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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)

broached the subject of the Club having a more formal arrangement a constitution, rules and so on.

Percy was made Chairman in 1944. Membership fees were 5s per year and the fee per walk was 6d. In 1945 a proper constitution was formed and Norm Richards became the first formal president; he retained the post for seven years. The philosophy was to lay good groundwork for a club so that it could thus function for many years; in this they succeeded admirably.

The Club motto was: 'For bushwalking among friends and conservation of bushland and bushlife'. In the winter walks programme of 1944 a code of behaviour for bushwalkers read as follows.

  • Getting over weak fences wrecks them, get through if possible.
  • Close gate (this quickly changed to: leave gates as you find them).
  • Litter and tins: burn, bash, bury.
  • Fires in summer: be careful.

From the very start a proper committee was formed and all Club members were actively encouraged to have their say. It was decided to have some sort of gossip sheet - a newsletter - as well as a quarterly walks programme sheet. The News first came out in 1948; until then circulars were irregular. It was printed on a gestetner by Gordon Coutts for many years. Egon wrote the News until March 1950 (No.18). Until spring 1945 walks programmes (layout designed by Frank Pitt) were hand-done on a gestetner. The following three issues were printed in booklet form with delightful coloured covers. The coloured card, with three folds, came out for winter 1946. During 1947 it took a four-fold form then later reverted to its present three-fold form (see also pages 162-4).

Gordon Coutts was Walks Secretary for two years, 1950 and 1951. His job was, as now, to collar people in the Club room, persuade them to lead walks and also ask for suggestions of new places to go.

The Club was now meeting at Room 110 in the Railway Institute, Flinders Street Station, on Friday nights. (From January 1945 it was on a permanent basis.) As most people travelled by train this was very convenient. Trains were used extensively by the Club. Only suburban electric trains ran during the war, and country trains were solely for country passes, that is, people who lived in the country. At Christmas in 1945 there were a few special excursion trains. During 1945 petrol rationing for commercial purposes had loosened up (lifting entirely by 1949), so petrol for a hired van became a possibility.

Membership rose to close to the Club's aim of one hundred in late 1945 to early 1946. The YHA Bushwalkers, an older club, became