Australian ski official, Head importer

Passing Date: 
Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Australian ski pioneer Albert Richard “Bert” Gardner died August 24, 2016 at age 91.

An electrical engineer and amateur soccer player, Gardner began skiing at Perisher Valley in 1948, and helped launch the Orana ski lodge, completed in 1952. With his brother Reg, he founded an electrical contracting firm and worked on constructing more lodges in the valley. Starting as Orana’s delegate to the Perisher Ski Association, Gardner was elected to the New South Wales Ski Council and helped merge the Council with the Perisher Ski Association to form the NSW Ski Association in 1972. Meanwhile, in 1970, he reorganized the Perisher Ski Patrol to improve its standards of operation and find it a permanent headquarters. At the same time, the Gardner family launched an import business, distributing Schwendener skis, then the Head and Gertsch brands.

In 1975 Gardner was manager of the Australian Ski Team on the World Cup circuit in Europe and served as General Secretary of the Australian Ski Federation for five years.

Gardner is survived by his children, Jan, Ken, Ross and Jill; eight grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

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