Janet Fitzwater

Janet was a club stalwart dating back to the period when the club first began. Her sons, Fergus and Jeremy, were attending Eltham College which had started an orienteering club under Fred Veler in the late 1970s. Janet saw the club transform and grow into the Nillumbik Orienteering Club. The merger with EMUs heralded a highly successful period when Nillumbik Emus Orienteering Club was the perennial Victorian Club Champion from 1995 through to 2010.

Janet bought a miner’s cottage at Campbells Creek which was a favourite holiday spot close to popular orienteering terrain. She often shared her house with club members on orienteering weekends. When Janet retired, she bought a property with a lovely mudbrick house on the outskirts of Castlemaine. She had met and married Arthur Thurlow, who had no choice but to join her in taking part in orienteering. Arthur and Janet shared a great life and friendship together.

Janet was a very willing helper at club events and made many lifelong friends in the orienteering world.

These photos cover a broad period, from Easter 1980 (under the finish banner) to a year or so before she died. She is pictured with her son, Fergus, at the boot of the Ford Laser in about 1981 or 1982. And there are some more recent shots of her in her garden, her other great passion.

Janet died in August 2013. The orienteering and local community turned out in great numbers to mourn and commemorate her life at the beautiful Buda Historic House and Garden.


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