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Our History

From the forming of the club in 1958, the opening on the 3rd August 1962 and every volcanic eruption since, we've had a varied and full history.

In this section, our members past & present tell you in words and pictures all about what it's like to be a part of our club, and everything they've done in the surrounding Tongariro region.

If you're a member (or past member) and have anything to contribute, please do contact us!

Letters and Documents

Recollection by Thelma Edwards

Dedicated to the Foundation "Pioneers" and their Followers.

Shortly after the second world war years I was secretary of the Australian Club in Auckland which, for those days, was a very active organisation. Incorporated in the main club I formed what I called "The Younger Set". The idea was, that as long as you were young enough to join them you could be a member of "The Younger Set". The members were of all ages. They kept young in spirit by being together and having FUN. Most of these people had left OZ to work their way around the world - what we called "a working holiday". And so, being a little bit homesick - crossing the Tasman in those days was still quite an adventure - they made for the place that sounded like home - the Australian Club, where Thelma and her gang took them in. Weekend trips were always on the agenda, first favourite being Ruapehu and the Tongariro National Park. A little different then to now. The only accommodation on the mountain was the Chateau, Ruapehu Club's First Lodge on Hut Flat, The Auckland Tramping Club and Salt Hut which was just a short way down the road, opposite side, from where Boomerang is today. The other alternative was to stay at Motuopa Cabins, Taupo. We would hire a bus, skis and boots from Auckland, arrive Friday night, up at 5 o'clock Saturday morning to cut 36 lunches - no snack bars on Ruapehu then - back Saturday night, Ruapehu Sunday, and back to Auckland that night. A few bleary eyes and short tempers at work on Monday morning, but we were tigers for punishment and would be off on the same route weekend after weekend.

I must record our very first trip to Ruapehu - such raw recruits we were! We travelled by train Friday night arriving at National Park Station at 1 a.m. Saturday morning, freezing cold, wearing overcoats and slacks under which we wore our father's long underwear which we had begged, borrowed or stolen, some even with gumboots and carrying, would you believe, suitcases! There we were, stranded on National Park Station, no sight of a bus - only snow as far as we could see. We had so planned for this adventure but as the wait dragged on, the excitement wore off a bit and even the humourists of the party found their jokes wearing thin! Oh the cheers when the bus finally arrived, just in time to save us from becoming a frozen feature of the National Park landscape. On arrival at the Chateau, we were herded into a passage while we waited for our next transport, the Goat - we were informed "we were not suitably dressed" for entry to the Lounge or Bar! Laughter saved the day when we were further told to "Quieten down or else!" But the Goat arrived to rescue us! In the pitch dark we stumbled into that Iron Monster, too tired by now to be orderly or polite, and so began a bone-shaking, diabolical journey - if only we had known the risks we took on the road then we would have died a thousand deaths. Fortunately, as it was pitch dark, we could see nothing! Suddenly the Goat stopped and a voice roared "This is it - out you get!". We stumbled out not able to see a thing. The Goat took off leaving us stranded like a bunch of deserted orphans - no sign of Salt Hut in the dark! With a call from Thelma to "Pick up your bags and walk", the search began - everyone taking two steps forward and slithering on the ice in shoes and gumboots, six steps back, suitcases and food boxes following. The food boxes when opened resembled an artist's palette as very few eggs had remained whole.

The ghost of Salt Hut eventually emerged - corrugated iron walls and roof, "Wuthering Heights" on Ruapehu. We could only think of bed, wash, warm drinks and grub. What a shock was in store! Thelma produced the door key - No. 1 Disaster - it wouldn't fit! A window was broken by someone and we tumbled through the door - No. 2 Disaster - no electricity! Thank God for the "Oldies". One of the dears produced from her bag a "candle". She was the hero of the hour! No. 3 Disaster - no running water! No. 4 Disaster - rats! Add to all this a dirt floor and wet mattresses did not make for bright spirits. We huddled, several to a bunk for warmth and fear of the rats we could hear scuttling everywhere and across our legs. The toilet we found next morning by following hand over hand, a rope which ended on the windiest precipice possible, no door, open to the wind, the pranksters and the view! Sheer cold and fright did the job for you even if you didn't want to! Morning arrived - bright sunshine and deep white snow, so spirits rose and actually having to wash in snow and clean one's teeth in icicle water was fun! Was this what we had paid ten shillings and sixpence each for? A chain brigade was set up to scoop buckets of snow into two huge cast iron pots on the fire stove - the old stove took hours to get going, the snow melted to a miserable trickle in the bottom, so the water brigade was a continual chore, until meal time and the pots then had to be used for cooking - so it was sausages and stew, stew and sausages or stew! But it was all eaten with gusto even when the odd sock or hat fell in from the rack above! We did go skiing in a fashion but more fun was had those days, snowballing and tobogganing. And believe it or not, we did return to Salt Hut several times, better prepared and only as a very last resort.

Well, these trips had been going for several years and in 1958 Queens Birthday Weekend had been one of those magic Ruapehu days, not a cloud in the sky and perfect snow. The party were in excellent spirits despite Ricky Huismans with a broken leg and Roy Lavender with pneumonia. We were waiting at the Chateau for our bus home when Nanette and Ann casually said "wouldn't it be great to have a Lodge of our own?". Thelma could never resist a challenge so I said, "Oh well, I don't see why not - we'll make some enquiries". First thing Monday I was busy on the phone and found out that an application had to be made to the National Parks Board in Wellington for a site, which I promptly did. The Australian Club were not interested in this venture, so on Sunday, June 8th 1958 I called a meeting of anyone interested in the formation of a ski club, or the possibility of it, at our home, 25 Mountain View Road, Kingsland. There were 17 present. Jack Wollett, Arthur Edwards, Len Meekings, Ian Fordyce, Keith Waugh, Joe Fullagher, John Simpson, Colin Shaw, Don Coulter, Thelma Edwards, Margery Wollett, Jennifer and Elspeth Dixon, Ann Simpson, Nanette Waugh, Ann Fordyce and Rita Wollett. Those days, incidentally, we were recorded in the minutes as "Messrs" for the men, the single women "Misses" and the married women "Mesdames". Arthur Edwards was elected chairman and on the motion of Margery Wollett and Nanette Waugh, it was unanimously decided to endeavour to form a ski club. Names were discussed at great length and "Boomerang" won the day. Next was a badge, and as I was at the time secretary of the Elam School of Art I asked James Turkington, the lecturer in Commercial Art and Design if he would help us. He presented us with a few designs which were good but alternative colours were suggested by Arthur Edwards and the design finalised.

We were eventually granted a site. So, a committee was formed: i.e. Secretary - Thelma Edwards, Assistant Secretary - Len Meekings, Committee - Margery Wollett, Keith Waugh, Joe Fullagher, Ian Fordyce, Elspeth Dixon. Of the inaugural members, Thelma and Nanette are still members. Arthur Edwards, Len Meekings, Jack Wollett, Rita Wollett, have passed on. Ann and Ian Fordyce are now living in Pauanui. Keith Waugh at Waipu. John Simpson, Ann Simpson (now Sanders), Jenny Dixon and Elspeth (now Whitmore), Colin Shaw, in Auckland. I keep in touch with them all but sadly have lost track of Joe Fullagher and Don Coulter. At this meeting it was decided that each person pay the sum of 5 shillings immediately and a further 5 shillings when that was exhausted. Also that these seventeen pay the expenses of travelling to Ruapehu to investigate the sites available. At the next meeting, 26th June 1958, we received a donation of £10 from the President of the Australian Club and a lampshade from Gaylight Studios. We were indeed rich! From this meeting a letter went to the Parks Board applying for a site. An offer from Arthur Edwards of the Alliance Hall for three social occasions was accepted and the first social evening was held at the home of Mr & Mrs George Dixon. We were indeed sowing the seeds for success. Next meeting we had received a questionnaire from the Parks Board "what was our membership?". Funny, ha ha, we had none. So we decided to send a circular to everyone we could think of. "How about joining our Ski Club?" Oh, we bombarded our nearest and dearest, friends, neighbours, local shopkeepers, our doctor, etc. etc. They must have cursed us, but we got there in the long run. Next meeting we were now into August and we really took a plunge. We decided to enter a stall, float and queen in the Auckland Birthday Carnival at Western Springs in January 1959. It was THEN ALL GO. We had to decide: 1) the games and prizes for the stall and raffles; 2) the design and theme for the float; 3) our queen. We next went out to con anyone we could into a donation, no matter how small. Out we all went from the next day on to beg borrow or steal for Boomerang! Very soon it became a household name for if our parents, relations and friends were not already members, they jolly soon would be. We took over my parents' home at Mountain View Road, for the storing and organising of all the gear for the carnival. We wrapped thousands of Lucky Dip parcels and my mother never had a room she could call her own for the next 12 months, or, in fact, 3 years. Even the bathroom was used for purposes it had not been designed for! Next meeting, September, we were really lashing out. Arrangements for an evening at Helensville Baths, a dance at the Alliance Hall, admission 3 shillings, a Christmas Barbecue at Nanette and Keith Waugh's also 3 shillings admissions, and another weekend at Ruapehu. The next meeting, October, oh a great spend - we decided to buy half a dozen teatowels. We didn't have a roof over our heads but we apparently needed teatowels. Those teatowels and hundreds more were destined for a hard grubby life, forever putting up with being boiled over and over to retain some semblance of their original colour. That was also the big decision on a ski boot for our float at the carnival. We had to make money out of this stall so we had decided on a "coconut shy", a lucky prize dartboard which we painstakingly took our turn at painting, and a lucky dip. The lucky dip proved really to be the money spinner. At threepence a time! Practically all the prizes were donated and so it was pure profit and amazing how those threepenny bits from the children mounted up. Donations poured in - from John Roxborough: - a dining room suite approximate cost £25 for first raffle prize. Second and third prizes - a standard lampstand donated by Ian Fordyce and Keith Waugh valued at £14 and an occasional table, materials to be paid for by the club, at the value of £7.10 shillings. At this time too, I was asked to enquire about the boomerang which was used at the Australian Trade Fair, for use on our carnival stand. That boomerang hangs in the Lodge Lounge today.

The day came when we had to start and build the float and so the fun started. Nanette and Keith Waugh opened their home, weekend after weekend and every night in the week and we worked like beavers. Joe Fullagher allowed us to use his precious Volkswagon over which we built the ski boot. We had Joe to thank also for his engineering skills. It had to have a strong frame, covered with wire mesh, paper moulding, painted, and all the finishing touches. Joe was left with a peep hole only, to drive from Sandringham to Western Springs and around the stadium. Anna Lawatch, a friend of Ann Fordyce, graciously offered to be our queen. She was delightful and did us proud. Ian Fordyce was selected to walk in front of the float, dressed in ski gear, carrying his skis and poles, and to this day we take off our hat to Ian for doing that long hot walk around that stadium.

After almost a year of battling backwards and forwards with the Secretary of Incorporated Societies, on 5th February 1959 we became incorporated. The signatures on the incorporation I think should go down in history, were, L.J. Meekings, Elspeth R. Dixon, J.W. Simpson, C.J. Dixon, Marjorie E. Wollett, J.W. Wollett, R.E. Wollett, John Roxborough, J.J. Fullagher, Keith Waugh, Nanette Waugh, Thelma Edwards, Arthur Edwards, Ian Fordyce and Ann Fordyce.

March 1959, Ian Fordyce and Thelma Edwards saw the Secretary of the Parks Board in Wellington and the Government Architect and we felt that we were really coming along the way. We were very busy from now on arranging social functions at which we hoped to make money, even if it was only 10 shillings, it all went into the kitty. Derek McElvogue, our first President, offered to teach the ladies lampshade making and so we made lampshades until they were coming out of our ears, all shapes and sizes and colours, we made baskets, we held jumble sales with the expert help of Mrs Waugh senior.

My father, who never would permit his daughters to sell raffle tickets for school, especially not door to door, almost pushed us out on the streets to run raffles on street corners - but now it was for Boomerang! And so there we stood in the freezing cold on Friday nights out at Otahuhu and Newmarket, Mt Roskill and Mt Albert. He made a big "Spinning Jinny" for quick raffles and again we scrounged everything we could for prizes, all my lunch hours over those years seemed to be spent collecting from Auckland business firms. We ran housie nights at Mt Albert for quite a considerable time but they were hard hard work and very little return. There were many similar incidents such as a donation from Virginia Honey - 10 shillings from the proceeds of her Beetle Evening and Nanette Waugh - £3 proceeds from sale of baskets she had made - as I say, even if it was only 10 shillings a week, it all went into the kitty - it was for Boomerang!

Then at this time some familiar names started arriving too, - Don Rolfe, Pat O'Malley, Ian Runnerstrum, Marjorie and Jim Palmer.

It was May 1959 when we discovered that we could buy a secondhand Aga stove from Otahuhu. Our offer of £75 was accepted. A mistake that one, because the poor thing had to be stored and by the time the Lodge was built, the stove had deteriorated to such an extent that it had to be dumped. Hence we finally bought the dear old Raeburn. Many members will look back on nearly losing the seat of their pants while warming up in front of the Raeburn.

At this time we also found that we could apply to use a shop at Sandringham rent free one Friday each month for fundraising. Nanette and Keith Waugh lived in Sandringham so we used their house once more as an operation base. We could sell anything, and we did. We almost sold ourselves. The ladies made cakes, sweets, jams and preserves and once more we conned everyone we could for donations. Dr Richie, Natalie Reid's father, arriving one day to see Nanette, or Grant, or whoever was sick, was open mouthed at the array of cakes covering the lounge, dining and kitchen tables. His visit was not a profitable one for the poor man as he found he had bought a car load of those cakes! This was followed with Natalie and John becoming members.

In that shop we sold old magazines, old clothes, flowers, we raided people's gardens for plants and flowers. Of course, it relied on the married ladies who were not working - married ladies didn't work in those days - to organise that venture.

Another money raising venture at this time was the fact that the Council had finally forced me to fell the pine trees on my section at Browns Bay. After the millable timber had been taken, there was still piles and piles of firewood and pinecones. So we had working parties to cut and bag it - we then sold it door to door - again, all for Boomerang!

At this time, the Building Committee were busy too, and finally it was the day for the Committee to go down to the mountain and survey the site and make the final arrangements for commencement of the footings. Joe Fullagher, Keith Waugh, Len Meekings, Thelma (myself), Marg Woollett and Elspeth Dixon went down, staying at Motuopa Fishing Cabins and up the mountain next morning to see our wonderful site. To our dismay, there were footings on it! We hadn't put them there! The cheek! We were irate! It turned out that, to our horror at the time, National Park had obtained their site but they had made an error and put their foundations on our site. So there was a great todo! Back to Auckland we came with Thelma on the warpath. How dare they! I tore strips off everyone, and finally Keith, Don Rolfe and I, were invited to meet the Tongariro National Parks Board at the Chateau. The National Park Ski Club Committee billeted us. They put on a dance - we were on a fuss! They did everything that was possible to make up for their mistake and almost made us feel sorry for them. So we accepted their apology and we simply swapped sites, not realising at that time how we had won out on the deal! At the meeting with the Parks Board, we were advised that no further lodges would be allowed on the mountain!

Working parties now began, and hard yakker it was those days. Then the overnight shelter came into being (no home comforts there) and used for working parties when ATC was not available. The foundations completed and a great day when the framework went up.

1960 and again the Birthday Carnival. We had to decide what we would use as the float. We had stored our boot which seemed too good to destroy, so we decided we'd enter it again. This year we painted it red, our queen was Valerie Mann who, to our delight, won Queen of the Carnival which of course put us up on the ladder and it really brought in considerably more funds for us.

1961 another Birthday Carnival. The theme for our float with the co-operation of Nestles, was a box of "My Fair Lady" chocolates. The Broadway show had taken America by storm, therefore our float was up with the play! This was to be our last Birthday Carnival but it had served us well both financially, socially, and new members.

Allan Scott had now entered our ranks - we clapped our hands - he was a builder! He soon became supervisor and organiser for the early stages of the building. Our outside cladding originally was of Durox sidings which we had been assured by the Company would stand the weather conditions at Ruapehu - they didn't and it was not very long before they started cracking and falling off and we were in trouble! We had quite a battle on our hands over that one but finally won the day, got a refund and they were eventually replaced with the weatherboards.

Another big fund raising effort which was plain hard work and with very little reward was saving newspapers and waste paper for sale. We pounced on newspapers and magazines, cleaned out all waste baskets at our various offices, bundled it, weighed it, and took it down to the wastepaper products and got a mere pittance for it. Did we grumble? - No, it was for Boomerang!

The carnivals also swelled our membership. We were becoming known. People were coming up to the stall and saying "what is this club, what is it about, can we join?" And in those early members there were the Townsends, the McLeods, the Frearsons, the McMasters, etc. etc. and then Lou Morton joined our ranks and for those of you who knew Lou you knew a very special person and friend. Lou had a very great lung disability but he worked longer and harder than anyone I know. He ruled us with a rod of iron - Sergeant-major we called him - sometimes we almost hated him, especially at 6 o'clock in the morning when he burst into the bunkroom with a cup of tea, stuck it under your nose and said "rise and shine, breakfast in 10 minutes, up that mountain by 8 o'clock". He had already been up an hour to light the stove. Woe betide the breakfast crew if they were late, they got dragged out, blankets and all on to the floor. His standards were high for Boomerang. Never, if Lou was Lodge Leader, could a thing be left undone. And on the mountain itself, he was a tower of strength. He was "the old man of the mountain" in many ways. He encouraged the kids, taught them, watched over them. He could get them to do things that no parent or fond aunt could do. He worked hard, he skied hard, he had a sense of humour that was unsurpassed. Lou was a legend in the history of Boomerang.

Back to our building efforts. Of course we were all, in the first days, mugs at the game. There were none of us that really knew very much about building, plumbing, electricity, carpentry. So, if anyone came up and wanted to be a member, our first question was "What do you do? Are you a tradesman?" And if they unfortunately said that they were a plumber, or an electrician, or a carpenter, they had no hope of getting away. We had them hooked!

When Don Frearson arrived on the scene, boy, did we welcome him with open arms. Don was a tower of strength both on committee and the building, for his expertise, his honesty and just being a good all round fellow. It was at this time that with building costs starting and having to be paid, we decided to offer a pre-paid membership - 15 years at a reduced rate of £125 - several took advantage of the offer which gave us a big boost. A little later we decided to issue debentures. They were £10 cash debentures to members and the general public, the first debenture issued to each person interest free. Any further debentures to bear interest at 5% per annum.

Attendance at working parties started to become a bit of a problem as it is today. Punishment in those days for non-attendance at working parties was that the member was not permitted to use the Lodge until he or she had attended their working party.

Committee meetings were held at committee members' homes but suppers became a problem as each lady of the house would vie with the others for quantity and quality. To do these efforts justice, more and more time was taken for supper so it was actually moved in committee that the ladies be asked to please provide sandwiches or biscuits only.

We were at the stage of the interior lining and fittings for the Lodge, which in those days we called a hut, but it has rather graduated a bit and I think "the Lodge" now is more appropriate. Steel bunks were obtained through Keith Waugh. Reject mattresses purchased from the Auckland Hospital. The bunks creaked and groaned but despite similar reactions from the occupants, they served us well for many years. Like the dear old Raeburn, when replaced they had earned their retirement!

Boomerang has indeed been very fortunate in the generosity and the loyalty of its members. A case in point was when we were again getting low in funds, Joe Fullagher offered the proceeds from the sale of his section of land on loan to the Club at 5% interest. The Committee moved to increase it to 6% as a second charge over the assets of the Club but Mr Fullagher would not accept that. He only wanted 5%.

One little incident I well remember is when we were putting the original septic tank in and all of a sudden the whole bulldozer just disappeared - he'd sunk down into the mud. Great were the gales of laughter but oh what a job to get it out.

Finally, came the grand opening of the Lodge on the weekend of 3rd, 4th and 5th August 1962. Present at the opening were Les Gerken, Nanette and Keith Waugh, Alan and Doreen Scott, Brian and Cynthia McLeod, Barry and Janice Townsend, Murray Townsend, Robin McMaster, Lou Morton, Roger Crum, Alex Sanson, Beverley Brown, John Simpson, Eddie Kay, Joe Fullagher, Don Frearson and Ann and Ian Fordyce.

From then on things were easier in the building line. We had somewhere of our own to sleep and eat, and as the years rolled on, continual alterations and additions were accomplished. When the new lounge was put on, we really thought we were grand. That was a wonderful effort. I have a little sideline here which I feel I am entitled to include. Nanette and I were to be cooks this particular weekend for the working party. The men travelled down the night before and we went down early in the morning to get their breakfast. We arrived there just as the framework for the lounge was being put up, the boys struggling to hold it in the wind. To our dismay, there was no provision for windows looking up the mountain. So, being only women, of course, we stood there and yelled "Stop! You can't go any further, there is no window!" We were called all the stupid women under the sun, but we finally won the day and that part of the wall was never filled in for how many years - I think about seven - when Thelma at every committee meeting fought for that bay window. One day I said to Norman Williams, "Norman, can you tell me one thing - why didn't you provide for a window in that wall?" He replied "I go down to ski not look at the view!". "But, Norman, what about all the non-skiers who use the Lodge?" Eventually, my "dog at a bone" attitude worked - the bay window was installed, and Norman and I continued to serve on committee, the best of friends, for many years.

The new lounge added dimension and comfort and certainly has been very enjoyable over the following years. With our last and maybe final addition of the new bunkroom wing, thirty-five years planning and working has come to fruition - Boomerang is a home away from home for its members.

We had our sad times - when we lost Richard Harrison for instance a very very tragic and sad time for us all and I cannot mention all the various deaths, marriages and hatches over the years but they have all been part of the record of Boomerang. I can only pay tribute to all those members that I knew and worked with in this great achievement: - Joe Fullagher, Lou Morton, Len Meekings, the O'Malleys, Hobdays, Frearsons, McMasters; the Townsends, Barry always taking the mickey out of TJ but with a respect and loyalty which was the spirit that moved and achieved results. Norman and Pat Williams, the Kennys, the McLeods, the Sansons, the Scotts, the Harrisons, the Berrimans, Nola Jenkins, the Longtons, the Reids, the Hammonds, the Thorntons, the Halliwells, the Goffs, the Woods, the Christies, the Amblers, the Crums, the Ogilvies, (great team that lot). And my own family - my parents, Nan and Keith, Ann and Ian, and myself.

In 1974 I had a disastrous accident on, of all places, the rock garden, on a beautiful clear cloudless day, coming down with all the cast-off jumpers and jackets of the young fry around my waist. I turned a corner, struck a patch of ice and boom! In the space of five seconds, changed the course of my life. I never skied again and today the results of that accident have become a disaster for I have very little use at all in my right arm. Some would say "How can you bear to ever go back to Ruapehu?", but, when possible I still go down and sit and enjoy that bay window and the friendship and atmosphere of Boomerang.

We have had "houlies" as some would call them, in the Lodge over the years. Many a Fancy Dress evening was thrown on the spur of the moment, many a member with the urge to dance on the kitchen tables. Such great companionable times but for the length of time that it has been running and all of the things that have happened, there has never been a nasty incident. One only that I can remember, and when you look back now, it wasn't that bad. So we have been lucky. When you consider that the original fittings, linings, tables and chairs have lasted thirty years, some only now being replaced. That proves the responsibility of the members and their pride in their Lodge.

I think the school holidays have been some of the best times that have been known, for those children have never forgotten those holidays and no matter how old or what other interests they have in life, I think those times will always stand them in good stead. There have been school holidays where we have not been able to get outside the door. One time, Kath Harrison and I were down there, the only two adults with a Lodge full of children, the power off for three days. So what did we do, we pulled all the mattresses out in front of the fire stove, we kept it stoked night and day to keep us warm, and they were the times when Thelma would say, "and they want to get rid of our fire stove?!" You finally won the day, though. I lost that battle.

Then there was the eruption. We were there at the time and I don't think my poor mother ever thought she'd see us again. We stood at the kitchen windows and watched the lava flow go down through Happy Valley and the valley on our right. It destroyed all our tank water so the decision to disconnect the tanks on the instant of any warning or danger, was made.

In the early days there was a standard food list and every member who went down had to take what was on that list, it might be one chop and two sausages, so many slices of bread, so many ounces of butter, three potatoes, two eggs, two rashers of bacon, etc. etc. It worked to a degree but someone would come up and say "oh, I forgot to bring my food, what will I do?", and the next one would say "oh, I didn't bring any potatoes, I only brought bacon", etc. etc., so the system of food being supplied was instituted. Here I must pay tribute to Kath Harrison for her untiring efforts as Booking Officer and provider of the pantry. It's largely due to Kath, her economy and her vigilance that the Club financially is in the position it is today. Also, the cost of fuel and transport for the old Raeburn became excessive and here Kath again came to the rescue. She found a coalyard in Otahuhu, where we could go and bag our own for less cost, which we did. Every car to the mountain had to stop at Otahuhu and fit a bag of carbonettes into their boot. Those days, we had to take our food, our bedding, our skis, boots etc, plus carbonettes. It cannot be denied there were a few grumbles, but not for long before we were able to arrange for bulk supplies from Taumaranui.

I have travelled from the beginnings - the layman laying the foundations - to your Secretary and President, Patron, for almost 30 years. I was paid the greatest honour of all, my life membership. I would hope that one of my family lives and stays long enough with Boomerang to follow in my footsteps.

Auckland 12 May 1994

Thelma passed away on 30 September 1998. She had been unwell for many years, but always managed to keep an active interest in Boomerang. We held a 40th Birthday celebration in June 1998. Thelma attended this function as did others who attended the inaugural meeting on 8 June 1958 - Marjorie Crum (Woollett), Elspeth Whitmore (Dixon), Jenny Dixon, Keith & Nanette Waugh, John Simpson. Nearly 80 people attended the function in total, making the occasion one of the most memorable get-togethers in the Club history.