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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)
Chapter 4 - The Seventies

Tracy Guest

.. where you could imagine nobody has ever been'
Graham Wills Johnson, Cobungra River - Dibbins Hut area, News, October 1976

A kaleidoscope of lasting impressions, tantalising place names, the joy, the dejection, the satisfaction, the sheer exhilaration, the pain, the frustration, the fun, and the people who shared and shaped experiences - it was all there for the Melbourne Bushwalkers in the seventies. Often these events and feelings were recorded and expressed in the News or Walk, sometimes with hilarity, other times with more of a philosophical bent. All are central to our story.

Bare bones

The seventies for the Melbourne Bushwalkers was brimming with many a fine sentiment and challenging walk. But that decade also held other less agreeable ingredients. At the 1972 Federation Weekend MBW earned themselves the 'Most Antisocial Club' trophy, some members being perceived as 'querulous, clique-forming and spoilsports'. Also deplored around this time were childish actions such as stone or boulder-throwing (the bigger the better) down hills and mountains, and the lighting of 'bonfires', the latter causing 'destruction of habitats and humus and sometimes the inhabitants as well . . . plus giving the Club a bad name as evidenced on the trip to Wyperfeld, when the Ranger told Club members to restrict their blazes'. (News, November 1972)

... Go slow along with me
For all the views are free
And let's enjoy the walk while yet we may.
Anon, News, May 1971

Then there was the perennial question of the 'racehorses' or 'tearaways'. Graham Wills-Johnson (W-J) maintained the leader must bear