How it all Began
When an adventurous South African, John Taylor arrived in Brisbane on his way walking around the world, he was amazed there was no bushwalking club here and wrote of his surprise to the editor of the "Courier Mail". Nancy Shaw and Mickey Miller contacted him and together they decided to call a public meeting on 19th August 1948 to see if there was sufficient interest to form a club.
Ninety-nine people attended that first meeting. It was decided to form an enabling committee of seven to draw up a constitution to be presented to the first meeting held on 15 September. Eager to get things under way, it was also decided to have a day walk soon, before the new constitution was finalised. Bert Salmon volunteered to lead a group into the Mt Gravatt area on 29th August. He knew the area well and would work out an interesting route.
Brisbane Bushwalkers had begun!
The Early Years
At the meeting on 15th September a committee was formed and there were suggestions of places to visit, routes to take, and how to get there. Ironically, John Taylor did not join the club much less hold a position on the management committee, as he was soon to continue his travels.
Private transport was very scarce in those days so there was a great reliance on trams and trains. The first through walk was Petrie to Dayboro, from station to station. By the end of 1948 the club had volunteer leaders of day walks, a string of weekend camps planned, social get-togethers such as dances, swimming parties and general evenings which all helped members feel the Club was running well and had a great future.
In the first year the "Routes and Survey Committee" organised a walk on average every second weekend amounting to 19 day walks and 11 through walks.
The second year 14 base camps and 3 through walks were held. Through walks included Petrie to Dayboro, Closeburn/Cedar Creek/Mt Samson and an "overseas venture" Dunwich/Blue Lake/Point Lookout on Stradbroke Island.
The 1951-52 year saw the number of through walks increase. The introduction of the "semi-base camp" saw a format in which participants camped the night near the starting point of the walk to be completed the next day. This practice proved ideal for the longer walks and those located farther from Brisbane.
From then on
The number of walks held each weekend has increased from one or two to up to eight or more. This transition follows a growing Club membership and the introduction of limits to the number of walkers on each outing. Benefits have included a wider choice with through walks, day walks scheduled each weekend and the occasional base camp. Limits on the number of participants on walks arose due to conservation and safety concerns.
First aid, photography and social events were features of the Club from the beginning and continue to this day. Other outdoor events organised by the Brisbane Bushwalkers Club include abseiling, canoeing, cycling and rogaining. Search and rescue was also a major feature in the early years but that was eventually handed over to FMR (Federation Mountain Rescue) so that equipment and expertise from all clubs in the Brisbane area could be pooled.
1998 saw the Golden Jubilee of the Brisbane Bushwalkers Club and an organising committee was formed to arrange a year to celebrate the Club's first 50 years. An extensive variety of commemorative activities followed including a past walk from each year in the club's history.
In August 2001 a team of members began designing a website for the Club. The website was launched in April 2002 and has become an important means of communication within the Club and a key source of recruitment of new members. That website has now moved on to the one you see here today, reflecting advances in technology and the needs of the club members.