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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)

There were some other events of major significance to the Club in the eighties. One of these concerned a dramatic change to the transport arrangements for Sunday walkers, and is reported in detail on pages 122-4: the Great Saga of The Club Van. Of all the Club issues in the eighties, this was by far the most controversial, and generated the greatest anxiety and debate from mid-1984 through into the nineties.

There was formal change of the Club structure, too. In September 1983, with President Geoff Mattingley's guidance, the Club moved formally to incorporate under the relatively new Associations Incorporation Act 1981. A new constitution together with the name Melbourne Bushwalkers (Incorporated) was adopted.

Then there was all that trouble over Wilky in 1989. 'Wilky' is the affectionate name we use for Wilkinson Lodge, a cottage in the Bogong High Plains owned by the Melbourne Bushwalkers (see also pages 64-75). Wilky is just a little hut, really, but for all of us who have stayed there it holds many treasured memories so it is very special to us.

The trouble with Wilky began with excrement. Humans bury theirs, or do it in toilets and septic tanks. But cows and horses have no manners: they do it wherever and whenever they feel the urge. In summer, you can see it all over the High Plains. In fact it is very difficult to find a nice, sheltered patch of ground (a tent or picnic site, for example) that is not literally carpeted with the stuff.

It seems that the water in Rocky Valley Reservoir at Falls Creek was (confidentially now - we don't want to cause any alarm at the resort) found to be polluted, and a scapegoat was needed. Wilky was identified as a suitable target, and right at the beginning of winter, an EPA notice was slapped on Wilky preventing use until major changes were made to the septic system. As you can imagine, this caused a little bit of consternation among the Bushies.

There ensued a flurry of letter writing, meetings and negotiations. A small number of people did a great deal of work, and eventually a compromise agreement was achieved involving the use of a portable chemical toilet and plans for reconstruction of the septic system the following summer. An interesting aspect emerged during all the negotiations: evidence was uncovered in the form of test results proving that there was no problem with septic effluent from Wilky, and that the pollution was coming from other sources on the High Plains - cows and horses!

Then there was the story of Pocock's Patented Possum Protector. When Doug entered Wilky in autumn 1985 with food stocks for winter, he found that lighting the kitchen stove produced voluminous smoke. Investigation showed that the stove was clear and the damper was