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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)

beyond Bogong that weekend, led by Roger Brown, Michael Griffin and Robin Mitchell respectively. Ian Sheehy was piloting a trip to King Island on the same weekend. He suggested that those with more than the long weekend available could use the regular air service for $31 return. It is now $258 (Ansett, December 1994).

The Why of a Walker

It's doing, that's the thing I like
Especially on a lengthy hike
To see what's next around a ridge
Or over mountain, under bridge.
The scene that takes your breath away
The scene that makes you want to stay
The flower that calls the bee around
Or flashing bird with happy sound.
These things do make it all worthwhile
To come and walk that extra mile.
The Author's Apprentice, News, August 1979

The leader, John Siseman, billed his prophetic Purgatory Spur 1974 Easter trip as 'a chance to enjoy a pleasant weekend of real bushwalking, away from jeep tracks' famous last words. Mr Harding, Mr Bover, Mr Griffin, Mr Mattingley, Mr Grandage (alias Pancho Batterson), Miss Ball, Mr McLeish and Mr Siseman expunged their collective sins on that trip. Had they reached the Pearly Gates by way of the spur, St Peter would have met them with a 'minimum requirements fire' and hot drinks all round. In his entertaining poem, 'The Men from Purgatory' (Miss Ball - the one woman in the party notwithstanding!), which appeared in Walk 1975, Pancho Batterson's ultimate thoughts are these:

At eventide the Sentinels and Gable End aglow
With sunlight - our reward was grand indeed
To see our Mother Nature with her greatest gifts on show,
This satisfied our spiritual need.


before this alpine grandeur we are diminished,
yet somehow share its strength for awhile
Rosemary Rider, News, September 1971

Hardly a walks programme passed without the alpine country getting a guernsey. The Bogong High Plains became a popular walking and skiing area during the decade and provided the setting for many an adventure. In his article 'Wild Weather at Wilky', News, July 1977, Geoff Law