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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 843985.
|Editor||Frank Rigby, Unit 5, 52 Market St., Randwick.|
|Business Manager||Bill Burke, Coral Tree Dr., Carlingford. 8711207.|
|Typist||Shirley Dean, 30 Hannah St., Beecroft.|
|Sales & Subscriptions||Neville Page, 22 Hayward St. Kingsford. 343536.|
|The Half-Yearly General Meeting||J. Brown||2|
|That's Progress for you||N. Page||6|
|Federation Report - September||7|
|Fire Fighting & Control||J. White||8|
|Manpower for Bushfire Fighting in National Parks||9|
|One More Month||Observer||12|
|S.B.W. Crossword||P. Butt||14|
|Down the Grose||B. Pacey||15|
|The Last Round Ups in Kosciusko State Park||S. & P. Butt||17|
|Bushwalking to Bondi||18|
|Answer to Crossword Puzzle||20|
At the beginning it was quite a small gathering for one of the year's big business meetings - maybe the threat of a lot of talking discouraged some citizens.
Welcome was given to new members Karl Bossard, Peter Vanamois and Victor Treet - the last a carry-over from the previous month. The meeting stood in silence in tribute to Chub Harding, the young Englishman who was on the point of admission to full membership when he died as a result of a climbing mishap.
There was no business arising from the minutes, but a few items of general interest in Correspondence, including the publication of a book by the Heard Island Expedition, confirmation of the availability of Black Jerry's Ridge (placed on the notice board) and an item from the Parks Service Bureau which will be published in the magazine and will lead to further discussion.
The Treasury is in reasonable shape and if we heard the report aright above a certain amount of external noise, there was about $230 in the normal bread-and-butter funds at the end of August. Walks Report indicated a fairly active August, with a party of eleven going up and downhill, then up and down again and again and again under the leadership of Don Finch on the Wild Goat Plateau. Twenty five folk went on Frank Leyden's walk out of Waterfall, while Joan Rigby's Kanangra-Gingra walk had 5 members.
Jack Gentle's Euroka Instructional brought out 21, including 12 prospectives, and David Ingram on the same week had a party of 13 to the Woolwash and Pheasants Creek. Alan Pike on the first weekend in September led a party of nine from Victoria Falls along the Grose and Owen Marks' Saturday day walk attracted seven. The last report to hand covered Brian Harding's jaunt from Glen Davis to Uraterer Mt. and back with a party of 8.
Federation's report has already been published in the September magazine and additionally it was stated that the organisation of S & R had been varied following Paddy Pallin's retirement from his long-held office. S & R is now under the control of a triumvirate comprising Ninian Melville, Heather Joyce and Colin Putt.
No Parks and Playgrounds report owing to the illness of the Secretary, so we came to other agenda items, first the choice of the Reunion Site. The old stalwart Woods Creek was nominated, Dot Butler suggested a site in Kangaroo Valley and a reference made to Macarthur's Flat on the Nattai. The vote gave it to Woods Creek, with Kangaroo Valley as the Alternative if flood should put the far side of the Hawkesbury out of the running. It was proposed and carried that selection of the Reunion organising Committee be done in December instead of January because there would probably be more talent available.
There were no less than three constitutional amendments to be discussed and surprisingly all three gained the requisite 3/4 majority. The first removed an anomalous provision of the Constitution requiring that a prospective member should not be declined admission to full membership until the nominator had been further consulted. This now provides that in the event of a vote of rejection, the nomination should be again interviewed and Committee reconsider its verdict.
The second amendment alters the Constitutional clause giving an expelled member a right of appeal to the ensuing general meeting. The question may now be raised at the General Meeting, but instead of washing any dirty linen in public, the whole thing can be referred to a special sub-committee of Committee officers and members elected from the body of the meeting for consideration and recommendation.
The third Constitutional amendment decrees that a Federation delegate from SBW shall not hold similar office in another Club, so ensuring that the Club retains its full voting strength, and there can be no divided loyalties if other affiliated Clubs have different views. An amendment seeking to exclude the Mountain Trails Club from this formula was lost, simply on the score that there should be no exceptions. As a result of the amendment, Phil Butt and Kerry Hore who hold other office in Federation, stood down as SBW delegates or substitutes.
The President next sought a succession as Vice President to the late Alan Rigby, Treasurer Gordon Redmond being elected and to retain his present portfolio, Barry Knight succeeded to the vacancy of Federation Delegate.
It was announced that one Federation delegate, one substitute, plus a Membership Secretary would be elected in October, the latter because Barbara Evans is leaving to spend a time in Western Australia. John pointed out from the chair that there are many prospectives at present and the job would be a big one.
Alex Colley referred to the letter from the Parks Services Bureau and the question of volunteer fire fighting teams. After publication in the magazine the whole subject will be given another airing.
Phil Butt regretted that, despite the publicity given to the Orienteering Contest only two SBW teams took part - there were more from Newcastle Clubs. It was agreed that the support given was not good, but pointed out that SBW members had assisted materially in the preparation and organisation.
Joan Rigby moved that the Club disapprove of the practice of heavy blazing of trails, citing the way from Gospers Mt. to the Capertee River as a bad example. Finding one's way was part of the pleasure and satisfaction of walking, she said. Snow Brown agreed with the idea, but couldn't see how it could be enforced.
In reply to Alex Colley's enquiry on the views of the Tracks and Access people, John White said there had been some changes in personnel and the policy on track marking is under review. He assented to Jack Wren's suggestion that SBW's doubts on the virtue of axe marking should be passed on to the Access Committee.
Phil Butt said the marking had been made to assist people find their way in a tricky piece of country. The marking was not as close as had been suggested, and cairns had been used wherever possible. Joan's motion setting the Club's policy against tree blazing was then carried.
Don Wood on behalf of the Social Secretary, said there was a suggestion that the Christmas party be held on a ferry, which could be chartered for four hours for $78. Several people indicated it may be a comfortable way to socialize, and it was agreed that more details be assembled and the project discussed in October.
At which stage, having come to the accepted hour of vacation of the Club Room, the meeting had no more to say, and we dispersed.
On October 19. Mr. Edgar F. Penzig is giving a talk on the Australian Wild Colonial Days which will prove with facts and figures that Australia had a much more exciting period than the so called Wild West of America. Mr. Penzig will also show some of his collection of antique pistols. A free supper and general get together will follow.
“Ireland” by Peter Lannigan, originally, scheduled for November 30, will now be held on October 26.
“The Need For Wilderness Areas” by Dr. Moseley, has been postponed from October 26 to November 30.
Unit 59, 52 Market Street, Randwick. No telephone number at this stage.
For the Sydney Bushwalker Magazine. Material to fill this page. In place of the Editor's Ad.
… And still more material to fill the pages to come.
… Especially from all those who have yet to put pen to paper.
… Especially from the young active group.
Make “The Sydney Bushwalker” your magazine.
by Neville Page.
At our house, one recent Sunday morning, we commenced to take up the carpet in the lounge room in preparation for the layers who were coming during the following week, to put down something new. Underneath the carpets were spread out masses and masses of newspapers, and as if to emphasise how old our carpets were, they were all dated with the year 1938. Well, this was interesting; I always like rummaging through old newspapers, laughing at photographs depicting styles current at the time, and marvelling at prices quoted in advertisements.
I picked up a copy of “The Sydney Morning Herald” dated Saturday, May 21, 1938, and as I turned over the age-browned pages, something caught my eye. It was an editorial headed “Preserving Our Parks”, accompanied by an article by Mr. C.D.A. Roberts, bearing the headlines:
The issue under discussion was the proposal by the then Trustees of Royal National Park to develop the public amenities and thereby popularize the Park.
'It is planned, we are told, to make tennis courts, bowling greens, and a golf course; dancing facilities are to be provided, in the form, it is understood, of a ballroom and a cabaret.'
Both the editorial and Mr. Roberts' article followed similar lines of reasoning and argument in condemning what they call, and what we still know today as, “official vandalism.”
'There is nothing new about this 'official vandalism'. Successive trustees have, for many years, been periodically incurring the wrath of public opinion. The introduction of deer, the felling of trees (more than once), the allowing of private rights in the land these are some of the incidents in an extraordinary and tragic record of maladministration.'
This mention of private rights of ownership caused me to recall a recent walk, when we stood on the hill separating North Era from South Era, looking down on one side to our little haven of unspoiled beachland, and then turning to the other side to see the unsightly conglomeration of holiday shacks and shanties that is South Era. This is the legacy to us of a past administration. So much for bureaucracy. This is a sight we all know, yet the painful thought is that nothing whatever can be done for at least 7 years, and that will probably drag out to well in excess of 10 years.
In 1938, certain remedies were suggested for preserving our parks.
'The Government might well gather together representatives of the Lands Department, sporting organisations, and nature-lovers into a single committee, advisory but permanent, to consider the whole important problem of preserving our parks and putting them to the best possible service.'
In perusing these statements, I could not help but feel that maybe I was just reading a copy of the morning paper, instead of one which was issued seven years before I was even born, for exactly the same conditions apply today, and exactly the same things are being said over and over again today. In fact, as I read the concluding paragraph, it caused me to smile to myself, because the relevance to the present time is so striking and obvious.
'The story of National Park, however, has its moral. Many reforms in the method of administering park lands are urgent necessary. These cannot be discussed in detail here, but there is one outstanding lesson to be learnt from the history of the National Park. The Trust system of control should be abolished, and instead the management of the larger perhaps all parks must be vested in one central authority, similar to the Parks Service of the United States.“
This was written in 1938: it is now the year 1966, and 28 years have intervened; yet it is only now that control of National Parks is being transferred from local trustees to one central authority, the Lands Department. Why has action which was so “urgently necessary” in 1938 taken more than 28 years to be initiated?
Maybe by the year 1994, the Fauna Protection Panel won't have to depend any longer on the income from the sale of Duck Shooting Licences to carry out its work effectively.
A letter enquiring the road in the Mahon's Crk. area of the lower Grose Valley which is now blocked by “No Trespassing” signs? Position of right of access along road shall now be search.
1st Narwee Scout group looking for a Scoutmaster. Any volunteer should contact P.Butt 270-2440.
The treasurer presented the 1965-66 Annual Financial Report.
Two new tracks in the Euroka area.
The S & R Demonstration weekend shall occur on October 15 - 16.
Results announced 1st C.M.W.; 2nd Newcastle Y.M.C.A; 3rd C.M.W.
(Last month we published “Conservation Commentary” by Alex Colley and his article included a section on fire fighting and fire control in our National Parks and other bushlands. Now we have two more articles dealing with particular -aspects of these subjects.
It is hoped that these articles will stimulate further discussion which was started by “Conservation Commentary”. Editor.)
For generations bushwalkers have watched in horror as farmers and foresters have set fire indiscriminately to the bush. We were told that this “burning off” was necessary to prevent large-scale summer fires - and yet in practice this has never been achieved. Now it seems we have a logical approach to the problem …. Fuel Reduction achieved by Control Burning. There always have been fires and always will be - to control them or reduce their intensity is our problem.
On a recent week-end, the writer was one of a group of N.S.W. and A.C.T. National Park Association members who were invited to see the field work and discuss the theory of Fuel Reduction with Mr. Alan McArthur of the Canberra Forest Research Institute. The concept of fuel reduction by control burning is, to most of us, revolutionary and the writer for one had grave doubts about the wisdom of burning sections of the areas we are trying to protect from fire. I shall try to outline some of the background of Mr. McArthur's work.
It is known that the Aborigines used fire in hunting and their fires must have regularly burnt considerable areas. In all but the west coastal strip lightning strikes cause an enormous number of fires. As a result of these continual burnings the fuel accumulations were kept at quite a low level. In fuel accumulation calculations leaves, twigs and small shrubs are taken into account, logs and heavy branches are omitted. The plants and trees which developed in this Fire Environment have a tremendous resistance to and recovery from fire, in comparison with plant life of other continents.
With the establishment of white settlement and the departure of the hunting Aborigines, large areas were either deliberately protected from or simply did not get burnt. This allowed a vast accumulation of fuels and set the stage for Wildfires or Crownfires, such as the disaster of 1939. Wildfires are fires which burn litter, trees, humus and even the soil itself. These fires can only occur when ground litter is sufficient to support a fire of great intensity.
We come to the conclusion that if we are to try to avoid the total disaster of wildfire, we must reduce the combustible materials in sections of the areas to be protected. Control burning as a means of achieving this result in perimeter areas, where fires are most likely to start, has been carried out in Canberra since 1960 with considerable success.
Now for the burning itself, it is well to note that only a small percentage of any area to be protected is control burnt - about 5% to 10%. It is considered that the fire intensities must be very low, the humus profile must be left intact and the leaf canopy must not be scorched. This is a real problem, just how do you burn the littler without seriously affecting things under it and over it. If control burning exposes the soil it is a failure.
Mr. McArthur has evolved a method to achieve this, a number of closely related factors are considered:
Greater details are in the Commonwealth Forestry Pamphlet No. 80 of 1962. This pamphlet is a must for everybody interested in Park and Wilderness Areas protection.
After calculating the above factors and when it is considered safe to control burn an area, it is fired on a lighting pattern. The fires burn with the wind not against it (achieving a cooler burn), flame height must be kept around two feet.
The writer was most impressed with the field results in dry and wet sclerophyl eucalypt forest and pinus radiata plantations. I hope members of this club will make themselves familiar with the principles and techniques involved in Control Burning. Considering its possible future importance, the whole subject should ideally be fully discussed and understood by Club members.
(From the Parks Service Bureau).
Fire fighting in National Parks is, at the present time a haphazard arrangement, whereby bushfires are fought by both the staff employed by the Park Trusts and the bushfire brigades adjoining or adjacent to the Parks.
On days of high fire danger these bushfire brigades who have a responsibility to protect life and property in their own area, often have to leave fire suppression to the inadequate park staff.
In some areas the surface vegetation, which includes valuable flora and constitutes the habitat of our fauna is considered by bushfire brigade people and adjoining residents, to be bushfire fuel that should be removed. The opportunity is often taken to backfire large areas while fire fighting. This action makes their district safe for a few years.
During 1965 over 60% of the park areas located on the Hawkesbury Sandstone were burnt over. Many of these fires were of such severity that irreparable damage has been caused to both plant and animal life and to soil values.
Damage to this extent cannot be acceptable to any person interested in nature conservation. The possibility of forming bushfire brigades or at least having some people on call, during periods of high danger, is being explored.
If the assistance of such people as flora and fauna rangers, naturalists, conservationists and other interested people can be arranged, training in fire fighting and fire suppression activities and the formation of National Park Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades will be undertaken.
The Parks Service Bureau will be conducting a number of schools of two to five days duration for National Park employees during the coming year. Fire protection and suppression will be included in each course and courses dealing solely with this subject will be conducted.
In addition to courses for Park Staff, Schools will also be conducted for Fauna and Flora Rangers and other people if there are sufficient numbers interested to warrant the conduct of same.
There are 38,000 Fauna Rangers and probably as many Flora Rangers registered with Fauna Protection Panel and the Department of Local Government. Undoubtedly, many people fill both categories but it would be a safe estimate that a pool of manpower of 40,000 is available in N.S.W. interested in the protection of fauna and flora. Undoubtedly many of these people would give their service in protection against fire if their efforts were co-ordinated, the burden did not fall on a willing few and a roster system was organised to ensure a co-ordinated distribution of any work load.
Fire suppression activities would include actual fire fighting for the more youthful or active people, with fire lookout duty, surveillance, and patrol duties by vehicle, boat, or on foot for the less active.
In many cases during weekend and holiday periods these rangers etc. could, with their families, enjoy the facilities of the park in which they are interested, at the same time, being on call for fire protection duty should the occasion arise, remembering that it is during such holiday periods that the greater number of fires occur and a greater effort in surveillance is required. If sufficient numbers were available for each park, it would only be necessary to roster each person for duty once or twice per year other than during periods of high danger.
It is not intended that the activities of National Park Bushfire Brigades should cut across those of the Bushfire Brigades organised by Shire Councils.
These latter brigades would still form the main defence in general fire fighting. National Park Brigades would be utilised as a reserve to back up these Brigades on most occasions. However, they would be used as the main suppression force when the responsibilities of the Shire Bushfire Brigades required their activities elsewhere.
It is known that there are many rangers etc. resident in both the inner and outer suburbs and in country towns, who are not called upon to assist with Shire Bushfire Brigades. To ascertain what assistance might be obtained in the formation of National Park Volunteer Bushfire Brigades, it is requested that interested persons write to the Operations Officer, Parks Service Bureau, Department of Lands, giving the following particulars. Name, postal address, resident, park or parks in which you are interested, number of times available per year for duty and training i.e. twice per year, once per quarter, once a month, on call.
Bushwalking and ski touring have a great deal in common. Because of this it is quite usual to find that most ski tourers are bushwalkers also. Bushwalkers who have not discovered the pleasures, perils, interest and adventures of-ski touring should take positive steps to do something about it.
September and October are the good months, why not get yourselves organised and try it?
Call in and have a yarn with Paddy, John or Robert - just three of the walkers at Paddy's who caught the ski touring bug long ago. We'd love to talk you into it too.
Paddy Pallin Pty. Limited.
109a Bathurst Street, 1st Floor, Cnr. George St., Sydney. 26-2685.
A Late Confession: Ron Knightley says that the organisers of the recent Orienteering Contest became “lost” en masse when exploring the route - apparently the St. Albans map was the culprit. Ron says that if the map makers had deliberately set out to cause chaos, they couldn't have done a better job. Perhaps if the contestants had been let loose on this section, the results might have been more than interesting!
There seems to be a lucrative market in funnel-web spiders in the Club. Three pickled specimens which fetched a surprising bid at the Auction in August were seen to change hands again last month - at a profit, of course. What gives?
The Parliamentary Procedure certainly became complicated at the HalfYearly General Meeting. When it was all over, one quotable quote was overheard: “Sooner or later this Club is going to procedurise itself out of existence.” Maybe he's got a point there too!
A youth who uprooted a signpost in National Park to use as firewood “deserved to go to jail”, commented the Magistrate. Pity he didn't. However that youth is now poorer by $79 for having destroyed an irreplaceable gift (made in Canadian Redwood) from a Canadian Park Trust. We wonder if similar fines could be levied on that huge section of the public who wantonly destroy and litter our irreplaceable landscape?
We don't supply you with everything - yet!! But one item we would like to draw to your attention is the new Fairy Down Arctic Special. This is a Chevron stitched - Box quilted bag which fits in just between the explorer and the 20 below in the fairy down range. Priced from as low as $29.90 it represents good-value - especially when considering this is genuine fairy down equipment.
Climbers - we have a limited stock of ASMU and Allain carabiners, also nylon webb waist bands, endless nylon slings (5 sizes) and nylon rope.
Relax - Black oiled Japara Parkas at $15.00, tough, lightweight and durable.
Carry bags for sleeping bags - tough oiled cotton with nylon draw cord (supplied standard with all fairy down bags) $1.75 ea.
Mountain Mule H-Frame paces $29.75
Remember those heavy wool shirts you cleaned us out of! More are on the way - Kaiapoi and Harris-Zipp fronts. Order one now!
Mountain Equipment Company.
Open 7.30 p.m. - 10.00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday (Other times by arrangement). 49-3329.
16 Werona Ave., Gordon (Opposite Gordon Railway Station). Southside Agent: Bob Snedden, 16 Jane Place, Heathcote.
by Phil Butt.
|X||X||X||X||X||18</sup8|X|X| |X|X| | |<sup>19</su>| | | | |X| |X|<sup>20|
1. Money or ring is climbing equipment (11)
8. Japanese photograph? (3 - 2)
10. The eleventh in a heartless poser is a game (5)
12. Receptacle (3)
13. ”….. of time“ (5)
14. Therefore in lesser goings (4)
15. Strives a former erts (6)
16. Southern volcano is before the vehicle (6)
19. A N.S.W. 6,000 footer south of Kosciusko (5)
20. Concur with an endless avarice (5)
21. Recede (3)
22. A hundred make Mr. D eer (5)
25. A hobo's vocation (5)
27. A place of silver and lead is now dead (11)
1. A dead end is a devil's donkey with a cardinal point (7)
2. Possess (3)
3. 0.S. sheet (3)
4. A beginner is of fine character (6)
5. Initially sixth sense (3)
6. A Tibetan tourist? (3)
7. Sailor or back ladders (5)
9. There the track is (9)
11. Too enthusiastic (9)
17. A chase has this tower (7)
18. Ban Ali resurrected for a lodge and lake (6)
19. Walkers' need half a gun in an after thought (5)
23. Negative voice vote (3)
24. Mr. Esquire (3)
25. Tedious with no debts to dry hay (3)
26. Atmospheric tune (3)
Answers on page 20.
By Barry Pacey.
After meeting our leader Alan Pike and Don Finch at Strathfield we caught the 6.08 silver train to the mountains. The only other member we found on the train was Alan Round. However, at Parramatta, we met Alan Headstrom and fellow prospective Katie Stoddart. Thus we arrived at Mt. Vic. numbering six only. Because we expected more femmes we decided to wait in the local ale house until the next train arrived. A couple of beers and one train later, however, no more walkers had appeared. Possibly, we thought due to the threatening black clouds above. So we moved off; several hundred yards down the road a car with four sailors in it pulled up. They were on their way back to their ship, which, they said, was berthed at Bathurst.
We graciously declined their offer of a lift and after many hours wading out of a water-logged fire trail we found ourselves at the Shelter shed near the Mt. Vic. lookout. As we bedded down on the comfortable concrete floor, Judy Simpson arrived in a taxi and explained that she had missed the previous trains.
While preparing breakfast the following morning, Alan Round to his dismay, discovered he'd lost his weekends supply of food somewhere on the walk out the previous night and was quite adamant about returning to find it. However, he was assured that there would be plenty and was persuaded from going back. After finishing breakfast and after everyone had taken photos of a blank wall of fog from the lookout we moved off dawn the mountain.
Due to the rain the previous night the track down was somewhat fast. It was on one particularly narrow and slippery part of the descent that our leader told us a jolly little tale of how, on a previous trip down, his party had been forced to the edge of a sheer drop by a wild goat, who seemed to claim ownership of the track. Needless to say this did not worry us one bit as we were quite sure no sane goat would be caught on such a track this day without his flippers. We all survived to the bottom, light of heart and stout of limb.
After a leisurely stroll down the Grose River for a few minutes we stopped for a spot of tea and biscuits after which we wandered further down stream to where a little dirt track comes down from the left hand side. Here we stopped for lunch during which Don seemed to find much pleasure in stealing peoples racks and getting into hysterics watching them look for them.
We stopped to camp as planned at Blue Gum Forest and some bods were still so full of pep they actually did push ups and other such strenuous exercises. While it was still light we made up a large bark mattress to ensure a comfortable dry night and pitched the tents over it. Then out of the darkness loomed two figures in the guise of Mike Short and a young visitor named Sue from the Kameruka Club. They had caught a train to Blackheath and came in via Perry's. Somebody produced a bottle and some gourmet-inspired meals were created including Stewed Apples a la brandy and Brandy, rice and apricots, sweet and sour.
A restful night was had by all except Alan Round who didn't find sleeping on a sharp rock agreeable. The climb up Lockley's the following morning was a peasant prelude to morning tea which we had at the top. After lunch when we came in sight of Leura and Katoomba we stopped to give medical attention to our little visitor who had developed a first grade blister on her heel, Drs. Pike, Finch and Round performed the blisterectomy which was heralded as a rousing success. It was at this point that we headed off down a ridge on Alan Pike's “short cut” to Katoomba.
We descended to a very cold little creek at the bottom and whilst looking back up all agreed that there was no other way down the ridiculously steep slope. We clambered up a bit of a cliff and found a nice easy going fire trail which was to take us right into Katoomba. It was along this trail that some nasty minded little fellow (Finch again) decided to do the dirty on our leader and place great boulders on the top of his pack. His glee was somewhat dampened, however, when our staunch hero didn't even notice the extra weight.
The first thing we saw at Katoomba was a child's playground where everyone showed his prowess by doing daring clever things on the monkey bars which, to see their antics, seemed most appropriate. It was miles to the station and it seemed every bitch and mongrel in the mountains wanted to pick on us. However we arrived at the A.B. without a single case of rabies. After a 70c three course meal we boarded the 8 p.m. train and had a restful non-eventful trip back to the big smoke.
by Sandra and Phil Butt.
The. Snowy Mountains Hydro Electric Authority is prominent in the news at the moment and its achievements are highly praised. Its very beginnings however had a profound effect on the people who formerly lived among the hills and one that could hardly receive favourable mention.
The following extract, for the most part unedited, from the Log Book at O'Keefe's Hut in the Kosciusko State Park under the shadow of that inspiring mountain Jagungal, illustrates the hardships of those people and how bitter they were about the march of progress across their territory.
“14.4.56-23.4.56. Berridale Bull Dogs. B.J.Boller, R.H. and C.M. Flanagan. Saturday 14.4.56. Came here to muster sheep but weather turned cold, wet and foggy. Wind almost too strong to stand up in. Result sitting in the old hut smoking a cigarette. Arrived from Berridale, leaving for Berridale the Lord only knows when.
Sunday 15th, Monday 16th, Tuesday 17th. Still here. Weather still very windy cold and wet. Still smoking.
Wednesday 18th. Still here. Cold wind, snow. Weather generally very bad. Extremely heavy rain but no evidence of soil erosion.
Thursday 19th. Conditions deteriorating. Blizzard followed by heavy snow. Sheep showing signs of weakness and lameness due to extreme wet. Horse feed finished. Rations becoming short. Still unable to complete muster and move owing to flooding of Doubtful River and Boogang Crook. Tobacco supplies swindling.
Friday 20th. Approximately 15 inches of snow this morning. Light snow fell all day, wind abating. This concluded seven days without any sunlight. Boller left early for supplies, arriving back at dark. Rest of party erected bridge over Boogang Creek. Sheep position becoming critical. Have 1,000 in hut paddock. Still no soil erosion. Weather still shows no signs of improving at 8 p.m.
Saturday 21st. Two feet of snow on the ground this morning. Started sheep towards Basin Creek. Took us all day to move them about 1 mile. Today is the first time the sun has shown for eight days. Party very tired tonight from ploughing through deep snow. Still no signs of soil erosion. Tobacco supplies becoming critical. C.M. Flanagan started bludging tonight. On the air again tomorrow night. P.S. C.M. Flanagan had quite a nice landing in the snow off his horse this morning. He blames the horse, but we think he got up a little before he was properly awake.
Sunday 22nd. Cloudy but fairly warm. Cloud dispersed at 5.30 p.m. Clear frosty night. Small thaw took place. Move sheep on to Finns Ridge.
Monday 23rd. 7.30 a.m. Clear cloudless sky, leaving today. See you again some time. Hope this account has not been too boring.”
An unsigned (edited) note followed:
“The only soil erosion that has been caused has been from heavy snow drifts and due to some of the roads that the S.M.A. put in, the silt is 2 - 3 feet deep some yards down the creeks below the roads. I have had 52 years experience in these mountains and never saw any signs of soil erosion until the S.M.A. came and took over, except from the heavy snow drifts.”
D.J. Boller and C.M. Flanagan returned on 15th April, 1958.
“Fine and cold and windy. C.M.F. and self beat R.M. Flanagan and Ken Bradford at 500 tonight, two games to one. Two misdeals. Still no sign of soil erosion. The Snowy boys can't find it either. An awful shame isn't it? It must be very frustrating for them to spend so much time looking for something that isn't there.
C.M.F. 15th. Came for mustering. Fine clear, ideal for job. Stock in good condition. Excellent feed everywhere. This may be the last stock muster as strong pressure has been asserted by S.M.A., Department of Lands and State Park Trust to terminate grazing because some scientists suggest that grazing is causing soil erosion. Yet for 90 years of grazing which has created millions of pounds and greatly assisted our national development, looking from this hut, the only piece of broken earth is a small patch on the old bullock dray track passing by. However, without stock the existing vegetation will build up into an uncontrollable fire hazard which will completely denude this mountain and result in widespread erosion.
Agriculturalists who have done so much for our nation are now to be pushed aside by scientific theory without any effort by experimenting to see what the grazing potential could be. Graziers are willing to cooperate. However the S.M.A. having been given some power now wants to usurp its authority. The men who pioneered this country and who inculcated a sense of national endeavour into their descendants would never have believed that the future generations of Australians would quickly bow to such a policy. The future will justify the submissions of men with knowledge of this area.”
The following directions for a walk to Bondi are taken from the N.S.W. Calendar of 1833. Mileage is calculated from Macquarie Place.
|1 mile.||The South-head road extends from the South-east corner of Hyde Park.|
|1 1/2 miles.||On the left is a walled quadrangle of great extent, intended to enclose a new goal. On the right, New Botany road, which may become a pleasant drive, being nearly on a level the whole way.|
|2 miles.||On the left, Juniper Hill, now designated Ormond House the residence of the Attorney-General, Dr. Finchela. It commands a most extensive view of the Blue Mountains and the intermediate country, and of the most prominent features of the mountains. The round height on the left is Mount Hay, partially cleared for the survey, with one tree left on the summit. The double hill next is King George's Mount, and on the right, the long gently declining mass is Mount Tomah… On the right, bush track leading to Gordon's Mill, round the head of the large swamp to Coodgee.|
|3 1/2 miles.||On the right, adjoining Levey's garden, is the bush road leading to a hill on which stands Levey's tower… this track also leads to Great and Little Coodgee. It is a track much used by wood-cutters. The distance to Great Coodgee is about 1 3/4 miles.|
|3 3/4 miles.||On the right, Waverley House, built by Mr. Barnet Levey.|
|4 miles.||On the left, gate leading to Bellevue, a high hill from which there is an extensive view; and a large extent of the Pacific, close under the spectator, is suddenly brought into view, with the lighthouse, etc. on the left.|
“O, That can sanctify the joys of home
Like Hope's gay glance o'er ocean's troubled foam,”
|4 1/2 miles.||On the right, the first track to Bondi Bay. Half a mile further on is a bridge across a small stream. Some good specimens of weeping birch are seen here, which when in bloom, are singularly beautiful. There are also some fine specimens of zunica palm, called by the natives “burwan”, also the fern tree; and further on the right, in the bush, the fan palm, commonly called the cabbage tree, may found; a little further on is a grassy slot indicated by the ruins of a house. The bays on this part of the coast, closed in by rocky headlands, and backed by barren rising ground, have something of a peculiar loneliness about them. The solemn roar of the breakers - the shining sandy beach, unmarked by human foot - and the low but beautiful shrubs, make up a scene to be peopled by the imagination… The botanical productions found round these bays are scarce, and botanists resort hither to view, in flower, many shrubs rarely to be met with elsewhere.”|
1. Ironmongery, 8. pin up, 10. poker, 12. tin, 13. sands, 14. ergo, 15. exerts, 16. Erebus, 19. Pilot, 20. agrees 21. ebb, 22. cents, 25. tramp, 27; Yerranderie.
1. Impasse, 2. own, 3, map, 4. novice, 5. E.S.P., 6. yak, 7. Tarro, 9. underfoot, 11. overeager, 17. steeple, 18. Albina, 19. packs, 23. nay, 24. sir, 25. ted, 26. air.
48 starters on Dot Butler's Snow Instructional to Watson's Crags! If only the Government would build another 3,000 feet or so on to the Blue Mountains instead of playing trains with the Eastern Suburbs Railway?
Many members will remember Magdalene Brown (or “Brownie”, her nickname). Brownie had been living on the Queensland coast for some years, but recently died as the result of a road accident.
Congratulations to Eric Adcock and Jan Kaleski on their marriage on October 1.
October 15 - 16.
Sky-diving. Ray Tyson demonstrating resuscitation. How not to rock climb.
Please ring Barry Wallace for further details 6028222 (B).