BAS want more female recruits
BAS want more women recruits.
Today's Sunday Telegraph (17/4/05) has a half page feature on BAS recruitment. It appears that they are trying to positively discriminate in favour of female recruits. To quote a BAS spokeswoman, Athena Dinar; "The recruitment campaign is open to men and women, but this year we are particularly looking to target women", "[BAS] is looking for 5 electricians, 4 carpenters, 5 plumbers, 2 helmsmen/women and 5 steelworkers aged between 18 and 60.".
The report goes on to report comments by Caroline Lewis who manages support staff. Caroline was at Halley for 4 months in 2002 and again in 2004. She seems to think that women have a civilising effect there. She goes on to add " It is thanks to [women] that on Saturday evenings in the research stations, supper is served on white tablecloths and with wine."
Now my time down south was long before the first women recruits wintered on bases but we still managed to conduct ourselves in a similar very civilised manner all by ourselves. On both bases I was at, Saturday evening meals were invariably a more formal event for which we always dressed up in out smart clothes. We also had wine with the meal and finished with liqueurs. I will concede the point about tablecloths, we only went that far (+ napkins) at Christmas and Midwinter. After the meal we would all sit down together to watch the evening's entertainment - a cine projection of documentaries or once a month, a current cinema release. Mrs Lewis thinks women will reduce loutish behaviour on bases, but has there ever very much of that? In two seasons, I can only recall two instances of scradge fights that come anywhere close to being called loutish.
The question of whether BAS would ever overwinter female recruits was often discussed on base but the only data we had on which to base our suppositions was the alleged scandal of 1947 which led us to think it would be a bad idea. We could also see that back in the UK social changes would inevitably lead to female recruits. That happened in 1989 but I don't know if that has led to more problems on base or fewer. Maybe someone with more recent experience can enlighten me.
Keith Avery - former met-man at South Georgia(72/73) and Adelaide Island (73/74)