People

Ascent1897 copy

The first winter ascent of Mt Kosciuszko by the Kerry party in 1897. The group of 12 travelled by packhorses from Jindabyne up the Thredbo Valley to Friday Flat. There they camped overnight and, after a day getting used to their skis, they climbed the summit and descended in one day.

  • Charles Kerry

    Charles Kerry has been called the ‘father of Australian skiing’ due to his many contributions to the sport. Kerry was a professional photographer in Sydney at the turn of the twentieth century and was official photographer to the NSW governor. He took photographs all around Australia and in the Pacific islands and was the first…

  • Clement Wragge

    In 1895 Clement Wragge, who had  done meteorological work in Scotland, persuaded the Tasmanian Government to establish a weather station on the top of Mt Wellington. In 1897 he was Government Meteorologist for the Colony of Qiueensland and obtained approval  to establish an observatory on the top of Mt Kosciuszko. Government funds were not provided…

  • Percy Hunter

    In the early years of the twentieth century Percy Hunter had been Secretary to the first Federal Agent General in London. Whilst there he had visited Switzerland and been impressed by the potential of snowsports for tourism. On return to Australia he was appointed to the NSW Department of Intelligence and Tourism, the precursor to…

  • Percy Pearson

    Percy Pearson was a successful competitive cyclist as was his father Joseph Pearson. Percy heard about skiing in 1906 and in 1908 joined a group of eight which went to Kosciusko to see the embryonic hotel being built at Diggers Creek. The group camped in the partly completed hotel and Pearson suggested the formation of…

  • Sir Herbert Schlink

    Sir Herbert Schlink, a gynaecologist at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, was a towering figure in the early years of skiing at Kosciusko. Schlink joined the Kosciusko Alpine Club (KAC) as a foundation member in 1909 and became its second president in 1918 before leaving one year later to help found the Ski Club of…

  • Charles Maclurcan

    Charles Maclurcan  joined Kosciusko Alpine Club  (KAC) in 1914, became Treasurer in 1916 and President in 1931. He was already a champion skater and pioneered skating on the lake in front of the Hotel Kosciusko.  He soon learned to ski very well and  initiated the club’s (and Australia’s) first ski proficiency tests in 1918. In…

  • Herbert Lamble

    Herbert Lamble, of the NSW Tourist Bureau, first visited the Hotel Kosciusko at short notice in 1915 when the bookkeeper left suddenly. After dealing with the problem he returned to Sydney but was greatly taken by the Hotel, its surroundings and its potential. In 1916 he was asked to return to the Hotel  for the…

  • The Speet Family

    Piet and Cornelia Speet managed the Hotel Kosciusko from 1922-1939 and lived there with their family, Teddy, Sidney, Ronald and daughter Corrie. Piet and Cornelia arrived in Australia from Java in 1914, Piet having previously held hotel positions in London, Paris, Amsterdam and Java. Piet took a job as sub-manager at the Hotel Australia and,…

  • The Seaman/Hayes Tragedy

    Laurie Seaman and Evan Hayes were both members of the newly-formed Millions Ski Club who set out from Betts Camp in 1928 with a group of fellow members on a day tour without predetermined goal. Early in the day the weather was good and when Seaman and Hayes had reached Charlotte Pass, they were ahead…

  • Sverre Kaaten

    Sverre Kaaten emigrated from Norway in 1929, initially to Victoria, and then to NSW.  He was Australian Four Event Champion in 1931 and 1932 and Australian Ski Jump Champion at least four times. He represented NSW in interstate competition and Australia in International Competition at the triangular meeting (Australia, New Zealand and the USA) in…

  • The Day Family

    Herbert Lamble, Director of the NSW Tourist Bureau, knew George Day Snr well as manager of Yarrangobilly Caves House. When the Chalet opened  at Charlotte Pass in 1930, Herbert offered George Snr the job as manager of the Chalet. George took the job for one year before handing over to his son, also George who,…

  • George Lamble

    George was the son of Herbert Lamble and the oldest of the Lamble children.  The family came to live at the Hotel Kosciusko in 1917 and George remained at the Hotel long after the family returned to Sydney in 1922. George became the first Australian-born and trained skier to win the National Four Event Championship…

  • Ernst Skardarasy

    Ernst Skardarasy (Zürs amd Arlberg) was the first overseas ski instructor to teach in Australia, brought out in 1935 by the NSW Government.  Ernst taught the Arlberg technique (snowplough turn, stem turn, stem-christiania, and christiania)  and established branches of the Kosciusko Ski School at the Hotel Kosciusko and the Chalet, dividing his week between the…

  • George and Bess Petersen

    George and Bess Petersen were the much loved managers of the Hotel Kosciusko from 1939 to 1951. In their first year they experienced large bushfires which came very close to the Hotel and in 1951 fire destroyed the Hotel. The 1951 fire was a tragedy for George who was a keen historian and had accumulated…

  • Charles Anton

    Charles Anton has been described as a ‘fly in a bottle’ which gives some idea of the buzzing personality he was, very energetic, full of ideas and always willing to have several projects on the go at once. Charles came to Australia in 1938 but did not see the Snowy Mountains until the Allied Services…

  • Tony Sponar

    Tony Sponar   Ex-Czech Olympic skier, Tony Sponar, arrived in Australia with his wife Elizabeth in 1951, and both gained jobs at the Hotel Kosciusko.  Within a week of arrival the Hotel burnt down and Tony and Elizabeth relocated to the Chalet where Tony worked as a ski instructor and Elizabeth as a receptionist. Tony…

  • Johnny Abbottsmith

    Johnny Abbottsmith was one of our great unsung heros in the development of the Perisher ski resorts and his contribution on the basis of his own physical efforts was immense. Johnny came to the Hotel Kosciusko as an assistant grease monkey in 1936 and by 1938 had become a ski instructor. During WWII he served…

  • Marie and Stan McGuinn

    Marie and Stan McGuinn were the very well regarded managers of the Kosciusko Chalet from 1954-1962. It was a favourite holiday destination, a happy place full of wonderful memories. The same staff returned year after year and it was like an extended family. In 1962, Perisher Valley was on the way to becoming a substantial…

  • Brian Davidson

    Brian Davidson was a larger-than-life member of staff at the Chalet during the fifties and then later at Perisher during the sixties. His lifestyle was envied by all.  During summer he was a beach inspector at Bondi during the era of the bikini swim suits when he had to monitor their length and sometimes evict…

  • Ken Murray

    The development of Perisher Valley began as the initiative of individual ski clubs and entrepreneurs like Johnny Abbottsmith and Sverre Kaaten.  However, the first person with the monetary wherewithal to make a major impact was Ken Murray of K.G. Murray Publishing Company.  At the time Murray was probably the biggest magazine publisher in Australia and…

  • Dudley (Larry) Adler

    Larry graduated in pharmacy in South Africa and went to Europe on a working holiday. He learnt to ski in Norway and, while there, got a job on the movie ‘The Vikings’ with Ernest Borgnine, Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. From there he went to Canada where he became a professional ski instructor…

  • Garry Fischer

    Garry arrived in Fremantle from Germany in 1953 and, together with his brother Klaus, and friend George, began driving up the west coast  building shearing sheds. In 1954 they built homes for A.V. Jennings in Darwin before moving to Rum Jungle. Back in Darwin Garry met his future wife Marjorie and they moved to Heathcote…

  • Uwe and Gil Boehm

    Uwe arrived in Australia in 1960 and, after a year in Mt Isa, began driving around the country on a motorbike. On passing through Perisher Valley in 1961 he noticed Eiger Chalet but kept on driving to Charlotte Pass where he met the Fischer family. Garry Fischer, who had just built the Eiger Chalet, offered…

  • First wedding in Perisher

    Adi Zimmerebner and Gloria Strachan were the first people married in Perisher Valley.in June 1964. They were married in the partly completed Catholic Church and Fritz Feiersinger of Marritz was best man. Adi and Gloria were in Perisher for many years and Adi was the first manager of ‘Kangaroo Lodge’ in 1962 before it burnt…