THE ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY - HONG KONG
"The Seventy Great Journeys in History and my 50 years as an Explorer and President of Survival International"
Dr. Robin Hanbury Tenison OBE, FLS
Monday, 17 December 2007
The Jardine Penthouse, 48/F Jardine House, One Connaught Place
Complimentary Christmas Drinks Reception 6.30 pm; Lecture 7.30 pm
(As this lecture is expected to be popular, you may reserve seats in advance by e-mailing the Society stating your ticket requirements for members or guests, as soon as possible)
We are delighted and honoured to welcome to Hong Kong, Robin Hanbury-Tenison, perhaps the greatest explorer of his era, who has also saved more than 500 minority ethnic groups around the world through his charity, Survival International, is the author of some 20 books and holds the Society's Gold Medal. Robin Hanbury-Tenison made the first land crossing of South America at its widest point and the first river crossing of South America from north to south from the Orinoco to Buenos Aires. His many books include "A Ride Along the Great Wall", "Fragile Eden" and "The Oxford Book of Exploration".
The first part of Mr Hanbury-Tenison lecture is on the subject of his latest book, "The Seventy Great Journeys in History". This lecture, already given to much acclaim to the Royal Geographical Society in London, celebrates the romance and sheer thrill of travel. It is the stories and personalities of those who explored the unexplored. From the migrations out of Africa by our earliest ancestors to the latest voyages into space, seventy of humanity's most remarkable journeys are illustrated.
The lecture celebrates the romance and sheer thrill of travel from Marco Polo, Ferdinand Magellan, Captain Cook, Dr David Livingstone to Neil Armstrong and all the greatest explorers of all time. These include early Pacific voyagers, Herodotus, Pytheas the Greek, Chinese travellers on the Silk Road, Muslim pilgrimages, Bartolomeu Diaz Lodovico da Varthema, Francisco Pizarro, Ippolito Desideri, the Trail of Tears, the Mekong River Expedition, the Long March and the successful scaling of Everest.
The lecture also includes our own era's most intrepid adventurers including Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Robert Ballard, Pen Hadow, Dr John Hemming and Sir Christopher Ondaatje. The lecture abounds with human tales of triumph and success, but also of terrible hardship, tragedy and astonishing courage in adversity. At times infused with empire and Christianity, Hannibal, St Paul, Genghis Khan, Piccard and Jones's round the-world balloon trip, James Bruce, discoverer of the source of the Blue Nile all feature. From Scott's Antarctic to the lonely surface of the Moon, the lecture is a treasury of man and woman's indomitable spirit for discovery. It is learned, brave and inspiring, and beautifully illustrated by Mr Hanbury-Tenison's evocative photographs, paintings, illustrations and portraits, plus specially commissioned maps.
The second part of Mr Hanbury-Tenison's lecture is on his own 50 years as an Explorer and President of Survival International.
Mr Hanbury-Tenison was educated at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford. Named by the "Sunday Times" in 1982 as "the greatest explorer of the past 20 years" and in 1991 as one of the 1,000 "Makers of the 20th Century" and again in 2006, in the "Spectator", as 'the doyen of Explorers', he has been on over 30 expeditions. In 1957, he made his first expedition driving from London to Ceylon. Just a year later, he made the extraordinary achievement of making the first land crossing of South America at its widest point, for which he was awarded the Ness Award of the Royal Geographical Society. In the 1960s he made Saharan camel travels with Tuareg exploring the Tassili n'Ajjer, Tibesti and Aïr mountains, the first river crossing of South America from north to south from the Orinoco to Buenos Aires and the "Geographical Magazine" Amazonas Expedition by Hovercraft, from Manaus to Trinidad. In 1969, he led the Trans-African Expedition by hovercraft from Dakar to Lake Chad to the Congo.
In 1971, Mr Hanbury-Tenison became the founding chairman of Survival International, the worldwide movement to support tribal peoples. He was Chairman until 1981, when he received an OBE for his work, and he has since been President. On Survival International's behalf he has led innumerable overseas missions assisting in the saving of remote tribes and indigenous peoples in South America, Africa, SE Asia, India, Siberia and Canada. To this day, he regularly meets ambassadors and High Commissioners to discuss their countries' abuses of tribal peoples' rights.
In 1978-79, Mr Hanbury-Tenison led the Royal Geographical Society's largest expedition ever, taking 140 scientists to the interior of Sarawak in Borneo for which he was awarded the Royal Geographical Society's Patron's Gold Medal in 1979. The research from this expedition, and his book, "Mulu: the Rainforest", started the international concern for tropical rainforests. Since 1980, Mr Hanbury-Tenison has been on innumerable expeditions including walking across the Kalahari Desert with Bushmen, expeditions in Ecuador, Brazil and Venezuela, lived with the Yanomami tribe in Brazil, rode two Camargue horses across France, rode along the Great Wall of China, led a mission to investigate the arrest of Malaysian environmentalists and Borneo tribal people for campaigning against excessive logging in Sarawak and innumerable other expeditions.
Mr Hanbury-Tenison has been a Council Member (1968-82), Vice-President (1982-86) and Gold Medallist (1979) of the Royal Geographical Society, an International Fellow of the Explorers Club, a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellow (1971), is a Fellow of the Linnean Society, a Member of the Society of Authors, a winner of the Krug Award for Excellence (1980), holds the Mungo Park Medal of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, was Chief Executive of the Countryside Alliance, when he organised the largest peace-time demonstration in British history, and was Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall. Mr Hanbury-Tenison is a regular contributor of articles and reviews to many magazines and newspapers and is also a frequent broadcaster both on television and radio. Mr Hanbury-Tenison is the star of 11 films made of his expeditions and is also the author of some 20 books, many of them best-sellers.
This lecture is being held in the fine surroundings of the Jardine Penthouse. Members and their guests are most welcome to attend at HK$150 for Members, HK$200 for Members' guests and $250 for others. This includes a complimentary drinks reception prior to the lecture.