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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)

Group to the relief of childless walkers who were becoming tired of children on walks.

I have served on the Committee, been Club contact, helped with Walk and the News and I have often asked awkward questions at meetings.


(Editor's note — Spencer sadly collapsed and died on 18 April 1993 while running in the Puffing Billy fun race. He had shown great interest in the Club's history and was a willing contributor with his two chapters.)

I am an active walker with both the Melbourne Bushwalkers and Coast and Mountain Walkers of New South Wales. I first attended an MBW meeting one Friday in June 1965 in the Club room above Flinders Steet Station. The first person to greet me on entering the room was Ed Lawton. I soon became a member in August 1965. I have been on trips with the Club in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. I have walked with MBW along the Alpine Track from Walhalla to Tom Groggin on the Murray River beneath Mt Kosciusko, and along the Upper Yarra Track from Mt Whitelaw on Baw Baw Plateau to Warburton. I have climbed Mt Feathertop in winter's snow with Phil Taylor, run from Broadford to Yea with Art Terry, skied The Bluff with Bill Metzenthen, liloed the Snowy River with Merilyn Whimpey, canoed the Murray River with Doug Pocock and walked around the Prom in a day, swimming at each beach with Mark Tischler.


During the long summer holidays spent as a child in outback Queensland, I thought of the bush and 'camping out' (which we often used to do) as immensely exciting. This fascination has never left me. My first 'bushwalking' began in South Africa's Drakensberg mountains in 1968 when I was a member of the Johannesburg bushwalkers. In 1977 I came to Melbourne where I soon discovered the Melbourne Bushies. The Baw Baw 'walk-in' base camp, led by Martin Elias in 1983, was a memorable occasion. With borrowed gear (pack courtesy Ken MacMahon), new boots (courtesy Rossi) and all the 'base camp' paraphernalia imaginable I just about self-destructed. Against his better judgement a stalwart Russell Jones stuck around to make sure I reached the safety of the car park. Happier times followed. I recall a great navigation weekend in the Warby Ranges with Bob Steel, Rob Ayre, Jean