Chris Deutscher: Our People

Fire spot­ting, mu­sic and mar­riage have been long jour­neys in his life

Mansfield Courier - - FRONT PAGE - Weekly pro­file on our people by Courier jour­nal­ist Peter Hunt

bah they set­tled at Mer­ri­jig some 20 years ago.

Chris’s ca­reer as a fire spot­ter be­gan with four years on the Paps be­fore an­other 33 years on Mt Buller.

“The Paps tower was there to look af­ter the pine trees at De­latite Arm,” he noted.

“When they closed it down, I headed to the sum­mit of Mt Buller.

“You even got some forced fit­ness walk­ing up the hill each morn­ing.”

Chris feels it takes a cer­tain type of per­son to man a fire tower.

“You spend eight hours a day, some­times seven days a week in a 14 foot square room,” he said.

“It takes some­one who likes their own com­pany, prefers si­lence and likes to think about life.

“I used to spend time learn­ing new songs to play - learn by day, play by night.”

Chris only spent two days up the tower this sum­mer be­fore ill­ness got in the way and he re­tired.

Not that the fire tower was Chris’s only at­tach­ment to Mt Buller.

“I worked for the Re­sort Man­age­ment Board for 33 years, run­ning the gate at Mir­im­bah, both day and night,” he ex­plained.

“I loved the pres­sure of the busy days with lines of cars.”

The other feather in Chris’s cap here in the High Coun­try is his work with Ra­dio Mans­field.

“I have been pre­sent­ing on the ra­dio for more than 20 years,” Chris re­counted.

“As well as my show, I was the first pres­i­dent to go full term.

“I used to be on from 12 till 2pm on Satur­day af­ter­noon, but the footy got in the way.

“Now I am on from 5pm till 8pm.”

The show is called ‘High Coun­try’ and ac­cord­ing to Chris only plays good coun­try.

“I play stuff I like for the au­di­ence to dis­cover,” he said.

“As well as some old tracks there is some new coun­try - a learn­ing ex­er­cise for the au­di­ence.

“I guess I will keep on do­ing the show till I start mak­ing too many mis­takes.”

Be­ing a coun­try mu­sic devo­tee, Chris is about to head back to Nashville in June.

“I was there at the Grand Ole Opry in 2012,” he said.

“I like coun­try and blue­grass mu­sic.

“Mu­sic never dies and I will love mu­sic till I die.”

PHOTO: Peter Hunt

MU­SIC TILL I DIE: With mu­sic around him, Chris Deutscher is far from be­ing re­tired from life.

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