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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)

of people interested in winter activities. This led to the formation of 'The Winter Group' a loosely knit group of members of various clubs who felt that their winter interests were not sufficiently catered for by their clubs. The formation of this group did not adversely affect MBW; the Club's winter walking trips continued to be well attended, and the 'tigers' were provided with snow climbing and skiing trips by the Winter Group. In 1969 MBW began programming langlauf ski trips.

Walk attendances were particularly good towards the end of 1968; the van was often filled to overflowing. This gave financial stability to the Club, which had been reportedly in a precarious position over the past couple of years. The van was still the most popular means of transport. A breakdown in figures showed that, of 69 walks, 43 were van, 21 public transport and only 5 private transport. Averages for day walks were 22, weekend trips 17, an average of 20 per trip. The van would show full on these figures because, generally, the weekend trip would be held in the same area as the day walk and all walkers returned on the same van. Once back in the city, members would often go to the Ling Nan Chinese restaurant for a meal. The group would leave their packs near the door, then clomp up the stairs to the large circular tables.

The Wilkinson Lodge Manager reported that he was pleased with an increase in the use of Wilky during 1968. In April 1969 a plaque was erected by the Rover Scouts at Investiture Rock, a large rock outcrop near Cope Hut on the Bogong High Plains, in memory of Bill Waters (originator of the Alpine Rover Crew) who had died in October 1968. Alan Bennett represented the Club at the ceremony. The News of May 1969 reported that the Federation Hut on Feathertop should be finished by winter, that the Summit Hut on Bogong was in extremely good condition and that a gas heater was planned for the hut.

One well-remembered weekend was Sue Taylor's Warby Ranges botany walk in 1969. As expected in the Warbys, there were plenty of wildflowers, but a visit to an orange grove where the owner heaped oranges onto the group was a refreshing bonus. John Siseman and John Brownlie both separated from the party (or was it vice versa?), John Brownlie being picked up at the Wangaratta Post Office on the way home. Another popular trip was led by Tyrone Thomas in June 1969 - a weekend with a difference, visiting volcanic caves and craters in the Western District. This attracted a full van of fifty. Some members even camped in caves on Saturday night discovering, like ancient cavemen, that camp fires fill caves with smoke.

A review in the News August 1969, mentions 'Pretty Sally', a feature of the Hume Highway. This was the long, slow climb up onto the Divide - very slow for a fully loaded Gronow's van. The Hume Freeway was