Over 60 and trekking the Kokoda Track

Tough as nails: Port Elliot and Middleton Probus member Geoff Chapman giving a gift to guest speakers and Kokoda track trekkers Don and Wendy Butler.

Tough as nails: Port Elliot and Middleton Probus member Geoff Chapman giving a gift to guest speakers and Kokoda track trekkers Don and Wendy Butler.

Being over 60 and wanting to walk the Kokoda Track is a big wish, but it came true for the guest speakers at the August meeting of the Port Elliot and Middleton Probus Club.

Wendy and Don Butler had a desire to make the wish come true, especially Don, as his father had served in the Army on Kokoda during World War ll.

Members were intrigued with the preparation and hard work in the fitness training they underwent in being prepared for such a challenge.

For many years Wendy had been involved with Scouts and knew by being fit they could cope with adverse conditions and the steep mountainous terrain.

She wanted to enjoy the experience and absorb what Australian soldiers had to endure.

They began their six month program in the Adelaide Hills because being residents on flat country at Moonta it would be the best environment.

The couple set off in July last year for the 10-day trek.

In a special group, with porters, the pair passed through villages and campsites and met many local people who made them feel welcome and told them a lot of wartime stories.

The couple had emotional moments at the Bomana War Cemetery, Brigade Hill and Mount Bellamy where Don’s father had been on duty.

The next meeting of the Port Elliot and Middleton Probus Club will be held on Monday, September 24 at 10am at the Uniting Church Hall, Port Elliot.

It promises to be an interesting morning as the guest speaker is Peter Maxwell, who will talk on his work and involvement in the restoration of Mawson’s Hut in the Antarctic.

Visitors are also welcome to attend.

Probus is an organisation with a number of clubs across Australia which gives retirees a chance to have new experiences and create new friendships.