Posted by Paul Spain

All Saints' Anglican Church vicar Michael Wallace told members the story of Arnold Spencer-Smith at our 17 October meeting.   Rev Smith was chaplain and photographer to the Ross Sea Party of Shackleton's trans-Antarctic expedition. Smith’s group were to set up supply depots for Shackleton’s trip from the South Pole to the Ross Sea.  However, Shackleton’s ship Endurance was crushed in the ice so Shackleton never even started the expedition. Similarly Rev Smith’s ship, the Aurora, was also caught in the ice resulting in the loss of essential provisions.

Rev Smith’s group set off without adequate clothing and supplies. Smith became ill and had to be carried by sled.  He died and was buried on the ice (aged 32).

Arnold Spencer-Smith was the first priest on Antarctica. He celebrated the Eucharist in a chapel he converted in Scott’s hut.  The chalice and paten he used in Antarctica are used regularly All Saints Church today.

A window, designed Jenna Packer, is being made for All Saints’ Church to tell the story of the forgotten heroes of the Ross Sea Party.  The project is costed at $70,000 of which $28,000 has been raised. 

Michael Wallace concluded by thanking the Rotary Club for its contribution to the window project.