A Monthly Bulletin devoted to matters of interest to
The Sydney Bush Walkers, 5 Hamilton Street,Sydney
|No.82||October, 1941||Price 3d.|
|Editor: Dorothy Lawry||Business Manager: Brian Harvey|
|Subscriptions: Jean West||Art: Mary Stoddart.|
|Production: Brian Harvey, Jean West and Mary Stoddart|
|The Government and Conservation||… … …||Page 1|
|Federation Notes …||… … …||“ 2|
|Club Gossip …||… … …||” 3|
|Paddy Pallin's Advertisement||… … …||“ 4|
|Gourmandising on the Deua||by “Stoddy” Junr.||” 5|
|Letters from the Lads No.7||from Morris Stephenson||“ 7|
|Beware!||by Marie B. Byles||” 10|
|Goodman Bros.Photo Supplies Advertisement||“ 10|
|Wiff Visits the Palm Islands||by Wiff. Knight||” 11|
|The Voice of the Social Committee||… … …||“ 14|
|Why is a Bushwalker a Bushwalker?||by “Quisie” …||” 15|
|From Here, There and Everywhere||… … …||“ 15|
|At Our Half-yearly Meeting (First Half)||… …||” 16|
Our new State Government - or essential parts of it anyway - seems to be conservation minded. Maybe the dawn is breaking.
Elected in May this year, before 1st July the Minister responsible for the annual renewal of the Protection of Wildflowers and Native Plants had to review the list and make his decision. The usual proclamation came out at the beginning of July - it covered the same flowers and plants as last year, and it protected them for three years.
One evening recently a bushwalkimg barrister told your editor that during the past couple of months every State Forest and Timber Reserve in N.S.W. has been declared a sanctuary. Did you see the announcement of the gazettal of this added protection of native birds and animals? Probably most laymen missed it, but the total area covered, so our barrister friend said, is about two million acres; and the Government seems to have taken this action without any outside urging! We are sure all bushwalkers will join us in congratulating the Ministers responsible, and the State on its new Government.
These congratulations will be all the more heartfelt when it is realised that the good work is continuing. As we go to press there is a Bill before Parliament for the stricter control of Trustees and the more efficient working of Trusts controlling Public Reserves.
The main business of the September Council Meeting was the election of a new Hon. Secretary, and the Federation is to be congratulated on having persuaded Dorothy Song to accept the position. This means that at the end of this month she will give up the secretaryship of the Rucksack Club, which she has held so capably for the past three years, but the Rucksackers have always been “Federation-minded”, so we are sure they will join with the S.B.W. and all the other clubs in congratulating the Federation.
A succession of three Convenors of the Publicity Bureau (Horrie Salmon, George Loder, and Jack Walker) have left bushwalking for the R.A.A.F. and the Federation has not yet succeeded in filling this vacancy. Council is still looking round for an enthusiast, so if you know anyone for the job, please let your delegates know at once.
The Hobart Walking Club's letter to the S.B.W. regarding “Fergie” was passed on to the Federation as its writers requested. Subsequently copies of the letter and of the petition to the Tasmanian Minister for Lands were displayed by our good friend, Paddy, for about a fortnight. The petition was then sent to the Hobart Walking Club bearing the signatures of various Sydney walkers who have visited Lake St. Clair and know “Fergie”.
One of the ways in which the Federation's Information Bureau collects its information was shown to a small group at Paddy's shop the other evening. There were an S.B.W. a couple of Rucksackers, a Y.M.C.A. Rambler and Paddy there – most of them waiting to attend sub-committee meetings when quorums were completed - and the Information Officer (Paddy) asked, “Do any of you happen to know if the Nepean launch service is still running? I heard a rumour it had been cut out.”
No one could supply the information, but one Rucksacker suggested some of the Y.M.C.A. Ramblers might know. The one of them present said, “No, but the Rover Ramblers had a trip up that way a fortnight ago; they might know.” “Good, said Paddy, “there's one of them due here any minute, we'll ask him”. As soon as the Rover Rambler arrived, the question was shot at him and he replied, “Yes, the launch is still running - or was a fortnight ago, anyway - but Len. Tremaine is not there now. He has joined up and the Old Skipper is back running the service for him.”
The “S. & R” (for new members, this is the Search & Rescue Section of the Federation) has been inactive for some time, but last month, when the daily papers reported “six hikers missing in the mountains”, the S. & R. had about thirty telephone calls in one afternoon from members of the various clubs inquiring, “Is there a search on? Fortunately, the answer was, “No, they were found this morning”.
A wedding of interest to bushwalkers was recently celebrated at Bradfield when Miss Ethel Mawdsley became Mrs. Horrie Salmon. They are both, of course, members of the Trampers Club of N.S.W. We wish them both every happiness, and know that, if enthusiasm and energy can attract it to them, happiness - won't be able to keep away from Horrie and his bride.
Two other well-known bushwalkers who have just announced their engagement are Agnes Miller and Bill Holesgrove, both of the Coast & Mountain Walkers, but best known in the Federation as ex-Assistant Secretary Agnes Miller and past-President Bill Holesgrove. We congratulate them both very heartily and look forward to seeing their happy faces as regularly as usual on the track and at bushwalking functions.
Spring is in the air! We have no fewer than three weddings to report this month. At the end of August Dorothy Langworthy became Mrs. Fred. Svenson, and early in September Alice Collins became Mrs. Alan Wyborn. A few days later Sheilagh Porter became Mrs. John Kaska.
We convey to all six of our Clubmates the good wishes of all their friends in the S.B.W. - and we hope they will continue to find the bush far surpasses any garden. We wish them all - “Good camping!”
Jean Ashdown, of the C.M.W. and S.B.W. (who used to be Jean Malcolm of the S.B.W.) has transferred to the Non-active List of our Club, but we shall probably see her as well as many members of the various affiliated clubs at the Federation's second Reunion Camp. Date - November 1st and 2nd: place - junction of Fitzgerald Creek with the Nepean River. The Organising Committee has asked the S.B.W. to be responsible for building the campfire on this-occasion, and at the Half-yearly meeting the Club appointed Bill Henley to take charge of the job. So now you know it will be a good fire.
Recently Dorothy Lawry and “Tuggie” had a private working-bee at “Morella-karong”, mainly concerned with the sowing of more grass-seed, and Dorothy wrote a detailed report of the day's activities. Hon.Secretary Jean Moppett read this in full at the September meeting, and Peter Page afterwards described it as “a blade to blade description”. 'Owz-at?”.
The air has now started to buzz with talk of “the concert” particularly in Grace Edgecombe's vicinity. Meantime, we hear some members gave quite an acrobatic display at the “Back-to-childhood Party”, which was a financial as well as a social success.
Living off the country in the Blue Mountains would be a well nigh impossible task and yet a person lost or running short of food through misadventure could eke out his scanty rations with bush foods.
Here are some suggestions extracted from Paddy's Book - “Bushwalking and Camping.”
|Nettles:||Similar in taste to spinach, and cooked the same way.|
|Couch Roots:||Eat the thick white shoots raw or boiled.|
|Bracken Tips:||just curled above the ground are edible-boil.|
|Mushrooms:||Eat raw, boiled or fried.|
|-Grass Tree:||White ends of centre blades. Eat raw or boil.|
|Fern:||Heart of tree fern is edible - boil.|
|Cabbage Palm:||Centre core of unopened leaves-boil.|
|-Frogs:||Legs only. Delicious if you can otercome prejudice (and boil.)|
|Snails:||Boil gently. After all, you eat oysters - snails are their cousins.|
|White Grubs:||(Found in rotten wood) edible and delicious if prejudice overcome.|
- - - - Not to mention the obvious - such as - fish, eels, rabbits, etc. Snake makes good eating.
N.B. It goes without saying that grass-trees, ferns and palms would not be destroyed by walkers unless in case of dire need.
Maybe readers would let the Editor lave,a few further suggestions which might one day be useful in an emergency.
. . . . .
|Inserted In The Interests Of Good Camping By:-
327 George Street, Sydney
by Stoddy Junr.
(Extract from my Deua Notes.).
Another lovely day was drawing to its close, and, each reflecting on the curiousness of the Deua River, here wide-valleyed with green pastures, there narrow and cooped within short canyons, we sought to explain it geologically to each other. We came to one of these canyons at about three-thirty, and for a few moments the silence of the thick bush was shattered by voices calling; the track had been lost, and the searchers had become scattered. We all arrived almost simultaneously at various points along a steep cliff, and were met by an unusual sight. It was astonishing to see the broad, flat land stretching away below us to the gentle hillslopes bounding the upper valley. If the river had been running in the opposite direction it would have seemed more credible, but it flowed in lazy serenity round wide, flat bends and, finally sliding between deep banks, crossed the valley from one side to the other at our feet.
Here we found the track again and sped light-heartedly down it in that last burst of energy which can always be summoned up when the campsite is within Coo-ee. Crossing the river by convenient stepping-stones, we startled seven white geese into flight. It seemed an omen, and certainly it was a sign that Rankin's Farmhouse, due to appear any moment, would prove uninhabited. On the further bank we came upon the ramshackle old house. Great, aged walnut trees, with their delicate leaf patterns outlined against the sky, cast a pleasant, mellow shade beside it.
We dumped our packs on the close cropped turf before the house, which peeped curiously at us over a tangled garden, half protected by some battered wire netting. There were hollyhocks raising their surprised, old-maidish faces over a tumbled confusion of sweet peas, wild hops, nettles and hydrangeas.
Beneath a tree golden with heavy branches of ripe plums we found three grunting pigs - enormous ones - which fled in panic at our approach, but presently returned to eat the over-ripe fruit we shook down as we gathered refreshment.
Jack raised his now familiar cry, “Don't come over here. These are no good!” Instantly we rushed to his side, to discover ripe peaches in abundance, deliciously cool and liquid to our throats. Another plum tree was found, this time a fairytale picture of symmetrical beauty, alight with clustered globes of every sanguine shade. We revelled in a juicy, sticky-fingered orgy until tea-time. By then tea was out of the question, so we set about making our preparations for the night.
Jack decided on the river bank, in spite of the fact that the majority were ensconcing themselves beside the little, bark-roofed house, and, in an attempt to change our minds for us, obtained some corn, and shouted, “Peeg! Peeg!”,enticing those gluttonous quadrupeds over amongst our tents.
We explored the old farmhouse and played some of the antiquated, cylindrical records on the gramophone. The amplifier was enormous, and convolvulous-shaped, and had to be held on while the record was being played. These were nearly all buckled by damp, and in some cases proved highly amusing as they gave the impression of the vocalist being slightly inebriated.
Next day photographs were taken, and Rankin's has since become a photographic masterpiece. We watched a troop of splendid horses galloping about the nearby paddock. By the state of the house and adjacent cultivation we decided Rankin's had been deserted for some time. Poor, lonely, untidy small home, I would have liked to stop there till it was once more surrounded by a gay, blossoming garden, blue smoke rising once more from its quaint, wide chimneys, and happy laughter sounding within.
But, Alas! We were soon packed up and on our way again, leaving Rankin's on its wide flat bend, dreaming, no doubt, of its lively past.
“An inland sea of mountains, stretching far
In undulating billows, deeply blue,
With here and there a gleaming crest of rock,
Surging in stillness, fading into space,
Seeming more liquid in the distance vague,
Transparent melting, till the last faint ridge
Blends with clear ether in the azure sky
In tender mauve unrealness; the dim line
Of mountain profile seeming but a streak
Of waving cloud on the horizon's verge.”
by J. Le Gay Brereton.
from Morris Stephenson.
Two interesting letters have come to the Bushwalkers' Service Committee from Morris Stephenson. We give you some extracts and regret that shortage of space makes it impossible to give them to you in full here. He starts the first one – written on August, 5th:-
“I am afraid that I am somewhat abashed by the prepossessing name of your committee, which is certainly new since the days of my regular attendance at Hamilton Street. Firstly I want to thank Dunk for her letter and the contacts of the Reunion. It is grand to know that somewhere the whole existence is not uprooted, and some of those pleasantnesses of life still exist. The receipt of her letter out here was more than welcome and it is very pleasant to be so close to old associations although so far from home. Must thank the committee also for the publication “Life”, which reached me last week. Reading matter out here is at a premium and although time is very limited all periodicals are very welcome. Many thanks also for the canteen order, in this regard, however, I would prefer that you did not send these to me but rather if you could send reading matter, which, as I said above, is worth its weight in gold.
At the present time we are training in Syria. On first arriving in the East from Australia we were sent to Gaza it Palestine for some hardening - Long days with minimum of water and memories of route marches through the sand are not pleasant memories - however there were some bright moments.
Sunday afternoons on Gaza Beach, with plenty of Australian sisters and soldiers scattered about - Bondi of the Eastern world. Encountered Bob Savage there on several occasions - still the same imperturbable Robert.
While at Gaza was fortunate in obtaining a week's leave in Cairo. You probably know that the A.I.F. have chartered a river steamer from Thos.Cook & Sons and turned it into a hostel for A.I.F. officers on leave. Don't believe half the stories you hear about it.. Believe them all. Let your imagination go – a houseboat on the Nile - Shades of Cleopatra - only with a modern touch. The O.C. of the houseboat entertains bi-weekly at cocktail parties and invites numerous females (and for the most part of the gorgeous type) of various nationalities. Thank heaven my French teacher at school had sufficient patience to persevere with me – somehow Greeks, Czechoslovaks, Ehyptians 2), English, Scottish, Spaniards, Irish and even the French seem to speak a kind of French - very handy, believe me, However, a couple of days and nights in this atmosphere of a league of nations is enough for me and I managed to get an extension to my leave which I spent with my sister and a couple of her friends at Ishmalia - Australian girls are certainly able to do more than hold their own out here…. ….
Hardly back from leave when I got sent to the war. Our battery was employed in the coastal sector of the Syrian campaign. There is much of interest in the north of Palestine and the south of Syria. …. The coast road in Syria, or to be more precise Lebanon, runs for some miles along a cliff edge with the water hundreds of feet below. The road is very good and well paved except in a few places where bombs have taken effect - care of course is very necessary in these areas. Further north the road leads through Tyre and Sidon(now called Saida). We spent a night at Saida and although I looked for the pillar of salt, all I found was a deceased Froggy in the bottom of a well which we had intended to use for drinking. We went into action a little north from here and did a fair job. Moved further north and were deployed again just south of the Damour River. When we moved to this position we were unable to obtain exact positions of the front lines and learned later that our advanced post was out in no man's land.
The country around that district is extremely mountainous and the hills run right down to the sea. Far from pleasant bushwalking country - nowhere was it possible to find a ridge which ran for more than a kilometre or so and each ridge was interspaced with a huge ravine - a quarryman's dream but a bushwalker's nightmare. There were, however, certain compensations for operating in this country; our headquarters we set up on a narrow beach at the foot of the hills. On the beach was a well, at one tithe used by the Lebanese, and we were able, when things got quieter, to have a swim in the Mediterranean and a shower in fresh water to follow it – very acceptable in the middle of a battle, believe me. …
After the battle of Damour we .. moved forward into position north of the town.. We bivouced in an olive grove. Around the town of Damour in the various waddies and in the river valley are extensive banana plantations. Between the banana plants grow pumpkins, tomatoes, onions, etc., and pomegranates and grapes form hedges. When the truce was called the townsfolk, who had been sheltering in caves in the hills, returned and showed their friendly attitude to us by bringing us continually huge baskets laden with these various fruits. Did our boys enjoy their respite there…
We are now camped in a valley in the mountains. The valley has probably been formed by some huge glacier - the bed is some 3,000ft. up and it is hemmed in on either side by mountains which rise a further 3,000 ft. It is about 15 miles wide and 50 miles long something like Burragorang on a much grander scale. We are camped in a grove of poplars and during the day the temperature rises to about 100° 3) but the nights – thanks to Paddy I got my sleeping-bag and a valise – I need them. The mountain peaks which surround us are snowcapped and I understand that they remain in this condition permanently.
A few miles to the north of our camp is the town of Baalbeck - with its historical interests. It was formerly the Roman city of Heliopolis and the Roman ruins are in an excellent state of preservation. Huge monuments to Roman culture - the temples of Bacchus, the Sun and Jupiter. As we wander over the hills (and some hills they are too) and set up our theodolites we get well off the beaten track and have come across many interesting phenomena. Huge quarries thousands of years old; caves which have at one time been the homes of cave-dwellers and relics of ancient civilisations, stones lying scattered around in groups - too indistinct to indicate to an observer like myself any knowledge of their date or purpose - however they have obviously been there for thousands of years and have at one time formed buildings. It is very interesting and to a great extent repays the climb up the hills. They are not marked and one never knows when one may tumble on such a sight. …..
The famous cedars of Lebanon are very conspicuous by their absence these days, and for the most part trees are very scarce. The natives who live in the district are agricultural by nature and are endeavouring to regrow the trees which their predecessors have butchered. …
Please give my regards to my S.B.W. pals of the old days and from the snaps sent over I notice quite a number of new faces - and also the amount of photograph room given to the male fraternity is quite a minor part - the club must certainly be changing - must, however become an active member again when I return to peaceful life. Regards to all and many thanks for your letter,etc. ….”.
“Visited Damascus last Thursday. It is a fine city and,apart from Cairo, the best I have seen since leaving Australia. It is in fact a miniature Cairo…One reached Damascus, or as the locals call it “Damas”,most unexpectedly. A fullgrown river springs out of the barren mountainside flows on top of the ground for about ten miles and. then disappears as quickly as it appeared. It is in this oasis that Damas has been built. Of course canals and intricate irrigation schemes adorn the area and it is a very fertule 4) spot.
The town of Damas consists chiefly of two, parts - European & Wog-(Ed note:- In one of Bob Savage's letter's he explained that “Wog” is an abbreviation for “Worthy Oriental Gentleman”,the way a certain general described the inhabitants). The European area sports some delightful buildings 6 or 7 stories(memories of Sydney),some good hotels and a picture theatre or two, a cabaret and a railway station, some shops with plate-glass windows(great novelty in the East)and a store of the Woolworth variety - huge for this country - it has about ten shop assistants (quite good looking too).
The Wog area is, of course, most interesting especially the bazaar area. Made acquaintance with the “Street that is called Straight” (memories of St. Paul the Apostle). For the most part the native quarter streets are extremely narrow and twisty though quite clean. ….
Of interest also was a visit I paid to a local village in the hills, at the invitation of the Muktah(head man), He also invited his cousin who was a captain in the Turkish army in the last war, This cousin is the chief of a tribe of Jebel Druces - the hill tribes who live, by raiding the dwellers of the plains. This fellow has 1250 members in his family, none of whom work - he did not fight in this war (he has his own private army) although the French asked him to join them. His family are born rulers and consider it beneath their dignity to work.
Had a very entertaining evening….. He invited me to spend a week or so in his castle in the hills, but I had visions of being lured up there and having an ear chopped off or something to be sent to my regiment for ransom; so pleaded the excuse of being busy. Altogether the atmosphere was most cordial and if he was not sincere he should go to Hollywood, he'd made his fortune. …..”
|Morrie's address is:-||NX20390 M.M.Stephenson (Lieut.)
Sound Ranging Bty., 2/1 Aust.Survey Regt.,
Middle East Force. A.I.F. Abroad.
by Marie B. Byles.
The cult of super-ultra-vegetarianism is increasing alarmingly in the Club. On one recent official trip ten out of the twelve present lived exclusively on raw vegetables, nuts and cold water. The author felt positively gluttonous as she warmed a cup of watery milk flavoured with coffee and boiled a single turnip for dinner at night. The twelfth member of the party evidently felt worse than gluttonous, for he slunk off alone to consume his cold meat in solitary confinement.
Oh! there are some who seek to save
Your precious soul from Hell,
And some to wean you from the Drink
You always loved so well.
But oh! the very, very worst
Of all evangelists,
Are not the Douglas Creditites,
Nor yet the Communists,
But interfering, smiling folk,
Who good meat snatch away,
And turn you out to browze on nuts,
And cabbages and Hay.
marks the beginning of the Photographic summer season. You will need films - black and white, or colour - before the holiday, and a dependable developing, printing, and enlarging service for the pictures you are going to take in the bush. Both (as you all know) are to be found at
|Goodman Bros. Photo Supplies|
|20 Hunter Street, City|
|(opposite Wyny_..rd Entrance)|
|Open Friday Night|
Don't forget to have a look at our album of blue toned pictures. You will like them, and get some of your snaps done in blue.
It's nice and well worth while.
By Wiff Knight.
I made up my mind to try and find somewhere fresh this winter. I could only get to Townsville by boat so on board I started to make enquiries, pumping everyone I spoke to until I ran up against a launch proprietor of Townsville. He was after business and started to tell me everything I wanted to know. He got out his chart of all the Islands around Townsville and explained them all to me. I asked about Dunk Island and he recommended Orpheus Island in the Palm Group. He told me I could camp there for nothing with plenty of oysters and fish for the taking. A Mr. Musgrave had a lease of the Island and would be pleased to have our company. The launch proprietor quoted £8 5) to take me there from Townsville and said I might get back a bit cheaper another way by launch to Lucinda Point then by car to Ingham and by rail back to Townsville. I thought £8 6) a lot of money for half a day's trip so I decided to try and find out the cheaper way.
Arriving st Townsville at 7.15 a.m. and the train leaving at 8 a.m. we had to get a move on as the train is over a mile away from the boat. Only three taxis there! I was determined to get one with my heavy luggage, so as soon as the plank was down I sent the wife off to get one. It cost me 10/- for that ride, only one mile! We had time to have a cup of tea before we left for Ingham, where we got into another taxi and told him where we wanted to go and left him to find the route. He took us to the town and got on the Phone to Halifax and told us he would take us there. Well, I have been told to go to Halifax before, but never thought I would ever go there! The trip out was good, through canefields and along river banks all the way until we got to Halifax, a small town about sixteen miles from Ingham. The driver made more inquiries and told us we would have to go to Lucinda Point a further seven miles. We went through mangrove swamps. The road had been made high and the taxi driver told us that a crocodile was killed on the road and there were plenty in the mangroves. The mangroves grow twenty to thirty feet straight and they use them for rafters and joists for building their houses.
We had to do a lot of enquiring - calling at three houses - to find out where Mr.David, the launch owner, was and arranged that he would call and see us at the hotel when he got the sugar boat away at 4 p.m. We seemed to cause a stir as the landlady told us they never get visitors there, only canecuttere. We had lunch and went for a walk along the beach to wait for Mr.David. He came on time and said he would take us over straight away. I said,”Tomorrow, as we have no supplies“. He said be 7) could not do that as he was getting married on the next day. I said I would not spoil his wedding, and he told me to go to the store and get what I could, and we left for Orpheus at 5 p.m. To get there had cost me £1 8) for the train fare, 35/- for the taxi and £2 9) for the launch trip.
We went around the southern end of Hinchinbrook Island, a very big island about twenty miles long, with mountains rising to 3,000 ft. - suit Marie and Dot - they look very steep and rough to climb.
After a calm trip over in two hours, Mr. David flashed his searchlight on and tooted his horn, and out came Mr.Musgrave, his 82-year-o1d brother, his 73-year-old sister and his young daughter Betty. As it was high tide we were able to go right in to the beach and, after a short row in a flattie, we were there, to be received by these lovely people, who made us welcome and did all they could to make us happy. We were introduced, takeen into tea and given a good bed for the night. Fancy making campers welcome in a guest house like that!
This Musgrave family has a very interesting history. The father ran away to sea when a lad; he missed his ship and it was wrecked. Then it was reported that a T.Musgrave was drowned in another wreck and his parents went into mourning for him. It was not he, and after many years he saved up enough money and was going home when he was wrecked and lost all his savings. After twenty years he got home - with a wife and child - and that was the first news his, parents had had of him being alive. He was then a captain. He was sent from Sydney to the Auckland Islands in the ship “Grafton” in 1864 for seals and was wrecked and spent nineteen months on that cold island with his mate and two seamen. They lived on seals meat and a herb that grew on the island, and kept well. Then they made their small boat a bit bigger and the captain and mate set out to reach some inhabited place. They had to keep bailing out to keep their frail craft afloat in storms for six days, then they made Stewart Island. There they got a ship and went and rescued their two men. The old gent on Orpheus Island is the captain's eldest son. He was one of the pioneers of Gippsland,Victoria,and Dawson Valley,Queensland. We had some very interesting yarns.
What the Musgraves had was ours, and we were told to take what we wanted and not to ask for it. We couldn't do that, so always asked. His flattie and lines were available to me when I wanted to go fishing,even hooks and sinkers. All he wanted was our Company. But I wouldn't be satisfied with that. I hope anyone who goes there won't forget them when they leave.
Mr.Musgrave cast his net and gave us the fish and,wouldn't let us do anything to help them. He took me goat hunting. There are about a thousand goats on the island and he shoots a couple a week for food. They are fairly tame and he can get quite close to them, and when one is being skinned the others stand about fifty yards away and watch what is going on. He leaves the skin, head and inside,there for the hawks to eat, and only shoots the young billys and leaves the nannies to breed. They are good eating, but mot much on them.
Mr. Musgrave is the Ranger for the Palm Islands and doesn't allow birds to be disturbed. There are no wild animals there that I know of.
The wife and I roamed a good bit of the Island, which is 9 miles long and about half a mile wide. It has plenty of beaches, but very hard going to get to them as the speargrass is about 4 ft. high with boulders on top of the ground which you can't see through the grass. The only way to walk there in comfort is in a pair of shoes only. Clothes get full of grass-seed and it sticks into you until you take your clothes off.
Oysters are there by the acre and as big as you fancy them. We had some good feeds of them. The first time we went out fishing we had all our hooks bitten off but landed six nice fish. Next night we had steel wire, but there were not so many fish about, but we got seven. Then I tried out deep on the coral and got six good fish - four “Government Bream”, a red fish with a broad arrow marking on it, which is very good eating, weight half to 2 lbs.
The weather is cooler than Cairns and I had left my sleeping-bag at Brisbane, but brought a rug instead, then left that at the pub at Lucinda! That did not matter, though, as we were amongst such good people, who lent me a blanket.
The airmail liners passed over us twice a day but we had no communication with the mainland as Mr.Musgrave has lost two launches in cyclones and now depends on Mr.David to bring his supplies over when he has someone to bring over. We had no call for two weeks and our tucker was very low when I sighted Mr.David coming over. He brought us 1 lb. of tomatoes and 1 dozen apples, 2 loaves of bread and some tinned fruit and cream, and we had to manage for another week, but Mr.Musgrave helped us out.
One day we went over to the east beach and could see Fantome Island quite close (that is where they keep the abo lepers),Curacoa Island right in front of us and Palm Island, where the Missions are, just behind that. The beaches are very rough granite boulders and coral sand. I believe the cyclones spoil that part.
We spent a good deal of time out on the reef looking at the beautiful coral, both soft and hard. The coral puts me in mind of caves where you see a lot of formations representing other things in life. Lace patterns you see in several different designs, also stag-horns and beautiful, golden, soft coral like plush curtains. Every shade of colour is there, and the clams are the prettiest things on the reef. The small fishes of every colour come close to your feet if you stand still.
Another trip we went to the mangroves to look for crabs, but the wife got fed up with walking in mud up to our knees so I only got one big chap that did us both for tea. The proper time to get crabs is night-time with a torch, but the sandflies get you first, and if the crab gets you with his nippers as big as your fist you will know it.
One day, while on the hill going over to another beach, we could see two dark patches in the shallow water. I thought of turtle soup, but when we got down to the beach it was two patches of small fish packed very close. We also saw a dugong swimming near us. He is like a big seal, light brown in colour. We had some fun chasing the parrot-fish in shallow water and I managed to catch one which did for tea.
When we got back a launch had arrived from Dunk Island with some visitors from Melbourne. They took me for a trip in the launch the next day to the northern end of the Island. I went in for a swim with one of them while the other chaps went goat shooting and got two. After a walk around that end we came back at 3 p.m. and had dinner. Then the launch party and Betty left for Dunk Island, which they would not reach until midnight.
We spent a very enjoyable three weeks camped on the Island. It would suit Bush Walkers as you can go somewhere every day and get as rough climbing as you want. Mr. Musgrave is pleased to have a couple of paying guests at 35/- a week or you can camp as we did. We regretted to leave but had te catch the boat back to Brisbane.
Don't Miss Any Of The Following Doings!
|8.15 p.m.||Mr. Palmer Kent will tell us more of his interesting adventures “Wandering In Thailand & Indochina”.|
|8.15 p.m.||Epidiascope Night.
Please bring along your most interesting photographs and hand them to the Social Secretary not later than 7.45 p.m. Don't forget how much we are all looking forward to this night, so make it a good show.
|6.00 p.m.||Party At The Minerva Theatre to see
“Robert's Wife” Price 2/1. Centre Stalls.
Dine afterwards at cosmopolitan Kings Cross
(Sorry! the 2/- does not include dinner!)
|8.15 p m.||Mr. Stephen Macindoe will tell us of “American National Parks”, illustrating his talk with coloured slides.|
|8.00 p.m.||Concert at History House, 8 Young St. City.
N.B. Grace Edgecombe is Organiser-in-chief
and Will Be Delighted To Receive All Helpful
Suggestions At The Earliest Possible Moment.
What makes him do it? With such questions ceaselessly plaguing one from surrounding influences, it seems to become necessary for a bushwalker at some stage in his boot-demolishing career to pause for a moment, and wonder to himself vaguely why he does it; and to think to himself that he must immediately find some reasonable excuse to fall back on when the saner souls of the community question him as to the reasons for his pioneering perambulations.
Is it just the love of the bush? And, if so, what does one mean by the “love of the bush”? Perhaps it is the sight of nature's loveliness unspoiled by the “Advance of Civilization” – the colour and shape and perfume of the trees and shrubs and the wild bush flowers – the bird life and the life of the bush animals – all so unrestrained and bound only by the ancient and ever just laws of old mother nature.
Is it just the love of exercise and the knowledge of health and strength gained in the bodyi walking in leafy glens and inhaling the eucalyptus-scented air?
Is it an outlet to the unconquered problems of daily life, to go forth to be thrilled by the conquest of a mountain, or that feeling of triumph after a long journey? Or is it the companionship of our friends, the sharing of happiness and difficulties, the camp fires and that free “unfenced in” feeling?
Possibly there is a sprinkling of all of these in our reasons for tramping about in the bush, but underlying them all is the interest in life. The life and growth of the bush, of our friends, and of ourselves. Thus the protection of nature's handiwork from unthinking hands. But would this protection be necessary if more realised and appreciated the beauty of bushland? Does not this point to a more zealous effort on our part to encourage others to become interested in our clubs, to join up and promote the welfare of bushwalking; we should take care that our constitutional rules are not exclusive but rather most inclusive.
Copies of “The Junior Tree Warden, No.3,1940/1941” have recently reached the various bushwalking clubs from the Australian Forest League, and the S.B.W. copy should prove a valuable addition to our Club Library. Published by the Department of Education, it is attractively illustrated with photos of Australian trees of many varieties growing in such widely separated places as Palm Valley (Central Australia),Terrigal(N.S.W.),Sydney Domain, Addis Ababa, Bengazi, Empangeri (Zululand)and Nightcap State Forest (N.S.W.).
In addition to reports on tree-planting activities,successes,and failures, at many schools in various parts of N.S.W., this publication contains much useful information for those who would grow trees, and includes a comprehensive list of trees suitable to specified areas and the conditions most suited to each kind of tree. We recommend this booklet to our “Morella-karong Committee” as well as to our various home-owners as a useful book of reference.
No.1 “Sydney Bushwalker Annual”,Apri1,1934,was sold out years ago, of course, but the Melbourne Walking Club is now trying to secure a copy as it finds that this is the only number missing from its file of the “Sydney Bushwalker” and “The Bushwalker” Annuals. It seems a pity, doesn't it that a file of ten years' issues should be incomplete by just this one magazine? Yes; well that's what the Melbourne Walking Club feels, too. “Mouldy” Harrison has therefore been commissioned to use every effort to secure a second-hand copy.
We have heard that this magazine is a good advertising medium, and we hope this announcement will result in someone digging out a copy of the “No. I issue” and selling it to “Mouldy” for our good friends of the Melbourne Walking Club.
The two members welcomed at the Half-yearly Meeting in September were Miss Betty Holdsworth and Mr.Ted.Hunter. Then the President handed out certificates won at this year's Sports Carnival; after which we got down to business.
Hobart Walking Club wrote that the local park authorities had refused to extend “Fergie's” lease at Lake St.Clair Tourist Camp beyond next September, and asked all Sydney walkers who know him to join them in protesting and in asking the authorities for a longer lease. As requested, this letter was passed on to the Federation,and Club members were asked to note that individual action was needed.
The Slide Competition was won by Laurie Raynor,with Reg.Alder getting “honourable mention”.
The appointment of Charles Jones as Assistant Walks Secretary was announced, and the call for volunteers for Room Stewards resulted in the election of Dorothy Bickery, Irving Calnan and Russell Roxburgh.
Dorothy Lawry was elected Federation Delegate and Member of the Club Committee and was replaced as Substitute Delegate by Irving Calnah.
Coming to the proposed alterations to the Constitution, it was resolved that the last one on the Notice - being the most contentious - should be dealt with first. After a lengthy debate and the passing of an important amendment the motion failed to get the necessary three-fourths majority.
The hour being late, the Half-yearly Meeting was then adjourned for a month, and will be continued before the October meeting proceeds to any of its roatine business.