This is an old revision of the document!
FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE 1927 - 1977
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476 G.P.O. Sydney, N.S.W 2001.
Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.30 p m. at The Wireless Institute Building, 14 Atchison Street, St. Leonards.
ENQUIRIES concerning the Club should be referred to Mrs. Marcia Shappert - telephone 30,2028.
53 Wyralla Ave., Epping, 2121. Telephone 8671352
In the clubrooms. Telephone 30,1827
BUSINESS MANAGER: Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford.
TYPISTS: Kath Brown Sheila Binns
DUPLICATOR OPERATORS: Robin Scandrett Peter Scandrett
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Editorial Page 3
Poem Kath McKay 4
Our Origins 5
The Jolly Swagman Kath McKay
One Member's S.B.W. Frank Rigby 7
Message from the President 10
Bouddi National Park Marie B. Byles 11
Fifty Years of Conservation Alex Colley 14
Fifty Years of Walking:
First Descent of Clear Hill Frank Duncan 18
Taking the Medicine Ray Kirkby 21
Paddy's Ad- 23
The Worst Journey in the World Geoff Wagg 24
First Impressions of the Cox Ivy Painter 27
High Camps in the Blue Breaks Spiro Hajinakitas 29
Mountain Equipment Ad 31
Kiandra to Kosciusko on Skis Paddy Pallin 32
Rip Jim Brown 35
Past Presidents 37
A. Bushwalker's Prayer Owen Marks 38
Page THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER October 1977
On the twenty-first of this month The Sydney Bush Walkers reaches fifty years of age. This is quite an accomplishment for a club which started
as a small group of enthusiasts getting together to enjoy the pleasures of
lightweight camping and walking in the bush. Such activities were almost
unheard of in those early days, and bushwalkers were looked upon as a real curiosity.
When looking back a distance of fifty years, nearly quarter of the time that the white man has been in Australia, it can be seen that the major changes occurring in society are reflected to some degree in the affairs and conduct of the club. Although the basic philosophy of bush-
walking remains much the same, there are many things which have changed
over the years.
The loss of the challenge of pioneering walking characteristic of the early days was perhaps one of the saddest changes. The well worn tracks and beautiful large-scale contoured maps of today bring a kind of certainty
to walking in most local areas. Gone are the days when the majority of
walks were done from the Blue Mountains Tourist Map.
A more recent change has been a technological one. Packs have got
lighter, sleeping bags warmer. Airbeds and Alfoil have appeared, and
can you imagine packing your food or planning a canyon trip without plastic bags? Nevertheless, we still await the perfect tent and parka, made from
a substance which lets moisture out but not in. Perhaps the next genera-
tion of walkers will see this one.
One of the most radical changes affecting the bushwalking movement was the trend about twenty years ago from public to private transport for going on trips. This resulted in many more walking areas being within
reach of a weekend walk. The Budawangs in particular were affected this
way, an almost un-mapped area and un-walked area except for the odd extended
walk of several days. It rapidly gained in popularity with the rise of
the private car and is now a bushwalker favourite The other effect of
private transport trips was the social one. Quite a few people lamented
the disappearance of the Friday night group travelling together and getting to know each other on the long train journey out, and the happy sing-songs in the train going home.
The increasing affluence of society in the last fifteen years or so
may also have had its effect on walking. Whereas in the early days walking was likely to be the only outdoor hobby along with the- inevitable photography, now there is much more opportunity for other Challenging activities. There is sailing and hang-gliding, water and snow-skiing, skindiving and
skydiving, canoeing, car-camping and even orienteering. Consequently,
not a few walkers have a variety of week-end interests and so the old sense
Page 4. THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER October 1977
of belonging and of undivided loyalty is less apparent. A more 'free and
easy' attitude of members to club affairs seems to be the case, and not so much of the old 'deadly earnest“ remembered by some of us.
Bushwalking has been further divided by the 'urban sprawl' and-the result has been the emergence of many regional walking clubs suchias the- Mt. Druitt Bushwalkers and the SOringwood Walkers. This is a necessary and fortunate development, and even the S.B.W.seems to be acquiring a.
more regional membership due to its location. After all, how many people
would be prepared to come into the clubrooms from St. Marys or-Engadine every Wednesday night?
A related phenomenon over the last few years has been the 1.ncreasing number of walkers one meets who do not belong to any club but are merely a group of friends who go walking together. Perhaps this is another result
of improved maps and well-worn tracks, aided by the modern day spirit of “doing your own thing'.
Well those are some of the changes of the last fifty years, and who could hazard a guess as to what the next fifty will bring? Most surely
we will want to go bushwalking, if only to escape an increasingly ordered
fife style. If there a Sydney Bush Walkers in another fifty years, and I suspect there will, it will be because our club is still serving a purpose, and that, as shown by the Objects of the Club, is an ongoing one and no matter how many changes may occur in society, the true “Spirit of Bushwalking” will remain as long as there are bushwalkers to walk.
CAM) BY THE SEA.
So near9 so clear the heavens are That9 peering through the trees; glimpse the shy small seventh star Among the Pleiades.
The tiny ships at anchor ride,
The tiny sails are furled
Soon, soon comes in the midnight tide
From half across the world.
On Cliff and shore the bush leans down
.Dim-mirrored in the deep.
Hushed as the sea, this tented town
Breathes softly, fast asleep.
Page THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER October 1977
Before the S.B.W. came into being there was no mixed recreational walking club in Sydney. Gradually, however, it became apparent that there was a growing need for a new and freer type of walking club than that existing at the time.
One of the first moves in this direction came from Jack Debert, who wrote a letter to “The Sun” suggesting the formation of -
“a Hiker's club, where hikers could meet and discuss routes, places of interest etc.”
A few people answered this letter and the ensuing group of six people arranged a walk (see photo) to discuss plans for a new walking club. Also at this time other people were contacted including a group of three women (Marie Bytes was one of them) who had been heard of through a magazine report as having walked the Hawkesbury River.
In the meantime, the Mountain Trails Club had also replied% via
“The Sun” to Jack Debert's letter, and this resulted in an influx of visitors to their meetings.
Eventually, the M.T.C. offered to hold a special meeting so that those interested, including some M.T.C. members who liked the idea of a club which included women, would form a separate walking body, So, at
this meeting, on 21st October, 1927, a new club was created and its objects and constitution drawn up.
Thus the S.B.W. came into being, although it was not until a couple of meetings later that the name “The Sydney Bush Walkers” was
chosen, and incidentally the word “bushwalker' also had its origin in the name of our club.
Page 6. THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER October 1977
THE JOLLY SWAGMAN
by Kath McKay.
Not long ago we were required to vote on'our preference for a national anthem. Four choices were listed:
God Save the Queen Waltzing Matilda Advance Australia Song of Australia
My friend snorted. . Waltzing Matilda! That stupid jingle!'
Stupid jingle? I mused. Maybe. But it's a good tune. An
old tune too - old like our land, but eternally young. I have heard that the Saracens used it as a mourning song for their dead, ages ago. Now, wherever in our planet it is heard we think 'Australia!'
Noel Coward, or someone equally famous, was fascinated as a small boy, by Waltzing.Matilda. Such a lot of strange words! What did
Waltzing Matilda mean, anyway? Or a jolly swaaman? Or a billabong?
Or a coolabah? He learnt them all; also found that a jumbuck - excellent word! - was a sheep.
It is unfortunate that we are presented as a nation of sheep stealers. (My ancestors were Highland cattle-rievers: but let it pass). But we have no desire to dominate other peoples: we do not sing Australia iiber alles, or confound their politics, or frustrate their knavish tricks. Let others do what they will, so long as we can roam our wide free land and our blessed bush.
Let the squatter ride up, mounted on his thorough-bred - he represents Wealth, Security, Respectability. Let the troopers come, one, two,
three - they represent Authority. We envy none of them. Ours is the
cry of the jolly swagman as he dives into the billabong: 'You'll never
take me says he. Not power, not possessions: peace, tolerance,
freedom - that is the best thing of all. We have a marvellous heritage. fi
Long may the bushwalking tradition flourish!
To you from failing hands we throw The torch: be yours to hold it high'
Page THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER October 1977 (k),
ONE MEMBER'S S.B.W.
by Frank Rigby
k The Sydney Bush Walkers and I are almost exact contemporaries. I Was an infant of three months in an obscure country district of Queenslan wKen a group of enthusiastic people in Sydney were meeting to form
Australia's first bushwalking club open to both sexes. Who could har imagined then that the two of us, the boy born in the northern bush and the club born in a distant metropolis, would one day meet?
But so it was to be. In 1950, when we were both 23 years old, I
came to that distant metropolis to seek my fortune. I did not find a
fortune but more importantly I found the S.B.W. I do not know exactly
what aroused my interest in such an oddball recreation but I like to think
got my start during schooldays when I was forced to walk three miles each day through some truly beautiful Australian bush; the plants and animals, the trees and birds, the peace and the beauty no doubt left their mark on a young and impressionable mind. Anyway, just before I headed south I
read an article in a magazine about a group of “bushwalkers” enjoying a
Week-end in the Blue Mountains. The photographs, I remember, showed the now-familiar line of figures clad in shorts and rucksacks on a bush track; and there they were sitting around a big campfire, singing, the caption
said, “at the top of their hearty voices”. I was sold - bushwalking, I
thought, was definitely for me!
On arrival in Sydney I heard tell of a remarkable character named
Paddy Pallin who owned a bushwalking shop in George Street; apparently he
was the man to see. “Call in at the Ingersoll Hall next Friday night and
you'll be on your way”, said Paddy. But I was not quite prepared for the
Ingersoll Hall, a sleazy-looking structure in an even sleazier back alley of Darlinghurst; and walking up the stairs I had the distinct urge to turn
and run. Could this unsavoury place really be the home of a bushwalking
club? Tentatively I pushed the door open and was aware of a large
darkened room full of people, slides on a screen and a man's voice. I
tripped over a chair and brought the whole show to a halt and again I was
about to run. A chap called Frank Leyden resumed his commentary on a
recent walking trip in the Swiss Alps - it sounded right after all. But
I wonder bow many others had a similar introduction to S.B.W.?
After the slides I was taken to a pleasant young man with a hearing aid. This was Ken Meadows, Membership Secretary, my first contact with a bush- walker and later my good friend. After explaining that I wanted to
“launch myself right into the thick of things” (day walks were, of course, advised for a start), Ken introduced me to one Jack Perry who was leading
a week-end walk in the Blue Mountains. I was small but Jack seemed
smaller so I reckoned if he could do it then so could 1. What utter
Page 8. THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER October 1977
brashness! Anyway, Jack sized me up and agreed that I could come (do you
remember, Jack?). Naturally I made all the beginner's mistakes - golf
shoes, paper bags, glass jars etc. - but it was a wonderful experience.
The magazine article had come true and a new way of life had begun. On
Edna Garrad's Instructional I learned something of the mysteries of maps
and the folklore of bushwalking. I remember well another Prospective on
that same Instructional, a keen but unorthodox import from Kiwi land who
was soon to introduce abseiling and other rugged pursuits to S.B.W. His.
name was Colin Putt. It was December 1950.
I worried about test walks and other things but eventually, like so many others before and after me, I stood shaking and shivering in the august presence of THE COMMITTEE, headed by stern and questioning Tom Moppett. I could not have remotely guessed then that one day, many years
later, I would come to occupy that same chair, questioning in my turn the latest batch of aspiring S.B.W. members - one might call it a full cycle
of the wheel. As a matter of fact, two future Presidents went before the
Committee in quick succession for John White was admitted to membership on
the same night. (Do you remember, John?) The news filtered out of that
mysterious back room - I was IN! I was a member of S.B.W. and a bush-
walker, even if 1 still had much to learn. At any rate the grim Ingersoll
Hall no longer held its terrors for me; 1 pinRed on the flannel flower
and what's more, I was proud of it!
Of course all this was just the beginning but 1 realise now what a
milestone that period was in my life. The real rewards were yet to come
but they would take volumes to relate. In the course of time there followed satisfying adventures in the bush, social experiences, fine friendships. and even an occasional spot of romance, all by courtesy of the Sydney
Bush Walkers. At the same time I was acquiring a basic education in the conservation of the natural environment long before the bandwaggon really
started to roll. How vividly I can recall my first Reunion; 1 was among -
the last to leave, and was stunned to find nothing but the ashes of the ,campfire - no litter, no bottles, no cans, nothing. How could 200 people
camp -insuch a small area for a week-end and leave so little trace of their
occupation? The simple answer, I reasoned, was that they were bushwalkers.
By example, learned a lesson that I will never forget. Thanks again,
The 'golden age of the S.B.W., whether real or imagined or simply gilded by the passing of the years, lies in the eyes of the beholder.
For me I suppose it was the fifties. [Ah yes, the fifties! That decade
began with hob-nailed boots and gaiters, friendly communal trains to the mountains and private cooking fires with tripods; it ended with sandshoes,
private cars and friendly, communal cooking fires (were the communal fires a gPmPensation for the loss of the communal trains?) But I. digress and
fjnid myself guilty of reminiscing for its own sake]. Certainly I had
youth and vigour going for me then but it was not just that It was the
Page 9. THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER .October 1977
time I made so many fine and lasting friendships in S.B.W., the time I shared with them so many worthwhile experiences in both wilderness and city, the time I learned so much about bushwalkinq and its disciples. The Club and
the activities it generated became for me, as for others, a pervasive way of
life outside working hours. Just by way of illustration, I would guess
that 90% of my friends in the late fifties were drawn from the S.B.W.
Last but by no means least the S.B.W., in this period, gave me my wife. The Club has always been famous as a matrimonial bureau, and no wonder because it brings together people with the same basic outlook on life; and what could be better than a long bushwalking adventure in the wilds of Tasmania to find out whether two people can live with or without each other?
In 1960, a few weeks after we were married, Joan and I departed for overseas to see how the other half lives. Despite advice from the Treasurer
of the time we refused to transfer to the non-active list, a gesture of our
gratitude to the Club for its enrichment of our lives. Although we did,
as far as possible, try to continue “bushwalking” in foreign lands, it was
not quite the same. We missed our S.B.W. friends and we missed the Australian
bush although there were compensations. In 1964 we returned to an S.B.W.
that was alleged by some to be dying on its feet”. I did not believe it
and I was right. However, it did take some time to feel at homeh again for there were many new faces while some of the old ones had retired to
raise families or whatever. I had broken the continuity of my affair with the Club and in some respects I think I paid for it.
It was early in 1967, after sixteen years of membership, when retiring President John White first broached the idea. It bowled me over for in
truth I had not given the matter a thought. 'What about running for
President, Digbyr (My old nickname bestowed by another contemporary, Don
Matthews, had tended to stick). I consulted two Oracles in widely-separated
segments of the Club - wise tribal elder Jim Brown (himself a President of the fifties) and youthful Club dynamo Don Finch (who, as things turned out,
was to follow in my footsteps). Both thought the time was ripe for such an
enterprise but still I hesitated. Then I thought: You Shave been Editor
on two occasions and led a number of walks. But is that enough,in repayment?” My answer to my own question tipped the scales - I went on to become President of my club in our fortieth year and although there were the inevitable
trials I also gained a great deal of personal satisfaction. Certainly I
never-regretted my decision - I can only hope the club at lame felt likewise.
Immediately afterwards I moved to Canberra and undeniably physical distance has meant for me a certain remoteness from the everyday affairs of the S.B.W. Joan and I are now members of two bushwalkinq clubs but, without
denigrating the C.B.C., S.B.W. retains first place in our hearts. Whenever
possible we keep contact and occasionally turn up on a walk. We may even have made S.B.W. history last Queen's Birthday by flying to Sydney to join Bob Hodgson's walk to Widden Brook - and it was well worth the expense.
Page 10 THE SYMEY BUSHWALKER October 1977
Old friends are true friends, especially when they are Sydney Bush Walkers, and In July many of those old friends celebrated my fiftieth birthday in Sydney, just a mite ahead of the Club's own celebrations in October. Thankyou, Helen and'George Gray and all the rest of you.
The S.B.W. must and will keep poing. It is important that the frame-
work and the traditions so well established over the last half-century be
continued. I will venture a guess that, given a little bit of luck, the
Club will go on to attain its centenary. That matters. I will not but
that doesn't. However, I do hope, when the time comes to put me away, that I will still be a member of the Sydney Bush Walkers - nobody can separate two old friends as easily as that
* * * * * * * * * e
EESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDEET.
This month we celebrate the first 50 years of our Club's existance, which began on October 21st9 19279 with a meeting of nine people. From that meeting began the first mixed 7alking club in Sydney.
Probably out of the wish and need to create a Llixed club comes some of our Club's characteristics. Most important, and obvious,to me is the equality of men and women, socially and physicallythat has always existed. Never have I seen S.B.W.s divide into groups of women and men to talk, and never has a member been barred from a walk because of gender.
It. is a club, too, where age is irrelevant, not just in that a spirit of youth exists, but in ties of true friendship and shred experiences.
The. type of friendship was so well expressed by Kath McKay some
years. ago: ”. I have been hardly anywhere at all. But do Bush- walkers care? Not a jot. They accept me as one of themselves and treat. inc as though I had been everywhere and seen everything. Never were there_ such cobbers.“
I am so looking forward to this Re-union, and to the pleasure of talking to people who were walking perhaps before I was born. People who pioneered routes which today, with accurate map in hand,. I often take for
granted. People who were once considered the maddest of eccentrics
fighting to save Blue Gum or Era.
I am proud to be one of the Sydney Bush Walkers, and I am sure all members share that pride and will join in the festivities this month. Let us r-une and celebrate!
Page 11. THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER October 1977
BOUDDI NATIONAL PARK.
by Marie B. Byles
The originator of Bouddi National Park (originally Bouddi NATURAL Park) was the telescope through which we children in the teens of this century looked from the verandah of our Palm Beach cottage across the wide Hawkesbury estuary to rusting boilers of the good ship 'Maitland' wrecked on Bouddi headland in 1898.
On the 5th May 1898 the 'Maitland paddled out from Sydney. It was
a dark and stormy night. Soon mountainous waves were hurling themselves
over the boat. The engine fires went out. The ship floundered help-
lessly. People waited for the inevitable when the boat crashed onto the
bombora off Bouddi headland. Some were flung overboard and perished. Eventually, one, Russell, got a life line ashore and some passengers and
crew were taken safely over. But then the lifeline broke and more
perished. Some firemen, the mate, a baby girl and the Captain were still
left. One can imagine the agony of the mother ashore and the wailing of
the baby for a second day while the captain and mate tried to feed her on
sweet biscuits and water. At last those on shore got another life line
over. The mate with the baby strapped on his back were followed by the
others to safety. And then the 'Herald' reporter came on the scene and
reported that 39 people were saved and 24 drowned, and also that Bouddi headland was surrounded by very rough country!
When 1 reached:years of discretion (or indiscretion our parents might have said), about 1920 I think, I persuaded three girl friends to form an 'Expedition' to those rusting boilers. I do not remember how we got
there, but I do remember that Esther wore a man's breeches and a huge Colts automatic pistol, and that the rest of us took off our skirts and romped about in dark coloured bloomers, and that when we went to get our skirts
we could not find them. Horrors! Fancy going home without skirts!
However, we did find them and slept on the hard dewy compacted sand under the. stars - 'no Paddy Pallin tents in those days.
The next day Esther and I poured over maps and compasses and the possibility of tramping to Kincumber through the macrazamia with its pineapple-like fruit. The other two rushed off to Bouddi Skillian unbe-
known to us and we saw them no more A severe thunder storm came up in
the afternoon. The others took refuge in a friendly farm house and were
treated like prfncesses. Esther and I slept in a smelly cow shed!
Bouddi Natural Park is Conceived
The next landmark was the formation of the Sydney Bushwalkers in 1927.
In 1930 Dorothy Lawry pointed out that there were many 'Boat Harbours' on the map, but that this was special and should be called 'Maitland Bay'.
Page 12, THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER October 1977
No sooner said than done. The Lands Department obligingly put the suggested name on the map.
In 1935 I led a party of Sydney Bushwalkers to the new Maitland Bay and considerably further. They were not impressed. At the annual camp
shortly after, I was presented with a large, long deed scroll reciting the gift to me of 'the clear fresh drinking water which takes so much finding, the glorious grassy camping sites that do not exist, the day and night flying Imperial sized mosquitoes, the sleepless nights and
surf less bay, and in short the whole dog-gone place' in return for noble efforts to have it set aside as a national park'.
For in the meantime I had been 'softening up' public opinion by writing articles for various newspapers and journals showing that the new park was all but dedicated.
Then came the Federation of Bushwalking Clubs and they were persuaded to make Maitland Bay and Bouddi a first conservation project.
Again, it was very easy. The Lands Department told Mr. Barry, the
district surveyor, to report, and asked the Federation to appoint three
people to accompany him. Dorothy Lawry, Richard Croker and 1 were
appointed. On the train, we cogitated where we should take him. We turned up with business-like rucksacks, rain capes and food - and billies,
I suppose. He turned up with his lunch in a red handkerchief tied to
his waist belt. We did not take him. He took us and took us through
the rough stuff. He also added the land at the northern end of Killcare
Beach, which we had not ventured to include.
Actual Birth of the Park
The actual birth of the Park was again extraordinarily easy. The
Gosford Council was asked to appoint three trustees and so was the Federa-
tion. Hudson Smith, Charles D'Arcy Roberts and myself were nominated by
Federation, all belonging to different clubs. We used to hold the
Trustee meetings on the beach. Only one councillor used to come to them. We named him Mr. Steam Roller because he trampled down all our sugges-
tions with an iron will. However, it was he who proposed the name
Bouddi Natural Park. For once we were in agreement. So Natural could
then indicate no roads, buildings or other so-called improvements. Alas! when the Park became a national park, the term Natural was changed to 'National'.
Later on, Mr. Steam Roller was replaced by Mr. Lillicra i the Shire - president, and he was a tower of strength. '
Page 13. THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER October 1977
Death of C. D. Roberts
When I went to China mountaineering in 1938 Charlie DcArcy Roberts took over the secretaryship, and it was then that large additions began
to be made. Charles had been chosen as a trustee because he had a genuine love of Bouddi, as a photo in his office showed. He also led moonlight walks through the roughest places. But when war was declared, he was one of the first to join up and he was one of the first to be killed. We
arranged that the tiniest beach should be named for him, Bull imah, the Home of the Great Spirit. On the windy afternoon, the 13th May, 1948, Mr. Lillicrap conducted a little ceremony and Charlie DIArcy Roberts parents came.
Working bees among bushwalkers have now become so common that people may have forgotten the first was at Maitland Bay. Everyone predicted
that it would be a failure. But sixty bushwalkers came along in May, 1940. A tank was floated round on a calm day by the honorary ranger, who lived in a hut at Maitland Bay. We built a shelter shed to provide fresh
clean water in lieu of the admittedly brackish water of the well, and we built properly graded and drained footpaths to cause no soil erosion.
Daphne Ball and other helpers
When I retired from the Trust, Daphne Ball of the Coast and Mountain Walkers (later Daphne McKern) took over the honorary secretaryship. She was outstandingly efficient and enthusiastic and it was a joy to see her name on the notice boards that were now erected. Alan Strom soon became president and lent the weight of his wellknown knowledge. It is no doubt
invidious to mention the principal helpers when there are so many. But the late Bill Dingeldi was renowned everywhere for the innumerable jobs he did for Bouddi, and he is now commemorated by a shelter shed on MoOnt Bouddi Head and, I am sorry to say, a road, formerly a fire trail, to it. Harry Whaite has been foremost in enthusiastic research; 'and when the National Parks and Wild Life Service took control and the area became Bouddi State Park and later Bouddi National Park, Harry continued in his
capacity of Honorary Treasurer for about two years. And then there is Bill Holesgrove, a one time president, and Oliver Wynham who used to lay
out tracks with me before working bees. And now there is Beryl Strom
who is referred to for everything.
The black spot has been rutile mining which was forced on the trustees. It was at the northern end of Killcare Ocean Beach. It
destroyed the rain forest and the best camp Sites, and left a desert.
Page 14. THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER October 1977
Even deserts can be beautiful. But we can be thankful that it has not been allowed at any other of the beaches.
Bouddi Natural Park started in 1935 as a strip of land along the coast from Mcrasters Beach to Killcare Ocean Beach of 650 acres (about 260 hectares). Bouddi National Park has an area of 1,067.3 hectares, with a few small additions since that calculation was made at the beginning of 1977. So the offspring of that telescope on a Palm Beach verandah have been considerable,
even though its rusting boilers have now nearly disintegrated and its bell had lost its tongue when some fishermen retrieved it from a crevice in the rocks.
SAVED BY THE
I. Burning Palms.
2. Blue Gum Forest.
3. Maitland Bay.
+ + + + + + + ++
FIFTY YEARS OF CONSERVATION
by Alex Colley.
When the S.B.W. was founded the conservation of natural areas was a cause promoted and understood by a very small following, most of which were
to be found in the Mountain Trails Club or the Wild Life Preservation Society. The S.B.W. was guided in its formative period by the Mountain Trails Club and two of the five objects of our constitution were devoted to conservation. These were © To establish a definite regard for the welfare and preservation of the wild life and natural beauty of this country and (d) To help others appreciate these natural gifts. The conservation work of the M.T.C. was done mainly through the National Parks and Primitive Areas Council, which
was disbanded in 1962, and the M.T.C. was wound up later. This leaves the S.B.W., to the best of my knowledge, as the second oldest wilderness conservation association in
Before the formation of walking clubs, conservation was largely the work of prominent citizens. The Royal National Park (1879) was the result of representations by such people, as was Lamington National Park in Queensland, and Ku-ringgal Chase was the result of 40 years work by Eccleston du Faur. After these early successes there was a long gap until Myles Dunphy's pioneering work started to gain acceptance.
Page THE SYDNEY BLISHWALKER October 1977
The first major effort of the S. W. was the saving of Blue Gum Forest. It happened that some M.TX. and S.9.1:!. members were walking through it just as the lessee started ringbarking the bluequms. In the words of Dorothy Lawry (S.B.W. Annual, April 1934) He had the legal right to kill
every tree. Reasoning and persuasion failed, so bargaining was resorted to, for the Trailers and Bush lalkers recognised that the trees must be
saved. The Mountain Trails Club had 27 members; the Sydney Bush Walkers about 140, none of them wealthy, and the lowest price for his rights over the 40 acre block which the lessee would consider was E,130 - to be paid within 3 monthstn, The money was raised largely by a loan from Mr. W. J.
Cleary, then Commissioner for Railways, and the loan repaid as a result of strenuous fund-raising efforts - 130 was probably worth some $5,000 in today's money.
The next success was the creation of Garrawarra Park. This was the first campaign of the Federation of Bushwalking Clubs after its formation in 1932. No less than 5,000 signatures were obtained to a petition and
the park was dedicated in 1934. The Federation also secured the reservation of Bouddi Natural Park in 1936, following strong campaigning by Marie Byles in the early thirties.
Another successful venture of the thirties was the leasing of Morella Karong situated on a small creek flowing into Heathcote Creek. It was our
re-union site for several years and was incorporated into the Heathcote Primitive Area together with the M.T.C.'s Miara lease.
In 1943 the Club learned that there were plans afoot to build a boarding house and golf club at North Era. Reverting to previous experience
with developers it was decided to try to raise sufficient funds to buy the
key block which contained the flat at North Era. The money was raised and,
after difficulties caused by Government land price regulation were overcome, we acquired the block. Later the Government resumed the privately owned land between Garrawarra and National Park and paid us a little more than we
The importance of the conservation ofrthese Coastal beaches Comes into
perspective when you look round forother undeveloped beaches on the central coast. There aren't any
For many years we sought to use the Era Lands money for further conservation. One plan was to bUy-the key Bendethera block on the Deua River, but though enough additional funds were available tc bid up to 2,000, we
were outbid. Eventually the funds were used to buy Cootana. Perhaps one day that too will become part of a national park, though, if it does, we may by then be without a re-union site.-
During these years club members gained a good deal of dxpertise in conservation matters. Tom Moppett, Club President 1947/52; was largely
responsible for the formation of the National Parks Association' of N.S.W.
and was for many years its President. Paul Barnes succeeded him as President of the Sydney Branch.
Page 16. THE SYDNEY BUSWALKER. October 1977,
Until the late sixties the cause of wilderness preservation was supported by a very limited number of people, inspired largely by bush walkers. A great widening of support took place when the developers started to move in on the magnificent Kananara-Boyd wilderness area, which is perhaps the most popular walking area in the State. In the south of this wilderness
was the Colong Caves Reserve, itself almost surrounded by the Kanangra-Boyd
National Park. This was to be developed as a limestone quarry. In the
north was another great “hole” in the park boundary formed by the Konangaroo
State Forest. This the Forestry Commission planned to bulldoze for the
purpose of replanting with pines. The issue attracted widespread interest
and a great deal of publicity. The S.B.W. and individual members strongly
supported the campaign which was won after nearly seven years of unrelenting
effort. Had the campaign not been successful we would have had a roaring
limestone quarry in the Kowmung Valley and a monotonous sea of pines on the Boyd Plateau.
The saving of Kanangra-Boyd was the key to a much larger project, proposed by Myles Dunphy in 1932 and adopted by the S.B.W. as its principal
conservation project. This was the creation of a Greater Blue Mountains
National Park, extending from the Hunter Valley in the north to Wombeyan Caves in the south. The Federation of Bush Walking Clubs, the N.P.A., the
Colong Committee, the Colo Committee and the Bindook Committee pooled their
various proposals and the N.P.A. devoted a special issue of its Journal to the project. No sooner had this issue been published than the Premier
announced that 192,000 hectares would be added to the existing parks in the Southern Blue Mountains.
The destruction of wilderness and restrictions on its use is an insidious process which has been going on since 1788. The “pioneering” outlook of
the early days, when “the bush” was simply a source of timber, or something
to be cleared for rural purposes, persists. In addition it is the place
-i-o'put roads, power lines, mines, rubbish dumps, wood chip plants, pine forests, subdivisions, fire breaks and the rest. As a result only about
1.3% of the area of the State remains in anything approaching its natural
state, and except for some of this which is in national parks, the rest is mostly under a development threat of one sort or another. Fortunately
our conservation ideals are gaining ever wider acceptance, and provided there is no let up, we, and our kindred associations, may be able to save
a good deol of what is left.
Myles Dunphy, 0.13.E., to whose early example and guidance We owe so
much, summed up his conclusions in a letter to the Australian Institute of Architects as follows:
“The following facts became evident to me years ago:
1. Fine scenery, once discovered, cannot be overlooked, it will r
continue to draw attention to itself until its qualities are preserved
Page 17. THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER October 1977
2. The conscious endeavour to preserve the natural physical character of the scenic areas of our country is strongly opposed to unplanned despoliation for commercial profit, and to senseless vandalism by the anti-social element.
3. When deprived of indigenous wildlife the bushland and littoral environments are poor places for human enjoyment.”
Twenty five years ago Ken Matthews, another of the early conservation enthusiasts, wrote in the S.B.W. magazine:
“There can be no bringing of the bushlands to the people. The people.
if they want it, must go to the bushland. Attempts to bring the bush
to the people by opening up roadways beyond a given point only succeed In pushing the bush further away or destroying it altogether. Supposing in a moment of mad enthusiasm, under a caption of “Bring the Bushlands to the People”, roadways with their incidentals of bridges, culverts, quarried areas, parking spaces, shelter-sheds, telephone lines, and the inevitable hotels and kiosks for motorists, and landing
fields for helicopterists, were to be provided at every lookout,
scenic spot, in every valley, stream gla,de and glen - would not the very reason for building them have then been destroyed? Would not the 'next step' then be to begin removing The_Madways, sheds, etc. in the hope that the bushlands, and the animals, birds and trees would come
back to the people? As foolish as it may seem, this, at any rate in general principle, is the situation that has faced several countries outside Australia - hence the reservation_of large tracts in America,
Africa and Europe as national parks. It can heppen in Australia too,
and it will happen if foresight be not shown. After all, until 1788,
the whole of Australia was a primitive area.”
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Page 8. THE SYDNEY BUSHRALKER. October, 1977.
FIFTY YEARS OF WALKING
The following artiClesjlave been selected to show the different. aspects of our bushwalking-history.. They show how some things'
have altered-and how others have'stayed the same. Past issues of The Sydney Bushwaiker were the sources for the:articles by Geoff. Vagg (1956) and Ivy painter (1967).
FIRST DESCENT OF CLEAR HILL.
, by Frank Duncan. Reprinted from Sydney Bushwalker Annua1 April 1934 -
Editorial Note calag Clear Hill is taken for granted by presentday
bushwalkers, and few even stop to ponder that it was once a real bush walking problem. At the beginning of 1928, the cliffs of Narrow Neck were an unconquered challenge to bushwalkers, with Nelliels Glen and Devil's Hole (a wellmarked tourist -track then) the only entry to the Megalong, and the Megalong the only passage to the Wild Dogs and the Cox.
0 0 3 3 0 -0 di'. 0
In other countries people make first ascents. In Australia, which
is a topsyturvy country, we make first descents instead.
One of the first long weekend walks undertaken by my wife and myself after arriving in Sydney was down Nellie's Glen, through the Megalong Valley past the Woolshed, and down Black Jerry's Ridge to the Cox River.
The chief features through the greater length of this route are the impressive bluffs, ridges and precipices of the Narrow Neck, or Clear Hill Plateau. I well remember comparing it with the plateaux which feature so often in the tales of Rider Haggard, plateaux which usually have but one
way of access, and this very difficult, and whereon are found the most
weird and wonderful of ancient civilisations.
Page 19. THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER October, 1977.
It was in this mood that we fell into conversation with a walker who told us of the approach from Katoomba via Narrow Neck. When I suggested tint it would make a most interesting route out to the Cox from Kr,toomba, he pooh-poohed the idea with vigour, and held forth on the ring of
inaccessible cliffs at the end. He mentioned several unsuccessful attempts during the past years to find a way off the plateau.
Later, in June, 1928, we joined a popular bushwaiker trip to Clear Hill, at the end of this six-mile long plateau* On the way out we mentioned to some of the party our ambition to pioneer a route to the Cox via the end of Clear Hill. And, as we arrived at our camping spot at Glen Raphael early, we set off for an evening exploration of the possibilities of a descent of the cliffs, feeling delightfully light and fresh without our heavy packs. A short time found us at the very end of Clear Hill, perched up in the air with cliffs on three sides of us, and a fine clear view, one of the best I have seen in New South Wales, of bush-clad ridges in every direction. Tortuous valleys at our feet wound away in the distance, but most striking of all was the feeling of airy lightness and detachment, and freedom from the petty cares of everyday life.
A photo or two were taken, and then the search began, Soon our
efforts were rewarded, and we dinted down the gully to the west of the southernmost point of the hill. The descent was in the form of steps or ledges extending in the direction of Mount Mouin. After repeated
deviations and retracing of our steps, we came to a uheer cliff within 50 ft. of the bush-clad foothills below.
These last fifty feet were the only serious difficulty of the descent, but even here it was not long before three of us, E. Austen, J. Debert and myself had cabbed down a chimney-like crack and solved with a shout of Pride, the descent of Clear Hill.
We returned to camp very pleased with ourselves and made plans for the morrow, when the Austens, J. Debert, Gwen Adams and ourselves. made
the descent with our packs, and lit a smoke signal from a-clearing on the Dog Track, to let our friends, who had stayed on Clear Hill, know of our
We spent the next flight near the junction of Breakfast Creek and. the. Cox, and so home via Jerry's Ridge, tired, but with a satisfied feeling of achievement.
Subsequently a deviation on the latter part of the descent was explored by others, and this saved the dint down the chimney.
The charm and grandeur of the unspoilt bush still clings to Clear Hill, but now someone with more ingenuity than poetry in his nature has fixed a rope-ladder for the convenience of weaklings down the one bit of real dilating on our original route. The Philistines-,-I-fevill yet
put an escalator up Mount Cook and a lift up Kanchenjungal
* * * * * * * * * * *
Page 20. THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER October, 1977.
WALKS OF THE PAS T0.
PHOTOGRAPHS OPPOSITE -
1. Apyle=11.92.13y Juli_ar,,LmEta_1222.Lbeiopethe S.B.W. was formed..
A walk arranged by Jack Debert and the men and women who replied to his letter to “The Sun”. Here they met and discussed plans for a walking club and what it might do. Included in the picture are Jack Debert, Frances Ramsay and Frank and Anice Duncan.
2, Clear Hill9 June 1928.
The occasion of the first Descent (see article).
The first party to follow the course of the upper Kowmung River. In the days before plastic bags, the problem of swimming and carrying a pack was quite considerable, The party arrived at the river and tried out their idea of tying their packs on top of purchased “floaties”. Alas, when put in the water the bundles immediately turned upside down, but to the surprise of the group the packs themselves floated, as they had been securely wrapped in groundsheets as an extra precaution. Thus the “groundsheet method” was born and became standard practice on such
This was the first mixed party to walk the Grose :River, it having been previously regarded as “too difficult for ladies” f Notice the packs, which were all home-made as there was no lightweight camping gear for sale until “Paddy” appeared on the scene a couple of years later.
50 Ye3_22,ndie M.2.2.2_191…
This all-female party had just completed a week-long exploratory trip of the Kowmung River and are seen here ready to start home from
A typical “tiger” trip of the thirties to Mt. Solitary. Gordon
Smith, the famous leader of the Tigers, in the centre of the standing group. The September magazine article by Grace Noble alludes to this trip.
7. Canon's Farm - Christmas Day, 1941..
HeatliJave conditions marked the start of a four-day trip, and the party' are seen here chatting to Bert and. Mrs. Carlon.
Page 21, THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER October, 1977.
TAKING THE MEDICINE.
by Ray Kirkby.
I decided recently that bushwalkers are partly in this world and ptrtly out. But it is mainly nine-tenths in and one-tenth out. I decided this when looking at a T.V. programme about the people who appear to be trying to do the same but in inverse proportions - nine-tenths out and one-tenth in. I mean the Tuntable Falls, NiMbin People. I'll risk attack by saying that our walking is more like taking medicine; it's a draught to steel us for the next incursion into the civilized world.
I'm going a long way back to talk about the “last” war. I realise that many of you were not born, you won't be born for years yet, However I was mixed up in that affair and periodically we got some leave, but it was a cardinal rule of the army that you would never be given more than a day's notice. Therefore organising anything was practically out of the question. Which was why I set off on this trip, as on others, alone.
Remember, too, that transport was very limited. I decided on a trip in the Yarrangobilly area and of course the only transport was the Tumut train one end, the Cooma train the other and a mail car in between*
Well, that was a beginning to build on. So I got off the mail car somewhere near Yarrangobilly with the intention of crossing the Bogong Mountains and dropping down into the Goobarragandra River. My bible was the South-E astern Tourist map - there was no other I knew of - and you would have been regarded very suspiciously at that time had you been found with detailed maps.
I started up through an exotic pine forest having meanly calculated
that I muld have an easy undergrowth-free beginning. 'Vividly in my mind
I can still see the highlights of the trip and highlight number one was to arrive towards the top of the range where there were small swampy valleys
which you knew were the birthplaces of the streams which meandered through the cultivated paddocks below. Little granite hillocks were around and natiye pines; in my limited experience I had never been in such a place
before. It was exciting but forbidding as evening and coldness and loneliness closed around,
I plunged down the other side, met, I presumed, the Goobarragandra and not long after came upon a but with two cattlemen. They were surprised that I felt I could not accept their hospitality for the
night (well, it was only midday) but felt impelled
to speed down the river and eventually to the road into Tumut. There I intended to reprovision* I was offered a ride in a siAlky into town so; the last eight miles into Tumut were covered in great state.
Now my plan was to go from Rule's Point, cross the Goodradigbee, go Up the gap between Mt. Murray and Bimberi Peak, drop down the other side and eventually get the train at Williamsdale south of Canberra,
Page 22. THE SYDNEY BUSHWALUR October, 1977.
I started across the-high plains north of Rule's Point. Do you know, I cannot remeMber the name of those plains. I could look it up on a map but I don't want to. I feel some of the magic of that trip will be loit if I now try to throw too much probing light on it. But through those plains coiled the crystal streams which you come upon suddenly between grassy tufts.
It all went well, but always one was preoccupied with finding one's way. Instirict, whatever that m*y mean, had to be the guide. The immediate task of walking, tracking and eating pushed all else out of the mind.
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JI-…, –…4,..,..t. -,…..:-….-_-
The gap between Murray and Bimberi was to me
an alpine pasture with delicate green grasses and even a few a very few alpine like flowers. I
know now that I was seeing my first anemone. I climbed Bimberi. Then down, down past Mt. Kelly and Mt. Scabby to the valley floor and the beginnings of the first tracks and roads.
Ahead is a dust cloud hanging in the air and soon I come upon a
drover droving sheep. We exchange some pleasantries and I overtake the
wheep as I firmly set my face towards Williamsdale where that night I must catch the train. Almost am I out of earshot when I hear, a shout, “Hey,
did you know Singapore has fallen?” Did I know? With shame I realise
that I have forgotten that there is a war on. It is now all back with
a catastrophic rush. I am sure my pace quickened with desire to get back
as soon as possible, though what I can do I don't know.
My recollection of this part of the trip is only of pounding over
hot, glarey granite roads, but lo and behold, I run into another drover with a mob of sheep. More pleasantries, more overtaking of sheep as theyraise a dust haze with their rustling feet.
“Hey,” says the drover, “did you know the “Prince of Wales” and “Repulse” have been sunk?” Now disaster seems to have gone as far as is possible I mus,t get back. I cross the ford at Williamsdale and am on the train or Sydney. The guard canes along for my ticket. I did have a return ticket, where is it? I search through my- pack, I search through my clothes, but alas I can't find it.
And as I fork out the one pound something agaia for a ticket, thoughts of a calamitous war are blotted out by my personal disaster.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Page 23 THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER October, 1977.
ADVERTISEMT PADDY REMEMBERS.
My memory of S.B.W. is of some time in 1931 when I attended a meeting at which a long letter from Jack Debert was read, and for some reason caused heated discussion, Those were deep depression days and Jack, for want of a job, had retreated to a “farm” in Burragorang Valley.
My next vivid recollection is of' the. first Club Reunion at Euroka Clearing, when Jack arrived, having walked from the Valley, and where he initiated the cry - “Let us Re-une”. It was a bitter cold night with heavy frost but of course we had a roaring fire and I can still see Jack, stripped to the waist, sweat pouring from every pore, as he careered round the fire with his very own rendering of wMarmee”.
I think it was the next reunion, again at Euroka, that Ernie Austen was handing over the presidency to Tom Herbert, and he used the bones of a long-dead cow to illustrate his homily. Next day we ;dressed. up Tom in those bones tied together with string. ,Someone rescued a thigh bone and took it to the next club meeting, since when it has been used as the gavel by the Club President.
The 30's saw a tremendous growth in bushwalking (dare I suggest this was partly owing to the availability of practical lightweight equipment now being made in Australia - by us, of course, for the first time?). The S.B.W. began to be beseiged by would-be members, and it was then that “Test Walks” and that elusive quality of “Compatability” were endlessly discussed at committee meetings.
The war came, with heavy army enlistments from bushwaiking ranks and
alasl the inevitable casualties. With the war, and following it for some time came shortages of materials. The sleeping bag position was particularly acute and on the occasions when they were available queues began
to gather in the early hours of the morning. The 'chapat the head of one queue told me he had come from Lithgow by the midnight train, slept in Central till 6 a m. and got first place in the lines Keen!
On Christmas Day 1950 came the disastrous fire in the Paddy Shop which destroyed the whole building. I will never forget the messages of sympathy from all over Australia and the solid help given by bushwalkers in the difficult period of about 9 months before I was established in the C.E..N.E.F.
Building in Castlereagh Street.
The firm is a mere 47 years old compared with the Club's 50 years,
, but those years have been, ones of close association. Bay. the Club go from strength to strength. and may “Paddy's” still earn the right to serve the needs of its members.
Paddy. PADDY PALLIN PTY. LTD.
69 Liverpool Street
AND AT MELBOURNE & CANBERRA.
Page 24. THE SYDNEY BUSHUALUR - October, 1977.
k THE WORST JOURNEY IN THE 1.RLD.
by Goof Wagg.
t, I suppose to everyone there comes a moment when they feel that they've hit utter bedrock - that things just couldn't be worse and that any change from here is bound to be for the better. Me too. It happened one night at Coral Swamp, but that wasn't where it started.
'Twas a week-end last July I think, and we wore all set to make a do-or-die attempt on Daviels Canyon. “Morong Creek - Davie's Canyon - Katoamba or bust, and who cares if we're a day overdue it'll be good fun and worth it.” Thus quoth Stitt and I agreed with him - up until Friday night, that is. But Friday night, about half an hour before I left work, a job bounced and it seemed to be my fault. The big post mortem was going to be held on Monday, and it occurred-to me that if I didn't turn up on Monday it might be better if I didn't turn up again ever. As you might imagine, I was a bit disconcerted by all this, so when I met the others -
Grace, Joan and Don Gower at Central I pitched them a sorry tale and they
generously agreed to do the comparatively easy Paralizer trip instead.
At Katoomba two scruffy individuals entered our hitherto peacqful compartment. Stitt and Garth, each looking like a second-hand clothes stall, had pursued the train all the way from Penrith on Garth 's glorious machine with the object of joining it here.
The temperature at Morong Creek was icy and it was a long time before
our toes were warm even inside superdown. Next morning, however, was
quite a different matter; our sleeping bags were warm and snug while the
outside air held the sting of frost and it was 8.30.before one of us had a will-power great enough to equalise this equation. Naturally we hadn't realised it was so late and the party rose to the occasion, excepting, of
course, Stitt and Garth who always fortify themselves for such emergencies with an extra 15 minutes in the sack. Breakfast disappeared with more haste than digestion and we were on our way. I told you it was cold.:
Kanangra Road supported a fine crop of ice crystals and our frozen water- bucket clumped behind us in rhythm with our stride. While Joan was quietly being sick behind a gum tree (treacherous stuff, Terr;ls Meal), Grace and I paddled our boots hopefully in a patch, of watery sunlight and
waited for the three boys to appear along the road.
The area of scrub around Kanangra Road is, I find, extremely noncommital and rather challenging, but you'd think I'd learn from experience. I suppose I may yet. Off into this sera we charged, me leading and
uttering my old cry of, “I've been here before!” always forgetting to add that it never seems to make any difference. 17e headed a small crack and climbed a low hump with me recognising an extremely likely looking ridge. Of course I recognised it immediately. That was the one we climbed last
time and we had had to drop down into Thurat Creek and up again, so it was
no good going up there. The party looked at the ride and looked at me and gave me,the benefit of the doubt. “The leader is always right,”
quoth Garth. “We must walk harder!”
Page 25. THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER .October, 1977.
After following our insignificant little elevation for about two hours and heading several creeks we received another glimpse of something that looked like our first ridge, only by now much higher and difficult to climb. I'd stopped recognising things some time ago and was just a little worried, so I rather agreed with the suggestion that we climb this just to be sure it wasn't the one we wanted, and dVen though it wasn't we might find out where we were.
It eventuated that we'd been on the wrong side of Danai Brook, heading rapidly for Kanangra Deep. Also the thing we climbed wasn't the right ridge but it had been now it was a spur leading 3 miles back to Thurat Trig, just one of the places where we should have been. After lunch by Danai Brook we went to Thurat Trig in spite of the sally scrub and arrived at 2.30 - about 5 hours late. There we picked 121-1 the road that chap carved to get his plane out and followed it to the sight of the prang, a small home-made clearing on the side of the ridge. By 4 o'clock we'd reached Paralizer but the sun was already rest ins on the rim of Guouogang and we'd a long way to go. As we cast around for the East Buttress I carefully subdued a strong inclination to recognise anything until the boys charged down what I felt convinced was the wrong ridge. They'd been somewhat ahead, and we could only tell which ridgethey were on by the rapidly receding sounds of their progress below us. Callously leaving them to their fate I stumped stubbornly off along my ridge with Grace and Joan
sagging in the rear, only to be confronted by Cloudmaker dead ahead. These
mountains and ridges and things popping up where they shouldn't be had proved most disconcerting all day, and this seemed the final stoke. Feeling most ashamed I informed the girls that I was wrong again. So I sent them back on to the right track while I stopped a moment to collect my shattered self-esteem and take a photo of the evening shadow crawling
rapidly up the opposite ridges. That made me feel slightly better so I closed the camera and started down the steep rocky slope. Hell, the
blasted thing was steep! After 100 ft. it was so steep I could scarcely
stand upright and I had the horrible feeling that this was yet another wrong ridge. Better call the girls back - “C000000l” The reply came
from my left, and I sidled round to find the girls sitting on a rock waiting
for me. Of course I'd been charging down the side of the ridge!
As we dropped lower the sky welled up with brilliance of sunset colours that faded slowly into dusk. The dusk grew dimmer and dimmer until, in
the very last of the light, we located the side spur that leads to the ,Kanpngra Creek - River Junction, and dropped over into night. When at last we were down we Tossed the river and camped on the first bit of flat ground. Time 7.30 - but what a day!
Next morning about 6 o'clock I peeped out at a dim grey world. The ground was white and bristled with frost, but it was no use waiting for the sun; tucked in here amorgthe ridges we wouldn't see him for many hours. gr, Noting that Joan was stirring I sprinted across and gave the boys a shout ,\ (it did no good), grabbed the billy and zoomed bacl: inside the tent. BrrrIJI, Do up the flap and get the primus going, quick! Soon the interior of the ' 1 tent was much more tropical and Grace could be coaxed out of her sleeping ITrit 1 bag. By 7 o'clock we wereiready to move, and by a ouarter past Stitt was, '11
Page 26. TF SYDNEY BUSITRALMR October, 1977.
the odd fifteen minutes being spent by the party taking turns to stamp in the fire ashes - the only un9rozen spot.
The frost extended white right to the very running edge of the river, and even the rocks were iced over, as I discovered while attempting to cross with dry feet and sat in it After that I moved very rapidly, no longer worried about my feet which grew less sensitive with each successive crossing, until just before reaching the Cox I had to glance down now and again to see if I still had them. At Kanangaroo the ground was just as white, and where we trod on the sand along the bank the hoar frost crystals crunched under our feet and occasionally the frozen surface layer yielded to show a crisp footprint. The tardy sun was struggling to rise above Yellow Pup as we crossed the Cox, and as the shadowed bank offered no inducement to linger we kept right on until the first patch of reasonably strong sunlight, then changed our socks and kept right on again.
:bout the top of Yellow Dog the old tootsies were beginning to feel more normal and things had definitely improved - even my pants were dried out. Still we followed the intricacies of the ridge, and while searching for the saddle to Dingo I led the party on interesting explorations of ferny grottos, as Joan will tell anyone who'll listen, but still we arrived at Kennel Flats punctually for lunch at 2 or 2.30. We found Deberts Knob' an Effort, Taro's Ladder a Great Effort, and the climb out of Glenraphael Darned Near Impossible.
Still walking, we observed with displeasure the sun setting for the second time in two days while we were still walking. Night, after stalking us for several miles, finally surrounded us just before tat scrubby hump over which lies Coral Swamp - and that's where it happened!
Grace and I were leading and I was in front. I thought I was on the track and Grace followed me. Then suddenly we were lost. But this was
ridicul')us; we couldn't be lost 3 we'll just have to retrace our steps. But no. No track! I tried casting about in various directions, calmly
at first, but with increasing panic, but no, there wc,,sn't a track; it had
disappeared - vanished into the evil spreading gloom of night and the darkening sky. Gone! Mountains rearing up before us, ridges writhing beneath our feet, everything familiar but nothing to identify. I was lost - lost at Coral Swamp. Oh, the ignominy of it all. Me, Geof Wagg,
conqueror of Cloudmaker, Paralizer twice, Guouogang three times and all
points west - lost at Coral Swamp! All at once the trouble at work, the week-end shambles of leadership, and finally this blow bore down upon me
and as my head bowed I uttered a pitiful wail of despair. Stitt, who was coming along the track with the other two boys and. Joan mistook this for
a call and let out a piercing “Coo-oo!!” We. walked towards the sound and joined the party - a distance of about 8 feet. At the swamp I drank most
of Stitt's rum and glucose, so for me the rest of the trip was a sheer
(It all tUrned out that the trouble at work was somebody else's
* * * * * * * * *
Page 27, THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKEE October 9 1977.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF THE COX. -.\
by Ivy Painter. It will be many,many moons, if ever, before I lose the memories of There were mixed feelings of anticipation and apprehension when we decid4 on this, our first long weekend trip, and we got a tremendous kick out of planning and preparing. Roe brought along a pack of cards which helped while away the, two hours journey to Mt. Victoria. There were 15 in all by the time we reached there, and too many for the one taxi and utility that Frank had hired to transport us to the Jenolan Road. Some of us stayed and enjoyed the amenities offering in Mt. Victoria until the truck could return for us. By the time we arrived at camp, the others had bedded down around the fire. It was a beautiful night, crisp and cold, and we took a chance without the tent. This walking and feeling a part of the grey dawn, of seeing blue sky peeping through gums above, is but a little of this wondrous new experience I am growing to know and love so much., After a hurried, breakfast we set off, winding our way upwards through pine forests. Our party had now increased to 10 three latecomers having arrived during the early hours. The day began with the promise of the perfect weekend that was in store. On the way to Gibraltar Rock, we loitered occasionally to gaze across the Kanimbla Valley and take in the scene below. Although the valley was a little hazy, we could easily. discern the yellows just starting in the willows along Cullenbenbong Swamp. The view from Gibraltar Rock was most interesting, as there, in reality, lay the Wild Dogs and the Gangarangs further south places that hitherto for me, at least, were only wonderfully mysterious names on the map. Here now they stretched before us in all their wild =citing beauty. Down below and a little to our right were Iron Pot and Tin Pot lountains, and we knew too that somewhere just there, the Cox was winding its way through all this. No. wonder we were eager to be on our way. Or perhaps it might have been the biting wind, straight off Guouogang, or the compulsion arising from thirst that sent us skidding and sliding down the mountain side. It was a tossup what would go first the seat of Barry's pants or the base of his pack, as bumpetybump he ,slithered that 1000odd feet to Gibraltar Creek, ' There we quenched our thirst with copious cups of tea as we lazed under the willows by the stream. We wondered whether the wild mint growing there would came under the protection of the conservation policy. However, I don't believe any was used in the peas that night, There was also some discussion about climbing Sugarloaf for the prospectives' sake. For the prospectives' Sake, I'm pleased they decided against it. Again for the prospectives' sake, our conscientious leader and President kept to the creek instead of the fire trail. Another happy decision, as there were some lovely spots along there. We noticed and wondered about clumps of trees whose yellowing foliage brightened the shadowed hillsides. They looked to me very much like the Cidrella Chinensis, the Chinese Cedar, my first impressions of the Cox. But, perchance I do, I must write down my reflections while they still excite me. Page 28. THE SYDNEY BUSHWAIKER October, 1977. Camp was made at the lovely spot at the junction of Gibraltar Creek and the Cox. An untimely shower sent us scurrying from the campfire to an early bed, much to Frank's disappointment, as I think he was hoping for a sing-song around the fire. Next morning our ranks had swelled to twenty strong. Ken Ellis and Roger Gowing were the latecomers. It was not Twinkletoes Ellis this trip, but poor Blisterfoot Ellis who so stoically plodded the trails with neery a complaint. Our lovely white morning visitor was not a large duck, nor a swan, but-a white goose, we all finally agreed after it honked several times. We left it there in the shadows of the pool, and made our way up river at 9.a m. The Cox was apparently giving of her best that morning, sparkling as she dashed or glided on her way. The crystal clear pools and surges of foaming water through the granite boulders were reminiscent of the tropical creeks I knew and loved as a child. It grew quile warm as we boulder- hopped, and one pool proved just too inviting for Joan. So in she went with me close behind. Trying to dive in a pair of great walking boots and two pairs of woollen sox is just too crazy. Crazy great fun! At Megalong Junction, Frank and_ Joan, a few others, and we four prospectives, waited patiently for the rest of the party who had happily chosen to take the fire trail. No comment! For the prospectives1 sake again, up the Magalong we climbed and climbed, and with the help of those three stalwarts Ken, Roger and Mike, along with FrarL. and Joan, we at last reached the top. Not without, laughs, though. While Roger is postmarking letters ,at Kempsey Post Office, no doubt he'll remember:Katie desperrybely clawing her way up his legs out of the danger of A pool. Lunch at the top and then off again on the last stretch. A lively snake slithered from our path over the first hill. “Now where are those other 'bode?” we wondered. A message written in the sand along the way sot our minds at rest. All was well, and we soon encountered them, browsing beside one of the crossings further along. Our leader was too thankful to see the truants to remonstrate beyond brandishing a stick. At last the big ascent up Devil's Hole. All day I'd been gripped by the fear that perhaps I might not fit through. Big joke! The tale these bushwaikers tell! Shame! Anyway, none of us stuck in the Devil's Hole and we made the top in good time to change, dine and catch the 6.25 p m. from KatoaMba. But oh boy, the last hundred yards to the A.B. I made sans feet or legs even, so it seemed. Tea does revive you, and When Prank produced his song book in the train, we found we still had energy and enthusiasm enough to join with him in a song. At the time it failed to register, but next day at work, my colleagues were sure I was suffering from delayed. bushvralkinc shock, am I kept chuckling on remembering Barry's plaintive burst of “Darling, I am Growing Old”. They were my sentiments also, Barry. These soon passed, as did the aches and pains, to be replaced by strong desires to return again and again, and_ become as one once more with mountain, trees and sky, streams and grassy banks all that is remote and wild and beautiful. * * * * * * * * * Page 2 THE SYDNEY BUSHVILKER October, 1977, HIGH CAMPS IN THE BLUE BIMEKS201. by Spiro Hajinakitas. David Rostron's Blue Breaks trip last year on the same weekend (Anzac) proved so successful that he decided to do the trip again. Six. other starters were Alastair Battye, Bob Hodgson, Pat HoBride, John Redfern, Steve Tomkins and myself. We set off from Parramatta in two cars, encountering some fog ad about six taxis on the Kanangra Road. The Coal Seam Cave was to be our sleeping place that night, so we left the cars at Kanangra and set off quickly. The extremely dry weather had resulted in drying out the muddy and swampy patches of the track and for a change we arrived at the cave with bone dry socks. Also as a result of the dry conditions, we discovered that the plastic bins at the cave were also bone dry - no water! In the morning the party produced enough fresh milk and water for muesli and tea, so we breakfasted before tackling the Gina Range. In one way we were thankful of the drought as we were all travelling lightweight , without tents, in fact the average weight of our packs was 8i- kilos. The sparkling, fast flowing Kowmung River was reached just over two hours after leaving the cave and as a reward for our efforts; David conceded a morning tea, break. While the billy boiled a couple of us had a quick dip in the river. After morning tea, we started off north up the Old Cedar Road for a few kilometres, keeping wherever possible to the grassy flats on the side of the road. Eventually we left the road and headed down a gently sloping easterly ridge to Butcher's Creek. Occasionally we encountered an obvious cairn with a stick pointer which led,to a quick map checking to see if the stick pointed in the right direction. Along this ridge Bob was quite disturbed to see so many small yellowiat cacti growing, describing them as obnoxious weeds before unceremoniously stamping a few into the dirt. At times the ridge became quite heavily timbered and not too well defined, but the imposing walls of the Broken Rock Range lay forever before us, a constant reminder of the task we faced before the day's walk would end. A much appreciated lunch was had on a very beautiful bend of Butchals Creek, with soft grassy flats and a small rocky cascade. Our next scheduled stop was to be the night's camp on top of the Broken Rock, and as We were not certain of there being any water up top, we filled our water containers and proceeded very slowly up the steep slope. Three quarters of the way up we stopped for a rest on a rocky knob, which prompted David to remark that if any enterprising bushwalker ever built a pub right there on that knob, he'd make a very quick fortune At long last the tired group reached the top, the time being 16.15 hrs. Camp was established at the first suitably flat area near the rim, and Tom and John went off to search for water whilst the remainder collected fire wood. The magnificent view stretching from Katoomba in the north to Kanangra in the west justified our efforts in reaching our high camp, and as a special bonus to add to our enjoyment of the view, the sinking sun was obscured by a monolith type cloud formation, which resulted in the sun's rays appearing Page 30. THE SYDNEY BUST.11721.LKER: October, 1977. in a semi-circular shaft effect. Truly a spectacular- sight and recorded only in our memories as we were Without a camera. Some concern was expressed at the amount of cloud about, but fortunate- ly it did not rain and we experienced a rather warm night as a result of the cloud cover blanketing the carth. Lt 0700 hrs the next morning (Sunday) we left our camp, as the day's itinerary began. with a traverse of the Broken Rock to its southern face, down the now familiar scree slope, then up and -over the tliin p-edks of7ar'ddh vtti1e hnuntbah &rei Jur lunch. Now the sky had cleared considerably and the sun made the climb up Green Wattle Mountain quite a warm affair and by the time we reached our lunch spot we were all rather hot and tired, which called for a dip in the cool creek. Looking south from our lunch spot we could see our next climb, the Axehead Range, looming menacingly before us. Again we had to carry water: up to its top, but unlike Broken Rock Range we made fairly short work of it and again established camp near the rim. We were afforded another'magnificent panorama but clearer than the night before, so much so that we could easily make out.Kanangra Walls and the bumpy outline of the Gingra Range. In fact we had a rare chance to pick out nearly the whole route of the trip from our vantage point. The Axehead Range was traversed in fairly good time next morning before dropping down to Byrne's Gap and back: onto Scott's Main Range Road, stopping at Butcher's Creek for a drink of water. The quiet of the day was interrupted by the distant sound of an approaching vehicle, and sure enough a F.W.D. Toyota appearod with its three occupants on the front seat and. Alastair Battye on the running board. The three rock climbers in the F.W.D. vehicle werQ on their way to climb Chiddy's Obelisk and agreed to give Alastair a lift to the top of the hill as he was having problems with feet. Eventually we caught up with him and headed off down the very steep Bulga Range to drop down to the Kowmung for lunch and a swim. We had a most enjoyable rest in the ware sunshine before going up Cambage Spire and back to the Coal Seam Cave. Now a cold change had developed, so most of the party donned sweaters and we made our way back to Kanangra Tcips, pausing again to look back to the distant Blue Breaks, picking out where we had been and feeling quite pleased with our efforts. We had covered a distance of approximately 80 kms and climbed an estimated 3500 metres. Although not a record- breaking effort it demonstrated what an average party of experienced walkers, travelling lightweight, can achieve on a fine long weekend. * * * * * * * *. * SPECIAL THANKS:: The editors wish to thank Kath Brown, Sheila Binnt, Peter Scandrett and Robin Scandrett for their help with this enlarged edition of the magazine, and Frank Duncan and John Noble for providing historical information and photographs. Page 31. TIM SYDNEY BUSIMALEER October, 1977. MOUNTAINM EQUIPMENT 17 Falcon Street, Crows Nest,_ 2065. OW Om …….. am ……….. WU . 4 qr, mis. MO *gm mm 4W MO GS larNi st.E.0%14 paddVrnade* mountain TENTS: camptrails, fiallraven paddymade, ultimate: 00fS' h 00 Pk-CePtC)%tcle)“ bevtP3t1sr BOOTS: kastinger, scarpa. 438-1647 or 439-2454 PHONE FOR FREE PRICE LIST & INFORMATION. We stock some of the world's leading brands. We specialize in top quality Bushwalking and Mountaineering gear. uckbsd4cirs: F. down niptrails. k k2, tholitt errith -1 tain or, Pacicityoigleole ci: ea erghaue Page 32 THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER October, 1977, KIANDRA TO KOSCIUSKO ON SKIS. by Paddy Pallin.. TO COMMORATE THE 0TH ANNIVERSARY 2-111j1FIROG DT927. It was one of those trips right from the start. We had arranged to meet Rex at Cooma, have lunch, get to Kiandra by one o'clock and get away from Kiandra in the early afternoon, with sufficient time to reach Broken Dam Hut before dark, giving us an easy start to get used to skis and packs. Alas, due to snow conditions Rex did not get to Cooma from Charlotte's Pass until 2.00 p m. In the meantime, we had met Ted Winter and Bill, who joined our party of six and as we were about to leave, who should turn up but Ted's daughter, Bronwyn, hitching her way from Perisher to Canberra! On learning our plans, she too decided to join us and proceeded to do some shopping for food, which seemed to consist of apples, oranges, cauliflower and a few sticks of celery! Need I mention she was a vegetarian. After pushing other people's chainless cars up several hills, we arrived at Kiandra just before dark, with light snow falling and more threat- ening. We had tents but did not fancy pitchingthem. Luckily, Ian had 'an intoduction to the D.M.R- depot engineer and after a little negotiation we finished up sleeping on a carpeted floor with wall heaters, electric stove to cook on and hot showers. A hardy start to a tough trips I put my nose out at 5.30 a m. It had snowed heavily overnight and there was a foot of soft dry snow. It was still snowing and a fierce wind blew. I quickly retired to my cosy sleeping bag. We eventually set off at 7.30 a m., with light snow falling and a black sky threatening worse things. nWe'll turn back at the power lines on the ridge if it doesn't improve”, We said. We didn't turn back, but the snow was dreadful, soft non-packing dry snow. Twenty minutes in the lead was an exhausting 'experience. Our plan was to go to Brooks Hut, about 14 miles, but at lunch on Four Mile Creek we decided to settle for Breken Dam which we reached just before dark. There were nine of us now in the party which taxed the resources of the hut somewhat and which may have contributed to the dreadful accident which happened after dinner. A billy of boiling water was spilt over Dronwyn's legs. She screamed and whimpered with pain and we immediately knew we were faced with an emergency. Ian is a lecturer and examiner for St. John's and took charge, and soon we were pouring ice-cold water over her legs, ripping up a sheet bag for bandages, and making her as comfortable as our limited resources allowed. We were up early and at 5.30 a m. Ian 'and Rex were fed, and left on skis for Kiandra. We knew there was only one practical way to get Bronwyn out and that was by helicopter and so we set about preparing for-that. We chose a clear spot as near as possible to the hut, marking it with orange Karrimats. The snow was so dry and soft, walking was impossible. Without skis, we Page 33 THE SYLDEY BUSHWALKER October, 1977. sank tp our thighs. We therefore started stamping down a track from the hut to the helipad so that our patient could be carried. This took some hours. We also prepared a fire in case they needed smoke to locate us. The large R.A,A.F. helicopter arrived at 11.45 and at,11.57 it left with Ted and his daughter. Rex and Ian arrived. back at 3.00 p m. We left them to have a snack and a spell and we set off for Brook's, We finished the trip in the moonlight. It was a marvellous clear, still night. Whilst we were following someone else's tracks the going was good, but when we brdke off to head for Brooks it was hard work and we were not sorry to find the hut and delighted to find it unoccupied. Rex and Ian arrived shortly after and reported passing Frank and Pat Young and Alec Theakstone on the nay. Rex, nice fellow that he is, dumped his pack and after the big day he had had, went off to guide them in, in case they followed the previous tracks going off-to Happy Jacks ,River, and so we squeezed ten into Brooks Hut. No accident this time. Next day was bright and clear with no wind. We found our way successfully to Crooks Racecourse where we decided to have lunch. There was a steep sided little gully with open water, and as I dkied along it the soft snow collapsed and in I went, face first, into a deep pool of water with my 301b pack resting on the back of my head. I struggled to gat my face out of the water, but the soft snow offered no resistance to my pushes and I remember thinking, “What a way to die!” I got my head. clear, but anyone who had had a fall in soft deep snow will realise my troubles were not over. My wrists were through the leather thongs of my stocks, a pack weighing 30 lbs was fastened to my shoulders, and my feet were secured firmly to 6 foot skis. I-somehow released my wrists, took off my pack and got into a sitting position to survey the situation. Was I actually sitting in water or was it just cold snow I could feel? Whilst straining to reach-my ski bindings to release my feet I broke wind. and I had indisputable evidence that I was sitting in a pool of ice cold water. Then I saw the funny side and. began to laugh. I had just released myself from all my encumbrances and was wondering how to get out of this six foot deep canyon of soft snow when Rex and Bill came along and asked the inevitable question, “What on earth are you doing there, Paddy?” Being now in a good. humour I resisted a sarcastic reply and applied myself to the problem of getting out of the areek. This was Willing hands built up the fire and cameras clided as I stripped off my sodden clothes. Meanwhile, Nan was admiring the scenery anywhere but in my direction. Wi ..19-C.Iitjrj,Juwiz,–ivisicle..s pl (1.S11',1, f and we proceeded on our way past Spencers Peak to Cesjackis Hut. Because of the obligation to carry tents and the resultant extra Page 34 THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER October, 1977. weight, I had arranged for a supply of food to be sent to Kora Grunnsund's new lodge ju st outside the Park boundary,, half a mile from Cesjack's. A small party went over to collect the food and we found a note addressed to me inviting us to stay in the lodge. The contrast between Cesjack's earthen floor and. the solid comfort of Nordheirn was too much and. so the whole party moved over and we had. a very comfortable night and sorted out the new food. The trip from Cesjack's to Tim Hut was sheer delight. The snow, though not fast, was much -improved, the views were magnificent. Life was good. We arrived at Tin Hut before 4 o'clock and found it occupied by several parties. After struggling with 15 others to cook a meal we decided. to camp and soon had a platform levelled and. three tents were pitched. Despite rising wind and heavy fall of snow we had a comfortable night and. woke to a misty morning with wind and. light snow. Wilf alder and party stayed in the hut and got bTi to an edrlyis-c. hour later.. As we approached Gungarten Pass the visibility got worse until a person 20 yards away disappeared. We bumbled aroung hoping desperately we had not missed: the pass, when we came upon a huge cornice and. on passing it were met with a veritable gale blowing through the gap. We skied joyfully through and. down the steep slopes beyond., coming suddenly on a number of other parties who appeared from nowhere. - We had_ lunch in liThitels River Hut and a discussion of how to get to Gu-bhega where Rex's car was to be left and where we had_ a booking in the Y.M.C.A. Lodge. The Rolling Grounds looked pretty nasty, with strong wind., poor visibility and new soft snow. We could ski down the road. to Munyang and then :Lip the road to Guthega, but we reckoned that was an ignominious finish to a great trip. In Whites some Canberra boys were discussing following-the aqueduct round to Guthega Dam. This seemed a good. idea and so at 1.00 p m. we set off 9 but soon found the going was not so good. because of the soft deep snow. About a mile past the surge tank we met the Canberra boys coming back. The aqueduct had disappeared, they said into a tunnel. We were all pretty tired and discussed this but were reluctant; to turn back. Finally we decided to push oi and after the aqueduct disappeared had a perilous journey among trees along an almost vertical slope. Then Ian, the engineer, said, “The water in that aqueduct is not worth:the cost of a tunnel. It must be downhill somewhere.”, We made a more or less easy descent traversing across the stoop snow and presto we found the aqueduct again and arrived. at the Guthega, Dam at 6.00 p m. and. dragged ourselves wearily up the mountain to the Y.M.C.A. Lodge. Two hours later Ted Winter arrived. He had. seen Bronwyn safely into hospital at Canberra, got a lift back to Ktandra, made a quick journey to Tin. Hut and followed- our tracks from Whites, and so we were all together again except for 13ronwyn doing well in hospital. The only trips you regret are the ones you don't. doi * * * * * * * * * * * * Page 35 THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER October, 1977. RIP. by Jim Brown. He had a sort of old.-young look, and with it went a rather out-dated manner. He asked diffidently if I would mind nominating him for membership ef the Club, but he did not thrust the application form towards me. Instead he held it half-hidden inside his coat, and I noticed he was wearing an old-fashioned waistcoat. He said., almost apologetically, “The young lady -” he-nodded-towards the Membership Secretary - “told. me she wasn't sure if my application would be accepted. You see, I did. a lot of walks, but I haven't been into the Club for a while.” I felt slightly embarrassed. I do have some knowledge of the membership conditions in the Constitution, and I know that the nominator is expected to be reasonably familiar with the candidate. Frankly, I couldn't recall his face, but then, I could have met him on some of those day walks where thirty or forty people turn outs with the best intentions in the world y6u get to know only a few of the newcomers. I temporised: “Well, let's have a look at your membership form, and see what trips you've been doing.” It was neatly filled in. I could read it easily even without my glasses and I turned straight away to the list of walks. The first few lines read January 13 - Waterfall - Palona Brook - Garie Lilyvale. February 10 - Waterfall Kangaroo Creek - National Park. February 24 - Lily-vale - Burning Palms - The Jungle - Otford. Ali, yes,: I thought. Good old standard day walks - you'll See them in almost every programme. That Burning Palms one - thy, Kath Often leads that. I don't remember doing it this year on February 24th. In fact, I don't remember this bloke. I looked at the names of the leaders. The trips for January 13th and February 10th were led by Maurice Berry; that on February 24th was led by Alan Rigby. A strange shivery feeling gripped the back of my neck and I said, a little unsurely - “I didn't know Maurie Berry was leading trips now.” (I didn't add, “And Alan Rigby - it must be 10 or 11 years ago .”) He appeared not to hear me. He said, “Then I did the Easter trip - all the way down the Grose.” There it was on the form - “Blackheath - Grose River - Richmond”. He hadn't shown a leader, so I asked, “Was that Victor Lewin's trip?” and then remembered that Victor had started from Hartioy Vale, not Blackheath. He repeated as a question, “Victor Lewin?” Then, “No, I don't know him.” He added enthusiastically, “I like that Groso Valley. I did Page 36 THE SYDNEY BUSHWALIMR October, 1977. another week-end trip there a few weeks 'after Easter. See here, Leura - Mount Hay - Tomah Creek - Mt. Tomah - Bell. Mr. Drake led it. It was pretty rough in places.” Slowly I agreed. “Yes, it would be roughish.” I turned over to the front of the form. Where the applicant signs that he subscribes to the aims and objects of the Club it was signed. “R. VAN WINKLE”. Like Abou Ben Adam I sensed a great awakening light, and enquired gently, “Do you have the walks programme with you? I seem to have left mine at home.” He produced a rather ragged little booklet. The cover page read:- The Sydney Bush Walkers Programme of Walks November 1928 - June 1929. Inside it said: Unless otherwise stated. - all walks are on Sundays only. Times of trains are from Central Station. On walks occupying more than one day members must have full camping equipment or arrange camping parties amonst themselves. The first txip was shown ass - November 3 4 (Sat/Sun) - Mr. M. Berry. Leura to Mount Hay and return. Fair track. 22 miles. 1.25 p m. train. “That's” quite a good programme,“ I told Van Winkle, “Although we do have rather more overnight Walks nowadays.” I tried to emphasise the “nowadays” to see the effect, and hastened to add, “I see Myles Dunphy loading trips regularly. Myles is still going strong, but of course he doesn't lead programme trips now.” Confidingly, he said, “I was surprised when I first joined to find ladies leading quite a few walks.” “Oh,” I said, “that's been common practice all through the Club's history. D'you know we've had four lady Presidents, including the present one. I suppose it shows that, even if walkers are pigs sometimes, we aren't chauvinistic male pigs.” That didn't register - evidently he hadn't heara of Women's Lib. I asked, “Have you any other old programmes - that is, programmes when you were walking?” “Oh, yes,” he said. “Here we are - March 'to September, 1928 and June to December 1929. Do you find them interesting?” “Very,” I told him. “Especially because so many of the same trips' Page 37 THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER October, 1977. are still being done. Of course, there are some places where the suburban sprawl has caught up with us. - - But look here now, 'April 1st, 1928. Leader: Mr. A. Rigby. Bundeena to Helendburgh. 8.24 a m. electric train to Sutherland, tram to Cronulls, launch to Bundeena.' That would have been the old steam tram to Cronulla before the electric railway was laid in. Or here, 'August 25tho 1929. Waterfall - Ulccla Creek - Engadine Creek - Engadine. Led. by Max Gentle'.” “You can borrow them if you like,” he said, “I thought people may care to see some programmes that were a few years old,” “They go to show,” I suggested, “there's a lot of truth in that saying about 'the more things change, the more they stay the same'. I've always suspected walkers of the twenties weren't much different from those of the sev….. than those getting out in the bush now. By the may, Mr. er … Rip . do you feel you did a good thing in joining S.B.W.?” He said fervently, “One of the best things I ever did.” I signed the form and passed it back to him. “Good luck,” I said. “That's what I feel too.” (Details of trips mentioned appear in the S.B.W. Walks Programmes in the years 1928 - 1929 as shown above.) *XXX PRESIDENTS OF THE SYDNEY BUSHWALICERS Until the meeting of 10/2/1928 a Chairman was elected for each meeting. Charmen up till that date were Alan Rigby (21/10/27), Eric Dickson 0.1/11/27), Roy Rudder (9/12/27) and Frank Duncan (13/1/28). Jack Debert was elected Chairman and later President at the meeting of 10/2/28. -Sopt. '29 - March '31 - April '32 - March '34 - March '36 - July '36 - March '39. - March '41 - March '42 - March '44 - March '45 - March '46 - March '47 - March '52 Jack Debert Feb. '28 Frank Duncan Sept. '29 Harold Chardon March'31 Cliff Ritson Apri1132 Tom Herbert March '34 Walter Roots March '36 Maurice Berry July '36 Richard Crdker March '39 Alex Colley March 241 Dorothy Lawry March '42 David Stead March '44 Edna Garrad March '45 Jack Rose March '46 Tom Moppett March '47 Malcolm McGregor March '52 - March '54Jim Brown March'54 - March '56 Brian Harvey March'56 - March '58 Jack Gentle March'58 - March '60 Ron KniEhtley Match '60 - June '60 Jack Gentle June '60 - March '61 Bill Rodgers March'61 - March '63 Ron Knight 1 ey March '63 - March '64 Heather Joyce March'64 - March '65 Jack Gentle March'65 - March '66 John White March'66 - March '67 Frank Ridby March '67 - March '69 Don Finch March'69 - March '70 Spiro Hajinakitas March'70 - March '72 Bob Younger March'72 - March '74 Barry Wallace March'74 - March '76 Helen Gray March'76 - Present * * * * * * * * * * * * Page 38 TEE SYDNEY BUSHWALICER October, 1977. A BUSHWALKERTS PRAYER. by Owen Marks. 1. God in Heaven, we beseech Why did you create the leech? Surely we on earth, your creatures Made in image of your features Have -a right to make this plea? Hence this prayer, we beg of Thee. 2. Leeches are a' thing accursed With their everlasting thirst, They lurk in treetops,ground or rock Ready 'to pounce on shoe and sock, And stretch and slide to savoury skin Then on 0 or A or B begin. 3 Another gripe that's on my mind The logic which is hard to find, Posquitoes buzz when breaking diet Yetdeeches are so deadly quiet. The reasoning,Lord,is quite beyond us, Even theologians aay you've wronged us. * * * * * * Three ScOre years and ten you say? That's before leeches got in the way. A terror enters in each heart That makes us tremble ere we start. For when we walk along the track We're frightened that we won't come back. 3. Before you hide in shame and cringe Don't think bushwalkers 'one long whinge. There's a redeeming feature we admit to say, And on your altar we would lay A votive gift of all Golconda, They could have been as big as an anaconda. * * * . MEMBERS FROM THE FIRST TWENTY YEARS WHO STTLL GO ON CLUB WALKS. 1928 Jean Ashdown 1943 Bob Younger 1932 Dot Butler 1943 Christa Younger 1935 Grace Noble' 1945 Phyllis Ra,cliffe 1936, Bill Hall 1945 Shirley Dean 2936, Alex Colley 1945 Jenny Madden 1938. Len Scotland 1945 Ron Knightley 1938 Marion llis 1946 David Ingram 1939 Bill Cosgrove 1946 Mary Braithwaite 1939 Bill Burke 1947 Roy Braithwaite 1940, - Gladys Roberts 1947 Stan Madden 1941 Laurie Rayner 1947 Jim Brown 1942 John Noble 1947 Kath Brown Paul Barnes **