Behind every great man……
BEHIND all the great men of Mt Buller over the decades, there has always been a great woman.
Along with ladies such as Lotte Grimus, Christine Flemming, Carol McDonald and Elena Vasilopoulos, my mother Margaret Aivatoglou has been a constant support to dad, George and our family’s business on the mountain.
It began when Margaret was offered a job by Tony and Lois Aslangul, owners of Auski in Hardware Lane, Melbourne.
They had just set up Ski Holiday Bookings out of the same location as Auski on the first floor.
Margaret was employed to manage the business that booked holidays for all the resorts in Victoria and NSW.
Back then, all lodges were managed by Austrians; Mt Buller Lodge, Avalanche Ski Club, Enzian, Kooroora, Sundowners, the Ski Club of Victoria and Alberg.
Tyrol Ski Club was always interesting… nestled high above Shakey Knees, many would get lost in the fog just trying to locate their accommodation.
Skiing was extremely popular attracting celebrities such as Molly Meldrum.
Ski Holiday Bookings operated from 1962-67.
In the summer of 1962/63 Auski built a rental store in the village centre at Mt Buller.
It first operated during the 1963 snow season run by John Freeman.
George worked on the building and then in the hire.
It was a basic operation with all the equipment being transported back to Melbourne in the off season for repair and maintenance.
It focused on skiing in winter and camping/ bushwalking in summer.
George and Margaret married in 1967.
After a six month honeymoon in Europe, Geoff Henke approached them to see if they would be interested in managing his new ski hire in the Molony’s building.
Geoff and his business partner Peter McIntyre (who still skis at Buller aged 90 years) were doing the building.
Molony’s replaced the old Mt Buller Post Office and the Bretherton Flats.
They had kept one flat and the commercial area within Molony’s.
And In 1984, Geoff sold Molony’s to George and Margaret - which still continues today with George slowly releasing the running of the business to the next generation, son Robert and his wife Andrea.