Scots isles to recog­nise late Arc­tic ex­plorer

The Press and Journal (Inverness) - - NEWS -

The man de­scribed as the great­est Arc­tic ex­plorer of his age is to be hon­oured in his na­tive Orkney to­day.

A cer­e­mony in Strom­ness will be­stow the Freedom of Orkney upon ex­plorer Dr John Rae.

The post­hu­mous award will be ac­cepted by his great-great-great niece, Ruth Matches.

Coun­cil con­vener Harvey John­ston and the coun­cil’s leader James Stockan will con­fer the hon­our at a short cer­e­mony at the John Rae statue at Strom­ness Pier­head.

As part of the pro­ceed­ings lo­cal mu­si­cian Jen­nifer Wrigley will play a spe­cially com­posed piece on Dr Rae’s fid­dle.

Orkney Is­lands Coun­cil agreed to be­stow the hon- our in recog­ni­tion of Dr Rae’s out­stand­ing achieve­ments as a world renowned ex­plorer in­clud­ing dis­cov­ery of the fi­nal por­tion of the North­west Pas­sage, Canada, also known as the Rae Strait.

Ten such awards have been pre­sented in Orkney since 1948.

Coun­cil Con­vener Mr John­ston said: “It is com­monly viewed that Dr Rae was never awarded the pub­lic recog­ni­tion that was due.

“Our grant­ing of the Freedom of Orkney will fur­ther recog­nise the out­stand­ing achieve­ments of the late Dr John Rae as a world renowned ex­plorer and I, and my fel­low elected mem­bers, are hon­oured to be­stow this recog­ni­tion on him on be­half of the peo­ple of Orkney.”

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