Established June 1931.
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476, G.P.O., Sydney, 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.30 pm at the Cahill Community Centre (Upper Hall), 34 Falcon Street, Crow's Nest. Enquiries concerning the Club should be referred to Ann Ravn, Telephone 798-8607.
|Editor||Evelyn Walker, 158 Evans Street, Rozelle, 2039. Telephone 827-3695.|
|Business Manager||Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2118. Telephone 871-1207.|
|Production Manager||Helen Gray.|
|Duplicator Operator||Phil Butt.|
|Song of the Rover||Ian Malcolm||2|
|Cox's River Rediscovered||Tom Wenman||3|
|Lot 7 North Era||Alex Colley||5|
|Not Exactly a Hard Walk!||Judith Rostron||8|
|Social Notes for January 1983||Jo Van Sommers||9|
|Our Year in Colorado||Bob Duncan||10|
|“Five Returns Dulbolla, Please”||Ray Kirkby||11|
|The Uncanny Story of the S.B.W. Magazine||Evelyn Walker||13|
|The November General Meeting||Barry Wallace||15|
|The Club Auction 1982||Jim Brown||16|
|Eastwood Camping Centre||7|
by Ian Malcolm.
Have you ever wakened in the snapping chill of dawn,
And listened to the Kookaburra's call?
Have you sniffed the acrid wood-smoke in the morning pale and wan,
Stirred your senses to the beauty of it all?
Have you felt the pulsing vigour of a Roving life and free,
As you set out on the winding sandy track?
Have you seen the shy bush-creatures, that alone the bush folk see?
Placed another mountain-peak “within your pack”?
Have you come out on the hill-top, when its summit you have won,
All breathless with the keening of the breeze?
Have you watched the golden glory of the swiftly setting sun,
Mile the purple shadows lengthened o'er the trees?
Have you sat beside the camp-fire when the evening meal was o'er,
Watched the lamp of Venus sinking 'neath the dune?
Have you heard the long, low thunder of the breakers on the shore
As they crashed their nightly chorus to the moon?
Have you sensed the vast serenity of peaceful eventide,
Felt the nearness of the solemn twisted trees?
Have you lived those precious silences - your best friend at your side,
As you drowsed away the evening at your ease?
If you've done these things, you'll realise there's so much more in living,
Than rotting in the turmoil of the City's ceaseless din,
And your garnered store of riches is more precious and life giving
Than all the mammon's treasure that the City-dwellers wins
Warm good wishes to all our readers for Christmas and the New Year from the Editor and Magazine Staff.
by Tom Wenman.
Bill Capon's walk beginning at Carlon's Farm and following the traditional route via the Blackhorse Range, Mobb's Soak and Splendour Rock to the Cox, and back via Breakfast Creek, seemed the ideal way to resume bushwalking after an enforced absence of several months. So it was, with some pleasurable anticipation of the delight of reacquaintance with that wonderful area which starts with the hills running down to the Cox River, that I joined his walk.
The start is certainly easy of access; with the prelude of a pleasant and fast early Saturday morning drive to Carlon's Farm, which on this occasion, in view of the inclement weather during the preceding week, enabled me to make a fairly late decision to go away.
Some eleven walkers joined Bill and we set off through Carlon's Farm for the descent via Carlon's Creek to Breakfast Creek and the foot of the Blackhorse Range. On the way clematis in profusion and heavy with small white flowers provided a happy contrast to the nettles in the creek. The climb up the Blackhorse Range certainly blows the cobwebs out of the system and at the same time gives some delightful glimpses of Carlon's Head on the one side and the ranges towards and beyond the Cox on the other. The boronias were quite delightful towards the summit of the range and subsequently, after some rest and recuperation for blown lungs and tired limbs, the summit ridge provided a variety of bush flowers; yellow pea, wild iris and creek rose amongst many which I could not name.
Mobb's Soak cave always provides water, and a salutary reminder of the messiness of humans, and it ran true to form on this occasion with, surprisingly, somewhat less water than might otherwise have been expected.
Splendour Rock fulfilled its designation with unsurpassed views of all that beautiful country to the west, which bushwalkers hold so dear. Cloudmaker reigned supreme over the nearer ranges, whilst the distant ridges and features of the Blue Breaks reminded experienced walkers of past trips and provided newer recruits with some idea of the wonderful country to be explored.
A personal delight is always the views which are afforded of the Cox's River from somewhere near the top of Yellow Pup. The final plunge down to the river is a last test of knees and thighs, duly rewarded by the smooth grassy banks of the river hereabouts. We were surprised to see the small forest of casuarinas, about six feet high, which covered the once bare stoney beach which ran down to the river.
Saturday night camp was established on Kanangra Creek with cool clean water to drink and Gordon was suitably horrified when someone enquired if it should be boiled. Some gesture of elegance was established by our leader who, after a refreshing bathe, neatly groomed and casually dressed for dinner, produced glass, bottle (of claret) and candle and thus dined with his chosen companion. Wine in fact flourished in several directions and was followed by several ports which were passed round. A delightful evening warm with the promise of summer and pleasant conversation around a well prepared fire.
Some slight but pleasantly ineffectual rain during the night was nice to hear on the tent.
Bill Gamble, who had joined us in the course of Saturday, confused the party by a rather early start on Sunday morning for his return to Katoomba. The rest were somewhat relieved to find that the leader had a more leisurely programme which saw us eventually depart around 9 o'clock.
The wind had got up a bit during the night and continued in gusts to stir the casuarinas with a soft whistle through the pine needles. These lofty trees are so much a part of the Cox River, and they suffer so terribly from undermined roots. Some clouds boasted rain which however in the event fell fleetingly and without much purpose. After the initial feet wetting ceremony, crossing the Cox was not much of a problem - the banks were clean and well grass-covered and provided good walking. There was great evidence of young casuarina growth all along the river.
No other parties were encountered save some desperate remnants of the VIIth Cavalry, who, after viewing us from across the river, apparently decided we were not hostile and passed among us, throwing the odd shoe. We stopped for lunch shortly after one on one of the pleasantly grassy areas bordering the river in warm sunshine, but with a gusty wind which lowered the temperature a little.
The Cox presents a number of different aspects along its course; tumbling rapids, smooth broad reaches of gliding water, shallow sandy runs, variously contained by sharp rocky cliffs with fig trees tortuous roots clinging to rocky ledges and crevices, towering ridges rising forbiddingly from bends in the river, at times park-like areas with tall casuarinas and gums spaciously placed.
It's always something of a surprise to eventually encounter the pile of dry stones which mark the entry of Breakfast Creek into the Cox. Indeed the creek itself provides a ruggedness which is belied by its common association, winding through some steep gorges.
The party became somewhat spread out at this stage, and the galloping leaders disappeared ahead. All was redeemed however when rounding a bend in the creek the main party was greeted with ready boiling billies and freshly made tea.
The final ascent from Carlon's Creek provided a fitting end to the walk with bell birds, crimson rosellas and king parrots providing a colourful, noisy and at times melodious distraction from the tired bodies and aching limbs.
In March 1983 there will be a club walk in Arthurs Pass National Park. The park is located in the Southern Alps, 155 km west of Christchurch. No climbing is involved. The nine-days walk is from Friday, 18th March, to Saturday, 26th March.
An information sheet giving details is available from the leader Bill Gamble - telephone 389-9071.
by Alex Colley.
Bluegum, Garrawarra, Bouddi, Morella Karong, Era and Coolana. These are the conservation highlights of the S.B.W. The names live on in the memory of members because four of these campaigns, Bluegum, Morella Karong, Era and Coolana were solo efforts by the S.B.W. while the Club took a leading part in the others. It also worked steadily for larger projects such as the Kosciusko National Park, Myall Lakes, Deua and the Greater Blue Mountains. Support for these became much more widely based. In the days of Bluegum the word conservation was seldom heard outside three societies then existing - the Mountain Trails Club, the S.B.W. and the Wild Life Preservation Society. Today there are more members of conservation bodies than there are of all political parties combined.
Era was a favourite camping place from the earliest days of the Club. In the hot summer months a group of S.B.W.s could be found there nearly every weekend. At first they camped at South Era. One windy weekend two well known members invited some of the other campers to their camp fire - a nice sheltered spot - and the next weekend the guests arrived early enough to “bag” it for themselves. Shacks appeared in increasing numbers, and the bushwalkers moved on to Stockyard Creek. This too became crowded. Then they moved on to the gully at North Era, situated on Lot 7, which belonged to a relative of a member. The possibility of buying it was mooted, but as we had become used to camping there without hindrance, nothing eventuated. Then a gent started to appear after dark, flashing his torch into tents, and demanding a camping fee of 1/- a tent. Not until some years later, in 19439 was it ascertained from the owner that he had no right to collect. By this time we had made him a gift of a tidy sum.
Early in 1943 we learned that Byrnes' Estate, which included most of the land round South Era, was to be sold. Fears were aroused that it might be sold to a land development company, because an attempt to form an “Era Development Company” had been made in 1927. The proposed company was to erect a large boarding house or hotel and instal all the usual holiday facilities. The probability of another such scheme was the stimulus for a prolonged and obstacle-strewn campaign for preservation of North Era as a camping area.
The first move was to ask the Government, through the Federation, to resume the whole of the privately owned lands between Garrawarra and National Park. The Government refused to resume, so attention was turned to the possibility of purchasing Lot 7. As this lot included all the flat land at North Era, it was thought that its acquisition would prevent development. Federation was asked to organise the purchase, but it wouldn't, so the Club decided to attempt it alone. It would be necessary to raise some 400 pounds ($800), which was a large sum to raise when average annual wages were some 200 pounds. No special effort was made to raise the funds because it was a lot to ask from a small club, but in a very short time nearly 200 pounds had been promised, and this evidence of substantial and unsolicited support was placed before the half yearly meeting in September, 1943. The meeting resolved “That the Club devote 100 pounds from its Savings Bank Account towards the purchase of the whole or half of Lot 7, North Era, provided the balance of the money be raised by loan or gift”.
The next move was to send our ace negotiators, Tom Herbert and Mouldy Harrison, down to the owner, Mr. Ziems of Wollongong, to arrange the purchase. It was known he was not keen to sell, but after hearing our reasons for wanting to buy, he consented to sell for 350 pounds. By June a total of 435 pounds had been contributed, all in the form of outright gifts. Then we found that money was not enough, because land prices were pegged in those days and the Federal Treasurer wouldn't allow us to buy for more than 210 pounds. However we were able to lease the camping rights for 18 rounds a year.
We tried again to have the land resumed, offering 365 pounds to the Government on condition that it resumed all the privately owned land between Garrawarra and National Park (donors of the remaining 70 pounds didn't want their money used for this purpose, and it was refunded). A sum was placed on the estimates for this purpose, but it was removed before the estimates were passed. After this our Hon. Solicitor, Marie Byles, went into action. An approved valuer, Mr. O.L. Wild was persuaded to go down and value the block, and came up with a valuation of 300 pounds. The Federal Treasurer then relented and allowed us to pay the necessary 350 pounds. One hundred pounds of the purchase price came from Club funds, 214 pounds 15 shillings and sixpence from gifts by S.B.W. members, 14 pounds fifteen shillings and sixpence from the Australian Forest League, and the remainder from other clubs and non S.B.W. individuals.
It was realised when we acquired Lot 7 that it would be difficult to supervise its use, and there was no attempt to keep it for our own use. We did try some reafforestation, but this necessitated fencing and was not successful. The June 1947 magazine editorial foresaw that “The time may come when shacks and development come right to the edge of Lot 7, but it will still remain the last convenient beachside refuge of the bushwalker”.
Things didn't quite work out that way. Not many S.B.W.s camp there now. But our original aim of having the whole area resumed was achieved. It is enjoyed on day walks. Together with Bouddi and Garrawarra it is one of only three undeveloped surf beaches within 50 miles of Sydney, all of which have been preserved as a result of campaigns by bushwalkers.
After we were compensated for the resumption of Lot 7, desultory efforts were made to invest the proceeds in another conservation purchase. An area near Woods Creek was looked at - too much - cost 6,000 pounds; another on the Kowmung, which we found was likely to go into the Kanangra-Boyd Park anyway; and the most notable effort: an attempt, using Era funds and others promised to the extent of 2,000 pounds, to buy Bendethera at auction. We were outbid.
Taking a long term view of the Era campaign it was an outstanding success. Bushwalkers will enjoy that beautiful stretch of coast for far into the future. It was the forerunner of Coolana, which might not have been acquired if it were not for the accumulated Era funds, and the knowledge that Club members would support such a conservation project.
Lightweight Tents - Sleeping Bags - Rucksacks - Climbing & Caving Gear - Maps - Clothing - Boots - Food.
Large Tents - Stoves - Lamps - Folding Furniture.
Paddymade - Karrimor - Berghaus - Hallmark - Bergans - Caribee - Fairydown - Silva - Primus - Companion - and all leading brands.
Proprietors: Jack & Nancy Fox. Sales Manager: David Fox.
Eastwood Canvas Good & Camping Supplies.
3 Trelawney St., Eastwood, NSW, 2122. Phone 858 2775.
by Judith Rostron.
When David suggested we take Leigh (7) on Peter Harris' walk to Coolah Tops over the long weekend, I was concerned that it would be too difficult for him to cope with. I needn't have worried…
We set out from Sydney rather late and didn't stop to camp (at some nameless spot the other side of Mudgee) until about 1.30 am. After only a few hours' sleep we awoke refreshed and managed the remaining distance to Coolah in plenty of time to meet up with the rest of the party (14 in all) at 8.30 am. We then set out east of the town to Norfolk Falls about 37 km away at 3,200 ft. There is a delightful picnic and camping area near the falls and we spent a couple of hours wandering around. The falls weren't exactly “falling” - “dripping” might be a more appropriate word - over about 150 ft. Although the area was fairly green due to recent light rain, the area needs lots more rain to ease the drought conditions.
We left the cars in the camping area and set out north across the roadway towards Cox's Creek. After walking three or four kilometres, Peter Harris and David decided to leave us while they did a short reconnaissance for water so we could have some lunch. Apart from the lack of water, it was a pleasant spot, and after a while we decided to have lunch anyway. This was fortunate because it was TWO HOURS before David and Peter returned with the embarrassing confession to make of being geographically misplaced!! I'm glad they managed to find us again.
We pushed on towards a natural clearing and some swampland marked on the map. Unfortunately the swamp was dry so we followed the dry creekbed out of the swamp towards the escarpment and came to a lovely clearing not far from the edge of the escarpment. The creek still wasn't flowing at this point and there were only semi-stagnant pools from which to draw water. If only there had been more water this definitely would have been a 4-star camp spot.
What we lacked in water we made up for in good food. Everyone had brought luscious pre-dinner munchies. These were so plentiful we all had difficulty eating any dinner.
The large clearing was absolutely perfect for entertaining three small boys. Fazeley Read brought her two nephews along and with our son Leigh they quickly utilised the clearing for cricket.
On Sunday morning I stayed with the boys while the rest of the party went for a walk out along the edge of the escarpment for a couple of hours.
Even though the clearing was such a pleasant campsite, we decided to return to a creek we had crossed shortly after crossing the road on the previous day. There was an old logging trail we found going in the right direction so we followed this most of the way back to the creek. Once at the creek (which was flowing!) Gemma Gagne and Bill Holland found a wonderful campsite and the most perfect spot for a campfire with two log backrests.
I thought perhaps everyone might have jettisoned all their pre-dinner goodies to lighten their packs for the trip back. However more appeared and I thought I would probably go back from this bushwalk weighing more than I did before I left Sydney.
Ray Hookway and Fazeley Read had to return to the car for more food. They had an interesting arrangement of what seemed like about six packs crammed with clothes and food, but vital sections of dinner for Sunday night had been left at the car. A few other people who were feeling like a bit of a walk decided to go back with them but I felt quite happy saying, “Off you go, I'll supervise the children!”
On Monday morning it was only 40 minutes walk back to the cars. Peter suggested we follow the road further on past the Falls turnoff to a point marked on the map as “Lava Rocks”. We meandered along the road for some time until the leader decreed we had reached the spot. A short walk brought us to the northern edge of the escarpment and a beautiful panoramic view north, south and east.
The party decided to split up there as some were going back to Coolah while others decided to continue along the dirt road leading eventually to Merriwa.
It was a very relaxing, enjoyable weekend. I'm not sure the long trip from Sydney is worthwhile with the present drought conditions. Walking was very pleasant due to the fact there is no under-storey of vegetation. Apart from the escarpment the country on this tableland appears to be rather featureless - it seems very similar to the Boyd Plateau. Of course it would be difficult to go anywhere with such good company and not enjoy yourself.
by Jo Van Sommers.
Club Room closed.
Committee will meet at 7 pm before the General Meeting.
“Springtime in the Rockies”. Betty Hall's slides of National Parks in Canada and the United States.
Bush Dance. The dance was very popular last time it was on the programme. This time it's summer, so bring soft drinks for intervals on the terrace.
* Dinner before the meeting at the Malaya Restaurant, 73 Mount Street, North Sydney at 6.30 pm.
(From a letter dated 16/9/82)
by Bob Duncan.
We have had a fantastic year. During the eight months of winter Rosslyn and the children became fanatical skiers, so that except for one very good 4-day walk, little walking was done. But with the coming of summer they became equally fanatical walkers. Rosslyn goes walking with a group of robust ladies each Wednesday, and each weekend the four of us go walking together.
The walking has changed dramatically since I was here 20 years ago. Then one did one's own route-finding and almost never saw a track or anyone else on the trip. Now unbelievable numbers walk so that to save the tundra from trampling the authorities have put in tracks to above the tundra line and impose severe penalties for leaving them. It makes walking much less challenging, but the mountains are still beautiful. The animals which were once so shy now blatantly beg for titbits all along the tracks.
The most spectacular peak here, which we can see from our bedroom window, is Long's Peak at 14,236 feet, and 10,000 people climb it each year! When I read this I couldn't believe it, but I did after we climbed it ourselves and saw the mobs. Such crowds are dangerous because one of the chutes which has to be climbed is very steep and narrow and displaced rocks fly down disconcertingly. Also, passing people going the other way on the ledges is quite an acrobatic feat. Thirty nine people have been killed in the last ten years, though most of these have been on winter or technical climbs. It is an 18-mile trek (there and back) and 5,000' of actual climb (ignoring ups and downs). There is only one non-technical route, and this year this was only open (i.e. snow free) for about four weeks. It's similar to Mt. Anne but bigger and steeper. The altitude makes it a bit more difficult too. We have climbed two higher peaks but Long's is definitely the most exciting; it's easy to see why it is so popular.
The big problem in climbing here, which you don't get in Australia and New Zealand is lightning. In summer, thunderstorms build up virtually every day by lunchtime and vicious ground strikes bang down on all sides. In the U.S.A. 500 people a year are killed by lightning and another 1,500 maimed. It is the next biggest cause of accidental death and injury after road accidents. Furthermore a disproportionate number of these deaths and injuries occur in Colorado, and a disproportionate number of the Coloradan deaths and injuries occur to climbers.
Everyone is justifiably terrified of lightning and our main concern when we go climbing is always to get to the top before the afternoon storms build up. When we climbed Long's we were late in starting (i.e. 7 am) and had to fight against a tide of people coming down the narrow chutes and along the narrow ledges because a big black cloud had caused a panic mass exodus from the top. Fortunately this cloud came to nothing but after we reached the top another cloud came over and chased us off. As we descended down the rock slabs three distant bangs caused me to fret, but then fortunately there were no more. The cloud produced plenty of sleet but no more lightning.
by Ray Kirkby.
(In the Obituary for the late Ray Kirkby published in the September magazine, Alex Colley said of Ray - “it is probably for his very original humour he will be remembered.” Alex has now unearthed a copy of an article written by Ray and first published in the “Kweensland Speshul Edition” of the magazine in September 1946. It is a good example of the “very original humour” which friends of Ray so greatly appreciated, and is republished as originally given in the 1946 magazine.)
My deah, do you wish to be booked together with your parrot to Kilimanjaro via King's Cross? Or do you wish to know how to do the cheapest submarine trip up the Yangtze Kiang? If so, I am your man. I am wonderful and I admit it myself. Of course I had to learn by hard experience but I may as well cash in on it and, in years to come, as I drive past in my magnificent limousine from the palatial offices of “Dulbolla Travellers' Aids” to my princely mansion, “Dulbolla”, set in the broad acres of “Dulbolla Park”, I see you cowering in the gutter with your dirty rucksack and saying, “He made his money out of us”.
Any simpleton can go to the Railway and ask, “Is there or is there not a certain train running?” We have so much practice at that kind of question that we all are quite proficient. But how many are able, when required, to tell the Railways where to get off - at least, that is, of course where you want to get off - or rather where to get off if they will not let you off where you want to get off.
However, actions speak louder than words, let us to a concrete example.
To commence our Queensland trip I considered it advisable to alight from the Brisbane Express at Dulbolla. Dulbolla is a siding about 60 miles from Brisbane having quite three houses and no platform but only about a mile from the township of Rathdowney. The N.S.W. Railway Guide does not mention the place so resort had to be made to “Enquiries”. Here came my first triumph. You know how the clerk, if asked the time of the train to Sulphanilamide, mostly rattles it off without reference to index or page? This time he had to make a few enquiries from me before he could proceed! Then he seized a Queensland Guide and, like a huntsman getting the fox, his eyes gleamed as he actually saw the name “Dulbolla” in print for the first time. Like the Sun surrounded by its planets, like a lovely princess with lesser ladies clustered to her, like flies around a piece of bread and jam, Dulbolla was hemmed in by a symbolism which would have inspired Pitman. They were all represented - K, f, p, see page 68, %, ::, @, and ¤ which means “Don't spit where the platform ought to be” and ¤¤¤ which means “When you get two different answers to the one question, don't believe either” and, yes, there it is, !!!, which means “Stops on Tues. Thurs. and Sat. if required”. And we should be there on Sat.
Of course, I am not blaming Alex for what happened. Perhaps I should have had my party in for tutorial classes twice a week. However, Alex offered to buy the tickets - just “Five returns Dulbolla, please”. Apparently, after making discreet enquiries, the man endeavoured to hide his ignorance by saying that he could not issue return tickets there and that Alex would have to accept tickets to Brisbane “which is about the same”. Not having sufficient data in his possession Alex acquiesced. After sifting all the evidence I gathered that N.S.W. is unable to issue return tickets to Queensland stations other than BriSbane but what riled me was that, on a distance calculation, the overcharge was about £1 per ticket and we did not want to use a considerable proportion of the return ticket at all. Why could we not buy return tickets to the Border and then get single extensions to Dulbolla?
The official reluctantly agreed that this could be done but said it would make little difference in cost so I had to make a lot of calculations to prove otherwise and then, only then, did he abandon his defences and surrender, knowing that I had an atom bomb up each sleeve. With good grace (and, I felt, with some respect and a tinge of admiration for me) he handed me back lots of five pound notes and told me how to proceed.
The impact of a ticket to Border Tunnel onto the brain of the train officials had varying effects. Some expressed great astonishment. Others looked at it as people probably looked at the first aeroplane and yet showed not the least curiosity. In the early hours of the morning, when it was still dark, a ticket examiner came through the train and happened to catch Jean away from her home base. Unfortunately, when he asked Jean where she was going, she could not remember beyond the fact that “It starts with 'D'”. He suggested “Deepwater. Perhaps Dapto. Not Dungog? Doonside, Dorrigo, Dubbo?” He conducted Jean back to the compartment to satisfy himself that it wasn't Gladesville. Then he became quite keen to know where we “Flannel Flowers” were walking - apparently he had dealt with peculiar people before.
Within a hundred miles of our destination we got quite “jumpy” as to whether the train might forget or not be advised to stop at our destination. So I planned to ask the engine driver at Casino whether he intended to stop. However, just as I arrived at the engine, a station official handed him a form on which, a carbon copy, I could see the word “Dulbolla” written.
“Only one stop today,” he said cheerily, “Dulboola”.
“Dulbolla;” corrected the enginedriver haughtily.
The road may have been hard but the climax was worth it. The express came to a standstill and a voice called out “Seats numbers forty two to forty six - Dulbolla” and the conductor gave us advice on how to alight from a train as rucksacks, dilly bags, brown paper parcels and cardboard boxes were flung out, and he and numerous passengers, whose heads protruded from windows, saw the inexpressible sight of girls jumping onto the rails.
My deah, we were there and, between us and Rathdowney, only a mile of road and fifty per cent of Dulbolla's fowlyards.
by Evelyn Walker.
It was suggested recently that members might be interested to know the processes by which their magazine comes to them. Despite my reluctance to comment on the unknown I have been persuaded by bewildered members to share the facts with readers…
The story starts, of course, with Kath Brown, whose contribution is described as typing, but in fact involves the expertise not only of compositor but also of layout artist and collector of regular inclusions, and this involves a good deal of time each month. The next person in the process is Phil Butt, who regularly manhandles huge deliveries of paper and turns out 410 x 18 pages Of clean duplicating with fine precision, and delivers them carefully packaged to the Gray household. So far, so good. It is at this point that events take an unusual turn.
“Goodday, mate, have some wine?” The benign greeting meets one at the door. Already there are relaxed, smiling people wandering round in a relaxed smiling way, glass in hand, savouring the rich odours emanating from the kitchen. The time of the collating of the S.B.W. magazine has come round again. Conversation flows freely, the humour improves and it seems that we are waiting for a party to begin. But no - at least one person means to get some work done, for about 400 magazine covers appear, to be carefully counted, date-stamped and folded.
However, it is obvious that nothing further will be done without food, and a cordon bleu curried pumpkin soup, decorated with cream and paprika pepper, is served. Fazeley Read, who is now known to be able to make soup and who produced this masterpiece, is given a loud cheer before silence as the soup disappears. A large bucket containing more is brought round and people are given nearly as much again. Helen Gray then appears from the kitchen bearing aloft a huge dish of gourmet chicken and mixed vegetables, followed by Kath McInnes with her excellent fried rice, and these offerings are consumed with many knowing appreciative comments. Finally a magnificent pavlova, decorated with cream and fruit, is presented for our delectation.
Ray Hookway is heard to mutter quietly “What about the magazine?” - but the general cry is that the umpteenth episode of Brideshead is now showing on TV and the replete collators relax and take it all in.
Some time later concern is expressed about getting home before midnight, or whether the work could not be much better done the next day, which would allow the group to move straight on to the tempting supper of cherry cheesecake. However, reason prevails, and Phil covers the table with thick piles of duplicated pages. There is discussion about how the work is to be done. A favourite method involves a line of people walking slowly round the table like slaves round a treadmill, riffling the pages on each pile and seizing one as they go. These are shoved firmly into a cover and passed on to the stapler. But here the mystery begins. The collators appear to be affected in some way by their activities and the speed of the work gradually grows faster and faster. The theory is that the air is slowly saturated with an unknown toxic drug which appears to be released by the riffling of the paper and is inhaled with the paper dust, though this explanation has been challenged and stringent tests are being made. Whatever the case, the observer will notice an intense expression developing on each bent face, as required by the effort of remaining upright, and some fanatic with a wild cry urges the pace yet faster and faster, until the room appears to be filled with whirling dervishes performing a secret paper ceremony. Gradually each participant goes into a trance induced by vertigo and intoxication and becomes unaware of painful feet and heels kicked by the one behind. Stamina is rapidly ebbing when the supply of paper mercifully gives out, and with a huge sigh the participants stagger to waiting chairs until the air clears.
As the other people in the room come into focus it is clear that the stapler, Spiro Hajinakitas, is not only hypnotised but also punch-drunk. As the filled covers are fitted into the stapling machine he beats out a fierce staccato rhythm and gloats over the pile of finished magazines swelling at his feet. While this is going on other workers are hastily pasting pre-sorted labels at another table - each their own bundle of postcodes - and these are in turn whipped into elastic bands by Phil - and disappear. The copies move from one group to another as if on an invisible conveyor belt and the whole operation is wrapped up with amazing accuracy at top speed and with great smoothness, despite the toxic effects of the materials handled. No one knows quite how this is achieved.
And suddenly, with the removal of the magazines to the confines of someone's car, the atmosphere returns to normal. Hot drinks are prepared, the supper is at last handed round, and the wild, withdrawn expressions fade from the faces. Someone recalls a complaint about non-arrival of the magazine, while another remembers his temerity in complaining about quality control regarding scratchy pages, only to find that in his following copy the pages were placed upside down and back to front, and highly decorated. Dot Butler recalls an occasion when one magazine went out embellished by her footprint made in ink. So, gentle reader, you are warned never to criticise the quality control of this excellent production - which is always of course 101 per cent perfect. Collators mix unidentified with ordinary S.B.W. members, known only to each other, and can pick up any negative comments and relay them to the Night Group where suitable punishments can be devised.
The results of the tests have been received and our worst fears are confirmed. The conclusion is unmistakable. It is definitely not the paper dust which is the chief intoxicating agent but the written articles themselves - the strange accounts of bizarre experiences in the bush - that produce this frenzied response from the collators, who read as they riffle and become entranced. There is no known cure.
Would members please let the Secretary know of any change of address or 'phone number for inclusion in the 1983 List Of Members, as this list must be prepared by the end of January 1983.
Barbara Bruce, Hon. Secretary. Phone 546-6570.
by Barry Wallace.
The meeting began at around 2016 with some 30 or so members present and the President in the chair.
There were no apologies so we proceeded to welcome no less than 9 new members. Of these, Michelle De Vries Robbe, Sue Tonkin, Paul Rodgers, Neil Thomas and Matthew Walton were there when summoned, Debbie Van der Sluys arrived later and Elisabeth Ratcliff, David Butler and Sharon Kinsella did not show.
The Minutes were read and received.
Correspondence brought letters from Rudy Dezelin advising change of address, from Newcastle Bush Walkers seeking advice on sharing of vehicle usage costs, return thanks from Jean Kirkby; to Malcolm McGregor and Mike Short, to Morag Ryder and Barbara Elliot advising readmission to membership, to the N.S.W. Premier expressing our opposition to changes in the Kosciusko National Park Plan of Management, to Mr. Les Brand ref the use of his property as a base for recent bushwalks, to Joe Turner and Maurie Berry thanking them for substantial donations, to Mr. Ted Kelly asking that he appear before the Committee, and last but not least, to the Prime Minister expressing our opposition to proposed dams in South West Tasmania.
The Treasurer's Report indicated that we began the month with a balance of $1,405.16, had an income of $775.56, spent $383.99 and closed the month with a balance of $1,796.73. The Coolana Account has now been merged with other Club funds and shows a last balance of zero.
The Walks Report opened with Bill Capon's Cox River walk of the 15,16,17 October which was reported as uneventful with an unbalance of the sexes (?) in the 13 attendees. Ian Debert's Tomat Creek walk the same weekend had 9 starters and as is becoming traditional it rained, and they met Neville Laing. The third weekend walk saw Bob Younger and his 6 members meeting up with people on donkeys, in the rain, somewhere near Yalwal. I guess you can't win 'em all. On Sunday, 17th October, Meryl Watman led a wet and somewhat shortened walk from Waterfall to Waterfall with starters who were legion. Ralph Penglis' Syd. Arb. walk was cancelled.
The following weekend, 22,23,24 October, saw Jim Laing leading four members and 6 visitors on his Barrington Tops walk, and Peter Miller cancelling his Kowmung walk. Peter Hislop led two people on his Mt. Solitary walk and reported a good trip with waratahs in profusion. Of the day walks David Ingram reported 28 starters on his Bell to Lithgow-along-the-tracks walk. There were waratahs and it seems not everyone listened to the lecture on local history provided on the walk. I gain the impression David was somewhat disappointed. Hans Stichter's Bluegum walk was led by Gordon Lee who reported that the two starters believe they sighted a native cat.
Over the weekend of 29,30,31 October Bob Younger reported 8 members, 2 prospectives, and one visitor on a good trip on the Kowmung River. John Redfern's semi-exploratory walk from St. Albans did not go to programme so its 13 members, one prospective and one visitor ended up in St. Albans pub. Of the two Sunday walks John Newman had 4 prospectives and 6 members who enjoyed surfing at Burning Palms and caught the early train from Lilyvale despite the fact that someone has removed the overhead bridge; and Kath Brown had 15 starters on her Benowie Track walk enjoying the wildflowers in fine weather.
Over the weekend of November 5,6,7 Don and Jenny Cornell led 9 members and one visitor, from Brisbane Bushwalkers, on an enjoyable trip on the Cox River in hot and rather dry conditions. Of Scott Crawford's Budawangs walk there was no report and Peter Christian's Mt. Solitary walk was cancelled. On Ken Gould's Mountain Lagoon walk the 12 starters somehow ended up as 11, with No. 12 being retrieved on the Tuesday morning. Brian Bolton's Waterfall to Waterfall walk attracted 10 members, 9 prospectives and 3 visitors and was reported with almost evangelical fervour by the leader. Joan Cooper, on the other hand, was definitely soft-sell in her report of the 16 starters on her Machin's Crater trip with its hot weather, total fire ban and lots of swims. All of which ended the Walks Report.
Arising from the Walks Report a decision was made to write thanking a member of the Bush Fire Brigade at Mountain Lagoon for her assistance in the search conducted in the area.
Federation Report brought news of a S. & R. exercise planned for 30th April / 1st May 1983 to search for the missing plane at Barrington Tops. Federation have received a letter from the N.P.W.S. at Nowra complaining that S. & R. conducted an exercise in Morton National Park. They will contact N.P.W.S. and explain the situation. The F.B.W. Ball this year produced a profit of $1,700 and at conclusion of the report the meeting passed a vote of thanks to Gordon Lee for his efforts in producing this most pleasing result. Federation are writing to C.S.I.R.O. seeking information on the possible spreading of forest dieback by bushwalking activities.
Of General Business there was none, so announcements complete, the meeting closed at 2101.
by Jim Brown.
Any stranger visiting the S.B.W. Clubroom on the evening of November 17th might well have been forgiven for disbelieving the daily plaints in the media over the economic recession. For S.B.W. had gathered in great number - about 75 present - and were to be seen and heard vying to out-spend one another.
There was a notable collection of saleable - well, mainly saleable - wares and bric-a-brac, including a sextant (minus instruction manual) and we trust the buyer has a yachting friend, and is not trying to make the instrument forecast the sex of unborn pedigree cats. There were two sleeping bags, which went off at bargain prices in these days; and a couple of tents which also went pretty cheaply; a two-burner Portagas stove; and amongst the items of less obvious worth, a fur-lined cap of the type worn by the late Genghis Khan and not quite so late Leonid Brezhnev. Some bottles of wine sold at prices higher than those currently asked by cut-rate liquor stores. At the end of the night Coolana funds had increased by $400.
The key to the situation was, of course, the auctioneer. Charlie Brown excelled himself - his performance was even better than last year's - and he kept up the flow of banter, persuasion, invective and coercion for over an hour. Now that's quite a battering to endure - but, after all, $400!!