The Kent Mark Benevolent Fund (KMBF), is  delighted to support the Kent Scouts’ project to return to Antarctica exactly 100 years after Sir Ernest Shackleton ‘s last expedition.

The ReQuest2021 project will see ten of the County’s Scouts sail, this winter on the Bark Europa Tall Ship, from South
America to Port Lockroy in Antarctica.  Port Lockroy is a bay forming a natural harbour on the north-western shore of Wiencke Island in front of the Antarctic Peninsula. The eponymous Antarctic base nearby includes the most southerly operational post office in the world, let’s hope that they send us a postcard.

When there, they will conduct personal research projects and present their findings on their return. 17,000 other Scouts back in Kent will join in the fun and adventure remotely using ‘Antarctica in an Ice Box’ activity packs around the three themes of heritage, environment and peace.

Working closely with our friends at the Craft Provinces of East & West Kent, the KMBF has donated £1,000 towards the venture, to support the team ‘s research projects on the ice.

V.W.Bro. Tony Harvey, a Kent Queen ‘s Scout and member of the Province’s Greenwich Lodge, said, €œThere is a great affinity between Mark Masonry and Scouting. The KMBF ‘s kind donation will have a lasting impact on so many young people. ”

On 17th September 2021, 100 years to the day since Shackleton raised a Union Flag donated by King George V  and set sail from London’s St Katherine Docks, the ReQuest2021 team will raise another Union Flag and sail under the adjacent Tower Bridge.  The flag the team will raise flew for one year over Baden-Powell ‘s Brownsea Island campsite from a  flagpole provided by The Scout Lodge M.M.M. No. 1907. The team will later fly this Brownsea flag at Port  Lockroy Antarctic base.

This collaboration between Scouts and Freemasons is yet another echo of the original expedition. Sir  Ernest Shackleton was a Freemason, a member of Navy Lodge No. 2612, and two of his crew, James Marr  and Norman Mooney, were Scouts. They were selected from 1,700 applicants and supported by Baden-Powell, Scouting ‘s founder.