The Random Ramblings of Ron the Rover

Ronald W. Black of the Linwood Rovers

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Minchin Country

Where the trip took place

Max Townsend visits Rovers

Report of Max Townsend's visit to the Rovers


Rovers meet Max Townsend, Matthias Pass

Rovers meet Max Townsend 27th Dec, 1934, Matthias River below Canyon Creek
Max Townsend died a few miles from there 24th Dec 1935 while crossing the Rakaia River. Bob Burns (top left) was his companion that day.





An account of a trip (attached hereto) which appeared in the "Christchurch Star" on July 22 1933; a trip made through the Minchin Country by Messers Townsend and Beckett, first suggested to the Linwood Rover Scouts that they should make their Christmas hike in that country. With that end in view we communicated with the writer Mr. Townsend and he kindly visited "Te Wharekura" one Saturday night to give an interesting and detailed description of the country and the trip made by Mr. Beckett and himself.

This and further discussions led to the final decision that the thirteen available at Xmas should hike over Minchin Pass. However, within a fortnight of the festive season, R.S.L. J. E. Stokes, having in mind that thirteen was a rather large, in fact, too large a number to make a trip like that over Minchin safe and successful, offered to take a party of six, including himself, over the Three Pass Trip, the scene of the Rovers' first two excursions in the mountains. There is no need to dwell upon the many suggested solutions to the problem but the result was that the thirteen were split up into two parties; one of six, with Jack Stokes as leader to go over Whitehorn, Browning and Harmon Passes for the 3rd consecutive year, while the other, a party of seven, of which I was a member, with R.M. Reg Hyde in command, was to make over the Minchin Pass.

Mr. Townsend visited us again just prior to the hike and a representative also met Mr. Thompson of the Mt. White Station when he was in town at the wool sales, gaining much useful information about the country. Therefore we left on the trip equipped with the knowledge gained, a reliable compass, a map supplied by Mr. Len Boot and a copy of Mr. Townsend's report, which appeared in "The Mountaineer".

Personnel of Parties:

Three Pass Trip. R.S.L. J E Stokes, E Rodgers, E Hewellen, O Clark, L Wooles, and J Ede Average wt. of pack 45 lbs.

The Minchin Boys. R.M. R G Hyde, A C Caldow, E Minnery, C H Whall, R H Stewart, H E Collins and R W Black.