Border Bushwalking Club celebrates 40th anniversary

IMAGINE putting out a call for people to go on a bushwalk and more than 100 turn up.

In the rain, no less.

Forty years ago the Border Bushwalking Club did just that for its first demonstration walk at Tabletop Mountain.

The seeds were sown for the club when Helen Black wrote a letter to The Border Morning Mail suggesting the region needed its own bushwalking club.

Her sentiment proved true when a large crowd packed a meeting at Burrows House in Albury on June 7, 1978.

Border Bushwalking Club president Ian Trevaskis said the club had a phenomenal response to its demonstration walk two weeks later.

“About 120 people turned up to walk in the rain at Tabletop Mountain,” he said.

“It’s unheard of to get that many on a bushwalk.”

The Border Bushwalking Club was officially formed on July 11, 1978, during a meeting at Albury Public School.

Membership peaked at 290 in early 2001.

Border Bushwalking Club life member Pauline McLaughlin said she had done countless walks, canoeing and cross-country skiing since joining in 1989.

She said getting out and about with the group in the North East and overseas had been good for the mind, body and soul.

“Getting out is a good way to unwind,” she said.

“I have met so many people over the years bushwalking with the group on the Border and in Austria and New Zealand.”

Albury newcomers Ralph and Sue Simpfendorfer joined the club a year ago to explore the region with like-minded people.

“We love the river and mountain lifestyle; it is the most beautiful part of the world, absolutely,” Mr Simpfendorfer said.

Mrs Simpfendorfer said many women belonged to the club with or without their partners.

“There is a big percentage of women who walk,” she said.

“It’s about the safety of walking as a group.”

The Border Bushwalking Club will mark its 40th anniversary at Beechworth from March 16 to 18.

Past and present members are welcome to come for the weekend, the day or just a few hours to share memories.

Highlights include a birthday cake, barbecue, dinner, day hikes, a bike ride to Milawa for lunch and canoeing on Lake Sambell.

RSVP by February 28 to roboira@yahoo.com.au.

The Border Bushwalking Club will host a new members night on March 6 at 7.30pm at the Senior Citizens Clubrooms in Wodonga.

It details day and multi-day bushwalks, cycling, kayaking and canoeing, cross-country skiing, local, interstate and international walking.

The Border Bushwalking Club meets on the first Tuesday of the month (excluding January) from 7.30pm in the Senior Citizens Clubrooms in the Wodonga Civic Centre in Hovell Street. The club publishes a monthly newsletter Footprints.