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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)

(Tupperware) caught the imagination of bushwalkers and in 1962 the Club had a Tupperware party. The poor demonstrator was given a rough time with much heckling, especially when she guaranteed that the lids would not come off in the pack. To demonstrate this wonderful property, she turned the container upside down, spraying the sceptical bushies sitting in the front row with the liquid contents, much to the amusement of the audience.

Bushies have always been opportunistic eaters, making the most of what can be found along the track, such as blackberries along creeks, or apples at deserted houses. John Siseman and I well remember a meal of rhubarb near Suggan Buggan in 1963. Felix Harding was known to eat the odd snake - in the Barmah Forest he was seen tucking into snake and stinging nettle. Athol Schafer tells of an unintended night out when he staved off hunger with fruit from Native Cherry (Exocarpus cupressiformis). Others take fishing tackle on trips but all too often, it appears, the fish just are not biting. Occasional crayfish caught on the Southwest Coast track in Tasmania have been very welcome and, of course, who hasn't felt the thrill, on a long walk, of going into a hut and finding food left behind.

Loch Wilson

As a New Zealander, Loch was used to the gear available over there and, when he joined MBW, he became aware of the lack of some items of gear here.

In 1966 he began importing woollen New Zealand shirts for sale to members. He also visited other clubs selling shirts from a suitcase. In June 1968, as business improved, he opened premises at 692 Glenhuntly Road, South Caulfield, trading as 'Loch Wilson & Co.'. Mary Scott helped in the shop with sales. One of the strong points of this shop was the amount of rock-climbing equipment for sale, most of which had hitherto not been readily available in Melbourne. As part of the service, Loch employed Betty White (Helen Mitchell's mother) to repair gear. From this repair service evolved the manufacture of gear.

In 1970 Loch moved to 66 Hardware Street and changed his business name to 'Bushgear'. He began manufacturing a large range of equipment under this name, including gaiters, packs, woollen shirts (after he had located suitable Australian woollen cloth), cross-country skiing knickerbockers and tents. Bushgear designed and marketed tents such as the two-person 'Tawonga' and four-person 'Jagungal'. Other models