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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)

barbecue plate, which we carried down to the camp (and later had to carry back up again!). We had an enjoyable barbecue tea with group catering on Saturday night. Some people even went for a midnight swim. I organised a similar weekend in the Cathedral Ranges.

Then there was the President's Weekend at Crocodile Reservoir near Fryerstown, memorable for me because of the cocoa making! First water was boiled, then powdered milk was added, but this was in the days before instantly dissolving powdered milk. The milk wouldn't dissolve so a number of eager hands plunged into the gluggy liquid to break up the lumps. I wonder why there weren't too many takers for cocoa that evening!

Camp-fire dramatics

We have become more of a day-walking Club and the weekend back-packing walks attract fewer participants. The latter are still the best way of getting to know your fellow walkers. Base camps are, however, generally popular, and at these we sometimes have singalongs around the camp fire, and apple pies baked in my camp oven. I remember one occasion when someone had the script of 'A Fruity Melodrama' and we staged a hilarious performance around the fire on a Saturday night. On another occasion we attempted a Goon Show script with the funny voices and sound effects. People have also performed their 'party pieces', such as 'Albert and the Lion' (a favourite English variety-hall piece made famous by Gracie Fields and others) recited by Dave Oldfield originally, and later Graham Mascas and Stuart Hodgson. Athol has also recited poems on occasion. I remember a walk in the Mt Howitt area when we were camped on the Stanleys Name Spur, just below the Crosscut Saw. It was a beautiful evening, fine and still. Everyone was quiet and Dave's distinctive Yorkshire accent rang out around the ranges as he told the story of young Albert, 'with 'is stick with the 'orses 'ead 'andle', and how he got eaten by the lion.

Sundry excursions

One fine Saturday the Social Secretary organised a barbecue and visit to Werribee Park and the historic mansion that dates back to the 1850s. Situated on the banks of the meandering Werribee River, it has an interesting formal garden as well as a zoological park and an equestrian centre. We spent a pleasant afternoon wandering around the old mansion and gardens that feature a lake with an island.

One year, when Prue Hardiman was Social Secretary, we went to her