50th Anniversary of Homer Hut
At Labour weekend the Southland Section organized a celebration at Homer Hut to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its construction.
For the keen people who arrived in Friday night, Saturday remained fine until about 3pm allowing a few assents to Gertrude Saddle. There was an exceptional amount of snow for this time of the year.
On Saturday night spirits flowed freely and many a tale was told of past deeds.
In spite of the bad weather forecast we were treated to a perfect barbeque day on Sunday, there was hardly a sand fly to be seen, and in true style a Kea took centre stage during the speeches. After we were well fed by Ron McLeod and his good helpers with his super-sized barbeque, we were treated to speeches by Bill Gordon and Noel Dunlop on the history of the hut construction; much of the finishing work on the hut was carried out by club members but they had their priorities right. Work was only scheduled for days when the weather was not suitable for climbing!
This was followed by Robin McNeill (FMC President) who described the process of the recent upgrade. We were reminded never to take the toilets for granted – they caused a lot of headaches and a disproportionate amount of time. Bill Lendrum talked about being a warden and Alastair Walker about the winter climbing meets. John Cocks (NZAC president) gave a NZAC state of the nation speech. The formalities concluded with the cutting of a hut birthday cake by Mick Heslin and Ron Dickie, the oldest members of the Southland section who were present.
We were reminded of the notable assents in this world class climbing area, many made by Southland Section members, and they are documented in the Gerald Hall-Jones book “Mountaineering from the Milford Road” There are a few copies of this still available from Bill Gordon.
As a grand finale we treated to a one-gun salute by Ray Willet with his hair spray powered onion launcher. Watch out ISIS if you ever attempt to invade Fiordland we will bring tears to your eyes. Keith Moffat 28/10/2015
Posted By: Narina Sutherland