From Hong Kong to the South Pole
by Simon Murray CBE
on Wednesday, 6 October 2004
2/F Sports House, So Kong Po, Causeway Bay
Drinks 6.30 pm; Lecture 7.30 pm
We are delighted to welcome to wellknown Hong Kong figure Simon Murray to speak on his epic trek to the South Pole. Just before midnight on Wednesday, 28 January 2004, Simon Murray (63) and veteran polar explorer Pen Hadow both walked into the history books on arriving at the South Geographic Pole. The 680mile (1,095 km) successful ice odyssey, which was made with no resupply or airdrop, makes Simon the oldest man to have ever trekked to the South Pole and Pen the only person to have trekked without support to both North and South Poles. The expedition set off on 2 December 2003 from the Hercules Inlet at the edge of continental Antarctica at sea level and finished on the 58th day at 9,300 ft (2,835 metres), well inside the 65 days estimated at the outset. The expedition brought many hundreds of pounds of supplies from tea to freezedried dinners and treats of nuts and chocolate. The aim was to eat 5,500 calories of food per day but as the physical output far exceeded calories consumed, the men lost several stone in weight between them. The men had to drag sledges with a combined weight of 550 lb (250 kg). On arrival at the South Pole their rations were nearly exhausted, with just two of their 880 tea bags remaining. The expedition raised over £250,000 for The Royal Geographical Society, which will go towards digitizing their polar archives and their new pavilion, which will benefit both schools and the general public. The expedition experienced tempestuous wind, freezing temperatures, whiteouts, sastrugi (large ice ridges) and crevasses and the air temperature has reached as low as 35?C and wind chill temperatures of 65?C. Born in Leicester, England in 1940, he was educated at Bedford School in the UK and attended SEP Stanford Business School in the US. He then worked his way to South America in the ship's galley of a tramp steamer. After returning to England for a year, he went to Algeria to join the French Foreign Legion and spent five years in the Legion Parachute regiment. His experience was recorded in his bestselling book called Legionnaire, first published in 1978 and sold over a million copies. With over 30 years of experience in Asia, initially at Jardine Matheson and ultimately as Group Managing Director of Hutchison Whampoa for 10 years. He shares a passion for flying helicopters with his wife Jennifer, who was the first woman in the world to fly solo round the world in a helicopter and flew to the South Pole to leave a supply of bacon and eggs to welcome them. He is a keen runner and in his 60th year he completed the Marathon des Sables, a 240km race across the Moroccan desert Members and their guests are most welcome to attend this lecture, which is HK$50 for Members, HK$100 for Members' guests and HK$150 for others.