January 2012 Newsletter - John Gloz YHS 1965

John Gloz YHS 1965 - re Alex McAlister's article about his time in the Scouts in the Jan 2011 edition, I thought the article was great. I have a couple of minor corrections to the names for the photo he submitted (P7) of the Rovers. Back row, far left is my dad Jack Gloz (not Gloss); and front row far left is George Toye (not Eddie Toy). Unfortunately dad never seemed to have any photos of his time in the Rovers, so I am unable to add any enlightenment as to who the other unknowns were. Thanks Alex for reviving some more memories! My dad was in the Capt Hurley Rover Crew very early in its existence, I'm not sure if he would have been counted as one of the founding members. Dad's involvement with the crew included helping with pre-fabricating the original Mt Erica ski hut (J. W. McMahon Ski Lodge), but he never actually made a trip up Mt Erica with the crew of his time. It wasn't until the early '70s (30 plus years later) that he actually made the trip, and that was to be present for the scattering of Doc Andrew's ashes (that task was given to me, [being then a member of the crew and the son of one of the early members] and the crew leader at the time Steve Morgan). The crew was named after Capt Frank Hurley, photographer of some renown as official photographer with Mawson's Antarctic expedition and later Shackleton's, then official war photographer in both WWI and WWII. An interesting note is that Frank Hurley gave a small Union Jack to the crew (presented personally at the official naming ceremony, for which I believe dad was present), a flag that had actually been part of the 'equipment' on either Mawson's or Shackleton's expedition. It was in a display case, and proudly hung in a prominent place for many years. Do any of the post-1973 Rovers know of its current whereabouts? (It just hit me that it would now be over 100 years old if it went with Mawson) My own involvement with the Scouts went the whole gamut from Cubs to Rovers from 1962 through 1973. During those years, the Scout hall and Rover den were located on Lakeside Drive (or was it Lake Ave?) past the tennis courts and opposite the basketball/badminton hall (it was hardly good enough to be called a stadium!), and in close proximity to the Small-bore Rifle range and one of the WW II anti-aircraft gun emplacements, with the Rover den behind the Scout hall. I believe that it had been a drill-hall for the army during WW II. I certainly remember some good times during those years, and I gained a great appreciation for outdoors activities (hiking, camping, rock climbing & fishing), and made some good friends as well. One activity that I'm sure would be frowned upon nowadays was the 'bottle-drives' where as many dads as possible that had trailers would front-up at the Scout hall on the nominated Saturday morning and be sent to various parts of town with a car-load of Cubs or Scouts, who would then door-knock asking for used beer bottles (some people sure had good-sized stacks). Said empties would then be re-stacked in the Scout (side) hall for later collection by the brewery once there were sufficient to make a truck-load. This seemed to be one of the preferred fundraising methods, and was one of the pre-cursors to today's recycling. I think it was while I was in Senior scouts (possibly Rovers) that we 'invented' the game of "Stone-age Basketball" - played with a medicine ball (try dribbling with one of those!) and where the only rule seemed to be "Thou shalt not kill" - I seem to remember even that one got tested more than once! We played for our own individual score, there were no teams. We all would get very sweaty and come away with more than one scratch from someone else's fingernails. We also sometimes used to ride our bikes inside the hall after meetings, something that we embraced with much greater enthusiasm once the floor had been varnished. It was our leader, Vern Collings, who introduced us to rock climbing, with more than one weekend away at the Cathedral Range near Marysville and at least one expedition to Hanging Rock. Vern also used to take us on a 'major' hike between Christmas and New Year each year, 2 that I remember well were up and over Mt Bogong from somewhere near Mt Beauty village, and Mt Hotham to Mt Feathertop along the razorback ridge.

Another hike we did was along the beach from Mallacoota Inlet to the Vic/NSW border in early winter; good fun.

During my time in the Rovers, we decided that it was time to embark on the 2nd phase of the J. W. McMahon lodge improvements (1st phase had been done in the late '50s - early '60s), and
we were very fortunate that the original Yallourn hospital (Latrobe Valley Community Hospital) was being demolished at the same time, so we were able to acquire all the timber that we needed (in abundance!) at very reasonable cost - i.e. pocket money almost. Unfortunately the same couldn't be said for the corrugated iron for the roof - that had to be bought new. We were also fortunate that one of the members (Ron Collis) had a small truck to transport all the materials to the Mushroom Rocks car park, so we didn't have to pay anyone else for that. Bruce Jones was very involved with the Latrobe Valley Aero Club at the time, and tried to wangle a helicopter to air lift the hardware the rest of the way - at no cost to us of course. Needless to say that idea fell over, so we were left with no other option but to lug it on our shoulders, and our heads where the corrugated iron was concerned! (All with suitable padding of course, but then maybe that explains some things about us now?!) We were very ambitious about it, and I remember that we initially thought that we could do the whole job in one weekend (including lugging the gear up the mountain), boy were we wrong on that! I think it ended up taking about 3 or 4 months and we only just got it all finished in time for the snow season. The attached B&W photos were all taken in March '73, I didn't get any photos of the completed work until I returned 12 years later (colour photo - Aug 1985) with my own children in tow, even though I did make several more trips there that year while we finished it. Members that I remember being involved with that re-build are: Steve Morgan, Ron Collis, Tim Apps, Ian Castell, Colin Gray, Peter Gray(?) Craig Swindon, Bruce Jones, myself, and also 2 of the Newborough crew (Howitt Rovers?) Ray Bates & Perry Black. Cheers,...John Gloz