BACKGROUND HISTORY OF MAROONDAH BUSHWALKING CLUB
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
First Public Meeting. 12th. March 1981
More than 150 interested people crowded into meeting rooms one and two at Ringwood Library for the meeting to shape (or form) the Club. The prime aims of the meeting were to:
• Agree to form a club.
• Discuss and reach agreement as to the nature of the club.
• Establish broad guidelines for target membership, trip standards and preferred modes of transport.
• Get together an interim committee to serve at least until a first General Meeting can be held, (at which time a constitution, proposed fee structure, and first trips program can be presented and a club committee can be elected).
The meeting was chaired by Ken Mclnnes, "Honorary Information Officer for the Federation of Victorian Walking Clubs", who explained the normal functions of a club and the nature of club operation. General discussions and group discussions were held to try to determine the type of trips to be organised by the club; the different types of membership that the club might have; and the general framework for club operations.
The general consensus was to form a club that catered for both family and adult trips; with day as well as overnight trips; to have both programmed and un-programmed walks; to cater for the beginner as well as the experienced walker by running a whole range of trips. It was agreed that Ringwood was an appropriate place for the club to meet. Volunteers were called to form an Interim Committee.
Second Public Meeting 22nd April 1981
About 180 keen people tried to crowd into meeting room one at Ringwood Library at 7.30pm for the inaugural meeting chaired by Ken Mclnnes. Anticipating the possibility of such a response, the hall at St. Paul's Church of England next door was booked. At about 8.15pm, just after the first two clauses of the Constitution had been passed with one amendment, Rev. Potter, a keen walker himself, told us we could move to the hall. The rest of the Constitution was debated and passed at St. Paul's and a Committee was formed.
“Maroondah Bushwalking Club is now well and truly underway as an official bushwalking club. Much has been accomplished during the past month. We now have approximately 120 members, a very good showing as Melbourne's established walking clubs average approximately 100 members, and we are only just getting started. The June meeting 1981, also marked the move into our new meeting venue which was a vast improvement being much larger and having facilities for a "cuppa" afterwards giving everyone a chance to mingle and chat. The new venue is the Elderly Citizens Club in Laurence Grove, East Ringwood.”
A Year Later
This following article was taken from the May "Footnotes", 1982 (Twelfth Newsletter). It is the President's Annual Report which sums up the first year of the Maroondah Bushwalking Club, written by Bob Peterson, the club’s first President:
"1981/82, our club's inaugural year was a extremely successful period. Apart from bushwalking activities, we have also run basic skills and family camps, bush dance and social evenings, canoe trips and some winter snow events. We have been overseas. During the past 12 months, the club has been feeling its way, and the success of its programmed events has clearly set the standard for the future.
Membership, during the year, has risen at a steady rate, which has demonstrated the need for a bushwalking club in the Eastern suburbs. At the end of the year to the 31st March, our club had 246 members."