The 80th Lodge Tramping and Social Meet
31 July - 1 August 1999
As part of the celebrations of the club's eightieth anniversary of its founding in July 1919, the club organised a number of events in July this year. The final July event was a tramping and social weekend at Kiwi Ranch on 31 July - 1 August. This site at the Kaitoke entrance to the Tararuas, where tramping started early this century, was a fitting place for the reunion.
By dint of hard promotional work by the Eightieth Organising Committee, and event organiser Jenny Lewis in particular, and great support from all sections of the club, over 170 people attended. This made it by far our most popular eightieth event.
A pleasing feature was the great response from the family group, with 26 youngsters ranging from age less than 1 to teenagers, as well as their parents. All Joining Decades of the Club were well represented, although the ravages of time reduced the number of those who joined in the first forty years. The oldest attendee was Alf Gollan, aged 90, who joined in 1922. The most attendees (41) came from the 1990s joining decade.
The Saturday weather was variable, fine initially, but degenerating into persistent cold south-easterly rain as the day wore on, and continuing into the evening. All the scheduled trips ran, and the tent flies taken in case of rain, were put up on a number of trips to good effect. Billies of tea were boiled, in the old tradition, but usually on primuses rather than wood fires.
Saturday evening proved a great social occasion, with many acquaintances renewed and new ones made. Kiwi Ranch provided a roast main-course and dessert. There was a little more food than the trampers could consume. The evening passed quickly, compered by Social Committee chairman Peter Thompson. Jenny Gates and Francis Dickinson played guitars for the singing of tramping and other songs. There were usually hilarious skits or slides from each joining decade. And the 80th Birthday Cake, baked by Judy Betts, was cut by two of the younger members of the Club, and duly eaten.
On the Sunday we were lucky to have a perfect winter day. One trip visited the snow on the Marchant Ridge, while most were less energetic wind-downs and walkie talkies in the Kaitoke Regional Park. Overall a great weekend. Our thanks to all who helped and attended.
Eightieth Organising Committee: Hugh Barr (Convenor), Brenda Neill, Jenny Lewis, Tong Young, Alistair Betts.