It was a long overdue catch-up for a yarn and a beer that saw a treasure trove of memories unearthed for Deniliquin’s Murray Grimshaw just before Christmas.
Lifelong friend Tom Williams found a series of photo taken in 1962 of a trip the pair took with Robbie Whitehill through the Deniliquin and district bushland.
It was the first time any of the Melbourne trio had been to Deniliquin, which would later become home for two of them.
The trip started in Melbourne and headed north through Deniliquin, Booligal, Tilpa and Bourke over two weeks.
On the ‘boys trip’ their main focus was shooting wild pigs and rabbits while camping under the stars.
Some of the photos show a collection of their prize catches.
Murray and Tom reminisced over the camping and hunting escapades for hours, in what was their first get together in four years.
‘‘It was fascinating seeing those photos because I wouldn’t have seen them for over 50 years,’’ Murray said.
‘‘It brought back happy memories.
‘‘The photo of the pigs was taken outside Booligal.
‘‘The pig I shot was close to eight feet long, and that’s quite big considering I’m six foot.
‘‘Another photo that was special is when Tom and I moved to Deniliquin; you can see the dirt road on River Street.’’
Murray said as well as being a great snapshot of their youth, the photos from the camping trip reflect how society has changed.
‘‘The photo of Robbie and I leaning on the car near Lawson Syphon shows us drinking and displaying our weapons,’’ he said.
‘‘Back then if the police pulled you over and the car was full of beer — Fosters of course — and guns, they wouldn’t think anything was wrong.
‘‘We didn’t have a care in the world. All of us had just turned 18 and we thought, ‘let’s just drive and get away from the city’.’’
It was only a year after the memorable trip that Murray left his job as an insurance clerk in Melbourne to live in Deniliquin.
‘‘I fell in love with the place; there was a great attraction about it,’’ Murray said.
‘‘Tom and I met people in the Deni Car Club and after our hunting trip we would sometimes come back on weekends.
‘‘We wanted to get out of Melbourne and we knew straight away Deniliquin would be the place to be.’’
Since moving to Deniliquin, Murray has worked driving farm machinery, sheering sheep and even went back to his former industry, running a local insurance agency.
These days, Murray is best known for his achievements on the bowling greens and as a member of the Deniliquin Bowling Club. His biggest win was the Australian Pairs Championships with Keith Plattfuss in 1980.
Tom now resides in Wee Waa, and Murray said he had unfortunately lost contact with Robbie.