At this point, Bob walked to the rear curtain, pulled a cord,
and the shimmering golden flag in the Explorers Club design
unrolled, glowing in the spotlight.
Bob continued at the podium:
"When Peter Hillary, the son of Sir Edmund Hillary, reached the
summit of Mt. Everest, he pulled out a cell phone and dialed his
father in Auckland, New Zealand. "Dad," he said. "I'm on the
summit of Everest." Sir Edmund's reply was classic:
"Congratulations, son. How's the weather?!"
"Tonight, we gather to reaffirm our conviction that the
weather for exploration has never been better. Far from being a
lost art, exploration is both a continuing tradition and a new
adventure. A century ago, exploration meant finding coastlines and
continents. Today, exploration is the extension of Man's abilities
by technology. First with stones and fire and clay, then iron and
bronze, then wheels and mechanisms and chemicals and chemistry,
and finally with electricity and electronics, Man has always found
new ways to explore, and new worlds to explore. It is this
combination that we celebrate with the Golden GateAway: the
modern, yet traditional, concept of ...
"New Worlds for New
"Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen. The story about Ed Hillary
Bob then read a message from Sir Edmund Hillary to the
GateAway, and gave the background for this event:
"The Golden GateAway is opposite the calendar and
opposite the continent from the related event, the Explorers Club
Annual Dinner, held in New York in March. This event complements
that one, and extends the community of people for whom exploration
is a central issue and worthy goal. The GateAway has three
"First, the Exotics Encounter. This event is meant to
carry on the tradition of celebrating success in the hunt, whether
the quarry be an animal for food, scientific data, a photograph,
or the fulfillment of a personal quest.
"Second, the GateAway Forays. These field trips
celebrate the tradition of carrying scientific methods to the
field, and returning with new knowledge to benefit all peoples
everywhere. The Explorers Club also celebrates the history of
field science, captured in our museums, nature centers, and
"And finally, the Grand Gathering, the third and
culminating GateAway event. The Gathering reiterates the tradition
of a ceremonial confluence, for reaquaintance, renewal, and
exchange. This ancient ritual, first done for survival, now is our
means to collectively honor the ancient traditions and renew our
commitment to the future.
"And we do have a commitment to the future. We are as certain
that there are New Worlds to Explore as we are certain that there
are New Explorers. In a sense every person is an explorer, an
explorer of the future. We will always have New Explorers. May we
always have New Worlds for them to explore!"
At this point, Bob introduced several famous members in the
"In this room tonight is a glittering array of explorers, some
of whom are world famous. Others have achieved comparably, but are
more modest in their reputations. It is my distinct pleasure and
privilege to introduce some of them to you, and you to them. I
will begin with those to my left. First, I want present to you the
person who is most responsible for making the GateAway happen, the
Czarina, my lovely and loving wife, Martha Schmieder..."
Martha Schmieder (Event Chairperson)
"Thank you so much... I want to extend my most sincere welcome
to each of you. Creating this event has required the concerted
actions of dozens of people and hundreds of hours of planning and
preparation. I would like to express my personal appreciation to
all those who helped make this happen. We can't help but be proud
that the GateAway was completely sold out two weeks in advance. I
hope you will have a grand time here at the Grand Gathering."
Bob continued the introductions: