Throughout the history of the Wellington valley, Mount Arthur has meant many things to many people. A home, a source of natural resources, a workplace, a water supply, a special place of solitude and natural wonder, fond memories, a distinctive feature of the skyline and much more.
In 1960 a small group of local people were so inspired by the area, its values and its tourism potential, that they formed the Mount Arthur National Park Committee and campaigned tirelessly for four years to achieve their vision. The founding members of this committee were George Ford, Mark Harvey, Darvil Baird, Leonard Matthews, and Alf Roberts. They were soon joined by David Davidson, Tony Bird, I Fuller, B Whiteley, George Althofer, Robert Kimbell, Douglas Allan, Arthur Rolls, Selwyn Townsend and Terry Tolhurst. It is thanks to the efforts of this committee the Mount Arthur Reserve was gazetted in 1964, securing it for future generations to enjoy.
Many of these first committee members went on to serve generously on the Mount Arthur Reserve Trust, some for more than 20 years. In this, the 50th year of the Trust, we would like to pay tribute to the long service of these members.
The Reserve owes much to the floristic and natural history knowledge of George Althofer and Keith Holmes, the historical notes taken by Robert Kimbell, the vision of Arthur Rolls, the dogged perseverance of Alf Roberts, and the dedication of Mr Brian Holmes, Mr John Pilling, and Mrs Marion Dawson. For Marion this year also marks the 30th year of her membership of the Trust.
The Reserve also owes much to the efforts of the Apex Club, who worked hard establishing the first facilities, and many of the walking trails, for the enjoyment of visitors. They were followed by long serving Rangers - notably Norm Spratt and Tony Layland.
Two 50th Anniversary events are planned for 2014. In addition to the Mount Arthur Challenge on Sunday 13 July, a Mount Arthur Reserve photographic competition will also be held in late November. The competition includes a wide variety of categories for keen photographers, so get out in the Reserve now and start snapping for your chance to have your photo displayed and perhaps even win a prize! For more information go to www.mtarthurreserve.org.au.
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