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.
|Editor||Ainslie Morris, 45 Austin Street, Lane Cove, 2066. Telephone 428,3178.|
|Business Manager||Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2118. Telephone 871,1207.|
|Production Manager||Helen Gray.|
|Printers||Phil Butt & Barry Wallace.|
|Paul H. Barnes, O.A.M.||by Dot Butler||2|
|Mittagong to Katoomba, Easter 1985||Peter Miller||3|
|Hinchinbrook Island National Park||Reg Alder||8|
|Two Tracks - A Century Apart||Ainslie Morris||12|
|“I Wunt Be Druv”||Paddy Pallin & Wal Roots||14|
|The Story of the Bone||Dorothy Lawry||15|
|A Walk in Norway, Summer '83||Chris Steers||18|
|Unfinancial Members||Carol Bruce||19|
|Social Programme||Bill Holland||20|
|Eastwood Camping Centre||11|
by Dot Butler.
Paul has been an active member of the S.B.W. since 1941. His interest in conservation was inspired by those early, now almost legendary Club members, such as the late Myles J. Dunphy, O.B.E., Maurie Berry and Marie Byles.
In 1950 he became the Club's delegate to the Federation of Bushwalking Clubs. Six years later he became Federation President and remained in this office until 1959. Between 1955 and 1971 he was a member of the Federation's Conservation Bureau.
In 1957 he joined the National Parks Association of N.S.W., of which he is now an Honorary Life member. In 1967 he was elected Sydney Branch President, from 1968 to 1972 was State President, and since then Vice President. He was a member of the N.S.W. National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council from its foundation in 1968 to 1983. From 1975 to 1979 he was the chairman of the Australian National Parks Council, and from 1982 to date has been the N.P.A.'s delegate to the Australian Committee of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
By leasing “Morella Karong” on Heathcote Creek, the Sydney Bush Walkers had, with the Mountain Trails Club, paved the way for the creation of the Heathcote Primitive Area. Paul became a trustee and was Trust Secretary from 1961 to 1972 (Bill Hall was also a trustee). From 1978 to 1983 he was a member of the Heathcote National Park Advisory Committee and Chairman from 1978 to 1982.
Another S.B.W. conservation project was the Blue Mountains National Park. Paul became a trustee of this park in 1962, and in 1972 a member of the Blue Mountains National Park Advisory Committee. He became Deputy Chairman in 1975 and is now Chairman.
In January last year Paul was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division “For service to conservation”.
Alex Colley, the other S.B.W. recipient of the O.A.M., was written up in our June 1984 issue of the magazine.
[ Photo titled “S.B.W. walk on Wolgan River October Long Weekend 1941” with Reg Alder, Hilma Galliott, Tim Coffey, Bill Hall, Dot English, Laurie Raynor, Elsa Isaacs, Norm Hillyer, Bill Whitney, Betty Isaacs, Rolley Cotter, John Junter, Joan Atthill, Beryl English, Irving Calnan. ]
[ Photo titled “Sydney Bush Walkers at Government House” with Paul Barnes, O.A.M., Dot Butler, Frances Colles, Alex Colley, O.A.M. ]
by Peter Miller.
Leader: Peter Miller.
Walkers: Barry Wallace, Jan Mohandas, Hans Stichter, Ainslie Morris, Mike Reynolds, John Newman, Herb Lippmann, Elka Rebeach, Tim Rannard, Fazeley Read, Ray Hookway, Barbara Bruce, David Rostron.
Total distance: 100 kilometres.
Total climbing: 2,860 metres.
Maps: (all 1:25000) - Hilltop (HLT), Nattai (NAT), Bindook (BIN), Yerranderie (YER), Kanangra (KAN), Bimlow (BIM), Jenolan (JEN), Jamison (JAM), Katoomba (KAT).
“Barry,” I said, “there has to be an easier way to get a drink at Aroneys than this.” Barry and I along with ten of the walkers listed above had just finished a five-day walk from Hilltop and were approaching the hot chocolates and cool drinks that had been luring us on over all those kilometres of track, fire trail, river bank, and rocky mountain top.
But perhaps I should begin at the beginning.
Fourteen of us got off to an eight o'clock start from our camp spot on the fire trail fourteen kilometres past Hilltop on the Nattai Road (HLT 597047). We had driven out the night before by bus and station waggon and my son Robert stayed the night with us. We had gone to bed late after watching the almost full moon make the rain drops on the gum leaves glow like diamonds.
But it was now early morning and we had all that stern walking business ahead of us so we set off down the fire trail at a good pace. We followed the trail down to where it meets the river (NAT 559093) and after three crossings we walked along the true left bank and bisected Travis Gully (NAT 569128). The weather was hot and very humid and the packs were heavy so it was hard going up the gully with the rocks slippery after the recent rain. We were heading for Beloon Pass which Barry, Bill Capon, Bob Milne and I had located on an exploratory walk some weeks before.
We made reasonable time up the gully and stopped for lunch at the creek junction just below the pass. We had a heavy shower of rain so I came in for the usual leg pulling for not arranging better weather. We walked up to the pass (NAT 549130) and had an excellent view of the country we were going to cross on the way to Katoomba. The weather looked decidedly unpromising with grey clouds and rain ahead but it cleared away and we had a fine afternoon.
The western side of Beloon Pass drops down quite steeply so we zigzagged down in small groups to avoid injury from falling rocks. The hillside levelled out and we continued down to a fire trail which led us to a ford across the Wollondilly River (NAT 511135). When we tried to do this trip in 1984 the Wollondilly had been over three metres deep and uncrossable but this time it was only up to our calves.
Two rivers down and four to go. We followed the fire trail to the Jooriland River and thankfully put the packs down (NAT 497138). We were tired but happy with our first day's walk. It was the night of the full moon and as we were camped on a clear grassy spot we really appreciated it.
We set off across the river and followed Sheepwalk Drive up to NAT496167, then headed west along a faint track that climbed a delightful open ridge which gave us good views back across the Wollondilly to Beloon Pass, Bonnum Pick and the Burragorang Walls. The track led up towards Southern Peak and then down to the abandoned town of Twin Peaks where we had a short pause before heading off to Yerranderie. On the way we saw numerous four-wheel drive vehicles and their exhaust fumes rather spoiled that part of the day.
As another storm was approaching we opted for an early lunch. We quickly lit a fire and rigged two tent flies so by the time the storm struck we were quite dry if rather cramped for space.
After lunch we continued on to Yerranderie, where we stopped to sign the visitors book, and then down across the Tonalli River and up the road to Byrnes Gap. At this point Herb decided to leave the party as he had to get home early, so he set off along the Scott's Main Range road. By now it was 3.00 and too late to go up onto the Axe Head Range, so we kept going until we found water and a bearable camp site at YER 406247. Barry found a much better camp site at about YER 411247 but it was some distance away and there was little enthusiasm for walking any further, so we made do where we were near the road.
And that night we had our accident. A billy of near boiling water had been left a couple of metres away from the fire and John accidentally stepped into it and scalded his foot. The recent graduates from the St. John's Ambulance first-aid course did all the right things with cold water and dry dressings, and doped up with Panadois John spent a fairly comfortable night but it was obvious that he could not continue the walk.
John and Hans left early and walked back to the four-wheel-drive hut at Byrne's Gap and organised a lift for John back to Yerranderie. After a cup of tea and a talk the rest of us headed tip towards Gander Head on the Axe Head Range. Ray was not feeling well so he went back to Yerranderie with John. They were given a lift by the Ranger to Penrith station. On the way they saw some beautiful country not normally accessible to walkers.
The walk along the Axe Head Range was really the highlight of the trip. It was a bright, sunny day and David led us along the top in his usual competent manner. We could see right back to Beloon Pass to the south-east and north to Katoomba, which was just a hazy mark on the farthest horizon. We were surrounded by the most spectacular mountain scenery, we had perfect weather and I thought how lucky I was to be able to walk in such a wonderful place with the best of companions.
But, magnificent though the views were, time was pressing and we had to move on. We headed north-east along the range and down the ridge running to Butcher's Creek which we reached in time for lunch at 12.30, (YER 432302). After a welcome swim we climbed up to that horrible, hard and boring but rather useful Scott's Main Range road and pounded along it for nearly five kilometres to Sandy Creek Ridge (RAN 456352). With Barry and David navigating we followed the ridge down to the Kowmung and camped beside the dry Sandy Creek. Again we had a welcome swim and another delightful camp spot.
We had a 7.30 start and set off down the Kowmung passing several walkers either still in bed or cooking breakfast. We went down to the Ti-willa Creek junction and filled up for the dry climb over Mt. Wonga to the Cox.
We left the Kowmung at BIM 467424 and climbed up a very steep track to Mt. Wonga. The track, aptly named Hell Hill by Bert Carlon, was for taking cattle between the two rivers and, though steep, it saves hours of river walking. On the top of Mt. Wonga we walked through an interesting patch of turpentine forest which was quite lush and damp compared with the barren ridge we had just climbed.
Once again the weather was very still and we perspired copiously. An old blazed trail leads across the area BIM 467453 to the track running down Bungalooloo ridge which begins at about BIM 463457. Tim and Ainslie had been across the track before but it was new country to most of us.
Down on the Cox we had another swim and baked in the hot sun while we had lunch. Out came the maps again as we pondered on the alternative ways of getting back to Katoomba. David took off after lunch as he had to get back to Sydney that evening. We briefly toyed with the idea of climbing up Spotted Dog Ridge to Splendour Rock but the hot, sultry weather and an approaching storm put an end to that suggestion. We took the soft option of going down the Cox to (JEN 453487) and camping on a lush green area beside the river.
We pitched the tents and hurried inside for shelter as a violent electrical storm crackled and boomed overhead. David had a nail-biting time as he was on Mt. Debert near the power lines while the lightning was striking. After the storm we emerged from the tents and spent the evening around the fire fighting off enormous ants which were at least one metre between the eyes with nippers to match.
We were up at 5.30 and away by 7.00. I rose to a cool, misty morning to see Hans by the fire which was sending a long plume of smoke into the air, the trees looming out of the mist in the half light and the moon hanging low in the sky - superb. We moved off into the mist and crossed the Cox (river number six and only knee deep) and started the long climb up White Dog ridge, JAM 458485.
The Cox valley was filled mist and the ridges stood out in rows. Each side creek was also filled with white mist which was shining in the early morning sun. After a rest at Medlow Gap we went over Mt. Debert to Tarro's Ladders and so on to Narrow Neck. It was a glorious day and between the columns of mist rising out of the valley we could see back to the south over some of the country we had covered in the last four days.
The walk along Narrow Neck was enjoyable with bright sunshine and large tumultuous clouds adding to the beautiful views. Ray was waiting for us with a bag of oranges and these were very welcome to the remaining ten grubby, thirsty walkers plodding back along the road.
And so we got to Aroneys. Please if anyone knows an easier way to get there - do let me into the secret.
Mittagong (all right, Hilltop) to Katoomba is one of the most enjoyable trips I have done. It is fairly long and a bit tiring in places but with early starts five days are ample. Next time I will plan a route which does not include Yerranderie as road bashing and sharing your air-space with four-wheel drive vehicles detracts from the wilderness experience.
Most importantly - go with a good group. I would like to thank:- Barry, for help with the exploration of Beloon Pass and general navigation; Jan for sharing the tent load and in generous good humour; Hans for laughs and companionship; Ainslie for photography and first-aid; Mike for quiet good humour and trust in the leader; John for conversation and being a good patient; Herb for organising the bus; Elka for staying with us; Tim for quiet, sensible conversation and help with navigation; Fazeley for her refined jokes and unfailing good humour; Ray for his vintage jokes; Barbara for singing and general chit-chat; and last but by no means least David for help with navigation, sound advice and being unfailingly good company at all times.
[ Map ]
by Reg Alder.
Hinchinbrook Island first sighted by Captain Cook was so mountainous that it was thought to be part of the mainland. This illusion was dispelled some seventy years later with the discovery of the Hinchinbrook Passage, a narrow strait lined with mangroves separating its 42 km length from the Queensland coast between Ingham and Cardwell. The backbone of the island is capped with precipitous peaks of up to 1121 metres within 3 km of the Barrier Reef side of the island. The 1:50 000 map Hillock Point and the 1:100 000 map Cardwell are essential for finding your way along the island and for locating possible sources of water.
I had been invited to join a party comprising Tim Coffey, Dot Butler, Paul Howard, Ron Knightley and Alex Colley. It was going on a combined yachting and walking holiday of seven weeks' duration, but I declined as seven weeks seemed too long to be away and I was not particularly enamoured of the idea of a yacht cruise. Later, circumstances changed, and the period away was shortened to five weeks as Alex Colley had to return to Sydney for the investiture of his Order of Australia Medal for services to conservation and the cruise in Peter Levander's yacht was reduced to getting to and from Hinchinbrook.
Transport from Sydney was in a Range Rover and we travelled with some diversions because of floods over inland roads to Rockhampton and then by the Bruce Highway to Cardwell, arriving with a day to spare and the thought of whether the yacht would be able to keep its rendezvous for 8 am on August 10. There were some misgivings as it could not be sighted at the moorings at Cardwell but by 8.30 a distant mast was recognised as possibly belonging to Arrow. By nine it was alongside but with provisioning and taking on water it was mid-morning before we set sail, and motored when the breeze became too light, down the very picturesque passage on a gorgeous day.
Our landing point was on the southern end of Picnic Beach, opposite Lucinda, the sugar port of Ingham. A 6 km jetty juts out to sea for ships to be loaded with sugar. Disembarking from the yacht was by a small rubber raft which could take only one person and two packs, or vice versa. It took some time to off-load the party of six and their packs. Water had to be carried as we had no knowledge of its availability on that end of the island. Feeling somewhat like Robinson Crusoe, but with no signs of any footprints, we set off along the long beach, committed to our fate to walk the full length of the island.
Permits are needed to camp on the island, and are issued for seven days only, they may be obtained from Cardwell. Camping is not permitted for more than one overnight stay in any one place. By the nature of the island I cannot see how these conditions could be regulated as there are virtually no tracks, and access to the various beaches is only easily achieved by sea.
When we were looking from the beach into the rain forest for a campsite our feeling of isolation was broken when we sighted a picnic table through a break in the trees. A beach 6 kms long and one isolated table and a national parks sign both almost hidden except from almost immediately opposite them. The particular spot must have been well known to locals since there were no natural features to guide you to it. The clearing in the rain forest was made use of and we made our first camp. To conserve our fresh water the vegetables were cooked in salt water but the result was rather salty for discriminating palates. Most water bags had leaked and from this we learnt that they will only hold water if they are pre-wetted and kept damp all the time.
The next day after 5 kms we came to an estuary which required swimming our packs across. As I landed over oyster-covered rocks I was surprised to find two of our party about to climb into a launch for the crossing. Two men had been up the estuary to a waterfall and on coming around the bend were probably as surprised as we were to see each other. The beach was now finished and with a heavily indented coastline it was obvious from the map contours that a coastal walk besides being longer was out of the question. A straight-line ridge and sidling walk of 5 kms across to Zoe Bay seemed the logical route even though it meant a 200 metre climb. It was our first experience of rain and open forest on the island, and any thoughts of easy progress were soon dispelled for in seven hours we had only advanced some 2.5 kms. A fortunate twist of a creek as we finished sidling around a ridge before coming to the watershed saddle gave us water for the night camp. The site had to be cleared of debris to provide the minimum of space needed for our tents.
Michael Morcombe's “Australia's National Parks” in its descriptive summary variously describes walking activities in the national parks as nature trail walks, hiking, walking, bush walks, bushwalking, rough bushwalking and rugged bushwalking. The walking activities on Hinchinbrook are the only ones he describes as 'extremely rugged bushwalking into a largely unexplored trackless mountainous interior'! It was little use to read this on my return.
The next day the saddle was fairly level for a while and as is always the case we found a better campsite within a short distance. The ease of advance ended there as we encountered a mat of swamp grass which seriously hindered progress. The ground was solid underfoot but the grass was over my head and the only way through it was to push until you could go no further, stand back, push it down with your hands until your feet could complete the operation. Then push in once more and start all over again. Being the youngest of the party I was given this job which had to be continued until we could enter the creek bed. Monsoon rains scour the creek beds clear and if one lies on your route it is the best way to walk. Soon we were happily rock-hopping all the way down past a waterfall and tempting pools to Zoe Bay. On the way down we met Margaret Butler, who had come to Zoe Bay in Peter's yacht with Wade and the children, walking up the creek to climb a nearby spur. Yesterday's distance was all over in a couple of hours.
We could now see the yacht with its sail up but apparently stationary on the far side of the bay. On arrival we found it had stranded trying to make the estuary for shelter from the chop of the bay. By lunch time it was well and truly careened by the 3 metre tide and had to wait until evening to be refloated in the light of a full moon and gain an anchorage in the deep lagoon. This cast doubt on whether it could pick us up at the northern end of the island unless it could escape before the next extreme high tide in a week's time. As it happened, by marking the channel an earlier sailing was possible and we met on time. There are however regular daily launches from the northern end of the island.
[ Map of Hinchinbrook Island. ]
While at Zoe Bay Wade Butler and a crew member attempted to climb Mt. Bowen from the southern flank but met cliffs and returned at 10 pm, without torches. It was a harrowing experience of 13 kms for the yacht man as it took him some three days to recover. The island is not won easily.
We went on to the next bay with Peter, hoping to climb Mt. Bowen from the northern side. One look at the mountain and its adjoining peak The Thumb ruled out any possibility of an easy climb up their side flanks. The rest of the party opted out except for Dot and Peter. I was particularly shy of the possibility of any rock climbing since on that same day as I came around a small headland I dropped some 3 metres down a cleft into the sea. I was wearing Dunlop walking boots which have the much publicised jogger tread. On a cursory examination this tread would appear to offer an excellent grip. In practice, however, the wedge-shaped pattern has no grip at all if only part of the foot is placed on a slope where the lower edge of the boot cannot grip. Making a simple stretch step, my landed foot suddenly broke away and down I went, pack and all. No damage to myself except for a scratched arm and a sore elbow. A lucky escape.
Our climbers soon found that their proposed route was impossible and took to the creek which led up past the mountain to the saddle behind it. This proved negotiable but time-consuming, and they spent the night, food and tentless, alongside a fire just below the summit. A direct descent from the summit without ropes was out of the question and they returned by the same route, arriving back at noon. They had only travelled 12 kms from the previous morning. By this time we were expecting to have to mount a rescue party and it would have been quite a problem as their proposed route as drawn on the beach was well away from their actual one.
We were now in a section which was used by walkers and were able to follow rudimentary tracks for most of the time up to Ramsay Beach. Here launches bring tourists across Missionary Bay 6 kms through channels in the mangroves almost to the frontal dunes of the ocean. At this point we met a party of James Cook University walkers who advised us there was little possibility of water on the peninsula at the end of the 8.5 km Ramsay Beach.
Filling up our water buckets we set off for what appeared to be an easy day. The beach took 1 hour 20 minutes to 2 hours to walk and we settled down to swim and lunch before attempting the 3 km walk across a low saddle through which there was supposed to be a track. If there ever was one it had long since disappeared and we had to bush bash again through the forest up to the saddle. This took 3 hours and then we had to find water in some pools of the creek and a small fresh-water lagoon at the beach. Pushing through scrub and balancing while carrying a full water bucket is no easy task and we were wet through with the afternoon's exertions.
The map showed possibly beach along the next stretch. There may have been at extreme low tide but it was 3 hours of rock-hopping for us, with some very large ones to go over or under. We then had a stretch of beach walking until we joined up with the made tourist tracks of the northern end.
And so back to civilisation and improvements. The bare road and excavations for the unimaginative fibro cabins of the resort, the tinsel of the dining room and the bar, canned music, the pumped water in the swimming pool and the hum of generators soon brought us back to what can happen in the name of development. A barge was being loaded with six weeks' accumulation of bottles and cans. At least they were not dumped on the island!
Hichinbrook is true wilderness, nature is in equilibrium and must remain so.
Lightweight Tents - Sleeping Bags - Rucksacks - Climbing & Caving Gear - Maps - Clothing - Boots - Food.
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3 Trelawney St., Eastwood, NSW, 2122. Phone 858 2775.
by Ainslie Morris.
“Some time ago the Sydney Mail printed the story of a trip by a gentleman and his wife from Katoomba to Jenolan Caves - at least, Jenolan was the objective. They set out with light hearts, provisioned with four pears and two lemons, and expecting to find tea-houses at easy stages along the route. Disaster and disillusionment followed, of course. Such folk take risks even in Centennial Park.” Many are the amusing, informative, and delightful accounts of walks done nearly a century ago along The Six-Foot Track. The book thus subtitled is called From Katoomba To Jenolan Caves by Jim Smith, a Katoomba teacher and ecologist.
His book is about a track surveyed in March, 1884, as a bridle trail, and was in active although declining use until 1921. It fell into disrepair, was in parts desecrated, and also made inaccessible until its reopening in 1979. Now a route is open as near as practicable to the original, down Nellie's Glen, through Megalang Valley, across the Cox's River and Little River, up Black Range and down to the Caves. It can be walked comfortably in two days, or in sections.
This six-foot wide track was once favoured by the Governor of N.S.W., Lord Carrington and his wife, who stayed at The Carrington (named after him) at Katoomba, before riding the 26 miles (39 km) on horseback in 1887. The trip was partly political, as the track had been made at Government expense to attract tourists to go to the Caves via Katoomba rather than Mt. Victoria or Tarana. The first person to use the track after the survey, and in the same year, was 'Irlswith', who wrote of his one-day walk. He didn't stop for a meal, but did stop to admire the ferns and cliffs and waterfslls of Nellie's Glen.
Thousands followed over the decades, many only visiting Nellie's Glen, a beauty spot destroyed by attempts to build a road down it in 1967 and 1968. The book deals with this conservation issue in detail, and a third of the book consists of appendices as fascinating as the main chapters on this and other aspects.
Wilf Hilder's personal archives on bush-walking history allowed Jim Smith to greatly improve the book with many first-hand accounts of people who did the track. He walked a large section of the track in 1966. Alan Carey of the Lands Department did the work which led to the track's reopening. He is now working on a track from Lapstone to Bathurst!
And why walk along the Six-Foot Track? The lovely old black and white photographs reproduced in the book would persuade you as would the many autobiographical accounts, such as those of the Pickwick Club in 1886 with the first ladies. The photo of their long dress and swags is - well - charming. The destination, of course, was The Caves which were considered among the best in the world.
I would have liked to see a clear map of the past and present routes, but this is small criticism of an attractively presented book, full of the thorough historical research of an area often walked and much loved by bushwalkers. A book to treasure.
Second Back Row Press, 50 Govett Street, KatooMba, 2780, or the author, 65 Fletcher Street, Wentworth Falls, 2782. $12.95 plus $1 for postage.
And for 1988 - Sydney To Newcastle Or Cessnock:
This track has been investigated for the past four years by Leigh Shearer-Heriot and Garry McDougall, who came to the Club to show their colour slides of it. Starting from Huntley's Point and following the Lane Cove River Valley to Thornleigh, it continues through Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Brisbane Waters National Park, Ourimbah State Forest and the Watagan State Forest, 200 km in all. Bush and farmlands of scenic and historical interest give great variety to the route, which cannot fail to grab the imagination of bushwalkers. The diagrammatic map gives an indication of the proposed trail.
Good luck to the Sydney to the Hunter Project.
[ Map of Sydney to Cessnock and Newcastle Track ]
The pig banner with the motto “I Wunt Be Druv” is at present in the Clubroom for any interested and nostalgic person to see. In the March issue, the oldies were challenged to send us the story behind it. It turns out to have everything to do with Annual Re-union entertainment, a tradition still enjoyed at the March 1985 Re-union.
Here are the replies, one from Paddy Pallin, the other from Roving Reporter Dot who interviewed Wally Roots.
Here's my version of the story. In 1936 I was on the committee that was responsible for arranging Annual Re-union entertainment. It was decided to pretend that the retiring Committee would rebel and refuse to give way to the incoming Committee. Naturally the newly-elected Committee insisted on its democratic rights. This was the theme and as might be expected a whole lot of funny business was worked into good entertainment.
It worked so well that the following Re-union it was decided to elaborate on the same theme and the war cry of the retiring Committee was “Wunt be druv”. I think Edgar Yardley suggested this and so naturally he was given the job of creating a poster of a Pig Rampant on a field of Azure Were (as you were), with the motto “I Wunt Be Druv”.
The early S.B.W. formulated certain rules and the Committee felt it was their duty to enforce them, for example “No Co-tenting” - “Thou shalt not enter into Tentation”.
As in all similar organizations there are always a few members who don't like to be told what they should and should not do. Seeing that almost everyone in the Club was an individualist this attitude caused a modest amount of friction. It was really all a lot of fun and caused no cleavage in the Club.
At a General Meeting Edgar Yardley made the point “The Committee can tell us what they like but “We Wunt Be Druv!”.
At the Re-union of 1936 I was the newly appointed President. We had produced a show for which my wife Phil and I wrote the poems. In front of the camp fire appeared a solemn procession - the newly appointed officials - clothed in robes of purest white, each bearing a snow-white lily. Slowly they filed in and were introduced in the following terms:-
“Here are the dear selected few;
Here's the Committee selected by you.
In purest white and with lilies too,
The gift of a 'nonymous member.”
This called for a suitable response, so the white-robed figures (who looked like ghosts) replied:-
“Pure, pure and righteous are we,
Pure, pure and wowsery,
The fairest blossom on the tree
Is not so pure as this Committee!”
A whole lot more in similar strain followed, still remembered by us oldies after 50 years.
by Dorothy Lawry.
[The Bone, formerly used as a gavel at our meetings (and now replaced by a gong), has a history intertwined with the history of the formation of bushwalking clubs before half of our present members were even a twinkle in the campfire light. Ed.]
Once there had been a Warragamba Walking Club in N.S.W. but I don't know much about it. I understand it faded out during World War 1. During the 1920s there was only one walking club - the exclusive Mountain Trails Club, founded in 1914 by Myles Dunphy. It was limited to 26 men, with admission to membership only by invitation. There were at that time quite a number of small groups of friends of both sexes, also couples, walking and camping.
In the second half of 1927 Jack Debert wrote to the paper suggesting these small groups should unite and form one club. The Mountain Trails Club wrote in reply offering the use of their clubroom one night in October 1927 for a meeting to consider the suggestion. That proved to be the inaugural meeting of such a club. Soon a name had to be chosen; Maurie Berry's suggestion was chosen - The Sydney Bush Walkers. From that choice gradually a new word came into the language - bushwalking.
In March 1934 Tom Herbert was first elected President. He was the first to be formally decorated with the symbols and given The Bone to use as a symbol of his presidential authority. Briefly, what led to that event was this:-
The foundation members were all experienced bushwalkers. Then in 1930 the Depression arrived in Sydney with its resultant unemployment. Soon someone hit on the idea of running “mystery trips” on Sundays, which were patronised by hundreds of young people. A train would be chartered, and for a very small amount for each passenger they would be carried to an unknown destination. There they would all leave the train and, led by the organiser of this idea, would walk a few miles, mostly by road, to a suitable place to enjoy the lunches they had brought from home. After a rest to digest this food, they would walk a short distance to a railway station, where a similar train would be waiting to take them back to Sydney. One such trip was to Waterfall and back from Stanwell Park.
All these hundreds of trippers were completely ignorant of the bush. The small S.B.W. feared its members might be inundated by a flood of new members from these trippers, so took steps to protect themselves. A sub-committee was appointed to arrange a form of protection. The decision was to have “prospective members” who had to do a certain number of “test walks” “to the satisfaction of the leader” before they could become full members.
The result was that, instead of keeping the numbers down, it became so worthwhile to be able to boast that one was a Member of The Sydney Bush Walkers that before long the club had 200 members; and the few other small clubs had increased their membership with people who did not make our grade, or who found friends there and did not want to be as strenuous as The Sydney Bush Walkers.
There was one man who applied to join our club who was a good walker but who proved to be incompatible to some of the good foundation members, so the committee turned him down - of course, without stating its reason. Undeterred, some months later he had his “name put on the board” again. At the following Annual General Meeting there was a big row because the Committee had turned him down for the second time. A number of our Members left the club and formed a new one with him as president. Many other members also joined that club but remained S.B.W.s. This was good for the bushwalking movement but not a happy state for us to go to the Re-union. There, in the afternoon, a small group of men went off to try and devise some entertainment for the campfire that might help to draw the members together.
This Re-union was held at Euroka and away on the side of the crater these men found the skeleton of a heifer. Ernie Austen was a government meat inspector and he made a wonderful speech as he decorated the newly elected President - Tom Herbert - with the various bones. This bone was such and such and served this purpose for the animal. It could also symbolise such and such for the Club, etc. etc. Unfortunately, no record of that speech was made at the time.
Some years later, in March 1942, during World War II, I, Dorothy Lawry, was elected President. I was not decorated with the original bones but with the set of cattle horn symbols carved and donated to the Club by Harry Savage.
A few years later Charlie Pryde presented me with a small Replica of the Bone, mounted on a black-painted wooden stand, which he had made. Charlie told me that the S.B.W. badge set in the base of the stand was that which was first issued to him, which he had lost but found later after he had bought himself a replacement. He was probably a foundation member or at least a very early one; he had been a member for some time before I joined in 1929. Charlie, when he gave me the Replica of The Bone, said, “You can only have it because you have been a President of the Club”.
Out of this has arisen another Club tradition. The Bone Replica was given to Edna Garrard, second female President of S.B.W. 1945 to 1946. It was to be nearly twenty years before another woman was elected President, and this was Heather Joyce (now White) 1964 to 1965. Then they came in a rush, with Helen Gray from 1976 to 1978, followed by Fazeley Read until 1980. Edna has given Fazeley the Bone Replica, and it is possibly to be expected that she will pass it on to our current President, Barbara Bruce - but all in good time. Ed.
Dorothy Lawry sent the Editor a covering note with her article, and some of her remarks may stir you up enough to answer back. Do you agree?
An extract from the Annual Report of last year's President, Jim Percy, might answer this challenge:-
“Whilst on a recent walk, a long-time member declared, 'The best single thing I ever did was to join Sydney Bush Walkers'. The more I thought about this statement, the more I came to agree. Bush walking becomes such a part of one's life, with days, weekends and holidays dedicated to walks. Social occasions, too, become more and more associated with club members and activities. Our prospectives should perhaps be warned that this pastime they are entering so light-heartedly has the ability to take over one's life.”
[ Picture of a Replica of the “Bone”. ]
The Carved Horn Symbols mentioned in the article illustrate the objects of the Club as defined in the Constitution:-
The symbols, each of which is suspended from a light metal chain, are hung around the neck of the incoming President by an assemblage of Past-Presidents at the Annual Reunion campfire. Finally the Bone is passed on by the retiring President.
[ Pictures of the four symbols ]
by Chris Steers.
Tony Groom, of International Parktours, Queensland, thoughtfully included the land of my ancestors in our walking tour of Europe. One morning we awoke in Ulvik, and after a bunfight with Americans in Brakone Hotel, we left clutching something for lunch as well, and headed up the mountains by local bus. Anne, a local guide, accompanied us, along with her son to translate.
The wildflowers alongside our trail were small and colourful and silver birches were just bursting into leaf. The vertical black walls with a multitude of waterfalls reminded me of The Milford Track. We reached the snowline and were glad for gaiters, even though wet feet were inevitable. Our guides wore calf-high gumboots with a tread, and ploughed through every obstacle.
We climbed in a light, misty drizzle to tarns, and a black and white wilderness where only mosses had a toe-hold, to an almost verticle semicircular wall of rock, with three tongues of snow descending. We zig-zagged up the central tongue, and it did not do to look down to where the white ended and the rocks began, till we could traverse through a passage and climb on rock to a high pass.
Lunchtime passed quickly, and we had to leave the safety of our large rock for further risks. The track, marked all the way with red painted T's, was under snow as we skirted a large frozen lake, with icebergs floating in green water. One section suddenly went thump, and the snow and I collapsed slowly into the icy depths. I just managed to move on to more solid ground.
We descended through low scrub, mosses and birch trees, crossing many streams, icy and calf-deep. The bridge at Mjölfjell had been washed away. Our guides assured us that there was another at Kärdal, and moved rapidly up river, leaving most of the party struggling behind. It was a blessed relief to see the foot bridge over a splendid torrent of white water, and a hike up the road brought us to the Kärdal Pensjionat and a cold beer.
The next day dawned cloudless and other than a few high misty ribbons remained warm and sunny, exposing skin to the risk of sunburn. Tony, our 'soul' guide today, with a local map, kicked steps in the snow to reach the pass, which did not require as much effort as the previous day, having started off about 1500' higher. We looked into icy blue caverns and I had a sneaking suspicion that a troll was watching us. We tried glissading after Tony down steep snow slopes, none too successfully, to reach tussocky country and birch trees.
Lunch was on a large sunny rock beside tumbling white water, and I relished the mountains of goat cheese on rolls, and thermos tea.
When we reached the road we had another 11 km to Gudvangen, so decided to drop. into, the Stalheim Höt, an expensive hotel overlooking the valley, for a beer. The view was reminiscent of Yosemite National Park in California - Half Dome, El Kapitan and the falls were all there in grand style.
Four of us chose to continue by bus, and had time to scrub up in the one and only bathroom in the hotel before the others arrived. Dinner was substantial and a giggle, and I went to bed soon after, but my feet reminded me of their existence for a goodly portion of the night.
We had time for a stroll before the ferry left, seeing nutcracker or nuthatch birds, which sound like a stick run along a picket fence. They dive-bombed us, so must have been nesting. A family of sheep followed us, with the ewe reopening the gate across the bridge by putting her head between the slats and raising the bar.
The day was overcast but still good for viewing the Sognefjord. A brass band of young Norwegians entertained the ferry passengers, along with a choir from Colorado singing Negro spirituals, as we passed small settlements on the 2½ hour trip. We mostly sat in the prow of the boat, or hung over the stern watching seagulls catching bread in flight.
Switzerland was ahead of us, and we hoped that it would not be a let-down after our sojourn in Norway.
by Carol Bruce.
Annual Subscriptions for 1985 were decided upon at the Annual General Meeting. Members who have not paid their subscriptions are now unfinancial!! Club magazines and walks programmes will not be posted to unfinancials.
Please post your annual subscription to:
Sydney Bush Walkers,
Box 4476 G.P.O.,
Subscription Rates are:-
|Household - $11 plus $5 for each extra person in household||$16 (for 2 people)|
|$21 (for 3 people)|
|$26 (for 4 people)|
|Full-time student (unless included in household subscription||$ 9|
|Entrance Fee||$ 3|
|Non-active Member + magazine posted||$ 9|
|Non-active Member (no magazine)||$ 3|
|Prospective Member (for 6 months)||$ 5|
Please add the following names to your list of members:-
Green, Michael, 41 Gould Avenue, Petersham, 2049. Phone 560,2404.
Trimmer, Nancye, 19 Lansdowne Parade, Oatley, 2223. 570,3039.
Sue Young and Steve Long are leaving to live at Sawtell on the North Coast. We wish them all the best in their new life - and keep walking!
by Bill Holland.
Don't forget the mid-Winter Feast at the end of June (Wednesday 26th), bring along your special winter treats - the Club will supplY wine and juices.
July offers an interesting set of social events to fill a five week month. First of all (Wednesday 10th) Roger Browne will host a “Quiz and Games”. This was great fun last year.
Then there is the two night series “Walking, Yesterday and Today” nights of reminiscing for the older members shared with more recent experiences. Photos, wall displays, books/magazines, equipment and slides are welcome. Please note that the 17th July is for the years prior to 1965 and 24th July for 1965 - 1985.
Later in the month, Wednesday 31st July, Ainsley Morris and Hans Stichter will combine to present an instructional “Bush First Aid Workshop”.
The dinner before meeting on the 17th will be at Cheezies Carvery, 116 Willoughby Road, Crow's Nest. Recent dinners have attracted increasing numbers. Try to arrive at 6.30 pm and BYO.
Here is the programme.
|July 3||Committee Meeting|
|July 10||Quiz and Games Night|
|July 17*||Walking, Today and Yesterday (1927-1986)|
|July 24||Walking, Today and Yesterday (1965-1985)|
|July 31||Bush First Aid Workshop|
The Wilderness Society has a request to All Wilderness Photographers in S.B.W. for colour slides of top quality to be duplicated at its expense for inclusion in an audio-visual. Its purpose is to promote the idea of wilderness by touring N.S.W. For details contact Guy Chester at The Wilderness Society, 362 Pitt Street; phone 267 7929, 267 7525.
At the Committee Meeting - Wayne Steele reported on the transfer of Trustees of “Coolana” and will report to the June General Meeting.
New Members Secretary Mike Reynolds requests a member to be available to assist when he is on holiday or in a Committee Meeting. Mike says the job is easy - just sit at the door, talk to Prospectives, and help them with applications and payments.
Note from Kath Brown. Many members think that the Walks Programme as well as the magazine is typed by Kath Brown. This is not so.
Christa Younger types the Walks and Social Programme on stencils using a manual typewriter and it is reproduced on the Club's duplicator, not the off-set printer.
“Daintree - where the rainforest meets the reef”
$24.95 plus $4.00. postage and packing.
Conservationists and professional and amateur photographers have been quick to acclaim the new “Daintree” book, published by the Australian Conservation Foundation, as a pictorial and wildlife classic. They believe it is an outstanding contribution to the fight for one of our last great rainforests.
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This conservation classic with its stunning photography by three of Australia's leading photographers Leo Meier and Dawn & Clifford Frith and its accompanying text by Whitley award-winning nature writer Rupert Russell, will leave no doubt in the mind of the reader as to the importance of the Daintree region and of the urgent need to save it.
Members of conservation and environment groups around Australia can order direct from the Australian Conservation Foundation sales department on the coupon below.
To secure your copy please complete the order form below and post today.
To: Australian Conservation Foundation,
672B Glenferrie Road,
Hawthorn, VIC, 3122.
Tel: (03) 819-2888.
I wish to order …. copies of “Daintree” at $24.95 plus $4.00. postage and packing.
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Daintree. 256 pp. 21 cm x 30cm. Hardcover. Recommended retail price $24.95.
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