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Event Detail


Retracing the Steps of Shackleton: The Shackleton Memorial Expedition

Neil Laughton
Tuesday, 23 Oct 2018
Complimentary Drinks Reception 5.30 pm; Talk 6.00 pm (please note the change in time)
The Haven, 29/F, Wyndham Place , 40-44 Wyndham Street, Central
Please note the change of time for this talk. Pre-payment is required. Please scroll down.
Noted expeditioner and mountaineer Neil Laughton speaks on his retracing of the steps of famous polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. He draws on his experience leading the Shackleton Memorial Expedition in 2001, which followed in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914 - 1917. This is part of a career which has included climbing the Seven Summits, piloting the world’s first flying car and circling the UK on a jet ski.

Mr Laughton tells the extraordinary story of his expedition, which raised money for two charities – the Shackleton Scholarship Fund and the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust.  The aim of the Shackleton Memorial Expedition was to complete a crossing of South Georgia to the Stromness Whaling Station.  Mr Laughton speaks on the bad weather and perilous climbing conditions they encountered, very similar to what Sir Ernest and his men experienced in 1916.  The Hon. Alexandra Shackleton, granddaughter of Sir Ernest, who opened the Endurance Exhibition in Hong Kong last month acted as the patron of the Shackleton Memorial Expedition.

Mr Laughton also reflects on how Sir Shackleton’s legacy of expedition and leadership has impacted him.  Mr Laughton names Sir Ernest Shackleton as one of his personal heroes “for his brave, selfless and inspirational leadership”.  The talk is held in the surroundings of the RGS Endurance Exhibition, which displays platinum prints of photographs taken by Frank Hurley on Sir Shackleton's Endurance Expedition.

Mr Laughton’s talk is accompanied by a screening of the documentary Survival: The Shackleton Story was produced and directed by noted documentary film maker and writer Nancy LeBrun.  It features a large amount of historic archival still and moving images taken by the Endurance Expedition's photographer, Frank Hurley, as well as interviews with Sir Ernest Shackleton's son, Lord Shackleton, himself a noted explorer, Cabinet Minister and President of the RGS.  The documentary gives fascinating insights into the expedition itself, which is widely regarded as one of the most famous stories of human survival.  The talk and film screening will be followed by a Q&A session.

Neil Laughton served in the British armed forces as a Royal Marine and later as part of the Special Forces until he was 25.  He began pursuing a commercial career, starting as a door-to-door salesman but later funding a group of companies in the construction industry.  He has since founded eight companies, including an airline, and now works as the Founding Director and Executive Chairman of OPL Group, a property development and construction group.  Mr Laughton has also lead expeditions all over the world, in some of the most hostile and dangerous environments.  He has climbed 12 previously unscaled mountains, including the Seven Summits, the highest mountains on each of the seven continents.  He is the Chairman of the Scientific Exploration Society.

Members of the RGS, their guests and others are most welcome to attend this event, which is HK$150 for RGS Members and HK$200 for guests and others, including a complimentary glass of white or red wine.
The Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong wishes to express its thanks to Jacada Travel for
 its generous assistance with this talk.

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