TITLE: EATING PAVLOVA
2000 15 X 31 INCHES
1882-1958, Australian geologist, explorer, teacher.
'He had Pavlova's four paws in his hands. He skinned
the fur from them and
dropped them into them into the steaming pot and stirred them with one
wooden spoons. After a while he looked at Mertz, his eyes solemn and
bloodshot from the snowblindness. "You know how she got her name,
"Yes, I was on the ship."
He was aboard the Aurora tied up on the Thames [June
1911]... Stores were
on deck and he was busy in the cabin with a loading manifest when the
sentry knocked at his door. "Here's a special lady to see you sir."
She seemed to fill his drab little cabin with a radiance;
not beautiful but
with a striking radiance, who moved with grace and smiled with deep charm
she said her friend Nellie Melba (opera diva) told her about a very brave
young countryman who was to sail a ship to the bottom of the world. "I
will not mind that I come to see such a ship-and such a man." Her
voice had a
lilt that softened her accent. She held out her hand and he held it for
minute in shy deference.
She handed him a wrapped box. "It is a present
for you. Melba tells me she
gave you a subscription to your funds, but you only take money for
Australians; so this is my gift. I wish it to keep you safe and bring
you home again."
He unwrapped the box and found a ballerina doll on tiptoe in a blue tutu.
"Take it with you in place of me." she smiled.
Mawson was touched and then had his inspiration. "I
wonder if I dare ask -
no one has christened my ship.. . Will you please be godmother to the
for her Antarctic adventure?" He found a bottle of wine , and they
across the deck where she poured some wine over the oaken forestem and
to watch over all who sailed in her. They could not waste the remaining
they drank it together in his cabin, and then he escorted her to her waiting
limousine. On the way she stopped to fondle a young husky, a bundle of
and ochre fur. Mawson was enchanted, delighted. Anna Pavlova, one of the
greatest ballet dancers ever, was godmother to his ship; and there and
named the pup she fondled, Pavlova- the husky whose paws he was now boiling
jelly to help keep him and his companion alive.'
Lennard Bickel, Mawson's Will (New York: Stein and Day, 1977) p.137-138