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John Rae Festival turns up a Franklin sailor and a tribute in stained glass

Arctic aficionados should check out this excellent bit of work from the Orkney News about the John Rae Festival. Most are aware that a gorgeous reclining memorial statue to explorer John Rae is one of the highlights of any visit to St. Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall. Here we see it with the witty and perceptive Fran Flett Hollinrake, the world’s leading authority on, and only full-time staffer at, the 12th-century cathedral. Most know, as well, that Rae is buried in the kirkyard behind the cathedral. Fewer know that the graveyard also contains a memorial to Thomas Work, an able seaman who sailed with John Franklin on the Erebus.
He is commemorated on a stone that marks the grave of his widow, Catherine Wishart. And here is another surprise, courtesy of Orcadian historian Tom Muir. Not far from St. Magnus, the Scottish Episcopal Church of St. Olaf contains a stained glass window dedicated to “the beloved memory of my husband Dr. John Rae, the Arctic explorer.” It was installed by his remarkable Canadian wife, Kate Rae.
Ken McGoogan
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Before turning mainly to books about arctic exploration and Canadian history, Ken McGoogan worked for two decades as a journalist at major dailies in Toronto, Calgary, and Montreal. He teaches creative nonfiction writing through the University of Toronto and in the MFA program at King’s College in Halifax. Ken served as chair of the Public Lending Right Commission, has written recently for Canada’s History, Canadian Geographic, and Maclean’s, and sails with Adventure Canada as a resource historian. Based in Toronto, he has given talks and presentations across Canada, from Dawson City to Dartmouth, and in places as different as Edinburgh, Melbourne, and Hobart.