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(The following text is courtesy of the Paddy Pallin organisation, and is reproduced in full and without alteration.)

"In the bush the problems of life are no longer complex. They are surmountable, man-sized problems; how to light a fire with wet wood, how best to cross a mountain torrent or traverse a scrubby ridge. The business of living is narrowed down to something more elemental"

Paddy Pallin 1900-1991

The life of Frank Austin Pallin, known as 'Paddy,' flowed through bushwalking like a river winding its way to the sea. Best known for his outdoor equipment company, Paddy also left his mark in many other spheres of bushwalking activity.

Paddy was already an experienced rambler and camper in his native Yorkshire, before he emigrated to Australia in 1926. His life's companion, May, joined him three years later and together they began to explore the Australian bush from their base in Sydney. A lifetime love affair with wilderness and wild country was well nourished by the open spaces and bush of this strange but beautiful new land.

Early adventures such as an arduous honeymoon canoe trip down the Shoalhaven River highlighted the shortage of quality lightweight gear, and when he was laid off from his desk job during the depression in 1930, Paddy grasped the opportunity to commence his own manufacturing business. Operating out of his Lindfield home, Paddy initially made gear for his many friends from the walking clubs. Paddy's tents, rucksacks and numerous innovations quickly became standard equipment for any serious walker, and after 60 years Paddy had ten stores servicing outdoor enthusiasts around Australia.

Much more than a bush businessman, Paddy's life was infused with the spirit of companionship and care that the bush inspires, and whenever he recognised a need within the outdoor community he moved to help fill it.

The extent of his active roles is daunting, with Paddy playing a pivotal role in the establishment in NSW of the Pennant Hills Scout Camp, the River Canoe Club, The Bush Club, the early Federation of Bushwalking Clubs, as well as its Search and Rescue Section (which pre-dated the Police Search and Rescue), the National Fitness Council and the Youth Hostels Association.

In 1934 he wrote and published the first edition of "Bushwalking and Camping" a tiny booklet measuring 8 cm by 13 cm, which sold for the princely sum of 'sixpence'. An early bushwalkers' bible, it has been in publication now for over 60 years and is now in its 14th edition and is still widely read.

In 1963 he established the annual Paddy Pallin Orienteering Competition and a year later sponsored the first of the annual Paddy Pallin Classic ski races, to encourage interest in ski-touring. He also established from the profits of his business, a benevolent fund (The Paddy Pallin Foundation), which has contributed significantly to bushwalking and conservation causes.

Paddy's business ethic was always infused with his great love of the Australian bush. Paddy Pallin's record of wilderness journeys is an inspiring testimonial to an enthusiastic and active life. A long trek to an overlook of Mt Everest in his 70th year was simply typical. An early walk to Federation Peak involved traversing the Eastern Arthurs and Picton Range, which in 1958 was a major undertaking.

At age 54 he decided to take up ski touring and became a very keen snow country explorer, completing a Kiandra to Kosciusko trip soon after, and again when he was 77. On the first trip they used heavy downhill equipment. Paddy skied up Mt Jagungal at age 65 and Mt Feathertop and Mt Bogong in later seasons.

When the mysterious chasms of the Blue Mountains were being explored in 1964, he learnt how to abseil and descended Thunder and Claustral Canyons.

In his late 80s Paddy wrote, 'Although no longer capable of walking great distances with a heavy pack, I am fortunately still able to enjoy walks of ten kilometres or more and I look forward to continuing them for a few more years yet,' and he did.

Paddy seems to have always been indefatigable in the face of life's challenges. Paddy Pallin's life spanned the time from before bushwalking existed as a word, to an era of enormous participation.

It also spanned an era of unprecedented development, to the point where the remaining bushland is threatening to wilt under the pressure. We hope that through his philosophy on life and the contributions he made that his legacy of nobility, concern and abiding love for our wild lands endure.

"I am, and always have been, an average example of an outdoorsman. I have never striven to go the highest or quickest or farthest, nor was I ever particularly anxious to be first, although this has sometimes been achieved by accident. I have just sought to do the things my innermost self has craved to do"


Paddy Pallin 1987