VUWTC started off the year badly with vastly depleted numbers on the Freshers' Trip - a mere 20 starters when previous efforts have attained half a century at the minimum. Seven last-minute pikers were partially responsible and they are fortunate not to have their names published forthwith for purposes of ridicule. However the three fearless deerstalkers from The Terrace obligingly agreed to use the transport provided and make a financial contribution.
The bus trip up was fairly uneventful; most notable was the record departure time - less than half an hour late, but some slow drinkers in the Featherston Pub attempted to counteract the effect.page 15
The usual annual camp was established at Donnelly's Flat, and was followed on Saturday morning by the traditional route up the Atiwhakitu (see 'Heels' '76,'74,'72) at a leisurely pace, with a two hour lunch stop where Bill exhibited the family abilities at bludging food (so ably demonstrated to me two years previously by a greasy elder brother when I was still comparatively naiive).
Saturday night was a tame affair compared with bygone years -a lack of rowdy yahooers or obnoxious characters was prevalent until we had the misfortune to be visited by P. J. Tree who, with an audience of eager and awed faces fresh from Scots College, launched forth into a boring monologue on queen and country, a speech so soporific that Olly retired to bed shortly after. There followed some feeble attempts at former favourite songs such as Old King Cole or the unabridged Good Ship Venus, and half-hearted suggestions that Bill should assume his namesake's role in a performance of 'Schumann' before we all closed down for the night (he didn't consume nearly enough brandy and hot grapefruit refresh for an attempt).
Sunday we wandered out down the Waingawa, no interesting incidents to relate. At 4p.m. we piled on the bus, and with a brief stop to buy out the Featherston dairy, we made our way home.