This is an old revision of the document!
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bushwalker, The N.S.W. Nurses' Association Rooms, “Northcote Building”, Reiby Place, Sydney. Box No. 4476 G.P.O. Sydney. 'Phone JW1462.
|Editor||Stuart Brooks, 5 Ingalara Rd, Wahroonga. 484343.|
|Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Sales & Subs.||Lola Wedlock|
|Typed by||Shirley Dean|
|At Our October Meeting||3|
|Letters to the Editor||5|
|Comfort in the 'Bungles||Denise Hull||6|
|First Perambulator to Kanangra Walls (Conclusion)||M.Dunphy||10|
|Meet Mrs. NcComish||14|
|The Agonistic Struggle||“Resigned”||19|
|Wo Est Der Rud6ph Kuppen?||21|
|Hatswell's Taxi (ad)||9|
|Plumbing Trouble (ad)||9|
I came across this little poem the other day -
'From Cape Canaverall's sandy coast
Astranauts pop up like toast
And everyone agrees that soon
We shall be peppering the moon.
It's none too early! On this earth
The high-explosive rate of birth
Will overwhelm our crowded spot:
We'll need an intra-Venus shot.
Hard pressed for time the human race
Demands that urgent matter, space
And possibly we'll find on Mars
Sufficient room to park our cars.'
The problem could be more real than whimsical but not being particularly philosophical I have not brooded over it .I've got enough troubles.
You don't have to be Einstein, though, to see the effects of pressure on space going on all round us. What with kids and cats, I've even got a battle to find somewhere to sit at home.
The small bashing you get in these pages on groups like N.P.A. and W.L.P.S. is aimed at preserving a very valuable commodity - undisturbed natural space. We trust you will be patient with our rantings on this subject.
Denise Hull has written an article for us this month on the Warrumbungles. This fascinating place is a good exanrple of a unique area that has been preserved for posterity, and is a very recent addition to the slowly growing list of National Parks.
“A Night on the Kowmung”. A showing of slides taken on various trips down this beautiful river. We hope to have Jim Hooper's movie, “Around the Bend” to show you too. We hope to interest new members in planning Christmas trips down the Kowmung. But remember, such a trip should not be commenced until after the S.B.W. Christmas Dance on 22nd December. Come dressed as an historical figure.
“Queensland Panorama” and “Philatelic Portrait” both P.M.G. films in colour will be screened.
7.45 p.m. The Conference Hall, 7th Floor, G.U.O.O.F. Buildling, 149 Castlereagh Street.
Speaker - Mr. Jack Waterhouse.
“Birds of the Sydney District” (Illustrated with coloured slides).
1.30 p.m. Oatley Park - Main entrance.
Bird watching with the Oatley Fauna and Flora Society.
Our meeting commenced with a welcome to three new members - Betty and Ernie Farquhar, and Joan Balfour.
In correspondence was an invitation to the opening of the Dingledei Memorial Shelter, an enquiry from the Historical Society as to the route taken by Blaxlands Lawson and Wentworth after reaching Mount York, notification that Paul Barnes had taken the place of Myles Dunphy (retired) on the Blue Mountains National Park Trust, a photograph of Joy Weston who is prepared to entertain us for a fee, and a reminder from Coles and Co that Christmas is coming.
Molly Rodgers reported that “East Lynne” had attracted about 20 members and friends; resulting in a profit of about £20. The Treasurer reported a slight decrease in our bank balance, expenses being nearly covered by subscriptions of £20.10 and hire of gear £1.3.0.
Wilf'Hilder's walks report revealed a bad start for the month with two walks cancelled, but Snow Brown filled the breach by putting on a Saturday middday walk to Splendour Rock, the Cox and back via Breakfast Creek and Carlon's Head. Seven members went on the trip. Jack Gentle's Sunday walk - Helensburgh - Wilson's Creek - Bola Heights - Burning Palms - Otford, was remarkable for the excellence of the leader's report. It was attended by 7 members and 5 prospectives. There was thick scrub and fields of hakea round Bola Heights, but this did not dim the party's appreciation of the beautiful wildflowers. Jack suggested it would make a very good wildflower walk if shortened by getting the bus back from Lady Game Lookout. On the second week-end Alan Round took 2 members and 1 prospective down Victoria Falls to Bluegum and back via Lockleys. Bob Godfrey's instructional walk attracted 28 starters. The prospectives were reported to have learnt a lot. David Ingram's Gibberong Creek - Cowan Creek - St. Ives day walk was done by 8 members and 4 prospectives. David reported Gibberong Creek undrinkable, but side creeks with good water. The area was mainly sandstone country bisected by fresh and salt water creeks flowing into heavily timbered and scrubby gullies. There was a profusion of eriostemon and four different varieties of Boronia. On the next week-end, from 14th to 16th, no official walking at all was done, one walk being cancelled because of “lack of transport” and the other being cancelled because of lack of starters. However official walking was resumed next week end. There were 9 starters on Bob Godfrey's Frog Hollow walk (which located and studied some fine aboriginal carvings) and 8 members, 8 prospectives and 1 visitor were on Jim Brown's Cowan - Brooklyn walk. Once again the wild flowers were fine. The party was lucky to be able to cross Porto Bay on the mud flats at low tide.
Following on the walks report, Jack Gentle drew attention to the number of walks cancelled due to “lack of transport.” Jack advocated a number of walks using public transport. Leaders should not have to knock back starters or depend on someone else's transport. Colin Putt pointed out that the prevalence of fire trails made it difficult to lead walks using public transport, but suggested the Committee look into the problem.
Following a motion by Bob Godfrey the meeting then discussed the purchase of tents for hiring to prospectives. Frank Ashdown was against the proposal. He said it would take a long time to recoup our expenditure, since only £4 had been received for hire over the past year. We had just spent over £17 on gear. One tent, donated for such a purpose had not been used and was sold by auction. A prospective would only need a tent a couple of times, and members should be prepared to provide accommodation for prospectives. Gordon Redmond was also opposed - to recoup, say £20 on tents would perhaps require a full year's hire. Audrey Kenway referred to the difficulties of leaders in finding tent room for prospectives, when they did not know how many were coming before it was too late to hire a tent. Jack Wren was of the opinion that if the prospectives didn't have the gumption to go and hire a tent from Paddy, it was good enough for them to sleep under a gum tree. Colin Putt said he had been in the Club 13 years and still didn't own a tent. The debate then shifted to the sort of tent that was needed - the virtues of London tan, terylene and japara and whether we needed one man, three man, two woman, walled or “A” tents. Heather Joyce said she didn't often use a tent and she couldn't see why prospectives should have lighter and more expensive tents than we needed for ourselves. The question was unresolved, but it was decided to purchase two tents of some description and to empower Frank Ashdown to bid at the Club auction for any tents he considered suitable for the purpose.
Heather Joyce reperted a very successful Federation Ball, which showed a profit of £219.9.6, including over £120 on the raffle. Jack Gentle then moved that we congratulate the organisers of the Ball and do not charge for the advertising brochure produced on the Club's machine. This was carried.
After the election of Jack Gentle, David Ingram, Grace Rigg and Ernie French as room stewards, and an inconclusive discussion on the toleration of bushwalkers in the Warragamba catchment, the meeting ended at 9.50 p.m.
Where their caravan has rested
Tins lie scattered on the grass;
Tinfoil wrappings, egg-shell, orange-peel,
You may see them as you pass.
You will understand their message,
Plain for all who pass them by -
Such a litter is only natural
To the dwellers of a sty.
Not altogether Dear Editor,
When I came to page 6 in the last magazine and saw wat I saw - I said
Sacremento! peste! donnablitzen and bugaritt!!
Evidently you don't know the name of Myles' son - it is MILO - as clearly stated in the scrip. This bloomer destroys the whole sense of the quip, and should puzzle the rest of the club, not knowing the name; “Milo was the original passenger in the pram, and you probably know who the original Milo was. The nipper whose father made him carry a calf and kept him repeating the lift as the bullick grew up. In this I can see evidence of the characteristic long viewing of Myles. Assuming as he probably did, this lad would grow up into a bushwalker, what an asset he would be to a group of tigers far out with tucker running short and a bullick in sight.
These editors - from Granny down. I fancy I have some reference to 'em in my private dictionary and quippery - hold on a mo till I see - yes, here it is, on page 213.
Editors. “Manglers and assassins of script”
A nice bit of writing by Mouldy “Stoddy”. Stoddy's Melody Maidens gave us the few precious flashes of legitimate music in the jingle jungle of the S.B.W. campfires. Nice if we could get a tape of a European campfire singo, might even hear Schubert.
Lightweight tucker - heard any reports on Limmits - invite 'em.
(We must confess we switched names deliberately, Taro, 'cos we knew it would bring your letter of protest, and good copy is hard to get. As a matter of interest, we interviewed a random sample (statisticly speaking) of 12 readers as to how they interpreted this point, with the following results:-
(Note: A map accompanied this article, but unfortunately, could not be reproduced here. It is published by the Department of Lands on behalf of the Warrumbungle National Park Trust, Council Chambers, Coonabarabran, at a price of 2/. It would be well worth getting for anyone contemplating a visit as it details not only the tracks, but all the points of interest in the Park.)
For those no are interested in several days of good track walking from a comfortable base camp, the Warrumbungles would be an ideal choice. A good trip from Sydney is through Bathurst and Gilgandra with an overnight stop en route if a leisurely trip is desired. The Tooraweenah road out from Gilgandra can be boggy in patches after recent rain, but the new road into the Park, though it has some steep grades, has a hard surface. The new road from the entrance and right to camp Pincham (3 miles) is still under construction (September 1962) though passable, and the road to the left goes over the ford direct to the Park Headquarters where all camping fees are paid. Here also is the camping area for caravans and for those who wish the comfort of a permanent camp at the tram cars. The pleasant home of the Chief Ranger is built at the rear of the trams and has a small kiosk (which it is hoped to expand) selling tinned foods such as dried milk, tinned meats and fruit etc. Fresh eggs are obtainable also, and as the mail comes in twice weekly probably fresh foods could be ordered ahead if necessary.
There are five tram cars, freshly painted and divided into two parts accommodating four each end. This consists of a comfortable little kitchen with sink with running water, electric stove with four burners and a griller and 3 point plug, a small food safe - crockery for four - dinner, bread and butter and soup plates and four cups and saucers, milk jug, one 3 pint and one 1 pint saucepan, kettle, teapot and towel rail. Also bucket for rubbish, but no cutlery. On opposite side is the table and seat for four and two shelves for food and of course electric light.
Through the sliding door are four comfortable bunks with mattresses and a seat and space at the end for packs etc. The drivers cabin has been turned into a dressing room with sink with running cold water and brooms are provided. The whole car is gauzed in and the cost is £l per night between four people or £5 for the week with 10/- cleaning fee.
A few yards from the trams are the bathrooms and toilets - 3 toilets with septic tanks and 2 showers with beautiful hot water at each end and also two basins with hot and cold water and a mirror and all spotlessly clean. The whole area is well kept with ample provision for garbage and close to the creek which makes an ideal safe spot for children to play.
Leo Stewert, the Ranger and his wife Sonje and 4 year old son are friendly people ready to help and advise and have a cheery word for all who come by. Harry, the other Ranger knows much of the wild life of the Park and is obviously interested in his job.
The tracks are in excellent condition and well graded. One walk of fourteen miles was from the main camp, round Split Rock, up Exmouth with its magnificent views and back up West Spirey Creek. The next trip was down the main Spirey Creek (thus making a less steep pull than round by West Spirey track) along the Grand High Tops with their magnificent views of the Bread Knife and Belougry Spire and the Ranges beyond - past Dows Hut and back down along West Spirey Creek and home again past the campers at Camp Pincham on to the comfort of electricity and a hot shower.
Dows Hut is an excellent situation for an overnight stop and further exploration along the tops. It has four comfortable bunks and a water tank and fire place and even an indoor camp stove for wet or cold nights. Two tanks and a shelter shed and also toilets are at Camp Pincham and tanks are already in use or in process of erection at (1) Hurleys campsite (2) the Junction of West Spirey Creek and the Western High Tops trail (3) at the junction of the Western High Tops trail and the Exmouth Spur track and (4) a spring at the Burbie Campsite.
The new road, well under may, is to connect Coonamble and Coonabarabran through Gummin. A good map of the actual tracks through the Park is procurable for 2/- at the Warrumbungles Tourist office(next to the Baker) in Coonabarabran or generally, if in stock, at the kiosk, at the Park H.Q. Miles Dunphy's map of the whole area is also, of course, invaluable to those who wish to explore.
The following is the price list for caravans, campers etc. Bookings for trams can be made through the Secretary (Mr. Gould) Trust Office, Council Chambers, Coonabarabran. Trams £l per night or £5 per meek. Caravans 5/- per night or £1.5.0 per week if no electricity. Caravans 8/- per night or £2.0.0 per week with electricty. Cars, utilities or tents 5/- per night or £1.5.0 per week.
Apart from the main track walks given, there are many other lovely walks both easy and rough as desired, one along Mopera Creek through Mr. Blackman's property Belougerie with its fine view of the Ranges comes out at Mopera Gap on the dirt road - tree lined - leading back to the camp - a pleasant day walk. Wild life, especially kangaroos and wedge tailed eagles is abundant and the wild flowers, on the Grand High Tops especially, were very varied and particularly lovely this September. No where does the wattle seem so truly a rich and lovely gold as that of the Warrumbungles. One hundred seedling gums have recently been planted not far from Camp Pincham and it is hoped to make this area a refuge for the koala bear when the trees have grown sufficiently. It is to be hoped that those who would care for a week of camping, catering for all tastes and particularly for the whole family, will make the Warrumbungles their choice in the near future. Good walking and magnificent scenery are guaranteed.
As increased rail fares will operate fro 1st November 1962, the fares quoted here are approximate only.
Cronulla - Boat Harbour - Kurnell - bus to Cronulla - 10 miles. Will involve some beach walkings which can be very pleasant at low tide on the hard sand. Kurnell is the historic spot in N.S.W. where Captain Cook's first landing in New Holland or Terra Australis took place.
8.50 a.m. train from Central Electric Station to Cronulla.
Tickets: Cronulla return @ 5/6 plus 2/- bus fare.
Map: Port Hacking Tourist or Military.
Leader: Margaret Wilson.
Lilyvale - Burning Palms - Era Beach - Garie Beach - bus to Waterfall. 7 miles. A good opportunity to “break the ice” if you haven't already done so. Usually safe surfing at South Era. Ideal for new members.
8.42 aem Wollongong train from Central Steam Station to Lily vale.
Tickets: Lilyvale return @ 7/6 plus 2/6 bus fare.
Map: Port Hacking Tourist.
Leader: Frank Leyden.
Otford - Burning Palms - The Burgh Track - Helensburgh. 13 miles. The same area as last week, but a longer and much more energetic walk. Plenty of hills and some lovely forest country. May be time to surf at Burning Palms.
8.42 a.m. Wollongong train from Central Steam Station to Otford.
Tickets: Otford return @ 7/9.
Map: Port Hacking Tourist.
Leader: Jim Brown.
Children's Christmas Outing at Waterfall Creek. The usual spot about a mile from Waterfall Station along Lady Carrington Drive.
Sutherland - Woronora River - Engadine. 8 miles. A pleasant area along the upper reaches of the Woronora River where the fresh water and the tidal waters meet. Safe swimming in the fresh water section of the river. Mosquito repellent could be handy at lunchtime.
7.50 a m. Cronulla train from Central Electric Station to Sutherland. NOte altered train time.
Tickets: Engadine return @ 5/6.
Map: Port Hacking Tourist.
Leader: Ramon U'Brien.
For all your transport from Blackheath contact Hatswell's Taxi & Transport Service. Ring, write, wire or call - any hour - day or night.
'Phone: Blackheath W459 of W151.
Booking office: 4 doors from the Gardners Inn Hotel (look for the neon sign).
Speedy 5 or 8 passenger cars available. Large or small parties catered for.
We will be pleased to quote trips or special parties on application.
Do you need new roof, guttering and downpipes??
Or does the roof and guttering need re-painting??
Or perhaps a new water service or hot-water installation??
No job is too small - for any plumbing installations or alterations
You need Roy's friendly plumbing service.
Contact Roy Craggs in the S.B.W. Clubrooms or contact Joe Crags, Carpenter and Painter, 41 Rosamond Street, Hornsby, Telephone JU2203.
Remember - you need Roy's friendly service!!!
Next day was misty and cool and raining off and on. With our small but efficient camp fire and snug quarters we enjoyed it. It was a great environment for the little bloke and a certain amount of wild life filled his day with interest, and we had time to tell him about it. Old Mr. Cunnynghame left his little hut and its column of blue-white wood smoke and came along for a lengthy yarn. He did not know what to think about the pram; he was staggered; it was too much for him, but he appreciated company. He must lead a very lonely existence on this roof of the mountains. Mr. Don Wallace and two mates drifted along, bound on their first adventure into these big hills. They allowed themselves to be persuaded about certain things along the Kanangra-Gingra route by a sticky-beaking old timer (not Cunnynghame), and the day closed with a rabbit shoot, some pleasant discussion and a camp in common. The old timer learned something about packs and packing. As for our venture, we had covered what I considered the most difficult part of the way and success appeared possible.
Next day we pushed off for Boyd Creek, 7 miles away. The first 2 miles were difficult and had to be taken slowly. At the head of Little Morong Creek I got mater from the secret spring and we had lunch at the side of the road. After lunch we hit the granite and some more teeth-rattling going for awhile, then the downhill section to the Boyd was comparatively easy. Arrived in good time and fixed a comfortable camp. The creek was not running; there was plenty of water in the rock holes but it had dried up several inches so far. By this time we realized our pram was a wonderful vehicle indeed. An ordialary pram would have fallen to bits long before this. The advantages of the solid iron frame were now obvious. The two-way spring system as fitted to ordinary prams would have thrown boy and load out on many an occasion or upset the pram. Nothing had gone wrong except that 3 tyres were worn - torn is a better word. The fourth tyre was not natural; nothing had happened to it. The little 10 inch wheels were miracles of strength. Plenty of oil in the bearings eased the pushing business and prevented undue wear on the hubs. So far so good. Under her load Marg. was toughening up quite well and was enjoying the venture. As for myself I had developed quite a decent rearward action about the legs. Without the pram I was inclined to scratch gravel too heartily and fall on my nose. The 4 pound boots with their ground-gripping hobnails were right good friends. Although nearly new, the middles of the heavy soles (they were American Army boots) were beginning to wear away. These boots were extraordinary articles; no other boots would have stood up to the work so well.
Next day we set off on the last stage and managed well until near Rocky Top where the pram. had to be hauled up the rough ascent to it, while Milo walked (I forgot to state we planted some reserve tucker in a cache cairn of stones near the Boyd Crossing. This eased the general load somewhat). Lunched on top in the sun because the pleasant day was cool at this altitude of 4160 ft. The descent of the Kanangra Pass onward was a “touch and go” bit of business. I felt sure it would be the graveyard of the little bus. For a short distance Milo walked but the large, loose stones were too rough for the little chap so we put Marg's swag in the pram, whilst she carried him. The whole downhill stretch of nearly a mile and a half was done by walking backwards whilst pulling and easing the wheels between and over the rocks. I never realised just how rough the track is until I found myself on this stunt. It was a wonder that the thing with its 120 pounds on four narrow, little wheels did not fall to pieces when being hauled and thumped over the gibbers of this rare track. I began to respect that pram, and its makers also for they certainly knew their onions when they designed it. I had an idea that the next and final stretch to Kanangra would be easy, as certainly it is when walking with a pack but it wasn't. Whilst two wheels ran easily along one of the ruts the other two were forced to bump over grass tree roots, grass clumps, stones and sticks. Really it was a very rough passage. The pram. was no place for the boy; his brains would have been churned up, so Marg's swag and he changed places. At length Inglis's mud house came into view and the big prospect south lifted into sight. Time 2.30 p.m. We were there - and there stood the perambulator at Kanangra. Having to cut down weight I had no camera so the memorable event was not recorded pictorially. Pity, because it was a rare sight. Since the pram. had proved itself so indestructible I felt no compunction in proceeding to heave it along the track behind the mud house to our camp spot near the creek. The rocks stopped us for awhile but finally it was done. We realized that it could never be wheeled back to Rocky Top; it would have to be carried there. Really I felt like leaving it there by the camp for good.
We spent four happy days at Kanangra exploring the various plateaux: Mounts Seymour, Maxwell and Brennan to the east; Mounts Pindari, Bungin and the Wallaby Pass on the way to Mount Colboyd; also we went west over Kittani to Mount Ianthe and had a swim in one of the pools of the Thurat Rivulet just above the great Kanangra Falls.
At 10 past 5 one afternoon I left Marg. and Milo at the camp and set off for Rocky Top with the packed pram (62 lbs) on my back. It was a back-bruising and difficult load which I could neither rest under nor slip off, because had I done so I could not have hoisted it again. Arrived at Rocky Top I thought I had better take it on to Boyd Crossing, so continued. Some men who were rounding up and half-hoppling a number of horses asked me to wait awhile, so for 10 minutes I stood under the stress then moved on after them. At the Boyd I placed the pram. at the camp spot then shot back to Kanangra at a great pace and reached camp and tea at 10 past 8, having done the job in 3 hours.
Next day we walked out with our normal loads (2 swags this time), Milo walking and being carried by turns, and camped the whole afternoon on the Boyd. The waterholes were noticeably lower. Next day we reached Cunnynghame's and spent the following day there. Three very sick-looking tyres were wired to the wheels at 2 inch intervals, but the fourth tyre was still going strong, being only a little worn. Next day the 9 miles journey back to our camp near the Ginkin turnoff on the Oberon Road was hard work, even with the lessened load and cool weather. At camp, first thing Junior did was pile wood on the fireplace, even to pulling up the fireplace crotches and adding them to the pile. It was lucky I made a practice of using very thick and short, square topped tent pegs in case he ever fell upon one for this evening he ran towards me, tripped on a small clump of snow grass and fell fair on the big end peg. It struck his mouth and luckily his teeth were shut together so that the blow was spread over them. His underlip was split and at first we thought he was badly damaged, but fortunately it was not nearly as had as it appeared.
The following day we scooted down the long hill to Edith, 8 miles from Oberon, and camped by the roadside. The miraculously good tyre fell off as we mounted the bank to the site. We reckoned there was no point in finishing the Oberon stretch with its to uphill lengths of loose metal, so 'phoned for a car to pick us up next day. Four events happened this night and just how far they were connected with each other it is impossible to say. About 8.30, I think it was, a magnificent meteor fell about west of us. I was outside and saw it plainly and I never saw a better one. It fell very low down to the horizon and if it hit the ground there was no apparent report. Now for the next. About an hour and a half or two hours later there occurred a single and peculiarly sharp detonation, obviously at a distance but very loud. It had a kind of rocketting quality as if the hills obstructed some of the sound waves. I remarked to Marg. that it was a great explosion and that something remarkable had happened and also that it could hardly be connected with the meteor because of the long interval between. So much for what we saw and heard. Next day when we returned to Sydney we discovered that the initial fall of the great Dog Face Rock avalanche at Katoomba happened this same night, at 9.30 I believe. Several days later I learned that a marked earth shake had occurred over a limited area of swampy country (I think it was) somewhere south or Bathurst!! The name of the district was given me but I have forgotten it. Now, what do you make of that?
Anyway, we established the fact that the type of strong “hamper-pram” such as ours and fitted much the same way is quite the thing for ordinary roads, but the thicker kind of tyres would be better, no doubt. The Kanangra road is too rough for any perambulator and we advise other couples with a bairn not to attempt this back-breaking enterprise but to cut down weight as much as possible and walk there, no matter how slowly. Legs are better than wheels on such a track. Still, young Milo Kanangra reached the place he was named after (maybe the first kiddie to get there) and my pal Margaret enjoyed her first visit to the magnificent scenery which cannot possibly be seen in a stay of less than three days; a week is not too long. I lost a lot of weight because of the dinkum hard work. No doubt ours is the first perambulator to be shoved to Kanangra, but I think it will be the last until a better road is made - and I hope that never happens anyway. Next time we walk.
Myles J. Dunphy. Perambulatourist (for once).
Who's planning a trip.
Someone is you can be certain.
Perhaps to New Zealand on an Alpine Glacier Trip
or Tasmania to any of the spectacular places there
or Driving to Perth for the Games
Doing a Kowmung trip
Loafing down at Burning Palms.
Wherever you are going we have some gear to make your trip easier and more of a pleasure -
Whatever you are planning, plan a trip to Paddy's first.
Paddy Pallin Pty Ltd. Lightweight Camp Gear
201 Castlereach St., Sydney. BM2685.
Come dressed as an historical figure!!!! (If you can't do this, at least come dressed).
Place - North Sydney Town Hall.
Time - Who cares?
Date - 22nd December onwards. (A Saturday, we think).
Cost - A mystery. (though well worth it).
When the small apparently frail lady rose and moved across to the table covered with shells, paper clippings and island bric-a-brac, I thought to myself “This will be dull!” I lit my pipe and settled back to pass the time as comfortably as possible.
Two minutes later, I was sitting forward, pipe out and I stayed that way for seventy minutes; Mrs. McComish's vitality and zest for life belied her admitted three score years and ten - a v. and z.f.l. which infected everyone present.
She told us how her interest in nature began as a girl of five, when she kept bugs in boxes under her bed much to her Mother's horror. As she grew, this interest began to centre on the Pacific Isles and to see these became something of an obsession with her, later to dominate her life.
She married in England, but lost her husband soon after in the Great War. Her two brothers having emigrated - one to Australia, one to New Zealand - she set to work to persuade her parents to follow. Those of us who met her and came under the spell of Mrs McComish's vocal ability, would agree her parents had little chance once she'd made up her mind! So the family settled in Cairns. Not good enough! Once more she started to drip away on the parental rock - this time to visit the smaller islands - in a lugger. (She has a healthy loathing of tourist liners). Admitting to having nearly driven her parents to drink in the process, she finally got her way, but only on the condition she found a suitable travelling companion, female. Off she took herself to the shipping agency where she began to drip on the manager - regularly - every morning.
All she wanted was a travelling companion - now that shouldn't be difficult. Only qualification required - female, not to mind travelling in luggers or dugouts, living with natives, sleeping on the ground, travelling light, swimming creeks, collecting bugs… there should be plenty of them.
Eventually, her persistence wore down the opposition and she was off to her South Sea Islands, and there she has spent the rest of her life, marrying a second time to an historian and botanist (not bigamy - just one man) whose interests and outlook on life were identical with her own.
Over the years Mrs McComish has visited most of the Pacific Islands, learning about their people, studying the natural life and in particular, painting the indigenous flowers. We had the opportunity of inspecting one of her fourteen volumes of hand paintings of these flowers, and they were really magnificent. It is of great satisfaction to nature lovers therefore to know that these fourteen volumes comprising thousands of paintings and pressed flowers will eventually become the property of the Mitchell Library.
We were given a glitpse of life on Thursday Island (because of the large numbers of empty bottles around, Mrs. M. preferred to think of it as Thirsty Island). Thursday Island is the centre of an active pearling industry, and, true to form, Mrs. M. must know all the intimate details, so she shipped out on a pearling lugger to find out - the hard may. The toughest part was the all pervading stench. The natives open the shell fish, hang the meat in the rigging, and leave the shells on the deck. The sun-dried meat forms part of the natives' diet, but a rather high-powered diet to the uninitiated. Despite this she found out all about pearling with the help of handfuls of sea-sickness tablets.
On Thursday Island, Mrs. M. first met the whispering natives from Saibai. They literally never talk about a whsiper. The reason for this was found to be the water on Saibai which damages the vocal chords. (Visitors now take their own water). It is not difficult to conjure up some uses for the waters of Saibai.
Near Thursday Island lies Hammond Is. which is owned by the Catholic Church and used as a training school for natives. On Hammond Island there is a unique church, built by native labour for a total cost of £80. Mrs. M. found the priest on Thursday Island only too happy to show her over the island with its school and church. The church walls were made of hand-packed local rock. To make the windows, circular concrete frames of about three feet diameter were cast, and these were then filled with beer bottles (empty) laid on their sides, bottoms inwards. Mrs. M. (although a t.t.) described the effect inside as inspiring.
With the sun shining on them, the windows cast a golden amber light in wonderful patterns of circles in circles. The ever-present island breezes blowing across the open necks of the bottles produces inside a constant symphonic background of a thousand blending notes.
An inspection of the school activities further amazed Mrs M. Here the native Children were being taught Western Cultures and were learning them with enthusiasm and spectacular results. On a beat-up old piano, bare wood keys and all, Mrs. M. heard a recital from a 12 year old native girl that would have done credit to any conservatorium student.
Mrs M. was prevailed upon to entertain the children in return which she did by demonstrating the Maori haka. She had her audience gripped until she came to a part where you lean forward and poke out your tongue. When Mrs. M. performed this feat, not only her tongue came out but her top plate as well! The nuns were aghast, the native children terrified, the priest helpless with 1aughter. Mrs M. later taught these children the haka, and as you may guess, when they came to this crucial part, they all poked out their tongues and frantically tried to pull out their top teeth! She is now as famous on Hammond Is. as a certain shooner captain who once visited the island. He had a detachable wooden leg.
Mrs. McComish has seen her Pacific Islands, including the Australian continent from end to end - not superficially as a tourist, but intimately as a friend of the inhabitants and a scientist interested in everything that lived and breathed around her.
When Jack Gentle passed a vote of thanks to Mrs M., he said that this was the most entertaining talk the club had had the pleasure of hearing for some time. (He was obviously excluding some of our more vocal members at General Meetings). For once Jaek had everyone present right with him.
The vacancy for an auditor will be left open until the member clubs have had time to deliberate on the matter.
Mr. Webb of Glen Davis has been troubled by unauthorised parties camping at his shale mines, and has also had a haystack burned.
S. & R. A search was organised, during August for a solo walker who was 3 days overdue, but was called off at the last moment when the missing person rang S & R from his home!
Possible changes to the constitution of S & R section to get sales tax exemption, will be considered by the S & R committee, but were not viewed with favour by Federation meeting.
Paddy Pallin has made a gift of 200 ft. of rope to S & R.
The credit balance stands at £981.12.0 less about £200 liabilies.
The annual ball was not only a great social success, but also turned in a financial profit. The final profit figure will be known next month.
Messrs Melville, Dunphy and Hilder are on the Lands Department committee deciding on place names for the new Burragorang, Jenolan and Katoomba sheets. New Bindook and Nattai sheets, a Hawkesbury Valley tourist map and a plan of Tuglow caves have appeared during the last month. The Army is contracting a road from Putty past Mt. Uraterar.
It was resolved that the Secretary should write to the “Sun” newspaper asking them to include in their boating instruction courses, some instruction on how to light and extinguish picnic fires.
At last! Lady Luck has smiled on a bushwalker. Malcolm McGregor (or was it Bobby) has won an aluminium topped speedboat complete with motor attachment and trailer on which to tow it to and from the water, for simple writing a simple slogan.
May we expect some photographic studies on marine life, Malc?
Water occurs naturally in three states:- solid (ice), liquid (water) and gas (water vapour). Water vapour is invisible and is always present in the air. “Steam” is water vapour condensing back into fine droplets of liquid water so that it bedomes visibleible.
The three different states of water represent different energy levels of the water molecules, being lowest in ice and highest in water vapour. So to change from one form to another, a change in energy occurs this energy being almost always in the form of heat. So when we warm a block of ice, we supply additional energy to the water molecules and the form changes from solid to liquid. Conversely, when water changes into ice, energy is given off, and the air around is warmed up somewhat.
When the sun shines on the ocean, it warms the water and some water changes into water vapour which mixes with the air and makes it what we call humid. When the water vapour eventually turns back into water (i.e. rain) this extra energy in the water vapour is released and the air around is warmed up. “What the hell” I can hear you saying “has all this drivel got to do with hurricanes?” Well, if you will be patient a while longer, all, we trust, will be revealed.
In the doldrums just north or south of the equator, the water vapour process we just mentioned goes on at a vast rate and on a large scale. Heat waves roll over the oily ocean and enormous volumes of heated air, saturated with water vapour, rise and spiral slowly upwards, their place being taken by air moving in from the side. The motion is moderate but on a vast scale. The earth's rotation imparts a spin to the currents of rising air. When conditions are just right, we get a huge volume of hot moist air riaing and spiralling slowly. As this air reaches the higher levels of lower pressure, it expands and cools and the water vapour condenses back into water releasing its extra energy as heat, thereby re-warming the air. This causes the air to move faster, to spiral quicker and the whole process gathers momentum.
Before long we have a column of air, perhaps 500 miles across and several miles high, spinning rough like a vast top, sucking up moist hot air, cooling it, condensing the vapour, and getting back vast quantities of heat to speed the motion up further. A hurricane has been born. The rotation of the earth causes this rapidly spinning mass to move slowly sideways along a curved path which is anticlockwise in the Northern hemisphere, clockwise in the Southern hempisphere. Thus the Atlantic hurricanes in the north first move generally in a northwest direction swing slowly around to the north east progressing at a steady speed of about 10 mph - something like a couple doing an old-time waltz. A hurricane may live as long as three or four weeks though the average life is 9 days.
The winds on the outside of the hurricand are light and gusty, but increase towards the centre where they may reach a speed of 250 mph. Right in the centre of the spinning air mass is the “eye” of the hurricane - a region of very low pressure and almost still air about 14 miles across. While the hurricane remains over the ocean it continues to pick up water vapour, and thus energy to keep it going, but over land, it gradually dies away, though this may take days due to its huge momentum.
A hurricane is thus like a huge turbine. Water vapour is its fuel. It turns water vapour into water and gains a huge power bonus as a result. Liquid water in great lumps is a by-product, an unfortunate by-product - as this torrential rain dropped by the hurricane causes more damage than the actual winds.
In one hurricane in the Phillipines in 1911, 46 inches of rain fell in 24 hours, and a total of 88 inches in 4 days. Brother, that's really rain!
Hurricanes are also known in various localities as typhoons and cyclones. A tornado is something quite different however.
C.E. Tackrah says that effluent from the new Mona Vale Hospital is to be run into Warriewood Beach (“S.M.H.” Letters, August 27.)
Effluent from a Government institution which will house a large number (perhaps some hundreds)of girls at Thornleigh is to be run into Elouera Bushland Reserve, whose streams are used for general picnic purposes.
Is a reserve, set aside for the recreation of the people, available by a decision of two or three Government departments for the disposal of effluent, even if, in the final process, it is said to be purified? Does such use come within the framework of the original purpose - public recreation - for which the reserve was set aside?
Hon.Sec. Asquith-Hornsby Fauna and Flora Protection Society.
Of all cliches trust this the least -
“The squeaking wheel is soonest greased.”
I squeaked, all right, but what a waste!
I wasn't greased, I was replaced.
THE AGONISTIC STRUGGLE. “Resigned?!” The Greek games p1ayers4 the agonistals, were men selected to show their ability in games, the nature of which was such that the loser had a fair chance of not hearing another play by Aristophanes.- The gaizs were in fact little wars, The increasing status of games, at all levels of participation and exertion, in the last several centuries is derived from the Greek games.. Most games are,still little wars but the avoidance of death has been replaced by the avoidance of defeat to the increased longevity of sportsmen. In certain games, essentially the “body contact” games there is a definite element of physical danger that has not been refined away and there is a certain ethos about the way one should meet this danger. In games where the rules are laid down one plays to the limits of the rule but there is another area of conduct superior to the rules where each player is in a very solitary position. Briefly it is this. Granted the technical mastery of the game, be it cricket, surfing, rock climbing or yes even bushwalking, the player can take as much or as little danger as he desires.' No one discounts his performance, in the framework of the rules, if he is not prepared to take too much danger. Acceptance of thedanger using the technical skill necessary, is applauded. There are only two main restrictions, no one else should be endangered and the player must have the skill to see instantly the shadow line between complete safety and the acceptance of danger. In that most ritual of “little wars”, cricket matchet between England and Australia, the safrarules insist that danger should not be offered to any but the accepted batsman;'the lower members of the batting orders are considered to lack the necessary agility and skill to avoid the danger. It is a hard game played with a hard ball; it can be very solitary when one is facing a viciously rising ball:. The point of these games is that the player can demonstrate his skill and indirectly his manhood by the acceptance of danger.' Unfortunately there has grown up a reverse philosophy that manhood can be achieved by exposing players to danger. Once again admittedly there are Greek models, the Spartans, to buttress the philosophy. As a preparation for games the philosophy ignores the technique of the game and so defeats the modern concept of games.- When it claims to be a preparation for manhood the philosophy is on very dubious ground, even in its two most official forms, the naval cadet training schemes in sailing ships and more beguilingly in the Outward Bound and Scouting type of movement. The system of cadets takes as its base that if future officers can live the life of a more heroic age, most previous ages are heroic, they will become better seamen,. naval officers and men. A great number of cadets, by definition young, and so nothaving time to have acquired skill or understanding of danger are sent to sea under the guidance of men whose skill may be only a memory or imperfectly acquired from that heroic age. Meeting danger, as anyone must eventually at sea, the results are predictable. The company cannot take as much or as little of the danger as they choose and the awful lack of technique is suddently fatal. The loss of the Pamir and most of its complement and the total disappearance of a Danish training ship before the mar are tragic reminders of the unsoundness of the philosophy. 20 . The Sydney Bushwalker November 1962 More beguiling are the arguments advanced for the 0.tward Bland movement. The arguments ire only beguiling in that the possibility of total disaster are less;. a few people in canoe?, one boy exposed on a cliff at a time, an incompletely equipped party on a night bushwalk at Barrington Tops. Before the danger oocurs there has either been a complete acceptance of danger, which is unjust to those unaware of the danger, or the danger has been neglected which is unfair to all other bushwalkers, canoeists, sailors or rock-climbers. The danger, the inv,,cation of danger, cannot be confined to the fully aWare participant; others, the cadets, the members of a fortnight's Outward Bound camp, must accept greater dangers to retrieve the position. From the games point of view nothing is broved except that the game is dangerous; if rescue operations are necessary as in the Kanangra epic, the cold expression of technique becomes an absorbing display of the acceptance of danger. One must learn the rules somewhere and sometime; the -technique must be acquired whatever the game. Proficiency-is slow to be acquired; it is best to learn to sWim before one goes into an exciting surf. One tremendous wave in a season, one good climb, can make you feel ten foot tall for a long while. It is the justification for all games. CH.ANGE IN DECEMBER WALKS PROGRAMME. Primitive Arts Week-end. December 14.-15-16. Leader., Ron Knightley. Now Changed to - November 30 -.December 1-2. (Same Weekend as . Bill Burke, same area): Act,ivities will include; ' 'Saturday Night Corroboree.. Digeridoo coMpetition. Boomerang..-throwing. Miss International Du sky Tania 'Contest. Don't forget to bring your own digeridoo: The leader only has one. (digeridoo). mweposmonimm A TIP FOR THOSE WET NIGHTS. If you really want some inflammable wood, look:for a chip on the shoulder. 21 The Sydney. Bushwalker November 1962 MO 13T DER RUDOLPH KUPPEN ? ? Many years ago a gnarled old craftsman sat gazing lovingly at the thing of beauty he had created. Now, after many weeks of concentrated endeavour, it was finally complete, and he could sit back and admire its virgin beauty. Its lines, though set in hard geometrical curves, yet held a subtle symmetry and grace that required no further adornment, save for a coat of sparkling white, and yes, perhaps a thin line of blue around its upper periphery. No turrogate vessel this, but the real thing at last - the culmination of years of training and experience, the epidemy of craftsmanship. With dignity, beauty-and grace it could embellish iany establishment. ' The years passed, eventfully, inexorably and our vessel enjoyed an active and full life. Nemesis! The marks of age insidiously appeared. First a dulling of the gloss, then a crack, a chip, a'spot of rust. -Infidels, not apprecative of the wealth of thoroughbred ancestry contained in one small object, consigned it to rest. , From its dusty pestilential grave it wat resurrected, forever to be enshrined in the hearts of a dedicated group of aesthetes, for whom true beauty transcended mere superficial wounds. The Rudolph Cup was born! Year-by yea]. its possession was hotly disputed by an ardent few, for whom its propinquity, even for twelve months, was prized beyond any mundane material award. Thityear I-scanned the programme with growing excitement.' When would the contest for the coveted trophy be held and where? I reached the fateful words “Christmas and New Year at Era” and not one reference to the Rudolph Cup! The programme dropped from my nerveless fingers and I turned ashen white. (The astute reader will immediately enquire “How the hell did you know you turned ashen White?” Well, in fact, I didn't know for sure, but it felt like it anYway, and certain licende is invariably permitted). If: usually takes'a strong stimUlus to project me from the depths of such an attack. One was quickly forthcoming. “For goodness sake, come aild do the wiping up!” ' As I plied, the snow-White cloth (my wife will undoubtedly read this) I firmly resolved that such a transr gression should not go unheeded.. Where is the ruddy thing? Who has it? Why hasn't it been put forward for that healthy competition we pretent to adulate? Someone must answer: Besides,last year (or was it the year before?), I got enough fresh meat to keep my cat going for 3 months!
22 The Sydney Bush-walker November 1962 CLEM HATASTROM Clem Hallstrom passed away suddenly 'whilst holidaying at Coolangatta in an endeavour to recuperate from an illness which had been troubling him for some time. A member for over 20 years, Clem was responsible for many interesting walks and enjoyable outings. 'His, Blue Gum Forest and the Black Dog-Clear 'all area were some of. his favourite spots. At tall times anxious to learn, he was interested in a variety of subjects, but in recent years his home and family had been his big interest. Nevertheless he found time to lead day walks in National Park which was near his home and to organise the annual Christmas Bush Party for members and their children. Clem could always find something to laugh about and was always willing' to help in any way that he could - attributes which endeared him to his friendsi who will mourn 'his untimely passing. David Ingram. Clem had been a member df the club for twentY years or more, and vas - a ' elf-contained and very gOod walker. He was always an evenr-tempered person who had a habit of making jocose remarks, knowing that if they were taken seriously they would cause heated discussion. However long or however hard the walk, or however late in the evening camp had been made, Clem could always be seen cheerily wandering among the individual groups of the party, ever ready for a talk on any matter at all. He had a great love for the club and enjoyed immensely the companionship that the dlub gave him. In recent years he was not seen much on walks, and not so often in the club rooms. Club members will know him more in the last few years, as the one who led and organised the Kiddies )polas Treat.. . Bill Hall. “No man is an island, complete until himself … for I am involved in humanity.” Clem Hallstrom, who died on 30,10.62 made each of us less of an island for everyone's store of humanity wgs increased by knowing Clem. It is hard to recall, to remember what a person was like. The physical details come easy but are least important. There is a Very real area of personality that is indefinable. If one had met Clem only once he would be remembered; to lipme had him as the friend of one's late youth mas,to be given an understanding - of tolerance, humour and enthusiasm. Perhaps these things are a definition of 4 humanity, I don't know. He lived' for a time in'the National Park and knew where the deer swam across the river. and where the native rose grew best and a thousand other things, Walking, camping with Clem was fun, arguing with him could be done with vigour. Of late I only saw him at Childrens Christmas parties and on the beach. They are perhaps the best places tto meet friends like Clem; there is the assurance of posterity in one and the enjoyment of a surrogate paradise in the other. The Club is the less for his passing. Curs is the loss of a man and we mourn that. Our sympathy for his widow is' deep, for we too loved Clemmie. W. Gillam.