Official Position Walks Secretary (1917 - )
Although the Wallaby Club was formed in 1894, the position of Walks Secretary was not established until 1917; its evolution is clearly set out in the excellent and entertaining History of the Wallaby Club by Alfred Hart. As from 1917, the Walks Secretary was one of the 'officers' of the Club elected by the Committee from among its members.
Functions of the Walks Secretary
Charles Proctor, Walks Secretary 1985-1986, in doing his research for the Club Centenary History, was not able to locate a list of these functions, either in earlier histories or in the by-laws so he compiled the following list for 'its possible but improbable use in the future'.
1. To plan walks for a period of twelve months, acceptable to the Committee, which will be in different locales and which will suit members and guests of varying ages and states of health and allow them to be completed without distress (a gargantuan task). The 'without distress' is obviously of great importance and must relate to distance, nature of the terrain, and pace.
2. To be Reconnoitering Secretary as well as Walks Secretary and to explore the proposed walking route and facilities before the actual date of the walk. In this respect, it is understandable, that is the early days, guides were reluctant to apply if they were still in employment and time was limited. In more recent times, it was decided that the Walks Secretary should draw up a plan of walks for consideration and approval of the Committee but that the responsibility for guiding individual walks should be allocated to different members familiar with the proposed routes. The degree to which this has actually ocurred has varied somewhat with different Secretaries.
3. To consider probable climatic conditions and arrange fine weather [President, Milton Warn, a Baptist Minister, was known to be of singular value here].
4. To make certain that there are adequate cooking, toilet and sheltering provisions and provide for shelter and rest for those members and guests whose health restricts activities.
5. To 'swing the billy' at the conclusions of picnic lunches. This is a task which requires an intrepid personality and the acceptance of a degree of risk. It may or may not involve the addition of eucalyptus leaves to the brew of billy tea.
6. To plan alternatives where possible.
7. To be able to accept criticism for decisions made on all the above.
8. To accept the fact that members are discinclined to let you know of their plans to attend functions or otherwise. This is almost as important as (7).
Charles Proctor, Walks Secretary 1985-1986, [page 109-110]
- Attwood, Harold (ed.), The History of the Wallaby Club, 1894-1994, Volume 1 1894-1943; Volume 2 1944-1954; The Centenary History 1955-1994, Landscape Publications, Mont Albert, 1993, 143 pp. Details
Sources used to compile this entry: Attwood, Harold (ed.), The Centenary History of the Wallaby Club, Landscape Publications, Mont Albert, 1993. Chapter: 'The Walks Secretary', pages 108-111.
Prepared by: Gavan McCarthy
Created: 18 February 2007, Last modified: 28 October 2007
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.
Dates and details of annual walks from 1894.