This is an old revision of the document!
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, Crows 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|
|Following in the Steps of B.C.||by Sandra Hynes||2|
|Forest Path||Peter Christian||3|
|Pindar's Ochre Pit Rediscovered||Frank Woodgate||3|
|Obituary - David Ingram||Jim Brown||5|
|Conservation Notes||Alex Colley||6|
|An Epic Journey of the Past - Katoomba to Picton the Hard Way - 130 Miles||Dot Butler||7|
|Social Notes for November||Jo Van Sommers||10|
|Advertisement - Eastwood Camping Centre||11|
|Where Have All the Tigers Gone?||Gordon Lee||12|
|Crossword Puzzle||Fazeley Read||13|
|The 1983 F.B.W. Ball||Barbara Bruce||13|
|Letter to the Committee - re Meetings||Kath Brown||14|
|Publications for Sale by the Colong Committee||16|
by Sandra Hynes
8.45 am, Saturday 17 September, Mount Kanangra car park, and Malcolm Steel, Jim Rivers, Grahame Player, Jan Mohandas, John Williams and I prepared to elect a new leader when in a cloud of dust arrived Bill Capon, Bob Milne and Shirley Morrow.
A two minute lecture from Bill and off we galloped. Bill called lots of stops where he answered all our questions about features of the landscape and pointed them out on the map frequently - for the benefit of the prospectives especially.
Crafts Wall, Mount Berry, Gabes Gap, Mount High and Mighty, Mount Stormbreaker and lunch for an hour. Bill told us he is a democratic leader, so out came the maps and we all proffered our advice for our route for the rest of the walk. Jim quietly suggested retracing our steps, while I asked for a flat route around Mount Paralyser.
After lunch, it was up to Rip, Rack and Roar and down to Mount Marooba Karoo. From here we negotiated the cliffs which block access to the ridge we wanted to find to lead us to Mount Marooba. Then out came the maps and after a lot of scouting around, map consultations and false starts we found the ridge bearing off to the right towards Kanangra Creek. On the way down, while some of us slipped and slid (sometimes on bottoms) John found a patch of beautiful Dendrobium orchids. The ridge placed us on Kanangra Creek where Marooba-Karoo Creek flows in.
On the other side of a very cold Kanangra Creek Bill found us a campsite a lot like some of the ideal sites on the Coxs River. Shadowed by Mount Paralyser, we drank port and scoffed chockie bickies, then slept like logs and not a snore was heard.
In the morning Bill asked for a vote and we headed straight up Mount Paralyser, two minutes walk from the campsite. John, Jan and Bob set their own pace and Bill set a slow zig-zag course for the rest of us with a lot of stops to look at the view (on one side across the Wild Dog Mountains to Katoomba and on the other side Crafts Wall to Cloudmaker), which made every step worthwhile. Not far from the top we stopped and boiled the billy for morning tea and had a short rest and a long look at the view. Two minutes after we started climbing again we found Jan and Bob, with a fire ready for our morning tea. Bill said he wasn't going to lead any more medium walks and had another cup of tea.
John recorded all of our names in the book an top. From Mount Paralyser we headed over to Mount Cyclops, Mount Carra-Mernoo, then stopped, for some lunch in the sunshine.
After lunch Bill showed Jim and Shirley how to orientate their maps and with only one false start they led the walk over to Mount Thurat. From there it was an easy, mainly downhill, tramp along the fire trail and back to our cars.
We all stopped for a scrummy Chinese dinner at the pub in Blackheath where we agreed that Bill had been the ideal leader for a test walk by constantly showing us our position on the map, identifying landscape features and setting a pace we all found comfortable. It all added up to a tired and happy group. Thanks B.C.
by Peter Christian.
Cautious footsteps cushioned by the forest floor,
Senses acute to the sharp.edge of silence.
Staghorn and maidenhair bear witness to my passing.
Shy wren peers meekly through shoulder-high bracken,
Lyrebird struts and cajoles his lady fair,
Shrill notes pierce the mantle of leaden air.
Sublime mimicker, minstrel of bush tunes
You changed my countenance with your spirit from the wild.
Fantail and Wonga Pigeon also heed my call with their replies,
Lyric themes are memory locked, the soul will recollect.
Dusky Coral Pea and Guinea Flower roam through my hair,
At peace I lie on moss and leaf without a care.
Fleshy trunked Angophora beckons with twisted limbs,
Cabbage Palms shelter me as my umbrella from summer showers.
Wombat leaves his front door open in river's sandy bank,
I fall in and wrench my knee, curse his forgetfulness.
Rufous Whistler teases from high on Turpentine.
If nature loving is a habit, I'm addicted to her wine.
by Frank Woodgate.
|Date:||23-24 July 1983.|
|Route:||Wondabyne Station, Kariong Ridge, Pindars Gully and return.|
|Starters:||Carol Bruce, Marion Harris, Judy McHaffey, George Mawer, Colin Barnes, Laurie Quaken, Michael Holmes and the author as leader.|
|Object:||To enjoy the wild flowers, explore Pindars Gully and Ochre Ridge, eat a few oysters and attempt to locate relics of previous occupancy of the Pindars Gully area before 1914.|
The walk commenced at 9.51 am with a jump from the train at Wondabyne for some of the party due to the shortness of the platform and the excess length of the last carriage of the train. After a sharp climb up to the ridge from the station we were down past Pindars Cave by lunch time. We set up our camp above the 100 metres level in order to avoid any risk of the plague of mosquitoes usually abounding in the area in the warmer weather. Wild flowers, including pink boronia in particular, were in abundance.
In the afternoon we descended the rill on which we were camped and entered the gully proper. The idea was to negotiate the gully, which is very rough in parts, without packs. The gully contains a great variety of vegetation between the falls and the end, where it runs into the salt water of Mooney Mooney Creek. This includes sassafras, ferns, dendrobiums, etc. We followed the shore of the bay into which the gully turns and found a few edible oysters. There was also what appeared to be an old foundation excavation which is possibly the house site shown on the C.M.A. map at the north side at the entrance to the bay.
From the point we climbed to the top of Oxide Ridge to return to our campsite. This allowed us to avoid the heavy scrub and low cliffs at the south side of the gully. The light was fading as we sought our camp and after a few anxious moments when we dropped back down again we found the rill which we had come down earlier. Carol was the first to spot our tents. We soon had a blazing fire going to celebrate our return and to counteract a few showers of light rain that began to fall.
On Sunday morning we shouldered our packs and climbed Oxide Ridge again to follow it towards its southern extremity. On the way up the ridge Laurie spotted an excavation in the hillside. This was an open cut into the hillside approximately 20 metres in by 4 metres wide. The floor of the pit was littered with orange yellow rocks which presumably are the material which was mined as ochre. A wrought iron core extractor was near the pit and could reach 6 metres depth with the extension fitted.
We did not see any evidence of how the ochre was transported from the pit. However, on an earlier visit to the area, remains of a fence were seen west of the cave, so presumably horses or cattle were once on site. The top of the ridge is well grassed in places and may have.been cleared. The Pindar brothers after whom the area is named are rumoured to have been interned as aliens in 1914 and did not return to the area.
We followed Oxide Ridge, which abounded in boronias, bracken and rock lilies, to a spur from which one can look directly along the tollway bridge on the Newcastle-Sydney Expressway. The return route was identical to the outward journey.
This area of Brisbane Water National Park is relatively undisturbed except for rip marks made by wild pigs. For a location close to Sydney it has a lot to offer. However, like many areas off track, it can be very rough and because there are many similar ridges requires careful navigation.
A further visit is planned for, the future at approximately the same time in 1984, when a variation of the route will be attempted.
CONGRATULATIONS to Errol Sheedy and Jean Snow who were married on lst October.
by Jim Brown.
The sudden death on 27th September of David Ingram took from our Club one of those people who can truly be described as “quiet achievers”. Perhaps David will not be remembered as the leader of, or participant in, the longest and most strenuous walks, although those who have walked with him only in recent years may be surprised at the calibre of some of the trips he undertook in the 1940s and 1950s. On the other hand, since his election to membership in 1945, he has been both a steady walker and worker with and for the Club.
He had a profound knowledge of the bushlands near Sydney, of its local history and its outstanding display of flowering plants, but above all he had a remarkable and enviable talent for looking after new and inexperienced walkers, and ensuring that their introduction to the game was as informative and as painless as possible. And, as any regular day-walker will know, some of our most respected members were very, very green when they first joined us. This is where our all-too-few David Ingrams leave their mark.
In his workaday life David spent most of his years with the Department of Motor Transport, retiring about ten years ago as one of its Senior Officers. His work had taken him to almost all of the Motor Registries throughout the State because, as a bachelor, the supervising staff officer soon found he could be despatched anywhere at short notice if a Registry Officer fell ill or had to be relieved. I remember him once chuckling over the fact that he had enjoyed four Labour Day Holidays in one year (at Lithgow, Newcastle, Broken Hill and Kogarah) and the staff officer “couldn't do a thing about it”.
Apart from his working career, David had a wide range of interests. He enjoyed good music, the ballet, folk dancing, and also played a part in the formation and operation of the Railway Museum at Thirlmere, where old steam locomotives and rolling stock of bygone years are maintained and used on special tours. The wildflower garden at the Museum became his particular care. During periods of long service leave and after retirement David travelled quite extensively in Australia and overseas.
No doubt I could write of his spell of duty as Club Secretary in 1961/62, of the many day walks he led where he often managed to cover new ground or introduced some interesting variation of an otherwise familiar trip. Of course, this was valuable work for the Club, but to my mind it is less important if you measure it against the many trips that made new people feel at home, comfortable, accepted, and part of the team.
To his surviving relations, the Club offers its sympathy: and also to fellow member John Holly, in the loss of a close friend and a walking companion of more than thirty good years.
by Alex Colley.
Jim Brown has said all that needs to be said on the Franklin River verdict in his verses in the August issue of the magazine. The High Court could have made a contrary decision on legal grounds, but there is no justification on national or international grounds for allowing an anti-conservationist State to continue bashing the national and world heritage. If the States will not do the right thing in protecting the world heritage, the Commonwealth can.
This fact inspired two important decisions at the Australian Conservation Foundation's Third Wilderness Conference held at Katoomba. One was to press for a national wilderness survey. There have been some state surveys, but most of the continent has not been examined, and it is essential to know what is worth saving before it is too late. The Colong Committee applied for a substantial grant for this purpose earlier in the year. The second was for the formation of a National Wilderness Committee consisting of delegates from the A.C.F., Wilderness Society and Colong Committee, plus other interested bodies, under the auspices of the A.C.F. The Colong Committee has also proposed that there should be a National Wilderness Act to enable the Commonwealth to co-operate with the States in protecting wilderness areas.
Nearer to home a battle is in progress for the preservation of the Blue Mountains. Much of the escarpment is already scarred by urban development, while all the streams originating near the mountain towns are badly polluted. The Blue Mountains City Council has recently approved land rezoning for a resort centre including a building 300 metres long and up to 20 metres high, a parking area for 798 cars together with a retirement village, tennis courts, cabins, etc. on a headland within the Valley of the Waters at Wentworth Falls. The attraction of the site to the developer is, of course, the view, which includes Kings Tableland, Kedumba and Mount Solitary. The site was once a reserve and later made available to the Leura Golf Club. The fine view for those sitting in the resort will be spoilt for those looking in the opposite direction, largely walkers.
According to the consultants commissioned by the Council, this doesn't matter. They looked at the Hydro-Majestic from Hargraves Lookout, 4 1/2 km away, and concluded that, because Mount Solitary was 6 km from the resort, “its visual impact would be less”. The extra 1 3/4 km, however, lends no enchantment. Another reason why, according to the consultants, the reverse view didn't matter, was because Mount Solitary “is accessible only on foot“. In other words, walkers don't count. There is strong opposition to the development from all the Blue Mountains conservation societies and a large proportion of the residents.
Another development being opposed is for a large sand mine at Bell, which would inevitably pollute the Wollongambe.
Myles Dunphy O.B.E., the father of wilderness conservation in Australia, and co-founder, with Jack Debert, of the S.B.W., has accepted the invitation of the Colong Committee to become its Patron. In its invitation to Myles to become its patron the Committee wrote that “Its main task has been to continue the work of the National Parks and Primitive Areas Council, in particular to secure and protect the national parks which you planned”. Myles replied “I appreciate the honour of receiving such an invitation and I accept with pleasure. I am glad to know that the work I and others began so many years ago is still being carried on so effectively”.
Extracts made by Gordon Lee (with his comment) of an article first published in the October 1955 edition of The Sydney Bushwalker entitled:
by Dot Butler.
“Now I'm all in favour of long endurance walks occasionally - say once or twice in a lifetime; it gives the walker some idea of the stuff he's made of and boosts his confidence in his own strength, mental even more than physical, for there's no question that when physical weariness calls to the body to give up; it's the will that keeps one going to the end. That's why we gave support to Geoff Wagg on his original 85 miler - such walks are good for the morale of the Club.”
Two previous efforts to do the same trip had foundered. The first by misadventure. Leaders, who, as they still seem to do, dashed off to wait at a certain point, had waited and waited. It seems the stragglers, to make up for lost time, had taken a short cut, bypassing the leaders. By the time this was sorted out there wasn't sufficient time to do the trip. The second (a private trip) was abandoned because of 26“ of rain in 24 hours - the Coxs ran a 30' banker. So this third attempt was set down for the first week in September. G.L.
“We left it too late to book an the Fish so we caught the Chips [ask an old hand to explain. G.L.] and at 8.30 pm we stepped out smartly for Devil's Hole….”
They made the Coxs, walked a mile down the river and were bedded down by midnight. G.L.
”… we were away by 6.00 am with destination (we hope) 50 miles away. …. In next to no time we were at Kanangra and then the Kowmung Junction. It seemed very early for lunch but we settled down to our bread and cheese….” Now we were at Harry's Hump with Colin climbing up an orange tree and getting stuck in a fork, and Garth having to thump his boot out to release him. He threw down a great heap of oranges then off with boots and socks and we sat in the grass and we ate oranges and oranges and oranges. I still maintain that 25 oranges at a sitting are 10 too many, but Colin blames drinking Cox water, or a stray wog from home, or anything except sour orange juice for the fact that he spent Monday alternating between bed and outhouse.“
“Then heigh ho for Bimlow. The road went on and on, as no doubt you know, and so did we, and about 8.30 pm we struck Bimlow. We settled on a nice grassy bank then we sat in our sleeping bags and gorged on pre-cooked chops, bread and butter, tinned fruit and cream, and despite barking dogs dawn by the store, we slept like logs till 5.00 am.”
Dot was the only one wearing sandshoes, but had brought along her hobnailed mountaineering boots (G.L) ”…. then carried the damn heavy things on my back. for 50 miles down the Coxs, but now with the greatest of pleasure I wrapped them in a half tent due to be jettisoned and a piece of plastic groundsheet and stowed them on a floor beam under the Bimlow store. Will probably retrieve them somehow, some day.”
“With packs containing now only lunch, sleeping bag and a few minor oddments we hit the road once more. The boys were having trouble with their heavy clinkered boots And much as I would like to think in terms of romance of the open road, I'm afraid I must agree that the modern description 'road bash' is much more realistic and to the point.”
“Garth had decided that the 85 miles that were good enough for Geoff's crowd were good enough for him too, and it was Picton for him….. Colin, however, had planned for a hundred mile weekend, and the itinerary was to be up the Nattai, up Starlight's Track to Hill Top, then a few extra miles along the main road to make up the even hundred - 'And we'll do those last few miles even if we do them on hands and knees,' said Colin. So I set out that morning with that simple programme and not much else in mind: 40 miles to go. Average 3 mph - 13 hours walking, plus half an hour for dinner and perhaps tea. Should finish by 8.00 pm.”
“…'Look' said Colin, 'I'm going out with Garth to Picton!'
”'What!!!' said I. 'You've planned this 100 miler for 6 months!…'I'll lend.you my sandshoes and I'll walk barefoot.'
“'No.' said Colin, 'But you go on. I'll go into Picton with Garth.'”
“So Colin gave me his map and a good torch, and feeling like a captain deserting his sinking ship and crew (I think this should be vice versa. G.L.) I said goodbye and sped off up the Nattai. I ran the first 10 miles to still the turmoil within. By the time I slowed down I guessed it was dinnertime so finished off the food in my pack except for a small chunk of bread and a handful of popped rice.”
“By about 2/3 o'clock I was at a clearing in which was a blitz buggy. From here Colin said it was 6/8 miles of trackless river work to reach the foot of Starlight's Track. Instructions were to keep up the side as far as possible out of the river thicket, so I bore off to the right and pressed on for several hours. Then I got into the river bed itself, which started going uphill rapidly. It was very rocky and rugged, the growth very dense, and all chance of finding a clearing on it called McArthur's Flat faded from possibility. Could I possibly have bypassed McA's Flat? Was I up some side creek? I shall have to go back some time and find out……”
“From the base of the cliff face though, with the sun now proposing to set in the west, I could see the river winding off to the S.E. But my direction should be due east, so I cursed heartily and decided to return to the blitz buggy site with speed in the remaining hour of daylight. I ran all the way back, and soon after dark I was back at the blitz buggy site sitting in my sleeping bag among the bracken and eating my miserable chunk of dry bread while I studied the map by torchlight. Having resigned myself to being a day overdue, for the first time in all my walking experience, I decided to spend a couple of hours next morning going upstream… then if there was a clearing to be found I would undoubtedly find it, but if unsuccessful in two hours I would have to return down the Nattai and go up to Picton.”
“… when I struck the same traitorous rocky creek bed as yesterday… with something of relief I pounded off down the Nattai to Sheehy's Creek. By about midday I was sitting at the very spot I had bid goodbye to Colin and Garth yesterday, eating a tin of peaches and condensed milk, ripped open with a piece of fencing wire, this providential tucker having been found in a deserted habitation on the way out. Then up Sheehy's Creek to the waterfall, and so on in to Picton by 3.00 pm. I sent a telegram home to say I was on my way, and inquired re departure of the next train. It was not due out for 21 hours, so I plugged off up the main highway where the road sign pointed Sydney-wards, hoping some kind soul would offer me a lift.”
“However, the few cars that passed no doubt thought I was out for a light canter for the good of my health and passed on. Ha! But what's this I see crawling up the hill in low gear? - a bulk concrete truck with a convenient girder for a perch at the ready. How easy it was to sit down. It wasn't till the vehicle reached the brow of the hill and whizzed off at 60 mph that the brain began to function.”
“Hell, what an asinine thing to do! How do you think you're ever going to get off? - it might go 50 miles in the wrong direction before it slows up on another hill. Ah! at last the concrete juggernaut changed down for a steep pull and I vacated my perch with relief. A man and his son who had thought it was all one huge joke swung open their car door and in I leapt, and so through to Liverpool at 60/70 mph …. In to Liverpool still in one piece - just in time to catch a train right through to Wahroonga, and so I was home almost before the train would have left Picton.”
“And now what have we to say for ourself? Well, long walks such as the one described are possible, and no great hardship physically, provided the footwear is suitable, but the 'life is real, life is earnest' is a bit hard to take and leaves no time for fun, and when it's all said and done, fun is essential.”
This account speaks for itself. There is nothing I can add except to say that Dot at the time was only in her 40s. Had I been around at that time I would certainly not have had the temerity to match her walking ability. I like to consider myself a Dot Butler fan and an always eager to hear of her exploits. Each new addition to the already long list never ceases to amaze me. Her inclusion in the “International Who's Who of Women” is a compliment to a very worthy person.
This article seems to beg a response from other members. Surely the Tiger Walker spirit - or something pretty close - is alive and active among us. Comments are invited: EDITOR.
We thought readers would like to enjoy another extract from Dot's article, and to see that despite the pressure she had time to enjoy the beauty of the bush
“… and at 8.30 stepped out smartly for Devil's Hole. The night was overcast, but a full moon behind white clouds cast a diffused glow over the country, and after descending the Devil's Hole we had no further need of torches. We stopped for a brief Howdy-do with walkers camped at the Old Hotel Site, then on and down Black Jerry's, where Garth, with his great memory for detail, recalled the route we had prospected some weeks ago by identifying each gate we encountered by its lock, be it a chunk of wood or a bolt, be it round at the end, be it square, be it shiny, be it rusty, or what. The same sheep as chased Jim and Kevin ba-a-a-ahed at us, the Paddock Love grass which had scented the night air on Geoff 's trip was now golden in death, but the briar rose bushes with their poignant nostalgic perfume were the same as always, scenting the air as we dropped down to where the Coxs gleamed in the moonlight. We walked about a mile along the river bank and camped in a thicket of flowering blackthorn. Ten minutes to cut a heap of bracken, a swift dip to disperse the dust of travel, then we demolished a slab of cake, set Colin's alarm watch for 5 am, and were sound asleep by midnight.”
“We awoke in the scented dawn to countless thousands of lime green flowers scattered all over the prickle bushes - there is some good in blackthorn after all. Breakfast was cornflakes and such like out of a box. Colin, remarking that he was about to slit the throat of the sacred caw, opened a tin of condensed milk with a knife. One cow per meal was the order of things - the expendable cow. We rounded off breakfast with a pre-cooked chop or sausage, then the sleeping bags were stuffed into packs and we were away by 6 am with destination Bimlow (we hope) - 50 miles away. The day was cool and invigorating, and although the various river crossings were cold and often deep - up to the neck on several occasions - nevertheless they were very welcome as our constant steady pace kept us warmed up.”
by Jo Van Sommers.
|November 16||- Club Auction with Charlie (“I can sell anything!”) Brown. Bring something, buy something. Camping gear, household items, paperbacks, costume jewellery - anything. Items of value may have a reserve price for owner, anything above that goes to the Club. Enquiries to Dot Butler.|
|November 23||- Wine, Cheese and Nuts Night. Please bring samples of the edibles, labelled. Impress your friends with esoteric delicacies: The Club provides the wine.|
|November 30||- Select your Christmas presents from the books, calendars and photo-essays compiled by members of the Tasmanian Wilderness Society. Wine will be provided - just bring money!|
Dinner before the meeting at Phuoung Vietnamese Restaurant, 87 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest. B.Y.O. 6.30 pm sharp, please!
by Gordon Lee.
“This Club has become sedentary!” When this remark was made to me just recently by someone who ought to know there came to mind the ambitions I had on joining the S.B.W. in 1975. The one thing I wanted was to walk with the “Tigers” of the Club - there were still some left at the time.
Though time was running out for me I managed to achieve that ambition, despite the odd setback, and was able to join Tigers like David Rostron, Bob Hodgson, Fazeley Read, Barry Wallace, Christine Austin and Spiro Hajinakitas and others you don't see around any more. At least in my early days with the Club it was possible to put on a “hard” walk and expect to get some starters. It seems incredible the number of walks that have had to be cancelled in the last two or three years for want of starters - they don't even have to be hard to discourage participants.
You may have noticed in this issue, an article “An Epic Journey of the Past”. If you have not read it I humbly suggest that you do. And if you were to read other accounts of walks in these old magazines you would find that there were walkers, male and female, who were capable of covering 50 to 100 miles (80 to 161 km) in a weekend, starting and finishing the walk with a journey by train.
Is it possible that we (that is the S.B.W.) have become a bunch of Armchair Bushwalkers? Has it become the “in thing” to join S.B.W. just to be able to boast to friends and others that you're a member? Have we no longer got those members in this Club who can rise to the challenge of doing something that requires a little more effort than a pleasant Sunday afternoon stroll?
Where have all the Tigers gone?
YALWAL - Bundundah Creek - Corroboree Flat (Base camp). 18/19/20 NOVEMBER.
TONY MARSHALL and BILL HOLLAND are arranging talks on Map Reading, Camp Craft and First Aid on this weekend, as a help for Prospective Members.
Please pass this information on to any Prospectives you may meet on any trips.
CONGRATULATIONS to Geoff and Chris Davidson on the birth of their first child, a son, Alex James on 23rd September.
WANTED by George Gray - a copy of the S.B.W. magazine for August '82 and also one for August '83.
by Fazeley Read.
3. A blow
4. A tool
5. Judy's mate
1. A vegetable
2. A sheep
3. A fowl
4. The ocean
5. Often dropped
Answer next month.
by Barbara Bruce.
“On with the dance! Let joy be unconfined!” - Lord Byron.
It is a beautiful thing to be with bushwalkers at a dance (ball). Their energy, exhilaration and good health are a delight to the senses.
About 50 S.B.W. members and friends attended this year's Ball on the warm Friday of 23rd September. Both the heat and the sound rose above normal levels. Doors and windows were flung open on account of the heat and the sound monitors killed off the music whenever it exceeded a certain decibel range.
Once the dancing was under way it did not take long for the night to fly. Alcohol was out of place but orange juice, cider and mineral water were high on the consumption list, along with the tasty morsels brought by the ladies. There wasn't much left over.
During the band breaks Gordon Lee organised …. “ball” games…. of course!! He refereed the men in a form of touch football and had the ladies competing in team games with balloons.
And there were the usual door prizes, spot prizes and raffles. Don't ask me who won - I can't remember. But it wasn't any of us.
Some of the Rambler group came dressed in the theme of the evening - “After the holocaust” - and looked grotesque in their muted colours of white, green, blue with black, their malformed bodies and visible skin disorders.
Perhaps the above quote should read - “On with the dance - let joy be unrefined”.
The following letter was received at the October Committee Meeting. It has been decided to publish it in the magazine, and I would welcome comments from members prepared to give it some thought.
26th September, 1983.
The Sydney Bush Walkers.
Over the last year I have been aware of how the Club membership is growing, and how these extra numbers have placed extra work on the office bearers and also the magazine collating group. I don't think, for various reasons, that it would be a good thing to try to restrict the numbers of people in the Club, so my concern has been for how the work load might be reduced. I have a few suggestions in this respect, and am bringing them forward for Committee to consider. The first would require a constitutional amendment, and if Committee is in favour of it, I would hope that someone an Committee would sponsor it, because as far as I personally am concerned, it makes no difference.
This suggestion is that we have Quarterly General Meetings, in March, June, September and December, instead of the present monthly ones. Quarterly General Meetings would probably be longer, as three months' correspondence and reports would have to be presented and these reports might have to be considerably curtailed; and new members might have to wait for a couple of months before they could be welcomed at a meeting, so that there might well be ten or twelve new members coming forward. However new members' membership takes effect from the Committee Meeting at which they are accepted, so it would not make much difference to them. The savings in work for the President and Secretary if there were only four General Meetings per year instead of twelve, is obvious. Committee Meetings would still be held monthly and all Club business would be done then, as is the case at Present.
One of the two extra Wednesdays available every three months could be made a regular Members' Slides Night. This would be pleasant for members who take slides and like to have them shown in the Clubroom, and would be no more boring.than a General Meting is - that is, for people who find General Meetings and slides nights boring.
The other free Wednesday could be set aside, as the third Wednesday of February, May, August and November for a “Magazine & Walks Programme Collating Night”. If the third Wednesday occurs before, say, the 20th of the month, the fourth Wednesday could apply. This double collating is especially hard work for the Magazine group, as 700 Walks Programmes have to be collated and 450 of them inserted, in the 450 magazines which also have to be collated, wrapped and sorted for posting all on the one night. If this work could be done in the Clubroom, there would be more room, plenty of tables and chairs, more helpers (hopefully) as the Clubroom is more centrally located; members could still come along and talk without being obliged to help, if that is not their thing. This would all have to be done under the direction of the Magazine Production Manager (Helen Gray), who would still have to look after the other eight collating nights per year, in a private home as at present. However, having the extra big collating night, done in the Clubroom would surely be easier rather than harder.
Even if the Quarterly General Meeting idea is not carried, the other suggestions are still possible, and might help the Social Secretary as well as the Magazine Production Manager.
Although it is very many years since I have been on the Club Committee, I am very aware of how much hard work is undertaken by the various people who make the Club run so successfully, and that is why I am putting forward these suggestions, hoping that they might be useful.
Sincerely, KATH BROWN
1, NUMBER OF MEMBERS. During the last five years the Club membership has increased from 271 active members at January 1978 to 397 active members at January 1983 that is 126 more members or an increase of 47%.
(Note: This figure is different from the number of magazines produced as a married couple receives only one copy; on the other hand, extra magazines are produced for sale to non-active members, prospective members. and also to sell in camping gear shops.)
2, NUMBER OF MEETINGS.
(a) All office-bearers and committee members are expected to attend 12 Committee Meetings per year.
(b) The President, Secretary, Treasurer and certain other office bearers are also expected to attend 12 General Meetings per year.
© Some members of the Committee (including President and Secretary) are on the Coolana Committee which has several meetings per year.
(d) Federation Delegates on Committee also attend the Federation Meetings 10 or 11 per year.
(e) Magazine collating nights are attended by volunteers, but among these are usually some members of the Committee. Number of magazine collating nights - 12 per year.
If you have regard for the Welfare and preservation of the wildlife and natural beauty of this country you can further the cause by buying the following from the Colong Committee:
THE NEW SOUTH WALES WILDERNESS CALENDAR.
A fine colour photograph by Henry Gold for each month. Space beneath each date for noting engagements or reminders.
PRICE $7.95, including postage.
A beautifully produced hardbound edition of 288 pages featuring an extensively researched text by Peter Prineas, former Director of the National Parks Association of New South Wales, and 110 large format duotone photographs by Henry Gold. The book also contains more than 20 detailed maps, an index and is extensively referenced.
The book covers 22 wilderness areas in eastern New South Wales, and these include most of the best walking areas. It draws extensively on the “Sydney Bushwalker” magazine in its description of pioneering trips.
PRICE $24.95, including postage.
HOW THE RAINFOREST WAS SAVED.
This book should be of interest to all active conservationists, because it gives a detailed description of the conduct of a very difficult, but successful campaign. It is also a fine example of citizen action.
PRICE $5, including postage.
THE COLONG BULLETIN.
Subscriptions to the Bulletin, and the donations which usually accompany them are the chief source of the Committee's funds.
ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION $5.
The Wilderness Calendar and “Wild Places” are publications of great appeal to most people, conservationists or not. “How the Rainforest Was Saved, or an annual subscription to the Colong Bulletin, would be an appropriate present for wilderness enthusiasts.
These publications are available from the Colong Committee, 18 Argyle Street, Sydney, 2000.
Alex Colley will deliver the calendar and “Wild Places” to the club room to save you 95c postage.