The course of John Russell’s life was set when, aged 12 and hungry for knowledge of Antarctica, he took afternoon tea with Lady Shackleton.
He learnt of the importance of the men who not only knew how to operate machinery in the Antarctic, but how to maintain them. From that moment, he knew he would be an engineer with Antarctica his goal.
Antarctic Engineer: Memoir of John Russell, told largely in John’s words and illustrated with photos from his private collection, is the result of an oral history project carried out by Trevor Luff (National Secretary, ANARE Club) over the past five years.
John is the only surviving member of the original Mawson party of 1954, and his stories of landing on the only bare rock for thousands of kilometres to establish Australia’s first Antarctic station make very interesting reading. It gives an insight into the details of this important and historic occasion. This account was written in his 99th year.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dale Lorna Jacobsen is a freelance writer who has the good fortune to live in the bush just outside Maleny in the Hinterland of the Sunshine Coast.
She is passionate about grass-roots history, which led to the publication of three novels: Union Jack (2011), political intrigue set in Queensland in the 1920s; Yenohan's Legacy (2013), a story of love and life in the High Country of Australia, Being Lucy (2018), the story of a mountain recluse set in East Gippsland. In 2019 she co-authored Antarctic Engineer: Memoir of John Russell with 99-year-old John.
In 2013 she fulfilled a life-long dream, taking part in an expedition to Antarctica, and produced an eBook, Why Antarctica? a Ross Sea odyssey (2015). Dale has since returned twice to the Antarctic.