As we celebrate Palmer's 50th anniversary it's a good time to also celebrate the pride and unity that we share in making this place...Palmer Station. How the work that we're doing here matters...whether you're out sampling all day and then staying up until all hours of the night processing samples or if you're repairing the plumbing under Bio, dragging yourself through muck. It's a good time to ask why our work matters. Why it matters to you individually, why it matters to this community and why it matters to this world.
Each Tues, as I sit in the lounge and learn about the various work that is being done here, I am amazed. Amazed and proud. Not just proud of what I feel like I might be contributing myself, but proud of all of you and of those that have come before.
I'd also like us to celebrate this place, the space that this station and this community inhabits. A place that touches your soul; a place where we strive to treat one another, the environment and our international neighbors with courtesy and respect. These are lofty goals and ones that I feel we proudly accomplish on a daily basis.
I sometimes run into people who have spent time at Palmer Station. My chiropractor back in Bellingham was here ten or so years ago. His job was to install insulation in the Power Plant. That sounds like one of the worst jobs you could do here. Working day after day under the drone of the generators, with pain in your shoulders and dust in your eyes and you install batting overhead. It sounds terrible. Yet every time I go to see my chiropractor, all he wants to do is talk about is Palmer Station and how he dreams of someday returning. How he can reorganize his life to get back down. This is a common theme that I hear repeatedly. To be here is always such a special experience and one that touches your soul. We're lucky folks.
Clearly, an anniversary is a good moment to recommit to what should never change. We hope that this place will continue to operate under the goals of the Antarctic Treaty, that it will always be a place for science where the awe of the natural environment and the strength and charm of the community will continue to be the a place where people long to be.
Happy 50th Palmer Station!