Whiskers grow wild for good cause

21:00, Nov 30 2013

Facial hair has a long history in Antarctica for warmth but the latest efforts have been for a vastly different cause.

About 20 Antarctica New Zealand staff at Scott Base and in its Christchurch head office put their upper lips on the line for Movember, Cancer Society's prostate cancer fundraiser.

Scott Base communications operator Stacey Jones organised the troops in Antarctica to let their whiskers grow wild for a good cause, putting their efforts on the internet and raising about $1500. Despite being unable to grow her own mo, she said fundraising for cancer was a cause dear to her heart and she was a dedicated Mo Sister.

Yesterday evening, they gathered for the judging at Scott Base's bar The Tatty Flag amid lots of hilarity about the various hairy designs that sprouted over the past month.

Programme support supervisor Peter McCarthy, sporting an impressive beard, pointed out a sobering fact to the gathering that Antarctica New Zealand staff had to get annual medical check-ups, which had detected men's health issues in the past.

Base engineer Steve Denby, who claimed third place, shaved off his moustache of 25 years a month ago to join the competition.

''I had to get permission from head office,'' he said yesterday, referring to his wife's approval to shave his face for the good cause. He now plans to grow a beard ''but I better check with head office'', he joked. 

Overall winner was base communications officer Mike Willemse's dandy mo.


The Press