Accompanying Admiral William Byrd’s second expedition to the Antarctic in 1934, Dr Guy Shirey reached the Bay of Whales and decided that he could not go on. Faced with this news, Byrd immediately sent out a flurry of telegrams seeking a replacement. He contacted his agent in Wellington and was told that few doctors were willing to come forward. Those who had expressed interest wanted higher salaries. There was, however, one applicant from Nelson. The telegram continued:
THOROUGHLY CAPABLE MAN HIGHLY RECOMMENDED STOP BUT HE IS ONE THIRD MAORI IN BLOOD WOULD THIS DISQUALIFY HIS FEE ALSO 350 POUNDS.