Dr John Rae Continues to Inspire

Orkney’s Dr John Rae has been voted as the most inspiring surveyor in RICS’ (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors)  Pride in the Profession Mappers category, following a campaign to showcase the contribution of surveying to the modern world.

John Rae statue by sculptor Ian Scott

‘Pride in the Profession’ was launched in 2018  to mark 150 years of the RICS.

Categories included:

  • Innovators
  • Environmentalists
  • Mappers
  • Urbanists

Dr John Rae was the overall winner in the Pride in the Profession Mappers category, celebrating members of the profession who have progressed the understanding of the physical location of territorial borders, features of geography, and land use including transportation infrastructure and buildings.

Over the course of his lifetime, Rae travelled more than 37,000 kilometers and charted more than 2,475 kilometers of remote, previously unexplored Canadian arctic coastline. His skills as a surveyor were unparalleled and the accuracy of his mapping has only recently been surpassed. His contribution to society was immense. His unrelenting dedication and unparalleled surveying skills, practiced for the most part in extreme arctic conditions, produced maps that laid the foundations for new communication routes that changed the world.

An Entrancing Start to the John Rae Society 2018 Festival

Shortlisted entries in the Mappers category, included Norman Leppard, for his services to Antarctic Surveying and Brigadier Martin Hotine, best known for his work with the Ordnance Survey, remapping the entirety of Britain between the mid-1930s and 1962.

In 2018 RICS Dr John Rae was inducted into the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and awarded  the prestigious posthumous title of Honorary Chartered Surveyor.

The Arctic Return Expedition

RICS has also sponsored the Arctic Return expedition in March 2019, which will see an expedition team return to Naujaat and embark upon a 650-kilometre trek across Boothia Peninsula following the route taken by Rae and his indigenous companions.

Retracing John Rae’s Expedition

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7 replies »

  1. As a direct descendant, o’ Dr. John Rae(In fact I also share the same name…), I’m happy to see that he is finally getting some recognition for his achievements… Next thing I would like to see happen, is for the record to be set straight, on the matter o’ the Franklin Expedition… As well as a formal apology from Westminster Abby…

  2. I’d like to hear the tale, as told through the eyes of William Ouligbuck and Thomas Mistegan, Dr Rae’s indigenous companions. I don’t suppose that’s possible, now? Maybe there is someone there, maybe relatives of those men, who still have the stories? Those cultures still recognize the value of a good tale, and a good tale-teller, and stories, last for a long time.
    Maybe the Arctic Return team will come across them, and return with yet another aspect of this enthralling story. Wouldn’t that be something?
    What on earth did those folk, make of ….those folk?

    • Bernie this is a fantastic idea and one that we intend to explore with the Arctic Return Film! If you’re interested in learning more and following the expedition, please check out http://www.arcticreturn.com and dig us up on Facebook (Arctic Return) or Instagram (@ArcticReturn). We look forward to sharing the journey!

      • I’ll have a look at the website, but, as I’m a bit of a dinosaur, I don’t do Facebook, and only found out what Instagram is, yesterday!

  3. Dr. John Rae’s sister Marion Sibbald (Rae) Hamilton was my gr gr grandmother. We live in Canada – have been to Orkney often. Going back on September 28th! We were also at Westminster Abbey for the ceremony on September 2014. So delighted to hear John Rae is still in the news – and especially about the Arctic Return. Would love to meet David Reid! Jane Hamilton, Penetanguishene, Ontario

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