Local News

Celebrating Arctic Explorer John Rae

John Rae was born on 30th of September 1813 and on that same day in 2022 a small group brought together by the John Rae Society celebrated the anniversary at his graveside in St Magnus Cathedral kirkyard, Kirkwall.

Led by a piper the small group, in weather which Rae would have been very familiar with, walked to his graveside.

Orcadian historian, Bryce Wilson, gave a short address reminding the gathering of Rae’s great achievements as an Arctic explorer and of discovering the fate of the Franklin Expedition. Dr John Rae also learned how the indigenous people of the region survived and used their techniques to improve how his explorations of the area were successfully conducted.

Bryce Wilson

The Orkney News made a short film of the celebration on a wild and wet day.

You can read more about Dr John Rae and of the Franklin Expedition in The Orkney News, just use the search button.

Highland Park kindly supplied the wee dram for the libation at John Rae’s graveside.

John Rae statue by sculptor Ian Scott. Image credit Martin Laird