Established 1894

The Wallaby Club .Inc

Biographical entry Maling, David Hewitt ( - 1931)



David Maling joined the Wallaby Club in 1902 and maintained his membership until his death in 1931. He was elected President in 1906. He was a political journalist with The Argus, and the uncle of P.R. LeCouteur.


In 1906 . . . 'After a year under military discipline the Club chose to submit itself to the more subtle domination of the Press, and found there was some truth in Lytton's saying,"the pen is mightier that the sword." David Hewitt Maling was an Argus man who pleased a generation of readers with the wit and wisdom of Ithuriel whose spear touched lightly yet withal delightfully upon State and Federal politics. He was a constant walker for five and twenty years, became a member of Committee in 1904, Vice-President in 1905-1906 and President in 1906-1907. An entertaining and humorous speaker and an excellent mimic, his account of 'Governors I have met" reproduced the words, intonations and gestures so exactly that listeners might fancy that Sir Henry Brougham Loch or Sir George Sydenham Clarke ws once more addressing an audience in the room. In 1910 he went abroad, visiting Great Britain and America, and on his return, each member received from him a witty and amusing rhymed chronicle of his experiences on shore and afloat. He invited members "to afternoon tea on Sugarloaf Hill" when the walk ended at Heidelberg on many occasions. With advancing years his eyesight and general health began to fail. Quoting Johnson's line, "Superfluous lags the vetran on the stage," he continued:-

"Therefore I hearby tender my resignation as a member of this famous and delightful Club. I am very proud of having been a member so long. The members have been always so graciously friendly to me, and I shall cherish the memory of my relations with them until old age decrees my final retirement."

Our Committee acted promptly; it called a Special Meeting of members and put before them a new By-law (14a), giving it the power of electing Honorary Life Members. Immediatlely this By-law was passed, the Club unanimously elected David Hewitt Maling the First Honorary Life Member. This "wonderful compliment," as the recipient termed it, evoked from him an affecting tribute. After thanking the Club for "the great honour conferred on me," he continued:-

"Many of most jovial and happy days have been spent with the members. I am glad also to remember that when called upon to 'speak my piece' at the Club dinners, I have to some extent added to its joviality. When I pass my mind's eye over the status of the members of the Club, representative as they are of high rank and eminent service in many lines, I am proud indeed that I have been so long associated with them, and even more proud - if that were possible - that they would not in my old age let me go."

His hope to be with us again was, alas! not realized , and he passed away four years later.'

Alfred Hart [page 31]


1902 - 1931
Membership - Wallaby Club
Elected Honorary Life Member of the Wallaby Club

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Sources used to compile this entry: Attwood, Harold (ed.), The Centenary History of the Wallaby Club, Landscape Publications, Mont Albert, 1993. List of members page 136, additional references page 7, 27, 29, 31, 64, 65, 74, photographs page 21.

Prepared by: Gavan McCarthy

A Private Club

The Wallaby Club is a Melbourne-based walking club established in 1894 with a strong bias towards good fellowship, talking and an appreciation of both the natural and built environments. Membership is strictly limited and is by invitation only.

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