Life Member Profile – Elaine Honey

Elaine Honey was one of the many Kiama people who became involved in the formation of the Alpine Club of Kiama in 1958. They were all subscribers to the vision of Eugene and Lala Baranowsky, far from usual in the communities of country New South Wales at the time, to pursue the sport of skiing in the Snowy Mountains. Elaine was well into her thirties at the time, past the optimal age to become truly proficient as a skier, and no doubt she saw the benefits of joining the club as applying much more to her children than to herself. She once said that she and her husband Geoff never progressed beyond being “good snow-ploughers” on the slopes!  So she never got the full thrill out of skiing, but she gave others the chance to experience its exhilaration and other joys. Elaine’s contribution to the club was, in the way of the women members of the time, understated and in the background but it was significant nonetheless. The club’s social life in the Kiama area in its early years was important, both in the raising of funds to put towards the finalising of the lease on the lodge site in Thredbo and then the construction of the lodge itself, but also in binding the membership together in pursuit of a common goal. There were progressive dinners, dances, house parties, barbeques and other social occasions, and Elaine threw her energies into them as an organiser and participant. Everything the club did in those early days was intended to build the fund-raising and bonding goals. For many years thereafter, she was an active participant in the club’s frequent Thredbo working bees. Her confirmation as a life member at the Annual General Meeting in 2018 was a recognition of 60 years of support of the club and its activities. She was at the time of the award one of the three remaining original members of the Alpine Club of Kiama, and through the members of her family her contribution continued beyond the time of her own active involvement.