Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Some nostalgia

Spurred on by her great-grandson Ollie's success on the ski fields this year Mum's been talking about her amazing ski holiday in the Snowy Mountains, many years ago (before the war, around 1937-38 we think).

That's Mum, second from the right, in her early to mid-twenties, lined up with her posse of girlfriends, and that tall, dark and handsome ski instructor - "a good sort", according to Mum. The girls are all dressed rather stylishly for the times in their wool jersey baggy pants and fairly light weight button up tops. The ski gear must have been supplied by the hotel as none of these Brisbane girls would have owned any gear of their own.

The girls had a fabulous holiday in the old Hotel Kosciuzsko, built in 1909 by the NSW government but sadly destroyed by fire in 1951. Only the skeleton of the old staff quarters survived the fire which then formed the shell of the new Sponor's Chalet which still exists today on the site of the old Hotel. We spent some time around the lovely water reservoir near Sponor's Chalet in January this year on our Summer alpine adventure.

Over their 10 day stay the girls would have spent hours on the Grand Slam and Percy Pearson ski runs perfecting their early snow moves to the accompaniment of the instructors' orders to "bend ze knees"!

Knowing my mother she would also have enjoyed the stately charms of the Hotel - being "accommodated in style, the exquisite food and refreshments and winter activities"!

It must have been a huge adventure: travelling down from Brisbane to Sydney by train (that would have taken more than a day), then catching a bus from Sydney to the snow fields, via Canberra (and that would have taken most of another day).

She collected this picture of a very new Canberra on the way through. Those of us who know the city well will have no trouble in working out where this is, although the intersection looks very different these days, especially at peak hour.

I always remember Mum saying that she and her girlfriends started saving up after this to go to England for their next holiday, but the war soon put an end to those ideas.

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