Profile submitted by maccamob, in consultation with The Swaggies, Ian and Penny, and The Morris:
We met Roma and Max at “A Monk’s Vow”, near Castlemaine, on 18 August 2004. David was trying to search inconspicuously, when we saw a sprightly couple approaching, smiling just like their avatar. Mary headed to intercept them and launched into one of her standard muggle explanations, like “we’re just enjoying the bush/trees/wattle/birds”, but this time that didn’t cut it at all. Over the years since, we have cached with them many times and met them at countless Events, where they are always free with advice and expertise. They introduced cachers such as The Swaggies and Silver dice to our game, and have mentored many a new Bendigo-area cacher, including that equally devious pair, The Old Blokes, while Ian and Penny first met them on top of Mt Macedon, the start of another long association. Friendly and hospitable, Roma and Max enjoy a good chat and are always ready to meet somewhere for a coffee.
Roma and Max have been caching since July 2004, and have since amassed more than 4600 finds, and a further 220 GCA caches, but they are best known for their 109 intricate and clever hides, 19 of which are preceded by devious puzzles. As long-time locals, they know every back road, bridge, tunnel, park or patch of bush around the greater Bendigo area, and use that knowledge most effectively for their hides. After you’ve struggled with one of their puzzles for a reasonable time, they are happy to give out a hint or advice. We have variously appreciated, cursed, muttered and appealed for divine help as we have tackled many of these hides.
Max’s workshop must resemble an Aladdin’s Cave of tools, and has the means to produce an amazing variety of clever custom-made cache containers in stone, metal or wood. Romax introduced us to magnetic bricks, removable reflectors, almost invisible bark doors, hidden wooden drawers, removable deck planks, Velcro, hinges, tiny engraved metal tags, and so the list goes on. Early in their caching career, they cornered the world Mondo Doll market, examples of which then appeared in caches far and wide. Caching in Bendigo is so much richer for their extensive contribution. For a while, new cachers there thought Romax’s high placement standards were the norm, and adopted similar techniques. However, to us, Romax are always the Grand Masters. As another caching friend of ours once observed – “If you are pleased with your find rates, a trip to Bendigo will bring you back to earth with a thud!”