Local link to ill-fated expedition

Pictured (from left) are President Ian Stewart, Oliver Vellacott and David Webster who gave the vote of thanks.

Pictured (from left) are President Ian Stewart, Oliver Vellacott and David Webster who gave the vote of thanks.

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Members of Forfar Probus Club at their recent meeting were given an insight into one of the most famous but ill-fated polar expeditions in history.

Last Tuesday club president Ian Stewart welcomed 49 members and one guest to the morning meeting to hear a talk entitled ‘Scott-Wilson Angus Connection’, which was given by Oliver Vellacott.

Oliver is a retired university lecturer and is the current pastor at the Forfar Community Church which is based in the old Wellbrae Primary School.

He and his wife reside at Burnside Lodge Glen Prosen which is linked to the ill-fated Antarctic expedition of 1910-1912 led by Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Doctor Edward Wilson (who lived in the house) and together planned their expeditions.

Oliver gave a fascinating account of the expedition and showed a large number of pictures of the intrepid explorers including some excellent coloured art work by Doctor Wilson who was described as being the “moral backbone of the expedition”.

One poignant slide was the hand-written last note from Captain Scott explaining his position and asking that his expedition members be taken care of.

Another point of note was that J.M. Barrie was a friend of Captain Scott as they shared the same publisher.

Oliver also gave a resume about the Scott Monument sculpted by Bruce Walker from the largest block (40 tons) of granite quarried in Scotland, and of a smaller sculpture taken from the same block and placed in the garden as a

memorial to Doctor Wilson with the fitting epitaph in Latin “Actions not Words.”