VALE - Eric Burt
THE passing of Eric Burt last week will sadden many who remembered him as a consultant engineer with the early lift companies, a great photographer on Mt Buller and a keen skier.
Eric passed away on July 14, aged 95.
He first worked at Dandenong Engineering, where he dealt with ski equipment manufacturer Doppelmeier, later becoming a consultant to the Austrian supplier until his move to Mansfield around 23 years ago.
The link with Doppelmeier was because of his long connection with skiing in Australia, which he only finally relinquished after turning 85.
A keen and enthusiastic community minded person, Eric belonged to many organisations and committees and became secretary of the Mansfield Ratepayers’ Association, which applied pressure to disassociate the shire from the Benalla Shire and succeeded in this goal, becoming the Delatite Shire in October 2002.
He was also involved with Up2Us Landcare, Friends of Venilale, Mansfield Masonic Lodge and Friends of the Library just to name a few.
Always interested in music, Eric helped found Radio 3MBS in Melbourne – the first FM radio station in Victoria.
A passionate photographer, he took photographs at Mt Buller in the 1940s for about 10 years, some of which can still be seen in Mansfield and provide a valuable record of the resort’s early days.
The Arlberg Hotel at Mt Buller has a gallery of these early photographs.
Photography led naturally to an involvement in developing and printing, when he and his wife ran a business in Melbourne carrying this out for chemists until the arrival of color film.
At the same time he undertook photographic work with the Department of Anthropology at the University of Melbourne.
Tennis was also another one of Eric’s strong interests, something he did not relinquish until his 90th birthday.
In Melbourne he formed the Glen Waverley Tennis Club, of which he became a life member.
Technology did not seem to present any difficulties for Eric as he drove his car up until about two years ago (aged 93) and mastered the use of a laptop.
So when interview at 93 he gave this advice -
“People get the idea they’re old,” he said.
“I’m not old – my ambition is to get to 95 (which he did).
“My advice is to keep physically active and keep your mind active”.
A funeral service was held on Thursday, July 21 for Eric at St John’s Anglican Church, Mansfield.
SHARP MINDED: Eric Burt (pictured) during an interview with Mansfield Courier some three years ago, always said people should try to keep physically and mentally active.