The Newcastle Technical College Bushwalking and Alpine Club, now known as Newcastle Bushwalking Club Inc. came into being on 12th September 1945, when a group of fourteen people with a mutual enthusiasm for "the bush", gathered at the inaugural meeting in Room 6 of the Clegg Building, Newcastle Technical College Tighes Hill.
The first club walk was held on 29th & 30th Sept 1945 and was attended by 12 people.
Below is an extract of a speech made at the 70th reunion dinner in 2015:
"As time passed, some members became a little embarrassed about the Alpine part of the name. It somehow didn't seem quite appropriate in grimy industrial Newcastle. So we then became Newcastle Technical College Bushwalking Club in 1950, when the word Alpine was removed.
For some years after 1951, Newcastle University College occupied part of the Tech College campus. In order to make the Uni students feel wanted, the name was changed in 1955 to Newcastle Technical and University College Bushwalking Club or Newcastle Tech and Uni College Bushwalking Club for short.
Ten years later, in 1965, when some members had long since grown past the stage of being students, it was felt that the more inclusive name of Newcastle Bushwalking Club would be more appropriate.
Time rolled on, and some members began to acquire assets along with their grey hair and wrinkles. So in 1985 Newcastle Bushwalking Club Limited, a Company limited by Guarantee, came into being. It was hoped that this would provide greater legal protection for Club members.
Also in 1985 the Club held its first big reunion dinner, for the 40th anniversary, attended by some 210 current and former members. At this function Selby Alley, a foundation member of the Club, gave the address, and I am able to quote some of his words:
'This Club has done far more than take us bushwalking, though that was what we wanted and what we got. The ways of life of all of us contain attitudes and activities which in their beginning rubbed off from other members of the group. These gains would include for all of us a greater concern for the conservation of natural resources, and have led us to find happiness in simple, non-consuming activities. Some of us learnt a few lessons about sharing – maybe salted peanuts or a Mars Bar, but at times water, or a shelter, or about off-loading some weight from an inexperienced member.
In a noisy world, it helped us to enjoy the silence of the bush, and enabled us to see the stars, blazing on a dark night out of range of the cities' glow. And of course, many of you found a fellow bushwalker for the trip to the altar, or the marriage celebrant. '
In 1993, yet another name change occurred, and we became Newcastle Bushwalking Club Incorporated and that is where we are today. "