A monthly Bulletin devoted to matters of interest to The Sydney Bushwalkers, 5 Hamilton Street, Sydney.
|Assistant Editor||G. Jolly|
|Business Manager||J. Johnson|
|Production Assistant||A. Wyborn|
|Kosciusko, Xmas 1943||Anice Duncan||2|
|Collapsible Canoeing||Frank Leyden||5|
|Boy Scouts Spare that Tree||Marie Byles||7|
|Letters from Lads||8|
|A Car - less Future||11|
|Our Own Meeting||12|
How beautiful over the Eastern Hills,
Over the twilight-gentled sea
She comes at cool dewfall stealing
It is the spirit-healing hour
Between the sunset and the stars,
Like Benediction in a world-wide fame
Where no stir mars.
Silence and peace come down upon a world
Haunted with beauty at the end of day;
The river is dimmed silver under darkening skies,
And the wind's away.
Now vainly my old whisperer:
“Beauty is comforting but truth is stark”
After so gracious sign I pass unfearing
To the kind dark.
From the Meanjin Papers.
Six of us set forth on the so-called Kosciusko express on December 17th. What a crowd! But as we had booked our seats all was well. The night passed fairly well and Frank's and Johno's witty remarks received appreciation far above their worth from two or three of the occupants of the carriage. Arriving at Cooma about two hours late apparently gave the hotel people the impression we did not want any breakfast although it had been ordered. Anyway they managed to find a rather small meal and we tried to stifle our hunger pangs by frequent requests for “more toast please.” We toured Cooma for an hour or so before we were finally whisked off in two cars, after an argument about the price, and arrived at Charlotte's Pass about 3 o'clock. In Cooma we had been told that Lord Gowrie and staff were staying at the Chalet and our drivers seemed quite determined that we should be deposited there. We had to say quite firmly that we did not belong to his party and did not intend visiting him. It was very misty and the drivers deposited us and our gear at the foot of a snow drift just on Charlotte's pass and appeared thankful to get away. I suppose they thought we were a bit mad camping mid snow and drizzling mist. Foreman's Hut was inspected and the presence of a dead cow in front did not impress us favourably so we retraced our steps and made camp among the trees and rocks under Guthrie overlooking the Snowy.
Sunday. During the night there was a heavy frost, and voices were heard and mutterings such as “Never been so cold! My feet are frozen” etc. Duch was up at 5 making a fire and we had some hot cocoa to thaw us. Our tents were iced inside and out and the ground was heavy with frost. The dawn was glorious - blue sky and the mountains tipped with pink. The sunshine gradually crept down the valley and the large patches of snow greatly added to the beauty of the scenery. After the mist and rain of the night before we were all delighted. Before us lay the three peaks of Carruthers, Lee and Clarke. Ten minutes away down a fairly steep slope sparkled the Snowy River. Beyond the Snowy, looking like a small square box was Foreman's hut - not a tree anywhere near it. We decided we had a much better camping spot - trees, shelter from wind and sun and a snowdrift to supply our water. After an early breakfast we went up Guthrie just behind the tents and looked down on the Chalet noting its occupants were not early risers as no smoke curled from its chimneys. It was decided to do a tour of the lakes and we started off by crossing the Snowy - always icy cold of course. By the way we noticed an interesting thing about the river. During the night the level of the water went down and it was easier to cross early in the morning. As the day were on the sun melted the snow and the river rose. We passed Hedley Tarn and came to the Blue Lake which was living up to its name and looked glorious in the sun. We all had a dip and swam about with the miniature icebergs which were floating around, all except Johno who apparently dislikes cold water. Skirting the Blue Lake we climbed up and lunched on Twynam. From Twynam we skirted Club Lake and walked along - cliff track overlooking Lake Albino. The scenery was very fine and was reminiscent of parts of the English Lakes District. Rudy and Hanna mentioned how they had skied over the lake in the winter, and how different it looked minus the snow.
Rudy, Frank and Johno climbed Townsend while we meandered back to the camp along the Snowy Valley after a glorious day. I forget how long they said it took the to climb Townsend but I know they said they shot down the snow slopes in ten minutes. A large tea was consumed, all our spare clothes were put on and a comfortable night was enjoyed by all.
Monday: We were up later this morning, all of us groaning a little from sunburn, packed up our spare food and deposited it at the workmen's hut near Charlotte's Pass, and followed the Koscisuko Road. We turned off south onto the Rams Head range. Rudy said he climbed THE Ram's Head but as there were several very similar knobs, opinions differed. After prospecting we found a good track leading down to the Thredbo and had lunch on the way down in a wooded glade. We camped in a pleasant open valley at the junction of the Bogong Creek and the Thredbo or Crackenback River. The home-dried vegetables were voted a great success and we retired to bed early annointing our sunburn.
Tuesday: We left at 7.45 and climbed over Dead Horse Gap, had a look at the stockman's hut which was unoccupied, followed down the creek, where Rudy at one crossing measured his length in the mud. The height here by Rudy's altimeter was about 5,500 feet. We climbed over a spur of South Ram's Head, and had morning tea between Big Mick and Little Mick on Leather Barrel Creek. Here there were tall gums and luxuriant undergrowth, quite a change from the bare rocky tops we had left behind us. Arriving at the Murray River hot and thirsty we had a glorious swim over to Victoria (without a permit) and then lunch. We walked along the Murray banks through fertile-looking paddocks until we came to Tom O'Grogan's where crossed on the swinging bridge, but there was nobody at home at the huts. Two miles further on we camped amid tall timber and here we made our first damper.
Wednesday: There was a heavy mist in the morning which gradually cleared and we broke camp at 9 a.m. Leaving the Murray we climbed over several shoulders, through tall trees until we reached the junction of Geehi Creek and Swampy Plains River. Duch had blistered heels and we were all suffering a little from sunburn so we decided to camp here and have a free day on the morrow. Here Rudy saw a large black kangaroo swim across both rivers. We had our usual damper-making ceremony and so to bed.
Thursday: Duch and I spent the day in the Geehi Valley which was very picturesque and well wooded and from which we had glorious views of rocky craggy-looking mountains, completely treeless with here and there patches of snow which gave the appearance of genuine Alpine country. Hanna and Rudy were thrilled and I think there was a nostalgia too for their own Swiss and Australian Alps. Johno and Frank decided to climb the Pinnacle and explore and Hanna and Rudy thought they would do a spot of exploring too. About three in the afternoon the first arrived back exhausted and hungry having struggled through the heavy bracken and undergrowth and lost their lunch!! Rudy then arrived back with a bad gash in his leg which was cut to the bone. This was strapped up and we hoped for the best. It was decided to start up Hannells Spur no later than six next morning.
Friday: We were up early and left at 6.30 before the sun reached the spur. It was very pleasant in the shade climbing up through the tall timber of the lower slopes. As the track rose the trees became more stunted and many seemed to have been killed either by fire or snow. On either side of us were low bushes profusely covered with a small white daisy - Olearia, I think. And a Goodenia covered with deep yellow flowers carpeted the ground. There was a delicate scent from a broom-like tree - probably a Dillwynia. We had lunch above Byatt's camp with a magnificent view before us looking down into Geehi Valley. Duch walked all day in stockings as her heels were still sore and by the time we reached the Wilkinson Valley her feet went on strike. Johno, the only one who had not been up Kosciusko before said it was most important that he should be able to tell his children that he had climbed the highest mountain in Australia. We all agreed with him so he and Frank went via Kosciusko and the Summit road along to the hut to pick up our spare food, while the rest of us went via Northcote Pass and along the Snowy Valley back to our old camp site under Guthrie. As Johno and Frank were walking down the road Lord Gowrie's car drew up and despite several days growth of beard, Johno's battered hat and holy pants, Frank's Indian Army boots, the Gowries insisted on giving them a lift as far as the hut. They were suitably impressed on hearing of the trip down the Victorian side of the main range, and mentioned if there was a shortage of anything “Just call at The Chalet”. Of course Frank and Johnno assured them we had everything we needed, forgetting it was Xmas Eve and we could have done with a few extras. Well we had a plain but substantial Xmas Eve dinner and what we lacked in fare we made up for with hearty renderings of Xmas carols. Here Hanna celebrated her first Xmas day damper.
Saturday: The morning was spent washing clothes and selves in the icy Snowy. After lunch we packed up, having replenished our food from the cache at the workmen's hut and set off along the Charlotte's Pass road. Leaving the road we followed Spencer's Creek in the Snowy camping near Pound's Hut.
Sunday: Breaking camp at 7.30 a.m. we crossed the Snowy up Tate with a terrific wind blowing. The country between here and White's River is rolling plateau with rocky outcrops. The White's River Hut is rather dilapidated but beautifully situated and is much used by ski-ers in winter. Snow daisies were everywhere and there were clumps of Westringia - a sweet-scented heath plant. We camped on the creek below the hut. Some of the party spent the afternoon climbing Dicky Cooper Bogong. The summit was rocky and good views were had towards the direction of the Grey Mare Range.
Monday; We left camp at 8.30 and made for the Alpine Hut over Gungarten leaving the Kerries on our left. Hanna and Rudy said this district was all good ski-ing country. All the time they were recalling their experiences in the winter - blizzards, heavy mists deep snow, difficulty in naming the various tops, glorious runs down here, long climbs up there. On Gungarten we all tried shooting a snow slope. Some of us came down very ungracefully on our rear portions and had wet seats for our pains. Rudy, using ski-ing technique, came down in fine style. We reached the Brassey Mountain and descended through thick scrub to the Alpine Hut. We had lunch and then the rains came, so we decided to sleep inside. Some of us had hot showers, some made bread and cake, some played chess and cards and Hanna knitted socks.
Tuesday: Day dawned fine and clear and we decided to climb Jargungal without packs - the distance being about 8 miles. We left the hut in a Northerly direction and then bore northwest across the Bogong Swamps and across the head of the Valentine River. All the way we had a good view of the mountain which towered above the surrounding country. The ascent of Jargungal provided an interesting rocky scramble, and Rudy did a bit of rock climbing, From the summit we had magnificent views. Mount Buffalo and Feathertop could be seen to the South - The Dargles to the West. To the north was Tabletop Mountain and to the south the main alps we had climbed looked very interesting. From here one could see that Koscisuko really was the highest mountain. We had about half an hour on the top and after a chocolate ration set off for “home” via Mawson's Hut. This hut was one of the best kept of all the huts and was beautifully situated and there were fewer old tins and rubbish than usual. This was where Sir Douglas Mawson stayed when he was exercising his dogs for one of his polar trips, so it was of historical interest too. Back to the hut - a hot shower - fresh scones - a heavy meal, and so to bed - listening to the rain pattering on the tent and feeling very snug.
Wednesday: Our last day! We made our way east over Brassey Gap towards Snowy Plains Hut. Here we were picked up by Ces Constance and here horror of horrors he had forgotten to bring the Lambergs food parcel for the next week. Greet consternation reigned and then Ces said he would make another trip out from Berridale with the missing parcel. We left on the car for Cooma and Sydney and we afterwards heard that he did return with the food parcel.
A glorious trip!! If you are feeling jaded and tired go to the alps. If you merely want a change of scenery and something different go there and be revitalised by the mountains and air that is like wine, strong and heady!! Recommended for all ills in particular mental ones!!
By Frank Leydon.
Penrith - Nepean - Lower Gross River - Richmond. 22 miles, 13 easy rapids. O.K. we'll give it a go.
So on Saturday morning Colin Lloyd and I were to be found just below the weir at Penrith surveying a very healthy flow of water. What with dams overflowing and rivers welling up, the Nepean was carrying a large volume of water. The rapids in front of the weir were wild and frothy, with white spouts of water sometimes still, sometimes making furtive darts backwards or forwards on the surface on the tumult.
With a rip a– and a heave we opened the two big white bags and extracted the body from one and the members from the other. Placing the members in the body, we hauled and pushed the protesting canvas into shape, tied up all the pieces of string and slapped the boat in the water. All other commodities were then consigned to rucksacks which were wrapped in groundsheets and placed one in each of the big white canvas bags. Thus fortifying our chattels against immersion, we boarded ship at a discreet distance below the weir rapids and proceeded on our cruise to face the 12 easy rapids.
After discovering that the ship did not capsize, in the calmer water we settled down to enjoy the aesthetics of being wafted along on the current. Occasional dip of the paddle, weeping willows lazing past, reflections in the watergreen tanks and the blue mountain ridges rising up through the gum tree and cedar. Here at last was beauty and enjoyment without charge, without coupons and neither illegal, immoral nor fattening.
Various small rapids condescended to pass beneath our keep thus imparting to us some measure of sangfroid. An occasional warning, however, was sounded by a well placed rock or tree. One spot looked a nice easy rapid so with wildly waving paddles we charged. Too late we realized it was a big drop into a steep wave and would probab1y not have been considered had we got out and had a look at it. So we flopped through and proceeded to got jammed on the rocks in the next rapid. The big rapid on the bend below the prison farm, where the water was thrust half way up the left bank because it was in such a hurry to get around this we decided would be a pity to spoil, so we portaged here. Just below the rapid we were tossed about by the whirlpools and eddies as though riding some frisky racehorse. Soon placid waters were reached and the river opened out into a lake of great extent and beauty.
After lunch we shot some more rapids, including which was agreed to be the “best yet”. Near where the new road comes down the ridges from Springwood the river runs through a series of very fast rapids. We plotted our course through the turmoil from various strategic positions along the bank. The first rapid is on the sharp bend to the right. Almost immediately the river sweeps sharply to the left through a narrow channel at high speed. About 30 yard down were two large standing waves about four feet high followed by a mass of white conical shaped waves and then a race down into more open water. Trees overhanging into the water and half submerged logs complicated matters. We had to plan for some “near” misses.
Heading into the first bend the water was crystal clear and the rocks on the river bed could be seen clearly. The speed at which they were moving beneath the boat reminded me of looking from a moving tram at a rocky road. We rounded the first and second bend like experts, missing everything and following the course we had planned. Grazing some overhanging trees we made contact with the two big waves. Fly1ng into the air on the first wave the boat then smacked the second, half filling. Immediately it charged into the broken water.
“Paddle! Paddle!” I yelled.
One might as well have dangled from one of the overhanging trees and paddled. At every wave gallons poured in each side.
“I'm going, I'm going” yelled Colin.
“Drop the paddle! Grab your bag!”
The gallant ship went down. Colin stepped off the back and I slid off the front.
Nemesis had at last over taken us. Now we were paying for our pleasures! Surely nothing could be saved in that violent current. Alas! The gallant ship, the gear, the clothes! Overhanging tree branches claimed me as a skewer claims a bit of meat. I grabbed a branch and submerged with the violence of the sudden stop. Climbing up the branch out of the 7 or 8 M.P.H. current seemed to require great physical effort. Colin swam ashore further upstream with his large white bag and with his cigarette still in his mouth. My bag was floating down stream like a graceful white swan, but ship was floating upside down and nosing the opposite bank.
An hour later, all intact, we were hitting up a bow wave again with our twenty stoke a side paddle rhythm. Soon came the Grose and what a contrast after the turbulent Nepean. Still placid waters like a sheet of glass. Insects playing about on the surface, sandy bottom thick wooded banks and reflections of the large gum trees. Ideal for swimming and canoeing.
We camped near the gorge and explored upstream next morning. But this was the limit of navigation so after lunch we headed for Richmond. Just below the Grose, the Nepean wandered past green sloping banks with lush undergrowth and huge weeping willows lining either bank for a mile. A scene reminiscent of a Tasmanian Idyll, prompting spontaneous admiration. Then the river widened to a large lake, the Richmond Rivera, reflecting a graceful bridge, green orchards and the blue hills of Kurrajong in the sunset.
by Marie Byles.
“They came, they cut away my tallest pines,
My tall dark pines that plumed the craggy ledge
High over the blue gorge, and all between
The snowy peak and snow white cataract - - -
Never, never more.
Shall lone Oenone see the morning mist
Sweep through them never see them overlaid
With narrow moonlit slips of silver cloud,
Between the loud stream and the trembling stars.”
When a troop of boy scouts has come into your favourite beauty spot and cut down your lovely graceful saplings for tent-poles, you will have felt all the dull aching misery of Oenone and felt, too, that having the heart of her beloved, Paris, stolen from her by Aphrodide, was a minor catastrophe compared with the destruction of the pine trees on the edge of the cliff.
But there is no point in abusing boy scouts. They are neither better nor worse than their training. The question is, what can we do about it?
That boy-scout training has started to improve is shown by the unsolicited testimony offered to me by one of them some months ago when he informed me that one did not cut green things because it destroyed the scenery. That there is still a vast field for improvement is evidenced by the stumps of five or six lovely young sapplings beside the clear crystal brook and in the loveliest beauty spot of Cheltenham, and also by the fact that when I protested I was informed that it was “imperative” that the trees should be cut because it was “imperative” they should have tent poles.
Well, what can we do about it? I have three suggestions; perhaps you can add some more.
(l) Write to the local council of the district in which there is a reserve you are particularly fond of, and ask if they can let you have some of their calico notices indicating a recreational reserve and that trees and flowers must not be removed, penalty £10. Then approach the boy scouts troop in your own district, preferably through the scout master, if there is one, and ask if the boys could spare an hour one Saturday afternoon to help you put up some notices - boy scout “good turn” idea! If possible secure a light ladder so that they can out them up well out of reach. Of course you will make sure they read the notices!!
(2) Offer a prize to the group of boys in the local scout troop, who can make the best camp without the use of an axe.
(3) Ask Paddy Pallin to let you have some advertisements about the advantages of using small tents for camping,and the such tents don't require strong tent poles; send a few to the local scout troop.
Those are three suggestions for persuading the boy scouts to spare the trees. What others have you?
Letters were received during January from the following:-
Received the Club's card after my return to the battalion. From the above you'll know that I'm soldiering on once more. Have been for the past fortnight, as a matter of fact. I got my marching orders from the con-depot the day after Christmas. Only had time for a brief afternoon in Moresby before I hopped aboard the plane to cross the range. Nothing very startling about the place; two pubs that were and real concrete pavements, nor was it knocked about very much. My luck was out and instead of going direct to Finschafen by air, had to complete the latter part of the trip by boat. Only a 150 tons and pre-war was on the Bass Strait run. You can imagine what it was like when two hundred of us were crammed aboard her. Quite a few had to sit up all night but I wasn't amongst them. Have been in this game too long to miss out on little things like that. To add to our sorrows a rain squall hit us first night out. All my experience couldn't help me to dodge that issue. The ship looked a sight next morning with clothes, blankets, groundsheets and mosquito nets all fluttering gaily in the breeze.
Finschafen had changed beyond all recognition from the day on which I stood on a nearby hill and surveyed the place. Took me a long time to complete that last mile. Roads and camps were everywhere, electric light had been installed and the pictures show every night. The Yanks even had a band. There was an alert every night while I was there but no planes appeared. Just another “has been” like Bura and Moresby now. One is as safe there as in Sydney. If ever anyone tries to tell you about the tough time the chaps in New Guinea are having just laugh at them. Next stage was by barge. The very sight of both them and the ships make me feel greasy. If I have to live in filth let it be in a good clean hole in the ground. Apart from the grease and dirt I had a hell of a trip the time I was evacuated from Scarlett Beach. Had to sit crouched up in a corner right next to the engine and with odd waves slopping in over the top. Couldn't move, for fear of hurting some poor devil, in the dark. Eventually a crowd of us were dumped off on a sandy stretch of coast, given a couple of days rations and told to keep plugging along until we found our respective units. My old section leader and myself decided it was a case of no ride no travel. It worked too until we were dumped out in scrub and had the option of tramping a couple of miles to the nearest water or else spending the night without. We tramped. Roads were in a filthy state at the time. Dust inches deep and anyone travelling could be seen for miles. We put the “boomgs” to shame, covered as we were with a mixture of dust and sweat and with only the whites of our eyes and teeth shining through. I guess it seems strange to hear of dust in New Guinea. Believe me there's plenty of it. The Yanks at Oro Bay have a water sprinkling cart permanently in operation to keep it down and travelling on the roads in the Dobodura and Moresby areas is no picnic either.
Back to the old platoon, a swim in the river, a new set of clothing and I was a new man again. They didn't look too bad after their tramp up the coast, quite a few old faces missing, but mostly due to sickness. Received a royal welcome home, a shower of rain, but didn't bother to build a shelter, just curled up under the old groundsheet and let it rip. Since then, however, have got back to my old form and a shelter is slapped up each night. Every night our weather expert Smithy, reckons it won't rain and every third night he gets soaked through. He never gets disheartened and nothing under three inches will even disturb his sleep now. Since rejoining it has been a case of “tramp, tramp, tramp, the boys are marching.” Tojo is very fleet of foot and seems to have gone through in a big way. Can't see myself tallying one this trip.
Great country we are in now. Open kuni grass with bands of timber along the numerous streams and the whole rising in terraces to the jungle clad Finisterres far inland. The weather is hot enough but a permanent cool breeze from the mountains makes life bearable. I'm so used to sun by now however that it doesn't worry me unduly. I just about thrive on this life up here. Apart from the food - a steady diet of bully beef and biscuits - it's no worse than our tramps through the bush back home and you get the same cheerful spirit amongst the crowd. The November issue of the magazine came to light a couple of days ago. Keep them up to me and there's no need to worry about anything else. I hope to be able to thank you personally for all your good work before long. Cheerio and best wishes to all in the Club. Bill.
Have to acknowledge receipt of a very welcome parcel which contained just the right articles. Thank you very much. It's blowing strongly for this place and tried to rain this morning. It's better if it does for its hot and muggy otherwise and after about four days it constitutes a drought. Yesterday was hot and warm and several of us having some time off went for a swim. It was cool in the water but it remained close till early this morning when it turned cold for us. Had a good trip to a rest camp some way from here, journeying by ketch. The quarters were native huts and the beds high off the floor and made of cane so that care had to be taken on retiring. Swimming was one sport with a lakatoi and Jap skiff to row about in. There was a coral reef with different kinds of coral and coloured fish and starfish of a deep blue colour. Several of us walked to Salamau but we were glad to get back. Two native villages were passed and the women were working away cutting up taro roots, jams and plaiting suk, suk leaf. Some of the picaninnies were being washed in the sea and we stopped and admired them which pleased everybody. We scored some paw paws but every day the natives get their wood, tucker and leaves so it doesn't leave much around. Another day we went by a well worn path up along a creek. These are mostly sandy, shallow creeks crossed by a rickety worn pole. Noticed two toucans, big yellow bills, black wings tipped with white, also a smaller bird with yellow bill with white circles on the wings. Two brown and white fantails at least they had a fan spread and were on the style of our own birds. The native gardens and pawpaws and bananas but both were green and it's not done to touch them anyhow. Later we came to a granite bouldered creek of clear water and further on a large waterfall. Here we had the cool spray and an icy cold dip which freshened us up for the steamy trip back, after a feed of green but sweet oranges.
First of all, cheers for Mr. and Mrs. Ray Bean. They have announced the birth of a daughter. We very much hope that she proves photogenic. You might note that this news item of ours (or the Beans) has been deliberately filched from us and reported in the monthly General Meeting notes, However, we repeat it here. Not many people have so much notice taken of them.
We welcome back to the fold, one, Geoff Higson of the A.I.F. Geoff celebrated his return to us by becoming engaged to our Beverley Druce. Congratulations to both of them.
Heavy whirlwind accompanied by some slight commotion hit the club the other Friday night. It was Jack Debert, “looking us up”. After sundry remarks about the tardiness of the starting of the General Meeting and clapping most of us on the back he breezed out and comparative calm settled on the meeting.
Hilma and Reg are back from their canoing-cum-walking holiday. This could read “canoeing come walking holiday” as that is what it turned into owing to some accident with the canoe. Hilma is bitterly complaining (again) about Reg being thin. To us he has never looked robust, Hilma, not that we wish to frighten you. But the remedy lies with you.
Last Friday night we were told exactly what goes on in a well conducted search and rescue party. It was a practical case as one of our members had the extreme audacity to become lost at St. Helena. Despite the interjections we kept our mind on the main theme and came to the conclusion that if lost one should, as instructed, leave certain signs and portents and leave a deep impression on one's shoe wherever possible. Of course if you get interested and stamp often and hard enough it stands to reason, they (the searchers) will hear youacoming, and this will make things a lot easier all round. Just remember will you? Better still, don't go to St. Helena. Incidental1y the only time we were lost, nobody missed us, not even at lunch time when we are usually quite prominent. We have always resented this.
Where is Tim Coffey? Nobody seems to have seen him lately.
… Thirdly, there are the disabi1ities of motoring for the motorist, From the many that offer themselves, I select two - atrophy of the limbs and desolation of the spirit. One of the main features of twentieth century civilisation is its tendency to delegate to machines the activities of human limbs and the performance of human functions. We live a press-the-button existence; cranes and lifts do the work of arms; preserving tins and cans usurp the art of the cook; we no longer play or sing, we put a record on the gramophone; we no longer practice the art of conversation, we turn on the radio. Of all these substitutions of mechanised for human activity the motor car is the most insidious, for, to all intents and purposes, we have delegated to it the use of our legs. The motorist does not walk. He intends to walk, of course - at least, he intends to in the early stages of his complaint. How often have I heard my walking friends, blazing for the first time into the lustre and glory of a car, explaining that they intend to use it only to take them quickly to places from which good walking country is easily available. We shall, they have said, park the car and walk. That, they have intimated, is the proper use to make of the car. The programme is admirable, but it is rarely carried out. There is something about car-driving which inhibits the mood in which walking is thought desirable or found possible. After driving for an hour or so, one sinks into a coma in which one is incapable of walking, reading, thinking or pursuing any humane activity. When presently, you descend stiffly from your car, all liver and no legs, you subside ignominiously into your motoring hotel for lunch or tea, only to surrender yourself once more to your mechanism when the meal is over. Thus you gradually lose the more extended use of your legs.
C.E.M. Joad - New Statesman and Nation, June 19th, 1943.
Please add to current programme.
2,3,4,5 June, King's Birthday. Blackheath - Bluegum - Grose River - Richmond. Test. Track and Rough. 44 miles. 6.35 p.m. train Central - Tickets Blackheath. Leader: Max Nathan. F.W. 2558.
Mrs. Stoddart writes to say that she has been in touch with Mrs. Fred. Bridle who lives at Coolamine Plains, Adaminaby, Yarrangobilly via Tumut (her postal address). Mrs Bridle would be glad to help walkers either by having them to stay or by bringing parcels out to them. She runs the mail from Rules Point twice weekly to Coolamine Plains (on horseback of course) and could take a pack horse for heavy stuff.
Mrs. Stoddart has sent this information along in case any walkers who are contemplating a stay in these parts might wish to get in touch with Mrs. Bridle.
Two new members were welcomed, Frank Adams and Martin Manning. Several old members on leave from the Services were present and noisy interjections by Jack Debert reminded us of the disorderly meetings of the earlier years of the club.
Lieutenant Basil and Mrs. Betty Dickinson have donated a beautifully illustrated book on West Australian Wild Flowers which will now be available in the Library.
The report of the activities of the Services Committee made impressive reading and one item showed that they had received 114 letters from service members. Dunk also says that a further 48 have been received since Christmas.
Dorothy suggested a circular hedge at the changing spot near the beach at Era. This led to much discussion on the virtues of many alternatives but all without any agreement.
It was announced that the Reunion will be held at Marley this year, record roll up is expected.