Victoria's Forestry Heritage

A History of Management

Alan Eddy Remembers

Alan Eddy graduated from the VSF in 1948 and went on to have a long and distinguished career in the FCV and CFL.  More needs to be written here but at this stage the focus is on putting onto this site what we might call the "Eddy Papers".

The first of those papers, The Forestry Family, is available at this link, and it is a "must read" if you wish to get a real flavour of the times from Alan's graduation onwards. The "Family", as Alan so rightly calls it, worked under conditons that are unimaginable today. Below are more of Alan's recollections, and there are still more to come.

VSF 1946 -1948

Bruthen & Nowa Nowa 1949 - 1950

Mirboo North 1952 - 1953

Heyfield 1953 - 1954

Maryborough mid-1950s

VSF Lecturer 1954 -1966

VSF Principal 1969 - 1978



Athol Hodgson

Forester, Innovator
A Significant Contribution

Athol Hodgson, who died on 5 August 2018, made a significant contribution to Victorian forestry in a number of areas. Born in Wagga Wagga in 1930 he spent his early years on the family farm at Nariel in North East Victoria where, on at least one occasion, he helped the family protect the property from bushfire. Schooling at Nariel, Corryong and then Bendigo High School provided him with the qualifications to enter the VSF from which he graduated in 1950. He went on to get his Degree at the University of Melbourne in the mid-1950s.

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Gelignite Can Be Very Useful Stuff

This article is based upon a conversation between Bernie Evans and Richard Rawson in August 2018

On his first visit to the FCV District Office at Swifts Creek in early 1960, while he was assessing in the area of Davies Plain, Bernie was to find the District Forester, Moray Douglas, sitting in his office with feet on a footstool comprising a number of boxes of gelignite. Now, even in those days that seemed a little unusual. Powder magazines were a common feature of FCV locations, but they were not usually located in the main office.

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Victorian Fire Crew “Lost” in NSW

- build freeway and then backburn to keep warm

This article is based upon a conversation between Bernie Evans and Richard Rawson in August 2018

In about 1972, with many FCV personnel already committed to a big fire at Mt Elizabeth, near Buchan, a very large fire in the Kosciusko National Park “was gradually burning its way south between the Snowy and the Ingeegoodbee Rivers” heading towards the Victorian border and, typical of the time, the NSW people were interested in their own side, not ours. Well, the truth is they probably were not really worried about the fire at all, but we were interested, because if nothing happened we would have a huge unwanted blaze inside our patch.

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Tom Bailes, Mount Cole Forester

Peter Evans (bio)

This article first appeared in the Newsletter of the Australian Forest History Society, Issue 43, April 2006


Tom Bailes
Source: Bronwyn Shalders, Date: Unknown

Thomas Derham Bailes arrived at Beaufort, Victoria, in 1899 to take up the post of Forester for the Mount Cole Reserve. He stayed for thirty-eight years in his official capacity and, like most foresters, displayed a passion for protecting the forests under his care from foolish and wasteful exploitation. While we do not know whether or not he was formally trained as a forester, he appears to have had a solid grasp of all the practical principles of forestry, and was a fine example of that class of unsung heroes so aptly named ‘public servants’. In response to an application by sawmiller James Emery for a site at Mount Cole in 1925, Bailes rose to the defence of his forests in an impassioned letter to AV Galbraith, a newly appointed member of the three-man Forests Commission of Victoria. This letter amply demonstrates some of the conflicts between conservation and utilisation at the level of an early twentieth century forester in the field.

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