A Brief History of Technology Ski Club
"Early in 1954, a group of enthusiastic students of the University of Technology, founded the Technology Ski Club. It was certainly a humble beginning as the founders had little money or skiing experience and, in fact, their only asset was their enthusiasm. The club remained a student organisation for some years but attracted to its ranks members of all the various faculties of the University.
With arrangements for the erection of a lodge at Perisher underway, the old student club was disbanded and a Co-Operative Society was formed to undertake construction work.
Foundations were poured in 1957 and, with much back-breaking voluntary labour, the lodge was officially opened at the beginning of the 1959 winter season - The tenth skiing lodge in Perisher Valley at the time. Improvements were later added including a large verandah and services. The lodge was completely self sufficient for water (a stream and dam beneath the snow), a generator if needed, sophisticated septic system and a centrally located wood fire for warmth.
The club is indebted to a small band of workers led by Bob Robins and Roger Beattie who in the early days persevered with what then seemed to be an endless task. At the time of the site selection there were no commercial developments in Perisher Valley but as time went by, the lodge location became central between two T-Bar tows and a new chairlift - and a downhill run to all these from the front door of the lodge.
With the emphasis on building operations, the members were unable to devote as much time to skiing as was liked. In this field too, the members had little enthusiasm to commend, but with the winning of the "Perisher Pot" at the Perisher Cup races (held annually in October), the club's morale was given a great boost and skiing became an important component of the Club's being.
The club has outgrown its name. It is no longer a student organisation of the University of Technology (now, known as the University of New South Wales) and membership open to all - even to Sydney graduates and undergraduates. Paradoxically the club is the only organisation still bearing the title of 'Technology' to survive the old university. For this and other reasons of sentiment we will retain our original name".
The above (with slight modification) was written by a sub-committee of three - Paulette Rowlands (Hughes), Brian Davidson and Roger Beattie who were elected to compile this brief history to appear in the first edition of Ski Australia.
Initially started in the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Technology, the club grew to flourish with an egalitarian membership drawing adherents of snow sports from all walks of life. The club adopted the University colours of black and gold for its emblem. The original lodge was used during both summer and winter seasons for 28 years after its opening in 1959.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service of NSW (NPWS) control the management of the Kosciuszko National Park in which Perisher Valley and the lodge are located. During 1984, discussions between the club's Board and the NPWS indicated that only a limited extension of the lodge's lease would be granted to extend to 1988. Reasons for this included the lodge's preferential site and difficulty in maintaining services (such as sewerage and electricity).
After extended negotiations and intense discussions within the membership of the club, an alternative site, 600 metres to the north was located and granted by NPWS. At this time, insufficient money was available in the club to fund the construction of a new facility. Consequently, to raise the money required, new memberships were offered as well as a "once-off" levy on existing members. This was successfully done in such a way that the new facility was built, furnished and made operable with no debt. It also operated in parallel with the 'old lodge' for one income-generating season to boost initial revenue.
The new Technology lodge was architect-designed (by a member, Stuart Behne) and although professionally built, much volunteer labour was used to reduce cost. The new, replacement lodge was officially opened in time for the winter season in 1986.
The new lodge has been operating successfully to this day and boasts almost 100% occupancy during winter with a high usage rate during summer seasons as well. Maintenance and upkeep of the lodge are performed by volunteer labour where appropriate but a high standard of comfort with modern facilities are provided for use by occupants.