Sir Hubert Wilkins
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Sir Hubert Wilkins- Local forgotten Hero.

The British Museum of Natural History sent him on an expedition of his own. Traveling for two years through remote, Queensland, Northern Territory and Torres Straight, filming and collecting specimens for the Museum.  During this time he gained a respect and understanding of the Aboriginal people and their culture. With pilot, Carl Ben Eilson he flew across the Artic Sea from Barrow in Alaska to Spitsbergen, Norway. It made them celebrities and Wilkins was knighted becoming Sir Hubert. 

Wilkins was the first person to fly a plane in Antarctica and it was the first time in history, undiscovered land was mapped from a plane. Marrying Australian singer and actress, Suzanne Bennett in 1930 it was surprising he found the time between projects for a private life. In 1931, Wilkins accomplished an ambitious project by taking the submarine, "Nautilus" under the Artic ice. With American Explorer, Lincoln Ellsworth he returned to the Artic in 1938 discovering new land. In the years 1939-1958, Wilkins taught Artic survival skills to the US army and remained a consultant for future pioneering and Artic expeditions. 

In 1957, aged 70, he completed his 9th trip to Antarctica. Wilkins died in 1958 in an American hotel room. His ashes were taken by the submarine, "Skate" in 1959 becoming the first submarine to surface at the North Pole. A memorial service was held and his ashes scattered over the ice. A fitting end to the life of a remarkable Australian man from Mt Bryan East.

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Shane Badman.    Copyright 2012.    Country I.T. Services