THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St., Sydney.
No.218 JANUARY, 1952 Price 6d.
|Editor||Jim Brown, 103 Gipps St. Drummoyne (JW1462)|
|Sales & Subs||Gladys Roberts|
|Production & Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Editorial - Looking Forward||1|
|At the December General Meeting||2|
|Scenic Motor Tours (Advertisement)||3|
|Leica Photo Service (Advertisement)||5|
|Build Your Gunyah At Era||5|
|Queensland Holiday by Keith Renwick||6|
|Of Tassie, by John Bookluck|
|The Sanitarium Health Food Shop (Advertisement)||11|
|CORRECTIONS TO TIMES OF TRAINS|
|January Walks Programe||11|
|Bushfire Sub-Committee Progress Report||12|
|December Federation Notes by Allen A. Strom||16|
|News From the“Paddymade” Front||16|
From the beginnings of bushwalking in the Sydney area walkers have accepted the Warragamba catchment as their particular playground. Even though the Warragamba Dam project was mooted some fifteen or sixteen years ago, progress has been so retarded that we have been spared our walking country on the lower Cox and Wollondilly longer than expected. The completion of the dam is now planned for 1955/6, and this will certainly put paid to much of our most attractive walking ground. At full storage level the Cox will be banked up to a point slightly above the junction of the Kowmung:the Wollondilly as far as Upper Burragorang: and the Nattai probably to Little River. We may say farewell to any walks down Kedumba Creek and through Burragorang, and we can write off Cedar Creek and Black Dog - and perhaps White Dog.
It seems unlikely that the Water Board will seek to place further restrictions on our movements over those imposed by the flooding, for with towns like Katoomba, Lithgow, Blackheath, Moss Vale, Mittagong, Bowral and Goulburn wholly or partly on the catchment, the additional pollution Which small walking parties would cause would be insignificant.
The flooding will create a great lost peninsula between the Kowmung and Wollondilly. Unless an alternative road into Yerranderie is built, there will be another ghost town, and spread about it one of the finest walking areas which could be imagined, extending from Mt. Cookem in the north, over Black Hollow and Green Wattle Creeks, the Tonalli River, through Yerranderie to Tomat Creek, and Millnigang and Murruin and the big bend of the Wollondilly. Of course the upper Cox country will still be available to us, and it will still be possible to travel from Kanangra to Katoomba, but it would be a great pity if we persisted in ignoring the wonderful possibilities of the Wollondilly above Burnt Flat.
In the past we have remarked the scant attention given to the middle portion of the Wollondilly, and the ranges on its west bank. The usual comment is that this part of the river is difficult of access and involves costly fares. However, when the lower Cox and Wollondilly are no longer ours for the walking, we will probably find it will cost no more to take train to Mittagong and car for 15 to 25 miles along the Wombeyan Caves road than it will to leave the train at Blackheath and journey out along the Jenolan road. Some of our young members, who hope to continue walking actively for years may do worse than “cultivate” the west bank of the Wollondilly It has much to offer, and the day may very well came when they will be accepted as the “experts” on the most favoured walking country within 100 miles of Sydney.
Our numbers would hate been in order of 50 when the President declared the meeting open, and summoned the new members for official welcome. June Byatt and Frank Ashdown made their respective bows, and the names of Joan Cordell and Ron Basman were called in vain (it should be noted that Ron appeared a little while later conveniently sandwiched between minutes and correspondence).
We were thoroughly content with the minutes, and the correspondence went unremarked also. For the benefit of those who didn't hear it, it contained a letter which suggests Frank Leyden is en route to Australia, and may be back with us before this is published: a letter from our Conservation Secretary to “Open Road” the N.R.M.A. journal, with some hints to motorists on caution with fire during the summer: and invitations from the Christchurch Tramping Club and Launceston Walking Club to their respective Christmas functions. We presume we will be forgiven if not represented at the dance and barbecue respectively. There was also Gwen Frost's resignation from Membership Secretary, the announcing that the election will take place at the January meeting.
In the Treasurer's absence Gil Webb read the monthly financial statement and remarked in a pleased aside “I didn't know we had so much!” The Federation Report was read and received, and the President announced that, in future, the bulletin distributed by Federation each month would be posted on the Notice Board.
On the social side, Molly Gallard requested each member attending the Fun and Games night to bring a potato - “but clean it up”. Kevin Ardill enquired if there would be an orchestra and dancing. The President said just the piano and dancing. Wal Roots suggested we might bring a few cicadas to pep up the noise of the solo piano - and someone, mindful of the injunction to “bring your own grub”, enquired if they would serve instead of the grub.
Already we were at General Business, with the President reminding us of the current bush fire threat, and the regulation requiring that cooking fires must be contained in a properly constructed fire place or an “approved container” endorsed by the local council. Following this, Tom Moppett presented the latest interim report from the Clubs Bush Fires sub-committee (see summary in this issue). This was adopted by the meeting.
Tom further reported on the suggestion that the Club may consider employing the Era funds in purchase of some land at Werong (Hell Hole) Beach, hear Otford, The previous owner had died in July and the property, total area about 200 acres, passes to his two daughters, one living in Sydney and one at Newcastle. He (Tom) had interviewed the Sydney sister, who said affairs still had to be settled, but the land would probably be sold, and we would be informed When this decision was reached. As a personal minion Tom added that he believed the land would go to the highest bidder, and we may expect no sympathetic treatment.
Roy Bruggy now spoke of the previous weekend on 4/Hare's Creek, when his party had found some fires still burning: the malefactors, a party of scouts, had gone some twenty minutes, and it took his party about half an hour to douse the embers and to quench a small bushfire which had broken out nearby, so they could not cite the identity of the troop. He moved we write the scouting headquarters reporting the incident.
Bob Chapman said indignantly he thought we had written enough letters to the scouting movement, and was developing his argument when requested to speak to the motion. Len Scotland said the Scouts welcomed advice of any misconduct, but it was desirable to give an identification of the troop. George Spicer conveniently overlooked the nature protection policy of the Club to say that scouts were first trained to light fires and cut down trees, and he didn't think it should be discouraged. It was fundamental. The President remarked that it was certainly not fundamental for walkers, and Tom Moppett, commenting that Mr. Spicer had not improved, suggested that he might convey the information to the scouting movement, thus avoiding a letter and enabling him to turn it into propaganda for bush fire control in that movement. Roy Bruggy consented, and after some hedging, his seconder concurred, and debate resumed an the mended motion. Bill Cosgrove reverted to the need for recognition of the troop concerned. We would be considered as “crying wolf” if we persisted in reporting incidents of this kind without identification. Neil Schafer agreed that it sometimes appeared to be developing into a Scouts vs. Walkers battle, but we couldn't just sit down and allow such things to occur. If we couldn't identify, we must just report what we could. To this Kath Brown added that we were not gunning for any particular person - if it could be turned to advantage as propaganda, so much the better. We carried the altered motion.
Bill Henley had a word in our ears. At the 25th Birthday Party, he said, he was the only man with an axe: he was the only man to use an axe. If we wanted camp fires, it was up to us to provide them and not leave it to a few. It was time some dropped the mantle of Demosthenes (at meetings) and assumed the mantle of Hercules (at camps). He was applauded, and assured there would be axes and axemen for the barbecue.
Frank Ashdown, in his maiden speech, regretted that the photograph sent out with the November magazine had been crushed in the post. If things hadn't gone too far, he hoped something could be done to prevent a repetition with the other photo, failing that, he didn't want it. Brian Harvey explained that magazines had been rolled for that number, but evidently the Post Office had squashed a few. It maybe possible to get around the difficulty, but paper had been bought, and production of the other photo commenced. We should have to see what could be done.
After some comment on the now passed barbecue and arrangements for it, Bill Cosgrove asked could some assurance be given that there would be a day walk each Sunday on future programmes. The lack of day walks reflected on members, Walks Secretary and Committee. The President replied that Committee and the Walks Secretary could not compel people to lead day walks if there were insufficient volunteers, then there were insufficient walks.
George Spicer thought it a good thing that day walks were on the way out - they were only “hikes” - fit perhaps for new members and women (Derisive applause.) Kevin Ardill invited him to attend a day hike in April to prove it was not exactly a “hike”.
With the President's reminder that we must choose our 1953 Re-Union site at the January meeting, we drew a curtain an the meeting at 9.30 p.m.
On the weekend of January 17/18. Bring your diggeridoo and bark drum. Leave your woomera, boomerang and spears at home. Bring your own (wichetty) grub. This is the weekend of the First Club Corroboree. Under the personal auspices of the Tribal Chief Malcolm, with a talented array of elders, medicine men, lubras and what-have-you. (Bring your approved fire container.)
By Keith Renwick
I had thought about going on a trip to North Queensland many times in the last year or so, but it Was only during August and September of last year that anything materialised out of the dreams.
So many stories had I heard of the beautiful Atherton Tableland, and tropic isles of the Barrier Reef that I determined to see and photograph these for myself. Final arrangements for the trip started in July when Ken Meadows and Alan Wilson showed interest in the scheme. We had three weeks all told, so the first week was set aside for Lamington and the following two for Atherton.
The trip officially started at 12.30 p.m. on Friday, 15th August, when the bus left the airline offices in town for Mascot Airport. This first part of the trip was disappointing from the point of view of scenery because, although there wasn't much cloud over Sydney at the time, it was cloudy all the rest of the way to Brisbane, this being the time when there were bad floods on the North Coast.
From Brisbane we caught the 5.30 p.m. Greyhound bus to Binna Burra and arrived there about 9 p.m. after a hectic journey up - hectic because the driver did 60 to 70 m.p.h. along the flat road and, on the way up to the house, several times had to edge round with a few inches between the car and the cliff at one corner, and a foot between the back wheel and the valley below.
We camped out here, as we did at most places during the trip, so saving a considerable sum on accommodation and leaving a lot more for fares.
Because of the overcast conditions of the first day we chose to do the Coomera Gorge tourist track, a round trip of about 12 miles which, owing to the recent recurrent rains, reminded one of the song “Following rippling creeks, Wading, jumping, slithering, stumbling ..” It rained and drizzled most of the day and to prove that he wasn't to be beaten, Ken spent the best part of an hour and a half for lunch in lighting a fire and warming a billy of water which was duly used to put the fire out. Had our lunch of biscuits, etc., standing on one of the picnic tables with our groundsheets on. The idea behind this as selective security so that only the best quality leeches survived the climb up the legs of the table and along the top where they were clearly visible approaching. The leeches here, unless they were all young ones, weren't very big at all, mostly only quarter to half inch long, not like the Tassie giants.
The following day was a little more exciting and we very nearly spent the night out. We started by going down from the front of the Guest House an a timber track to the foot of Egg Rock, were we picked up a long disused track which crossed Nixon's Creek and followed up the other side to the saddle between Ship's Stern and Ship's Stem Range.
For those who haven't been there, Binna Burra could possibly be described as being at the end of a long finger-like range running approximately north-south. On the west side is Coomera Creek and gorge, and an the east is Nixon's Creek, both being about 3,000 feet below the house. On the other side of Nixon's Creek is the Ship's Stern Range, running nearly parallel with the ridge Binna Burra is on.
After lunch, we sidled around the foot of the cliffs on the range, right up the valley, looking for a track which runs directly along the valley. We walked down ridges to the creek, and back up to the cliffs, then up the cliffs a bit, but without any success. We were still looking late in the afternoon, and, after discussing the possibility of spending the night out, we decided the only way was to go back. This wasn't as easy as it might sound, as it had taken us the best part of a day to get this far, and we weren't sure of picking up the track across the river, which was the only way through some very thick patches of lantana. We were lucky, and made it about 7.30 p.m. that night, and very glad we were when picked up by Mr. Matasin (Vera's father) and party in their car, while still a mile or two from the Guest House.
The day following this was Monday, the day we had set aside to go from Binna Burra to O'Reilly's via the Border Track. We were ready to leave by 10 a.m. when three girls from Melbourne who were staying at Binna Burra decided to come too, Their gear consisted of Army packs with large, heavy sleeping bags variously tied, strapped and hitched on to the outside, with no definite shape generally, and weighing some 35 to 40 lbs. This, by the way, was mostly clothing. Just like women! It was nearly 11 a.m. by the time we left and, with much adjusting of loads, we made the Border Track in good time.
They had never walked with their packs before, and how we managed it I don't know, but we got through in good time to have a clean-up for tea. The three girls left the next day, and were getting out by diverse means of bus, car and walking to the New England Highway, intending to proceed to Sydney by hitching. Our next couple of days, spent at O'Reilly's, didn't bring forth any long walks, and we contented ourselves wandering around the shorter trips and waiting for the sun to come through patches of cloud and occasional mist to take some photographs.
On Thursday we departed by bus for Brisbane, where we stayed at my aunt's place for part of the night - until the unearthly hour of 4 a.m. Our plane left the airport at 6 a.m., taking off through a most beautiful sunrise. The plane, a D03, was to be our home for the next 9 hours, and a comfortable home it was too. When we left Brisbane we were all dressed up in winter clothes, and there was deep frost on the ground, but as we flew north the hotter it got, and the hotter it got till the temperature must have been in the vicinity of 90.
We stopped at several towns on the trip up and, until we came to Townsville, which is a very big airport. The thing that struck us most - apart from the heat - was the way the size of the reception rooms at the various airports diminished until we cane to Ayr, which had no more than a glorified tram shed.
While in Cairns our accommodation was kindly provided by the Young Australia League, of which Alan is a member. This League is an organisation Which arranges very cheap tours for masses of school children (ages from 10 to 17 years) and while we were there we had the pleasure of sleeping with 105 of them. Still, they were all asleep by 9.30 p.m., so we came off rather well in the long run.
Our first operation here was a one-day tour, taking in a cruise on the Russel and Mulgrave Rivers. This tour I could recommend to anyone as being full of interest and well worth doing. The next two days were amongst the most pleasant on the trip: they were spent at Green Island. Ah, Green Island, enchanted tropical isle with wafting fragrance and sea breezes, or so the pamphlets say. However, with the weather we had it couldn't have been better. Green Island, by the way, is a National Park, and permission has to be obtained from the Queensland Lands Department to camp there, but it seems fairly easy to obtain, We spent the time wandering all over the place (you can walk around the island in 15 minutes, but there are many cross tracks), taking photos, swimming, absorbing sun in a reclining position, and generally seeing the sights.
On Monday who should arrive but the Y.A.L., yes, the whole 105 of them. And, several times, while wandering the island in nothing more than a pair of shorts, we were accosted by kids with all manner of crawly creatures wanting to know what they were, what they “et” and so on. Several times they even wanted to know if we were natives of the Island.
Sunday afternoon was very profitably spent reef-wading in our boots, and we saw all manner of wriggling creatures, intermingled with a wide variety of coral, clams and starfish. We chased a 2-ft. “blind” shark to get his photo (without any luck) and teased the anemones with stones, and were reluctantly chased ashore by the tide.
The journey back was a bit on the rough side and, while a few of the kids were sick enough not to worry what happened next, the rest spent all their time racing around having the time of their lives. Added to all this excitement, a whale was sighted on the starboard side, Whales, believe it or not, are fairly common up here, and the occupant of Green Island told us he has nearly run into them several times with his launch. There is a whale jaw-bone on the beach.
The day following this was Tuesday, and we were scheduled for a visit to a sugar mill. We unfortunately missed the early train because we were all suffering from that grim disease Sleepus Inus, and didn't rise till about 8 a.m. This proved to be a terrible blow to the pocket, because we were left with some time to spare in Cairns shopping centre. While passing Kodak's store our eyes fell upon some flash bulbs, so of course we must get some for our sugar mill visit.
Catching the rail motor, we spent our time working cut how we were going to set our precious bulbs, and when we arrived at the station duly set to and made our flash gun as follows: one only clean plate served as reflector, on the back of which a cycle lamp was “selotape” and tied with one contact facing inwards. The string passing around the front of the plate held the bulb in, while two handkerchiefs were pushed in on top to hold the bulb down. A piece of copper wire from the kit tin was wrapped around the thread on the bulb and brought around in a great loop to the back where, to set it off, it was touched on the other contact of the battery. This became the duty of the poor apprentice who showed us over the mill. Synchronisation was a little crude, though, being just One! Two! Three!“ yelled at the top of his voice over the din of the machines.
(In the February issue, Keith carries his holiday story on to Kuranda, the Atherton Tableland, Mount Bartle Frere - and back to the big smoke.)
Plans for your summer holidays are probably on the way. Do you know where you are going? Let's say Tasmania. Tasmania with its truly wonderful Reserve and its huts - its warm and welcome huts to relax in by the warmth of an open hearth fire. That else can one desire after a pleasant day's walk? - to leave memories that you will live a thousand times over … There the pull of gravity is gentle on your heavy pack and your friends almost clash to offer you chocolate for smoko. Do you not call this the ultimate in bushwalking? Such are the joys of Tassie's Reserve.
But now let me deal a little on the realistic side, as joy can be what you make it. I shall always remember Tassie for its MUD and LEECHES.
On MUD, Then I was a naughty little boy I puddled it. Again, in Tassie, I puddled it, this sticky, gooey, succulent, Tassie mud. Where in Australia is there such mud as that of the Frenchman track? What gives it that friendly feeling? Its love for you is true love. It sticks to you, it draws you in, it clings to you, it walks with you and, what's more, it sleeps with you. Why did I fight it? Tassie girls don't. For us Mainlanders, two lovely Tassie nymphs showed us their appreciation by running along the mud and falling gracefully to slide blithely on their abdomens.
It was at least three months after our walk when a lassie I happened to be with in Tassie pointed to her tootsies with a proud look in her eyes. “Look at my nails! That's Frenchman's mud.” I, no longer being ashamed, showed her mine.
On LEECHES. Although Tasmanian leeches are rather small, they are well fed by bushwalkers, and should develop to enormous proportions in fifty years time. Leeches is an easy conversational subject everyone can talk on. A typical discussion would go thus:
Did you find the leeches at Pelion? See many?”
“Oh, I caught 15 in 15 minutes - quite a record, don't you think ?”
Does de-leeching become more important than smoko? It is a debatable point whether one should include de-leeching in the smoko break, or should it be a separate break. (Committee could cook this question up for next General Meeting.)
Bushwalkers can be considered very brave and daring people. They climb mountains, swim across flooded rivers, think nothing of sleeping in a wet sleeping bag - but, alas, they are cowards when it comes to a matter of leeches. Whole parties have been known to be hemmed in a hut for days rather than dare forth through leeches. What are these instruments of torment? That has the bushwalker done to be inflicted with them? Why is their constitution thus? My curiosity was aroused, and the old grey cells kept asking :
1. Why do they enjoy bushwalkers
2. Do they prefer blondes or brunettes?
3. That is their consumption in gallons per minute?
4. How long would it take to dehydrate the average bushwalker?
5. That is the maximum number one can comfortably endure while walking?
Can some kind walker relieve my mind? Well despite leeches and mud, there is magic in the Reserve and a visit will leave you impressed for ever.
(Answers to Questions 2,3,4, and 5 appear to be Matters for precise scientific research. With regard to Question 1, Mr. Bookluck has probably overlooked the fact that leeches are not disposed to discriminate. It is improbable that they are selective in regard to bushwalkers: it simply happens that bushwalkers are often found in their normal habitat. Their affection for humanity is greater than that of dogs, but their attentions are usually found to be rather cloying and embarrassing.)
THE SUREST WAY to get the Magazine is to become a subscriber. Several months lately have seen the magazine sold out within a fortnight: at other times (May, July and October, for instance) we are left with unsold copies. With present prices we just cant afford. to have stacks of unsold covers and paper, and so must keep our production down to about 170 copies. The more subscribers we have, the easier it becomes to compute our production “target” and you are sure of your copy. Have a word with the Business Manager.
CONGRATULATIONS TO Audrey (Billy) and Bob Bright - a daughter, born November 20th.
“SNOW GUM” Malcolm McGregor.
The second prize winning photograph displayed at the annual exhibition in June last. Negative from Malcolm McGregor. Reproduction of enlargements Ken Meadows.
Please note the following CORRECTIONS TO TIMES OF TRAINS shown in the Walks Programme for JANUARY:
JAN. 17/18 - 2.12 p.m. Lilyvale. Probably 12.12 p.m. Other trains are 1.5, 2.0 and 5.20. No service at 2.12 p.m.
JAN, 10/Il - 1.5 p.m. Waterfall. This train does not stop Waterfall. Catch 12.32 or 1.24 electric trains change at Sutherland to rail motor. These connect with bus to Garie.
JAN. 11 - 8.40 a.m. Waterfall should read 8.44 electric. Change JAN. 17/18 - 8.40 a.m. Cronulla at Sutherland for Waterfall.
APRIL 18/19 - Walks Leader shown as Jim Hooper - should read Jim Brown.
21ST NOVEMBER, 1952. (Adopted at December General Meeting.)
Following adoption by the Club General Meeting of the Bushfire Sub,Committee's Report, dated 19th June, 1952, letters were written as instructed.
These suggested, in brief -
(1) District Fire Officers should be appointed, under the Bush Fire Committee, to stimulate local authority into action, help police the Act, assist Councils and Fire Captains, etc.
(2) That paid forces stand by for fire spotting and fighting.
(3) The Services be trained and equipped to play a full part in fire spotting and fighting, and in particular to protect National Parks.
The letters to the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition covered Point 3 only.
The Prime Minister replied that the Services do plan and train for fire fighting and provide naximum assistance where possible. Protection of National Parks is responsibility of State Authorities. Leader of Federal Opposition replied that the matter would be referred to the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party.
Letters to Premier, Leader of Opposition, Mr. Kingamill and Mr. Messer covered all three points.
Mr. Messer, Chairman of the Bushfire Committee, asked your Hon. Conservation Secretary to call and discuss the matter.
Interview with Mr Messer Chairman, Bushfire Committee -
Government and Bushfire Committee are firmly wedded to Voluntary System and Local Councils, for present at any rate, and are determined to make them work if at all possible. It is the task of Local Councils to organise bushfire brigades, look after equipment, police the Act (e.g. by seeing that breaks are prepared and rubbish burnt), issue permits for burning off during fire danger periods, etc. etc.
Members of the Bushfire Committee and Forestry Officers are visiting Councils, calling and attending conferences, and doing all in their power to stimulate Councils into action, and are achieving a considerable amount of success. They look to Patrol Officers, otherwise Hon. Rangers, very considerably to help police the Act. (News items of various conferences, broadcast debates, newspaper articles and editorials, debates in Parliament, etc., show that the subject is in fact receiving very considerable attention.)
Arrangements for fire spotting and fire fighting forces to stand by on blow-up days and be paid for it considered rather impractical, “Just have to wait until people can get there from their work.” The Services do give very considerable assistance and a body of soldiers is available quite quickly in the Metropolitan area through the Police Rescue Intelligence Centre. They can't spare the time for spotting and standing by. They carry little equipment. Navy cooperates with Forestry Commission along the coast. Question of Army and R.A.A.F. having much greater supply of equipment has been considered but decided better to have stores of spare equipment in all areas for use of army or any other volunteers. Good equipment, including mobile tanks with power pumps, is now being supplied in considerable quantities, and as a result man power in large quantities is rather less important than it was. Spotting - everyone, no matter what they are doing, should be spotters, and should a fire be seen, immediately inform the police.
No satisfactory solution to the problem of National Parks, other than places like the Koala Sanctuary in Kuring-gai Chase, was suggested. The use of parachute troops in eucalypt areas too dangerous - in U.S.A. small use is made of them in fire areas. The fires mostly on ground and a frequently used weapon is ditch digging. This reported by officer who visited U.S.A. in 1951. Bombs - nothing in it. (Although in Bush Fire Bulletin Vol.1 No.1 September, 1952 - Premier asked that C.S.I.R.O, investigate, amongst other items, use of chemical bombs as fire extinguishants.)
Education, of individuals, Councils, everyone, of prime importance Mr. Messer thinks Bushwalkers could do valuable work
In educating public by talking generally and by National Park patrols. Should become Hon. Rangers under Bushfire Act (Chief Secretary's Department).
Put up notices in National Park where crowds gather.
Maintain lookout with gear to get to and put out small fires. Learn correct technique, e.g. beaters not for beating.
Ask for supply of each issue of Bush Fire Bulletin say 25, not large number printed. (Federation do this).
Following are main points made in a speech by Mr. Pelly, M,L,A, for Wollondilly, in a speech in the Assembly on 14th October, 1952
Actual fighting of fires must be left in the hands of volunteer brigades under their captains.
Essential factors for success are
(1) Thorough precautions before danger period begins, including organisation of lookouts,
(2) Adequate modern equipment, and
(3) Single control in hands of one local authority in each area. Bushfire Sub-Committee findings and recommendations.
It appears that quite considerable stimulation of Councils is taking place, by the efforts of the Bushfire Committee even without paid “District Fire Officers”, and by public interest generally. There is no possibility of paid officers being appointed or of standby forces being organised and paid this summer. While we know the Services do a lot, we think they could be organised to do a lot more. There is little to be gained by putting forward further our views, at present, but any suitable opportunity should be taken, particularly by watching for flaws during the coming fire season.
Meanwhile, doing field work ourselves will give much greater authority to our views and make members of the Bushfire Committee and others readier to listen and might well be of considerable practical value.
We should -
Note carefully the new regulation concerning camp and cooking fires (only in properly constructed fire places, etc.)
Support fully the National Park Patrols,
Talk about the bushfire danger when and wherever possible,
Obtain practical first hand experience in fire fighting.
We had hoped to be able to report more fully on the doings at the barbecue held at Wal Roots' home on December 12th. As one who didn't come, didn't feed and has only second-hand accounts to go on, we can yet say that it was successful in the extreme. The lamb was well cooked, and delivered hot to the plates, and the affair paid its way. Handclaps to the organisers and cooks. We hope to give a fuller story next month when our reporter's efforts are not bailed up by Christmas mails and the like.
KEEPING FINGERS CROSSED, and hoping we won't have to report too many Burnt-Out Areas this summer. Phil Mason reports, for the record, a burnt patch on the ridge up to Carlon's Head. Let's know if you note any burnt places which may affect walkers.
By Allen A. Strom.
The President welcomed Mr. H.A. Holands who would be representing the Brisbane Bushwalkers for about three months. The President invited Clubs to let Mr. Rolands have details of their activities during that period.
BUSHWALKER FILM: Castlereagh Films have asked the Federation whether they would be interested in making a film showing the proper precautions for safe walking. It was suggested that the film be in both 35 and 16 size. The Secretary is to enquire what the cost to the Federation would be.
FIRE PATROL: The President reported that the patrols were working well -they were being received well by the Trust authorities and the general public, and that the propaganda appeared to be going over.
MAPPING SECTION: Two Camps have been held at Era with attendances of 27 and 35. The work of the section will be in abeyance for about four weeks during the holiday period.
MORTON PRIMITIVE AREA: The Secretary was asked to write to the Minister for Conservation requesting information on the results of the deputation conducted by The Forestry Advisory Council an the subject of Morton Primitive Area in February 1951.
FEDERATION INSIGNIA: Two designs were submitted. A special committee consisting of the President, Secretary and Mr. Joe Fletcher will confer with Miss Jeanne Golding concerning a central motif in a design submitted by her.
BUNDEENA ROUTE TO MARLEY: Reported that the route through the Yarmouth swamps was being cut off by building and fencing operations. The Secretary will make enquiries at the Shire Halls Sutherland, regarding the deposited plan for the village of Bundeena.
A LITTLE SECLUSION. Remember when a member brought his fiancee to Euroka Clearing for a “quiet weekend” to find an Instructional Walk with 40-odd people already in residence? It was echoed lately when a member decided to leave the Richmond train at Parramatta, and travel onward to Sydney with his lassie per electric train. The others with diabolic grins, bade them farewell, then all alighted and joined the same electric train. No, it wasn't just playing difficult .. the Richmond train terminated at Parramatta.
CONGRATULATIONS TO: Val and Arthur Gilroy on the successful installation of their septic tank. A solemn (but not too solemn) gathering of walkers and friends witnessed its official. opening on the evening of Saturday, December 6th. (Do you 'open' a septic tank?) An honour roll, on suitable stationery, headed by the President, was installed, scroll-fashion, in the bathroom.
NEWS FROM THE “PADDYMADE” FRONT.
NEW MAPS. Paddy is pleased to report a new aritary map, Brindabella ,East, which takes in Mt. Franklin and part of the A.C.T. Recent arrivals are Michelago West and Kosciusko. The first named two maps are for some reason only t'halfli maps being only half of the usual standard sheet. Just why nobody seems to know. They still cost two shillings so maybe it is an indirect method of raising the price of maps. We can't - begrudge the cost, however, because the usual map is still the same price as in 1920.