20th Annual General Meeting
As in the past, the 2013 AGM took place in April. 60 HSR members and several guests were present. HSR president Nikolay Neronov reported on the Society activities of the past year and he reminded all those present that the HSR has already operated for more than 20 years. It plays a unifying role for those experts and organisations for whom the destiny of Russian Hydrography is not indifferent. This was shown by the both scientific and practical conference held in June 2012 and the recent memorial event for general Andrey I. Vilkitsky.
The report by the Revision committee was unanimously approved. Then Boris Zolotajkin mentioned the 30th anniversary of the Antarctic expedition by the Soviet oceanographic vessels Admiral Vladimirsky and Faddey Bellinshausen and he handed a gift to the Society - a memorable bronze medal which was was issued in honour of this navigation.
Mr. Evgeny G. Drukaryov told briefly about his grandfather hydrographer E.S. Gernet (1873-1943) and presented a book about him.
Vasily Provorov reported on the lastest events involving HSR participation; the inspection of vessels sunk during the Second World War in the Finish Gulf near Gogland Island.
Ratmir Berkutov noted that the three-volume edition of The Annals of the Russian Navy in which he and HSR members Vitaly Korjakin and Sergey Valchuk participated, has been presented the ‘Best Book of the Year’ award by the Association of publishers.
Grigory Akulov criticised the HSR Council which, in his opinion, had not started organising a memorable expedition to Severnaya Zemlya, devoted to the 100th nniversary of its discovery. Then there was polemic on this question as well as on HSR participation in activities by domestic and international societies.
AGM participants had hoped to hear a presentation by the chief of the Navigation and Oceanography Department about the state of affairs in the Russian Hydrographic Service but unfortunately he could not be present at AGM.
The elections for HSR president, vice-president, secretary and council members showed that the members are satisfied with the current activities - everyone was re-elected for another term.
On 3 September 2013, we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the last important geographical discovery on our planet. On this day, the Russian Hydrographic expedition of the Arctic ocean under the command of Boris Vilkitsky discovered unknown land to the north of the Tajmyrsky peninsula. After the participants of expedition returned to St. Petersburg in January 1914 this land was named ‘Zemlya Imperatora Nikolaya II’. In 1926, it was renamed ‘Severnaya Zemlya’ so as to remove the name of a ‘hated’ last Russian Tsar from maps.
HSR will make a note of this anniversary. A group of enthusiastic HSR members will prepare a document for the Russian Government offering to cancel the 1926 decision and to return to the initial historical name for the land discovered.