THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER
A monthly Bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bushwalkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St., Sydney.
No. 179 0CTOBER, 1949 Price 6d.
|Editor||Alex Colley, 55 Kirribilli Ave., Milson's Point|
|Production Asst||Bill Gillam|
|Sales and Subs||Helen Brook|
|Production and Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Editorial - Does “Bushcraft” Matter?||1|
|At Our September Meeting, reported by Jim Brown||2|
|Edgar Yardley, by Frank Cramp||5|
|The Frenchman, by R. Cotter||6|
|Mystic Morn, photograph by Wal Roots||8|
|Lands Deputation report by Myles Dunphy||9|
|Federation Notes, by Brian Harvey||15|
|A Word to the Ounce-Counters - Paddy's Advt.||17|
In bushwalking circles the word “bushcraft” has meant a knowledge of the bush sufficient to enable the walker to find his way and to cam, in safety and comfort. The word means something quite different to the Bushcraft Association, which uses it to describe the art of living off the land.“ It is, to them, a contest in which man, with the aid of a restricted set of implements - such as knives and axes - wrests his food from nature.
It is not for us to criticise the logic of this pastime. In the light of reason it is just as sensible as striking rubber balls with sticks, bats, racquets etc of prescribed sizes, or kicking them about, or if it comes to that, as carrying large packs over mountains.
But we can legitimately ask - what on earth has it got to do with bushwalking? There are plenty of instances where a knowledge of bushcraft - as we use the word - and of first aid and map-reading, have been invaluable, and perhaps have even saved a life. But never yet has a bushwalker needed to live off the land. Why then does the Bushcraft Association cling so tenaciously to its membership of the Federation?
The reason, we believe, is that the Association seeks to popularise its beliefs. Why bushcraft should be regarded as anything more than a hobby is difficult to see, but the fact remains that the Association seeks publicity and wants to establish the respectability of its “craft”. Hence membership of the Federation - not, be it noted, because of any real desire to further the objects of the Federation. Does this matter? It does if the Federation seeks to achieve the main purpose for which if was created - conservation. If it makes representations to the Minister for Lands, the President of the National Park Trust, the Chief Secretary, or other people in high places, they will, if they know the Bushcraft Association and see it is an affiliated club, consign the Federation's representations to the waste-paper basket, or more properly, to the furthest file. This aspect is much more important than the damage inflicted on the flora and fauna. If all the bushcraft experts were loosed together in National Park they would do less damage than one small bush fire. But if their presence in the Federation prevents the Federation from doing useful work, then they may do inestimable damage to the cause of conservation.
What really matters is that the time and enthusiasm of our able delegates is wasted in endless argument within the Federation. Had the credentials of the applicants for affiliation been considered conscientiously the Federation's founders would not now have to waste month after month, and year after year, trying to convert to its ideals those who entered under false pretences. Nothing could more effectively destroy what interest remains in Federation's activities.
Reported by Jim Brown
Vice President Roley Cotter was in the chairfor the half-yearly general meeting, which was also the first meeting AB (after blackout). Judy Dockroll, Jean Schoen, Eric Boman, Graham Grove and Wal Tombleson were the five wise prospectives who had somehow deferred admission to full membership until they were visible.
Minutes of the last half yearly meeting were read - rather like picking up last week's newspaper - and a few veterans smiled reminiscently at the record of the great debate on and: this year we were not messing around with the constitution.
Prom correspondence we.learned that National Fitness deemed its Narrabeen project a high priority, but if funds were available would follow up the Era Resumption plan, Dorothy Lawry had written the Club that she was settling down at Batlow, and Marie Byles notified her resignation from the position of Club Solicitor. This was received with regret and an expression of appreciation of her long record of service to the Club. Marie also foreshadowed her early resignation from the post of Trustee of Bouddhi, and suggested that we may consider a successor. Allan Strom was tentatively named as a nominee.
In presenting his monthly financial statement Treasurer Gil Webb pointed to an excess of disbursements over receipts and coyly hinted that a few overdue subscriptions would restore the position next month.
Evidently jaded Bushwalkers are no longer satisfied with the routine discussions and reports, the minutes and correspondence, and seek something more exciting each meeting. This month's opportunity came with presentation of Alan Hardie's report of the visit to the Bushcraft Association camp. Dormie expressed the opinion that the 'Home' magazine had mis-interpreted the work and ideals of the Association and misrepresented the whole case: and that the Association had been unjustly maligned by subsequent actions of the SBW.
Alan read his report of about 1,500 words, setting out that there was no evidence of destruction of plants or creatures, or that traps were actually used in National Park. A number of trees cut down in the vicinity of the Bushcraft camp were according to Mr. Graves destroyed by some other agency - possibly the Park Trust. The objects of Bushcraft had been represented to the SBW delegates as teaching young people the uses of bush plants, in effect, sublimating the hunter tendencies of youths, and encouraging them in conservation ideals. A specimen of grass rope was produced, and Dick Graves had told Dorrie that his people were more discriminating than grass-eating animals, which also consumed the seed stalk. Speaking of our rather abortive tree planting at Era, Dick Graves had said our methods were ill-advised, and offered assistance at any further tree planting.
Dormie's report was received, and Bill Gillen added verbal support. Dennis Gittoes, the third representative to visit Bushcraft, was not present.
In the ensuing debate, Bill Gillam moved that we apologise to the Bushcraft Association, and instruct our Federation delegates to move for re-admission of Bushcraft to the Federation. Amendments were voiced, urging that we publish Dormie's report in the magazine, that we publish the reports of all our representatives in monthly instalments, that the three reports be condensed and produced as a single comprehensive report.
In the absence of the Editor, Laurie Rayner suggested that he may not be prepared to accept this as magazine material, and Kevin Ardill somewhat killed the whole ambitious plan by pointing out that there was only one written report to date, and so there was no report before the meeting.
Brian Harvey moved “that the motion be not now put” until all reports were to hand. Which was carried.
Dormie now rose to move that we write to the National Park Trustees asking if the trees in the Bushcraft Area had been cut down by their orders or with their cognisance. After someone dubbed an ignoramus had been informed of the derivation of the word cognisance, the motion was carried, and Dormie proceeded to further move that we accept the Bushcraft offer to assist in tree planting at Era. Wal Roots imagined that Bushcraft night well he employed setting traps for cows at Era, since cattle were largely responsible for our earlier failure, and after some support for the motion from Gil Webb, it was lost on the score that we still lacked a full report from all delegates on the visit to Bushcraft,
Bill Gillam again raised the issue of re-admitting Bushcraft to the Federation, and Allan Strom insisted that the matter was out of order. It was moved that Mr. Gittoes be requested to furnish a written report on the Bushcraft visit, and Laurie Raynor amended this with a request that Mr. Gillam also be asked to report in writing. Bill Gillam asked did Mr. Rayner want a statutory declaration of his motions on visiting Bushcraft, and Laurie demanded the President's protection against these scathing remarks. At Roley's request, Mr. Gillam withdrew the offending comment.
A moment's breathing space and we were considering the most unsavoury natter brought to our notice that night. Allan Strom had information that the sewage problem at Bundeena was becoming acute, and it may be necessary for walkers to abandon their old attitude regarding a road into the area. Laurie Rayner opposed the suggestion strongly - if the sewage contractor was falling down on his job, then get another contractor, he said. No, Allan explained, the contractor was not necessarily lacking in enthusiasm (however much enthusiasm may be needed for the work) - it was simply a Health Department regulation forbidding transport of night soil across the water. It was either a road to Bundeena or dumping in National Park, take our pick. If we opposed the former we would probably meet the latter. The Club decided that the road would be the lessor of the evils, and resolved to make no objection if the question were raised.
At 9.45 we closed on this elevating note.
Our warmest congratulations to Bob Bright and Audrey (Billie) Davis, who have announced their engagement, and to the following happy parents:-
Jean and Ray Kirkby - a daughter (Christine Anice)
Laurie and John Woods - also a daughter
Alice and Alan Wyborn - a son.
By Frank Cramp
Club members, past and present, were shocked to hear of the untimely death of our friend, Edgar Yardley. The keynote of his character was kindness and a gentle understanding of human nature. Yet there was no fighter more ruthless against injustice and meanness, or one more jealous of the rights of man. His artistry as a character actor was due very much to his facility of reading human emotions and what lay behind them.
In the early days of the Club most of us had very little money to speak of (those were depression years), so we made the Club the centre of our social life. Our dances and amateur theatricals in the Clubroom were attended by the whole list of members. Edgar was our director par excellence and acted in most of our concerts and plays.
The great success of most of them was the joint effort of more than one of the old gang, but dependable Edgar was always to the fore and, yet, somehow was so self-effacing that he never seemed to be too much in evidence.
The camp fire memories of most of us would lose some of their best without Edgar's Dolly Ballads, and his Friends, I've got “somethin' ter Tellyer, an' yer don't know it”.
For a period Edgar and I used to sneak off to Emu Plains for a lazy weekend, and we discussed everything under the sun, and would drop off to sleep still talking. These weekends showed him to me better than years of ordinary friendship. You get to know people exceedingly well when you camp with them.
All the years that I knew Edgar I never knew him to tell a risque story or sing that kind of song and no one could say that he wasn't a great humorist. You always knew where to find him on a tough walk. He would always be somewhere close to the weakest walkers, unobtrusively helping them with his experience.
He was reaching the summit of his profession and in that circle he will be missed. His old friends will agree that no one over heard of him doing a mean or nasty thing and all of us can remember little kindnesses here and there.
He willed his body to be used for medical research. Absolutely in character to the last. His friends will not forget him. (.J.G.)
By R. Cotter.
The summer is coming and the thoughts of many walkers are turning to Tasmania. Our thoughts turn back a few years and we remember The Frenchman. Much has been spoken and written about it and we look on it as the highlight of a very good holiday.
Finishing a trip through the Reserve at Derwent Bridge, we collected two boxes of food, sent there by a Hobart storekeeper, and were in the process of checking and dividing it up when the Queenstown-Hobart buses arrived. They had many walkers aboard who had made attempts to reach The Frenchman and failed through bad weather. Some had reached Lake Tehune and had seen nothing because of mist, fog and rain. We were assailed with a chorus of “You'11 be sorry - you'11 be sorry”. The boys then told us of the hardships they had encountered. Wick Allen told of his party's 23 hour at the Tehune hut and how they had waded knee deep in mud.
It was still overcast and misty when we arrived at the New Jane River turnoff and we spent the night in a clean and comfortable hut as recommended by Wick.
The next day dawned bright and clear. All signs of bad weather had gone and a mile and a half down the road we turned off along the Old Jane River track.
The bridge on which we crossed the Franklin River has since been washed away, but we made good time to Mullins Gap where we got our first sight of the white capped Frenchman. When the photographers recovered, we went on down through the Valley of the Flowers, a botanists' Paradise, and over the Lodden Rivers where we mislaid the track, and instead of crossing on good logs,Jenny gave as a tight-rope demonstration on the branches of a submerged tree. We picked up the track again on a button grass plain and found “knee deep in mud” was literally true. I often thought some of us might leave the sole of a boot in the mud. That night we camped at the second crossing of Philps Creek.
An early start was made next morning in still perfect weather, and after skirting Lake Vera and passing through Philps Camp we had some up hill (almost perpendicular) walking till we arrived at Barron Gap. Here the view of the Frenchman is astounding. A chain, of lakes stretches away to the South and the irregular sky line have an allure seldom found in New South Wales.
From here we sidled round the ridge across the glacial moraine till we came to the Knife Edge leading to Artichoke Valley. The valley was a swamp after the recent rains and the track leading out of it was very slippery. Finally we arrived at Lake Tehune - very tired but very thrilled with this attractive, almost land-locked lake, with the Frenchman rising sheer and while almost from the lake itself.
The hut at Lake Tehune had no roof, but as there was very little flat ground anywhere we pitched the tent inside. We were very grateful later for the protection afforded by even a roofless hut.
The following day dawned clear but windy and with a cut lunch and an early start we climbed up to the saddle, crossing the huge snow drift which stretched almost down to the lake itself. The drift had deep crevasses showing that tint so well known to mountaineers of other countries. From this saddle small cairns pick out the way to the top of the mountain, but as several of these were covered in snow we wasted a little time before clearing the rock face which almost circles the Cap.
From the top itself there is a wonderful view. The mountains in the Reserve to the North East, the National Park to the South East, the unexplored South and South West, and the denuded hills around Queenstown can all be identified and the only sign of civilisation is a very small strip of the Queenstown-Hobart road.
On top the wind was very bleak and we could see the weather breaking and the mist sweeping towards us from the rainy West. Ws made a hurried descent, eating our lunch in the shelter of acme rocks and arrived at the camp wet and cold.
A hot meal and a comfortable bed presented no difficulties that night but continuous snow for the next twenty-four hours made a fire very difficult to light and almost impossible to keep alight. However, we remained warm and well-fed for that day although, in spite of extra rations carried, we were beginning to feel anxious as it seemed the snow could last for days. Soon after breakfast next day it stopped snowing for a short time and we packed hastily and were away over the snow by the time a gleam of sunshine broke temporarily through the mist. It was a relief to reach Artichoke Valley again as the route from Lake Tehune to the point was not easy to follow in the snow and mist.
At Barron Pass we looked back to the Frenchman and for a brief moment the mist parted for us to have a last look. Then it settled down to rain steadily and we hastened down to lower regions.
At Lake Vera we stopped for lunch and a fire that burnt without constant fanning was indeed a treat. A camp that night between the Lodden Rivers and we were back on the road early the next morning. Certainly a memorable trip.
by Wal Roots
Placed second at our Annual Exhibition. The judge, Mr Eade, said that the technical quality of this photograph was everything that could be desired. There was a beautiful recession towards the background in the arrangement of the subject. It did not have quite the same interest as Laurie Rayner's winning photograph (see September issue), but it was a very good interpretation of the Australian bush in winter time. One or two minor improvements might have been made by darkening the tree on the extreme right and strengthening the white patch at the back. Some of the highlights might have been improved.
(Mr. A.R. Jones), at 10 a.m Friday,29th Ju1y,1949. (It is regretted that this report was not received in time for the last issue. - Ed.)
Subject: ERA LANDS, GARAWARRA, Alienated Portions Nos.1,7,13,44,47,48
(Note: The following report was not transcribed from stenographers' notes but has been compiled by three deputies present at deputation and gives, in effect, the general trend of the speeches made.)
The convener club, the Sydney Bush Walkers, through its nominated Organiser, Mr. M.J. Dunphy, asked a number of conservation societies and bushwalking clubs to form a deputation to the Under Secretary for Lands, for the purpose of bringing before the Department of Lands the urgent necessity for resuming Era and other alienated portions of Garawarra, in the public interest and for attachment to Garawarra (primitive area) Park.
The large deputation of more than twenty representatives of societies met the Under Secretary, Mr. A.S. Jones, and the Assistant Under Secretary, Mr. G. Harphan, at 10 a.m. Friday, 29th July, 1949.
The following societies were represented:
The Sydney Bush Walkers: Messrs. T. Moppett (Pres.); N. Berry, A. Colley; M.J. Dunphy (Convenor of deputation);
New South Wales Federation of Bush Walking Clubs: Messrs. S. Cottier (Pres.), R. Compagnoni (Hon.Sec.);
About eight of the twenty six affiliated clubs were directly represented by members: Mountain Trails Club; The Bush Club; Trampers' Club; St.George Bushwalking Club; Sydney University Bush Walkers; Camp Fire Club Bushwalkers; and others.
The Parks and Playgrounds Movement of N.S.W.: Mr. W.H. Childs (Pres.)
Wild Life Preservation Society of Australia: Miss T. Harris (Pres.);
The Rangers' League: Mr. Moore;
The Forestry Advisory Council of N.S.W.: Mr. Green.
National Parks and Primitive Areas Council: Mr. H. Cotton,
The National Fitness Council: Mr. G. Young, and Tiss M. Byles represented the Recreation Areas Committee of the Council;
Garawarra Park Trustees: Mr. T. Herbert;
Heathcote Primitive Area Trustees: Mr. H. Fortes.
After delegates had been introduced to Mr. A.R. Jones by the convenor, Mr. Jones extended a general welcome and explained he had invited Mr. G. Harphan, Asst. Under Secretary, and Mr. Gordon Young. (Note: Mr. Young received the S.B.W's letter and invitation from the Convenor to attend in the first place; also, at previous meeting of Recreation Areas Committee it was resolved, on motion by M.J. Dunphy, that a representative should attend the deputation, if agreeable to the Director.)
No.1 Speaker: MR. M.J. DUNPHY, in opening the matter, said the deputation's action should be considered as a continuation of the Garawarra campaign of 1933, following which some 1,320 acres of Crown lands were reserved as parkland and all but two measured portions on the range summit were cancelled, but the Era alienated lands were not resumed. Thus Garawarra Park came into existence.
A further 120 acres of Crown lands were added later, making a total of 1,440 acres. Bushwalkers, scouts, hikers, surfers and others were very grateful to the Department for Garawarra Park, which served a unique purpose. Also they were very grateful to the owners of the coastal portions who had allowed them practically unrestricted use of the Era lands and privately-owned beaches since about 1910. Since 1934 much work had been done by those interested in having the park boundaries extended to those originally contemplated and shown on the leaflet map, notably by Miss M.B. Byles, chiefly on research concerning acquisition of the Era alienation. War matters interfered with the efforts of protagonists of the greater parkland who, later, became tired of amounts placed on the resumption estimates of the Department being diverted into other channels. Starting at a value of about £900 in 1933, the resumption price rose to about £2,940 in 1937 and today stood at more than £45000.
Many thousands of visitors went to Garawarra in the warmer months; mostly they walked from Lilyvale Railway Station. They appreciated the scenic primitive area at the Era lands.
The boundary between Garawarra Park and Portion 1 was very awkward and troublesome to the park trustees. Portion 1 extended into Burning Palms, had many shacks on it whose owners were not amenable to the regulations. In addition, the Burgh Ridge Track, the main route into the Park, lay through private property, hence all visitors were trespassers. At least this boundary should be rectified.
He gave a brief outline of the efforts of owners of four portions to float the Garie Estate Development Co. in 1929, to establish a country club and to sell 96 acres of residential lots. This fell through, and- so did another later venture along somewhat similar lines.
There existed a very real fear that a second Bundeena township would arise quickly on the Era lands, a menace to the surrounding parklands. Already there were more than 90 huts and small houses between Burning Palms and Little Garie. One portion had been re-sold and subdivided. The deputation asked that the whole 350 acres of alienated land be resumed as quickly as possible, then reserved and attached to Garawarra Park in order to increase the size of the primitive area (Note: Later it was seen this desire was unanimous). The work of the Garawarra Trustees was very satisfactory but the Park was not large enough.
The Sydney Bush Walkers and other sympathisers had bought Portion 7 (40 acres) with the idea of trying to block settlement on adjacent portions and the making of an access road. He said that, if a line had to be drawn because of cost of resumption at least Portion 1 (150 acres) should be reserved and attached to Garawarra Park, to enlarge the park, to remove access anomalies, to regulate the shacks there, and to preserve the two Era beaches in their natural state. In the public interest it would be advantageous to allow the Sydney Bush Walkers to retain Portion 7 for a term of years because of the nature of its use: it was, in effect, a private sanctuary.
He said that the re-classification of the Era lands on the final Cumberland County Plan, from rural area to reserve area parkland greatly strengthened the deputation's case for resumption. The Plan supported the deputation in its very desperate petition for resumption and reservation of the land before a township could arise. He had spoken to one of the executors of Portion No 1 - a friend of his - to name a reasonable sum acceptable as compensation for resumption. He, however, did not wish to commit the executors. Mr. Dunphy thought that £1,900 would cover the cost.
No.2 Speaker: MR. T. MOPPETT (S.B.W.) supported the case as outlined. He made particular reference to Bushwalker ownership of Portion 7 (40 acres): pointed out intention was to hold it as a primitive area sanctuary and to improve it by re-afforestation, already begun. Any responsible member of the public could use it; anyone could camp there, provided he did no damage. No houses would be built. No road would cross it; therefore it protected Portion 1 to this extent.
No.3 Speaker: MR. R. COMPAGNONI (N.S.W. Federation of Bushwalking Clubs) said he spoke for twenty-six affiliated clubs that gave unqualified support to the objects of the deputation. The Federation and affiliations desired the whole of the alienated portions to be resumed and reserved, and added to Garawarra park if possible, failing this to have Portion 1 added to the Park in order to overcome the inconveniences of awkward boundary, defective access, and a lot of private shacks right in Burning Palms itself. It was most desirable to have this Era land, situated as it was between adjacent parklands, dealt with as public parkland, not allowed to become a township. He particularly stressed the fact that Portion I extended southward into Burning Palms and, with its shacks, was an acute problem for the park trustees. The unique, beautiful Burning Palms amphitheatre, set back into the high range, should be preserved as a geographical entity, free of alienated land.
Bushwalkers quite rightly wished to keep away from motoring roads and motorists/ resorts. They wished to retain use of the beaches at Era and Burning Palms, probably the only beaches in County of Cumberland to remain in a natural condition. They wanted them to remain so for eternity. This was not a selfish attitude; it would be in the public interest to have them preserved in their natural state.
At present the alienated lands surrounded by public parkland was an incongruity: from a regional planning point of view it did not make sense. A township was in the making there, now. It should be halted. The County Plan re-classification of this area supported the deputation's request for resumption.
No.4 Speaker: MR. W.H. GUILDS (Parks and Playgrounds Movement) said he had never visited the locality but he was present to say that the Parks ard Playgrounds Movement was convinced of the necessities of the case, and unreservedly supported it as outlined by the convenor. The Movement hoped the resumption would be made and the land be added to Garawarra Park.
No.5 Speaker: MR. GORDON YOUNG (Director, National Fitness Council) said that all the history of the Era lands and attempts to develop it by private enterprise had not been told by Mr. Dunphy; the N.F. Council had been concerned in preventing other attempts to use the land. The N.F. Council had done a tremendous amount of work towards its resumption through the Departments of Land and Education with the result that the required amount was forthcoming. But now it seemed that all that work was to go for nothing. He said that the Council had been urged to interest the Minister for Education in the matter. It had received the support of the Federation and affiliated clubs in favour of the N.F.C. action in the matter, and he emphasised the Federation's wholehearted support for National Fitness Council control of the whole of the 350 acres for National Fitness purposes (at this juncture he read the letter). If the deputation now did not want it that way, well and good: he could not alter that outlook. He wished to avoid repercussions between the Departments and, with this end in view, he personally had decided to keep out of Donnybrook which might occur for control of the area. Ho said it appeared that everyone had overlooked the lease for the shack-owner at the beaches and possible disturbance of the surf life-saving club at Era Beach. (Note: No 5 place originally was provided for Mr. Young or his representative, to state the Councils case, if ever desired.)
No.5a Speaker: MISS M. BYLES (Recreation Areas Committee of National Fitness Council) stated that a tremendous amount of work had been done towards possible resumption of this land. This work had been going on for years. When the clubs' efforts appeared to flag the National Fitness Council had taken up the matter, through the Recreation Areas Committee, and had pushed on with it. It seemed a pity that N.F.C. action should be interrupted just when the funds were to hand. The late Mr. Barry, Deputy Surveyor-General, had interested himself through the Joint Committee; he was convinced the land would be resumed eventually. She said it must be resumed; could not an undertaking be given that it will be resumed? (Note: The deputation plainly indicated that control of the area by the trustees of National Fitness council for National Fitness purposes was not desired. Again the deputation had no intention of asking for an undertaking to be given. The case was stated, the parties now are prepared to await any reasonable time for the Minister's decision. Obviously it is a complicated matter and must be scrutinised thoroughly by the Department's officers.
No.6 Speaker: MR. T. HERBERT (Garawarra Park Trust) spoke on behalf of Mr. Theo. Atkinson (co-trustee) and himself in particular, and for the Trust on general principles. Two new trustees had just been appointed; this matter had not been discussed, as no meeting had been held lately. He thought the whole of the land should be resumed, and that it would be a good thing if it were added to Garawarra Park, in the interests of that section of the public which appreciated a primitive area and avoided motor roads and motorists resorts. The lack of proper access into Burning Palms without necessity of trespassing on private land was very awkward for visitors and trustees. The penetration of Portion 1 into Burning Palms and its being covered with shacks was fundamentally wrong and deprived appreciative visitors of the true beauty and peacefulness of the place. He agreed with the convenor that, at the worst the minimum proposal (resumption of Portion 1 for attachment to Garawarra Park) should be granted; also that Portion 7 should be allowed to remain in possession of the Sydney Bush Walkers for awhile for a stipulated use and to extend the effectiveness of Portion 1.
No.7 Speaker: MISS THISTLE HARRIS (Wild Life Preservation Society of Australia) said that her Society favoured resumption of the whole of the alienated portions, and their reservation for preservation of scenery, fauna and flora, and for public recreation. The Society wished the whole to be attached to Garawarra Park in order to extend the primitive area characteristics. In particular she mentioned the necessity for careful preservation of certain forms of coast bush trees and other plants now in danger of being exterminated, Preservation for future study was only possible in a properly controlled primitive area park where obliterating agencies could be eliminated. She had made a close study of the plants of the locality and could supply the Department with a list of them, if asked. She agreed with the general opinion of the deputation. (Note: Miss Harris handed to Mr. Jones three booklets containing articles on Garawarra lands.)
Mr HARPHAN (Assistant Under Secretary, and a trustee of both The National Park and Garawarra Park Trusts) asked MR, Dunphy : Assuming you obtained control of the land as a park, what would you do about the shack-owners? He replied that the question hardly was his to answer but would concern the trustees. The situation appeared to rest thus: if the land remained in private hands and was measured and subdivided for residential purposes the shacks, being substandard dwellings, would come under Local Government Ordinance No.70 (or, perhaps, No.71) and be condemned. Their occupiers might or might not be given preference in the sale of subdivisional lots. If the land were resumed and placed under Garawarra Park trustees he ventured the opinion it was likely the trustees would give a 5 to 10 years tenure to the shack-owners before obliterating the shacks. His opinion was based on the fact that a small number were allowed to remain in Garawarra Park.
MR. COMPAGNONI added that the shacks were only week-enders; that actually they usurped land which was used by visitors originally. He could not see that any hardship would be involved if their occupancy were terminated. However, to satisfy the occupiers, a reasonable term of tenure could be granted, no doubt.
MR. HERBERT said that seven huts were allowed to stand at Burning Palms, the residue of a greater number built by squatters. Some occupiers acted as honorary rangers. The Park Ranger lived in one. He could not say authoritatively, but thought that a term of lease could be granted to obviate any hardship which might arise.
In his concluding remarks M. DUNPHY said that MR. YOUNG'S mention of possible hardship to members of Era Surf Life-saving Club, in event of resumption, was hardly correct, because no matter, how the land would be controlled, if resumed, the surf club would be a necessity and would continue to operate.
CONCLUSION. As Mr. Jones had another appointment to keep he signified that the matter should be concluded. Therefore several other speakers in reserve were not needed. The case had been put very well and all were satisfied.
In his reply to the deputation, the Under Secretary said he and other officers had visited Garawarra recently, and had viewed the land in question. After having perused the files carefully, having viewed the locality, and having listened to the opinions of the members of the large deputation, he believed there was a real need for its resumption for parkland. He and Mr Harphan would report on the matter to the Minister and convey that opinion. There appeared to be a general agreement about resumption. He understood the deputation wished Portion 1 to be resumed if the rest could not be resumed. As to who should control the land he could not say. There were the Garawarra Park trustees, the National Park Trustees, and National Fitness Council trustees to be considered, This would be a matter for debate within the Department. The Minister for Lands would make the decision. The National Parks Committee had been requested to make a report on the matter. He could give no promises; decisions lay with the Minister.
(Note: It appears that the action of this deputation was exactly what was needed to bring this contentious and desperately urgent matter to a head. The strong community opinion and request of the deputation fixed the interest of the Department of Lands, not only on to the rising settlement at Garawarra, but also on to the Bundeena township menace to The National Park. The main consideration is to have the settlement at Era halted and the land reserved for the public as a primitive area. Control of it is another matter. The deputation voiced its very unanimous opinion and request. Our conservative conscience is now clear.)
Laurie Rayner who recently spent a walking holiday in N.Z. will entertain us on 21st Oct. with a lecture, “This is New Zealand.” Laurie's talk will be a great help to those planning similar trips.
Another dance on the 28th should gladden the hearts of those who like to “strutt their stuff.” Dont forget the Xmas party on Wed. 14th Dec at C.U.S,A., third floor - Edna Stretton.
By Brian G. Harvey.
GARAWARRA. Theo. Atkinson's offer to resign as Federation Representative on the Trust was accepted, and Stan Cottier (C.M.W. and Federation President) was selected as nominee subject to Theo's official resignation.
BUSHWALKER ANNUAL. Committee reported that owing to rising printing costs coupled with the usual apathy to this publication, a 1949 issue would be an uneconomic venture. It seems that until costs come down there will be no official journal representing the bushwalking movement.
NATIONAL PARK. Council resolved to write to the Park Trust suggesting the erection of signs warning flower-pickers and distributors of rubbish along the tracks.
YOUTH HOSTEL ASSOCIATION has intimated that accommodation for skiers would be available at Kiandra next year. An attempt will be made to interest skiers in the acquisition of “Wynnstay'' on a debenture basis among affiliated groups.
BOUDDI NATURAL PARK. Notice of intention to resign of Marie Byles and Bill Hillsgrove was received. Discussion and nominations of candidates was deferred until October meeting when the position may be clearly defined.
“HIKERS & TOURISTS GUIDE” A copy of this publication was submitted by Paddy Pallin who as Federation Information Officer felt that folk unfamiliar with the bush would be likely to be mislead by the description of tracks and features contained therein. The book was referred to the Search and Rescue Section to report back. A stitch in time may save nine.
BUSHCRAFT ASSOCIATION. After a delay of four or five months, allegedly occasioned by the lighting restrictions, the suspended Association replied to the Federation's ultimatum that the Association subscribe to the Constitution and Policy to consider resigning. The reply was indirect, stating that the findings of the recent S,B.W, three-man delegation to the Associations Waterfall camp would answer the Federation's query. As the S.B,W, had not received the report, the matter remained open and the position obscure. The River Canoe Club then moved that the suspension be lifted. This was bitterly opposed by the Coast and Mountain Walkers who, in asking the B.C.A. delegate if this Association ever used green bush material, received a non-committal reply. The C.M.W. thereupon produced recently hewn sticks bound with green vine declared in a sworn declaration to have been obtained from the Association's camp. The delegate stoutly denied his Association's responsibility, avowing someone had visited the campsite and erected a bush table (similar to Boy Scout's version). The six or seven trees cut down at the campsite “were probably cut down by the National Park Trust”. The Rover Ramblers supported the B.C.A. Someone else expressed the somewhat forlorn hope that by retaining the Bushcrafters in the Federation they might come around to our comprehension of conservation. The S.B.W. said it was useless endeavourdng to educate youth to appreciate the bush by teaching it various ways of destroying it, that the method was retrograde. The Bush Club stressed the soil erosion aspect of destruction of green material and trees. A wearying discussion dragged on for two hours over the same stony road as has been traversed many times in the last two years or so, and the motion was finally put by the 'gag' and carried 17 to 12, so that we are now back in precisely the same position as last March when our delegates were instructed by the Annual General Meeting to call for the Bushcraft Association's expulsion from the Federation because of disregard for our understanding of the Federations Constitution and Policy.
The disease of erosion has been allowed to eat deeply into the flesh of this country. The Soil Conservation Service of New South Wales has been called in as physician and surgeon, but we have been called in after the desease has become well established. We are now required to cure. To prevent would have been wiser, more effective and much more economical. As well as curing the current erosion on those lands already affected, we are also occupied in preventing it.
Prevention basically resolves itself into wise land usage - using the land in accordance with its physical peculiarities. In broad outline this means that land that is too hilly and mountainous for cultivation or pasture should be kept under timber. Trees are the best and most permanent crop that these steep lands can produce. On the farms cultivation should be restricted to flat or very gently sloping land and pastures should cover the slopes, while timber protects the very steep country.
A government must be careful in choosing land for settlement. I regret today that any serious mistakes in land settlement have been made in Australia. We are now reaping the inevitable result in human hardships, financial loss and soil destruction by wind and water. The men who made these mistakes are not always alive to see the full results. These mistakes of land settlement and of land usage will undoubtedly bear very heavily upon the lands of this country and upon the people.
The dance on Sept. 16th got away to a quiet start. Not many were in the club room and only a few started to dance. But the music was infectious. It lured groups of food-listers, tonguewaggers, wall-flowers and even misogynists on to the dance floor from their retreats amongst the outer furnishings. The light, though less romantic than during our black-out dance was more revealing. Not all was revealed, however. One face remains enshrouded in hirsute mystery. Who was the bearded stranger?