Carl Melvey Room Naming at Boonoona Ski Lodge

Posted on Thursday, 4 May 2017

It’s not often that a truly solid gold Club member comes along!

A member who is selfless, supportive, loyal, energetic, active, capable, dedicated, committed, inclusive, charismatic and good fun in to the bargain.

All of that and more was our Carl Melvey! Carl truly was worth his weight in gold.

How lucky was City Tatts that he chose our Club to become a member of!

But that didn’t happen just by chance.

City Tatts was in Carl’s DNA. His great uncle James Clarke was the second Chairman of the Club. He became Chairman in 1897 and held the post unbroken for 37 years. So Carl was always going to be a member of City Tatts!

The other thing that City Tatts had going for it that was bound to catch Carl’s attention was it had a Ski Club and Ski Lodge.

I’m not sure if Carl was as passionate about other sports (although we know surf lifesaving was a keen interest) but skiing was Carl’s “special gift, his chiefest sole delight”.

As we know, he became the President of the Ski Club in 1980 and held that role unbroken until 2016 – 36 years – falling only one (1) year short of the 37 year standard set by his great uncle!

As his time in the saddle suggests, he was a wonderful, capable and popular leader of the Ski Club. His role as President of that club, also made him the Patron of Boonoona and he did much to lift Boonoona’s profile on the slopes.

In addition to what he did with the Ski Club and Boonoona, he was actively involved in everything that happened at Perisher Valley. I never really understood all the other stuff that Carl did but I knew that he was the ultimate “mover and shaker” on the slopes. I used to call him the godfather of Perisher even before I knew of the Italian connection and his work with Scalabrini Villages.

So I have to quote others who were closer to the action when I talk of what Carl did outside of our Ski Club and Boonoona.

The Perisher Cross Country newsletter wrote of Carl:

“Carl was the mainstay of the Australian Cross Country skiing community, a vigorous supporter of all skiing disciplines over the years and an unyielding champion of good sportsmanship and fair play”.

The Perisher Historical Society newsletter wrote of Carl:

“Perhaps Carl’s most recognised contribution to skiing was his role on many occasions as Team Manager for the Australian Cross Country Ski Team, where he was obliged to deal with numerous egos, interstate rivalries and all that goes with the management of highly strung athletes. The fact that he received universal acclaim for his role in that regard says much about his management skills, his personality generally and the fact, unlike many team managers, he understood that it was about the athlete and not about the man wearing the blazer”.

As a father of four (4) daughters, I particularly liked this quote from the same newsletter:

“Carl was also a major advocate for women in skiing. It is often not recognised that Carl was instrumental in ensuring equality for women in the Perisher Cup and in the sport generally. It may be that this will, one day, be seen as Carl’s greatest legacy in skiing”.

As if Carl himself was not gift enough for City Tatts, he also brought with him his whole fabulous family, all of whom contributed to the success and good name of our Ski Club and our Boonoona Ski Lodge. That was serious “added value”.

It was apparent to anyone who cared to look, just how respected and admired Carl was. Not just with the Ski Club, Boonoona and the Perisher push, but with everyone he came in contact with.

Many of the people here tonight are from the Cheetahs Swim Club. Carl is held in great affection by the Cheetahs. There were many fun filled years of competition and camaraderie between the swimmers and the skiers, with Carl at the head of the skiers and Bobby Lowe leading the swimmers.

So just how do you thank someone like Carl, who has done so much for so long for our Club.

Anything we do will fall short of what he deserves, but we are heading in the right direction when our Club honours Carl’s memory in a tangible way and in a way that will ensure that his efforts are not quickly forgotten.

For that reason, the Board of City Tatts has resolved to name the main room at Boonoona Ski Lodge, “The Carl Melvey Room”.

That name will appear prominently inside the room and near to that name will be a big photo of the big man himself, accompanied by a framed summary that will capture in point form Carl’s grand achievements.

That summary is a work in progress at present but it will include the following:

• City Tattersalls Club member from 1959 to 2016
• Life Member from 1999 to 2016
• CTC Ski Club President from 1980 to 2016
• Member of Cross Country Committee of the NSW Ski Association (approx. 35 years)
• Chairman of Cross Country Committee of the NSW Ski Association (approx. 20 years)
• Life member of Kosciusko Alpine Club
• Team Manager for Australian Cross Country Ski Team (approx. 4 years)
• Australian Team Manager at the World Cross Country Titles held at Falun, Sweden (1993)
• Technical delegate for the KAC Cross Country Classic and The Charlotte Pass Open
• Instigator of the Boonoona Open (a nationally gazetted event on the cross country calendar)
• Mentor and sponsor of Young Cross Country Skiers

People here who are able to provide details of Carl’s other achievements (associated with Boonoona and skiing generally), please let us know so that we can add to that list.

To the Melvey family, may I conclude by saying on behalf of a very grateful Club, thank you for letting us have Carl and thank you for agreeing to let the Club honour his memory in this way.

I know everyone here will look forward to the next visit to Boonoona to see the big man’s name and image up in lights in the Lodge that he loved so well.

Patrick Campion
City Tattersalls Club