A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bushwalkers, Anzac House, 26 College Street, Sydney. Postal Address: Box 4476, G.P.O. Sydney, N.S.W., 2001.
|Editor||Jim Brown, 103 Gipps Street, Drummoyne. Tel. 81-2675 (H)|
|Business Manager||Ramon U'Brien, 61 Nickson St., Surry Hills Tel. 88-6444 (B)|
|From the Editor||2|
|The May General Meeting||3|
|Excursion to the Warrumbungles, Easter 1971||Nancye Alderson||7|
|Excursion to the Warrumbungles, Anzac, 1971||David Peacock||10|
|Coming walks||Pat Harrison||13|
|“Echo from the Past”||15|
|Federation Notes||Ray Hookway||17|
|“Colong… now Clutha”||19|
|Membership Notes||Barbara Bruce||20|
|Socially Speaking||Spiro Ketas||22|
|Special Notice - Club Meetings||22|
For a group of people with rather nomadic tendencies, our Club has not been exactly peripatetic when it comes to Club rooms. In a life span of almost 44 years, by far the greatest part of that time has been spent at four different addresses, and there must have been hundreds who held membership for periods of up to ten years and knew only one “headquarters” throughout their walking careers.
During its formative years the Club had its base in a room on the third floor of 258 George Street - the site is now occupied by M.B.F. Building, between Bridge and Hunter Streets. Fairly early in the 1930s it moved to nearby premises in Hamilton Street owned by the Royal Life Saving Society, and there it remained until 1945.
It would be nice to be able to say that the relationship between the Club and its landlord was always cordial, and it does appear to have been so for most of the sojourn there. However, old minute books disclose a few brushes, including a recurring dispute about some of the other tenants who loitered in the passageways and accosted members in an unpleasant manner. Once the Club invoked Police assistance.
The blow fell in 1945, when a change of ownership of the building obliged the Club to look for other lodgings. For a few months our members wandered in the wilderness like the ancient Israelites, meeting several times at a place recorded as “Sue's Cafe”, until a new retreat was found in Crown Street, near Oxford Street.
Good old Ingersoll Hall! Dingy, dirty, noisome, but large and cheap (and nasty), it was home for the next fourteen years. We gloss over the resident mouser, and the saucers of milk and meat put out for it: not to mention the sand tray which it used (sometimes) without the benefit of hearing Spiro at the last General Meeting. We won't dwell on the cracked window panes which fell out in high winds and went tinkle, tinkle, on the footpaths fifteen feet below. We'll even pass over the fragments of chalk, left over from Housie nights, which littered seats and floor: and the badly constructed tables that collapsed with a resounding clatter at a modest nudge.
A long-drawn feud was conducted with landlords and caretakers, and the Club in 1954 was forced to abandon its Friday night meeting and adopt Wednesday, because there was more money to be had from Housie than from Bushwalkers. Presently we became disgusted with the increasing squalor, and took ourselves off to Reiby Place and the Nurses' Association Roam, where we have lived in reasonable comfort and harmony since 1959.
Lately the writing has been on the wall again; not in the form of graffiti, but as rumours of demolition of the building. Finally there was the partitioning of part of the hall as temporary offices, and the resultant congestion….. we had to go!
Bless our new home and all who gather there. May it be a happy one.
(If you don't know the address of the new meeting place, see the title page of this issue.)
All through the evening a question hovered over the Meeting. Do we stay or do we move? Strong rumour had it that our days in Reiby Place were numbered, and the barricade around the windows made that seem a good thing. However, the Meeting went through all the usual motions until the question was finally popped.
New member Marj Stanton was welcomed, and a carry-over from the previous month's crop, Paul Notholt. Minutes were read and confirmed, and as a question arising it was announced that Committee recommended a loan of $250 to the Myall Lakes land purchase. Dot Butler added that the loan would be repayable on request, but the Lakes Committee was asking that donors refrain from seeking repayment for the 10 year period. Gordon Redmond suggested we should ask the organisers to indicate their agreement to the return of the funds in ten years, and the proposal was then carried.
From correspondence we learned that Shoalhaven Council had rejected a request to waive rates on Coolana, and in the Treasurer's Report, which followed, payment of $86 for two years' occupancy was included. The closing balance at the end of April in the Club's working fund was $1028.
Pat Harrison reported (with assistance from a few walks leaders) on the April activities, starting with a Finch/Wyborn trip in the Mount Davis area of the northern Blue Mts. Unfortunately a few of the party were mislaid before reaching the starting point, and because of the illness of another member the trip was curtailed, but included a visit to Harris' Hole. Bob Younger's trip went over Mount Solitary as planned, with 18 people and in fairly warm conditions. Two day walks were led, one by Sam Hinde to Pindar Cave out from Wondabyne (no report available) and the other by Nancye Alderson, also to a cave - Red Hands Cave: the fifteen people admired a veritable network of golden spider webs in Campfire Creek.
Then it was Easter with another Finch/Wyborn venture starting from Dead Horse Gap near Kosciusko. Thirty-one people and some diversity of trips, including a jaunt to The Pilot, and on the Indi River above Groggin. Ramon U'Brien's Barrington trip had four people, who found it lovely country, but they had to dodge the Land Rovers and trail bikes going up high. David Cotton went to the Warrumbungles with a group of 14, which had some car troubles as narrated in this issue. To supplement the overnight trips, Bill Hall ran a day walk on the Sunday, including Cawley's Creek which proved very grown-up and roughish in spots.
On the week-end between Easter and Anzac there was Alan Pike's conducted tour of Canberra in association with the Rigbys. Hardly walking, but much enjoyed. On the Sunday there was a well-attended trip in the Wondabyne hills taken by Alan Hedstrom, and attracting 19.
Then Anzac and the invasion of the Budawangs. Owen's party totalled 42 and the Wyborn/Finch team 26 when all comings and goings were allowed for. Owen reported the road in from Sassafras as being in very deteriorated order. As a rider to the Walks Report, Phil Butt said various trip accounts indicated that walking speed was slower in some areas where cattle grazing had ceased - such as the lower Kowmung.
In amplification of the Federation report, which was reproduced in last month's magazine, Phil Butt said that it was hoped to have a good exhibit at the Wildlife Display in August at the Town Hall. Walking equipment and photographs of scenic places would be on show, and volunteers were needed to deal with questions about walking.
At last to General Business, where Phil Butt reported on a further meeting of the Kosciusko Huts Association, when a constitution was adopted. It was proposed that people who contributed $2 per annum to funds be permitted free use of the available huts, but intermittent users would be asked to donate 50 cents per night. Maintenance of the huts would be arranged by the Park Service.
Now came the crunch, our new abode. Pat Harrison reported on enquiries made, which had led to a room at Anzac House to accommodate 110, with attached kitchen and foyer, and a chaplain's room which would suit for Committee meetings and could certainly be made available on the first Wednesday each month. Total rent would be $17 per night, but only $10 if the hall area alone were hired and not the kitchen and foyer area. He moved that we take the lot, and went on to propose a change of night to Tuesday. It was decided to take the two items separately.
The President said the Nurses' Association had informed us that occupancy of the present room would probably terminate within six months in any case. There was discussion as to whether a long-term tenure should be sought, and Phil Butt mentioned it may be best to see first how it met our needs. There seemed to be good prospects of obtaining suitable storage for Club material that is required to be kept at the rooms.
Questions were raised as to the need for the extra space at the higher rental - would it just be a gathering place for the Noises Off Club? It was argued that there was a need for somewhere that essential business could be conducted during meetings… things such as membership enquiries. It was then agreed that we negotiate for rental of the hall/kitchen/foyer area. The second proposal, for change of meeting night, was lost.
Spiro now announced Pat Marson's resignation as Federation Delegate, leaving two vacancies of which one would hold a place on Committee. Wilf Hilder volunteered and was elected, the other position remaining unfilled. It was also announced that John Holly was re-appointed Assistant Treasurer, and Geoff Mattingly and Peter Franks as Membership Assistants.
With grave face Spiro told us there had been some trouble at camps recently from people who had not been as careful as they might with human waste. He enjoined all to preserve proper camp hygiene - as someone said, go well away and emulate a cat. Owen Marks also observed that some folk emptied billies and food scraps into creeks, polluting the drinking water.
Gordon Redmond proposed a further donation by the Club to the Colong Committee, which had an ambitious programme of publicity in view, and had already spent about $7,000 on its activities. A sum of $100 was voted.
As the meeting wound up, we got back momentarily to the new club room proposal, and it was suggested we move at the beginning of June, if practicable. As everyone now knows this has become solid fact, but it was still conjecture as we closed down at 9.45 p.m.
Don't forget that subscriptions are now due, in fact, almost overdue.
The rates are:-
|Active Members (single)||$6.00|
|Active Members (married couples)||$8.00|
|Active Members (students)||$3.00|
|Non Active members||$1.00|
The magazine subscription for non-active members is $1.50.
Subscriptions may be posted to the Club, Box 4476, G.P.0., Sydney 2001, or paid to Alan Hedstrom or John Holly in the Clubroom.
It has not been possible to book the new Club Room for all the nights desired. On July 7 (Committee Meeting) and July 14 (General Meeting) we will meet in Room 104 at Anzac House, known as the Board Room, on the second floor.
Other dates in doubt are August 11th (General Meeting) which may have to be deferred until the following, when the room has been booked for Tuesday 17th August and November 17th, which may instead be held on Tuesday, November 16.
Watch for further Special Notices on this question.
Winter is now with us and there is snow on the Mountains.
Paddy's shop is busy now with skiers as well as walkers as the winter season closes in.
Besides our usual range of equipment for walking and camping we have a wide range of ski clothing and gear for tourers and downhill only types.
If you have not tried it you'll find a lot of appeal in skiing - it's a great outdoor activity providing fun, excitement and adventure.
Let us introduce and equip you for skiing this winter.
Paddy Pallin Pty. Ltd. 69 Liverpool Street, SYDNEY. N.S.W. 2000. Phone 26-2685.
Participants were Mary Davidson, Gay Fordham, Julie Frost, Heather Williams, Nancye Alderson, Les Davidson, David Cotton (leader), Jim Vatiliotis, Greg Thorn, Tony Denham, Laurie Quaken, Peter Martin, Ron Howe and Bill Sherpa.
David Cotton allocated passengers to the cars on the Thursday night of Easter and at 8.30 Julie, David and 1, fastened our seatbelts and “flew”, breaking all speed records to Gulgong, north of Mudgee.
Our drive was a gay one, David kept up a. constant patter of his quick wit e.g. “There are two rings in marriage, the wedding ring and the suffering.” “I hope you can put up with my driving, still it's not as bad for you as for me, you only have to put up with it for the weekend, I have to put up with it all the time!”
We flashed through Gulgong at 1.00 a.m. It is a quaint little town which resembles something out of a history book, very early Australian history. I would have liked time to study the buildings in the main street at my leisure.
The camp site was 3 1/2 miles out of Gulgong and we were surprised no one in the party missed the place David had chosen. David brewed tea for us all in the wee small hours and eventually we climbed into our sleeping bags. Two of the men had a narrow escape, they almost pitched their tent on a bull ant's nest. Sleep was slow to come (for me) and we were all blissfully dozing when suddenly some bright spark blew a whistle and shouted “Everybody out!”
On Friday morning we woke to a perfect day. Once again David spoilt us by clearing the area of dense grass and lighting a fire. He was as bright as ever with jokes rolling off his tongue. “Is there any tea David?” “Yes, there's a big billy and a small billy, silly billy.”
I omitted to mention David travels equipped with all requirements. A pick, shovel, axe, bucket, portagas light, library, medicine chest - you name it, he has it with him (I haven't itemised the rest of the gear in his utility.)
Seventeen miles from the Warrumbungles Ron Howe's brakes seized. Six of us spent some time pushing his Volkswagen back and forward to the instruction of David, our chief mechanic. Hub caps came off, wheel nuts were unscrewed but soon the repairs were complete and we drove on toward the mountains.
Our first glimpse of the Warrumbungles was a range of blue craggy mountains jutting up into the sky from the otherwise featureless plains of the Central west. They were quite different to any mountains I had seen before.
The next stop was to check the tyre on Jim Vatiliotis' Holden Torana. This entailed removing the wheel and brake drum with assistance from six of the men. The necessary adjustments were made and we were about to drive off when Ron Howe broke the news that his petrol gauge was not working and he was out of petrol! David came to the rescue again by offering to pump petrol from his car.
We finally arrived at the Warrumbungles around 1.00 p.m. and pitched our tents at Camp Pincham.
Many people have not heard of the Warrumbungle National Park, though I don't know why, for its 15,400 acres contain some magnificent scenery and a collection of extinct volcanoes. The ancient volcanic remains that make up part of the park are quite impressive. The mountains have very strange rock formations and great spires. The scenery is really beautiful and there is something for everyone, whether they be sightseers, bushwalkers, rock-climbers or photographers. In addition, the park is a sanctuary and there are numerous birds to be seen, as well as kangaroos, wallabies, foxes and wild pigs if you walk around at dusk.
There is a main trail in the park and it has been made to enable visitors to do a complete circuit, seeing all the main features in a couple of days. Our first climb, during the afternoon, was up Belougery Split Rock, which towers above the Canyon Camp. It is quite a dramatic sight and was a dusty climb. We felt we were beginning to see something of the area.
On Saturday a day walk was planned. We started early and it promised to be a hot day. No one told me that David makes his party run all the way! Our first step was Mocha Tor, from which we glimpsed the Breadknife which was to be our goal. It looked a challenge and was. The Breadknife is a sheer wall rising hundreds of feet and only a few feet thick. It is quite spectacular. The climb is not meant for speedsters on a hot day, but we conquered the 3,500 ft. climb in a temperature of 80 degrees or more.
From the top of the Breadknife we were interested to watch four rock-climbers climbing and abseiling the adjoining mountain, which is a pinnacle of trachyte 800' above the surrounding country and was probably once an offshoot from the main volcanic crater.
We spent a little time at the Grand High Tops which was the summit above the Breadknife and quenched our thirst with water from a tank. How the tank got to the top of the mountain is a mystery to me. You couldn't carry it up there. Then we moved on to one of the huts on the Tops for lunch. The huts are furnished with bunks and mattresses and would provide quite good accommodation if you wanted to spend a night in the mountains. I was intrigued by the human water trough near the freshwater tank, I wasn't sure whether it was for drinking or washing hands!
After lunch most people climbed Bluff Mountain which was a further 400' climb. Its quite a remarkable sight from the top, you can see across the plains and mountains for miles.
The walk back - or should I say run - was easy, down West Spirey Creek trail. It was all down hill and such a sudden drop we were forced to run down. We were all hot and sticky after the heat of the day and the climb; some people reached the lowest state of tourism by swimming in the swamp with the mud and the leeches. Several of the girls showered at Canyon Camp, after waiting in a queue for over an hour. Washing facilities are very sparse in the area.
I observed that everyone was much more subdued around the campfire that evening and most of us were glad to turn in fairly early.
On Sunday the trip was to Mount Exmouth. Our party walked, ran, skipped and flew up. It was hazy at the top and the hot and thirsty walkers drank all the water in the tank. It was what you might call crawling up and tumbling down.
Several of the girls took the day to walk the nature trail and see some of the wild animals. Unfortunately it was too early for they are mainly to be seen around dusk but the walk was very pleasant.
In the evening most of us went to see the outdoor nature films shown by the National Parks Association in Canyon Camp. We saw films on bird life at Ellesmere Island, the birth of the Red Kangaroo and The Koalas and improved our knowledge of nature.
On Monday we packed at a slow pace and the cars left one by one. It was a fairly uneventful return trip. The first 200 miles were interesting scenically but at dusk there was the rain and traffic to contend with. We approached Sydney in a heavy downpour of rain fairly late at night and the Warrumbungles seemed very far away. However, we had those four days to look back on and the weekend had been a very satisfying one.
If you light a candle and jump from a mountain, people will say, “A star fell from heaven.”
If girls' shorts get any shorter they won't be able to wear them any longer.
If you don't eat up big, you end up small.
You're as crooked as a corkscrew and that's straight.
I've been around the bend and up the wall and tomorrow I'll be over the hill.
If anyone detects gaps or mis-statements in this account, I must fasten the blame on Doone Wyborn who has threatened to beat me if I didn't write this article. Doone, being a pretty hefty fellow, commands respect and so here am I desperately trying to remember what happened on Anzac week-end 1971. So now follows my dim recollections of Don Finch's and Doone Wyborn's trip to the Budawangs.
Friday, April 23. Time,evening: Setting - Jerry Sinzig's car. As far as I recall nothing worth recording happened.
Saturday, April 24. Time - early morning. Setting - Bob Younger's car. With Don Finch in the front passenger seat, and Bob Younger at the wheel, we roared off into the middle distance.
“This way to the Clyde!” screamed the Finch, and four cars responded to his bellows. Unfortunately it wasn't the way to the Clyde, an error which was soon brought to our attention by the Finch's lamentations. But such things don't stop Don for long and, after a couple more mis-starts, we got there. Just before breakfast Doone put his “Doonemobile” through its paces for our entertainment, and it was quite a sight.
Anyway the walk started, with dark forebodings of despair and people crying “I'll never make it” accompanied by sighs of resignation as to their fate.
Left, right, left, right, crunching our way to Hollands Creek. The scenery around these parts is fantastic with rock faces and cliffs everywhere. If I knew how they were formed, I would pad out this feeble script with such details, but I don't, so I won't (work that out!).
Date - as above. Time 12.30 p.m. Setting - Holland Creek - Clyde River Junction. Lunch. A few hardy individuals went swimming and Wade Butler did a beautiful somersault into the river from the branch of a tree. He also climbed a palm which was made all the more interesting by cries of “Ye'll fall!” repeated frequently. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your outlook) he didn't, and after a short while the party moved off.
Date - as above. Time - afternoon. Setting - Hollands Creek.
About this time I began to feel sick, having had a bad cold all the previous week, so please forgive any incoherence following. I feel that my pleas of “I'm dying” were met with disbelief. Don and Doone fairly soared off along the creek, hopping from rock to rock. I tried to emulate them, but only succeeded in slipping from rock to rock, thereby increasing my misery. Fortunately, for me, the creek section was soon completed and we climbed the ridge leading to Mount Tarn.
Date - as above. Time - evening. Setting - camp below Mt. Tarn.
It had been arranged to join up with Owen Marks' walk at Mount Tarn, which we subsequently did (I hope, incidentally that someone is writing up Owen's trip). There were 62 S.B.W. at that campsite that evening. There was a moment of amusement when Don Finch arrived: Heather Smith, who had been in Owen's party had carried Don's food, and it had been decided that she would hide and Don was to be told that she hadn't turned up the previous evening. This was done, and Don's face was a joy to behold, although I don't know whether he was glum because Heather hadn't arrived, or because of the food she was carrying. After about ten minutes Heather showed herself, and Don greeted her with such tenderness that someone aptly remarked “The way to a man's heart is through his stomach”.
Sunday, April 25. Time - morning. Setting - Paradise.
Sunday was a fabulous day because everybody could do what they liked. Most of the group went on short walks (where to, I don't know), and Doone took a party to the Donjon. We met up with that party the following day. Meanwhile, I, using my cold as an excuse, didn't go anywhere, and lazed about all day…. beaut! Proper slob I was. I spent the morning trying to baffle Roy Higginbottom with science, but in the end it was I who was bewildered, so quickly changed the subject. Frank Taeker was about “bug-hunting” as usual, whilst Peter Franks and Lynne Wyborn cracked jokes with one another. As Roy pointed out, it's only when you lay about that you hear birds singing and appreciate the beauty around you. The weather was magnificent and that day spoilt the trip for me, because it was so beautiful that it made the following day's walk something of an anti-climax to the trip.
Spiro Ketas and Theo arrived about two o'clock, being followed later by Lesley and Neville Page.
Date - as above. Time - evening. Setting - camp.
The camp was slightly smaller, Doone's party being away, but it was still huge.
I wish that I could convey the humour of that campfire to the reader, but alas I'm not adequate to the task. I can't say what happened that evening as I went to bed early (I wonder why I was asked to write this article, as the reader will have noted I wasn't where “the action is”!)
Monday, April 26. Time - an absolutely disgusting 6.30 a.m. Setting - breakfast.
Six-thirty a.m. God! What a frightening hour, creeping out of fleabags to meet the dawn. A shivering foot-stamping time with cloudy breath and numb fingers.
“Moving off at 7 o'clock” eagerly yelled D. Finch (I refuse to call him by his Christian name after getting us up at such an hour). (Editor's thought - anyone who can get such a crew moving at 7 a.m. must be a Bligh, not a Christian, anyway).
A fire was spluttering and Milo was being drunk as I, remembering my illness, was deciding whether to continue with Don or else return with Owen Marks' party. I eventually chose the former.
Date - as above. Time - morning. Setting - Castle track.
Well, our party moved off at a quite creditable 7.15, sloshing through wet bog, chilling the feet. Along the track we met another party accompanied by a huge Alsatian who seemed determined to take someone's leg off.
Also along the way were huge boulders, monoliths if you like, and the Butler boys had a great time running up and down them, including one which had to our knowledge previously been unclimbed. Mt. Butler, direct.
Barbara Bruce was spied near the Natural Arch leading to the Valley of the Monoliths, along with some of her friends from the Uni (There may be a topographical error in the above…. well, if there is, hard luck!). The valley was very pleasant - it really is beautiful country. By the way, Doone's party had joined us by this time.
Lunch was had on the Castle's summit, having left our packs down below. The wind was a bit strong, and a good deal of interest was shown in unidentified flying objects, some of which soared unfettered amongst the clouds, while others seemed to be lacking in proper aerodynamic properties. Norm Butler was of the opinion it was due to lack of adequate dihedral in the wing design.
Date - as above. Time - afternoon. Setting - Car-bound.
The walk back to the cars was relatively easy, marred only by the heat - and I thought it was supposed to be getting cooler.
On arriving back at the Clyde, we again met Barbara and her friends.
Date - as above. Time - evening. Setting - homeward bound. As we were leaving a terrific storm broke, right on cue.
On the trip home a passing car flicked up a stone, which shattered the windscreen of the Doonemdbile. Poor Doone!
And so to bed.
|*July 2,3,4||There is a classic Test walk from Kanangra by way of Cloudmaker, Tiwilla Plateau, Stockyard Spur and Gingra Creek. A steady plod to Cloudmaker, Good views from Tiwilla, a scramble down the chains on Compagnoni's Pass (sparing a thought for the ones who went down before the chains were placed there by the University of N.S.W. Bushwalkers in March, 1963), eyes open to take the correct change of direction on the Buttress, a quick descent of Stockyard Spur, a lush campsite on the glorious Kowmung, and Sunday in beautiful Gingra Creek where you can still see traces of the Cedar Road which was used to get the Red Cedar out around the turn of the century, and a steepish climb out of the creek to Cottage Rock on the Gingra Range. Please note that the nominal leader is unable to fulfill his obligation this weekend and therefore a substitute leader is needed. Will someone please fill the breach? LATE FINAL EXTRA - Peter Franks will now lead this trip.|
|July 2,3,4||Phil Butt has a cross-country Ski Instructional. No doubt desires were sharpened by the slides shown by Ray Jerrems recently. The area will depend on actual weather conditions at the time, but irrespective of location the trip requires a fair amount of organisation and it will therefore be necessary for intending participants to see the leader earlier than usual.|
|July 4||Meryl Watman has a “different” Waterfall to Audley. Her walk spends about a third of the route along the Hacking River, where the rain forest will be a pleasant change from the usual route.|
|July 9,10,11||Jim Brown and Barbara Bruce, who now have Instructionals down to a fine art, will put you right on mapping, first aid, camp-craft, hygiene (a very important matter in view of recent happenings), and general bushcraft. Instructionals also provide a pleasant weekend in genial company for those who have graduated. The probable site will be Macarthur's Flat on the Nattai River.|
|July 9,10,11||Peter Franks (God bless him!) starts and finishes a very interesting walk at Newnes in the lovely Wolgan Valley. The route will follow a known creek to the plateau and an unknown creek back to the valley. Mt. Dawson on the watershed between the Wolgan and Capertee Rivers is a platform of worn sandstone and from this eyrie there are spectacular views near and far. A notable feature of the Wolgan-Capertee area is the way the rock has weathered into pagoda formations.|
|July 11||Waterfall to Audley by the usual Uloola Track route with Owen Marks. There won't be a dull moment today.|
|July 16,17,18||Phil Hall doesn't appear on the programme very often, but when he does it's something worthwhile, and this weekend he has a Ski Tour from Thredbo to the Main Range with side trips as far as the Blue Lake if the weather permits. Numbers will necessarily be limited and early advice is essential.|
|July 16,17,18||Also this weekend is the important practice Search and Rescue Exercise by Federation. A very large roll-up is needed to elevate the image of The Sydney Bushwalkers, which is at present rather low because of the poor attendance at the Federation Reunion. Can we do better on this occasion? The location of the practice will be the Wild Dog Mountains and the assembly point will be at Medlow Gap on the Friday night. There will be a 7.30 a.m. start on Saturday morning and the practice will finish at 3.00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. On Saturday night there will be a campfire and singsong. On Sunday there will be a reappraisal of Saturday's exercises and a demonstration of special techniques. An important divergence from the procedure of previous years (when there was one search) will be that each club will have its own search and rescue and each club group should consist of at least six members. Map coverage is by the Lands Department Jenolan 1:31,680.|
|July 18||Jack Perry, tea maker and fire lighter extraordinary, has a scenic tour of the coast between Stanwell Park and Otford. Go and see it before Mr. Ludwig's Coal Loader and Clutha Development ruin the place.|
|July 23,24,25||The man from Stratford said that “good wine needs no bush” and that a “good play needs no epilogue”. I can only plagiarise him by saying that Bill Gillam's Ski Instructional needs no puff from the Hon. Walks Secretary.|
|*July 25||Jim Callaway has a tour of the Royal National Park. Perhaps a bit of scrub in the midsection, but nevertheless a scenic walk that merits its labelling as a Test Walk.|
|*July 30,31 August 1||Ray Hookway is a shareholder in APCM, the cement company which the Colong Committee is fighting to prevent the despoilation of the Mt. Armour-Church Creek area. Ray considers it time that bushwalking shareholders and others should have a personal look around the region, hence this trip which is a tour of the scenic wonderland that is the heart of the Kanangra-Boyd National Park. There aren't many better views than the one from Chiddy Obelisk.|
|*August 1||David Ingram has a day walk in his old stamping ground around Campbelltown. The delightful names on his route (The Woolwash, Pheasant Creek) are sufficient to make you reach for your boots and pack and set out.|
Would Prospective Members please note that the test walks for this month have the sign * alongside the date.
It had been intended to continue in this issue the saga of early walking trips in the Northern Budawang Mountains. However, with an up-to-date trip story about that area, it was felt there may be too much Budawanging in one magazine, so instead we re-print a short, light-hearted fragment from the Club's Poet Laureate, Kath Mackay, first published in February, 1950, when nudism at Era was still a controversial question.
A nudist down at Era
Reclined upon a dune,
He crouched beneath his eyeshade
On a rainy afternoon,
Or peered through darkened glasses
At the fierce light of the moon.
He skipped from rock to sandhill
With bath towel waving free;
He skirmished round the bushes
To dodge our company…….
What with all the interruptions
He was pale as pale could be.
Some said “He's just a moron”.
Some - “He should be run in:
Has no one ever told him
That nudity's a sin?”
A lordy, what a pother
About a bit of skin!
The May meeting held in the Scots Church conference room was chaired by Nin Melville in the absence of President Phil Butt in South Australia.
Nin also volunteered to act as Federation convenor for a committee to plan and organise the Federation display at the Conservation and Wild-Life exhibition to be held at the Sydney Town Hall between the 16th and 22nd August. Volunteers are still required to help man the exhibit. Interested people should contact Nin, Gordon Edgecombe or myself.
More volunteers are also required to help with the Federation Ball to be held at the Roundhouse on Friday September 17th. This year there will be two bands, one of which will again be the excellent band hired last year.
There was only one alert during the month; a party of 3 became lost in the Mt. Hay area, but by the time the S/R contact was alerted and a team organised, the party found their own way out……
The S and R section are planning a reorganisation (nothing to do with the above incident….) They hope to form loose teams from individual clubs who can work together on searches. This will help overcome the problem of the search organiser in picking team leaders from people he may not know. For this reason the S and R Group are asking for a good representation from all clubs at the next S and R Practice to be held on July 17th and 18th in the Wild Dogs area. Refer to Walks notes for details.
Remember the lost walker you save may be yourself.
In answer to letters from Federation, the Minister for Lands advised that the proposal for the riding trails in the Colo gorge had no official sanction and that he was still awaiting details from Mr. W.C. Wentworth before commenting.
He also advised that beach buggies, trail bikes and all-purpose vehicles were banned from National parks, but unfortunately limited staff made policing of regulations difficult. He has written to the respective local councils asking them to take steps to control their use in council areas. He stated further that whilst over-snow vehicles were necessary in some areas, their use by private individuals in the Kosciusko Park was forbidden.
Federation is to write to the State Government, to add their voice to the gathering opposition to the Clutha Development Act and Agreement. This Act, passed in 1970, will permit a private company to mine coal on the Tonalli tableland; build a bridge across the waters of Warragathba Dam; construct a private railway 40 miles in length crossing portions of Sydney's water catchment area to the Illawarra Scarp above Coal Cliff; pile a million tons of coal (and coal dust) on the rim of the scarp; and build a conveyor down to sea level and along a 4,000 foot conveyor to the holds of waiting ships.
If the State Government and the Clutha development Company proceed with their plans, the anti-Clutha movement which is forming could make the Colong, Little desert and the Cooloola Sands efforts look like church social events. Experience gained from these fights together with the strength and standing of the more than 26 organisations already banded together, should make it an interesting event.
Exploratory drilling for coal is already apparently under way on the Tonalli tableland…. (See also extract from the National Trust Bulletin, in this edition).
People planning walks in the Crosscut saw area should note that a route has been marked from Mt. Speculation across Mt. Despair and the Viking to the Barry saddle and that the Victorian Forestry Commission are to mark the Mt. Howitt, Mt. Skene sections next year.
Aluminium markers on trees are used and water sources are indicated. A hut has also been built at McCalister Springs.
Federation has been advised that the chains on Canons Head are deteriorating and they have delegated a member to inspect them and advise.
The 5th edition of the Budawangs Sketch map incorporating all corrections and the latest park boundaries, is available at Paddy's.
The Snowy Plains map has been reissued and the Victorian maps of the King, Howqua and Jamieson watersheds the Crooked River and the Cathedral ranges are to be reissued in June or July this year.
|Cobargo North||Provisional||4 maps||Land Dept. 1/25,000 series, 10 metre contours|
|Moruya||Provisional||2 maps||Land Dept. 1/25,000 series, 10 metre contours|
|Narooma||Provisional||2 maps||Land Dept. 1/25,000 series, 10 metre contours|
The Lands Dept. Murrurundi and Kanangra maps are out of print.
Ecology Lectures. Sydney Museum. June & July. Refer May Walker for details.
Search & Rescue Practise. July 17th and 18th in Wild Dogs area.
Wild1ife & Conservation Exhibition Sydney Town Hall 16/22 August.
Federation Ball. Uni. of N.S.W. Roundhouse. Friday September 17th.
(In Federation Notes, Ray Hookway gives an outline of the Clutha Development proposals. To supplement this, some information published in the National Trust Bulletin for April, 1971, is extracted to give S.B.W. members an indication of the nature of the beast. No doubt we will hear a good deal more of this project over the next year or so).
The green light for the development was given in the Clutha Development Pty. Ltd. Agreement Act of 1970. This Act has some most unusual features. Provisions usually written into legislation with the object of protecting public interest, and enabling objections to be lodged, have been specifically eliminated from this enactment. For example, there is no provision for objection under the terms of the Mining Act.
In the Public Works Act it is laid down that details of railways about to be constructed will be published so that “any well-grounded objections may be lodged”. This clause does not apply to the Clutha Development Act, although a 40-mile private railway and spur lines are to be built, partially across Sydney's water supply area. Under the Local Government Act there is normally provision for objections in certain cases to the use of land: this also has no application in the Clutha Agreement.
The Special Act provides that lands required by the Company shall be acquired by the Government, and leased to the Company at 50 cents per acre for a period of 50 years “clear of all rates, taxes and assessment to which the land is now or at any time may be subject or liable.” It has been stated by the Premier that Clutha is expected to gross $90 million annually from the project, and will contribute about $5 or $6 million to the Government in franchise for the railway, coal loader and other facilities.
There is no indication that any scientific investigation has been made into the effects of stockpiling about a million tons of small coal (and coal dust) along the summit of the Illawarra escarpment, and what may happen to it as a result of wind or rain.
Some provisions regarding pollution are made in the lease arrangements, but the terms are generally unspecific, and include phrases as “all reasonable action to prevent any pollution”.
The National Trust Bulletin remarks:
“It diminishes the nation and gives people a sense of disillusionment and impotence to see Government hastening to smooth the path for a large overseas company to exploit the nation's irreplaceable mineral resources with little benefit to Australia - and a despoiled landscape to boot….. Coal mining is a once only harvest, but the need for clean air, open lands and breathing space will remain fundamental and increasing human needs for all time.”
Ann Emery, our first new member this month, is another nurse from Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Like many other nurses from that institution, Ann joined our Club through Elizabeth Priestly, but unlike most of the others Ann has made the grade. Happy walking, Ann.
Our second new member is Brian Holden, who finds time here and there to come on walks with the S.B.W., despite doing a degree course at night, completing a home and keeping a young family. I think Brian sighed with relief after the Committee meeting where he was interviewed, because he's been trying to complete his formalities for a while. Now he can go a bit easier and enjoy himself more.
Third to join our ranks in June was Ross Wilson, a busy school teacher from Hurlstone Agricultural College, whose occupation seems to be pretty full-time - seeing it's a live-in position - and in which capacity he also instructs pupils in the arts and enjoyment of bushwalking. Ross, too, must have been glad to see our backs after the Committee meeting, but I hope he still manages to come on walks once in a while, as he is very keen to do.
Errol Sheedy became the fourth addition to our fraternity. This makes yet another member who is an active officer in the Boy Scouts Association. Nonetheless, besides these pursuits, Errol also seems to find time to play competition squash, so I expect he's looking forward to doing some harder-than-test walks…
Ella Neef is another one who has made it from R.P.A.H. She definitely prefers the day walks, especially since she finds the colder weather “a bit too much” for camping. I suppose there would be lots of others with those sentiments too.
Thank goodness only 5 of the 8 applications for membership came to Committee in June! I would like to put in a plaintive plea to all Prospectives to please calculate in advance (if they don't read my notices in the magazine or on the notice board) when they would be due for membership - at the latest - and try to do their map reading and first aid tests before the Committee meeting night where they will appear!
It must be hard to fathom just how long it takes to finalise all these petty little details like paying joining fees, doing tests, getting signatures and checking walks, so I'm telling you…
I have been unable to ascertain thus far, but a little bird told me that a member (Maria Celovic) has deigned to go beyond the call of duty and become engaged to a Prospective (Don Hitchcock). Sincere congratulations to you both, provided this is so, of course.
Newcomers who joined us in May are:
Barbara Altorjai, Ray Carter, Barry Foy, Barbara Gorrie (Barbara seems to be the “in” name at the moment - M.S.) Marie and Susan Hancock, Kay Piper, Barry Rowe, Hugh Stark and Frank Wyndham.
Now for my warning call to Prospectives who should apply for membership or else …..an extension…
Robyn Barr, Max Christmann, Gavin and Janet Fox, Paul Marmata, Wendy Hobson, Janet McManus, Peter Martin, Kerry Ruston, Jenny Salzmann and Zenda Spry.
I'd be grateful to receive your applications at the earliest possible moment, Thanks.
As well as being the 27th Anniversary of the opening of the Second Front in Europe, June 6th (Sunday) was the occasion of the gathering of a large group of people at Artransa Studios (T.V. Channel ATN 7) near Epping.
There were 40 members of archery clubs; 40 tennis players; 40 lifesavers; 40 exponents of judo; a Salvation Army Band… all in trim uniforms and looking a thorough credit to their respective organisations.
In addition, there was a scruffy lot (79 of them, including the youngsters) in a motley collection of packs, boots, sandshoes, shorts, jeans, parkas and woollen jackets; a couple with climbing ropes, and a couple with ice axes.
The occasion, of course, was an advertisement for QUANTAS's air travel at concession rates for groups of 40 or more people. The thought is that the proceeds paid for the bushwalkers' appearance will go to one of the conservation projects we are currently supporting.
by Spiro Ketas.
On July 21st Bruce Edds, one of our new members, discusses both sides of that ever-present conflict between conservationists and miners. Bruce tells me that, obviously a balance must be agreed upon in order to please both parties. Bruce has done a great deal of research and study into this problem, so come along & listen to his arguments…. questions welcomed.
Our new American friends, Tom Wilhelm and his charming wife, Linda, are treating us to an informative and interesting night on July 28th. They hail from Berkley, California, and have walked in many National Parks in the U.S.A. Tom has some slides, a ready wit, and a wealth of knowledge, a typical “schoolie” - you may have seen him commuting to work at St. Marys on his push-bike. If you haven't, come along and meet them.
Members wishing to join a theatre party to see the Australian Opera Company's production of “La Boheme”, please contact me. Date to be arranged.
After the goings on at T.V. Channel 7 on June 6th, something like forty of those who had taken part in the advertisement retired to the Gray's place at Epping, where a barbecue meal was held. With George away on a car-swap trip, it fell to Helen to be mine host, and to make available all facilities for this ravening horde. (walkers are always ravening). Deep appreciation from all concerned.
We hear from Brian Harvey glad tidings of two veteran members. Kath Mackay, our Poet Laureate (see page 15) was recently in Sydney, as a refugee from Western Australia; and is reported as “fit and well”. Good. Other news is that Dorothy Lawry, a club stalwart of many years is returning from New Zealand an June 26th, to live again in Australia. The very best of welcomes to Dorothy.
It was not possible to make firm bookings for our new club room for every Wednesday night during the next few months.
On July 7th and 14th we meet at the same building, but in Room 104, 2nd floor. (known as the Board Room). Accommoda4ion is rather limited - about 35 seats.
On August 11th the normal Wednesday meeting may have to be postponed - no accommodation yet available.
Instead of Wednesday meetings on August 18th and November 17th, bookings have been made in the usual hall for Tuesdays, August 17, and November 16th. Watch for any changes in these arrangements.