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THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown Street, Sydney. Box No, 4476 2 G.P.O., Sydney. Phone: JW 1462.
272 AUGUST 1957 Price 9d
|Editor||Frank Rigby, 70 Beach Road, Darling Point. MU 4411|
|Sales & Subs||Jess Martin|
|Business Manager||Jack Gentle|
|Typed By||Elsie Bruggy|
|At our July Meeting - Alex Colley||3|
|Adagio Ma Non Troppo - Taro||5|
|Your Walking Guide||7|
|Seven Weeks in N.Z. - Part V1 - Dot Butler||8|
|White Ant Borings||11|
|Hatswells Taxi & Tourist Service (Advt.)||12|
|“We are Lost Little Sheep” – 'Sheep Dip'||13|
|Bon Voyage to Wee McGregor||15|
|The Kowmung Manuscript - Jim Hooper||16|
|June Walks Report - Brian Anderson||20|
|The Sanitarium Health Food Shop'(Advt)||21|
|Federation Report - July, 1957 - Ron Knightley||22|
|Leica Photo Service (Advt.)||23|
Federation - To Be or Not To Be
At our last General Meeting we heard quite a discussion on the merits and demerits of the N.S.W. Federation of Bushwalking Clubs - mostly, it would appear, on the latter. In the opinion of several speakers, including one of our delegates, the Federation has become moribund; monthly meetings have been poorly attended by delegates; a general lack of interest in Federation activities has prevailed among the various member Clubs and very little positive work is being achieved in any direction. In short, according to these members, the Federation has very nearly ceased to fulfil those purposes for which it was originally designed.
We may reasonably assume these assertions by responsible people in our Club to be correct. Indeed, there is, unfortunately, an abundance of evidence to support their views. Therefore, if the present state of affairs continues, sooner or later we may expect to have a motion before our meeting dealing with our withdrawal from the Federation, Members would do well to give this very important issue some really earnest consideration before casting their vote one way or the other. There is no doubt that an S.B.W. withdrawal would seriously weaken the Federation still further and may even sound its death-knell. Thus a vote for withdrawal could well be a vote for the winding-up of Federation, not only in principle but also in practice.
Members will have to ask themselves a logical series of basic questions which could be billed roughly as follows:
1. Is the concept of Federation worthwhile?
2. If so, what can be done to improve its present organisation in order to effectively achieve its objects?
3. If not, and suppose that Federation falls, what will be the effect on:
(a) The bushwalking movement as a whole?
(b) Our own Club in particular.
Most people will agree that the 'objects and activities of Federation, in principle, are worthy ones indeed and that they should be perpetuated. The question is, should they be left in the hands of a body such as Federation or passed over to the individual Clubs. The pros and cons of such an argument are endless - there are probably many good reasons both for and against. The present trend would suggest that, unless Federation is able to reorganise and rejuvenate itself fairly quickly, all activities must inevitably revert back to the Clubs whether this is for the best or not.
There are some very apparent and significant ways by which the structure and efficiency of Federation could be markedly improved - it may not be necessary to write it off irrevocably because it is not doing the job in its present form. On the other, hand, it may be felt that this Club could achieve its objects more smoothly and more completely if it were untied from and unfettered by a body such as Federation. The above considerations warrant some deep analytical and constructive thinking by all our members. The present and future welfare of both the bushwalking movement and this Club in particular may well be in our own hands if we are called upon to cast that vote.
COME TO THE BALL
DON'T BE A CINDERELLA THIS YEAR
Climb into your magic Pumpkin with hayseeds and all, and chortle along to the Federation Ball, on that night of nights - Friday, September 13th, at the University Refectory Hall. Make up your party now and see Social Secretary for tickets. These are going cheap at One Guinea. Remember this is a bushwalker show so its bound to be tops.
The President was in the chair and there were over 50 Members present. It was a remarkable meeting, and the procedure was most unparliamentary. Throughout the evening, although contentious matters were discussed at length, only one dissentient voice was heard, and that was from a member who voted against the reception of the Walks Secretary's report.
At the commencement the President extended a welcome to two new members - Neville Picton and Alan Abbott.
The Social Secretary announced that the Federation Ball would be held under the auspices of the University Bushwalkers, at the University Union Hall on Friday 13th Sept. - tickets one guinea each.
In his Conservation report Tom Moppett quoted from a report by a committee of scientists (including two Professors of Botany and other experts) on the preservation of the Kosciusko catchment. The report confirmed what Bush Walkers have known and been saying for some 15 years - that the continued practice of grazing and burning is causing serious erosion and will menace the great water conservation works being constructed there. Allen Strom and Tom had travelled along the newly made road to the upper part of Church Creek. The boundaries of the lease had been cleared, but there was no evidence of anything further being done. A notice there contained a reference to the proposed ropeway. In accord with the decision of a previous meeting he had written to the Department of Conservation on the subject of logging in the Blue Labyrinth, He referred in the letter to the assurance given by the Department of Lands to the National Parks and Primitive Areas Council in Sept. 1943 that “The Minister for Forests (had) directed that the whole area be exempted from the operation of timber licenses,” The damage had now been done in the Erskine Creek area, but the Blue Labyrinth was still almost completely in its natural state and its established use and easy access from Sydney made it an essential part of the proposed Blue Mountains National Park. In his reply the Under Secretary, Mr. Butler, said that the abnormally wet season had made logging in the affected area imperative to avoid loss of employment to a considerable number of men. But there was “no desire on the part of the Forestry Commission to extend its areas at the expense of areas which should be permanently reserved for National Park purposes.” “Full consideration” would be given to our request.
In a verbal report from the Ski Lodge Committee, Alex Colley said that he regretted that he had been unable to call a meeting for some two months. He said that progress was slow, and that this might be his fault. If someone with more energy and determination were appointed as convenor the project might move faster, so he resigned from that office. It was decided that the Committee should choose its own convenor.
Jack Gentle, Business Manager of the Magazine, told us that, with a change of management at the Sanatarium Health Food store in Hunter Street, we might lose their advertisement in the magazine. He thought that, if he could present a convincing case to the management, we might retain it. A show of hands revealed that about 20 of those present at the meeting shopped there from time to time. He also said that, if members referred to the advertisement, or mentioned bush walking when shopping there, it might impress on the management the fact that their products were of special appeal to bushwalkers. He also requested all members to be on the look out for likely advertisers, as advertisement revenue was essential to meet magazine costs unless the price were to be increased.
Ron Knightley, one of our Federation delegates, then initiated a discussion on the Federation. He said that it was a moribund organisation today, and did not justify the time given to it by delegate, and the affiliation fees paid. He could therefore see two alternatives - either make it a useful organisation or wind it up. Three questions required an answer - 1. Was the Bushwalking movement behind it? 2. Was it doing a worthwhile job? 3. Can any other organisation do the job? In reply to (1) - there were 19 clubs and between 40 and 50 delegates. A quorum was 9 delegates from not less than 5 clubs, but frequently there was only a bare quorum present. Average attendance for 1956-7 was 15 delegates. In the S.B.W., with 190 active members, we have difficulty in finding four delegates. On point (2) - the functions of the Federation were Conservation, publicity, information and search and rescue. There was little evidence of success in conservation. A 30,000 acre reserve had been secured at Nadgee. Though sponsored by Federation, the real work had been done by individual members of the S.B.W. and Caloola Clubs. It had taken several months to find a publicity officer, but where was the Federation Annual? Where was any exhibition like that of 1947 in which 37 bushwalkers gave their services in answering questions from the public? The information officer was willing, but got little support. He had received 6 walks reports in 9 months. The only search he had seen was organised by Jim Hooper and Paddy Pallin. On point (3) - The National Parks Association could care on Conservation.
Paul Barnes said that the Federation was somewhat like the preacher who exhorted people to go to church - its message went to the already converted. Frank Rigby said that the publicity drive for new members, which started as an S.B.W. movement had been made a Federation affair, and he felt that, though some results had been achieved, we could have achieved a lot on our own. Frank Ashdown said that, though the Federation did not do a lot now, it did tie things together and might be retained if only for information.
John White said that we couldn't wind up the Federation on our own, we could only withdraw, Tom Moppett agreed that various activities could be better carried on by the Club. But there was some publicity value in presenting the walking movement as a whole to the public and departments. Conservation could be just as easily done through the N.P.A. He and Allen Strom had found there was a disadvantage in belonging to too many bodies consisting essentially of the same people. Two activities which might well be kept going were S. & R. and bush fire patrols, but a Committee elected by an annual Federation meeting could carry these on.
Jim Hooper elaborating Tom's suggestion, thought that an annual meeting of Club President might replace Federation monthly meetings. Perhaps particular Clubs could carry on the administrative side for a year each in rotation. On a motion by Malcolm McGregor it was resolved to instruct our delegates to ask Federation to consider its own position and procedures as head of the bushwalking movement.
Our friend and fellow member, Betty Holdsworth, died on 16th July. As Betty's business position necessitated her being away from Sydney, working in the capital and large Cities of Australia for a great part of the year, she was not able to take the part she wished in Club activities, but on every possible occasion she contrived to join a party for a day or weekend bushwalking. The friendships made also through peace and relaxation found in the bush were much valued by her.
Everyone who came within Betty's spheres of activity admired her vitality, tolerance of the other's point of view, good humour and ability. She will be affectionately remembered by many.
So many of the pages of the S.B. Maga are filled with idle chatter about the bush tracks and packs - a mountain here - a mountain there - and now and again a river. So – I think it quite time something was writ about the really interesting scenery of the Club - until now quite unsung.
I refer to the girls of the S.B.W. So many types there are - the Sunday ones, the tigresses!! the path patters - the rock climbers. So many gay sprites to lighten the miles with their smiles in all styles. Yet - looking at them all I would like to refer to one in particular. It may seem unfair to pick out any one - but this time it must be done.
She is a rather serious type - a shade too serious - at times, looking at her, one would think the weight of the European situation was on her young shoulders. She is a calm thoughtful lass, speaks slowly and evenly - with well shaped phrases - (all which surely had a blueprint phase) - easy to listen to - understood by all.
This adagio code is applied at meal times - never was so little consumed in so long a time. Observant too - she remarked that this writer reminded her of Captain Fortune. I have not seen this gentleman - but I'm told it was a complimentary remark.
Yes - she is a charming lass - with an easy flow of interesting conversation - and positively – no politics! Now in case any reader is curious about this girl - I may as well tell – Her name Margaret Putt, Her age exactly four.
(That rocked you, didn't it? - Ed)
Walking down the Kowmung,
Colin Putt and crew found a member missing,
“Now, Boys', whats to do?”
Search & Rescue party ready for the fray,
Where to start a-looking? “He swam that-a-way.”
Back along the Kowmung, back to Morong Falls,
Not a sign of Eric, no answer to their calls.
Back along the ridges, back to John & Ben,
Said Col, “We'll grab some shut-eye, and start at 4.a m
Cooking grub in darkness, only half awake,
Falling over rocks and stones, debating Eric's fate.
Four weary bods at daybreak, start to bash the trail,
Said, Col, “Now altogether boys, lets give a good loud hail.”
Around a bend and down a bit, and then what do they see?
Why!, Eric in his sleeping bag, still resting comfortably.
The party reunited, continued on their way,
Bashing down the Kowmung, till grub time at mid-day.
Their throats are sore, they sing no more, there's trouble once again.
For Bishop Ben he slipped and then his ankle he did sprain.
They camped the night to rest him and on again next day,
Back to Colin's Puttmobile and there he had to stay.
Came Monday and the other boys had nothing much to do
They said “Lets get the ropes out and try a bird's-eye view.”
The “tourists were astounded”, they'd never seen such sights,
As bodies climbing up and down the ropes on those great heights.
Now my story's ended, but this I say to you,
We didn't play those childish games, that really is untrue,
it didn't turn out as we planned, but come another day,
And Colin and his merry crew will head down Kowmung way.
Including me (I hope)
(X) Bobbies & Bushies as stated in Walks Report.
August 16-17-18 Breakfast Ck-Galong Area. Track all the way, except in Galong Ck. Rock Climbing on Canons Head (using steel spikes and chains) and minor climbing and scrambling in Galong Ck. Graded track up Devils Hole (1500f). Usual good views from Narrow Neck particularly during the early morning hours. Galong Ck. an interesting experience (wet or dry). Rubber sole shoes advisable in Galong Ck. Fares 22/2 17-18 Hawkesbury_liza,_BoaLLrLa. To proceed up Mangrove Ck. as far as possible. Camp Saturday night in Mangrove Ck. area. On Sunday exploration of local islands in Lower Hawkesbury, arriving back at Dobbin Head 6 p.m. Cost 1 to 1.10.- N.13. Bring own shovels for removing mud banks from boat keels 18 Bundeena to Audlez. Easy to Medium Test Walk. Track to Marley Pool. Lft-fle scratchy to Saddle Trig, then track- road walking to Audley. Cheek with Leader for train-ferry departure times. Approx. total cost 7/6. 23-24-25 Mt. From.e-11111rEaia. Easy track and road walking to Bungonia Area, Rope work for descent of Mt, Frome. Possible rock climbing out of Bungonia Ck.- Sneakers may help a lot. Mighty views of Shoalhaven River andDungonia Gorge,Fare 39/9 24-25 Flint and Steel Bay Area. Easy to medium walking along ridges. Some spots little scratchy. Wildflowers should be flowering. Excellent all round views of Broken Bay and Hawkesbury River Area. Total fares approx. 10/-. 25. Jibbon Trig-Marlez, Easy Sunday Walk, Good coastal and cliff views, Wildflowers. Check with Leader re train and ferry times. Cost approx. 8/-. Septembera:j_.oalSua-BrunkerviArea. Walking isa mixture of 30-1-2 power line tracks, railway lines, open fields, bush tracks and timber roads. All easy to medium. Two medium climbs involved. Views of Lake Macquarie and local coal districts. Test walk. Fares 31/3, 1-2 L22.2:j..1112… Easy track with small amount of scrub walking.. Rock carvings and wildflowers (Photographers take note), Fares approx. V-. 6-7-8 21221111a_LaiiiilLia. Walking is easy to medium but distance is the factor - track and roads all the way. However the distance of 93 miles makes it essential to be in excellent condition. For those wishing to pull out in Burragorang Valley, private transport will be based at Nattai Bridge, Those walking through to Hilltop can leave packs in cars. 7-8 Nattai Bridgfe. This is more or less a camping trip by car. Main camp at Nattai Bridge. Main objective is to ship packs and wrecked bodies from the previous trip out of valley, 8 Berowra Ck-Tunks Ck. Mixture of track, creek, and ridge walk- ing. Wildflowers.Slightly scrubby depending on bushfires. Good Sunday test walk. Return fare 5/2. 14-15 BonVoto the For further details see page15. Note - this Sat, function will join up with David Ingrams Sund. walk, at 9.45a.m. Wahroonga Station. Cost 6/6. 15 Spring Gullz. Easy to medium test walk. Wildflowers. Sets of rock carvings to be visited. Bus & train fare combined 5/4.
Jan 18th, the day after George was smitten down with snow blindness we had planned to climb Broderick, a peak quite worthy of respect. Morning dawned fine and still so, leaving food within reach of George, and knowing that the mere fact of being unable to see wouldn't prevent him from eating, Whaka and Snow and I with our lunch and parkas in a light pack, cramponned down the hard surface of the snow and over the crevassed Murcheson Glacier to the base of our climb.
The lower part of Broderick consists of reasonably easy snow slopes, getting steeper as height is gained. During a rest pause on a rounded snow shoulder, Boy Brown decided he wanted something out of the pack, so in order to fish to the bottom he pulled out a parka and put it on the snow. You would hardly believe it, but the parka without warning suddenly. became endowed with life and scuttled off down the slope, and while we watched, helpless to do anything in that precarious position, it gathered momentum and slithered away over an airy precipice and vanished in the direction of the grinning crevasses waiting to receive it several thousand feet below. “By Gosh, I hope that's your own parka you're throwing away!” said I, “because if it's mine somebody's going to be thumped!” However it wasn't his or mine - it was Whaka's. “Don't worry, Snow,” said Whaka, he did not want remorse to spoil Snow's day; “We'll think of a way out.” Luckily the weather stayed fine for us and parkas were not needed.
We had some really first class climbing, along a steep ridge to within a short distance of the top. “Gee, Whaka,” cried Snow enthusiastically, “this is the best day we've had yet!” Whaka smiled quietly to himself. At length we reached a point where further progress seemed risky. Mist was beginning to wash over, the summit, and time was creeping on, so we decided that that was far enough and began the descent slowly down the ridge, and fast over the snow shoulders, and faster down the steep slopes, till eventually we reached the glacier again - then it was just a plod over the crevassed ice and the climb up to the hut. George was patiently nursing his pain as he had done all the long day while we had been out enjoying ourselves. He still couldn't see, so we altered our original plan, which had been to cross over the Tasman Saddle next day to the De la Beche hut. Instead we spent the day lazing among the hot sun-dazzled rocks, every now and then bringing out for an airing the thought that we should climb Cooper or Cooper's Mate, and then putting the thought carefully away again, and thus happily engaged we forgot the slow ticking away of time till it was too late to climb Cooper or Cooper's Mate.
As soon as the sun sank behind the snowy range the cold air rolled up - a bright soundless tide, and we went into the hut and pumped up the primuses and cooked tea. This day had restored a faint glimmer of sight to George's weeping eyes. He was sick of sitting around and agreed to our moving off next day, so we packed up in readiness. We had to make Whaka a parka. There was an unused part of a roll of sisalkraft which had been air-dropped in to line the hut, so we carved off a length and dressed Whaka up in,it and decorated the breastplate with a crest of crossed ice-axes, crampons, etc. He looked like Richard Coeur de Lion in his armour setting out for the Crusades, although Whaka more prosaically said he felt like a brown paper parcel and if we put an Air Mail sticker on him and addressed him to the De la Beche hut it might save a lot of bother tomorrow.
It is bed time. Outside the last light of day fades and the mountains rise up dark and gracious in the night sky, and as we snuggle down under a heap of warm blankets the music of the world lies all around us and hushes our hearts to dreaming. We were up in the dark next morning, ate a quick breakfast, tidied up the hut, then stepped outside into the quiet of a world waiting with hushed breath for the sunrise. We made our way up to the head of the glacier as the last star faded from the sky. The snow surface was crisp and firm to the bite of our crampons, and we made fast time. George, the strongest of the party, had the disadvantage of his blindness to contend with, putting him into the class of Samson after Delilah had got at him with the shears. He walked in a dim grey twilight world, tethered to his party fore and aft with the nylon rope. Whenever we encountered a crevasse we would say, “Slot, George” and George would dutifully jump while the front man gave a sharp tug on the rope. It must have been great fun for George, like making your way up the centre of Pitt St. blindfolded.
As we climbed higher towards the Tasman Saddle the wind steadily rose, and by the time we reached the top it was blowing gale force. Whaka, with the blizzard knifing through the cracks in his sisalkraft armour, steadfastly, with head down, led his party forward, - four little impersonal points of doggedness tied together on a rope. Time and again I would be blown off my feet, but Snow was always behind to field me as I came bowling down the slope. And so we struggled over to the Tasman side, and all the time the high wind screamed shrill and chill with needles of ice that stung our cheeks and snatched our breath away. We fought our way along in a bunch for protection, each strongly conscious of the undying spark in his own breast. “Gee Whaka, do you know what?” yelled Snow, getting his mouth full of ice needles in the process, “This is the best day yet”. “What's that Snow?” shouted Whaka through the howling of the elements. The wind was screaming with demoniacal fury through the pass. It whipped up the surface powder snow into madly swirling eddies that got into our balaclava's and down our necks and socks and into our boots and up our nostrils and eyes, choking us and blinding us. The ice needles melted on our gloves and froze our hands, “1 said THIS IS THE BEST DAY YET” shouted Snow enthusiastically. Somewhere deep in Snow lies an incredible, delightful optimism, and always in crisis it shows out. “You know, Snow,” said Whaka, “That's the third time I've heard you say that!”
We battled down from the high pass to the Tasman Glacier, and at last got out of the wind. For several hours life was calm and pleasant. The familiar mountains rose up on either side, and we watched the heavy cloud sagging over their slopes while we walked in sunshine, but it was not to last, Before long we were being spattered with sleety rain, and the lower down we went the wetter it became. After some hours we came level with the jutting-out point on the lower slopes of Mt. De la Beche where the hut sits. Remembering a route I used to follow in the old days when it had been my pleasant duty to act as a guide on the Hermitage staff and get paid for enjoying myself, I made across to the lateral moraine and climbed it, and then found I had a much longer plod around to the hut than I had anticipated. I expected to find the others already there when I finally dropped down to the hut, but surprisingly they weren't and it was more than half an hour later that they turned up, having encountered quite a lot of trouble on the now dangerously undercut moraine, The De la Beche hut sits in a huge jumble of rocks at the point where the Rudolf Glacier joins the Tasman. It is all very rugged and wild. From the front door you look out on the Mt. Cook range down whose vast sides, every quarter hour or so, come roaring shattering avalanches alarming the landscape. Safe in our snug little refuge we lost no time in getting into dry clothes and cooking up the evening stew. The next day we were to go down to Ball Hut to collect the food we had left there for the coming week.
There was no need for a particularly early start, but we got away next morning soon after breakfast carrying the ideal pack, that is, a completely empty one. A rather precipitous scramble down the point of the moraine to where the moving ice of the two glaciers has scoured out deep relentless holes, then eventually we were out on to the smoother hummocky ice of the Tasman, and the body and mind could relax, There were countless happy days on our trip, but this day on which, actually we did nothing more spectacular than go down to Ball Hut - and slog back with an enormous weight of food on our backs - this day somehow stands out in my mind as an experience of the strangest significance.
It was a fine and splendid day - one of those periods of time which seem astonishingly but delightfully to have tumbled out of some golden eternity at our feet, We pottered down the glacier in the dawdling amber daylight. We drank at the glacier pools and saw our own faces staring up at us from the water - and how strangely exciting it is to see yourself drinking yourself. We peered into ice-clear crevasses which breathed cold air in our faces - jagged and sinister crevasses, cruel and cunning crevasses, beautiful crevasses with fluted walls elegant and cool as frosted glass, their depths tremulous with a mysterious blue green flame. We explored ice grottos, cold and still, the only sound a quiet drip, drip, drip of water falling from the glassy dome of the roof. We followed down crystal clear glacier streams, their swift whispering voices in that profound silence sounding like the rushing of a star through outer space. A strange, mysterious world, this world of snow and ice. Our companions, the only living things in this spacious solitude, take on a more than human significance; in them we see all the thoughts, the dreams, the loves and aspirations of humanity focussed to a point. In that fair white silence we wrote our joy on random rocks with the point of an ice axe, and above in the astonishing blue of the sky, puffs of bright cloud drifted upwards like our thoughts.
Well on in the afternoon, ravenously hungry, we plodded up the steep moraine track to Ball Hut. The tourist party had viewed the glacier, had had lunch and departed by bus for the steam-heated luxury of the Hermitage. Only the guides were left, Mick Bowie and a tall lean Australian boy, who were tidying up in the kitchen when we clumped in.
“Would you like something to eat?” Said Mick. “Some biscuits?” “No thanks,” said we politely, “Well, just one.” Mick placed the tin on the table. “I suppose you could do with a cup of tea?” said Mick. no thanks - Well, all right,” said Snow hesitatingly, drooling at the mouth in anticipation nevertheless. After Snow had had his sixth cup of tea and I my fifth cup of fresh milk (it wouldn't have kept anyway), and we had between us finished off all the biscuits and an onion and some cabbage leaves that seemed to be going to waste, and a few other inconsidered trifles lying about which would otherwise have been fed to the gulls, with sighs of pleasure we slowly got to our feet and heavily left the kitchen feeling that we loved Mick and the tall Aussie guide like brothers - something of the old Eastern belief that once you have “eaten salt” with someone he is your friend for life.
Then we loaded up our empty packs with food for a week and spent the rest of the afternoon staggering back up the Tasman to De la Beche Aere. I will leave us preparing the evening meal, and packing up for an early start in the morning, for we are going to climb our first ten-thousand footer - the Minaretts.
An intriguing story has been going the rounds about two prospectives in a tent with a kerosene pressure heater inside the tent. It sounds such a fantastic set-up that of course we can't mention any names. Perhaps there was a good reason for the presence of the heater, but in a column like this one is loath to spoil a perfectly good morsel of juicy gossip by going in search of cold drab reasons.
Yvonne and Dot were not allowed to descend a mine shaft at Mt. Morgan on their Queensland tour. When pressed for the reason, the Mine Wallah had to admit that the miners down below had nary a stitch on their sweating bodies!
Sorry to be harping on the Admiral again, but he's such a good target for a little intrigue, and this time he was right in his element. On Pete Stitt's recent Hawkesbury boat trip, his boat didn't turn up at Wisemans Ferry until Saturday evening, a full day later than the others (excepting Hooper's, of course, which had chronic engine trouble). A peculiar feature about the case is that all his crew are so tight-lipped and will only tell the same simple story (yes, too simple). Come, come, Brian, my boy let the cat out of the bag and tell us what happened to the navigation - it couldn't worsen your reputation.
The boat trip, in parts, turned out to be the usual adventurous shambles - mudbank groundings in the fog, sick engines in some of the boats, bugs in the navigation and a wee bit of skulduggery in some of the boats. Nevertheless all twenty-three marines in the five boats agreed that it was a week-end to remember. What's that, Jim?
Speaking of the boat trip reminds me of a certain kit bag which I couldn't help noticing at the Wiseman's Ferry camp. Said kit bag had the letters L.A.A.A.F. stamped across it, but strangely enough, it was owned by a male member. That gives, Alan? Or perhaps you would rather not explain.
Everyone agreed that the Colour Slide Photographic Competition was a huge success, despite the excess of shots which popular judge Mr. C. Young billed as “Yes, a good record, but for competition - afraid it wouldn't make the grade”. From over 100 entries, first honours went to George Gray with a classy shot of an ice cave - second award to Frank Rigby with a shot of Grace and Geof sporting themse1ves on the summit of Mr. Ossa and third award to Jack Wren for one of his infinitely intimate shots of a New Guinea Chieftain. I wonder if any of these would originally have been taken as a record shot with no thought of competitions?
SOCIAL PROGRAMME CHANGE.
The nights for Jack Wren's slides and the Free Night have now been switched. Please alter your little blue books.
Part III (Final Fatal Episode)
Sub-Section. Troggint and Grogginl (Tea, sees). Con Creek was now narrowing, with the vegetation becoming thicker, the sun no longer penetrated our mysterious creek, thus leaving the all cold and damp. The perspiration on our sweaty bodies felt like a coating of ice as we huddled around Digby waiting with bated breaths (probably garlic) for the solution to our navigational problem. But, alas, no answer was forthcoming.
So once again the mass murmurings of the party filtered into the atmosphere - “Mumble, mumble, rhubarb, rhubarb, brr, mumble, ramble, rhubarb, rhubarb, brr,” as they battled out the pros and cons of map misreading.
Then suddenly out of this caustic conference a decision was finally reached - back to the prickle swamps: George, his eyes lighting up at the prospect of more prickles, crashed on down the creek, followed by the gloomy mob singing the now Bendethra Theme song - “You passed it, You passed it, It's further up the creek”.
The party's problems were now very small compared to those of the leader. Firstly, Heather had to find the caves, which according to the map were very near, and secondly find a negotiable way over the Divide back to the Shoalhaven River. With this in mind Heather and Neil chundered off up the hill leaving the party flat on their backs asleep.
One didn't require much knowledge of human nature to interpret what was passing through the minds of the now leaderless Bendethra Bashers. “Gee I'm glad I'm not leading this trip.” By 10.30 a.m. Frank Young, George and Ern had left the morning group to try their luck at locating the caves. That old demon “Time was nearing mid-day when up in the gully Frank's voice echoed, “We've found the caves”.
Within seconds Bev, Joan and the Admiral had scouped up their carbide lamps, jumped into their trog suits and like mad mountain goats were racing up hill towards the direction of Frank's voice. In ones and twos the party made their way along the undulating dark, mud caverns. As most formations were very few and far between, itwasn't long before we all met up at the end, balancing precariously or the mud slopes. With cries of Oohs and Ahs we feasted our eyes on the dimly lit feeble formations. How wonderful it is to gaze at Nature's wondrous creations under the earth? However, it wasn't long before we were suddenly brought back from this fantastic weird world, to the world of reality and the thought of our leader probably bashing around the mountain looking for us.
With a feeling of guilt we made haste back to the entrance, only stopping to laugh at Kev and Margaret, who in rubber sole shoes, were trying to out do Luna Park's famous dipper with their dare devil slides down the dangerous mud and limestone slopes – 'Sheep Dip'
As we crawled out of the pokey entrance we were confronted by Heather who was wearing an expression like Bo Peep, who had lost her sleep, rather than the leader looking for her renegade bunch of wandering followers.
Scene: Shoalhaven Campsite.
The air was bitterly cold as we snuggled into our sleeping bags. The day had been long and had taken toll of our energies. We had found the caves, found our way over the Divide, so with the thoughts of a job well done we slipped off to Slumberland, ignoring the voice that cried, “Aw stop taking such big sips, I want some yer' know.”
Frank Rigby tossed and turned in his corner of the tent. Cursing the cold, cursing the Admiral for taking up the other three corners of the tent with his elongated boney body and cursing the fact that it was 3 a.m. and he couldn't sleep. Unable to stand it any longer he let out with a fearsome oath - “God it's b— cold.”
To his horror,. all around him, twelve voices replied “Yes isn't it”. A few hours later, with new energy, the mob left camp, to complete the last leg of the track, before reaching the cars.
Of course, before reaching the cars the inevitable farm house appeared in our path. The leader looking very immaculate approached the residents - of course with the idea of saying hullo only - of course the inevitable happened again, when Heather's sweet voice bellowed from the porch - “Tea's on mob, round the front”.
As we sat on the front lawn, slurping and gulping the tea and scones, our wonderful host came out, took one look at the bearded forms of Ern and Neil and exclaimed, “You're the worst looking lot I've ever seen come out of the bush.” Were we offended? Not. We were too busy scoffing down large quantities of fresh scones and tea.
The End – (Thank God)
We take much pride and pleasure in announcing that the National Bureau of Standards of the U.S.A. has invited Malcolm McGregor (and Elsa and wee Bobbie too) to visit the U.S. for seven months to convey to the American technicians the know how of recent developments in that branch of electronics in which the C.S.I.R.O. leads the world. Malcolm leaves by air on 25th September whilst Elsa and Bobbie follow in R.M.S. “Orsova” on 8th October probably at 4 p.m.)
A “Bon Voyage” will be tendered the McGregors on the night of Saturday, 14th September, when the official Weekend Walk of 14/15 September will camp in the spacious grounds of the President's home at 12 Mahratta Avenue Wahroonga, on that Saturday night. This arrangement will permit all members to join in the celebrations. Members camping overnight need not bring tents, and they can join the Sunday Walk led by David Ingram which commences from Wahroonga Station at 9.45 a.m. and which coincides with the second day of the Saturday afternoon-Sunday walk. However, all attending are advised to bring their own tucker for supper but cocoa will be on tap. There are already rumours of heads being put together to concoct a “do” so don't miss out! Bring your copies of the “Chronic Operas” and your song-books.
The camp-fire will be lit about 6.45 so come early and have a chat to the departing travellers. The Lower income troupers should catch the 6.13 electric train from Central - tickets to Warrawee - thence by Wahroonga Sanitarium bus the last of the day to the Mahratta Avenue turnoff (fare 6d - pay as you alight).
Would the Higher Income Groupers bring as many of the L.I.G.'s as possible in their swish cars, please? To assist in the general arrangements, would those intending coming to the camp-fire only and/or camping, please advise the President by the Wednesday night before? Home phone JW.1462 Business DU.16111.
Our Dot and our Duke (not according to Luke)
Once clumb up the trig pole at Kossy.
Not a prank Only swank.
It couldn't be called a comfy possie
They just would be atop of old Aussie. Alas!
The Shire Engineer Was lapping his beer
When he heard of this terrible crime He roared out Bejeese
I'll tickle their knees
I'll teach 'elm to shin up our pole
So they draped it o'er
With barbed wire so raw,
Who tries it again will find to their sorrow
In good red blood they'll blanky well wallow.
Although my archaeological confreres Professor Snoot, A.B.M.S., and the Rt. Hon. Admiral The Luckdukus, S.D.W., S.G.M., could not entirely agree with my current theories on the inclinations of the Paleolithic Bushwalker I find that I now have some cause for excitement in a recent discovery.
During an exacting survey down the Kowmung River, I recently had occasion to pause by a side creek which I took to be Church Creek. Unfortunately, as it was on the opposite sides it couldn't have been, so it must have been some other because anyway it was a day's walk further upstream opposite somewhere else.
Lying there in the shade, listening to the musical chuckle of the Kowmung babbling over the pebbles, I felt the need for a few moments of rest. Survey work can be so exhausting. I watched the myriads of flies making very bad landings in the dappled patches of sunlight on my bare chest. The shade I was in was quite heavy so it was soon obvious that my sunburn was forcing them to make blind-landings. My heels were cooling deliriously over the edge of a rock in the river, when I noticed an odd thing. It was my big toe, and on it, a Bee had just made a near perfect landing only to seriously cut one of its wings on the sharp toe-nail.
I didn't want the poor Little Bee to fall off and drown itself, so I raised my foot a few inches, and got the shock of my life.
There between my Big Toe and the other one was a Black Stump, THE Black Stump (Stumpus Charcundus), on the other side of the River!
Here, at last, I had made a discovery which was near to costing me my very life! Spitting water and gasping desperately for air as I swam through the seething rapids across the river, I suddenly realised that swimming with one Bee foot in the air was going to be my Kowmung - I'd never make the Stumpus Charcundus on the other side: Down, down, down I went; I spluttered and swallowed more water -I must have AIR! - Lights flashed before my eyes, green, yellow circles, spots and Dots — My heart pounded and pumped — This was IT – This was the End. — Blue flashes – an agonising pain shot up through my leg — AND then I saw RED — The Little BEE had stung me: I lashed out with both my feet — just to get even, and then I gave an incoherent moan as my nose rubbered and skidded to an abrupt halt on a rock.
The coloured flashes had stopped, but my heart was still thudding and pounding as I lay with an arm around the rock sobbing in great gulps of pure air. Silence pervaded the river, and then gradually I came to hear the chuckling of the water over the pebbles. Again I heard the buzzing of the flies. I looked at my sunburn and found that it had turned PURPLE — a clear cut case for a new heart.
Looming dark and majestic, just a few feet above me on the bank, stood the Stumpus Charcundus. There before me stood the object of our years and years of research. There lay the answer to our theories. Now our knowledge of Bushwalkers of the Paleolithic Age was about to be extended. What were they like? How did they walk, and what did they think?
Distantly, I heard the rumble of Thunder. The skies were clouding over. I looked back at the Stumpus Charcundus, and an ominous shadow spread between us. I glanced again over my shoulder towards the other side of the river. I nearly died of fright as a bolt of lightning struck a tree on the ridge immediately behind my Charcundus. Still trembling from my exertions, I lurched out of the water and scrabbled up the river bank. The water dripped about my feet as I gazed, a little awe-struck, across at the Stumpus. More water dripped from my shoulders and then I realised that it was coming in big slow drops from the sky. Thunder rattled close-by, and I could hear boulders slithering down the hillside. The storm was very near.
Looming darkly against its background, the Stumpus stood some 40 feet in front of me in a small clearing surrounded by gigantic boulders set back from the river-bank. Standing 9 axe-handles high, and some 4 axe-handles in girth, the Stumpus looked like a burnt-out “cathedral”. In its centre was an opening sufficient to permit access even to our Admiral.
A hot sizzling flash engulfed the clearing, and I gulped hard. The Stumpus seemed to jump out at me. Momentarily I was stunned, and then I realised that the lightning had discharged itself beyond the Stumpus, and it's shadow had actually been thrown across my face. I stepped forward again, only to falter involuntarily when the earth trembled and rebounded to the roar of thunder as my foot touched the ground. A tree toppled over the hillside and a boulder crashed through the undergrowth then hurtled a few yards to one side of me into the river. I had a sense of something foreboding. I was half-minded to turn and race back to camp. The rain was pouring down in a deluge, icy cold and bringing one almost to a state of shivering.
My back hair started to tingle and I looked hastily over my shoulder to see an eerie ball of fire floating towards me. A Fire-Ball charged with a million volts of electricity — and it was coming straight at me: Frantically, I raced the last few remaining feet for the opening in the Stumpus Charcundus. Thunder roared unceasingly. The Fire-Ball was drifting fast, over and behind my right shoulder. With only three more feet to go, I dived desperately for the dark opening of the Stumpus.
Down, down, down I went, into a dark abyss. Jarringly I stopped, sprawled in a heap and completely winded. The earth roared and shook to the explosion of the Fire-Ball somewhere outside. The ear-drums felt as if they would burst at the horrifying crashes and explosions. The wild craziness outside the Stumpus wasn't exactly conducive to a peaceful recovery. The first stock-take of my surroundings told me that I was sprawled on soft sandy earth, with my chin resting beside a small rock. My hand explored the outline of the rock. It wasn't a rock — it felt like a boot — it was a boot! Lightning thundered outside and in a brief flash of light I caught a glimpse of a pair of boots. One boot had a long white shaft of bone in it. No Fibia.
Profoundly shocked, and not just a little horrified, I quickly, very quickly rose to my hands and knees, and waited for the next flash of lighting. Sure enough, there was a pair of boots — very old and with rust marks, where there may have been hobs. From one boot there protruded a long white bone. In a succession of lightning flashes, I dimly made out the interior of the Stumpus. Although my desperate dive had given me the impression that I had fallen a great distance to the floor, I found that the bottom of the opening was only four feet above me. Apprehensively, I looked round. the floor to see if I could see a leg bone connected to a knee bone; and a knee-bone connected to a thigh bone, but such was not the case. There being no other bones around the joint, I felt a little easier in mind, but my most pressing desire was to get back to camp.
I grasped a gnarled projection in the side of the opening through the Stumpus and started to climb out. Suddenly an enormous flash of lightning burst right outside. I dropped back to the floor. What to do? This was going to be nasty again. When outside I would be at the full mercy of the elements, and it was now dark, The rain had stopped, if that was any consolation, but the lightning and thunder still shook the atmosphere around the Stumpus. There was less than a second between each flash of light and the actual crash of thunder. That meant that the storm was still less than a fifth of a mile away. Standing there in the alternating flashes of night and day, my hands rested on the shelf of earth leading out of the Stumpus. It was hard to decide. Would it be safe to make a run for it?
At something of a loss at what to do, my eye suddenly caught the reflection of something white along the shelf to the left of my hand. Surprised, I reached out and grasped a roll of paper, a Papyrus, looking somewhat perforated, but nevertheless, a scroll of undoubtedly ancient vintage.
With mounting excitement I could make out figures and characters on the outside of the scroll, I looked closely as the lightning flashed, and then I let out a sharp yelp of pain. That part of any anatomy which invariably follows me wherever I go had just received an appalling blow. I looked quickly behind and the Boots and the Bone were no longer lying in the Centre of the floor.
To my horror, they were standing stiffly to attention in the opposite corner of the Stumpus. Another roar of thunder; another flash of lightning, and I quickly saw that more trouble was afoot. The Boot with the Bone was rising fast, and coming at me with a deliberate intent. Giving another inadvertent, yelp, I scrambled like Halleys Comet over the shelf of earth and fell clear outside the Stumpus. A dull soggy thud came from within. I hurriedly picked myself up and raced for the river-bank. Dazzled by lightning, I slipped and fell headlong under a bush. No, no, no - the scroll, the manuscript. It must go back to the club.
Warily my footsteps retraced themselves back to the Stumpus. How could one possibly get back inside to recover the scroll? Lightning flashed again; followed by a grunt of relief — there was the scroll on the ground just two feet in front of the opening, I stooped and grabbed it. A weird phosphorescent light of rapidly growing intensity was coming from inside the Stumpus. Enough, enough, I've had it. I'm going back to camp.
Lightning sizzled across the black void of the river. Keeping my head down, I glimpsed a clear way to the river-bank. Crash. Another boulder tumbled and shattered its way over the hillside. Quickly, I shuffled across and then down to the water's edge. The river had given up it's pleasant chuckling and replaced it with a dark and ominous growl. Water raced by fast and I could sense rather than see that it was rising. I looked back over my shoulder to the Stumpus. Oh, NO The Stumpus was all aglow. It was luminescing all round. Every detail of it was standing out in a faint blue glow, whilst a fiery red light seemed to be coming from the entrance to the Stumpus. I must get away quickly.
Standing there in the water's edge, in the vivid light and darkness, I could see that it was useless to try and work a way along the bank. This side of the river there were cliffs, both up and downstream. It must be a swim or else?
My hat was still somewhere on the floor of the Stumpus. How the devil was I going to keep the Manuscript dry if I had to swim across? I looked back at the Stumpus — the blue glow seemed to be flickering up and down, on and off, and getting brighter every time it came on.
Edging the way upstream a little, I held the manuscript clear of the surging waters. Something brushed past my face — inspiration — and I grabbed a branch of the offending tree. With a bit of effort, a stick broke off. Pushing it through the roll of the manuscript, I had an effective carrier — provided I could hold it in my teeth, and keep my head above water.
A blueish-black-light (Ultra-violet) seemed to be forming into a vapour around the Stumpus. I could delay no longer. Reaching forward into the dark waters, I started out with the strongest breast-stroke I could muster. The Manuscript was only a few inches above the surface.
(Will the precious Manuscript be carried safely across the river? That stupendous information is hidden in its weird characters? What is the eerie secret of the Stumpus Charcundus and its ancient inmate? What has happened to the Stumpus since its sacred precincts have been violated? You can't afford to miss the answers to these challenging and exciting questions. Be sure of your next month's Mag for the final gripping instalment – Ed.)
Brian Anderson, Walks Secretary.
The Club's walking activities began well this month when three trips on the first weekend enticed thirty walkers to go “walk-about”. The Friday “fighter” led by Bob Duncan was changed slightly, Bob going down Grand Canyon instead of over Perry's Lookout. Seven members had accompanied him to Blue Gum where they were joined by 3 other members and one prospective who had all come via Perry's. I'm sure any trip led by the Dalai Lama could not run smoothly without some riotous happening, but as hard as I tried, no such happening could be extracted from members of the party. Evidently the Dalai Lama has put a spell over his followers.
The Saturday walk prospectives Neville Picton and David Bennett joined Keith Renwick on his walk from Faulconbridge to Richmond. Keith reported they were fortunate enough to leave the Grose near an Orange orchard where the Orchardist gave them loads of oranges, Um - well that's his story and he's sticking to it.
To cover the Sunday walk I'll quote from the leader's own written report. “Owing to the Official Leader being on the Sick List, the walk was taken by the President who reported that the party was the dirtiest he had ever led. This, however, was no reflection on the moral character but was entirely due to the fact that they traversed about 10 miles of recently burnt-out scrub, arriving back at Cowan Station like a batch of Arnhem Land natives.” Brian Harvey also reports that the creeks in the area are almost all dried up and that the wildflowers have been devastated, whilst practically no birds were observed. Fifteen attended, comprising 8 members, 4 prospectives and 3 visitors,
After a week of procrastination, three “official” walks, finally managed to get away for the Queen's Birthday weekend, Betty Sisley with 5 members ventured from Kanangra Walls via Strongleg and Breakfast Creek to Katoomba. Myself with two members and one prospective set out from Katoomba to Splendour Rock with the intention of returning via the Cox and Megalong Valley. However the party developed a guilty conscience, returning via such an easy way and so pressed on up Harry's River. It was agreed next time we'll all put up with a guilty conscience.
You will have to excuse me if the report on the other trip does not seem coherent, because I had difficulty in establishing many facts. As for finding a leader, that was impossible as Christian would accept the responsibility. Nevertheless it has been established that 21 bods attended and that parties had climbed Pidgeon House, Talaterang and The Castle. Puzzling rumours such as Snow Brown losing his way going up Pidgeon House and having to undress have been reported. God only knows why he had to undress. Then Frank Rigby and George Gray were unable to find Drury's Farm, so left their cars in the vicinity of Pidgeon House and the Castle with the result they were unable to find them on the Monday. As stated before the trip seemed a little incoherent.
The next weekend although there were two Saturday morning walks, only one started, David Brown's trip in the Yeola area being cancelled due to a lack of starters. The other walk went as planned, Joan Walker being accompanied by 4 members and one prospective. An interesting exploration of the lower part of Arethusa Ck was carried out on Sunday.
Two members and two prospectives joined the President on his Sunday walk in the Era-Burning Palms area. Brian reported that the main coastal ridge from Port Hacking to Burning Palms has been burnt out. During the last weekend of June only two walks started, the Sat, trip being called off due to lack of starters. The Friday night walk went as planned, Henry Gold's party consisting of 3 female members and one prospective, One point worth mentioning is maybe Henry has some charm similar to Frank Rigby as Henry became the second leader over the last few months to be nearly caught with an all female party. However Meville Picton came to the rescue to make things right. Also on this trip Bev Price narked everyone by slipping off the top of one of the many smooth waterfalls in Galong Creek and began slowly and majestically blipping down the face, only to stop two inches from the water. It's types like these who make frustrated photographers.
John Noble on his Sunday walk in the Galston Gorge district had a roll call of 8 members and 4 prospectives and one visitor. The walk proceeded as programmed.
Finally the months walking tally sixty-nine members, sixteen prospectives and four visitors, a total of eighty-nine,
JULY 1957 – Ron Knightley Annual General Meeting,
After the reading of Minutes of the previous Annual Meeting, the Secretary presented his Annual Report. Among other items was the information that average attendance of delegates to meetings during the year had been 15 and that “several clubs” had not been seen during the year.
CONSERVATION REPORT: A, detailed conservation report was highlighted by three items:
(i) Formation of the National Parks Assoc. of N.S.W. in early 1957.
(ii) Approval by the Minister for Lands of the 28,000 acre faunal reserve at Nadgee.
(iii)The perennial proposal for the Blue Mountains National Park has progressed, and the inter-departmental committee has recommended the dedication of about 50,000 square miles of the Grose, Megalong, and Jamieson Valleys plus portion of the Blue Labyrinth, with a further portion of the Blue Labyrinth as an aforestation reserve.
TREASURER'S REPORT: An incomplete report was submitted, but not accepted.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS: The following officers were elected all unopposed - for 1957-58:
President: Mr. Paul Driver (Rover Ramblers)
Vice Presidents: Mr. Stan Cottier (C.M.W.), Mr. Paul Barnes (S.B.W.)
Secretary: Mr. Ken Stewart (Rover Ramblers)
Asst. Secty: Miss Joan Meaher (S.U.B.W.)
Treasurer: Mr. Gordon Robinson (Bush Club)
Min. Sec: Mr, Ron Knightley (S.B.U.)
AFFILAITION FEES: These were unchanged, at 9d, per capita per annum.
GENERAL BUSINESS: The following motion was tabled, as instructed by the S.B.W. General Meeting a week before: “That the Federation consider its position and procedures as figurehead of the bushwalking movement in N.S.W.” After lengthy discussion about current apathy towards Federation, it was decided to refer the matter to the individual clubs, with clubs whose delegates were not at the Annual Meeting to be circularised by the Secretary.
Monthly Meeting for July. This followed immediately upon the annual meeting.
DONATIONS: One pound was voted to Mr. T.W. Moppett to defray expenses of the Conservation Conference held in June, and £10 to the N.P.A. towards the cost of producing “Yarawonda.No. 12” (the proposed National Parks “Appreciation”).
FEDERATION BALL: A reminder – Sydney University Refectory Friday, Sept. 13th, 8.30 p.m. Tickets £1.1.- each. Supper to include cocktail pasties, etc. Bring own refreshments.
TREASURER'S REPORT: A combined report (incomplete) covering April to June showed that income included a £16 donation from the Newcastle Technical College Bushwalkers after the Barrington Tops Search episode.
S. & R.-LEVEE. Decided that 50% of profits from the forthcoming ball, or £25 “whichever is less - shall be transferred to S. & R. funds. No levee to be made on clubs at present.
BARREN GROUNDS - cows on: Resolved that the Secretary write to the Chief Guardian of Fauna, pointing out that grazing is again taking place on the Barren Grounds reserve. It was confidently expected that the required remedial action would follow.
PENALTIES OF SIN
Oh! It is a fearful sin
To leave behind one empty
And may he have three kinds gout
Who scatters paper bags
Who throws his rubbish in the trees
Shall suffer water on the knees,
And he who sets the bush afire
Shall tear his trousers on barbed wire?
Paddy's Advert. - With a Difference. Paddy has gone off once again to the wilderness, this time to Ski from Kiandra to Koscuisko (surely this doesn't sound like the Old Buffers Club) and somehow his Advert for us has gone astray. So we have taken the liberty of filling up his space for him hoping that he will look kindly on our feeble efforts at Salesmanship.
Paddy's shop, as always, is full of all the right things for bushwalkers so pop in and have a good look-see. How long is it since you've been to Paddy's shop, anyway? If,it's too long, you're stagnating - you'll be amazed at the profusion of well-made items and ingenious ideas that confront you. A visit to Paddy's could be extremely. profitable to you and increase your walking enjoyment no end.