ISSUE 2, July 2002
Editorial
Brothers in endurance: Sir Ernest Shackleton
Travel: Florida
Jack the Ripper: Exploring the Masonic link
Quarterly Communication: Annual Investiture address by the Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes and Report of the Library and Museum Trust
Masonic News: Order of Service to Masonry; Grand Lodge deficit; Alvin Coburn pioneer photographer; Royal Masonic Variety Show
   Royal Arch News: Concern over falling exaltations
Charity News: Masonic relief grants launched; New RMBI video; Help is at hand through the NMSF; RMBI challenges and change; Update on RMBI projects; RMBI resident Jessie is Britain's oldest person; Grand Charity grant to National Asthma Campaign; TalentAid
Masonic Homes: Proud and independent
Library and Museum news: Recent library acquisitions
Letters
Gardening
Book reviews

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The crew joined following Shackleton's recruitment notice that read: 'Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages. Bitter cold. Long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in case of success.' The objective was to cross Antarctica from Weddell Sea to McMurdo Sound, a distance of 2,000 miles.
    Shackleton was already an acknowledged polar explorer, and had been knighted following his Antarctic (Nimrod) Expedition of 1907-9. He also had a good eye for publicity and ensured the expedition was fully recorded on film and camera.
    The photographer, Frank Hurley, whose photographs are reproduced in this article by kind permission of the Royal Geographical Society, had a darkroom aboard the Endurance, and when the ship went down, he had to dive into the watery bottom to retrieve his glass-plate negatives.
    As they were unloading their supplies, disaster struck when the wooden ship was trapped in the pack ice of the Weddell Sea, where she remained and drifted for 10 months until finally being crushed.
    At first Shackleton and his crew lived on the ship, but as she began to sink, they moved about a mile away and sheltered in the three upturned lifeboats. A month after this move, on 21 November 1915, the Endurance, the only way home for the team, sank.
    For more safety, they moved to a fresh ice flow that they named 'Patience Camp'. The crew lived under those boats for the duration of the six month Arctic night. Short of food, clothing and shelter, finally they drifted to the northern edge of the pack, the sun came up and the ice began to break up. This enabled them, in April 1916, to sail their three small lifeboats to a bleak crag called Elephant Island, a speck of rock at the north end of the Antarctica Peninsula. It was the first time they had set foot on land for 497 days.
    But as the island was uninhabited, their chances for survival still looked bleak - and the recruitment advertisement suddenly became very prophetic. But Shackleton was no quitter and he soon brought his sterling powers of leadership to bear on the situation. The epic part of their journey was about to begin.

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