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Special Interest Matter - Launceston Rambling Club

Tuesday 23 August 2022, Special interest matter

[11.21 a.m.]

Ms ARMITAGE (Launceston) - Mr President, rambling is a hobby that many people of all ages take part in, and owing to the spectacular scenery we have in Tasmania, it is especially popular here. In July of this year, the Launceston Ramblers Club celebrated their 50th anniversary. The genesis of the ramblers club has actually been chronicled in the Launceston Examiner.

According to an Examiner article written by Nikita McGuire on 5 July this year, in May 1972, Gordon Goward, the head of Adult Education in Launceston, placed an advertisement in The Examiner to convene a meeting to establish a bushwalking club with a family-friendly environment.

At this meeting, a number of people attended and Geoff Gill was elected as the inaugural president. On 3 July 1972, the first walk took place at Liffey Falls and 50 years later, the club retraced the footsteps that had been taken by the founding members of the club, along with a sausage sizzle and cake celebration.

The Launceston Ramblers Club works with a set of seven rules, all about leaving no trace, plan ahead and prepare, travel and camp on durable surfaces, dispose of waste properly, leave what you find - meaning no removal of plants or objects - minimise camp fire impacts, respect wildlife and be respectful of others. This reminds me of the old adage, leave only footprints, take only photographs, and this is very much what the Launceston Ramblers Club strives to do: respect and enjoy Tasmania's spectacular wildlife and scenery and preserve it for the environment and for future generations.

One of the best things about the ramblers club is not just the opportunity it provides to people to improve their physical wellbeing, but also their social engagement and mental health. Over the past 50 years, so many friendships have formed and memories made, things that members of the club take with them for the rest of their lives. Right now, the club has a strong contingency of members and they range in ages from 38 to 88. The club's longest serving member, John, has been part of the club for 46 years, almost as long as the club has existed.

During this time, the ramblers club has taken its members to incredible locations all across the state, including tracks in Railton, Kings Meadows, Campania, and Bridal Veil Falls, Westmorland Falls, Blackstone, Dalrymple Hill, Quamby Bluff, Ben Lomond and countless more locations that are truly the heart and soul of Tasmania.

All one has to do is visit the ramblers club Facebook page to see just what magnificent scenery club members see on their regular walks. However, nothing does it justice better than doing these walks yourself. For anyone who is interested, the club always welcomes new members and offers not just the opportunity to get out and about, but also to enjoy the social connections and all the benefits that come along with it. So, for anyone who is interested, head along to their Facebook page and send them a message.

A very warm congratulations to the Launceston Ramblers Club on their 50th birthday and here is to the next 50.


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