Orig­i­nal min­utes

This year also marks the 60th an­niver­sary of the Port Phillip branch of Field & Game Aus­tralia, which formed orig­i­nally as a re­gion of the Vic­to­rian Field & Game As­so­ci­a­tion.

Field and Game - - 2018 NATIONAL CARNIVAL -

The orig­i­nal minute book has sur­vived and it is a trea­sure trove, record­ing ev­ery­thing from the orig­i­nal goals of the or­gan­i­sa­tion to a list of swan recipes, pub­lished to en­cour­age mem­bers who were re­luc­tant to par­tic­i­pate in a con­trol pro­gram or­gan­ised by the Fish­eries & Wildlife de­part­ment. “This is the first time that shoot­ers have been used as a tool of wildlife con­ser­va­tion and man­age­ment,” pres­i­dent Doug Hem­ing­way said in a let­ter to mem­bers. “We are there­fore most anx­ious that the ex­per­i­ment is a suc­cess.” For the record, dev­illed, roasted, casseroled and paired with ap­ples, or­anges or a truf­fle sauce were rec­om­mended. The swan sea­son ran for four weeks in late 1961, an emer­gency mea­sure after other meth­ods failed to stop them caus­ing dam­age to crops and pas­tures.

An early news­let­ter head­lined ‘What your sub­scrip­tion has helped achieve’ notes the procla­ma­tion of Jack Smith lake and Lake Cole­man as State Game Re­serves and that 40 more were in the pipe­line.

Mem­bers were in­formed that ‘Game Re­serves are use­less with­out qual­i­fied staff to man­age them,’ and the or­gan­i­sa­tion had suc­cess­fully lob­bied gov­ern­ment to re­cruit 12 new staff to the de­part­ment for that pur­pose.

In­ter­est­ingly, the spec­tre of

anti-hunt­ing lob­by­ing is present even in the ear­li­est com­mu­ni­ca­tions from Field & Game.

‘In the com­ing year, be­sides con­tin­u­ing and ex­pand­ing our so­cial ac­tiv­i­ties, we en­vis­age much more ac­tive mem­ber par­tic­i­pa­tion in the prac­ti­cal as­pects of our cam­paign for bet­ter hunt­ing in Vic­to­ria. Those who op­pose our ob­jec­tives do so, we be­lieve, only be­cause they are not aware or do not un­der­stand our point of view. Yet, up to now, they have been suc­cess­ful in pro­mot­ing their views at the ex­pense of ours sim­ply be­cause they have been more uni­fied, and bet­ter or­gan­ised. This is some­thing field shoot­ers must also achieve.’

Port Phillip pres­i­dent Nigel Loughridge said only the first few years of records were in the branch’s pos­ses­sion. “We don’t know where the rest of them are, they are miss­ing in ac­tion. It would be great if some­one had them tucked away and could re­unite us with them.”

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