Happy Birthday Ian!

How often do you run on an orienteering course set by a nonagenarian? Last Saturday the Bendigo Orienteers Saturday event was course set by Ian Johnson as a celebration of his 90th birthday. Each year for the past decade or more Ian has set the Saturday courses to mark his birthday. These courses have usually been set on the Black Jack Gully map that Ian field-worked in his late 70s. This year the marking of his 90th was seen as a milestone. Ian set the courses well in advance, but for the first time, was unable to place the control stands himself.  John Wilkinson and Colin Walker stepped in to make sure the event took place. For the past month or so Ian has been living in Melbourne with relatives whilst overcoming some health problems. Despite these difficulties, he made the journey back from Melbourne to attend the event. Club President Andrew Wallace and immediate past OV president Mark Hennessy shared some memories of Ian’s recent and past contributions to the sport of orienteering. Mark reminded us all of Ian’s contribution to the development of Victoria’s first specialized orienteering maps. Orienteer and professional cakeologist Leisha Maggs produced a wonderful birthday cake and even the weather held off its rain until after the conclusion of celebrations. The day was a memorable celebration for Ian and the Bendigo Orienteers.

Neil Barr


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