Death of UKFIT President Sir Rex Hunt

Sir Rex Hunt, CMG

Our President, Sir Rex Hunt, died on 11th November 2012. He will be sorely missed by the Trust for his knowledge of the Falkland Islands, and its people, and his wisdom in our deliberations over 25 years.

Sir Rex first became a UKFIT Trustee in 1987, not long after his retirement as Governor, and return to the UK, and served until 2011. He became our President in 2006 on the retirement of Lord Strathcona, and continued in that office until his death.

In January 1995 he was the UK based co-ordinator for the launch of the Shackleton Scholarship Fund (SSF), chairing the UK Committee from inception, and working closely with the then Governor, David Tatham, and the Committee in Stanley in the initial fundraising. The success of the Appeal for funds for the SSF in the UK owed much to his energy and enthusiasm, as did the development of the SSF in its early years. He retired as Chairman of the UK Committee in 1999, but continued as Hon Treasurer until the end of 2001.

UKFIT 30th Anniversary

The 30th anniversary of the formation of UKFIT on 1 June 1981, was commemorated at a Reception at Falklands House in London on 7th September 2011 which celebrated our past achievements, and highlighted current projects. The occasion also celebrated 16 years since the Shackleton Scholarship Fund (SSF) was launched by the Trust in 1995.

The Reception was hosted by the Falkland Islands Government Representative in London, Ms Sukey Cameron MBE, and attended by Trustees and Officers of the Trust and the London Committee of SSF.

Our Patron, Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, was our guest of honour.

Princess Alexandra visited the Falklands in February 2000 when she inspected the work of the Trust and SSF scholars’ projects, met local people involved, and learned about plans for the future. The Alexandra Wood at Port Howard was later named in her honour.

The 30th Anniversary Reception was centred on an exhibition of the work of the Trust and SSF since the Princess’s visit to the Islands in 2000, and explained current projects in hand including –

  • collation of a record of all scientific and technical publications (over 5000) relating to the Falklands, and
  • investigation of the evidence for climate change in the Falklands and adjacent regions, its likely impact, and feasibility of mitigation.

At the conclusion of proceedings, Princess Alexandra was presented with an inscribed copy of the  Dictionary of Falklands Biography by its editor Mr David Tatham, as a memento of the occasion.

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