History of McMillan Ski Club

McMillanMcMillan Ski Club was founded by members of the McMillan rover crew of the 12th Caulfield Scout Group.

Early in 1963 the Club commenced operating in a rented weatherboard cottage at Sawmill Settlement at the base of Mt Buller. Realising the limitations of this site, and after much discussion plans were prepared and 12 of the members committed to building a new lodge in the newly opened Davenport subdivision at Hotham Heights.

Work commenced in mid 1968 by prefabricating a 2.4 X 3 metre shed in Melbourne to serve as storage and temporary accommodation for members whilst building and later to house the 32volt generator from Sawmill Settlement. Work on site began in October, blasting holes for stumps. Boxing day 1968 saw the whole crew start the main construction even though there was snow on the ground from snowfalls on Christmas day.

The original lodge was a 10 metre square building with a pyramid roof and only 2 bunkrooms. Due to the slope of the site we were allocated it was evident during construction that the area below the lodge could be enclosed providing additional rooms. Additional plans were prepared to enclose this area, and 4 new members joined the club. By winter 1969 the lodge was habitable.

Members took an active part in activities on the mountain with 9 of the members joining the volunteer ski patrol, and one member working on the Hotham clubs development committee's 1972 report.

By the early 1970s the downstairs area was completed to provide an additional 2 bunkrooms a bathroom, laundry, kitchenette, and lockers. This however stretched the upstairs kitchen, and drying room facilities.

In 1980 the first major extension was built providing a new entrance, ski room and drying room the front wall was also moved out to increase the kitchen and new dining area.

During the 1990's reticulated electricity gas and sewerage enabling the club to retire the 240 volt generator that had replaced the old 32 volt one, together with the bottled gas and septic tank systems.

The next major extension westwards towards Burrumbeep was completed in 1999, providing 4 new bunkrooms with 2 bathrooms on the upper level and 2 bunkrooms and 2 bathrooms downstairs bringing the number of bunkrooms to 10 together with enlarged lounge areas both upstairs and downstairs.

The shape of the original lodge is now only evident in the upstairs living room ceiling that followed the pyramid of the old roof.

As a club that has operated for more than 50 years we have many members that have been skiing for a very long time. Many of them are still very active both as members, and skiing regularly. Next time you are up at the lodge introduce yourself to some of the older members for a more detailed and personal history of the McMillan Ski Club.

McMillan Lodge circa 1969

McMillan Lodge circa 1969