A monthly Bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St., Sydney. Box No.4476, G.P.O. Sydney.
|Co-Editors||Dot Butler, Boundary Road, Wahroonga (JW 2205), Geoff Wagg, 19 Mary Street, Blacktown.|
|Business Manager||Alex Colley (XA1255).|
|Production||Alan Wilson (FY2047).|
|Sales and Subs||Jess Martin.|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey.|
|At the Annual General Meeting||3|
|List of Officers Elected||6|
|The Boys in Tasmania - Part II||Geoff Wagg||7|
|Federation Notes - March Meeting||Allen A. Strom||10|
|Fauna Protection Panel Report||Allen A. Strom||11|
|Reunion, 1954||Ross Laird||14|
|Scenic Motor Tours||3|
|Leica Photo Service||5|
|Sanitarium Health Food Shop||7|
As co-Editors of the Magazine, of 1 year and 21 years' standing respectively, we bring you that most desirable feature - a blending of the modern and the ancient.
To those who say the Club is degenerating and offer as witness thereof a decline in membership, cancellation of day walks due to lack of support, dearth of exploratory trips, marathon events a more than minus quantity, we bring our long range vision into operation and reply that in our twenty odd years' experience we have seen the same things happen more than once before, and still the Club goes on.
Then switching over to our short range vision we point out that the Club has as jolly fine a set of young folk as ever in the past. Their bumps of adventure are very well developed. When, for example, have we had so many sampling the delights of New Zealand scenery? (and, the same thing working, in reverse: New Zealanders, now members of the S.B.W., ditto-ing the ditto of our ditto.) Close at hand the less pecunious young members have been doing trips to Tasmania and dreaming of the days when, with more time and money at their disposal, they will emulate the older members taking trips abroad who regale us with stories of Lord Howe Island, the British Isles, Europe, (Ah, the Swiss Alps!), Canada, India (I can see the Himalayas on the skyline!)
The last couple of Re-unions hold their own with any of the past for originality and entertainment, and in a way take the place of our old-time Annual Concert, and on walks, be they strenuous or otherwise, all seem to enjoy themselves. Make no mistake, the Club is very much alive! Our oldest member struck the right note at the last Re-union. As he watched the mass of new generation S.B.W's crawling round in napkins and nothing he remarked, “We almost needn't bother with a Public Relations Officer to boost membership. There are your now members if you'll only wait a few years.”
Let me tell you now about a Bear of very little brain,
If you think I'm meaning Pooh Bear, let me hasten to explain -
It's not the sort of bear that you would find behind iron bars,
Though it visits one variety when travelling in cars.
An amiable, friendly Bear, bonnaceous you night say,
It climbs up trees and swings from limbs by night, but not by day.
It feeds on Terry's Meal, I'm told, you can hear it from afar,
What's that you say, did I say Bear? So sorry, I meant Barr!
“Cheddar Chopper” is extremely interested in hearing from all and sundry all those little incidents and gossip items that occur on every trip which, unless recorded, go unheeded by all members who were not fortunate enough to be present.
Also it would be appreciated if all hatches, matches, and no dispatches we hope, could be addressed to:
“Cheddar Chopper”, Box 4476, G.P.O., Sydney.
If you are going places, contact Scenic Motor Tours, Railway Steps, Katoomba.
Daily tours by parlor coach to the world famous Jenolan Caves and all Blue Mountain sights.
Transport by coaches for parties of bushwalkers to Kanangra Walls, Ginkin or other suitable points by arrangement.
For all information, write to P.O. Box 60, Katoomba. Telephone 60, Katoomba.
At the appointed hour of 7.45 p.m., the President gave a dong on his gong, the sixty-odd people then present in a miscellany of chairs (mostly more comfortable than the Ingersoll Hall variety) came to the alert, and we were on the way. Presentation of the Swimming Carnival awards was held over until the Maestro, Bill Henley, arrived: we went on with minutes, and after outlining the main features, the President moved the adoption of the Annual Report: duly carried, and Bill now appeared to present the awards, commenting regretfully on the small attendance, but favourably on the high point scores of Kevin Ardill and Gwen Frost.
The financial statement was taken as read, and its adoption formally moved by the Treasurer. In answer to a question concerning the “£10 sundry debtors”, the President outlined our battle royal with the Coronet restaurant over a deposit which wasn't returned. After this the report was adopted, and Dormie moved that we put our profit into the two reserve funds. Various people opposed this, and the motion was lost (as the monthly statement showed we had only £13 left by the end of February perhaps it was as well!)
Followed the customary suspension of standing orders, so that elections could proceed and the annual sub. could be considered. The now familiar voting procedure was again agreed upon, with Messrs. Harvey, Roots, Frost and Noble as scrutineers and Edna Stretton co-opted as writer. (A much smaller blackboard for Edna this year.)
It was first moved that the sub. remain unaltered: Dormie moved an amendment - a reduction - amendment lost: Jean Harvey proposed that the marrieds should not receive a concession rate - another amendment lost, and the original motion carried. On to correspondence, including our marching orders for Friday evening from the landlord. Now wait for it… correspondence was received, and there was no business arising! That came later.
Flying on through the business, we rushed through Treasurer's monthly statement, on past Federation Report: ratified a by-law (which raised a query because it wasn't on the agenda) - the one which requires notice be given the leader of a day walk, and behold, we had come to General Business. And here the meeting began to bog down.
Colin Putt called attention to our dwindling membership, and the need for stimulating walking activity. Part of the cure was to be discreet advertising, not neon signs “Join S.B.W. and see life”, but suitable publicity in equally suitable periodicals, replies to any enquirers who wrote Federation, endeavours to kill the old saw that S.B.W. doesn't want newcomers. He moved that an officer be appointed by committee to organise this activity. Dormie moved an amendment that he be styled “Publicity Officer” but the suggestion lapsed, and Paddy Pallin offered “Public Relations Officer” which was later adopted.
Quite a deal of comment unkind to Ingersoll Hall had been made during this discussion, and it was argued we'd never attract the right type of new member in such a dingy environment: Ray Kirkby questioned whether the decline was limited to S.B.W. or more widely spread, and the President observed that it appeared to be a universal malaise with walking clubs, though he had no precise figures to establish this.
Bill Cosgrove queried what the purpose of building up strength of the Club might be: wouldn't a club of even 150 be sufficient? Colin Putt answered we wanted to build up active walking strength, and Kevin Ardill indicated we had nothing like 150 active walkers. Paddy Pallin observed that walking clubs generally did appear to be having a lean time, yet the sale of walking gear remained quite high. In S.B.W. we had a fine crowd of young walkers, but not enough of them, and some good publicity may help enormously. In some quarters the non-competitive nature of bush walking was attracting interest, but our meeting place was definitely against us. He was applauded.
The President intervened to slay the old belief that S.B.W. had closed its membership at one stage - at the request of Federation we had withdrawn our name from the list of Clubs in order that smaller clubs might thrive. Rene Browne said the Club started through publicity, and Ray Kirkby commented that we must take into account the probable rental of another club room - could it be afforded? Perhaps increased membership would make it easier to find the finance for a better room. Tom Moppett pointed out that there Was no suggestion of lowering our standard of admission, and though the Club had in the past opposed use of publicity for gaining members, we had to meet the fact that our walking strength was very low. Dick Hoffman urged us to take more interest in the welfare of prospectives, so that the loss during that time might be reduced, and Bill Gillam considered that a stepping-up of social activity would lend added attractions to the Club. The gag was applied, and the amended motion carried.
About this stage, when Dot Butler had been elected Editor, she suggested that Geoff Wagg, the other nominee, be appointed Co-Editor and after a little doubt who should sit on Committee, the matter was conveniently stood over until the committee-members-without-portfolio were appointed.
Dormie moved that the feature of a monthly Social Report be re-introduced, the Social Secretary agreed with him, and it was so. Dormie, flushed with triumph, went on to refer to the loss of £10 over the Coronet affair, and urged that we obtain a “legal persona” and be registered as a corporate body, essentially not for profit. Allen Strom and Tom Moppett referred to the fact that this may be a costly business, considering how infrequently we had been “stung” in the past, and the motion, amended to “be referred to committee to investigate”, was carried.
Alex Colley suggested that Committee prepare “specifications” of requirements for a new Club Room so that all members could join in the search for a suitable place, these “specifications” to be given to the next meeting, and the motion was carried. Then Alex followed up with a project that the Era Trust Fund (well, £440 of it) be invested in the current Commonwealth Loan, subject to the approval of Club Solicitor and Trustees. A number of brisk comments followed, some referring to our previous experience with bonds which were saleable only at a loss, and some maintaining that the higher interest rate on the present loan minimised this risk. The motion was finally carried.
After it had been fixed that the items on the remaining part of the social programme should be put back two days to the preceding Wednesday, it was plain that the sands were running out… and then horror! we discovered there was an ex-member in the ranks. And worse, he had actually lodged one or two votes. The matter was hashed back and forth for some time, when Paddy resolved it all by moving that we ratify all the business and elections of the evening. We did this with a profound sigh of relief, but Dormie still had the last word, moving that any future by-laws due for ratification be announced in the notice of meeting. We were all so relieved that we'd got around the previous impasse that no one contested this, and we carried it, and the President was able to call “Let Us Re-tine!” at 10.20 p.m.
You press the button, we'll do the rest!
Finegrain Developing. Sparkling Prints. Perfect Enlargements. Your Rollfilms or Leica films deserve the best service.
Leica Photo Service.
31 Macquarie Place, Sydney, N.S.W.
|Vice Presidents||Malcolm McGregor, Allen Strom.|
|Assistant Secretary||Grace Aird.|
|Membership Secretary||Kevin Ardill.|
|Walks Secretary||Brian Anderson.|
|Social Secretary||Ross Laird.|
|Conservation Secretary||Tom Moppett.|
|Literary Editor||Dot Butler.|
|Committee Members||Beryl Christiansen, Yvonne Renwick, Geoff Wagg, Paul Barnes.|
|Federation Delegates||Paul Barnes, Allen Strom, Jeanne Golding, Tom Kenny-Royal.|
|Substitute Federation Delegates||Brian Harvey, Paddy Pallin.|
|Parks & Playgrounds Delegate||Hilda Stoddart.|
|Trustees||Wal Roots, Maurice Berry, Joe Turner.|
|Hon. Solicitor||Colin Broad.|
|Magazine Business Manager||Alex Colley.|
Keep that four day Easter pack light with tasty, concentrated, energy-producing vegetarian foods.
New season dried apricots now available - extra choice.
Figs. Dates. Almond kernels. Nutolene and nutmeat - ready to serve protein.
The Sanitarium Health Food Shop.
13 Hunter Street, Sydney.
By Geoff Wagg.
(Descending off cloud-capped Mount Ossa, the party - Ross, Frank, David and Geoff - proceeds south towards the untold horrors of Ducane Hut.)
That afternoon, as we trekked through the Mersey Gorge towards Du Cane Hut, we came our nearest to being homesick. The track had dried so that it was even a little dusty, and the sun shone from a blue sky into the golden “eggs and bacon” along the way. Occasionally we came to a shady gum that littered its curly bark across the track and in the distance was the low, scrub-covered cliff of the Du Cane Range. For half a mile we were in Megalong Valley, then back to the button grass.
Du Cane Hut, we were pleased to find, was almost deserted, so we all proceeded to have our first all-over wash for too many days. I should have said, all except David. Poor old Snow had just got a decent lather up when the lookout, perched on a high stump, watching the track, yelled “Here come the Indians!!” and half a dozen Y.H.A. girls tramped into the clearing, wondering what all the commotion was.
That was New Year's Eve, and the Y.H.A. girls celebrated by chasing some possibly imaginary kangaroos around the hut during the wee small hours. A little way back I mentioned our rather dismal, negroid dampers. Well, those days of dampers were past and now our masterpieces were removed from the embers a glorious golden brown and displayed to the admiring throng to an accompaniment of “Ohs!” and “Ahs!” Also, it was in this hut that Mr. Laird finally and forever stripped the Club of any shreds of good character that may have been left after previous invasions (details will be forwarded if one guinea and a self-addressed envelope are sent to the author).
On New Year's Day the heavens once more wept. We moved as quickly as we could along the track, calling in at the brand new Windy Ridge hut to have a cuppa with some of our track friends. The rain, most inconsiderately, didn't stop at lunch time so we, of necessity, had lunch in the rain. Ross and I buttoned our groundsheets together and threw them over a fallen tree to make a sort of shelter under which we huddled while Frank and David squatted, buttering slices of damper underneath their groundsheets and then trying to transfer them to the mouth before they became sodden. Our shelter wasn't too dry, either, because every time one of us moved an icy stream would descend through the gap in the middle and invariably find its way down somebody's neck.
As we had all been having foot trouble, we were hoping for a ride down from Narcissus Hut in the launch, but a note in the log book soon dashed our hopes. The launch, it stated, had been out of order for some days, and several parties whom it was supposed to meet had given up waiting and walked. And so did we.
think those eleven miles on a muddy track through gloomy beech forest were the most miserable of the whole trip. But we got our reward. The Ranger's store at Cynthia Bay had chocolates and sweet biscuits and other simple luxuries that our souls had yearned for. Also Mr. J. Pluvius called a truce and sent away his sullen legions, so that the sun could shine through on our last evening in the Reserve. We pitched our tents, washed and cleaned up generally, then cooked an enormous tea and luxuriated in the comfortable feeling of full tummies.
We loafed in bed until nine o'clock next morning, made a leisurely breakfast, then walked the three miles out to Derwent Bridge, where we picked up our second lot of supplies, and caught the bus along to the Frenchman's Cap turn-off. We collected our tucker all right, and posted a few kodachromes, then David, whose drinking vessel had been left behind in Windy Ridge hut, decided to try and talk the barman in the tin shanty hotel into selling him a glass. The barman was so affected by Snow's inspired pleading that he broke down and gave him a cracked “lady's waist” so that on all future occasions David demurely sipped his cocoa from his refined container that measured about six to one bushwalker's mug.
Imagine our horror when we climbed aboard our bus to find a passenger list entirely composed of boy scouts! For a while it seamed that a serious incident was going to develop between flora-loving Frank and a scout master who had been gaily adorning his hat with wayside wildflowers. Also a little something seemed to be developing between Snow and a cub mistress, so it was probably just as well that Frenchman's Cap turn-off came when it did and we got out.
Frenchman's Cap turn-off: a signpost an a glaring white road, surrounded by bare hills and button grass. I've never felt so deserted in all my life. We weren't really looking forward to Frenchman's, although that exciting blue silhouette standing definitely alone had captured our imaginations. But the tales we'd heard: mud to the waist, seething with leeches, and on top of that our troublesome feet. To contradict all this, our stay in the Frenchman's area was marked by fine weather and good camp sites, so we enjoyed it in spite of sore tootsies.
We camped comfortably on the Loddon River that night, although the mosquitoes worried Snow quite a bit, and dined sumptuously off treacle dumplings. Then we made the amazing discovery that we'd allowed for one meal too few on our food list. Oh well, eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we diet.
Next day was fine and we pushed off across the Loddon Plains, so much more interesting than those in the Reserve because of the wild flowers and the little hillocks dotted amongst them. We passed Lake Vera, then up that mud slippery-slide misnamed track that leads to the top of Barron Pass. There we lunched, then followed on through the obstacle course of innumerable ups and downs towards Lake Tahune. Finally, when it seemed that it would never come, we saw Tahune nestling under the sheer wall of Frenchman's Cap, and beside it the hut, resplendent in its new galvanised iron roof, and proclaimed by a carved sign to be the “Bowl Inn”, Prop. J. Pluvius.
We had no sooner hit the hut when everybody shed his boots. Apparently the long rough track had affected us all the same way. We decided there and then to cancel the final part of our walk in the Lake Pedder area and do some touring instead. Everyone agreed that would be Bon Oh.
During the night we had some light rain and we began to have misgivings about our view from the top next morning. However, all our fears were groundless, as the dawn arrived quite fine except for a little mist around the summit. We started our climb and had reached the saddle when we saw about a dozen of the Melbourne Walkers whom we had met at odd times in the Reserve swarm into the clearing around the Hut. We were glad we weren't staying the night, as little Tahune would have been rather crowded.
Climbing further we reached the top about the sane time as the mist did and, while we hung about waiting for it to clear, made inroads into a box of chocolates that David and Frank had generously carried up to celebrate the occasion. In an hour or so the vapour cleared sufficiently for a bit of photography, after which we trouped happily back to the hut for lunch. We pushed on the same afternoon around and up what one of the Melbourne lads described as the only vertical swamp in existence, then down the pass to Lake Vera, where we had a very pleasant camp for the night.
When we were just ready to move on next morning Snow suddenly remembered that he'd left his camera about half way up the pass, so back he went while we went on slowly with his pack. He caught us up about an hour and a half later, complete with camera - said he would have taken his time if he'd known how nicely we were getting on carrying his pack!
I'm afraid we made heavy weather of the button grass plains that morning, but aching feet were making Ross and me glad that this was the last day we'd be wearing boots for a while anyway. We lunched on the Loddon, then started that long, hot climb over the ridge to the Franklin River. It was with a sense of real satisfaction that we scrambled down on to that shingle bed by the fast, clean Franklin, and scrubbed clothes and boots and bodies of the mud and sweat of accumulated days. Behind us were the days of fatigue and meagre rations: tomorrow we would be catching a bus to the life of ease and the lap of luxury.
“You know”, said Frank, “a tourist's life won't be bad.”
“No”, said Snow, “just on the turn.”
But we were. all looking forward to it!
By Allen A. Strom.
New South Wales Ranger Patrol Conference on the banning of certain species of wildflowers from sale, was attended by Stan Cottier as Federation Representative. A submission is being prepared for presentation to the Minister and a deputation to the Curator of the Botanical Gardens will be requested.
Blue Gum Forest: News that the Hordern block (adjacent to the Forest) might now be purchased has been received. A small sum of money in the Reay Legacy is available for this purpose.
The Shire of gosford has appointed a Town and Country Planner who is prepared to consider plans for reservations within the Shire. Any suggestions that members may have should be forwarded to Allen A. Strom at WB2528.
Annual Camp will be held at Euroka on April 3/4th. Messrs. Pallin and Stewart will be in charge of the campfire and all Club Presidents will be asked to take part in a Campfire Ceremony.
Kariong Peninsula Proposal: The National Trust will endeavour to arrange a deputation to the Minister for Lands. The next organised visit to the area will be on April 9/10/11th. Details from A. Strom at WB2528.
Barren Grounds: The Chief Guardian of Fauna is regarding with favor the proposal to have The Barren Grounds dedicated as a Faunal Reserve. The next organised visit is on May 14/15/16th.
Still urgently required…..
1. An Organiser for the 1954 Bushwalker Ball.
2. Additional Patrols and Work Parties at Bouddi Natural Park.
By Allen A. Strom.
School Children: By films and talks given by Chairman of the Panel. Schools at Grafton, Yanco, Leeton, Griffith and Narrandera visited. Local Faunal Societies have also assisted with publicity work amongst children.
An Essay Competition for School Children received a disappointing response.
A Poster Competition in co-operation with the Annual Humane Poster Competition was also organised.
Films: The following films have been shown to thousands by Schools, Scouts, Girl Guides, Parents and Citizans' Associations, Progress Associations, Film Clubs, etc. :
The Koala, Australia's Platypus, Keith the Wombat, Spiny Anteater, Kangaroos, Protect Your Birds, Our Bush Fire Menace, Old Man Possum, Bushland Fantasy, Fine Feathers.
The Panel has recently added “Birds and Billabongs” to its collection. Copies of most of the films have also been obtained by the Department of Education, Film Council and the Australian Museum.
Radio: “Nature Speaks” on 2GB gives publicity to the need for fauna conservation and to the work of the Panel. ABC News Session and country commercial stations also assisted. Talks have been given over 2BL, 2GF (Grafton), and the Macquarie Newsreel.
Press: A good deal of publicity has been given by the press, particularly in the country.
Talks: The Chairman addressed students at the Balmain Teachers' College; Rotary Clubs at Leeton, Griffith, Narrandera, Cronulla and Gosford; members of the Youth Hostel Association; W.E.A. (Newcastle); and public meetings at Leeton, Griffith and Chatswood.
The Koala Reserve in Kuring-gai Chase was opened to the Public on Saturday, September 14th. It has proved very popular but has yet to show that it can be an important link in Koala Regeneration.
Considerable opposition by residents of the Palm Beach Peninsula has followed all attempts to remove Koalas from this rapidly developing area. Panel encourages the residents to plant food trees wherever possible.
Tuckarimba (near Lismore) has a colony of Koalas in which school children and local residents are taking a keen interest. The planting of food trees is taking place.
Surveys of the State were conducted to ascertain distribution and causes for decline in numbers.
In the case of the Plain Turkey, decrease has been enormous in the last fifty years due to closer settlement, indiscriminate shooting and depredations of the foxes. Only the far North West of the State report seeing flocks of these birds.
Brush Turkey are still fairly common in the coastal areas between the Queensland Border and the Hawkesbury River. There does not appear to be any immediate danger of its extinction. Decline is due to clearing of scrub, timber-getting, shooting and the depradations of foxes, goannas, dingoes and tiger cats.
A Platypus Survey has been commenced to determine distribution and whether there are any factors operating against the well-being of the animal.
Progress in the formation of these Societies has been slow. North Shore and Leeton Societies are two new bodies formed during the year.
An Open Season for Kangaroos has been in operation in the Western Division for nine months. Pastoral Inspectors and Police generally are of the opinion that the Open Season has not had any apparent effect on the numbers of 'roos in the Division. Most animals appear to have been taken in the North and North Western Sections. There is an absence of Professional Shooters and ammunition. It is now believed that the southern portion should not be granted an extension of the season if a request is made.
Open Seasons were refused for Ducks, Quail and Snipe but limited Open Seasons have been granted for certain Ducks in the Irrigation Areas (during the Rice Season) and Black Duck in the New England region for the months of March, April and May (Pasture Crops).
Water Rats appear to have increased considerably in numbers since total protection was granted and reports of extensive damage to fishermen's nets were received. A licensing system (on application) was granted for the taking of very limited numbers.
An application for the removal of protection from pelicans and an Open Season for Emu in the Balranald District were declined.
The Department of Lands refused concurrence in the dedication of the Macquarie Marshes as a Faunal Reserve. This was most disappointing and the Chief Secretary has taken the matter up with the Minister for Lands, who has agreed to give further consideration to the proposal.
During the year seven areas were proclaimed sanctuaries under the Act, bringing the total of proclaimed sanctuaries to 370.
The necessary funds for the appointment of a Field Officer have been provided in this Year's Budget and an advertisement for applicants is expected at any time.
The Panel is opposing a move by the Forestry Commission to dedicate as a State Forest an area of 665 acres on the Bulga-Comboyne Range near Ellenborough.
Four Rain Forest Pigeons - Purple-crowned, Red-crowned, Woompoo and White-headed have been declared Rare Fauna.
Will be held in Melbourne in February, 1954. The Panel will ask for discussion on these topics…
The Panel has decided to support the Ornithologists request for retention of that section of the Lagoon most suitable for the protection of bird life.
(Comprising the coastal strip between Nowra and Bateman's Bay).
This has been declared an absolute sanctuary by prohibiting the destruction of all faUna except under license.
By Ross Laird.
“Any more General Business?”
“Well, our Meeting's closed, this noisy throng,
With all our business disposed,
But we'll meet again e'er long, right or wrong,
Just as soon as some more has arosed.”
These lines from the Opera so aptly fit in with the way our Annual General Meeting closed on Friday, 12th March, in the Y.W.C.A. Hall. The bone was rested back on its stand for the last time of the year and the cry of “Let Us Re-une!” was taken up by one and all.
For the third time Woods Creek was chosen as the desired site for our Reunion. Permission to camp was duly granted by the Colo Shire Council, and it was in very high spirits that the crowd began arriving at that little neck of the woods on Saturday. Some came early, some late, but the main crowd was assembled by 4.30 p.m.
Sounds of industry could be heard as far off as the car park as Bill Henley once more supervised and worked in the production of one of his super camp-fires. Whi1st some swam in the Grose others contented themselves in renewing old acquaintances which, instead of growing colder, seem to grow warmer from one year to the next.
It wasn't long before all the tasks were finished, and as the afternoon gradually turned to dusk members began the more serious business of cooking.
Beryl Christiansen and Ken Meadows had been busy during the latter half of the afternoon rounding up items, songs, sketches, etc. and as we were to see later on they had certainly done a good job. About this time Frank Barr could apparently restrain himself no longer and was found up to his usual monkey tricks swinging from a branch some 30 feet above the ground, and threatening to jump, much to the Admiral's dismay.
[ Cartoon “Let Us Re-une! ]
At approximately 7.45 the camp-fire was officially lit by Bill Henley and Grace Aird, representing the oldest and newest members respectively. Gil. Webb as M.C. started the entertainment by asking Paddy Pallin to conduct a few rounds. Some general singing, followed by a sketch on child psychology by Ken Meadows, Eddie Stretton, Neil Schaffer and Roy Bruggy, and then the Opera. This year's Opera was a satire on our Monthly General Meetings, very cleverly put into verse and lyrics using well-known tunes. Thanks for this effort are due to Malcolm McGregor, Jim Brown, Geoff Wagg and Don Matthews for their writing and production, with Eddie Stretton, Colin Putt, Elsie Bruggy, Grace Aird, Sheila Binns, Brian Harvey, Ross Laird, Yvonne Renwick, Brian Anderson, June Byatt, Tina Koetsier making up the rest of the cast. After the Opera there followed in quick succession sketches, songs, etc., till about 10.30 when it was time to initiate all the new members of the previous year.
The initiation ceremony this year was in the form of a “Pick-a-Box” quizz session, broadcast and televised straight from Hades. Each contestant - or initiate - was brought before Quizz-Master McGregor and Assistant Ardill, and after successfully answering three questions put to them (it was impossible to be unsuccessful), they had their choice of picking a box or taking castor oil. In all but one case (Jane Putt) the contestants picked the boxes despite the screams and yells from the audience advising them to take the oil. Any waverer who might have been temporarily influenced by the audience soon changed in favour of the boxes after taking one sniff at the bottle, thereby convincing himself that it was the real thing and no mistake. The boxes contained many surprises - in fact it wasn't till noon on Sunday that most of the effects wore or were taken off. It was a sight for sore eyes to see Grace in her trousers, Don in his baby's bonnet, and Geoff and Peter trying to swim in their Paris model frocks, whilst Frank tried vainly to bang his kerosene tin although it was full of water. (Penalty for not banging on the stroke of every hour was a dose of castor oil.) At this stage I must add that all the contestants were great sports in carrying out their duty the way they did.
The camp-fire continued for awhile, when the investiture of the new President took place. In this ever impressive ceremony Jim Brown was handed the official badges of his new office by several of the previous Club Presidents. Malcolm McGregor then officially welcomed Jim to his position by handing him the bone of office, and so the new President was invested. A few more songs and items and supper was served. It was something past eleven when the official gathering broke up. A half hour or so of chatting and most of the crowd settled down again for more singing. This lasted well into the night, the main portion of its crowd leaving about 2.30 a.m., but some of the die hards were still going at 4 o'clock.
Sunday was a perfect day. After a leisurely breakfast most of the crowd slowly weaved down to the river, and there they stayed swimming, talking and laughing and generally enjoying themselves till lunch time. During the morning the official count was taken and the verdict was a total of 137, including 28 children. This is 6 under last year's record although it is a new record for the attendance of children.
It was with mixed feelings that we made our way, later that afternoon, up the hill, past the car park and on to the bus stop. And so another Re-union has gone - but fear not, for there shall be many more.
“Yes”, said Brian Anderson, back from Tasmania, “we had bad weather going to Frenchman's Cap. We had a bit of time to spare so we stayed 2 1/2 days at the hut at Lake Tahune. It was all right, though, there were two Rucksack girls there….”
Our congratulations to the Melbourne Walking and Touring Club on two anniversaries - the Club's 60th, the Annual Magazine's 25th.
“Look after your feet - half a square inch of sticking plaster may save miles of misery.” (From “Walk” - Annual Magazine of Melbourne Bushwalkers).
We've heard of a non-walker who went to the film “Conquest of Everest” and emerged exhausted - from panting in unison with the dubbed sound of straining breath of the climbers.
A review of Thistle Harris' “Australian Plants” (in the garden) published in the Melbourne Bushwalkers' magazine describes it as “a book for hitched hikers”.
The finding of the United Kingdom Commission on National Parks (1949) was that one of the greatest threats of alienation of existing and potential park-lands was that to be met from various Governmental Departments, viz., Armed Services, Water and Electricity supply, etc.
(Acknowledgment to N.Z. Alpine Bulletin).
When, with my little daughter Blanche, I climbed the Alps last summer
I saw a dreadful avalanche about to overcome her;
And as it swept her down the slope I vaguely wondered whether
I should be wise to cut the rope that held us twain together …….
I must confess I'm glad I did,
But still I miss the child - poor kid.
- Ruthless Rhymes.
Whither bound for Easter?
As usual Paddy has arranged for a full moon over the weekend. Despite numerous appeals to Jupiter Pluvius I have been unable to get a guarantee of fine weather, but here's hoping. After all “There's no bad weather, only different sorts of good weather, when a cove's out in the bush”.
Paddy and his staff are ready to supply any last minute requirements, but the earlier in the week you call the quicker you get served.
Paddy Pallin. Lightweight Camp Gear.
201 Castlereagh St., Sydney. M2678.