John Rae, Arctic Explorer

March 02, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

One of the great explorers of the Canadian Arctic was Dr. John Rae, a Scot from the isle of Orkney. This is the memorial built for him in St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall which I visited in 2019 when traveling with Adventure Canada. Rae stands out from many of the other explorers of the time because, as Ken McGoogan points out in his book "Fatal Passage: The Story of John Rae – the Arctic hero time forgot", Rae respected Inuit customs and skills and learned a great deal from them about arctic travel and survival. It is likely that this was part of the secret for his success. The inscription on the memorial says "the discoverer of the final link in the first navigable Northwest Passage."

Memorial to John Rae, St. Magnus Cathedral, KirkwallMemorial to John Rae, St. Magnus Cathedral, KirkwallMemorial to John Rae, St. Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall
 


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