Celebrations for completed Wallace’s Hut
Friday 30 November, 2012
There were congratulations all round at the historic Wallace’s Hut recently, when around sixty people gathered on the Bogong High Plains, just east of Falls Creek, to celebrate the heritage listed hut’s restoration.
Over the past year a team of about twenty volunteers devoted ten days to restoring the hut to its original state. It was badly in need of repair both inside and out, with major structural replacement required.
The Victorian High Country Huts Association group, bought together by Wangaratta builder Lachie Gales, share a love of the Alps, and of historical restoration. Lachie says it’s a great way to give back something to the Alps, a place they all love and enjoy visiting.
All the repair work was done according to historical preservation techniques; even the local timber used was cut and shaped by hand using traditional tools. Parks Victoria funded the project, and local Parks Victoria rangers Ross Grant and Andrew Cross often joined in with the rest of the team.
“It’s been a great project to be involved with,” says Ross. “And one that’s made both parties realise how satisfying it is to work together on restoring something as special as this hut. The volunteers did a fantastic job.”
Fifteen descendents of the Wallace family were the special guests of the day, including Ewan Wallace, the grandson of William Wallace, who with his two brothers built the hut back in 1889
Mr Wallace thanked the volunteers for their efforts in continuing the legacy left by his family who were pioneering cattlemen on the Bogong High Plains.
Since 2008, the group have also helped rebuild two other historic huts which were burnt in the 2003 and 2006 Alpine fires; Ropers and Weston’s huts. To acknowledge the group’s contribution, Lachie Gales presented each of the volunteers with a book of the best photos of their work to recognise their significant contribution.
Parks Victoria Chief Ranger Peter Jacobs thanked everyone involved.
“It has been a real team effort, Wallace’s hut is again a safe and dry place of shelter for walkers and skiers, and a special place for people to visit and marvel at its ‘new as old’ architecture, and the history it embodies."
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