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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)


Val Elder

There was movement in the Club room, for the word had passed around:
'There's a book on bushie exploits to be tried,
With 50 years to chronicle, experiences must abound'.
So a call went out for writers far and wide.
And I was one who heard that call - how tell those seven years
When bushwalking was my true weekend delight?
Though thirty years ago it was, that time spent with my peers
Is still as vivid now as when in sight.

I had joined the Club in Feb'ry (and was Secretary henceforth!)
And by Christmas I was rarin' to be gone
On a ten-day trip from Kosci on its plateau to the north -
A somewhat daunting thought to a greenhorn.
We had our share of sunburn and became a little raw,
The March fly season too! That was of note!
No map for Leader Norm, not a worry, he'd been before.
Once long ago I summed and now will quote:

'Then we looked on Snowy River, down by Kosciusko's side,
Where the hills are twice as steep and twice as rough,
We looked across at Townsend could be reached by giant stride,
And close by many other peaks and bluffs.
To the southwest were the mountains of our own familiar state,
The Cobblers, Bogong, Buffalo and The Plains,
And on the north horizon, there outlined against the sky,
Was the lonely Mt Jagungal, now our aim.' *

The Kosci trip had hooked me 'twas such a dazzy bobbler,**
'Cos next Christmas saw me coming up for more,
As leader for ten days from Wongungarra to Mt Cobbler,
With a climb (up Wombat Spur) to start - for sure.
Then an amble down the Wonnangatta and swims in water warm,
A long climb to Mt Howitt (with water cold!)
A sunrise from the Crosscut Saw (and breaking camp before the dawn),
And a fun-filled New Year's Eve by Cobbler old.


* Walk 1960 .
** You won't find this expression anywhere, but it does rhyme with 'cobbler'!