December 24, 2010

Saturday, 24 December 1910


The Fram's saloon, decorated probably for Christmas, December 1910. [1]

Amundsen arranged a Christmas Eve surprise for the men. As they took their places in the saloon for dinner, he wrote in his diary, "'Holy Night, Silent Night' burst out, sung by Herold. Heavens, what a ceremony -- what an effect. One had to be made of more than steel not to feel the tears coming. The gramophone was completely hidden. No one expected it. The wonderful voice brought Christmas greetings to us like a fresh breath from home." [2]

"After dinner we went to the after saloon, where coffee was served.... Thereafter we returned to the forward saloon, where the Christmas tree ... decorated by Lindstrøm, awaited us. Here we were enriched by many splendid presents. This wonderful party finished at 11 p.m. -- The wind was fairly light, and did not disturb the festivities. This Christmas Eve will always live in the memory of the Fram men. And many warm thanks were sent home to those who had thought of us with many gifts." [3]


[1] Roald Amundsen Bildearkiv, Nasjonalbiblioteket.
[2] Roald Amundsen, diary, [24 December 1910], quoted by Roland Huntford in Scott and Amundsen (New York : Putnam, 1980, c1979), p.312-313.
[3] Roald Amundsen, diary, 24 December, 1910, quoted by Roland Huntford in The Amundsen Photographs (London : Hodder & Stoughton, c1987), p.74.

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