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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)

evenings. The Club responded by scheduling more of these activities, as well as a series of very popular and much-praised map and compass training courses organised by Rob Ayre.

There were times, though, when weekend trips attracted surprisingly large attendances. For example, in November 1980 Spencer George led 30 adventurous walkers over the High Plains. In May 1983 Phil Larkin led a trip to Lorne and the Otways that attracted no less than 78 walkers. And I well remember a sweltering Australia Day weekend trip in January 1985, when Merilyn Whimpey led 21 enthusiasts up Quartz Ridge, over Mt Bogong, down across Big River (we all had lovely refreshing skinny-dips in the river and remarked on the orange glow of the afternoon sun, due as it turned out to the smoke from disastrous bushfires that were raging that weekend on Mt Buffalo), and up to Heathy Spur for a final refreshing dip in the icy waters of Rocky Valley Reservoir.

In the eighties, all the usual places in Victoria were visited on walks, although there was a tendency to concentrate on locations further afield, due to the pressure of the urban sprawl. In fact, in February 1980 the scheduled location of a walk led by Ian Stewart had to he changed to another area because 'the Cockatoo, Pakenham area has, sadly, been overtaken by civilisation'.

The Club often ventured interstate in the eighties. In addition to all the usual trips to Tasmania, there was, for example, perhaps the Club's first trip to the Flinders Ranges a train and mini-bus trip led by Ken MacMahon at Easter 1980 as well as a trip to the Budawangs led by Tyrone Thomas at Easter 1981, and again by Pearson Cresswell in May 1983 and Jopie Bodegraven at Easter 1986.

In March 1984, a group of Sunday walkers had an unexpectedly longer trip than was planned to Mt Donna Buang, and it turned out to be a good test of the Club's emergency procedures. They were thoroughly enjoying the walk when, at about 4.30 p.m., it was discovered that they had missed a turn in the planned route. The group carefully backtracked to the starting point, where one member had left a private car and was dispatched with other drivers to Acheron Gap where the van and a few other private cars were to be met. The remainder of the group then found and proceeded along the correct walk route but time was against them. Darkness fell, they only had three torches between 46 people (including 6 or 7 children), and they reached the rendezvous point for the van at 9.30 p.m., long after the van had departed with walkers from the other group who had arrived on time.

A fire was lit, and it began to rain. Parkas and plastic sheeting were