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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18



The Melbourne Bushies - Fifty years along the track (1940-90)

Walkers on a muddy track
Walkers on a muddy track.
At the back: Beverley Davey, Betty McArdle, Marjorie White, 1940.
Marjorie Elmore collection

'Enemy aliens', or 'reffos' as they were affectionately called, initially had the problem of having to ask permission to travel if they were going more than 10 kilometres. And when on such an excursion, they had to check in at the local police station. Egon always thought it an amusing sight, seeing twenty or so young people lounging around outside a police station in the middle of nowhere while about three went in to sign. Fortunately, after America came into the war, these people were no longer seen as a danger to Australia and the ruling was dropped.

In those very early days the bushwalkers often sang German songs as they walked along. This must have been regarded as odd to any passers by; and indeed Marjorie remembers that entrenched attitudes took a long time to break down. She was regarded by many as being quite eccentric. Bushwalking itself was regarded as a bit anti-social, and then to go walking with foreigners - well!

Marjorie also says of those early years: "I believe the wartime group provided a useful service to all. The Europeans had their outdoor exercise in a pleasant environment and were able to socialise with Australians of their own age group. They learned to appreciate the landscape that was different from their own familiar scenery, but that had its own special beauty and fascination. They made many firm friendships. The Australians, too, gained a great deal by obtaining insights into European culture from which our geographical isolation had cut us off. In particular, some of us were delighted that many of them shared our love for