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Book Review by Liam Butler
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Fitzgerald's account of his work in the Antarctic is an entertaining read. He has captured the adventure using his own photographs and dairy notes and accounts from fellow scientists. The book reflects just how exciting being selected for such an adventure was and details the preparations that took place to ensure the NZ Government Official Expedition was a success.
The excitement of preparing for such an intrepid journey did have its share of fun and hijinks...
"The dental examination brought to light the humour of team member Brian Hearfield when the dentist, a high ranking Army officer, was examining Brian's teeth and calling out to his nurse the number of fillings and other work that may have to be carried out, Brian pulled them out and said you can have a better look this way. A very embarrassed Dentist quickly carried out his work and quickly rushed us from his surgery."
New Zealand's scientific community has played an important role in furthering the world's knowledge about Antarctica. This book provides a valuable and enjoyable insight into the working life of a surveyor. Such great care was taken to manage risks and survive the Antarctic so that the surveyors could do their job by mapping and recording the spectacular geological features to the betterment of scientific knowledge.
Fitzgerald's efforts and dedication to doing his job well is matched by his humbleness...
"But given all the problems we encountered, the map that resulted is better than no map at all, and met the requirement of that time, and was due to the help of many, not least being the team that put up with me and helped me during the expedition's field trip".