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Start
Contents
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

Photogallery
Archive
1940-99


Walk
Magazine
Archive
1949-87


Newsletter
Archive
1949-
The Melbourne Bushies - Fifty years along the track (1940-90)

managers of 161 Flinders Lane, which had been bought by the National Fitness Council, and wanted other clubs to come in as tenants. But no, members liked the arrangements as they were. It was decided that Room 52 in the Railway Institute could be hired if something bigger was required.

MBW regularly had speakers on a Club night. Once Alan Marshall came. So too did famous naturalist broadcaster Crosbie Morrison. Events like this were strongly supported. Among others, Felix Harding organised theatre nights. Grand opera was especially popular. In October 1946 Club members saw the Borovansky Ballet. A regular annual event was a dance, just before Christmas, held at Jerram Hall, a Church of England girls hostel in the city (on the corner of Flinders Lane and Spring Street). These dances were well attended.

Norm Richards felt a visual identity for the Club was needed - a logo. So Daphne McPherson (nee McDougal) drew the little man with a day pack striding up a hill. Initially he had a staff, but that was felt to he inappropriate so it was left out; however the poor man is left with his arm forever raised. Initially 80 badges were made of solid silver - cash had to be produced for that. Frank Pitt, another tireless worker, remembers having to get the necessary A£90 together smartly and transport the sheet of silver from Little Collins Street, opposite the Victoria Hotel, to Little Bourke Street, where the badges were made. These and those made thereafter always remain the property of the Club, and for a small fee they were issued to people who were accepted by the Committee as members. The badges also appeared on sugar bowls and were given as wedding presents when members married. This practice continued only for a short while; the badges next appeared on sugar spoons and then only on teaspoons. These are treasured items in many homes. The tradition lives on.

In those early days people didn't travel overseas very often, so prior to a Club member's departure a small dainty plywood boot was manufactured, complete with laces and 'stitching', and was lacquered. Everyone signed it and it was given as a bon voyage present. This practice, alas, has long since gone.

The Club founders, and Norm Richards in particular, strove hard to keep the 'cream walkers' and the harder weekend walkers together, despite their different styles of walking. There was room for everybody. They saw bushwalkers as a small group in a hostile environment: the outside world did not understand the philosophy of bushwalking. It was important to be and stay together.