Leading Tasmanian Company To Assist With Conservation Of Mawson's Historic Huts In The Antarctic

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24th November 2009, 06:21pm - Views: 556



Hobart Nov 24-- Tasmania’s largest construction and resources company, Hazell Bros, is to assist

with the conservation of Mawson’s historic huts at Cape Denison in the Antarctic with the design

and reproduction of 40 steel shelf brackets and a steel tower to support a wind turbine.

The wooden huts, used as a base for two years by the 1911-14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition

(AAE) led by Sir Douglas Mawson, will be visited by a team of 10 specialists this summer as part of an

ongoing conservation programme begun by the Mawson’s Huts Foundation in partnership with the

Australian Antarctic Division in 1997. The team will depart next week (Dec 3)

The “London brackets” which Mawson purchased in England in 1911 in preparation for the

expedition, were used to support shelfs in the Main Hut at Cape Denison which provided the living

quarters for 18 men and a workshop area while the tower will be used to install a small  but

powerful wind turbine specially adapted for the Cape Denison site which is officially the world’s

windiest place at sea level. This has been donated by Conergy Australia.

Three different designs of shelf brackets were used by the AAE during the construction of the

wooden huts and the damaged items were brought back from the hut last summer by the Mawson’s

Huts Foundation which is conserving the historic site in partnership with the Australian Antarctic

Division. Hazell Bros has agreed to engineer and replicate the broken brackets at its Hobart works

and they will be installed by the Foundation’s 10 person expedition next summer.

Hazell Bros Managing Director Geoffrey Hazell said his Company  is keen to be involved in the

conservation project.

“It’s a lovely project for the company to be associated with. Douglas Mawson is a national icon and

the huts are the birthplace of Australia’s Antarctic history. The AAE also departed from Hobart so it’s

fitting that we get involved,” said Mr Hazell.

The brackets and the shelves they were supporting have broken under the weight of ice forced into

the huts during the last 98 years and are being replaced as part of the conservation project. 

The 3.3 metre tower which Hazell Bros constructed will have four guywires with the unit capable of

being quickly lowered in the event of particularly high winds.

The Mawson’s Huts Foundation has financed and organised eight expeditions to Cape Denison since

its establishment in 1997 and a team of 10 will spend five weeks at the site this summer removing

further ice from within, conserving the hundreds of artefacts inside the hut and undertaking further

conservation work.

David Jensen AM, the Foundation’s Chairman and CEO says the contribution from Hazell Bros is both

important and significant.

“We are extremely grateful to have the support of this great Tasmanian company. It’s very

important that the broken brackets are replicated as closely as possible and the task is quite a

delicate one,” said Mr Jensen. 

For further details please contact 

David Jensen AM


Mawson’s Huts Foundation

O414 333381

Frances Hutchinson

Marketing Co-ordinator

Hazell Bros

Hobart Tas

03 6277 7841

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