Captain Amundsen’s great feat, but yet no word on Scott (1912)

During this week in 1912 came the news that the Aftenposten and Tidenstegn in Christiania (now Oslo), Norway, had received the following telegram, dated Hobart, Australia, dated 7th March, 1912 at 3.40am: “[Norwegian explorer Roald] Amundsen reached the South Pole 14th to 17th December 1911.

Robert Falcon Scott, left, and Roald Amundsen, right
Robert Falcon Scott, left, and Roald Amundsen, right
Robert Falcon Scott, left, and Roald Amundsen, right

King Haakon, the Norwegian government and the Geographical Society had sent telegrams of congratulations to Captain Amundsen. Meanwhile, enthusiastic cheers were given for the captain on the Bourse, and “the city is beflagged in honour of his accomplishment”.

At the opening of the Storthing [the Norwegian Parliament] on Friday, March 8, 1912, the president expressed “the thankful joy and pride) of the members at Captain Amundsen having reached the South Pole. The president asked for the authority of the House of send the following telegram to Amundsen: “The Storthing has received with joy the news that you and your comrades reached the South Pole and hoisted the Norwegian flag there. The Storthing sends you warmest greetings and thanks.”

Meanwhile, the News Letter also noted that in another telegram from Hobart dated, Friday, March 8, 1912, that Captain Amundsen had denied having telegraphed anything regarding Captain Scott. He said that he was the only member of the expedition who had landed. Nobody had been allowed aboard the Fram.

World famous American evangelist welcomed warmly to Belfast

It was reported by the News Letter that Dr J R Mott, secretary of the World’s Students’ Christian Federation and chairman of the Edinburgh Missionary Conference was “accorded an enthusiastic reception” on his arrival in Belfast, where he was to “conduct a mission” in connection with Queen’s University.

A large number of students, “headed by pipes and drums”, met the distinguished visitor at the Great Northern Railway Station, “and carried him shoulder high” to a landau, which was waiting for him.

The horses were then unharnessed, and their places were taken by students, who dragged the vehicle to the Students’ Union. On the steps of that building “a few appropriate words of welcome” were spoken by Mr Martin, president of the union, and Dr Mott, in reply, said that he had been literally carried off his feet by the reception which they had given him. He added that their welcome was “one of the most enthusiastic” that he had met “at any university”, and he said he could not adequately express all the gratitude he felt for their kindness.