialist hey..
20/01/2013 7:09:53 p.m.
So while the hard working kiwis are paying our taxes to fund, not only the PM to go on a trip to Antartica (how many of us would love to have an opportunity like that!), but also about 20 people, on the govt payrole to stand around while an enormous carving, also paid for from our taxes, and set in a govt paid engineer planned concrete base, put in no doubt by a further half dozen or so govt employees, etc etc. How much did this project cost us? Some tens of thousands? Meanwhile, I'm back to work tomorrow morning to do my 40+ hours to pay for it. Just all seams so wrong somehow.
A stranded orca has been rescued from the Kaipara Harbour after commercial fishermen noticed it stuck on a sandbank.
Earlier this month a group of friends decided they wanted to see the great outdoors and raise a bit of awareness about the environment.
The sweet smell of rubbish has caused problems for police in Los Angeles after a black bear caught a whiff.
A 15-year-old school student has developed a new test that could detect cancerous tumours before they become too advanced to treat.
Super tornadoes are likely to happen more often as the world warms, according to NIWA.
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.