Alkira Ski Club: a retrospective Rob Aivatoglou
THE application to finance and build Alkira Ski Club on Lot 82 Mt Buller was made on September 14, 1964.
There were 23 foundation members (skiing families) that provided an initial sum of 200 pounds each with John Pendavingh nominated president, and Ian Dent secretary.
The quotation for the build was 48,000 pounds.
Forest Commissions Victoria granted the licence on December 11, 1964.
During construction of the lodge the building contractors were accommodated in a tin shed in the parking area.
Early snowfalls and frost made construction particularly challenging.
Fortunately for them, the Royal Children’s Hospital Lodge assisted with warm rooms.
Without this kind gesture, Alkira would not have been completed for occupancy for the approaching winter.
That first snow season in 1965 proved somewhat disappointing.
After so much effort by all the members to have Alkira ready, it was only towards the end of July that the snow was skiable on all tows.
The first lodge master in occupancy was Steve Schwarz, whose wife Barbara also lays claim to the first knee injury.
Alan Pilgrim had the first torn knee ligament, while Andrew Fraser achieved the longest occupancy by a single member for that first season with 86 bed nights.
At the other end of the scale, four members did not make use of the lodge at all.
Alkira’s historical records show that in that first year, during the 15 weeks of winter occupancy, there were 552 member bed nights and 406 guest bed nights.
It was a close knit and happy group of skiers.
Today, some of the original members still use the lodge and many of the children of the original members now hold membership in their own right and use the lodge along with their children.
Alkira is a very active lodge, with many activities being held during the year including their annual ski races that include giant slalom, and the only club in Australia to hold a downhill.
Over the years many members have been part of Team Buller and the Mt Buller Race Club.