Norwegian-American Finn Ronne -- one-time member of The Explorers Club Board of Directors -- was a noted Antarctic Explorer and veteran of five over-wintering expeditions. Like his father, Norwegian sail-maker Martin Rønne, who was a member of Roald Amundsen’s expedition to discover the South Pole in 1911 and the first expedition of American explorer Richard Byrd, Finn followed in his footsteps as a member of Byrd’s second expedition. Hooked on the Antarctic and vowing to return, he was second in command of the Antarctic Service Expedition in 1940, establishing the East Base on Stonington Island in the peninsula.
This special member's dinner is to honor the legacy of the Ronnes and will include rare photographs, excerpts from a television documentary, and artifacts from the expeditions. In addition to the principal speaker, their daughter Karen Ronne Tupek, we are especially honored to have in attendance one the three remaining members of the Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition, Bob Dodson.
His life dream was accomplished when he led his own Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition from 1946-48, returning to Stonington Island in Marguerite Bay. Though known for taking the first women on an expedition, his young wife Edith “Jackie” Ronne who served as research scientist and journalist, and the wife of his chief pilot, the Ronne expedition accomplished much scientific work and discovered and mapped the last unknown coastline in the world, naming many features, including the Ronne Ice Shelf. In all, they explored a quarter of a million square miles of territory and mapped further 450,000 square miles of newly-discovered lands.
Jackie Ronne, who was a fellow of the Explorers Club, was a pioneer in Antarctic history, becoming the first American woman to set foot on the Antarctic continent and the first woman to over-winter as a working member of an expedition. Newly married to the older Norwegian-American Antarctic explorer, Captain Finn Ronne, she hadn’t intended to go, but at their departure he persuaded her to join his 15-month Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition, 1946-48. She helped with scientific experiments, kept the expedition’s log and wrote many articles for newspapers back home, documenting the discovery and mapping of the world’s last unknown coastline in the Weddell Sea. Her husband named the new territory Edith Ronne Land to honor her; it was later changed to Ronne Ice Shelf, the world’s second largest. She continued to write and lecture about the Antarctic, including in encyclopedias and her book, Antarctica’s First Lady and made a 15 more trips there as guest lecturer on cruises.
Finn continued his Antarctic exploration when he served as military and scientific leader of Ellsworth Station on the Ronne Ice Shelf during the 1956-7 IGY (International Geophysical Year). He rose to Captain in the U.S. Navy, lectured and wrote four books, and continued polar travels, north and south, including a commemorative trip with his wife Jackie to the South Pole in 1971. When Finn died in 1980, Jackie and their daughter Karen established the Finn Ronne Memorial Award with the Explorers Club, awarded quadrennially, to an individual noted for accomplishments in polar field research or exploration. Jackie continued to promote her husband’s legacy before she died in 2009.
Dinners are open to Members and their guests.
Non-members are welcome to attend as nominal guests of Daryl Hawk MN’98, organizing chair of The Explorers Club Members Dinners.
Cancellation/”No Show” Policy:
* If a reservation is canceled after Monday, February 25th there will be No Refund of the ticket price.
* There are no refunds for a “No Show” to a catered event.