Did you try reading the inscription? Sometimes those things are just chockablock with clues.
I’ll take a wild guess and suggest that the Norwegian Stockbrokers Club of Greater San Francisco came up with the idea back around 1912 or so, when Amundsen was the first at the South Pole (or maybe in the 1920s, after Amundsen died in an airship crash near the North Pole). After a few pints of glogg, of course. If this is the case, NSC/GSF should be carved on the base somewhere.
You see this often in memorials put up in the late 19th-early 20th century, when American ethnic groups stayed in enclaves and celebrated themselves a lot. The Music Garden in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, for example, has busts of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, and the usual suspects, plus guys like Karol Szymanowski, erected by the White Eagle League of Polish Haberdashers, Canarsie Branch.
(No offense directed at Szymanowski fans. I happen to love KING ROGER.)