An Ennis man who applied for a position in the world’s remotest and coldest post office has vowed to try again next year after he missed out on this year’s selection process.
A total of 23 Irish people were among the 2,400 who applied for the four positions at the United Kingdom Antarctic Heritage Trust’s (UKAHT) post office in Port Lockroy on a tiny island on the Antarctic Peninsula.
This year saw unprecedented interest in the €400-a-week seasonal positions after 170 applied in 2014, up from just 82 the previous year.
The four-person team selected to spend the 2015/16 season at Port Lockroy, all of whom are from the UK, will be responsible for running and maintenance of the post office and museum.
Clareman Anthony Galvin, an author, magician and children’s entertainer who now lives in Cork, was one of the Irish hopefuls who applied for the jobs and has confirmed he will apply again next year.
Mr Galvin will however be spending the month December in the Arctic where it will even colder that Port Lockroy.
He said: “I am delighted for the lucky four who will be spending their winter in Antarctica, but disappointed I will not be joining them this year. I feel strongly that I will get there at some point in my life and I will be applying next year.”
“The area continues to draw me. I was shortlisted for an expedition to the South Pole a decade ago, which did not get off the ground. I hope that the successful candidates will have a wonderful few months, and an experience they will never forget. ,” Mr Galvin added.
“Meanwhile, I have accepted a contract which will bring me to the Arctic this December. I will be working at a Santa village in Luosto, Finland. It is a little north of the Arctic Circle, and will actually be colder than Port Lockroy at that time of the year,” he said.
Port Lockroy is situated on Goudier Island in the Antarctic Peninsula. First recognised as a location of historical importance following a conservation survey undertaken by the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), Port Lockroy was designated Historic Site and Monument under the Antarctic Treaty in 1995.
The existing buildings, including the post office, were restored in 1996 and have since been open to visitors during the Antarctic summer.
About 18,000 people visit the tiny gentoo penguin colony each Antarctic summer amounting to two ship visits per day. Around 70,000 cards are posted each year to over 100 countries usually taking between 2 and 6 weeks to arrive.