SYDNEY BUSHWALKER is a monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers Inc, Box 4476 GPO Sydney 2001. To advertise in this magazine, please contact the Business Manager.
|Editor||Patrick James 5/2 Hardie Street Neutral Bay 2089 Telephone 9953 8384|
|Business Manager||George Mawer. 42 Lincoln Road Georges Hall Telephone 9707 1343|
|Production Manager||Fran Holland|
|Printers||Kenn Clacher, Tom Wenman, Barrie Murdoch, Margaret Niven & Les Powell|
THE SYDNEY BUSH WALKERS INCORPORATED was founded in 1927. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening at 8 pm at Kirribilli Neighbourhood Centre: 16 Fitzroy Street, Kirribilli (near Milsons Point Railway Station). Visitors and prospective members are welcome any Wednesday.
|Public Officer||Fran Holland|
|Walks Secretary||Eddy Giacomel|
|Social Secretary||Peter Dalton|
|Membership Secretary||Barry Wallace|
|New Members Secretary||Jennifer Trevor-Roberts|
|Conservation Secretary||Bill Holland|
|Magazine Editor||Patrick James|
|Committee Members||Suzanne Garland & Don Wills|
|Delegates to Confederation||Jim Callaway & Ken Smith|
In This Issue, No. 757
|P 2||Conservation Corner|
|Management of National Parks by Aboriginal Land Councils|
|Willow Eradication Walks|
|P 4||Army Training in the Grose Valley: Part 2 by Ralph Sutton|
|P 5||Song Book|
|SBW Christmas Party|
|SBW Balmoral Barbecue|
|P 7||Getting my Knickers in Navigation Knots by Elwyn Morris|
|P 8||70th Anniversary Celebrations: in review|
|P 10||A Bicycle in Burgundy by Tom Wenman|
|P 12||November General Meeting by Barry Wallace|
|P 13||Letters, Letters, Letters|
|Illegal Flower Pickers|
P 3 Alpsports
P 6 Eastwood Camping Centre
P 9 Willis's Walkabouts
Back cover Paddy Pallin
If you would like to be involved in Conservation issues please phone Bill Holland, Conservation Secretary on 9484 6636 (business and after hours).
Management of National Parks by Aboriginal Land Councils
by Sean Docker: Land Rights Unit, NSWALC, from The Bushwalker, Nov. 1997
The New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council (NSWALC) welcomed the enactment of the National Parks and Wildlife Amendment (Aboriginal Ownership) Act 1996 . The Act was passed with the unanimous support of both houses of the NSW Parliament and creates a new category of conservation reserve: land owned by Aboriginal people which is leased to the State; and managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NP&WS).
The rights of the public in Aboriginal owned National Parks (AoNP) will be the same as in other National Parks in NSW while the rights of Aboriginal Owners are recognised through ownership and management arrangements. This ensures that the objectives of conservation and public recreation: camping, walking, sight-seeing and picnicking, are as important in AoNP as in other National Parks.
AoNP are to be managed by NP&WS according to a Plan of Management created by the Board of Management of the particular park and not by the Director General of the NP&WS. The Board of Management consists of a majority of Aboriginal Owners and includes representatives of Local Government, NP&WS, a conservation representative, a representative of adjoining land holders and a representative of the Aboriginal Land Council
Aboriginal Owners of the National Parks and other Aboriginal people to whom the owners give permission may hunt and gather fauna and flora with the exception of species protected by threatened species legislation or by the Plan of Management. The leases must acknowledge the rights of the public under the National Parks and Wildlife Act. Further, the Aboriginal Land Council may not sell, mortgage, exchange or dispose of the land.
There are two methods by which new AoNP can be created. Firstly, where State land is claimed by an Aboriginal. Land Council under the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 and is found to also be needed for the essential public purpose of Nature Conservation, the land my become an AoNP. This will involve additions to the National Park estate.
Secondly, where land is already a National Park it can become an AoNP by being placed on Schedule 14 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act. The process for this requires an application being made by any person to the Direct-General of NP&WS, the Director-General making a report to the Minister, the Minister making a recommendation the area be added to Schedule 14 as long as it is at least as significant to Aboriginal people as the other lands on Schedule 14 and an Act of Parliament being passed.
AoNP provide a valuable opportunity for the public to enjoy the usual benefits of land being a National Park as well as the special benefits of aboriginal culture and Aboriginal input into the management of the lands. For their part some Aboriginal people can have their traditional ownership of their land formally acknowledged as well as have the opportunity to have input into the management of those lands.
Willow Eradication Walks from The Bushwalker, Nov. 1997
The Kowmung Committee aims to rid the Kowmung River of introduced plants. While many are beyond our resources to tackle or would require the removal of feral grazing animals to be effective, the eradication of willow trees is something which can be achieved within a couple of years. Already around 20 km of has been targeted with high success rates on follow-up walks. On the weekend 31/01-1/02 1998, we will be completing the missing link between Orange Bluff and Ferny Flat and over Easter we will target upstream of Christies Creek. Both trips will start and finish at Kanagra Walls. The pace of work is never overwhelming and the surrounds are certainly an agreeable work environment. If you're interested contact John Macris 02 9526 7363 (home).
by Ralph Sutton
In Part 1 of this article, published last month, the author described the walk in February 1944 from Scheyville to Blackheath via Richmond, Windsor, Yarramundi, and the Grose River to Blue Gum Forest. In this part the author details some of the historical and geographical information about people, places and events.
The first major European incursion into the Blue Mountains was in 1813 by Gregory Blaxland, William Charles Wentworth and William Lawson. George Evans in 1813/14 surveyed the land from the Blue Mountains to the Macquarie River, beyond Bathurst. The road over the Blue Mountains was built under the supervision of William Cox in 1814.
The Hawkesbury River System
The Hawkesbury River drainage system is over 480 km long. It rises as the Wollondilly River near Crookwell and flows through deep gorges to join the Coxs River, when it becomes the Warragamba River (now flooded by the waters of the Warragamba Dam). Near Wallacia it flows into the Nepean which, at its junction with the Grose River south-west of Richmond, becomes the Hawkesbury River. The Hawkesbury then flows on to the Pacific Ocean at Broken Bay.
Following the completion of the Upper Nepean water catchment scheme, the Water Board in 1925/26 considered alternative schemes which might supplement the Nepean system. One scheme which, in the end was rejected, was to dam the Grose River valley which had a catchment area of some 640 square kilometres.
It is thought that the Dharuq tribe of Aborigines occupied what is now the North Richmond area of the Hawkesbury River at the time of the first settlement in 1788. In March that year Governor Phillip took an exploratory party by boat to Broken Bay. On 17 April, when exploring what is now Middle Harbour - and westward along the north shore of Port Jackson, he recorded: And when about fifteen miles from the Sea Coast, we had a very fine view of the Mountains inland, the Northern-most of which I named Carmarthen Hills, and the Southernmost Lansdown Hills. A mountain between I called Richmond Hill and from the rising of these mountains I did not doubt but that a large River would be found. Richmond Hill was so named, in honour of Lord Richmond. The gap separating the Carmarthen Hills and the Lansdown Hills, as named by Phillip, when he probably was in the Pennant Hills area, is the Grose River Valley. South-west of North Richmond is a hill which is almost certainly to be Phillip's Richmond Hill. In a third expedition Phillip's reconnaissance party reached the area by boat but as rapids in the river prevented his sailing further upstream his party camped at the foot of a “high mountain” on 5 June. On the following morning he climbed with his party to the top of the hill, from where he could see clearly on his left the Lansdown Hills and on his right the Carmarthen Hills. He felt sure that he was on the hill which he had called Richmond Hill. He named the Hawkesbury River after Baron Hawkesbury, the Earl of Liverpool. About that time, on an expedition from Rose Hill (now Parramatta), Captain Watkin Tenth discovered a river as “nearly as wide as the Thames at Putney” which Phillip later named Nepean after Evan Nepean, the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies. At that stage he did not realise that the Nepean and the Hawkesbury were the same river.
Captain William Paterson of the New South Wales Corps, who had arrived in the colony in October 1791, was sent to Norfolk Island as the commander of the detachment located there. In March 1793 he returned to Sydney and, having had wide experience in exploration in South Africa, led an expedition in September to find a way through the mountains to the West. Although he failed to find such a route, he did discover the Grose River and named it after his commanding officer, Major Francis Grose. Equipped with light canoes, his reconnaissance party carried them over the rapids in the Hawkesbury River and over the rapids and waterfalls in the Grose River, then rowed up the latter to its junction [55481 with a tributary which is now named Wentworth Creek.
Shortly after arriving in Sydney in July 1807, Ensign Archibald Bell of the New South Wales Corps purchased the Richmond Hill property  from John Bowman, to whom it had been granted in 1803. A little later he was granted 500 acres, adjoining the land which he had purchased. He named the property Belmont and on it he built a timber home. That house was replaced by a stone house in 1834. Experiencing financial difficulties, Bell sold the property and it was subdivided. When he died about 1837, aged 62, he was buried in Belmont Park with his wife and granddaughter, Elizabeth Georgina Bell. In 1860 Henry Newcomen purchased the property on which the stone house stood. He demolished it and re-built - and later, rebuilt again. The present mansion - the St John of God Hospital - was built on the site in 1889.
Back in Governor Phillip's time the Green Hills area of the Hawkesbury valley became important as it supplied agricultural and pastoral products for the early settlement at Sydney. However, as a result of its flooding in 1806 and the resulting losses of crops and livestock, Governor Lachlan Macquarie, in December 1810, selected the sites for five towns which he believed would be safe from flooding - Castlereagh, Pitt Town, Richmond, Wilberforce and Windsor. On 11 October 1817 he laid the foundation stone of St Matthew's Church in Windsor, which had been designed by Francis Greenway. Gradually the name of Green Hills died away.
In 1856 Captain J. S. Hawkins RE and his party of Royal Sappers and Miners, which had been engaged in survey duties in Tasmania, arrived in Sydney. They were put under command of Lieutenant Colonel George Barney, then Surveyor-General, who set them to work investigating possible extensions to the infant railway system. In February 1857 Hawkins was appointed a Railway Commissioner but, on his departure for England, his detachment of Royal Engineers (which they had become by authority of an Order-in-Council of 17 October 1856), now under command of Sergeant Henry Quodling, was placed under control of the Chief Commissioner of Railways, Captain B. H. Martindale RE, who had arrived in New South Wales in July 1857. One of the tasks which Quodling and his men undertook, under Martindale's newly appointed Engineer-in-Chief John Whitton, was a survey of a possible extension of the railway system up the Grose River valley and by tunnel through the Darling Causeway and then on to Hartley and Lithgow. A labour force of 49 men was allotted to Quodling's team for the construction of a track along the valley. The arduous task was completed in March 1860 but construction of a railway along the Grose River valley was not approved and the “Engineers Track” gradually fell into disrepair. In 1892 a water supply pumping station for Richmond was established on the Hawkesbury River, just below its junction with the Grose River.
On 20 April 1911 the SS Paloona arrived in Sydney Harbour with twelve youths, aged from 17 to 20, who had come to Australia under the “Dreadnought Scheme” to train at the Government Agricultural Training Farm near Pitt Town, under the direction of W.F. Schey, the Director of Labour in New South Wales. As a tribute to Schey, the farm became known as “Scheyville'.
SBW SONG BOOK
At long last the official “SBW Song Book” has been printed and is available to members at a cost of $5-00. Now you can sing around the campfire - no longer lost for words! There have been earlier songbooks, from times long long ago but this version has old songs (from 1930/40 etc.) and new songs (1960/70 etc.). Price $5.00 (available in the Clubrooms or mailed if you include $1.00 for postage).
SBW CHRISTMAS PARTY
Wed. 17 December at 7.30 PM for 8 PM. Bring a “plate”, the Club will supply drinks. Check the Walks Program for other social functions.
SBW BARBEQUE BALMORAL JAN. 1998
For the SBW not too much happens in January, but what does happen is well worth noting. Wed 7 January, there is a barbecue at the south end of Balmoral Beach. It starts after work between 5 PM and 6 PM and goes till it finishes. BYO food and drink and if you're smart a chair (NB at this Balmoral no Corgies). Alter your menu to suit if there's a fire ban. If it's raining ring Peter Dalton for alternative arrangements.
by Elwyn Morris, who managed to get lost on northern hemisphere roads
Sometimes SBW navigation methods can’t get me out of trouble. In the remoter bits of Ireland, George and I managed not to get seasick on the heaving, narrow, winding roads laid straight on top of bog, and not to hit wandering sheep. The real problem was finding places, when every road sign was festooned with Bed and Breakfast signs and only a rare place-name, usually in little green letters on a white background - in Irish. What’s more, the Irish often bore no resemblance to the English name. Who would guess that the simple, memorable ‘Recess’ in Connemara is also ‘Straith Salach’, or that ‘Dungloe’ in Donegal is also ‘An Clochan Liath’?
I was reduced to knocking on people’s front doors to ask the way. ‘What’s the way to Ballina?’ I asked somewhere in County Mayo, feeling at home with a familiar place-name. I was swiftly corrected - ‘Ah - you mean BallinAIR!’ As everywhere in Ireland, I was forgiven because I was Australian, not English.
Maureen Carter had an even harder time, she told me, because when she was driving in Ireland in snow last January after visiting Miriam’s family, the crucial road sign was covered in ice. ‘How did you navigate?’ I wanted to know. ‘By the sun,’ she said. ‘But it’s in the wrong place - in the south!’ ‘That’s not wrong if you’re born in Wales,’ she reminded me.
I even had trouble in England, on the smaller Devon one-lane lanes going round the edges of rectangular fields, with high hedges and blind corners and zooming local traffic. Sadly, the Romans had never got round to straightening these nightmares. Once we wound up in a farmer’s backyard; it was in his interests to give crystal clear directions to the nearest two-lane road.
Directions were less clear in New England, USA, when hunting for a campground. Even at the local tourist offices, they weren’t strong on miles and place-names. ‘It’s only ten minutes from here,’ they once said reassuringly. ‘Take a right at Dunkin’ Donuts, and a left at Adds Variety.’ ‘Adds Variety?’ we repeated wonderingly. ‘Sure - the CVS! You can’t miss it!’ This turned out to mean ‘Ed’s Variety Store’, while CVS meant convenience store, what we’d call a corner shop.
The last time I saw Paris - ten minutes ago.
On an earlier trip, we flew direct to Paris but didn’t want to drive into it but to the small town of Epernay, only an hour’s drive north from Charles de Gaulle airport, which was already on the north edge of Paris. I’d heard of a novice driver caught in the traffic going round and round the Arc de Triomphe at high speed, too scared to cause an accident by trying to escape, until he ran out of petrol. Our exit from Barcelona had been as terrifying when after surviving the machine-gun fire of five-lane boulevards, we ended in a high-speed underground vortex uncertain which exit to take, thinking we’d go right down the plughole. We were quite unfit to cope with a big city, or a fast, super-expensive autoroute. No, we were using quiet little D-roads through the countryside, would do an hour’s tour of the champagne cellars when we arrived, and retire to a campground on the peaceful River Marne to catch up on our jetlag. I’d worked out the route from a map I had from a trip long before.
But a brand new high rise housing development had been plonked down on the first D-road, and we soon found ourselves back in the airport for another try. This time, once in the country, I consulted an ancient metal compass so we could turn north, and kept following the marked pointer. It was only much later that I discovered the red paint on the north pointer had worn off, leaving me to assume south was north. This didn’t help - and nor did an overcast sky with the sun struggling through in the wrong place.
We wound up in suburbia, where I asked a young man in his front garden where we were, and what was the way to Epernay. We were still in Paris. His chivalry aroused by my excuse that we’d just come from Australia - yes, the land of the kangaroo - he told us to follow him, leapt into his car, and after half an hour, left us on the entrance to the autoroute to Rheims, with a triumphant wave.
Twenty francs and twenty minutes later, we managed to escape into a French village. We’d arrived at l0.30 am and it was now 2 PM, so we wolfed down the left-over chocolates, cheeses and liqueurs from the plane for lunch, and by following the River Marne, made it to Epernay in time for the last champagne cellar tour.
The only time I admitted total defeat was in the south of France, where our travel guidebook had waxed lyrical about a pretty, unspoilt village and given directions from the previous village. Neither was signposted - a rare omission in efficient France. By the time I’d worked this out, it was too late. I decided that the canny villagers (possibly English?) had got sick of gawking tourist traffic and using a bit of ruthless French logic, removed the signs altogether.
Now that the dust has settled, the old photos have been put back in the cupboard and the glad-rags hug up till the next galah occasion it is time to have a quite review of out 70th birthday.
All the action was within an 11 day period in October. Starting with the reunion on 11/12 October, the dinner on 17 October, picnic on 19 October and a nostalgia evening on 22 October. To this should be added the unofficial but well attended presidential picnic on 18 October.
Was this activity too much, too little or just right? A good question. The activities were planned to give maximum opportunity within minimum time for interstate travellers. People coming to Sydney had to balance time away from home with the number of function they could attend. People in Sydney could make the choice to suit themselves. A guest book has been kept for all the functions just to keep a record of who was at what function. If you missed out on signing, it will be available at the Christmas Party, so come along and you can fill in the missing spaces.
The reunion at Coolana was reasonably well attended with about 65 adults and untold children. All activities were held on the river flats area, a park-like area. The “Fire's Burning” entertainment was satisfactory, singing using the brand new SBW songbook plus some of the old song sheets, a musical play, commissioned for the event and produced by Mulga Production, supper prepared and served by Spiro. The next day the traditional damper competition with a full range of edible and inedible offerings. We had a large tarpaulin which acted as a focus point for meeting and talking and as insurance against rain. The weather for the weekend was perfect; not too hot and not too cold, just right.
The anniversary dinner attracted about 140 people scrubbed, polished and finely arrayed. The dinner was a smorgasbord of good quality good quantity and served without a hitch. Officialdom was kept to a minimum with the Minister for the Environment, Pam Allen, the only official guest. All speeches were mini speeches. Six members, Christine Austin, Maureen Carter, Helen Gray, Malcolm McGregor, Robert Pallin and John White spoke on various aspects of what SBW meant to them.
President Tony Holgate presented certificates of Honorary Membership and Honorary Active Membership to the those members raised to this rank of SBW privilege, who were present at the dinner: Paul Barnes OAM, Shirley Dean, Ian Debert, Frank Rigby, Marjorie Rodd, Malcolm McGregor, Grace Noble and John Noble.
With all the things we had to do, as well as fitting in with the meal we ran out of time and forgot to cut the birthday cake. At the dinner tickets for a monster raffle were sold and later drawn. No one won the monster but the other prizes were terrific. The raffle, prizes and ticket sales converted the whole 70th anniversary celebration from being financially doubtful into a positive cash flow situation. Next month details on the raffle prizes.
The picnic at Manly Dam was well received. Again we had the large tarpaulin as a focus point for meeting and talking and as insurance against rain. No rain, fine weather, thanks again Hughie. This informal setting was appreciated by many, easy access for those not so spry on their pins plus a menu of their own choosing. The sausage sizzle and champagne was deemed by all to be a good idea. The birthday cake was remembered and eventually cut by Edna Gentle one of the young ladies present.
The nostalgia evening at the Club rooms, the last event in the celebrations was also successful. Plenty of attendees, enough food, and a huge collection of posters, each depicting a particular event in photos and text, prepared, made and assembled by Don Matthews. Again a small number of people made some well rehearsed, impromptu speeches. Music was provided by a barbershop group of mixed singers (i.e. a mix of good voices and less good voices).
The Presidential Picnic, which enjoyed only a brief life as an official anniversary celebration event, went ahead anyway as an unofficial event on Saturday 18 October. This was attended by about 40 or 50 senior members and ex-members of the Club at an excellent venue. Acting a little bit like a fly on a wall it was beautiful to see the affection these people had for each other; something we can all look forward to.
Now what did we do right and what did we do wrong. In the absence of significant fan mail it is apparent that types of events, the venues and the associated costs found approval with the majority of members. The sausages and champagne at the picnic were a good thing, the tarpaulin at Coolana and the picnic was also a good idea. The absence of name tags at the functions was a definite failing. This was rectified at the Nostalgia Evening with “Hello my name is …..” tags. Next time proper tags will be required.
All members who attended or not, are invited to write in to record what was good, what was bad, and how the next event should be organised. This information will go on file for the next organising sub-committee.
by Tom Wenman
“Louis de Velos”, he said. ” Hi, Tom Wenman“, I replied. I then explained in my broken French, that I wanted to hire a bicycle. He replied in unbroken English giving me some details. The negotiations then proceeded satisfactorily, and to my complete understanding, in English. Well, I had tried, and I had heard that they (the foreigners) appreciated as a courtesy, at least the attempt to speak their language.
It was only later, when perusing the leaflet which he gave me that I realised, of course that wasn't his name, he was merely asking me if I wanted to hire a bike. My linguistic confidence plunged to an all time low, and I felt rather Basil Fawltyish. Up until then I had been rather proud of my linguistic and travel accomplishments, having negotiated the Paris metro - albeit at some monetary cost - (I did rather better at the ticket machine on my return journey), and arrive at Beaune.
Beaune, as you have no doubt deduced from the title, is in Burgundy. It is an ancient city in the centre of a wine growing area, and wine shops are sprinkled generously along its delightful narrow and winding streets, and in its many squares. My reason for being there however, whilst rather curiously decided upon, was not because of the beautiful wine produced in the region, nor because of the fame of its cheeses, but because of an architectural gem located in the very heart of this area at Vezelay, the church of 'La Madeleine'.
Beaune itself also boasted some ancient and beautiful buildings, chiefly the 'Hotel-Dieu', built as a hospital in the middle ages and endowed to cater for the poor and rich alike. It was notable for its decorated roof, 'Great Hall of The Poor' and the 'sumptuous decor of the vault'. It continued to be used as a hospital until the early 1970's but now is purely a tourist attraction, restored complete with beds and furniture of the medieval period. The display of ancient medical instruments is somewhat discomforting. The work of the hospice continues, partly supported by the vineyard which it owns. It is good to feel good about drinking a bottle of wine!
Vezelay, however was my objective. In discussing the route I should take, 'Louis' commented that I would find many places of interest in the region, ancient and beautiful castles, churches, and monasteries. So whilst a route was planned with his help he said that he had no doubt that once I was embarked on my trip I would probably wish to deviate to see some of the many gems that were dotted around the region. So it was that I mounted the bicycle which I had hired, and it seemed, in contrast to my former pedestrian mobility that I had wings.
The next morning I 'saddled' my bicycle with my pack, partly depleted with some contents displaced to a single pannier bag supplied with the bike. I also had a small front bag secured to the handle bars, which I found useful for carrying my wet weather gear, jumper and lunch. A transparent map pocket on top proved most useful. The weather on leaving Beaune was cool, around 14 or 15 degrees, and shortly it began to rain. It was about the middle of June and I anticipated correctly that there would be a minimum of tourists around. Clearly I had miscalculated regarding the weather which I had thought would be quite warm.
The rain did not last for long however and although there was a cool breeze it was quite pleasant cycling weather. I soon cleared Beaune and entered the first of a succession of quite delightful small towns and villages, with narrow streets, quaint houses, and either a large handsome chateau dominating the surroundings, or a forbidding castle with high walls and narrow windows.
My first such encounter was Savigny les Beaune, with an imposing chateau in the grounds of which could be seen a rather remarkable collection of aircraft. A somewhat bizarre sight, against the backdrop of the chateau.
Uphill I pedalled from there following a beautiful valley with very green fields and an attractive river flowing through it. Memories of its recent and not so peaceful past were provided by a memorial, at the side of the road, to a man and his wife, resistance leaders, who had been shot by the occupying German forces during the war.
The hill although gradual was a long one and the road wound through forest and field to the summit, after which I enjoyed a pleasant downhill run to a road junction and the Burgundy Canal. Also, not so welcome, and flying overhead in the manner of a viaduct, the 'Autoroute du Soleil'. However it did serve to remove traffic from local roads, and also it seemed to direct the hurrying holiday motorist, south to another part of France. Quite a good idea, on reflection.
The next part of the cycle trip was perhaps the nicest, certainly the most peaceful. This was along the tow path by the side of the Canal de Bourgoyne. From the hilly surrounds of Beaune the land now became quite flat except for the occasional hill on which was usually perched a castle with sometimes a small village nearby.
One such was le chateau de Chateauneuf, whose high forbidding walls, round towers and spires dominating a small village nestling close to it, could be seen across the vista of the canal and green fields. I was determined to visit it, but as my main objective was Vezelay, I decided to include it on my way back to Beaune. In the meantime I pressed on to my immediate objective Pouilly-en-Auxois. This was a pleasant little town despite its proximity to the autoroute, where the canal distinguished itself by going under the town rather than through it. A significant eighteenth century engineering feat! Here I enjoyed a pleasant picnic lunch on the banks of the tree lined canal.
Having arrived thus far by lunch time I decided that my destination for the day would be Semur-en-Auxoir, how pleasant the name sounds, and how delightful the town proved. However there were it appeared some twenty seven or so kilometres between me and it, so it was a matter of getting on one's bike and pedalling.
The road was long straight slightly uphill in an undulating sort of way, and boring. There was however, almost no traffic. There was, however some way along a convenient bar, and as the day had become warm, I succumbed to temptation, and stopped for a beer. The place was full of locals and a convivial atmosphere prevailed. A pleasant Sunday afternoon gathering. One of the locals engaged me in conversation, which was a bit one sided on account of my limited French, but it did not seem to matter, and it was with difficulty that I managed to extricate myself from the place.
On once again, and eventually I arrived at the outskirts of Semur. Semur is a small, ancient town with four superbly massive round towers connected by a fortified wall which, with some gaps, surrounds its heart, and to which entrance may be gained by a medieval, machicolated gateway, la Porte Guillier. Inside the 'citadel' narrow cobbled streets wind delightfully past cafes and tourist shops, and subsequently, aloof, secretive, but substantial houses. Located as it is on high ground overlooking the River Armacon, the views from the town ramparts are a delight.
My quest on this occasion however was more prosaic, accommodation. I discovered, much to my surprise, that there was a youth hostel a short distance from the town centre, and thither I repaired. Not withstanding the early hour, about 4pm, I was admitted to the hostel and joined a local body of Frenchmen watching the European soccer championship. Presently I was joined by a real cyclist, you could tell he was a real cyclist by the clothes he was wearing. I felt that a fellow enthusiast had arrived amongst the somewhat languid and cigarette smoking company. I had earlier thrown away the information as casually as possible that I had actually cycled from Beaune that day, some 80 or so kilometres away. I therefore eagerly enquired of my newly arrived comrade how far he had come. His answer seemed incredible and I therefore resolved that I should ask him the question again, somewhat later, as I appeared to have misunderstood him.
More of Tom's exciting adventures next month.
by Barry Wallace
The meeting began at around 2015 with the president presiding and some 20 or so members present. The only apology presented was for Fran Holland. New members Christine Kirby, Antoinette Dervan, Elizabeth Graves and Charles Montross were called for welcome.
The minutes of the previous meeting were read and received, with no matters arising. Items of correspondence were read and received, including notice that Ivor Ashby had recently passed away. There were no matters arising so we moved on to the walks reports.
Driven by some JIT philosophy or other, Eddy walked into the meeting as the call for walks reports was uttered. The first walk covered was the reunion at Coolana, over the weekend of 10, 11, 12 October, with around 80 attending in near perfect weather conditions. There were no reports for the three other walks scheduled that weekend, Alan Wells’ two day walk out from Carlons Farm, Tony Manes’ Sunday car shuffle trip from Lockley Pylon to Evans Lookout, and Laurie Bore’s Pearl Beach bush and beach walk, also on the Sunday.
Wilf Hilder had the eight starters on his midweek day walk, on Wednesday 15 October from Heathcote to Waterfall, out by 1500, either due to or despite the beautiful warm weather.
There was a general opinion that Ken Cheng’s trip out from Springwood on Saturday 18th October, as the only competition for the Anniversary dinner and barbecue went, but no details were available to the meeting.
Dick Weston led a RDO walk to Bluegum Forest on Friday 24th October with three starters, brumbies, general wildlife, and Waratahs. I never knew Brumbies got RDOs!
Wilf Hilder led a program-asynchronous segment of his Great Illawarra Walk over the weekend of 25, 26 October in surprisingly warm conditions. The walk was described as good with scattered Waratah sightings. Margaret Sheens marshalled the starters for her Saturday warm up walk at Balmoral at 0400. A great time was reported for all. Nancye Alderson’s South Coast trip was led by Brian Bolton but the numbers remain unknown. Nuri’s Sunday abseiling instructional went. There were no details other than a reassurance that there had been no casualties. David Trinder’s Sunday Narrow Neck trip did not go. Errol Sheedy led 22 on his Bundeena to Audley trip on the Sunday. Conditions were hot and at times trying, alleviated somewhat by swims and the occasional Cappuccino and ice cream pause.
For the weekend of 1, 2 November we began with the cancellation of Carole Beales’ Victoria Falls to Evans Lookout walk. There was also no report for Zol Bodlay’s Saturday walk in Brisbane Waters National Park but Tony Maynes had 17 out on his Bundeena to Otford the long way walk the same day. Anne Maguire had 22 on her Sunday walk out from Glenbrook. The walk went not quite to program, but they did have muffins. Ron Watters’ walk out from Lawson that day had 17 starters and was described as a good walk.
Tony Maynes had a party of 12 on his walk out from Yalwal over the weekend of 8, 9 November. Conditions were overcast much of the time but the walk went well, in an area rapidly returning to pleasant since the exclusion of the milling hordes of 4WDs. Tom Wenman amended his walk in the Megalong to a real day walk from the weekend day walk programmed. He also amended the route to make up for the changes. Conditions were overcast and humid. The five starters were almost lost in a mass of people that happened to arrive at the junction of Breakfast Creek and Cox River. There was no report for Tony Crichton’s Glenbrook area walk on the Sunday and no details for Bill Hope’s walk in the same area except for the note that 8 people attended. Geoff McIntosh had four on his Cowan to Hawkesbury River trip and Allan Donnelley had eight on his sea kayak trip in fine overcast conditions. They arrived at a pleasant isolated beach early in the trip and enjoyed the tranquil beauty of the area, until the yobbos moved in.
Bill Holland had three on his midweek walk from Lindfield to St Ives to conclude the walks reports for the month.
We then broke for coffee and conversation for 20 minutes. After the break, we had the treasurer’s report sans treasurer. We began the month with $7,613, spent $4,621, acquired income of $3,741 and closed with a balance of $6,749.
The conservation report covered concerns over the plan of management for Kakadu, the Wollomi N.P. plan of management, and plans for a bicentennial trail.
Confederation report indicated that the process of formalising blanket permission for access to National Parks for bushwalking type activities is delayed in the NPWS procedures. A Warragamba spillway “flood awareness committee” is to report.
General business saw general agreement that future General Meetings should start at 20.15, and the coffee break should be timed. The meeting closed at 21.44 after the announcements.
From BARBARA BRUCE.
I would like to thank all my SBW “mates” who have helped, and are still helping, me carry my load on one of the hardest trips of my life. These friends do deserve to be mentioned by name, but the list is continuing to grow. They know who they are, and my gratitude knows no bounds. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, for your calls, your visits, and your books. Thank you to Helen and Brian Goldstraw for making it possible for me to attend the 70th Anniversary dinner.
One of my SBW visitors when telling me about the reunion picnic at Manly Dam used tones of rapture when he described the herbal sausages at the barbeque. So where do you get them and how much are they?
Sometimes we do give free plugs for goods. The snags are Peppercorn Gourmet Sausages at $9.99 per kilo exclusive to Woolworths, available at Balmain, Crows Nest, Double Bay, Gordon, Neutral Bay and Northbridge. Editor.
From COLIN BARNES.
Would I be mistaken in believing that you have expressed double standards in the Sydney Bushwalker November 1997 issue? Refer to Conservation Corner on page 4 and Problems in Kakadu on page 15.
On the one hand we are asked to write to our MP, Pam Allen, to preserve our remote and wilderness areas whilst on the other hand we are encouraged to write to Kakadu's Planning Officer in support of pressure brought to bear by a “Tour Group”.
Would it be proper to protest against partial restrictions that would give indigenous people free use of the Graveside track, as they might have enjoyed for perhaps 40,000 years just because it might inconvenience our group who have probably enjoyed it for less than 40 years?
Do we want Jim Jim and Twin Falls, part of a National Park in NT, to be available to “industry funded recreation groups” and while on the other hand we are asking Pam Allen to protect National Parks in N.S.W. from “industry funded recreation groups”?
Colin, you have a point. I believe that the activity of the walking recreation group in the NT is like a normal bushwalk and thus is different from the N.S.W. proposals of access for horses and vehicles. I will pass your letter on to our Conservation Secretary for his opinion. Editor.
There is plenty of opportunity to assist in the maintenance of Coolana over the December - January - February period. The Coolana dates are 13/14 Dec., 27/28 Dec., 10/11 Jan., 17/18 Jan., 31Jan/1 Feb., 14/15 Feb. and 28 Feb./1 Mar. Come along and do a lot or a little, cut grass, water plants, boil water, make tea, read a book, whatever.
We still need some gardening tools down there at Coolana and would be happy with your cast offs. Some rakes, spades, shovels, clippers, secateurs, wheel barrow, lawn mower, whipper-snipper, D6 or D8 dozer. All tools, implements and workers are welcome
by Patrick James
No your watch is not running fast, this month the Sydney Bushwalker is 1 week early. This is to allow all those at SBW Press to put the magazine to bed, print, publish and post before Christmas, and then to relax till the third week of January. Thank you all who helped make the Sydney Bushwalker in 1997. Printers, collators, advertisers and authors; all played an important and co-operative role in making the Sydney Bushwalker the leading vehicle in bushwalking journalism in Australia. Next year will only be better.
The significant birthday this month is that of Liam Patrick Ryan. Liam a proponent of Just in Time Manufacture arrived on 14 November, within budget and on schedule in Wollongong to the happy relief of Kathy (ex-SBW member and Fran Holland's daughter) and Kevin Ryan. Mother, father, brother, sister and grandparents all doing well.
In November Stephen Doggett from Westmead Hospital gave an illustrated talk about Ticks and other little things that bite. Of interest among all the other interesting information was that the existence of Flinders Island Fever, a matter not raised in Frank Davis' article last month. We'll following up Stephen's tick talk with a article in your magazine.
Congratulations Jim Callaway is now president of the Confederation of Bushwalking Clubs.
George Gray reports that the bushfires in the Kangaroo Valley have not affected Coolana. This was the situation on Wednesday night, 3 December, when the magazine was put to bed.
Social Night: 28 January 1998
At the clubroom: Alan Norman, senior NP&WS ranger based at Ulladulla south of Nowra will talk on wilderness and national parks management from the ranger's perspective. Come and hear how the NP&WS manage land, flora and fauna (including homo sapiens).
Information Received and Wanted:
Bill Henley of Henley Cup fame was apparently an Olympic trainer. Harry Belefonte's song Day-O was recorded at Carnigie Hall in April 1959.
The word Mandelberg was also used as a verb. The Mandelberg pawn shop used to display their wares by hanging them outside the shop. Walkers who hung bits and pieces of gear on the outside of their packs were said to be mandelberging.
EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST Advance planning is underway for a SBW Club walk in the Isdell River area (Kimberley WA), proposed for three weeks probably in May/June 1998. This is one of the most beautiful walking areas in Australia. This Willis's Walkabouts walk, will be custom designed for our group; it may be possible to link in with other Willis's walks. Early cost indications are $1,500 - $1,80O ex Kununarra (this includes small plane transport and helicopter food drops). If you are interested, please contact Frances Holland on 9484 6636 (business and after hours).
NAME ADDRESS & PHONE NUMBER CHANGES: Changes to name, address or phone numbers should be sent as soon as possible to Membership Secretary: Barry Wallace. Don't delay. You could send Barry a Christmas card, or bring the information neatly written to the Christmas Party on 17 December.
ILLEGAL FLOWER PICKERS
Five people were each fined $3600 + costs at Gosford Court on Monday 24 November 1997 after pleading guilty to illegally picking flannel flowers in Wyrrabalong National Park at Noraville. Flannel flowers are protected native plants with fines up to $4,400 for their illegal removal. Source NP&WS News Release 25.Nov.1997.
MAGAZINE ARTICLES. Dear Readers, it is most satisfying to receive your contributions: well done! However there is a constant demand to feed our voracious magazine. The December issue has almost emptied the cupboard. As you walk along the track, especially on the Christmas extended walks think about putting digital data to disk or even pen, pencil or biro to paper. Send your contributions directly to the Editor. 5/2 Hardie St., Neutral Bay 2089.
Patrick James' walk of 4 Jan to Bushwalkers Basin has been postponed, date to be announced.