A monthly Bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, c/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St. Sydney.
|Assists||Elsa McGregor, Norma Barden|
|Bus Manager||Maurie Berry|
|Sales & Subs.||Jean Harvey|
Roneo on the rampage! Remington rapid repeater runs redhot in producing:
The Kweensland Speshul Edishun!!
(Complete Coverage of the Kirkby - Colley Combination.)
They bailed us up in club; harangued us as we sat around our camp fires; on walks, paid “social” calls as we cooked our food, then smote our ears with landatory eloquence; they flourished coloured maps in emphasis, made sketches and speeches - speeches longer still as time went by!
“Queensland,” and they mouthed the word in wide-eyed ecstasy. “Queensland! State of the sun! Days full of glory! Nights of adventure! Paradise returned to earth!” (Are they on commission from the Tourist Bureau?)
And surely enough, some more aspiring members harkened to their tales of majesty. Once more we saw them huddled over tables in the club, poring over maps with roting rotometers, running up distances on red-hot slide-rules, and toting up food tallies on ready-reckoners!
They've gone again - and we bless them. For in their wake they left a magazine complete!
|Five Returns, Dulbolla, Please||Ray Kirkby||2|
|The Western McPherson Range||Allex Colley||4|
|Confessions and Impressions||Jean Thirgood||8|
The inimitable Ray Kirkby gives the low-down on the lighter side: Forestalling any libel suit by the Railways, we lay the entire article before you as his, and his alone.
My deah, do you wish to be booked together with your parrot to Kilimanjaro via King's Cross? Or do you wish to know how to do the cheapest submarine trip up the Yangtze Kiang? If so, I am your man. I am wonderful and I admit it myself. Of course I had to learn by hard experience but I may as well cash in oh it and, in years to come, as I drive past in my magnificent limousine from the palatial offices of “Dulbolla Travellers' Aids” to my princely mansion, “Dulbolla”, set in the broad acres of “Dulbolla Park”, I see you cowering in the gutter with your dirty rucksack and saying, “He made his money out of us”.
Any simpleton can to the Railway and ask, “Is there or is there not a certain train running?” We have so much practice at that kind of question that we all are quite proficient. But how many are able, when required, to tell the Railways where to get off - at least, that is, of course where you want to get off - or rather where to get off if they will not let you off where you want to get off.
However, actions speak louder than words, let us to a concrete example.
To commence our Queensland trip I considered it advisable to alight from the Brisbane Express at Dulbolla. Dulbolla is siding about 60 miles from Brisbane having quite three houses and no platform but only about a mile from the township of Rathdowney. The N.S.W. Railway Guide does not mention the place so resort had to be made to “Enquiries”. Here came my first triumph. You know how the clerk, if asked the time of the train to Sulphanilamide, mostly rattles it off without reference to index or page? This time he had to make a few enquiries from me before he could proceed! Then he seized a Queensland Guide and, like a huntsmen getting the fox, his eyes gleamed as he actually saw the name “Dulbolla” in print for the first time. Like the Sun surrounded by its planets, like a lovely princess with lesser ladies clustered to her, like flies around a piece of bread and jam, Dulbolla was hemmed in by a symbolism which would have inspired Pitman. They were all represented - K, f, p, see page 68,Œ,::,ø, and ± which means “Don't spit where the platform ought to be” and øøø which means “When you get two different answers to the one question, don't believe either” and, yep, there it is, !!!, which means “Stops on Tues. Thurs. and Sat. if required”. And we should be there on Sat.
Of course, I am not blaming Alex. for what happened. Perhaps I should have had my party in for tutorial classes twice a week. However, Alex, offered to buy the tickets - just “Five returns Dulbolla please”. Apparently, after making discreet enquiries, the man endeavoured to hide his ignorance by saying that he could not issue return tickets there and that Alex would have to accept tickets to Brisbane “which is about the same”. Not having sufficient data in his possession Alex acquiesced. After sifting all the evidence I gathered that N.S.W. is unable to issue return tickets to Queensland stations other than Brisbane but what riled me was that, on a distance calculation, the overcharge was about £1 per ticket and we did not want to use a considerable proportion of the return ticket at all. Why could we not buy return tickets to the Border and then get single extensions to Dulbolla?
The official reluctantly agreed that this could be done, but said it would make little difference in cost so I had to make a lot of calculations to prove otherwise and then, only then, did he abandon his defences and surrender, knowing that I had an atom bomb up each sleeve. With good grace (and, I felt, with some respect and a tinge of admiration for me) he handed me back lots of five pound notes and told me how to proceed.
The impact of a ticket to Border Tunnel onto the brain of the train officials had varying effects. Some expressed great astonishment, others looked at it as people probably looked at the first aeroplane and yet showed not the least curiosity. In the early hours of the morning, when it was still dark, a ticket examiner came through the train and happened to catch Jean away from her home base. Unfortunately, when he asked Jean where she was going, she could not remember beyond the fact that “It starts with 'D'”. He suggested “Deepwater. Perhaps Dapto. Not Dungog? Doonside, Dorrigo, Dubbo?” He conducted Jean back to the compartment to satisfy himself that it wasn't Gladesville. Then he became quite keen to know where we “Flannel Flowers” were walking - apparently he had dealt with peculiar people before.
Within a hundred miles of our destination we got quite “jumpy” as to whether the train might forget or not be advised to stop at our destination. So I planned to ask the engine driver at Casino whether he intended to stop. However, just as I arrived at the engine, a station official handed him a form on which, a carbon copy, I could see the word “Dulbolla” written.
“Only one stop today”, he said cheerily, “Dulboola”.
“Dulbolla”, corrected the engine driver haughtily.
The road may have been hard but the climax was worth it. The express came to a standstill and a voice called out “Seats numbers forty two to forty six - Dulbolla” and the conductor gave us advice on how to alight from a train as rucksacks, dilly bags, brown paper parcels, and cardboard boxes were flung out and he and numerous passengers, whose heads protruded from windows, saw the inexpressible sight of girls jumping onto the rails.
My deah, we were there and, between us and Rathdowney, only a mile of road and fifty per cent of Dulbolla's fowlyards.
As Alex Colley handed me his “copy”, I could see the fire burning in his eyes, and divined that he was even then “fighting through jungle, climbing rock faces, sliding round cliffs…”
As far as I know the Western McPherson region was, until penetrated by Wal Roots and Ray Kirkby, practically untrod by the foot of Bushwalker, so it may be as well to say where it is before proceeding to a mountain-by-mountain description. Perhaps the easiest way of explaining the layout without a map is to imagine we are standing on Wilson's Peak, from which we would see most of the places described. We should be on the border, 60 miles from the coast and 60 miles SSW from Brisbane, though we could not quite see the sea nor the city. At this point the McPherson Range joins the Great Dividing Range. Looking East along the range we should see Mount Lindesay, 16 miles away, Lamington, 40 miles away and the peak of Mount Warning on the horizon. The Divide comes up from the WSW and continues, at right angles, towards the NNW. About 10 miles NNW, on the Divide, would be Spicer's Gap where we started our walk. This section of the Divide - between us and Spicer's Gap and beyond - is really a high escarpment on the edge of the Darling Downs. We should be at the source of the Condamine River, flowing west; the Clarence, flowing south; and near the source of the Logan, flowing north east. We could also see the source of the Richmond, beyond Mount Lindesay. In the foreground, towards the North East, would be a plain on which were a number of isolated mountains, and towards Mount Lindesay, the massive folds of Mount Ballow almost obscuring the peaks of Barney beyond. Many of these mountains appear to be ancient volcanic cones, and the escarpment on the Divide might be the remainder of lava streams from those cones. The McPherson Range itself is really a string of separate mountains connected by low saddles. Both the ranges and the separate mountains rise straight from the plain, their flanks unprotected by foothills. All the high peaks overlook a large section of the country described.
Let us now come down from Wilson's Peak to join the rest of the party, consisting of Ray Kirkby, Edna Garrad, Ted Constable and Jean Thirgood, as they step down the carriage footboards at the rail siding of Dulbolla, 30 miles to the East.
We walked less than a mile that evening to our first camp-site, on the Logan River just outside Rathdowney. At this point we were about 12 miles from Mount Barney, which rises straight from the plain to n height of 4434 foot. We rose early to be rewarded by an Elioth Gruner rendering of the mountain, ascending domes and spires bathed by the rising sun in softly luminous purple light. Throughout the trip the first and last rays of the sun gave us many similar mountain views, though none so breathtaking as our first.
At Rathdowney we arranged for provisions to be sent to Mount Lindesay for us to pick up a week later, then travelled by car, past the abrupt mountains rising out of the plain, to Spicer's Gap. As we approached the Divide its 3000 foot eastern face looked nearly vertical, and presented an almost regular, corrugated appearance.
Many of the ranges have this appearance in the distance, giving an impression of countless ages of weathering, reminiscent of pictures I have seen of arid ranges in Western China. The arid appearance is an illusion caused by a deep covering of brown grass, which is often the min covering of the steep slopes. In summer these slopes are green.
From our camp in Spicer's Gap we climbed Spicer's Peak and Mounts Mitchell and Cordeaux. Mount Mitchell and Spicer's Peak are in the shape of irregular pyramids. Their eastern side is an almost vertical triangular cliff face, rising to the sharp peak, while their western edge slopes gradually to the Darling Downs. In the deep gaps between the peaks are the sources of streams flowing west to the Condamine River on the Downs. Climbing the peaks was not very difficult. Tluris Tourist tracks so nearly to the top of Mitchell and Cordeaux, which are on each side of the main road through Cunningham's Gap. The lower spurs of the mountains are mostly open bushland clothed in deep brown Kangaroo Grass, while near the top there is a mixture of open grassy ridges, jungle and rock faces. It is usually possible to pick your route up as you climb, but very difficult to find a way down if you do not retrace your steps. The descent of Mount Barney took nearly eight hours' walking time.
It will be realised that it would be impossible to walk along the top of the range as we should in most of our local ranges, because you would be constantly climbing the peaks, fighting your way through jungle, climbing rock faces and sidling round cliffs. It is usually best to walk at the foot of the range. If you tried this in the ranges near home you would be continuously climbing in and out of creek beds, but, because of the absence of foothills, most of the country beneath this range is gently undulating with low saddles between the scattered hills. So from Spicer's Gap we made our way down the grassy open forested ridges and slopes to the cleared cattle country below. It was rich volcanic grassland, warm and pleasant in the northern winter sunshine, and delightful for camping. Most of the creek beds were dry, but here and there the water came to the surface and there were springs and soaks in side creeks. We camped in full view of Mount Steamer, an imperious mass of horizontal strata and steep brown corrugated slopes, thrusting majestically into the lowlands.
Next day we climbed Panorama Point, from which we could see the extraordinary rock formation known the Steamer (behind Mount Steamoe - i.e. to the East). It consists of a long cliff face, then a gap in which are two rock pylons, perhaps 200 feet high and quite unscaleable, then a continuation of the cliff. With very little imagination it looks like a steamship.
Another day's walk brought us to the Condamine Gap. We reached the Gap at sundown. An icy-cold wind blew through it from the West so we went a few yards into the jungle for out camp. We looked out into open country where the wind blew by day and frost formed at night, but it was snug and still under our forest canopy. Dawn was heralded by a duet between a dingo and a cow - almost like a “Tiger” walk - not that I'm incineratin', of course.
North of the Gap is the highest point of the ranges, Mounts Superbus (4,493 ft.) and to the South is Wilson's Peak. The view from the latter has already been described but not the sensation of standing on the border of two States, at the junction of two long ranges, and at or near the source of four large rivers. Half a mile beneath us was the very start of the great Darling River, rising here amid dense damp jungle as a little mountain stream, soon to flow leisurely north-west over the Darling Downs, then curving round to the South, changing its name to Culgoa, perhaps disappearing sometimes in the arid west, then joining with the Barwon to form the Darling and flow sluggishly towards S.A. over the expanse of the far western plain. Both Wilson and Superbus are easy to climb because of a rabbit-proof fence leading up to their summits. This is not the main border fence, but is similar to it, and the track alongside it provides unobstructed walking along a deep jungle laneway. Often we paused as we came to the giant buttressed bolo of a tree, to gaze upwards at the foliage far above. Some of the largest trees were strangler figs which had long since enveloped their hosts. The outside circumference round the buttresses and adventitious roots at the base of some of the trees must have measured 40 feet or more. Some of the largest trees appeared, by their leaves, to be giant stinging trees, often 100 or more foot high. The older trees were covered with orchids, lichens, vines, staghorns, elkhorns and other growths. Below were small bacularia palms, stinging trees, monkey vines and many other subtropical flora. On the crests of the high ridges were some fine specimens of hoop pine.
Two days' walk through open timber, not unlike our Bluegum Forest, and through more cleared country and jungle brought us to Mount Lindesay. Most of the way we followed the border fence. Though this involved a very steep climb over Mount Clunie, any alternative route would have been much further or rougher. Lindesay is a beautifully proportioned mountain, its lower slopes rising symmetrically to support a vertical block of basalt 600 or more foot high. As we approached the mountain its base was blended with the violet evening haze and its square rock summit was spotlighted by the setting sun against the flocculent rose-red clouds above.
Next day we attempted to climb it, but didn't like the almost perpendicular shrub-to-shrub ascent. Ted Constable, however, was undismayed. He reached the top and when interviewed (at the bottom), described the view as awe inspiring rather than beautiful. Ray had been up before but must have travelled too fast to notice the hair-raising nature of the ascent.
Our next stop was at the foot of Mount Barney. This is probably the most imposing mountain in Australia, as it rises straight from nearly level country some 500 feet above sea level to a height of 4434 feet. It is difficult, though not dangerous to climb. We followed Barney Creek, which rises between Mount Barney and Mount Bellow, and came to a most spectacular gorge. From the bottom of the gorge we looked up an almost unbroken rock face to the west peak of Barney. The creek poured through narrow gap into a great pool which could be reached only by crawling through a hole in the rock wall. We believe that on the upper reaches of this creek, if anywhere, there may be a truly primitive area. There is no grazing and almost certainly no route for taking out timber. It may even have escaped fires. A week or more could well be spent in exploring the Barney locality.
Anyone planning a trip to the McPhersons should go in the period from April to September. These are the dry months when heavy rain is unusual, though we were told there were floods last June. There was not a drop of rain and hardly a cloudy day during our fortnight's trip. The icy wind which blew from the West during the first few days is, we were told, to be expected during the winter, though usually somewhat later.
In this region, nature, by providing a heavy summer rainfall, has stayed the destructive hand of man. During the hot wet summer months the jungle is too green to burn. There is evidence of grass fires, but few areas where there have been tree-top fires. It is all cattle country, being too wet for sheep. The soil is fertile and the grass cover dense. Man, for his own good, has helped by excluding rabbits. Thus the fire, droughts, sheep and rabbits team has never got a start on the mountains, which show no signs of erosion. Much of the country is too rough for timber-getting and here man has co-operated positively preserving some of the best remaining forest areas.
This article would not be complete without a note on the luscious Queensland fruits and vegetables. We had pineapples, custard apples and some tomatoes and other vegetables. The fruits were rich and sweet, even the tomatoes were sweet and the vegetables full of distinctive flavour. By comparison our local products are mere skins filled with cellusose and water by the use of forcing fertilisers. In time to come I believe that Southern Queensland will be entirely populated by voracious vegetarians.
These two walks have been interchanged:
Leon Bluer: Mittagong - Nattai - Nattai Pass - Couridjah. Set down for Oct. 11, 12, 13. Will take place on Sept. 20, 21, 22.
Ron Knightley: Tallong - Badgery's - Tolwong - Bungonia Tops - Marulan. Set down for Sept. 20, 2l, 22. Will take place on Oct. 11, 12, 13.
Jean Thirgood handed in some lovely paper which, by invoking the Prime Minister's complete staff of cipher experts, we decoded as being - more Queensland!
This perta1ns of course to the “trip” and whilst being in that stage of remorse and misery when memories flock around, a decision has been reached that “Life in Cities” is a mere farce. However, I gather this mood must pass and ere now a little joy will once again begin to seep from one's immediate surroundings.
Our destination was Queensland to strangers, Southern Queensland to people less strange and the Border to our intimates. And Dulbolla was only a little trifle tossed hither and yon with incredulous ticket inspectors. The Engine Driver was the only living soul who knew! And lo and behold as if he were our benefactor and guardian he stopped the train at Dulbolla and we alighted, to the great amazement and deep interest of all who witnessed the event.
We loaded our protesting backs with many pounds, and each carrying a parcel in hand - in two instances this contained 55 medium sized carrots and 60 medium sized onions - we began. However, a dumping ground was selected after great deliberation, and portion of our gear and food was sent on to be collected later, when we greeted it as do old acquaintances who have undergone many strange experiences in the interim.
The variety and number of instructions delivered by our leader to the unsuspecting countrysiders formed a pleasant store in my mind upon which to ruminate when the need for something to worry about arose - having looked in vain for other sources. Except once, that is. When our worthy Benighted were but fledglings at this occupation, the howling gales and bitter cold were fitting stimuli to my heated imagination - portion of such heat being generated by their own unused, downy sleeping-bags. But they dashed into camp the following morning aglow and agog after their comparatively pleasant night spent in the jungle. And I who had been lying awake the night thru - worrying - had not even time to heat the meal of the previous evening for them and it must be admitted that a splendid opportunity for worrying was overlooked when the Benighted spent the dark hours on Barney. This mighty fierce mountain deserves a real name. Having scrutinized it carefully they had decided that climbing Barney was fitting only for a trapeze artist, so high and rocky and wild did it seem. But the courageous were undaunted and set off, at near dawn but did not return till 11.30 a.m. the following day! And then I could act my long awaited role of ministering angel, for they looked worn and as if torn both mentally and physically from indescribable sufferings. Sleeping between jagged crags and boulders on a fairly sheer mountain side in the biting wind, and suffering the tortures of imminent death from an unruly fire which threatened to dance madly round the crazy peaks was not unduly comfortable, it seem.
The Border Fence but an impoverished concept to the unenlightened. Not having previous acquaintance with such a phenomenon my imagination depicted it as a stark tall uninteresting wire erection designed to torment stray animals, inclusive of the human species. But here we discovered a friendly thing, for if one tired of Queensland one could pop back quite conveniently to homely N.S.W. Not so the rabbits for they are regarded with just ire by the Queenslanders and sturdy boundary riders keep watchful guard over their meanderings. This Fence, moreover, was heedless of hills or dales and trotted uncompromisingly up mountain sides which approached the near vertical, and toppling over a trig, fell down the other side. Why on earth rabbits would choose such an occupatiOn remains a puzzle. But apart from these small inconveniences we found it a delightful trail along which to roam. We could walk very comfortably along thru soft ferns and gaze at the towering timbers bedecked with staghorns and trailing vines and we could look into the mysterious depths of the jungle from our unimpeded pathway and watch the cool play of light and softened gloom in the green depths beyond. And one evening after a stupendous day when the search for water was imminent and the moon had been accompanying us for an hour or more a man-made contraption called a tank was nicely set in the tall grasses. And the tank was filled with water!
But Lindesay! We first saw Lindesay at very close quarters looming up starkly in a greenish light, and gathering clouds were threatening the ramparts. But at still closer quarters it was sunset. Walking thru places which were all “Blue Gums” put together and more, we watched the flecked clouds show up pink behind the darkening tree tops. And we swung around a curve onto Lindesay. It was aglow with gentle fire but it remained mysterious and aloof like some fairy castle full of unimaginable things.
Lindesay remained a mystery to most of us for it is only to a select few that its secrets are yielded. This few should be designed is make for treading airily into space when the grass trees and crumbling rocks do not inspire earthly faith.
Barney, now is a different proposition. On another trip we stumbled fairly easily and accidentally onto a wonderful vantage point from which to prize some of its secrets. We gazed into its craggy heart with its sheer rock faces and little gaps joining some of its peaks. Forming the whole panorama into a cohesive whole was a mighty gorge pouring forth noisy waters, and away to the right the mountain peaks fell more gently down, cut by another stream of longer history and more patient behaviour. There is a camp site belonging to this part of the story which is only in our imagination as yet. But I think it is worth travelling nearly 600 miles to camp in this enchanting place. WE, poor things, discovered it when our stay was over. Not that it is a reflection on our other camp sites. For they were delightful and the weather treated us to a quite exemplory performance.
In contrast was the country further west. Having said goodbye to one of our party in the salubrious town of Woodenbong, a centre noted for its service cars and gangling poor blacks (but considerably enlivened by them 'ikers) we toured through less and less attractive country. Our spirits were low from dust, poor ring barked trees and scrubby scrub and a spatter of rain made the dust more murky. I thought “What a dreadful hole” and looked out once again to see a notice board saying “Wilsons Downfall” and was shocked into activity. Our destination! But we revived after a cuppa brewed in the deserted Court House.
For the last two days we were all pioneers and as such had been our troubles, but we only suffered for one half day and in the afternoon of this day had some interesting views of granite formations which burst forth from the surrounding countryside. It was here we had our coldest camp, right under a granite mountain and (I think) at over 3500' and also in the middle of swampy land covered by pink, frost-bitten grasses. As the moon rose up at the side of the domed mountain the dingoes uttered plaintive lament and left an eerie sensation to keep us company.
Incidentally, Wyburba National Park was what we were looking for. As usual this was a local mystery but I think we did just touch its boundaries.
My last impression was Wallangarra. Dust and stock routes and darkness looming, and someone saying jokingly “We'll take our torches and do the town”. This proved only too true and after a small attempt to locate the town from the station we remained put - at which it began to rain and meant it.
So our story just about ends with some really generous treatment by the Q'land R.R.R. in the matter of dinner and with each member having a comfortable journey home.
But Lindesay, Barney and the others belong to a remote world and have already assumed a dreamlike quality.
Edna Garrad made sure we'd print her version - typed it out in toto. A treatise upon the art of camping out - completely out!
Bushwalkers do not often find themselves benighted, but on a recent holiday in the McPhersons and the Great Dividing Range we twice had this experience within a fortnight. Our camps were in lovely sunny valleys or in gaps between the peaks, and from here we did our climbing without packs.
On the first occasion, we climbed Mt. Cordeaux in the morning and in the afternoon three of the party decided to traverse Mitchell's Peak and make our way back to Spicer's Gap where our crimp was situated.
There is a tourist track from the gap practically to the top of the peak, nicely graded. 0n arrival, we had a glorious panoramic view of plains and peaks, although it was so windy we had to hang onto grass trees and small shrubs to prevent ourselves being blown off! On the far side of the mountain there is no track and we made our way through jungle and grass. It took considerably longer than we anticipated and although we expected to be reaching camp in torchlight we thought that by the time it was dark we would be on a track again. However we took a wrong ridge and had to retreat and then found ourselves wandering around in the jungle on the range by the light of one torch between three of us - being scratched by thorns and torn by brambles in unmerciful fashion. We got on to what proved to be the right ridge and as the torch was about finished and there appeared to be a sheer cliff ahead, we made camp as best we could without tent, sleeping bag or groundsheet. We were at about 2,000 ft. above sea level and it was the middle of June. Need I say more? We built a large fire, and would have liked an equally large fire behind us, but the wind was high and even with the little fire we did build the flames would sweep towards us in the wind. We had no water and very little food; a mouthful of chocolate and some raisins. We made a bed of grass and settled down to wait for the dawn. Surprisingly enough however we did get a considerable amount of sleep. One member of the party was so near the fire that the following day found his back burnt and blistered through his shorts: I awakened at one stage to find the bedding on fire as we had all edged closer to the warmth and worked the grass with us. When dawn came we found that the seemingly difficult cliff was easily negotiated and we were back at camp in about forty minutes. The balance of the party had spent a very comfortable night on our sleeping bags and we arrived in time to prepare their morning tea! So much for our anticipation of staggering into camp to be welcomed with food and drink. However the food that they had cooked for our tea the night before made a very good breakfast.
On the second occasion we had climbed Mt. Barney (the grandest mountain I have ever seen) and had sought a route down a ridge without success. We had wasted considerable time looking for the ridge and were still not very far from the 4,000 ft top when it began to get darkish. The going was terrific. We were swinging along on saplings like Tarzans one minute, crawling under logs the next, walking on ferns and having our legs subside into space unexpectedly and somewhat painfully the next. Then there were rocks and rock faces to be negotiated and pieces of skin seemed somehow to be continually left behind so that our hands and knees became very tender and the scratches of fresh thorns was agonising. We continued on until it was so dark that it was dangerous in torchlight, and once again settled down for a night. This time however there was insufficient space to lie down, the only possible place to make a fire on the hillside being a small portion of rock enclosed on three sides, but with a nasty crack which allowed the draughts through. A fire was lit and immediately the whole area in which we were sheltering was aflame, the sparks having caught lots of dry leaves and small sticks etc. It was only by quick action that the one rucksack we had was pulled to safety. All that night the boys were making trips to the outer edge of the rocks to extinguish small fires which started. The wind was again high and sparks were blown everywhere. During the night the sky became very overcast and I had visions of torrential rain beating down on us, but this was something we were spared. The last straw as far as I was concerned was when a bush rat ran across the rear of the shelter. We had practically no sleep and were very glad when dawn came. It had been a strenuous climb up on to Mt. Barney and it was a strenuous climb down by the route we took. We were extremely glad when we reached camp at about 11 A.M. We ate enormous quantities of food, then stretched out in the sun for a heavenly sleep. By next morning any discomforts were forgotten and we started off for fresh fields to conquer.
Do you know what? We hear that the “son” born to Wal and Miriam Roots in the last issue has been christened Margaret Rosalind! It seems that we picked the wrong stork. Our deepest apologies to the parents.
Now, this stork took a lot of catching, but we have authoritative information that another ex-President is rocking a cradle. Way back in February, the Richard Crockers added Caroline Marjorie to the family tree. Yes, that was why they missed their first reunion: Both mother and daughter doing well.
Did you know the reason behind the extra broadness of Bob Eastoe's smile the other night in club? In case you did not, a personal interview with the proud pappy (Mother, Mary, was of course at home) elicited the full pedigree of the new colt. Sex, male; name, Jonathan; date, 18.7.46; weight at birth, 8lbs. Long in limbs, and screams like a bushwalker on a ridge.
Sheila Garrad now answers to the name of “Mother”, and once again we have to name of the child (just to prove we've got the right sex!). Mary Vinessa, as another tramper of future trails.
Who will be next? Rumour has it that events are pending. Watch next issue for further developments! Apply this office for tickets in the Sweepstake on the Stork!!