Stay the Dog
Subj: Re: Mawson report - Stay
Date: 11/8/006:33:31 AM Pacific Standard time
From. [email protected] (Gordon Bain (on Aurora)
Now about Stay. I am trying to get hold of an article someone write last year about Stay and his history - it will make good reading and I'll share it with the Berkley network. But here are the basics.
Stay is a plaster seeing-eye dog. A Labrador type and about two-thirds life size. It is one of those you see quite often in buildings and such - a slot in the head for dropping in coins to aid the Society for the Blind - to help fund their 'seeing eye dog' programs. Well in the early 1990s the person in charge of one of the stations responded to a request (he might even have initiated it) to take one of the plaster dogs to the Station to see how much money they could collect in a season or a full year. Hardly any money ever went into the dog, but at the end of the year it mysteriously disappeared from that station and equally mysteriously appeared at another. And so the legend began. Not sure when he picked up the name "Stay", but the tradition now is for Stay to be stolen by someone from another station and spirited away. Stay has never returned to his place of origin but he has occasionally appeared briefly in Hobart - mainly to transfer ships. The challenge always is to try and hide Stay so he can't be stolen, but expeditioners are resolute people. During the years Stay has had paint chips knocked off him. He broke a leg once and it has been replaced by a wooden one. He has been dressed in the most outlandish ways and where possible he travels in style. At stations he is always given a choice spot and appears at functions and special events -I noted the stand on which he perches has a "Special Invitation to the Davis International Film Festival', He was stolen from Davis by some Mawson people when we were there, and he proudly flew into Mawson on the last helicopter off the deck - in his own seat, carefully strapped in and looking proudly over the ice. Wonderful pictures of Berkley and OzGold with him. I've had Stay on at least three voyages - one where I didn't even know he'd been on board.
ANARE people are always up to pranks - as you've noticed from those I've pulled since being on this voyage. People still talk about the news story scam.