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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)

President I had a couple of barbecues at my place. One year we also attended a jazz restaurant in St Kilda Road.

For many years we have had a party in the Club room on the last Wednesday before Christmas: people bring a plate of food and drinks. We sometimes have music and the obligatory Christmas decorations. Many members and former members are able to catch up with one another. In recent years these events have been organised by Betty Spencer, and Doug Crocker has turned up in his Santa Claus outfit with some presents for the children. We usually hold a Christmas raffle on this occasion.

President's Weekend

An annual event since 1945 (originally called 'Field Weekend'), presidents usually decided what they wanted to do with their weekends. Some chose to run a regular weekend walk, but others, myself included, organised a weekend camp in the bush, with some walking, a lot of eating, and games and fun.

One early President's Weekend I attended in 1963 was held at Gilderoy, near Powelltown. We built a huge pile of firewood, then Bill Hordern poured petrol on the pile and threw in a lighted match. The petrol-soaked stack, quite understandably, went whoosh! and we all had to sit about 10 metres from the fire for most of the evening. This was before a 'minimum requirements' fire by-law was introduced by the Committee to curb the pyromaniacs.

Another President's Weekend in my earlier days (1961), when Bill Thompson was President, was held at a scout camp near one of the many Sugarloafs in Victoria, in the Whittlesea area. Chiefly I remember a tent-pitching competition which I won!

The Avon River has been a popular choice for the President's Weekend: there have been three different trips to the area. One that I organised was at Huggetts Crossing on the Avon River north of Stratford in 1979. The camp site was accessible to 4WD vehicles only, so most of us had to walk down the five kilometres or so to the river. However, we could transport the important catering supplies in someone's vehicle. We set up camp on a shady, well-grassed level area adjacent to the river, then went swimming in a delightful pool with sandy beach, rocky out-crops and some rapids. After a bit of exploring downstream we got stuck into the main event of the evening - food ! We had roast meat from camp ovens, plus vegies and salad, followed by sweets and washed down with various libations.