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Otago Tramping and Mountaineering Club - History

The Fortieth Anniversary Celebrations


Late in 1962 it was decided that the Club's 40 years of existence warranted recognition, even if only as a 'warm-up' for the 50th anniversary.

The then Vice-President, Ron Keen, was coerced into the position of chief organiser, his first task being to compile a register of members past and present. With able assistance, this formidable task was soon accomplished.

The activities were planned for a weekend in August, 1963. A get together was arranged for the Friday night, and because the Dowling Street Clubrooms were considered inadequate for the numbers expected to attend, the Otago Cine Club rooms were hired. A fine selection of colour slides was shown of notable Club trips, of members through the years, and of some rather peculiar activities that trampers indulge in from time to time.

Well patronised was the collection of Club records and black and white photographs arranged for display. Among these was a series entitled " The Seven Ages of a Tramper -, featuring a well-known member of that time, from his earliest days as a babe-in-arms to his debut as a booted and bearded man of experience.

The evening concluded with an excellent supper ably served by a bevy of the Club's attractive young ladies.

The main celebration was held on Saturday night at the Crawford Lounge, with a formal dinner and dance. At the conclusion of the dinner itself, Horace Tilly proposed the toast to the Club and was in turn followed by the speaker for the evening, life member Jim Freeman. Jim regaled the large gathering with stories of the local hills. One in particular, told against himself, was of the occasion when he was mistaken by a small lad for Ben Rudd. After the laughter died, the floor was quickly cleared and dancing began, with the band playing everything from a sedate waltz to hectic limbos.

Dancing was interrupted for a special interlude provided by the "Committee of '63 ". This (rather discordant) choir, accompanied on the piano by Ian Smith, sang a selection of well-known tramping songs, the feature song highlighting certain events of the Club's 1962 Rees Valley trip.

A Club picnic was held at Ben Rudd's on the Sunday, this being attended by a large number of family groups as well as those who hadn't succumbed to the previous night's festivities. From the amount of noisy chin-wagging and reminiscing that went on, there was no doubt whatsoever that the celebrations had been a tremendous success.

'Outdoors' for 1963 was printed as a 40th Anniversary issue and featured a number of portraits of Club members active at that time; as well as serving as a pictorial record of places and faces from Club trips of that year.


  The Early Years (1923 - 30) - The Thirties - The War Years and the Post War Renaissance - The Fifties - The Fortieth Anniversary Celebrations - The Sixties - The Early Seventies - 1973/83 - 1983/93 - 1993/2003

This site copyright 1999/2010 Antony Pettinger. The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of the OTMC Committee or other OTMC Members.