Alkira Ski Club: a ret­ro­spec­tive Rob Ai­vatoglou

Mt Buller News - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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