A monthly Bulletin devoted to matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, 5 Hamilton Street, Sydney.
|Business Manager||J.W. Mullins|
|Publication Staff||Misses Clare Kinsella, Kathleen McKay, Dot English, Mary Stoddart, Massrs. Brian Harvey and Stan Lumsden.|
|Bushwalking and Bushwalker-eating in Penang||Marie B. Bylos||2|
|At Our Own Kecting||4|
|Twenty-five Bush Walkers Make History||Yvonne Douglas||5|
|Fire-building Under Adverse Conditions||Warren N. Watson (P.A.C.)||6|
|Word from Wiff||7|
|How Far Ahead Should We Look?||J.W. Mullins||10|
|Three “Tigers” on Training Trip||Jack Debert||13|
This month we are cutting out the Editorial as we want the space for the much more interesting and important items we have to offer our readers.
We are told that a contributor to “The Sydney Mail” saw a Notice-board in a New York Park which read:-
“Let no one say, and sit it to your shame,
That all was beauty here, until you came.”
In N.S.W. we are used to blaming motorists, picnickers, and hikers for all the rubbish and newspapers that disfigure the landscape, but recently there have been complaints of litter in The Blue Gum Forest!! That is your park, saved by the walkers for the walkers, and used by the walkers, so just read the New York Notice-board again, please, and add to yourself the words:-
“This means you”.
By Marie B. Byles.
Frazer has done his best to keep up the Club's reputation in the second and I in the first, but neither has been altogether easy in the langourous tropical heat of the lovely isle of Penang.
We had three days there and were lucky in hearing of a small hotel on a hill looking over the quiet, opal-tinted sea and beyond to where blue mount iris lay peacefully on its calm waters. The primeval jungle climbed the hillside behind, and below were sandy coves fringed with coconut palms. It seemed the dream of a coral island come true.
“Humph! Hope you like their food,” sid the tourist agent sneeringly when he heard where we were going. So that was the catch apparently. There must be a catch when the tariff was only l0/9d a day as against 42/- at the recognised hotel.
We arrived at 6 p.m. Tea was waiting on the table - fruit, bread, butter, jam, home-made cakes. We made a good square meal and pretty well cleaned up everything, except one small cake which I thought it wise to take away in case I should be hungry before bed. Evidently this was what the tourist agent was referring to - food plain but good - it suited us, anyway.
Shortly after tea the pussy-footed, silent “boys” started to re-lay the table. “For breakfast”, we said, and took no notice. But about 8 p.m. a pile of bread appeared. Funny to put bread on the table now - dreadfully dry by breakfast - perhaps the tourist agent was right. But there seemed a mighty array of knives and forks also. Our suspicions were aroused.
“We are surely not expected to eat anything more to-night”, I asked our host when we met in the crystal waters of his swimming bath - I felt no embarrassment - his figure was worse than mine - in the opposite way!
“You can't go to bed without dinner”, was his reply.
“Dinner”, I gasped, “but I could not possibly eat anything more.”
“Sorry, but I'm afraid you'll have to.”
“Just a little ice-cream, maybe.”
“There'll be some concrete - special brand of our own - one in four, you know.”
When I reported the dinner to the others, they all agreed that to eat more was an impossibility. However, about 9.30 p.m. we sat down, just to be polite. Three silent waiters glided in with five plates of soup. “Very nice”, said everyone and ate to the bottom of the plate.
Fish followed, “Very little”, said one anxiously. The waiter handed him a plate containing five whole, large-sized fish.
Chicken was the next item. “Wonder if its going to be a whole chicken each, also”, Frazer remarked. Doubtless he would have done his duty if it had been, but, fortunately, it wasn't. Then came the “concrete”, delicately flavoured, as well as coloured, with rose blossoms.
We finished the dinner at last. I retired to bed. My poor, little cake lay pathetically waiting on the dressing table. Perhaps the tourist agent had been right - in the opposite way!
Bushwalking required even more courage than bushwalking-eating. There is only about half an hour of twilight and once the sun has risen there is something more than a kick about its heat. However, I used the evening twilights and an hour or so beforehand to scramble up the hillside behind the hotel. One little track took me to a native hut made of palm leaves. The daughter of the home rushed out to rescue me from two ferocious dogs. We carried on a very successful conversation, considering neither understood a word of the other's language. She introduced me to her parents and children and showed me over the house. I photographed the house, but when I wanted to add the occupants to the picture there was nothing doing. They think the camera has an evil eye, though they were most interested in its workings as long as I did not point it at them.
The daughter of the house saw me a long way up the hillside out of reach of the dogs, and then I scrambled up alone over slopes slippery with tiny granite pebbles, through their terraced banana plantation, and finally to the jungle. From what I saw of the jungle here and elsewhere it seemed to me less dense than the N.Z. bush, except when there were ferns and bamboos, and I am inclined to think that, on occasion, we scramble through bush in N.S.W. quite as dense, but it is hard to judge such matters judicially when clad in a voile frock!
I came by a charming bush track through rubber trees, with glimpses through coco-nut fronds of blue seas and blue mountains beyond. It had been an hour and a half's scramble in tropical heat with mosquitoes too amorous to permit of resting. I was glad to reach the beach and lie on the pale sands, watching the waters lapping round the huge granite boulders and gradually creeping towards the coco-nut palms, whose feet they would wash at high tide.
This had been a climb of 500 feet. The only real mountaineering has been 2,000 feet up by the funicular railway! One might bushwalk up there, perhaps!
Here are some dates that should be noted in your engagement book without delay!
A rare chance to join a Working Bee! Charles Rolfe wants helpers for a road-gang to improve the Heathcote Creek Track, and to obliterate the turn-off to “Morella-karong”. Bring your own mattock and trenching-tool!
Annual General Meeting of The N.S.W. Federation of Bushwalking Clubs in the Royal LifeSaving Society's rooms, 3rd floor, 5 Hamilton Street Sydney. Open to all club members. You know the way! Come along, and bring your pals – meet the folks from the other clubs – hear what different people think should be done for the benefit of the walking movement – and express your own opinion! This chance comes only once a year! And there is no charge for the evening's entertainment!
Another annual event – “A Night With the Bushwalkers”. This year the concert will be held at the Castlecrag Open-air Theatre – special buses will leave Carrington Street, Wynyard Square, City, at 7.30 p.m, and will pick up passengers at North Sydney Station – the fun begins as soon as you leave Wynyard Square – tickets 2/6d each cover transportation to and from Castlecrag as well as the evening's entertainment. Something new! Something different! Seating accommodation strictly limited! Make a note of the date at once.
On September 7th last, by the death of Mr. Tom McMahon at his home, “Strathmore”, Coxs River, Burragorang Valley, all bushwalkers lost a good friend. There cannot be many members of the S.B.W. who have not, at some time or other, camped at “McMahons”, and enjoyed meeting Mr. and Mrs. McMahon, and finding in them the same love of the bush that we all share, and the true comradeship that goes with it.
We extend to Mrs. McMahon and the children our very sincere sympathy in their great loss.
We also extend to our fellow member Norris McDonald, our sincere sympathy in the loss of his father. Those members who assisted in the search, which lasted for almost a month, will be glad to hear the uncertainty has now ended. Mr. McDonald's body was found at West Pennant Hills in very thick scrub at the bottom of a 30 ft cliff from which he appears to have fallen.
On September 9th there was quite a large attendance at the Half-yearly Meeting because word had gone round that there were prospects of a fight - and everyone knows how S.B.W. members love a fight. However, the President opened the meeting on a very happy note by officially welcoming Mrs. John Truscott, much better known to everyone as “Griff”.
Included in the Correspondence were the acceptance with regret of Frank Mort's resignation from the club; a circular from the Federation asking members to attend its Annual Meeting on October 17th and to produce ideas for the benefit of walking movement, also asking for volunteers prepared to give lectures to outside organisations to let Mr. Loder of the Trampers' Club of N.S.W. have their names; and from the Search & Rescue Section of the Federation a letter of thanks to those who took part in the recent “practice” week-end.
The President called for a volunteer to act as Room Steward for the ensuing month, but, as none was forthcoming, Mrs. Iris Barrett (Roxy) was elected on the nomination of Mr. Arnold Barrett.
The Motion, of which Notice has been duly given, then came up for consideration. It was proposed by Mr.Chardon, and read:-
“That this Club move for proportionate representation on the Council of the Federation and that the proportion be 1 delegate for every 50 members.”
After a great deal of discussion, during which one proposed amendment was lost, and another amendment (moved by Mr. Debert) was carried, the meeting carried the altered motion as follows:-
“That this Club move for proportionate representation on the Council of the Federation and that the proportion be 1/75 members 2 delegates, 76/150 members 3 delegates, 151/300 members 4 delegates, above 300 members 5 delegates, with a limit of five delegates.”
After a small amount of general business had been attended to, on the motion of Mr. J.V. Turner, the meeting went into committee to discuss the activities of the Federation. As a result of this discussion, S.B.W. members should take to the Federation's Annual Meeting a number of definite ideas for the benefit of the walking movement as a whole.
Club members who knew old-time member, Norman Saul, will be delighted to hear that he has been appointed electrical engineer at the Commonwealth Bank, Head Office, in Sydney. He always wanted to return to his home town, Sydney, and it is pleasing to know that he now has a bank behind him as well as a wife.
Country member, Jimmie Muir, was in town during September, with his fiancee, Miss Margot Aurousseau. One week-end he spent on the Upper Cox with an S.B.W. party, who all enjoyed seeing Jimmie again. We all join with them in wishing Jimmie and his future wife “all the best”.
Of course, you all know about Dave Stead's pet snake; and you have heard of Jack Debert and the wombat; but have you heard of Tim Coffey's pet bandicoot? Even “Tigers” have their tender moments!
by Yvonne Douglas.
Saturday, August 6th, was a lovely day, bright and sunny, and Blaxland was gay with wattle. The Sunday being Johnnie Wood's birthday, twenty-nine of us set off for St. Helena to celebrate.
After our leaders (those few who had been before from Blaxland) had decided which road to take, and had held various consultations on the route, the rest of us had a meeting. However we all got under way eventually, and soon found ourselves tumbling down a very steep incline to Glenbrook Creek. This spot on the creek is very pretty; ferns and creepers abound, making a contrast with the other hill, which is very rocky and barren. The least said about this lump of rocks and boulders the better. It is a “helluva” climb, but, undaunted by such obstacles, we reached the top. From here the going was good, and very shortly we arrived at St. Helena very proud of ourselves. We had been told that to get lost was the thing to do when going to St. Helena, and here we were, all safe and sound, the whole twenty-nine of us! But, alas! Pride indeed goeth before a fall (as we were to find out).
St. Helena is certainly a lovely spot for a party, and, to make it specially beautiful for the occasion, the moon (which was nearly full) lent her aid to these our solemnities!!! After tea we all gathered round the fire and sang songs and rounds in approved Bushwalker style, interspersed with some “Bean-eries”. When food and drink for the multitude were prepared, Richard produced a cake complete with the correct number of candles. John - as per usual - was fast asleep end had to be Woken up to cut the cake!
Sunday was misty and dull, and we all made that a good reason for sleeping in. However, by 10.30 a.m. we were all up and either finished or half way through breakfast. Some energetic ones even went for a walk, while the rest of us talked, and did our chores. About 11 o'clock it started to rain, and we took shelter in a hut and our tents. After an early lunch we packed up ready to leave, our objective being to catch the 5.10 p.m. train. Alas and alack what hopes We had.
Some of the party left about 1.30 or 2 o'clock, and by 2.50 p.m. the last eight of us were on the way. Climbing out of St.Helena, we struck a good track and were walking briskly along when, low and behold, before us we saw hordes of bushwalkers attacking us on all sides. After a while we managed to grasp the fact that we were all lost, and were making for the wrong ridge. Ray, Ada, and Hec were missing, also Dunc and Roxy. We proceeded for a while, keeping well to the left, which we were soon to discover was not right.
We were on a good track for quite a while, when, suddenly, it stopped dead on the edge of the ridge. Down below we could see a track which we thought must be the Sassafras Gully track, while, strung out like a string of sausages, we could see all the mountain stations from Glenbrook to Katoomba.
Some wanted to go down to the creek and walk to Springwood, but we decided that the best thing to do was to follow Mouldy's suggestion and go back to a flat, rocky spot that we all remembered passing on Saturday. Jock was heading for Burragorang, or some place, and the Beans and Hec were still missing. It was still dull and misty, but we were just beginning to enjoy ourselves.
Richard collected Jock and we all set off back to the aforementioned rocky spot. Reaching this, we decided to keep well down to the right, and, to our satisfaction, we soon began to notice familiar things around us, or so we thought. We were just sailing along nicely, thinking we were on the right track at last, when, right in the middle of our path, we saw Dunc and Roxy, also lost. They had been way out on the ridge and down a bit, but thought the best plan was to come back and get their bearings again.
By this time we missed Ralph, and, as things were beginning to look serious, we decided to take the next ridge and go down.. A shout from Wilbur informed us that he was on a track of sorts, so we all made a bee line for him, and stuck like glue. Walking briskly, we soon started the descent to the creek. By this time we were thoroughly dirty around the legs and feet, but nevertheless we were all happy.
Arriving at Blaxland, imagine our surprise and humiliation to find that Ray Bean of all people had caught the 5.10 p.m. train. Ralph was waiting for us on the station, and told us the details. Ray, Ada, Hec and Ralph had arrived at Blaxland about 4.30 p.m.! We'll never be able to live this down!
by Warren N. Watson.
(Editor's Note: The following extract is taken from an article in one of the “Bulletins” of the Potomac Appalachism Trail Club, Washington D.C. Owing to the very different conditions, and timbers, there, much of the article was not applicable to New South Wales. After the first paragraph, the snowy bits have been cut.)
Sooner or later the outdoor person will be confronted with the necessity of building a fire after a three-day rain or with stiffening fingers at low temperature and with a deep blanket of snow in the woods. Fire means not only comfort and warm food but, as the grim records of the North reveal, life itself. Almost anyone can build a fire in dry, mild weather; not so when all is wet or the temperature is below zero, for fire building is an art. It requires practice and skill.
A greenhorn, after endless delay, usually gets a heap of smoking chunks or a blistering bonfire, and when under adverse conditions he needs the fire most, he fails.
Select a waterproof match box that floats and can be opened when your fingers are cold. I was caught on a winter trip with a match box that I could not open with stiff fingers. A smooth rubber or metal cap offers no grip. To meet that problem I developed a waterproof match box with a hexagonal head that can be opened even with mittens on.
Use only the “strike anywhere” matches and not the safety matches, since the latter require a special surface for striking. Paper matches are useless in cold hands. As an extra protection, dip your matches in melted paraffin or varnish. For cold-weather trips, carry a few triplets – three matches stuck together with varnish or paraffin. A triplet can be lighted by holding between the palms of the hands when the fingers are numb. Always carry a filled match box in your pocket and another in your pack. This is your reserve supply.
The “persuader” is a rubber tubing, two feet in length and three sixteenths of an inch in diameter, preferably ending in a 3“ metal tube having a flattened tip. If you cannot get a metal tube, carry the rubber tubing, for it is an indispensable aid in blowing up a fire, like the bellows on a forge, and a god-send in wet weather.
It is good woodsmanship to get a fire going with promptness. If you have been dumped out of a canoe, or fallen through the ice, speed counts. A candle will save your matches. Fire squares are made by dipping two-inch pieces of Celotex wall board in melted paraffin. One will burn ten minutes. “Meta” tablets are insoluble in water and burn with a smokeless flame.
Carry a medium sized sheath knife. A jack-knife will do in the summers but cannot be opened with stiff fingers.
Fire Making: In dry weather, dead, sound twigs from trees make good kindling material when they are stacked up in tepee or tripod fashion with larger twigs and split limbs added after lighting for building up the fire.
After a rainstorm, however, this small stuff is too wet to burn. The outside of the big dead limbs is wet, but the inside dry. Split a three-inch limb and cut from the dry heart-wood a straight-grained piece 12 to 14 inches long and about three-fourths of an inch in diameter. Point one end and hold in left hand with the other end against something solid (not your leg). Whittle a fuzz stick, by cutting long shavings with one end attached to the stick until you have a big cluster of shavings, all connected to the stick. Put end of fuzz stick in the ground or between two flat sticks and light the lower end of the shavings, adding fine splints around the fuzz stick, tepee fashion. Have your supply of kindling ready before you light your fire. Under adverse condtions use a fire starter such as a candle, build the tepee around the starter. (In N.S.W. if there is a stringy-bark tree handy, instead of cutting a fuzz stick, strip off a good supply of dry bark and use it to kindle your fire. Ed.).
The kinds of wood used depend upon the section of the country and the location. Use soft wood for kindling and for quick, hot fires, and hard wood for long lasting fires, and for coals for cooking. Select sound, dead limbs on the tree, avoiding punky or wet ground wood, which burns like graveyard mold. Five minutes spent in collecting real wood will repay a thousandfold. You don't save time by picking up down wood, which is usually damp to the core or rotten. Split wood burns faster than round branches.
In conclusion, you cannot be too careful of your fire. Never build on peaty soil, as it will spread by burrowing beneath the surface. Clear away a large surface before starting a fire; build on sand, gravel, or a rock when possible. Know the fire laws of the State, section, or park you are in, and obey them.
A woodsman is known by his fires, and when he is done, he puts them out.
We had a very smooth trip up, but I got an awful cold and it knocked all the good out of me. It took two weeks' sunbaking to kill it at Greene Island. We stayed four weeks at the Island and both learned to climb coconut palms for nuts. A, trick I learned at Tahiti made it easy for us to get them. We had glorious weather, but very windy. I managed to catch a feed a day in fish, and roamed all over the reefs. The wife's sister and hubby came up and spent a week at the Island with us, which was company for us.
We came over and stayed in Cairns three days; on one day we went to the Barron River and the Intake for the water supply for Cairns. The dam that catches the water is no more than 10 x 12 feet and about 3ft. deep, but an endless supply coming down the river. The scenery was very pretty going through canefields and plantations, with a bit of excitement when our car got bogged and had to be pulled out by a caterpillar tractor.
Then on another day we took the train to Deeral and then a launch down the Mulgrave River to the mouth to put a couple off, and back a bit and up the Russell River to see the crocks sunbaking on side of river. It was a beautiful river, with tropical vegetation right to water's edge. Of course I did not have a swim. We had our dinner on launch and went up a long way after and seen a crock on bank. The launch was taken within 20ft. of him. We clapped our hands and shouted, and he never moved a fraction of an inch. In fact he looked stuffed and put there. He could not have been long out of the water as his skin looked clean and like tortoise shell. Another was seen, but he was too quick for me. They get under water, and the river banks and bottom is mud so you would not see them.
Then we caught the “Morinda” to land us here, but the sea was too rough, and the flattie was full of people and cargo. They could not take us four, and we were taken on to Cooktown, where we spent two days before we returned. We got a car and had a trip in the bush and got stuck in the sand and spent an hour getting the car out. The country is very poor and dry. We went over to the Endeavour River, passed a Lutheran Mission Station and some other settlers; you would pity them living in such a place: called at Airdrome, and back to pub., an ancient place nearly falling down. I don't know if what I said last time I was here about this place did it, but they have pulled down all the unsightly places that spoiled the town. It looks much better.
We left Cooktown at six in the morning, and struck a tremendous sea. The waves came right over the boat and everywhere was wet. She seemed to stand right on end, and we had to hand on the seats. I was sick nearly all the way but the wife never got sick, but she was not too comfortable. There were only two other men passengers. The wife's sister and hubby went back to Cairns by plane.
This place, Tribulation, was reached at one o'clock, and we had a job getting into the flat-bottom rowing boat, and I was not sorry when I stepped out on to shore. A Mr. Col. Mason made me welcome and we were invited up to his place for dinner. He came here five years ago. The depression knocked him bad and he lost everything except his wife, 6 children, and £28. This place is a veritable jungle and we must have had a stout heart and a good pal. He has planted bananas, paw-paws, tomatoes, cane, rice. This place grows everything he wants, and he told me he is on his feet again, and won't leave the place. He has 300 acres, his son 200; his brother has a sawmill to cut their wants, and I believe there is three other settlers here.
We camped right on the sand as the bush is too thick, and can only go along the tracks to his place and his neighbours! A party just spoke to us, they have been on a 5-day walk to Bloomfield and back. One of the locals took them, a Mr. Jaskie and wife - I believe they write books. There will be plenty of places for us to go here, and I intend to try a bit of gold washing if I see a place. Fish are not too easily caught. We went around the headland yesterday and lost a lot of line and hooks on the coral, but got a feed of coral cod and grunters, small. We had to scale a high hill as the going was too dangerous to go around, and it took some doing. A slip would have sent us down about 100 ft, into the sea. Then, when on top, we found we had to go straight down the side about two to three hundred feet to the beach; made me think of the Mountains near Cox and Breakfast Creek.
Just at the back of our camp we have mountains two to three thousand feet high. I don't think it could be scaled as the undergrowth is too thick, and full of stinging tree.
You will have to excuse pencil and paper shortage. We ordered a pad and ink with our groceries and they were not put in.
We are about 60 to 70 miles north of Cairns, and about 30 to 40 miles south of Cooktown. No crocks here but, I am informed, plenty of snakes. I have not seen any yet. Oysters and crabs are plentyful, and a blacks' camp is about quarter of a mile along the beach. I am told they will get me a turkey or wild hen for a couple of bob, but I intend to keep away from them. They might get a nuisance around our camp. Only been here four days and the mail will be going, so next letter will tell you more.
I called on Walley Roots and family and went to his place at night and had a talk in Brisbane. They are all well including Mr. Douglas, I forget his first name.
I read Marie Byles' report in “Herald Supplement”, and it is a good job she is away when you get this as I got it about lead pencil the last time. I hope she has a good trip, and all the club members are well and not suffering from the cold while I am up here writing this letter sitting on the sand with only my shorts on and thanking Old Sol for being so warm a friend to me.
“Starters” and “Expediters” were the first step in one of the most radical changes that over occurred in the technique of light weight camping. Food has naturally been one of the most important concerns of Bushwalkers for many years and it used to be a common sight in the club rooms of the S.B.W. to see little groups anxiously discussing the all important question of food. The very minimum taken was 2 lbs per head per day. Many with robust appetites declared that they would die if they tried to live on so small a quantity of food and in any case they would die rather than try. The consequence was that most parties took 2.5 to 3 lbs per head per day. This meant 30 to 40 lbs per person for a fortnight and as in those days a persons camping gear weighed nearly 20 lbs, it can easily be imagined that none but robust persons ever attempted trips of such long duration without replenishing supplies.
The new system of growing food on the trip by means of “starters” and “expediters” altered all this. It had long been realised that more than 95% of vegetable foods was either water or substances obtained from the air namely carbon and oxygen and in certain cases nitrogen. Chemists then discovered that earth was quite unnecessary for plant-growing. Instead they placed seeds in an absorbent medium such as cotton-wool or sphagnum moss kept moist by water in which were dissolved minute quantities of chemicals (termed “starters”) necessary for plant growth. The seeds germinated and the plants grew in an amazing fashion and soon it was possible to grow enormous crops of almost any quick growing vegetable food wherever water and the necessary chemicals were obtainable.
It is history now what terrific repercussion this discovery had on the farming communities throughout the world. From the bushwalkers point of view the important thing was that enormous tracts of poor farming land were reconverted to forests for the provision of timber which cannot yet be economically produced in the laboratory.
But walkers were very much more interested when it was discovered that certain chemical substances (which used to be classed somewhat vaguely and mysteriously as vitamins) would speed up the growth to such an extent that the plants would mature in one to three hours. These chemicals are known as “expediters”. A camper's food list nowadays consists of a few packets of seeds, a few ounces of “starters” and “expediters” and the light weight growing frame. These with an ultra-viray torch for night growing or use in cloudy weather supply sufficient food for a month. Of course these things can't be done yet, but when they can Paddy will supply them.
Till then Paddy will gladly cooperate with all who wish to reduce the load.
327 George Street, Sydney.
by J.W. Mullins.
(Editor's Note: Some readers may think the suggestions contained in this Article are taking too much for granted. We know there is, at present, no certainty that the recommendation which led to the Article will be adopted by the Federation, but we publish the Article as expressing the opinion of one Club member, and so that other members will have their thoughts turned to the consideration of what is in itself a very important matter.)
The Half-yearly General Meeting brought up a most important discussion concerning Federation matters.
The Sydney Bush Walkers Club has instructed its delegates to make certain proposals to the Federation. These proposals directly concern future club representation on the Federation, and it is, therefore, expedient that we, as a club, should direct our energies to that end which will best justify any additional representation on the Council. Consequently, in the opinion of the writer, the time has come when the club executives should draw up a brief in which is set out those broad principles of the Federation, and the particular proposals which it is striving to have recognised and enacted. If this brief is drawn up and circulated, all new members who are not cognisant of the work that the Federation is doing and undertaking will become aware, at least, of its existence, and be thereby impelled by a common interest to an enthusiastic outlook arising from a common knowledge.
We value new club members as fellowmen having a similar outlook on our Aims and Objects (as set out in our Constitution) who, by their acquiecence to them, weld the club together in a common weal. Thus it is up to the club to undertake a work of propaganda, shall we say, amongst its members, both new and old, but particularly, the new members.
The reasons for this education, or enlightenment, arise directly from the proposals adopted for:
(a) The club members, in carrying the vote, have acknowledged that the adopted system of representation is just, reasonable, and equitable;
(b) Similarly, they have also agreed that certain particular increases in membership give the right to additional representation, it having been also agreed that the basis is just, reasonable, and equitable.
Now, although as a club we will, on the acquisition of a certain number of members, assume the right to additional representation, we must in conscience justify that right, or advantage.
Justification can be brought about by equipping new members with every available piece of knowledge about the Federation's big responsibilities, so that those new members coming into the club will be able to engage directly in the work on hand, and, eventually, out of their numbers, give to the club capable delegates and representatives for the Federation.
Much time has been given to the consideration of the commencement date of this class, and it has been decided that Wednesday evenings, commencing in the first week after Easter next, would be most desirable. It is hoped that a start will be made about this date.
Members intending to take the First Aid Course should let L. G. Harrison (Mouldy) have their names so that they can be notified when the classes are about to commence.
A Wail from “Barney”.
In Warragamba's freezing clime
I'm banished from you for a time
And oft in space my thoughts will race
To scenes now past and far away,
And then I curse and rue the day
I saw this flaming place.
An exile, I, indurance vile,
Recall old friends and oft awhile
In reverie I dimly see
Vague shadows in a swirling cloud;
The phantoms of a “Walking” crowd
That camped and walked with me.
What is that glowing redly near?
Ah! now I see: 'tis auburn hair,
And Scotty's grin - a thing of sin
And lowly mirth - appears to shock
A maiden of this hybrid flock
Whose eyes flash fire within.
Rene Brownie is simple and so pure,
She's known to all, of that I'm sure.
When on a walk oh! how she'll talk
And always trundle with the last,
But nothing, though she's never fast,
Will ever make her baulk.
A hearty bellow sounds quite near
Reverberating 'pan my ear,
A thund'rous sound that echoes round
As Whiddon drowns all other things
With roars, full throated as he sings,
And “King of Song” he's crowned.
Now Ernie Austen's voice in song
Is lifted vibrant, clear, and strong,
In “Mandalay”, while far away
The strains of fav'rite “Toreador”
Bring Peter Page to mind once more
In camp and concert play.
I see a figure saturnine
And lean, who gives no word or sign,
And in his hands as there he stands
Reposes the official “hone”
Conferring dignity and tone
As silence he commands.
Some heavy fog and rain I see
And little Eva cooks the tea.
The rain drops flood the ground with mud
But Duncombe's worried not at all
For she lights fires in any squall
With never one a dud.
A deep sea launch sails past us now,
And heels well over on her bow.
There sounds a wail midst spume and gale,
Thel. Hellyer turns a haggard green
And wishes she could not be seen,
While strong men turn and quail.
Now Hilda Blunt, a lady fine
Invites us one and all to dine;
Her appetite is small, oh quite!
But I have seen her put away
Three melons at the “Monterey”
Where oft we'd dine at night.
Two yards and more of little Dick
Glare down- he's wounded to the quick
For 'tis a crime even in a rhyme
To call him thus. Its not the same
As “Richard” is for that's his name:
I'll not forget next time!
Oh! what an awful, frightful row
Breaks in upon us all here now.
It's Jock Debert who would revert
To savagery; he roars and growls
And yodels, yells and rants and howels
And never is inert.
And near him too a man of size
Holds in his hands a torch and tries
To signal Morse,but then of course
It is well known to everyone
That “Chardon” Morse is overdone
And unknown in its source.
A swinging bough above us all,
Supports a female from a fall.
We look and see Dot in her tree;
She laughs aloud and thumbs her nose
While hanging by her feet and toes -
Quite mad we all agree.
The mists of time are closing in
And blotting out the strife and din;
They disappear upon the air
Those glimpses past of walking folk.
They blend with fog and fire and smoke
And leave no substance there.
But yet with eyes shut tightly fast
I hear a murmur to the last
That wafts on high and passes by -
“Oh come to the bush” it calls to me,
But that's the end - no more I see
And then I turn and sigh.
The vision's gone and I am sad
For after all you weren't too bad.
I'd like to walk and scrounge and talk
With you once more but since I am
A prisoner at this blasted dam
It does no good to squark.
And lastly now a warning word
To end this reverie absurd:
Although in verse I'm truly terse
Just treat me well when next we meet
Or I'll be even less discreet
And write a great deal worse.
Judging from the length of the report received from the Club's Delegates, and the number of matters dealt with, the Federation did some solid work at its August Council Meeting. Remembering that the S.B.W. members were indulging in a Night of Frivolities in the main room while the Federation was meeting in the Committee Room, we take off our hat to the delegates of the various affiliated clubs. We strongly recommend members to read the report itself, but in case some folk cannot do so, here is just an inkling of the scope of the work done at that meeting…
A letter from the Railway Department refusing to do anything at all at Lilyvale Station for either the comfort or safety of its customers was dealt with, and certain further action was decided upon.
The questions of litter left in The Blue Gum Forest and of water and sanitation at Burning Palms next received consideration.
It was decided to form a panel of lecturers from the various clubs who would be available to give lectures to outside bodies when required, thus gaining support for the Federation and its objects.
Several changes in the personnel of the Information Bureau and the Conservation Bureau were attended to, also enquiries from two clubs regarding affiliation.
The Ball Committee's Report was received, and we learn that 236 tickets were sold, and the nett proceeds amounted to £23.16.1d.
The Council decided to make a presentation to Mr. Theo Atkinson in recognition of the many years of service he gave to the Federation as its Honorary Secretary.
Lastly, it was decided to hold the Annual General Meeting on October 17th. All club members are invited to attend and to express their views of ways in which the Federation can be improved, or can extend its work and its influence.
By Jack Debert.
Staying in the club-room just long enough to attend a selection committee meeting and to see a long overdue alteration to the Federation's Constitution approved of by the S.B.W. members before 10 p.m. Bill Hall and I rushed to Central Station for the 10.15 p.m. At Strathfield, Gordon Smith joined us and that completed the personnel.
We camped right in Katoomba for our rest and the rest of the hours of darkness, and got away to a flying start at 6.25 a.m. Over an hour was spent at Camp Creek for a large breakfast. For a change of scenery we took the longer track to Euroka and, like last eight-hour-day weekend, we saw some newly born lambs carefully sheltered in a field of green oats. Black Jerry's was taken at a steady pace, to halt at Galong Creek at 10.35 for chocolate rations.
Just before our arrival at Galong Creek we came upon a wedge-tailed eagle lying dead on a large granite boulder. It had evidently been caught in a rabbit trap which was lying alongside of the bird. It seemed very pitiful to see such a noble specimen sprawled out in such an undignified manner.
At the junction of Coxs and Harrys Rivers we overtook a lone walker who, having read of the glories of the last-named river in the Bush Walker Magazine, was out to see them for himself. Such is the value of publicity. We joined forces to find the water in Harrys River deeper than usual and very cold. It seems strange that both writer and reader of the article should be doing that particular trip simultaneously.
The Jenolan River was as delightful as ever. Although it was too early for the rock-lillies to be in bloom, they showed promise of giving a very fine display within three or four weeks. We were about to prepare lunch some distance below Mumbedah Creek when we spied a baby wombat. It seemingly was not in the healthiest of conditions for it appeared very sluggish, and moved slowly over to its wombat hole, at the entrance of which it stayed for some little time, thereby giving us further opportunity for observation.
The air was permeated with clematis perfume yet there were very few flowers in bloom.
Owing to the lack of knowledge of the country from Bees Nest Creek onto Black Range, and due to Myles Dunphy's remark that it was a stiff 2000ft. climb and one of the steepest in New South Wales, we only spent one hour over lunch and 2.25 saw us once again at that delightful green clearing at Bees Nest Creek. Twenty minutes spell for map consultation, chocolate nibbling and leave-taking from our newly found friend, who intended braving the joys and horrors of Hell's Gate Canyon and the river wading on his own, then we tackled Myles' steep climb.
Once again I would dearly have loved to camp at that glorious camp spot but there was still much country to cover before nightfall. To me that 2000ft. climb was a fair cow, but the boys said it was “just a bit steep for a start but a very easy ridge afterwards.” Maybe Jack, through lack of sleep, felt it more than he would have done otherwise. Anyway it took l.5 hours to climb up onto Black Range and then came one hours fast walking to reach the hut at Little River before dark. An excellent three-course meal was prepared and then, as everyone in the party was out for as much sleep as possible, we all turned in at 8.20.
Gordon had wakened us up on Saturday morning and so I was determined not to be beaten on the Sunday. Waking up in the darkness of night I yelled in the approved manner: “Get up” without looking at my watch. Gordon growled, Bill mumbled, turned on his torch, laughed and said many uncomplimentary remarks, to which he added “It's only ten minutes to two.”
So we had more sleep and finally started out at 7.15 to follow Little River downstream to the Cox. It was entirely new country for both Bill and me, but it was wonderful that it goes on the next programme as an official trip, to be led by the dual leaders, Messrs. Smith end Hall.
Little River is another of those out-of-the-way smaller rivers that have not been given over much attention by Bush Walkers. It is a delightful spot, a perfect combination of typical mountain streams, green grassy banks, ideal for camping, ferny glades, granite gorges, crystal clear water bubbling over rocks, and teeming with wild and bird life. It was very pleasing to see the vivid green, velvety, new fern fronds showing up in contrast to the burnt-up brown appearance of the frost killed bracken. The winter had evidently been very severe, for even in the most sheltered and secluded spots the ferns had succumbed to the wintery elements.
After very leisurely strolling through perfectly wonderful surroundings we were once again on the Cox River at 10 a.m. Sun-baking and strolling casually, we finally left the junction of Galong Creek at 10.45, and, taking the steepest spur, climbed up onto the top of Tin Pot mountain on our way over to Carlons for lunch. We arrived 15 minutes after midday, only a quarter of an hour later than the telegramed order meal was arranged for.
Of course, at Carlons we met other Bush Walkers, and I was interested in seeing Daphne Ball and her friend from the Coast and Mountain Walkers, looking most businesslike in heavy boots. After meeting everybody we were introduced to Carlons new baby wallaby- a mere mite of a thing - no foot nothing in height, but like all very young things still possessing the bloom of youth, a thing of beauty to look at.
A swim and sun-bake, followed by a hearty meal end a long loaf round, and then leaving at 3.5 p.m. we had a steady stroll into Katoomba, arriving there at 5.55. Ex Olympic Games champion swimmer, Owen Griffiths, joined us at Carlons. He “had heard lots about the Tigers and always felt he would like to walk with them one day. Could I join you?” Sayeth Spokesman Smith: “The Tigers are overboomed. Certainly you may join in” and Owen didn't find it any effort at all to stay with the party. To use his own words: “You kept going steadily.”
If you would ask me the total distance I would say 53 miles, but Gordon would make it only 50 or 51. But that's a mere detail. It's an excellent trip and one well worth doing. Still, when it becomes an official walk don't try climbing up those 2000 odd feet if you've been to two dances and had other late nights during the week - even though Gordon and Bill say it was a mere nothing.
The Committee has decided to compile a directory to assist members in arranging transport facilities from railway stations, wharves etc., and asks members who know of reliable service-car or launch proprietors, to hand the information on to the Walks Secretary or Assistant Walks Secretary.