A monthly Bulletin devoted to matters of interest to The Sydney Bushwalkers, 5 Hamilton Street, Sydney.
|Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Production||Brian Harvey and Jean West|
|Do You Remember?||2|
|Letters from the Lads - No.4||Bob Savage||3|
|Would You Like to Do Something for the Lads?||4|
|Paddy Pallin's Advertisement||5|
|At Our Own Meeting||6|
|Mountaineering from Pelion Hut||Marie B. Byles||9|
|Goodman Bros. Photo Supplies - Advertisement||9|
|The Voice of the Social Committee||10|
|There were Rocks, Rocks, Rocks||“Ubi”||11|
|On Epicurean Initiations||M.S.||13|
|Some Easter Impressions||Dot English||14|
Club photographers are reminded that the Club's Annual Exhibition will be held in the Clubroom on Friday, June 27th, 1941.
Past exhibitions have been acclaimed as highly successful. This year's will be better than ever if all the Club Photographers get busy and co-operate.
Bill Cosgrove is organising the Exhibition and is anxious to receive pictures as soon as possible. Prints may also be given to any of the other members of the Photographic Committee (Reg Alder, Maurie Berry, Ira Butler, George Dibley and Roley Cotter), or left with Paddy.
You will greatly assist the work of the Committee if you bring your prints along before the evening of the Exhibition as this will allow more time for the hanging of the photos and their more orderly grouping.
Remember, that the Club is really expecting something – so get busy.
Bouddi Working Bee - A letter from the Trustees showed that between 70 and 80 people were present representing most of the affiliated clubs and that they all seemed to enjoy both the work and the camp fire on the beach with the full moon shining over the sea. Over 3 miles of track were made, the shelter shed painted, trees planted, signs painted and erected and the track made last year re-cleared. It is suggested that if each club made a point of having one expedition through the park each year with a tomahawk in the party, this would insure that the tracks were kept clear.
Coricudgy - It was reported that a saw-miller from Kandos was getting a permit to cut down the magnificent blue-gum forest on top of the mountain. The Federation is writing to various authorities and hopes to prevent its destruction.
The Ball - Tickets are to remain the same price as last year, because the ball is a revenue-producing concern and its proceeds are necessary for the Federation to carry on its work. If it is a success a donation will be made out of the proceeds to the Bushwalker's Comforts Fund.
Blue Gum Forest - Mr Trevor Krok was recommended as the new trustee to take the place of Mr Turner who has gone to Armidale.
Conservation Projects - A list of these is to be prepared and placed before the new government.
Waterfall Station Lighting - A letter is being written to the Railways Commissioners asking for the installation of electric light on the station instead of the uncertain kerosene lamps.
Inter-Club Debates - Mr R. E. Mitchell reported that the Rucksack Club, v. Y.M.C.A., and the Campfire Club v. the S.B.W. were the runners-up for the final.
Do you remember the dim, distant days when you were a new-chum walker? And all the trouble and expense of getting your' gear together?
Have you now an old “one-day” pack you don't use and don't want? All such packs would be very much appreciated by the children of the Council Playgrounds who are taken walking by members of the Federated Clubs at least once a month, and who do not possess packs of their own - or many pennies.
Packs may be handed to Dorothy Lawry, Jean West, or Brian Harvey for transmission to the proper quarters, that is to say to the Playground Supervisors, who will issue them as needed and see they are later returned for future use by the children.
from Bob Savage
We are indebted to Bob's Mother for the following interesting letter.
“This is just a short note to tell you of my safe return from Greece. We are now camped on an island in the Mediterranean which is far more beautiful than Greece itself. Our campsite is about a hundred yards from a swift flowing, icy-cold and crystal-clear stream which seems to be fed from the snow-covered mountains in the distance. There is a gorge above the camp in limestone country and all the surrounding hills are covered with olive groves.
“When the news came through that the Greeks had given in we were well up country. Arrangements were made for an organised rearguard action, and units as they were withdrawn were despatched to various beaches to be embarked by the Navy. I came through one afternoon and night, and during daylight we were repeatedly bombed and machine-gunned from the air. (The Germans had ten planes to our one). We kept a good watch and took cover in the fields when attacked and so my truck suffered no casualties. They dropped two large bombs about fifty yards from our truck, which made the road impassable, but we made a detour and got back to the road past the craters.
“We were taken off by the Navy about 3am. The ship, of course, was crowded with over 5,000 troops. I slept under a table in the wardroom among the war-correspondents. Over a hundred nurses were taken off by an Australian destroyer, the officers and men of which had not seen an Australian girl since the day after the war started. A flying-boat took off on one trip 65 officers and a crew of 15, making eighty in all!
“Our convoy was bombed on the way across. Four bombs fell near the ship but we were not hit. Our anti-aircraft guns brought two of their planes down. A later ship had a whole regiment of machine-gunners on board who brought all their guns with them; these, amounting to over sixty, were mounted around the ship's rail and they beat off attack after attack until a bomb landed just behind their stern, blew the propeller off and shattered the sternplates. The ship commenced to sink but a ship's officer told me that the behaviour of the 2,500 troops was magnificent. They stood in ranks for an hour and a half until two destroyers dashed up and took the entire complement off – almost a “Birkenhead” epic – and the machine-gunners brought down the plane that got the ship so the enemy did not know that the ship was helpless.
“The behaviour of the ambulance drivers, the provost corps, and the motor lorry drivers stands out throughout the Greek campaign. Despite the Red Cross on the top of their vehicles, the former were repeatedly machine-gunned and bombed. The provosts are the military police, who were hated last war, This war everyone has the highest praise for them. They stood on duty directing traffic in bombed towns whilst walls fell in and huge craters were blown in the roads. The drivers worked on the roads which were machine-gunned and bombed night and day. Some worked days on end without sleep, although we all did that. At one stage I had 5 hours' sleep in 65 hours. During the evacuation the drivers brought parties to the beaches and then returned on their own through the trouble for fresh loads…”
The rest of the letter was personal, but the foregoing gives us all some idea of Bob's adventures. It was good to hear that he had returned safely to Egypt, and any of you who want to write and congratulate him should address your letters to:-
Major R. W. Savage,
Headquarters, 1st Anzac Corps
We are sure that you enjoy investing your pennies in our Friday night raffles and trying to win the very, tempting edible prizes that we offer. But would YOU like to do something to help us sometime?
So far the articles raffled have all been donated by one small group of members, and as we would like to give everyone -an opportunity to do something to help the funds of the Bushwalkers' 'Services' Committee and so help the lads in the forces, we now make a request for voluntary donations of articles, no matter how small, suitable for future raffles,
Now then you cooks and jam makers, also gardeners, how about letting us have a sample of your arts?
Joan Savage will be tickled to hear from you and will gladly put your name on her list and supply you with a suitable date on which to supply your donation for the “guessing competition,”
I must lie close to the living earth, encompassed by the stars. My eyes are dim with the dear blue of hills and sea and sky. I am eager for a thousand natural pleasures; to dive down into cool water and gaze up, through spaces of dim green or grey, or mark in clear depths the blending of tints in wave-worn pebbles and aquatic weeds; to let the branches of trees sweep across my face and body, causing indescribable thrills of love; to lie with my back against a hill and watch slow melting clouds, and see birds gliding down the wind; to sink my face in sweet-scented grass, and spread my fingers that I may feel the caress of the elastic blades; to rejoice in the smooth flow of the breeze; to stand upon the shore and feel the ceaseless pulsing of the Pacific. I am hungry for communion with these mates of mine. And then the freedom from restraint, the fetterless uncertainty of vagrant life!
By J. Le Gay Brereton
There were no new members to welcome at the May Meeting, but we heard of three old ones — Bill Mullins had changed his address from Cowra to A.I.F. Abroad; and Una Mullin and Ethel Bowman had transferred to the Non-Active list. In addition, we had the pleasure of a visit from Lieut. Don Wallace, whom we had not seen for a long time, He also is in the Corps of Signals, which seems to be almost a “Bushwalkers' Own” regiment, so we told him to watch out for Bob Savage and the rest of the boys, and wished him luck, and got his address. A most important item this!
Almost as soon as the “Bushwalkers' Comforts Fund” started work its members found that the name was proving misleading, particularly to members of other clubs which had the usual type of comforts funds operating; therefore our purveyors of “mental comforts” started calling themselves the “Bushwalkers' Services Committee”. At this meeting the name was changed officially.
One of the features of a bright meeting was the number of motions that were lost. Another was that once more we got excited about the evergreen, ever vexed question of “Tidy Campsites”. Someone asked, Just what are tidy campsites? and eventually the meeting decided that “Campsites should be left clean and tidy and so that it is not possible to tell whether a person had camped there a day or a month previously and that camp amenities should be left intact.” You will hear more of this, as the President was instructed to remind members from time to time of the importance of example in this matter. Also someone suggested that slides with suitable slogans be made for exhibition on lantern lecture nights. It was decided to hold a competition for the best slide, and, presumably, the General Committee, to whom the matter was entrusted, will give us details next month. Anyway, the Club is providing a prize of 5/-, which was increased to 10/6d by an anonymous donor. In the meantime we remind you that one of the most essential things is - always to extinguish your fires
Our Hon. Treasurer, Ray Kirkby, has a sense of humour, also as assistant - Ken Iredale. Ray says that anyone who has any personal objection to paying him can get Ken's autograph for the subscription. All unpaid subscriptions are now, of course, overdue, so anyone who may have overlooked this important matter should become an autograph collector as soon as possible.
If that has no interest for you, you may be glad to know that Ira Butler drew attention to another avenue for activity. Briefly, he announced that we have a Club Album. Volume 2 is now ready to open its covers to the masterpieces of members. In fact, it needs pictures to become a real album. Doubtless the photographic group could easily fill several albums, but this is the Club Album and to make it fully representative all our photographers should submit their successes for consideration.
Of course, the masterpieces won't all appear in the album, but the Bushwalkers' Services Committee may want to borrow the negatives of many of them to get prints for the lads on service – and the Federation's Publication Committee is now getting into its stride in collecting material for this year's “Annual”, so now is the time to dig your photos out of their moth-balls!
At 1.15 p m. we (a merry party of 6) sailed out of Central – along with numerous other folks, who, much to our disgust seemed intent upon loyally sticking to us every inch of the way – a whole horse box full of tightly packed bodies (some tighter than others), with a couple standing at each end for a little variation… All intent upon going to sleep – a seemingly impossible task in the ever increasing family circle, except when most of then fell into a deep slumber within a couple of miles of Kandos, and the whole carriage seemed transformed like a miracle into a carpenters' shop, where the noise of busy cross-saws echoed on the soft and balmy breeze.
Kandos! and out into the wintry blast, one body's shoe was missing, having been thoughtfully kicked out of the train during the night, by some kind intruder (moral don't remove shoes during train journeys, the community will always get its own back on you).
There was Gwen to meet us, looking as fresh as a daisy, and she had just roused the local innkeeper and summoned him to prepare our breakfasts. But first we gambolled under a lovely hot shower, that is to say it was lovely and hot as long as someone down below did not also turn on their lovely hot shower.
After filling the inner man, we clambered aboard the waiting lorry and vacated the town ship at about 6.45am, taking ourselves well out of sight before the local inhabitants turned out to do homage to the sunshine.
For those whom Nature has not provided with naturally good comfortable air cushions, for lorry riding along Kandos roads, it would be advisable to Beware! think of the end of your spine – otherwise it will make you think of it .. roll the entire body in at least three sleeping bags, and take along all available spare packing to ensure the minimum of comfort – for further advise see Marie Byles – she will probably have thought up some fine antidotes for the avoidance of large bumps, small bumps and middle sized bumps, by this time. When our driver found no road he simply pushed down saplings quite undaunted with the old truck, and blazed his own trail. He eventually dropped us at a spot about four miles from base camp.
The creeks were fairly dry, but one creek had some water in it – we made camp here, where the water was not ample, but tasted good and was sufficient – a hot bath out of Max's billy ensured seven nice clean people diving into their sleeping bags at night.
Marie had us up at 5am on Saturday morning and after a breakfast in the dark, the dawn, accompanied by a bracing mist surrounded us and we set off for Mt. Corricudgee.
In an endeavour to warm ourselves we started in fine style and soon scaled the alluring heights – up past the gum clad ridges, through the bracken and tree ferns (and nettles) to the top of Corricudgee. The summit of the mountain is very beautiful, covered with lovely bluish gums, around whose feet grows emerald grass and small bush plants.
It took a couple of hours to climb to the top and up on to the trig station, and on account of the many trees only glimpses of the surrounding mountains could be discerned now and again between the tree trunks, but more extensive panoramas were gained by climbing out onto rocky ridges near by to Corricudgee.
Our leader, having ambled off for ten minutes to investigate the ridge leading down from the trig, we, the party, filled in the next one and a half hours of waiting his return, by lighting a bon fire, I mean a bracken fire, to get ourselves warm, (and well smoked), and meantime eating all the available food not so much because we were hungry, but it gave our jaws good exercise, which they seemed to need to warm them up by the sound of the chattering noises resounding on the crisp morning air.
We decided to finish eating everything before we scattered to the four winds to find our leader, and were just on the verge of polishing off his lunch as well (we didn't think he would need it) when apparently warned by supernatural elements, he turned up in the nick of time.
Large logs on the camp fire kept us well toasted and reasonably warm that night, and the next morning in the murky darkness a sweet feminine voice wafted on the breeze – “Anyone getting up”! … After precausiously opening one eye and quickly shutting it again I said. “No!” but someone else muttered something else, and without further ado we were emptied out of our bags.
Too well fortified with rice and apricots we puffed up the mountain directly in front of our camping spot and once at the top proceeded along the ridge for a couple of hours, drinking in the surrounding scenery and the beautiful fresh air as only bush walkers can drink-in. It really was inspiring, though I can't say the same for the holly bushes some of us got temporarily misplaced in on the descent,
After lunch, back to the lorry, that is to say after dallying by the roadside and packing ourselves full of luscious blackberries, which were very kasnackerous.
By the time the return journey to Kandos was completed in the same knocker-over-of-saplings lorry, we began to feel rather like super blackberry pies.
Believe it or not we wound up this hilarious week end in the local Kandos Church. It was a fascinating little Church just like a baby elephant house, but instead of housing one of those dainty quadrupeds, or at least an oriental potentate, we found goodly gathering of Kandos identities. We sang hymns about moving our tents in the night, which made us feel quite at home, that is until he announced that there would be two collections to-night, the second I think for the poor and needy….Did they mean us? …. We did not wait to see.
Marie B. Byles
Three folk there were of Sydney town,
Who longed for Pelion's scene,
And from their land or arid brown,
They sighed for mountains green.
They sighed so much, sighs turned to tears,
And tears to snow and rain,
And when they reached the longed-for peaks,
They looked for climbs in vain.
In dreams they's bagged those summits all
And brought them home in scores
In waking life, they bagged those peaks
From inside Pelion's doors.
And this the moral of my tale,
The age old moral, too:-
Don't count the chicks before they hatch,
And home sweet home, is true.
Attention to the Following Dates!!
The dance at “Redleaf”, previously announced for this date has been cancelled because - as the Federation Ball is to be held in July this year - we felt that we could not do justice to two events of such magnitude in such close proximity.
All items of special interest!
Don’t miss any of them!
On Good Friday certain members of the Club alighted at a certain northern town in the early hours of the morning (how one is influenced by the war idiom) and asked each other after an almost or entirely (according to one's proficiency as a prevaricator) sleepless night why one ever went anywhere. However, buns and coffee worked wonders and soon all seventeen walkers were being mightily hilarious in the bus which took us to our starting point. The driver endeavoured to terrify us by lugubrious stories of the road and of our vehicle but we had acquired bravado and the extraordinary state of mind peculiar to walkers and could not be discouraged.
It should now be perfectly obvious that we were bound for Barrington Tops and we arrived about nine o'clock at Hancock's where a bullock team had been put in ambush by Kodaks - and a profitable investment it proved to be! I have now a less vague notion of the meaning of “bulls” on the Stock Exchange.
Dear Reader, if you wish to know what happened on the trip proper - you will never know all - you will have to turn to another chronicler because I was not there. Another walker (whom we shall call Bill) and I had, during a vision the origin of which was still doubtful, received a command to go down the Barrington River which rises on the Tops. Enquiries from many quarters indicated that it had not been done before but when one makes such a statement there is generally a mad rush to contradict it. There is never such an equally mad rush to provide one with information before the start. I might add here, however, that I wrote to several people in the lower Barrington district whose names I learned from the telephone book and the information they gave proved very useful.
After saying a fond farewell to the rest of the party we made an early start and arrived at Carey's Peak in time to see the view in sunshine and watch the shadows creep over the hills as the light faded. Then walking a mile or two over the swamps we pitched camp beside the Barrington River. It was a still, frosty night the silence being broken only by the howling of dingos. (Gee! that's a good bit - and there were at least two dingos anyway).
We discovered next day that, after a small drop in height, the river flows for three or four miles through downs so flat that it appears to be scarcely moving. Then it commences to burrow in and seems to be at an acute angle for the next twelve miles. After leaving the snow country the banks and cliffs are covered with beech forest and the first sign of any considerable decrease in height is the appearance of gums near the water's edge. We soon found the river bed the best place for walking, if such it could be called, as in addition to forest the banks were covered with more than the usual array of prickly, stinging and clinging “things”. The river bed consisted of masses of large, smooth rocks through which the water foamed in almost continuous cascades the larger of which were very beautiful. Progress was made by jumping or scrambling as best one could or walking in the water (about fifty-fifty to be exact!) and after ten miles of this I was beginning to wonder which particular crime I was expiating. There were unfortunately no considerable waterfalls and on only one or two occasions did we have to leave the river and then but a short climb was entailed.
Night fell with us still in this section of the river so we stopped on a flattish piece of ground on which to sleep with a cave nearby in case of emergencies. In a day and a half on the river camp sites in any possible meaning of the word there were none.
Feeling that little progress had been made in a long time we walked next morning into the river (synonymous for started) at 7.15 and our patience was rewarded about 10.45am by the sight of Beean Creek running in on the left; a more lovely and intriguing creek would be difficult to imagine. This landmark indicated that we had done only ten miles of river in a day and a half. Here we found an old track which lost itself occasionally in nettles, lawyers and the like but which took us soon after lunch to Kholwha Creek where the land has been cleared for grazing. From two station hands we learnt all we could of the surrounding country and spent the rest of the day sedately walking on the track down the river to Bignell's. The difficult part of the river had certainly been a great experience to which was added the thrill of complete ignorance of what was to be expected. Every inch of it had an untouched savage beauty and the masses of stark boulders in the gorge told of a relentless power which almost made one shudder. I should like to warn adventurers, however, that we experienced fine weather and a river apparently a little lower than usual for the time of the year. In unfavourable conditions the trip would be…. well, I could have written it as a censor seems to be the only possible official the Club does not possess.
Being once again up to schedule a Cook's Round Tour with a day pack was decided upon for the following day. We were in an excellent position for such a trip - just above the junction of three rivers. We therefore walked over the hills to Rawdon Vale, up the Kerripit a few miles then down this river to its junction with the Barrington where we were invited in to lunch. Walking through paspalum provided a little variety as it exudes a sticky substance which covers the legs like thin treacle. After lunch we followed the Cobark for about six miles then climbed over the hills back to camp. The district provides many opportunities for walking and when the day's chores had been done and we were just waiting the few hours for the soya beans to cook numerous further excursions were planned. The whole of the area covered that day was cleared, grazing country covered with thick yellowing grasses with a background of rugged mountains and contrasted happily with the earlier part of the walk.
Still fired with ambition we hoped next day to walk to Gloucester via the Buckets so once again an early start was imperative. Unfortunately it commenced to rain and by the time we arrived in Copeland it was teeming. I was not sorry that one of my correspondents living in Copeland which is an old mining town in a narrow valley had invited us to call. We must have been a revolting sight standing at the front door but our new-found friends were ultra-hospitable, understanding and charming. Lunch ensued and though we left intending to adhere to our original plan further heavy rain caused us to abandon climbing the Buckets. The latter, the bold, rocky outline of which must be familiar to the many people who have travelled through Gloucester, seem well worth a closer inspection. There was one compensation in an earlier arrival in town - we had more time in which to eat.
With a considerable amount of luck we had had a most enjoyable trip and one of my most pleasant memories is the hospitality and the knowledge of the country shown by all whom we met. Of course, all were completely mystified when we denied that we had been either prospecting or trout fishing but in fairness I must say that they were equally emphatic that it was rarely they were visited by anything quite like us.
(Editor's Note. Once upon a time the Club did have a censor, as witness the verse of “The Bushwalkers, Ballad” that went:-
“Though Charlie is an Irishman he is a soberside.
He serves us as a censor and guardian of our Pryde.
He has a pretty daughter, but he doesn't take her out
If of the party's morals he has the SLIGHTEST doubt.”
Then Betty grew up and joined the Club and doubled our Pryde but father could no longer say “Go” or “Stay” and censorship went out of fashion.
Since the war, of course, this paper, like the rest of the Press, has been exercising a voluntary censorship over all matter published – but that's different…)
When the campfire's lit at night
The new-mems, or prospectives, on the food-list, watch with round-eyed delight
The never-ending stream of estimable, digestible comestibles disembark,
And a spark
Of inspiration is ignited
As they are invited
To sink their molars into some succulent steak or savoury stew,
A Brobdignagian plate of Dunk's inimitable “goo”,
And in their mind's eye a vision glows
Of an endless chain of firelit plates of food
And billies bubblingly imbued
With palpitating, penetrating, saliva-productive smells
All being barged into till the tummy swells
In divine content
From being intent
On building edible castles in the air
They awake to stare
In dumb incomprehension at the massed
Ranks of washing-up waiting to be encompassed.
Nightmare ride of an elderly Dutch gentleman in the Clyde River district last Easter, when he was pursued through the rung-barked timber by a naked enemy alien whose plane had crashed on the ridge.
The rest of the crew were either insane or suffering from the results of concussion, because they were performing all sorts of weird contortions and writhings on top of and about each other, and on bits of the local scenery.