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.

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