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Our History

As the first formally constituted orienteering club in Australia and the first NSW club, Bennelong (then Bennelong Occasional Orienteers) paved the way for other clubs in NSW and around Australia. So with Bennelong celebrating its 50th year (in 2021) it is timely that the club’s full history be compiled.

Early Days

Is this Bennelong’s first ever map?

[Waterfall, June 1972]

And first club logo?

As the first orienteering club in NSW/Australia many of our competitors began their orienteering adventures as ‘Bennelong’ members. Dave Lotty, for example, organised this early event.

Others can be seen at this Lake Parramatta event in 1979.

The Great NOSH Footrace

Have you ever wondered what all the fuss is about for The Great NOSH Footrace? And why Bennelong has such interest in a trail run with no orienteering component whatsoever?

Our club’s history was entwined with The Great NOSH Footrace - Australia’s oldest continuous trail-running footrace - long before Bennelong Occasional Orienteers (BOO) amalgamated with Northside Orienteers and Social Harriers (NOSH) to form “Bennelong Northside Orienteers” in 1988.

Terry Bluett recalled part of that history in his Vale to Frank Assenza in The Australian Orienteer, September 2016 (page 38):

“Frank started Orienteering in 1974 as a member of BOO (Bennelong Occasional Orienteers) … Frank was instrumental in getting BOO and NOSH (Northside Orienteers and Social Harriers) to amalgamate … Frank was president of BOO at the time …”

“The NOSH footrace was in danger of folding before Frank [and his nephew Bill McCarthy] took it on.”

Find out more about The Great NOSH Footrace & its history, results, photos etc.

Collective Memory

Unfortunately, most of the pre-amalgamation history of both Bennelong Occasional Orienteers (BOO) and Northside Orienteers and Social Harriers (NOSH) is still a mystery. Any pre-1988 BOO and NOSH information that does exist is not on the web. In fact, nothing about our club appears on the web before about 1998.

So all long-standing member-archivists, please rummage through your hoards for anything that might help fully document the history of our club, and The Great NOSH Footrace. If you have any pictures, documents, stories, memorabilia etc from Bennelong’s early days (ie. as BOO, NOSH, or BNO) please let us know.

Peter Hopper

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