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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)

Amateur Cine Society club rooms in Fitzroy. More recently, the Club has joined with YHA in their regular bush dances at the South Melbourne Town Hall and, in the last couple of years a group of keen dancers attended ballroom dancing classes at Coburg on Friday nights.

In 1988 and 1990 Sylvia Wilson ran the 'Bridgewater Bay Bash', based on the old church and school at Bridgewater, near Portland. This was mainly a walking weekend, with a dance thrown in on the Saturday night. In 1988 Sylvia arranged for a local group to play for us; it was a tight fit to get the band and dancers into the small school hall, which dates back to the 1870s. In 1990 the Bullards provided the music with their stereo system and tapes.

Lyrebird walks

In the sixties the Club ran an annual 'lyrebird walk' in the Dandenongs (an event originating in the forties) and would hire the Kallista hall. Leaving by train on Saturday afternoon, we would arrive at Belgrave and then walk up Coles Ridge to Kallista. Nothing much would happen on Saturday night: we would go to bed early, to get up on Sunday morning before it was light and walk silently into Sherbrooke Forest, watching for lyrebirds, particularly the males displaying on their mounds. We were seldom disappointed. There were a lot more lyrebirds in the forest then. Now, with the encroachment of suburbia and the predations of feral and pet animals, cats in particular, lyrebirds are rarely seen.

On one such walk Rob Taylor wouldn't get up, so his sleeping bag was picked up, with him in it, and carried out to the lawn beside the hall, close to the Kallista - Emerald Road; there we left him. It wasn't until later that we discovered he didn't have anything on: he had to hobble back into the hall, hiding his embarrassment, to retrieve his clothes!

Moonlight walks

We would drive to a coastal area on a Saturday afternoon, walk for a bit then have tea on the beach and, when the moon came up over the sea, continue walking along the beach until about 11.00 p.m. and find somewhere to camp. We would then walk on Sunday to the van pickup point. One such walk, which I led, started at Point Lonsdale. We walked to Queenscliff and back before tea on the rock platforms below the lighthouse, looking out over the Rip. Then in the evening we walked along the ocean beach towards Ocean Grove, finally camping in the dunes behind the beach. On Sunday we joined the day walkers at Ocean Grove and finished the walk at Breamlea. Another moonlight walk was along