|1952 Camp Buxton - from left: Ken, the author and Walter
|1952 - YMCA Shoreham Beach - author at far left!
JANUARY 1952 - YMCA CAMP BUXTON SHOREHAM
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.
I 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.
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”)
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
THE PRESENT TIME
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!
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.
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!
Chapel, Pulpit and Benches survive – I sat on the same stone bench as I did in 1952!
2010 and 2011 I revisited the route of our hike we did along the beach to Flinders in 1952 – the seaweed is still the
Yes, we did manage to convince the Camp leaders in 1952 to
allow us to do the beach hike to Pt Leo!
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?