CELEBRATING 60 YEARS OF THE CWCV

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Preparing for the big night.
60th Anniversary dinner

Making some announcements.
60th Anniversary dinner

The editorial committee.
60th Anniversary dinner

A group of friends.
60th Anniversary dinner

A group of friends.
60th Anniversary dinner

A group of friends.
60th Anniversary dinner

A cake to celebrate.
60th Anniversary dinner

Club stalwart Joe Cotter
cutting the cake.
60th Anniversary dinner

A cake to celebrate.
60th Anniversary dinner

Club presidents over the years.
60th Anniversary dinner

Club presidents over the years.
60th Anniversary dinner

Members from the 50's.
60th Anniversary dinner

A NIGHT OF CELEBRATION by Peter Naughtin

What a celebration! On Friday 13 May over 130 people gathered at St Mary Magdalene’s Church and Parish Hall in Jordanville to celebrate 60 glorious years of walking and shared memories by the present and past members of the Catholic Walking Club of Victoria.

The celebrations began with a Eucharistic celebration at the parish church. The celebrants for the Mass were our Chaplain, Fr Michael Mifsud, and Fr Jo Dirks, a long standing club member. Fr Michael and our President, Rob Giebels, welcomed everyone to the celebration of our shared commitment to our faith and to the joys of bush walking. Fr Dirks gave the homily, recalling many of his experiences with the club and what membership of the club meant to him and the deeper meaning of our enjoyment of walking which can bring us closer to God. The Liturgy for the evening was planned by a committee consisting of Corrie van den Bosch, Judith O’Shea and Peter Naughtin. A choir led the singing, with Peter Naughtin at the organ, and did a great job leading the congregation. Who can forget the beautiful duet by Corrie and Judith singing ‘Panis Angelicus’ during Communion? Many commented on the beauty of the liturgy and how it captured so well the meaning of the club.

 After the Eucharist, the people moved to the parish hall for dinner. The hall had been beautifully set up by a team from the committee and several other club members, under the leadership of Margaret Cuthbertson, our Club Secretary. Ken’s Catering provided the dinner and many commented on the quality of the food and how much they enjoyed the meal.

The more formal part of the evening began with a speech by the Club President, Rob Giebels, who spoke of the important role the club has played in the lives of the people present. Many past members from the early decades of the club were present with us to remember old times. Rob named many of the people from the 1950’s and 60’s who were with us that night and able to share in their memories of the early years of the club’s history. Rob asked them to come up to the front and get a photo together for the occasion. A special tribute was paid by Tom Buykx to the editor of the 60th anniversary edition of The Catholic Walker, Joan Kenny, for the outstanding job done by her committee in producing the magazine, with articles from each decade and many great photos, recalling many walks in the club’s history. A tribute was also paid to Peter Wilson for his many hours of work in scanning the many editions of the Walker onto CDs, which are available to club members who requested them.

A special highlight of the evening was the presentation by Alan Cuthbertson of over 400 photos from the club’s history that he had gathered together from many sources, and presented to the members. They recalled many walks covering the six decades, going right back to the first Christmas walk of the club in 1951. Alan deserves special thanks for the many hours he put into this presentation.

Another highlight was the 60th Anniversary cake decorated with the club crest. Before we got stuck into eating the cake it was a sight to see and caught the eye of many people. Joe Cotter, a founding member and the oldest living member of the club, cut the cake.

After the formal side of the evening was completed people mingled for quite some time, catching up with old friends and remembering the good walks and times together over the years.

A special thank you to the committee for organising the evening. A lot of preparation and organisation was done behind the scenes to prepare for the night. Margaret Cuthbertson, the Club Secretary,  deserves a special note of thanks for overseeing the presentation of the tables for the evening. Well done, Margaret! The committee was very pleased with the terrific response to the invitation and the great turn up for the evening. It made all the hard work worthwhile.

We look forward to another great get-together in ten years time.

 

GREETINGS FROM THE NETHERLANDS by Maria and John Buykx

CONGRATULATIONS upon celebrating the 60th anniversary of your club and our very best wishes for a long future of happy walking and great friendship.

We are sorry and we apologise that we did not send our good wishes any earlier. Through the good services of Tom we knew about the jubilee celebrations in due time; yet, when the date came along we happened to be walking in Yorkshire (England; together with brother Frank and sister-in-law Carol) and - it must be shamefully admitted - never again thought of your festivities. Surely the CWCV, in which we experienced so many fine friendships and the joys of getting to know the Australian bush and country side, deserved a better treatment.

Meanwhile we have received the jubilee edition of the Catholic Walker which has revived many fond memories of our own times with the CWCV. Many places, rivers and mountains and above all the names of many friends with whom we once walked came back to mind with a great feeling of joy and gratefulness. It has been ‘Big Time’ to be with you, not only because of the walking but - and much more so - because  we happened to meet one another in the club and settled together for life, as so many other members did.

We thank you all most sincerely for your part in making the CWCV to what it has meant to us and to what it is for  present day bushwalkers. All the best to you all: good walking and other outdoor activities, good weather when you are out and fine campsites for the night and above all warm friendship amongst you. God bless you on your way through the bush and through life!

 

LOOKING ONTO THE FUTURE 

We are used to looking into the future, planning our Club's activities for the days, and even months and years, ahead, be they walks or celebrations. CWCV members have done this since 1951, but in 1956 one member looked quite far into the future, 55 years ahead: he prophesied our 60th anniversary. This prophecy appeared in the December 1956 issue of The Catholic Walker and is reprinted below. It is sad that several of the members mentioned did not live to see the 60th anniversary of their pioneering work, but pleasing that others are in much better health than prophesied. And it is quite understandable that the contributor wanted to remain very anonymous.

The moral of the following piece is – be careful how you ski.

Things to come

Very Anon., December 1956

I started to ski carefully down the steep slope a little way down from the summit. The snow was well packed so I decided to risk the descent. Crevasses appeared, of considerable size, and not very easy to see; and then I was falling, falling…

I opened my eyes in unfamiliar surroundings and heard the familiar chatter of Hazel and the very polite responses of old Mr Bill Gleeson who had travelled from Sydney for this, the 60th Annual Reunion of The Catholic Walking Club.

That grand old supporter of the Club, Mr George O’Brien and his wife were seen talking to the Cotter grandchildren.

Dear old Mrs Luscombe recalled memories of the old days as she fussed around the tea urn with Mrs Bill Burns who concocted some delightful, if unappetizing dishes, which people with teeth heartily enjoyed.

An apology was received from Mr David Halley who was in a rest home from where he directs the Hally Art Lighting Company. Mr Adolf Kempf also reluctantly advised that he could not attend as he was attending a rejuvenating course for the young at heart and strong in the legs.

Compere of the entertainment was Eric Ebinger (Gunter’s son) and old Mr and Mrs Ebinger beamed with pride as they watched their son’s actions.

A sad note was introduced by the absence of Mr Fred Hillas who had fallen victim of the great sleeping sickness epidemic of 1999.

Those dear old ducks dithering about the piano and known as the Blackened Billy Battalion, were Misses C. and B. Campbell and E.Brown, under the paternal protection of balding Mr Lou Howard – a distinguished looking gentleman indeed.

Mr Jack Vanderfeen was a busy person wheeling his chair in all directions renewing acquaintances with his debtors, while his wife discussed earlier Club trips with well known member of Parliament, Mr Joe McDonagh.

I looked at all these people around me and thought, ‘So this is what it has come to’.

And who can tell…