Do take a moment to visit http://johnraesociety.com
This dynamic group is dedicated to preserving the name of Dr. John Rae, his strong connections to the Canadian Arctic and the Hudson's Bay Company, his legacy as a fearless explorer, chief factor, scientist -and supporter of the Inuit peoples and their culture.
JRS Patrons include O. Peter St. John, The Earl of Orkney, celebrated Canadian historical author Ken McGoogan (the award winning Fatal Passage, amongst others), BBC writer and broadcaster Rae Mears (Ray Mears' Wilderness), and the incomparable British author, actor and travel presenter, Michael Palin. The membership is comprised of John Rae fans from all over the world.
SEPTEMBER 2017 NEWS: BRITISH AUTHOR, HISTORIAN, TRAVEL WRITER AND HOST, ACTOR MICHAEL PALIN HAS NOW BECOME A PATRON OF THE JOHN RAE SOCIETY!
John Rae was born and raised in Orphir, Orkney, across the Scapa Flow from the port town Stromness, from which the Franklin Expedition departed on May 25th, 1845, after drawing fresh water from Login's Well. He served as an advisor to the Admiralty, and he energetically participated in many searches for the missing ships and men.
After Dr. Rae acquired many artifacts belonging to the doomed men, and collected native testimony about the misfortunes which had ended their lives and sunk their ships, he resigned from the Hudson's Bay Company. He had worked for them in the Arctic for more than twenty years.
His loves were many: the wild and spectacular spaces of Orkney (now a UNESCO World Heritage site) sailing, adventure, travelling great distances on snowshoes with his Inuit guides and companions, charting undiscovered places in the Canadian North (Polar Sea coastlines in particular), sharing his vast scientific knowledge with his peers at the many scientific societies to which he belonged, his parents, many brothers and sisters, and with great passion, his wife Kate. The list goes on ...
The John Rae Society is currently working hard to restore the Hall of Clestrain, John Rae's childhood home in Orphir, Orkney. The objective is to have it designated an official historical site. I will keep you updated as this process unfolds. In the meantime, do visit johnraesociety.com
UPDATE: SEPTEMBER 30, 2016: THE JOHN RAE SOCIETY HAS PURCHASED JOHN RAE'S BIRTHPLACE THE HALL OF CLESTRAIN IN ORPHIR, ORKNEY! STAY TUNED FOR MORE DETAILS ...