A monthly Bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St., Sydney.
|Editor||Alex Colley, 55 Kirribilli Ave., Milson's Point. Tel. XA1255|
|Production and Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Reporters||Jim Brown, Kath McKay|
|Sales and Subs||Shirley Evans|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey|
|Editorial - Instructional Walks||1|
|Social Notes for March||2|
|At Our February Monthly Meeting||3|
|Deputation re Mark Morton Reserve||4|
|Be Popular in the Bush||Kevin Ardill||6|
|Message to Prospective Editors||9|
|Letters to the Editor||10|
|Paddynews (Paddy's Advertisement)||14|
Our reporter once described instructional walks as “a kind of unofficial re-union”. Everyone would agree that they have been quite a social success. They give the members an excellent opportunity of meeting the prospectives and getting to know them, perhaps an even better opportunity than they would have on a walk, since there is more time to be together. It also gives the members a good chance to get to know better many of their fellow members whom they might seldom meet on walks. There is quite a panel of lecturers now on the various subjects, and probably even experienced members could learn something new at every instructional week-end. New members could learn a lot by attending several such week-ends.
Though the week-ends are good a few suggestions for improvements might not be amiss. A little more walking with experienced leaders, who would explain how they were finding their way, how they knew where they were, how to find camp sites in the evening, where to pitch a tent, and many other practical points, would improve some week-ends. There is often a tendency to walk along a plain route to a well known campsite and walk out along a similar route the next day. The best practical lesson is for leaders to take the prospectives through a bit of difficult country and explain just what they are doing - i.e. to “think aloud”. There is, of course, no need to wait for an instructional week-end to do this but there is often no time to do it on an ordinary walk, and one of the main ideas of instructional walks was that there should be enough time to explain on the way.
The lectures are both interesting and informative, and leaving the subject matter to the lecturer's discretion ensures a pretty wide coverage of useful knowledge. But it would be an improvement if both lecturers and prospectives had a short list of essential points to be covered. One of the difficulties of the prospective is to find out just what he is expected to know. It should be possible to draw up a list of, say, 20 questions, covering safety, conservation, and first aid and inform prospectives that they would be expected to know the answers when they came before committee.
More might be made on instructional weekends of the traditions of the Club and the importance of all wearers of the flannel flower badge remembering those who have gone before and those who may came later. Membership of a reputable and well known walking club is the best reference walkers can have, and they are often very dependent on the goodwill of property owners and other country people.
Instructional walks can, of course, give the prospective no more than a sketchy and largely theoretical knowledge of the art of bushwalking, but they are very useful even if they only prove that there is a lot to learn and indicate what to look for. Only experience and the will to learn make a really good bushwalker. Almost anyone can follow a well worn track for a day or two in good weather, but it is another thing to find the way for a couple of weeks where there are few tracks and no contour maps. This sort of walking, which is the most enjoyable to the enthusiast, requires skill and organisation, and no matter how many trips the walker has been on he will learn something on every long trip.
I think you'll appreciate the Free Night on 16th March. That Easter trip will require the last minute check up and, besides, there'll be the Reunion to talk over.
On 30th March the entertainment will be of Al quality. Bob Savage will be showing us his films “The Upper Murray by Canoe”. Having seen same, I sure can recommend them.
- Edna Stretton, Social Secretary.
Apparently the importance of S.B.W. monthly meetings has been overlooked by the framers of blackout regulations, because, though the rest of the city was brightly illuminated, the dim recesses of the Ingersoll Hall were lit only by the baleful flicker of hurricane lamps.
The meeting was opened by the welcoming of a new member, Bill Sorrell, who enjoys the distinction of being the first member to be welcomed without being seen. We can only hope he is able to establish his identity at a later date.
In correspondence replies were received to some of the many letters sent out by the Secretary at the behest of the previous meeting. The Minister for Lands replied, re Era, that he would have inquiries made into the issues raised, while the Director of the Tourist Bureau replied to our letter about the flower girl at Kosciusko, to say that the views of our members would receive consideration when future publicity material was being produced.
An invitation was received from the Rover Ramblers Club to attend a walk with them on April 28-29 - Glenbrook-Red Hand Cave-St.Helena-Lost World Trig-Springwood: Leader Eric Dehn. The Cromach Club accepted our invitation to join the official walk on May 12-13. Mr. A.E. Bennett kindly gave his permission for us to camp at Euroka for the reunion.
At this stage a voice from the body of the hall informed the President that some new members had arrived. “Who are they? Where are they? I can't see them” said the President. At his invitation, however, two dark shapes appeared between the meeting and the hurricane lamps on the Presidential table, and we were informed that Sadie King and Pat Walshaw were being welcomed into the Club.
Next business, after the reading of the Federation report, was to find someone to represent us in place of Allen Strom, who would be unable to attend the next Federation meeting. The substitute delegate, Kath Brown, was going away on a walk. The matter was adjusted by appointing Jean Golding substitute substitute delegate.
Allen Strom then read a report of a deputation organised by the Forestry Advisory Council to the Minister for Conservation re the Mark Morton Primitive Area. This deputation was the outcome of S.B.W. representations to the F.A.C. The meeting congratulated Allen Strom for representing us so ably on the deputation and expressed its appreciation of the good results obtained. Allen Strom's full report to the meeting is reproduced below.
Allan Hardie enquired whether we had any further information as to whether there was any chance of Yeola being resumed and was informed that the Minister for Lands had not yet replied to our letter.
There followed talk on the swimming carnival - how to get there and the Reunion - whether there would be trains. Then Kevin Ardill mentioned the fancy dress ball in June. He observed that fancy dress balls were usually attended by about six people in fancy dress while the rest “stood round and gawked”. He advised early plans. In reply to Dorman he explained that at a hamper dance everyone brought their own food and the more you liked to eat the more you brought.
There being “no further general business” the meeting closed at 8.50 p.m.
Organised by: The Forestry Advisory Council.
Reported by: Allen Strom, S.B.W. Representative.
Date: 7th February, 1951.
Mr. Ross Thomas (President of the Forestry Advisory Council - Leader).
Miss. Casell (of the F.A.C. and “The Land” Newspaper)
Mrs. Wyatt (of the F.A.C. and the Tree Lovers' League)
Mr. J.A. Palmer (of the F.A.C., R.A.O.U. and R.Z.S.)
The Secretary and two additional members of the F.A.C.
Mr. Paine (a member of the Trust for the Mark Morton Primitive Area)
Mr. Allen A. Strom (representing the S.B.W., the N.S.W. Federation of Bushwalking Clubs and the W.L.P.S.A.)
Mr. Thomas introduced the deputation asking that the Morton Primitive Area be dedicated if it were not already so and intimated that we would like to know the Departmental attitude on the matter.
Mr. Paine briefly outlined the history of the Area and pointed out that Mark Morton's idea was an area of 60,000 acres (45,000 acres were finally reserved) with only two roads and inviolate from ALL commercialisation. He stressed that repeated official enquiries by Departmental Officers had so far resulted in keeping the area untouched, but the Trust was most desirous of the reserve being free from any threat at any time.
Mr. Strom said that the growing populations of Sydney and Wollongong areas would find the Morton Primitive Area vital to their cultural interests in the very near future. Nowhere, so near at hand, was there such an area in such a natural condition, thus offering recreational possibilities for bushwalkers, naturalists, nature lovers and others who found truth in the statement that “natural beauty is the highest common denominator of spiritual living”. Not only did he oppose timber-getting but he also thought that commercialisation on the tourist angle could mean loss of the primitive character of the Area. He thought that if the area was to be kept for our children's children, then those incapable of walking must forfeit the right to enter the area. This he thought was the understood attitude of the walking fraternity.
As Secretary of the Wild Life Preservation Society of Australia, he knew that with timber-getters, it would be the best and most beautiful timber that would go. Interference with a plant habitat meant tampering with an ecological balance, no matter how skilled the sylviculture practised. Thus plants and animals and the very primitiveness of the primitive area would disappear. In this cycle the decaying timbers were extremely important even though it meant loss of building materials. To ask for the retention of this small area as against the vast lands already exploited or being exploited, was not extravagent. We had only to look to our local National Park or the Big Scrub Areas of the Far North Coast to know what potential we had lost by practising sylviculture. Finally, the Morton Primitive Area represents the only living, untouched stand of flora (and its associated fauna) of the Triassic sandstone and Coal Measure Series. It should be retained for the edification of future generations.
The bodies that Mr. Strom represented asked that the Morton Primitive Area remain inviolate for all tine.
Mr. Palmer briefly summarised the parks of the Commonwealth and concluded that this would be the largest primitive area in Australia. In N.S.W. we were ridiculously low in National Park space and we could not afford to treat the matter of timber exploitation lightly.
Mr. Moore indicated that timber removal from the headwaters of the stream wou1d bring siltation to the Shoalhaven and further damage to the flats along its banks. Bushfires had never been a really serious problem in the Area because of the great growth of non-sclerephylls. Timber getting would soon introduce rapid growth of fire hazard materials; wherever there was timber milling there were fires.
Miss Cassell spoke of her own experiences in the Area with the richness of the flora and fauna, expressed the seriousness of loss, particularly as quite a number of native species of plants and animals were believed already to be extinct.
Mr. Weir, Minister for Conservation, then replied to the deputation:
He said that the Forestry Commission had made certain recommendations which had suggested partly exploitation and partly retention of primitive conditions. This proposal was now before a joint committee of the Departments of Land and Conservation. As the matter was thus sub judice he felt that he should undertake at this stage only to say that he will not proceed in any direction without consulting the deputation if and when a recommendation comes from the Joint Committee, In the meantime, no removal of timber will take place in the Area. He had been impressed by the arguments and sincerity of the members of the deputation and was fully alive to the apprehension that we had towards the security of the Area. He did not think that dedication was what we desired as this could be revoked by Ministerial Minute. If we heard nothing further during the coming twelve months, he would suggest we again approach his Department.
The Leader of the Deputation thanked the Minister for his undertaking.
By Kevin Ardill.
Our Editor is very much agin unoriginal articles. Rightly so but this issue may well be the last chance to slip something past him, so here goes. With a few alterations here and there I still have to admit pinching the article from the Whakahaere Club's Annual Mag., who previously took a loan of it from a copy of the “British Columbia Mountaineer”. It doesn't say who they got it from but it must have been original some time. So I dips me lid to the Unknown Author and present:
At long last the weekend of the Swimming Carnival was fine. Some 40 members turned up. There were plenty of entrants in all events, in fact nearly everybody capable of swimming the sixty or so yards over Lake Eckersley entered in the events and kept on competing until exhausted. In the open events Vera Matasin was outstanding and Phyllis Ratcliffe, who thought she was just coming for a walk, gained places in three events. Claude Haynes retained the freestyle title while Brian Harvey staged a comeback by winning the men's breaststroke event. A new event was a relay race between three teams of five each. Excitement and barracking mounted as the last swimmers staged almost a “photo finish”. The Mandelberg Cup was evenly handicapped and the winner was in doubt almost to the end of the race.
After lunch some of the old hands regaled those present with tales of tight corners they had been in. This year's successful week-end has definitely put the Swimming Carnival on the map, and with a little more advance publicity next year's should be even better.
Results were as follows:
Ladies' Freestyle. 1. Vera Matasin, 2. Phyllis Ratcliffe, 3. Rita Edwards.
Men's Freestyle. 1. Claude Haynes, 2. Roy Bruggy, 3. Kevin Ardill.
Women's Breaststroke. 1. Vera Matasin, 2. Phyllis Ratcliffe, 3. Rita Edwards.
Men's Breaststroke. 1. Brian Harvey, 2. Claude Haynes, 3. Bob Chapman.
Mandelberg Cup. 1. Pat Walshaw, Kevin Ardill, 2. Yvonne Renwick, Tom Moppett, 3. Phyllis Ratcliffe, Roy Bruggy.
Underwater Swim. 1. Geoff Boucher, 2. Tom Moppett, 3. Frank Young.
Bill Henley Cup. Highest point score - Vera Matasin.
Last year there was considerable discussion as to the rules for the cooking of dampers in the Annual Re-union contest. These are the rules which Miriam Steenbhom proposes to apply in this year's contest :-
For a day walk to be supplemented by two fair walkers who went adrift from another Club's walk is really nothing to report. The two lasses were welcome company and when they left the S.B.W. party to catch an early train the crowd was sorry to see them go. What everyone would like to know is whether Cupid bunged a shaft into the air at Burning Palms, because one S.B.W. youth went A.W.L. at the same time and is now reported to be purchasing two theatre tickets where one sufficed before.
Bob Chapman brought down a bag of genuine Kingaroy peanuts for the Peanut Scramble at the Swimming Carnival. Rather tactfully we state that Bob was one peanut short after the event concluded. As these peanuts are required for the Annual Reunion in March the return of the missing nut would be appreciated.
The President's prolonged disappearance beneath the surface of Lake Eakersley moved our bard to pen the following :-
Swimming Carnival - Underwater Event,
First to start - The President.
Startled crowd upon the bank,
Began to think - The blighter sank.
All at once there rose a cheer
And 'though election time is near,
We thank the Lord for having sent,
Us back again - Our President.
Congratulations to Ray and Jean Kirkby on the birth of their son, to Herb and Jo Morris, who now have a baby daughter, and to Phil and Betty Hall, who also have a daughter.
To the next Editor we offer:
The use of one worn typewriter. Its fault is that it skids, hence the gaps in the letterpress.
One dull article which, nevertheless, is the only one ever submitted complete with both map to show where the party went and photographs to show what the country was like.
The same support as we have always given the magazine in writing and reporting.
I notice that Mr. Paul Barnes' letter regarding Kosciusko State Park published in the magazine for February charges the January editorial with “more than a fair share of carping criticism”. It is unfortunate, surely, that Mr. Barnes commits the same crime himself when, elsewhere, he says “It would be no exaggeration to say that travelling time (to Kosciusko) could, and should, be halved - at least if a decent service were provided by our Government Railways”.
As the motor transport from Cooma to Kosciusko is operated by a private concern, it would appear that the major blame is attributable to the Railway Department, which should halve its running times. Now, the existing night train covers the 267 miles from Sydney to Cooma in 10 1/2 hours, half of which is 5 1/4 hours: the day train takes 8 hours (4 hours when halved). This would represent speeds over the journey of 50 and 68 m.p.h. respectively. My, that's travelling!
Perhaps some day an engineering genius will devise a means of rebuilding the Southern Line without gradients of 1-in-50 and curves of 14 chains radius. Then, at a cost of some tens of millions of pounds the track could be reconstructed, and a train carrying a dozen or so people could run non-stop to Cooma at 50 m.p.h.
Personally, until all these things come to pass, I shall be reasonably content to travel in bumbling safety at fares which are amongst the lowest in the world.
- Jim Brown.”
(It is probable that the volume of traffic on the Cooma line would not justify improvements in steam train time-tables. We would like to point out, however, that many parts of N.S.W. as far from Sydney as Kosciusko can be reached by plane in two hours. Ed.)
Apropos your “Round every stockman's hut there remain grim reminders of former fires in the shape of hillsides covered with dead trees” you may like to know of the following two conversations, if you haven't had similar ones:
Having occasion once to camp a few miles beyond the Kosciusko Hotel, I had a chin for three hours or so with an old identity who reckoned he knew (and I think he did) “every inch of the country hereabouts”. He reckons that every bushfire of the district has been started deliberately - not by the kind of people one might be inclined to think of, but by the “backbone men” of our country, the men who want the ground for their sheep and cattle. Next year, speaking of this to some of Dalgety's identities on the verandah of the hotel after tea (I was stranded there, Dalgety, four days, awaiting arrival of my other boots I wired home for to replace the ones which suddenly just fell to pieces!) they all maintained that that was the accepted practice everywhere, and certainly done down the years by all the big holdings in that district. When I mentioned the possibilities of tremendous damage or loss of life, they all seemed to concur with the statement of one of them “Why should they worry about that?”
- Jon Hodgson.”
The 1951 Bushwalkers Ball is to be held at the University Union on the 4th May.
The organising committee of this ball asks the support of all S.B.W. members in forming parties among their fellow members, and personal friends to attend this Ball, and help make it one of the events of the year.
Tickets are 10/6d. each and bookings may be made through your Club's representative, Edna Stretton. Dancing will last until 1 a.m. and floor shows are being arranged by the committee. An excellent supper is included in the charge.
The Ball will be cabaret style and parties booking early will obtain the best table positions, so we advise you to book early.
The University Union is in Parramatta Road, three tram stops past City Road (Grace Bros.).
The price of tickets for the Ball has been kept as low as possible so as to ensure a good roll-up and members unable to attend may feel disposed to make a donation to help offset expenses.
- R. Green, 82 Mill Street, Carlton. Organiser.
Brian G. Harvey.
The Trust advised that it had a properly organised Fire Brigade stationed at Audley and would be very pleased with any help the bushwalkers could give. On the outbreak of fire the Superintendant of the N.P.T. could be contacted by telephone at LB2230, or LB2240, or by messenger.
Paddy Pallin's home telephone number has been altered to JM1610. Walkers who are likely to get lost should acquaint next-of-kin with the changeover.
The Minister for Lands and the Ski Club Secretary will make a personal inspection of hut to consider its preservation.
No reply has been received from the Minister for Lands regarding his views on resumption of private land at Yeola.
Has arranged a press and radio “Don't Get Lost” campaign for the Easter holidays. The Section is to obtain full particulars of the recent fatality an Rodriguez Pass when a walker was drowned.
Is trying to acquire Mr. E.D. Hordern's land for addition to Blue Gum Forest, utilising the Arnold Reay Bequest. A Mines Department officer will inspect the spoil-dumping in Bungonia Gorge, at the behest of Federation. The Bureau is also considering the official naming of “Boorong” at Lacy's Gap.
Advises that the owner of Joadja land is resentful of walkers, who are asked not to walk through or camp on his property. A chain on Carlon's Head is reported to be dangerous, and walkers are warned pending official inspection. Part of the Victoria Falls Track is in bad and extremely dangerous condition due to landslides. All walkers, experienced or otherwise, are warned against entering the Grose by this route.
Has resigned whilst another committee-man is going interstate. Two vacancies require to be filled.
Will be held at the University Union Hall (three tram stops past Grace Bros.) an 4th May - tickets 10/6d.
Will take place at Euroka Clearing on 18/19 May. Alternate transport by launch from Emu Plains to Euroka Creek is being arranged. Attendance is limited to affiliated club members and their friends.
The Federation was represented on the recent deputation to the Minister for Lands, which urged the tightening up of the provisions covering this area to prevent timber-cutting.
On 7/8/9th April will take steps to combat bank erosion.
Was supported by Federation in a move to establish a Board of Control to administer Park Trusts where the administration is too heavy for local government bodies.
“Fortunately a great section of humanity has sufficient enlightenment to be interested and stimulated by its fellow creatures sharing the terrestrial surface. Not all are scientific; probably by far the greater number of nature lovers are activated by aesthetic and moral motives. They cherish the wild-placed of the earth, finding in them solace for the turmoil of modern industry and urbanity, physical health and recreation from hiking, camping and climbing, and stimulation from their unravished beauty. They see in the bushfire not only a menace to life and property but the destroyer of beauty, the forerunner of erosion and the merciless executioner of wild-life. They consider the forests not merely for their economic value but as monuments to time; they regard the careless, untidy despoiler with anger and contempt. Finally they do not assess immediate gains from any enterprise without equating them with the future potential of the land.”
- John Bechervaise, F,R.G.S. “Walkabout” 1/6/50.
“If soil erosion is to be held within reasonable bounds it is necessary to recognise first and foremost that the problem is man made, and simply measures the degree of abuse to which the country has been subjected. When man has cleared the way for the forces of destruction the amount of damage that occurs in any given time is, of course, determined by climatic, soil and physiographic considerations. To imagine that the problem will be solved simply by superimposing some mechanical device upon existing practices is wishful thinking, and any scheme for control which is not founded upon a re-adjustment of agricultural and pastoral practice towards reasonable land use is certain to fail.”
R.I. Herriott, Soil Conservator, Department of Agriculture, S.A.
Paddy had hoped to be able to announce a new permanent shop address in the city, but alas: “the best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley”.
Still, we have some good news. We have moved into a temporary factory at Alexandria and after considerable kidding and cajoling to truck drivers, mechanics, electricians, land landlord, building landlord, County Council and the inevitable Government Department, the wheels have begun to turn.
Pending permanent premises for the shop Paddy can be found in his den on the First Floor, Y.M.C.A. Building, and will be there until the end of March. If he is not in John or Jan will be pleased to oblige.
Aluminiumware. Big range of billies, frying pans and canteen sets.
Plastic and Flexible Plastic. Full stock.
Msps and Guides. Full stock.
Rucksacks. Practically complete range of rucksacks with and without frames.
Dried Vegetables. Potato 1/6d. a pound. Carrot 1/6d. a pound. Spinach 1/6d, lb., Onion 6d. per ounce. Mixed Veg. (including onion) 2/- lb.
Tents and Groundsheets. Green Japara tents in stock. Proofed japara and rubber groundsheet capes available.
Ilford Films, including 35 mm. cassettes available.
Jackets. Ordered before 9th March will be ready for Easter.
Paddy Pallin. Camp Gear for Walkers.
Room D, 1st Floor, Y.M.C.A. Building, 325 Pitt Street, Sydney. 'Phone: JM1610 (Home).