The Wilkins Foundation sometimes unearths wonderful stories. Here is something a new volunteer sent us about her father, Alan Parker, who was the Officer in Charge at Davis Base, Antarctica, in the year Sir Hubert Wilkins’s records were relocated in 1977. Sue is in the process of transcribing her father’s diaries, while also assisting us with the transcription of Sir Hubert’s diaries. Sue comments: ‘My father’s writing is difficult to say the least, but I am making headway.’ Comparing her father’s writing with Sir Hubert’s she remarks: ‘both are challenging to decipher at times, however the more you do the more familiar you get and the easier it becomes’
Finding the Walkabout Rocks Depot:
Sue Hilliard’s Story
The Walkabout Rocks records placed by Wilkins in 1939 were to the best of my knowledge not physically sighted again until relocated in 1957 by a team led by Bruce H. Stinear (Geologist) they were again ‘lost’ until in 1977 when my father, Alan Parker, was OIC at Davis they were again relocated, the sight is now regularly visited by station staff. I have attached a photo of my father at the site in 1977.
The location of the records was one of the season’s tasks and several attempts by various teams of staff were made before they were found, unfortunately Dad wasn’t with the team when they were located; however, he was with the team that replaced them after photographing them at the base.
The weather conditions on the day the Cairn was found were terrible it was a miracle they were found at all. The cylinder and its contents were repatriated back to the main camp where they were photographed before being returned to the site.
In 1977 searches were also made for the other two sites that Sir Hubert left records but these were unsuccessful. There have been I believe several attempts made to locate the two other sites by station staff over the years on an opportunistic basis rather than a dedicated search however their location is still a mystery.
Sir Hubert’s records are a fascinating and important part of Australian Antarctica History and I hope one day in my lifetime the other two sites are discovered.
If you wish to contact Sue about her father, you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org