Club history

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1961

The Club was founded on 29th November 1961 . A preliminary meeting was organised held at Gosta Lynga’s flat on 15th November 1961, followed by the first general meeting was at the home of the President, Jack.R. Leslie, at 8 Abbot Street, Yarralumla. The annual membership fee was set at 5 shillings.

The first newsletter was dated November 1961.

1964

By 1964 there was at least one day walk or weekend walk on most weekends. Walk descriptions were brief but often witty:

July 18-19, weekend. Snow caving/igloo building, Snowy Mountains. Solve your own housing problem, cheap blocks with short leases … Leader: Harry Black. Grade Hard.

1965

Initially referred to as the Canberra Walking and Touring Club, the Club formally changed its name to Canberra Bushwalking Club in February 1965.

In May 1965, the frog logo made its first appearance on Club letterhead. It was drawn by Club member Eleanor Stodart.

1966

In July 1966, the title ‘It’ first appeared on the Club newsletter.

1972

Membership reaches approximately 210

1976

On 25 May 1976, Club President Alan Vidler and Conservation Officer Dan Buchler lunched with ACT parliamentarians, Senator Knight and Mr Haslem MHR, and raised the issue of national park status for the area now known as Namadgi National Park

November 1976. Senator Knight, Mr Haslem and CBC members hiked over Mt Namadgi, camped at Rotten Swamp and then climbed Mt Kelly. The party walked out via Middle Creek, Big Creamy Flat, Mavis Ridge, and Rendezvous and Nursery Creeks. The walk was organised by the Club and took a full weekend. Club members carried the politicians’ gear. Some experienced NPA campaigners considered that the enthusiasm raised in the two parliamentarians by this walk brought the declaration of Namadgi as a national park forward by at least 18 months.

1977

In June, the Club resolved to stop camping in Monolith Valley in the Budawangs, for environmental reasons. The Club lobbied the Confederation of Bushwalking Clubs of NSW and NPWS to follow suit; and NPWS subsequently banned camping in Monolith Valley.

1978

Namadgi National Park was gazetted.

1988

The Club began its assistance to NPWS in rehabilitating eroded areas in Monolith Valley. David Campbell co-ordinated the Club’s contribution through many work parties until 1992.

2011

The Club celebrated its 50th anniversary, publishing a book (PDF) and a list of past Presidents and Walks Secretaries (PDF).

In November 2011, the project to scan past issues of It was completed, with available issues since 1961 scanned. Reet Vallak provided many of the copies for scanning.

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Nungutta Mountain early 1970s

Above: Nungutta Mountain, 1970s. L to R: Brian Palm, Roy McAndrew (walking), Terry Jordan, Penny LeCouteur, [obscured – Alison Street?], Mark Weinstein, Lorraine Tomlins, Bill Brown, Alison Currie (seated), John Street. Photo: Peter Conroy

Club members enjoying the ice on Blue Lake c 1973

Above: On the ice on Blue Lake, around 1973. L to R: Arminel Ryan, Don Bray, Adrian Hobbs, Ken May, Jenny Brierly. Photo: Peter Conroy

Harry Black (left foreground) and Gary Medaris (right foreground) at Broken Dam Hut, in 1975 when wool socks were the height of ski fashion, by Alan Vidler

Above: Harry Black (left foreground) and Gary Medaris (right foreground) at Broken Dam Hut, in 1975 when wool socks were the height of ski fashion, by Alan Vidler

Politicians Walk Nov 1976, by Alan Vidler

Above: Politicians’ walk, November 1976, lunch stop near Little Creamy Flats. L to R: Sue Vidler (in white), Dan Buchler (with beard), Fred George (in background), Gary Medaris (no shirt, looking at feet), John Haslem MHR (blue top, lying down), Greg Scott (long hair, no shirt), unidentified person lying down in background, Russ Bauer? (long hair, seen through smoke), Harry Black (tending fire), Jenny Bauer? (red shirt) – photo by Alan Vidler

Canyoning, Danae Brook, around 1979

Above: Canyoning Danae Brook, around 1979. Photo: Peter Conroy.

Top of Mt Kelly, about 1980

Above: Top of Mt Kelly, around 1980. L to R: Ann Bayliss, Robin Blessing, Henry Burmester, Ann Gibbs-Jordan, Linda Groom, Charlie Leedman (standing), Meg McKone, Kim Hello. Photo: Peter Conroy