Looking Back - 1939 to 2011 - the Autobiography of Robert V. J. Padula, OAM

1952 - Camp Buxton - YMCA Shoreham

1941 - Bikes and Cars
1943 - Hiking - Hills and Coasts
1944 - Growing up in the War Years - Part 1
1944 - Growing up in the War Years - Part 2
1944 - Growing up in the War Years - Part 3
1945 - Auburn schooldays - Part One
1945 - Auburn Schooldays - Part Two
1945 - Auburn Schooldays - Part Three
1945 - Upwey and the Puffing Billy
1945 - Gramaphones and Record Players
1946 - Flinders St Station
1946 - Astronomy
1946 - Beach and Swimming Adventures
1946 - Going to the Pictures
1947 - Adventures at the Altona Bungalow
1947 -The Listener-In Magazine
1947 - Balwyn WIldlife Sanctuary
1948 - Fishermen's Bend Aerodrome
1948 - Radio Australia QSL cards
1948 - Excursions
1949 - Australian Rules Football
1949 - Radio Monitoring at Auburn
1950 -Trains and Ships
1950 - Radios for Communications
1950 - Radio Listening Clubs in Australia
1950 - World Radio TV Handbook
1950 - Shortwave Radio Propagation Research
1950 - Medium Wave Radio Propagation Research
1950 - Radio and Hobbies Magazines
1950 - Discovering shortwave radio at Auburn
1951 - Photography
1951 - Competitions on local radio stations
1952 - Camp Buxton - YMCA Shoreham
1952 Tennis and Ten Pin Bowling
1953 - Stamp Collectiong
1953 Camberwell High School
1954 - Royal Visit to Melbourne
1954 - Shortwave Radio reception at Auburn
1956 - Melbourne's Olympic Games
1956 - Trainee Telecommunications' Technician
1957 - Trainee Technician - field work
1957 - National Service Registration
1958 - Laverton Air Show
1958 - MOOMBA Parade
1958 - Trainee Technician - field work
1959 - The move to Mont Albert
1960 - Working at Deepdene Telephone Exchange
1963 - Trade Unions, Staff Associations, Industrial Relations
1964 - Senior Technician work in the Melbourne CBD
1964 - Project support for Radio Australia
1964 - Project support for Radio Australia
1964 - Amateur Radio
1964 - Media Writing
1964 -Travels
1964 - Engineering Support for International Broadcasters
1965 - Professional Employment with PMG/Telstra
1967 - Professional Qualifications - Institution of Engineers Australia
1967 - Australian Radio DX Club Photo Gallery (to 1979)
1972 - Wireless Institute of Australia
1972 - Natural disasters in Melbourne
1980 - Australian Radio DX Club Gallery (to 1995)
1981 - Award of the Medal of the Order of Australia
1995 - Padula Books
SPECIAL CHAPTER - Oldtime Australian Radio Drama from the 1930s
SPECIAL CHAPTER - Radio Monitoring Clubs in Australia - 1920 to 1949
SPECIAL CHAPTER - Melbourne Picture Theatres - History - 1906 to 1970

1952 Camp Buxton - from left: Ken, the author and Walter

1952 - YMCA Shoreham Beach - author at far left!


The main objectives of the camp was to allow boys aged between 10 and 14 years from underprivileged families across Victoria to experience a holiday in a bushland retreat in a supervised environment, for 10 days. In the Christmas period each year.

was very lucky to be selected for the Camp for ten days between January 9 and 19, 1952.

My tent-mates were Walter (from Melbourne) and Ken (from Western Victoria).

By coincidence I had already known Walter as he and I attended the same Primary School (Auburn Central no. 2948) until the end of Year 7 in 1952. We would both go on to Camberwell High School from 1953-1955, years 8-10.

Walter lived in Hawthorn, adjacent to my own suburb of Auburn, and we “hung out” a lot. We were also members of the YMCA Boys’ Club, which met each Saturday morning at the then YMCA Central Building, City Rd, just past Princes Bridge (that building is long gone, and the site is now part of the Arts Complex).

Those Saturday morning meetings comprised gymnasium, a swim in the heated pool (swim attire was not permitted – everyone was starkers!), and a meeting session where boys would sit in groups around large tables for guided chats and discussions.

The Boys Club also arranged day tours to places near Melbourne during school holiday periods – I went on several of these, which included a snow trip to Mt Donna Buang in August1951 and to the Wonthaggi coal mines in September 1952. My photos were taken on my Box Brownie Camera, which is still in good working very well 60 years later!

I lost touch with Ken after the Shoreham Camp.

Walter is currently active in the Camberwell High School ex-Students’ Association (“CHESS”)

The picture above has been colorized by me! It was taken by  Mum on January 13, 1952, the "visitor day" for friends and family to look over Camp Buxton. The people are L-R: me,  Ken Heywood (at front), Dad (centre at back), Maurice - family friend (partially obscured at back), Walter Burston (at right in baseball cap), my brother (right,  at front).

The picture below was taken by me very shortly after the above picture. It shows L-R:Dad, Maurice, Walter (sitting at front centre), Mum, my brother, and Ken (at rear fiddling with his camera!)

1952 - January 13 - our group at Shoreham (colorized)

y postcard to my parents, sent from Shoreham, Jan 19 1952

In late 2010 I visited the site of Camp Buxton, now a B&B. Rediscovering the surviving buildings and features really bright back many memories. I felt that I had been transported back to 1952 – the walking track down to the beach looked much the same as it did in 1952!

Now, there are houses nearby, but the road is still unsealed and the pine trees have grown to enormous heights.

Some of the original bunkhouses survive and have been converted into self-contained cabins for B&B guests. These were originally used to accommodate the Camp leaders.

The original hall and camp admin centre has been converted into the B&B Manager’s residence.

The old windmill is still there, next to the toilets!

The Chapel, Pulpit and Benches survive – I sat on the same stone bench as I did in 1952!

In 2010 and 2011 I revisited the route of our hike we did along the beach to Flinders in 1952 – the seaweed is still the same!

Yes, we did manage to convince the Camp leaders in 1952 to allow us to do the beach hike to Pt Leo!

I can recollect many of the activities we did, and the boys I met, which remain with me forever.

In the years which the camp operated, several thousands boys attended.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this story! If by some chance you were one of the thousands of boys who attended the camp between 1939 and 1960, I'd be interested in hearing from you - perhaps you might have some photos?

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