Early History

The TERAMA story started back in the mid 1960’s.

It was a time when the Forest Commission controlled Mount Buller and the resort.  It was in the days when two tow companies competed for one’s business with offerings of a poma and a tee bar to service the Bourke Street run.  And of course, the sealed access road to the village became gravel at Mirimbah.

The Authorities decided that they would release the final three sites on the mountain and then cease further expansion of the village.  A group of Forest Commission employees and their friends chose to seek one of these sites and applied.  The application was accepted on the proviso that a development plan be submitted within 24 hours.  To satisfy that requirement, one of the group, a Mechanical Engineer from R.M.I.T., drew up a single page sketch of a plan and submitted it the following day.  That was accepted on the proviso that the development followed the plan.

And so we started.

Very early in this process, the decision was made to call our huge investment “TERAMA” which was based on an aborigine word meaning “Big Mountain”.

We had no funds.  A small loan was obtained from the Commonwealth Development Bank.

The Club made its first investment.  An old Bedford truck for the princely sum of 300 pounds. Each week, this vehicle was loaded with building supplies and other essential matters and then slowly (and noisily) driven on Friday night to the mountain.  To keep the plans developing in a logical manner, each week a meeting was organised in Melbourne to plan the next step in this process.

And for two years, other than during the actual ski season, every weekend, all of the members would attend the lodge and assist in the development.  They slept in accommodation made available at adjoining lodges or they camped in hike tents in the little valley behind the lodge.

As the work progressed, it became obvious that the Club would not be viable in its original form so we “extended” the building by cutting into the roof cavity and introducing another five bedrooms to the plan.

After two years, the lodge was structurally complete but much improving was still needed.

So we slowly repaired and rebuilt sections as we could fund each task.

In those early days, each snow season ended with a Carnival Weekend.  Skiers were encouraged to dress up in fancy dress and those who participated, won free day tickets.  There were also prizes for categories of floats and displays which completed two runs down Bourke Street.  Because of the friendships developed during these two years, TERAMA won many prizes because it could mount complex presentations.  Two of the memorable victories were:

– Viking Ship with about 20 oarsmen in the vessel, a bow (cannot remember) and stern (carried via a rucksack) and our largest skier carrying the mast (which persisted in wanting to sail out the side of the vessel).

– A Cobb & Co Stage Coach with passengers, drivers, horses (on skies) and even bushrangers.

These were delightful times.

All of this occurred over 50 years ago.

TERAMA is honoured to continue to have as current members, pioneers who were part of the crew who toiled unrelentingly for two years, seeking that common goal which we all now enjoy.

They are:

– Geoff Beilby,
– Bill Gibson,
– Ted Masur,
– Richard Papworth,
– Diane Zaviska.

Terama First Carnival Winner 1970Terama Stagecoach Carnival winner


Terama Stagecoach Passengers & BushrangersTerama Viking ship on Bourke st

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