When asked to write a foreword for this magnificent publication celebrating 40 years of the Bushwalking Club I leapt at probably my only opportunity to get my words of wisdom (?) into print. However, it slowly dawned on me that I was going to have problems writing a President’s Report covering forty years of the Club, given I have only been a member for four years and President for six months.
In desperation, I sought inspiration from the past four copies of the Club magazine, hoping to glean some information from these and then make it ten times as long. However, it soon became apparent that after reading two reports the content of the last two contained no surprises – there are constant themes running through all of them. So armed, I can now tackle the report.
The first major theme is the enthusiastic recruitment drive during Orientation Week, when lots of new members join up and we never see them again. It has been a puzzle to me for many years why this is so. The Club has so much to offer new members. It is something that should be solved before the Club turns into the Geriatric Wheel Chair Club. At least it means the Club coffers are well lined for the frequent slide evenings held during term.
Secondly, the Club has been everywhere worthwhile walking, particularly in the Blue Mountains and Tasmania, including a large number of exploratory walks for which the Club has gained a reputation. The walks are not limited to just Australia, but includes many exotic locations such as Queensland, New Zealand, South America and, of course, Nepal.
The Club’s activities have not been limited to rucksack sports. Over the years the Club has been a social meeting place – look at all the intra-club marriages! Political aspects of bushwalking have not been neglected – for many years SUBW has been one of the most active clubs within the Federation of Bushwalking Clubs of NSW.
Over forty years, SUBW has built up many traditions and a reputation of which past and present members can be proud. It is to be hoped that the club will continue to prosper and grow from its humble conception in a chemistry laboratory in 1946 as it has done for its first forty years. Finally, I would like to thank all those people who put so much effort into this reunion and have made it so successful.