Polar Guide presented with prestigious Polar Medal

Date: 17/10/2019

A Polar Guide who has spent the last 17 summers in Antarctica, was presented with the Polar Medal at a special ceremony held at Caernarfon Castle by the Lord-Lieutenant of Gwynedd and Constable of the Castle, Mr Edmund S Bailey recently.

The medal is given to those who give valuable service in conditions of extreme hardship and who over prolonged periods of time and in harsh conditions have worked to advance knowledge of the polar region.

Catrin Thomas who now lives near Llanberis, grew up in Birmingham, but also has close family ties with Llanbedr in Gwynedd, has been working in the Polar Regions for almost 20 years and during that time has provided outstanding opportunities and support for researchers to engage in scientific endeavours.

Her reputation extends well beyond BAS (the British Antarctic Survey), she was the Polar Guide that the BBC used on film shoots to South Sandwich Islands (Blue Planet II) and was the 'Guide of Choice' used by the Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands, when documenting routes for tourists across South Georgia.

The event was led by the Chairman of Gwynedd Council and of HWB Caernarfon, Cllr Edgar Wyn Owen.

He said: “Many congratulations to Catrin Thomas, her exemplary service with the British Antarctic Service has proven that she is worthy of the highest possible recognition of the award of the Polar Medal.”

PHOTOGRAPH: Mrs Victoria Gruffudd Jones DL, Vice Lord Lieutenant of Gwynedd;  Mr Edmund S Bailey, Lord-Lieutenant of Gwynedd;  Ms Catrin Thomas; Councillor Edgar Wyn Owen,  Gwynedd Council Chairman; Councillor W Tudor Owen, Mayor of the Royal Town of Caernarfon