A monthly Bulletin of The Sydney Bushwalkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown Street, Sydney.
|Assistant Editors||Elsa McGregor and Norma Barden|
|Business Manager||Maurie Berry|
|Production Assistant||Peter Price|
|Sales and Subs.||Jean Harvey|
|The Lure||B. Grimshaw||1|
|“So Help Met!”||“Dingo”||2|
|“Syncarpia by Night”||Jingle||3|
|“Story in Stone”||“Trouper”||4|
|February Meeting||Brian Harvey||12|
|Gossip Scout||Stop Press||14|
These were tasks that called for a good deal of energy, trifling though they might appear to those real explorers whose feats I was faintly copying, as Early Victorian ladies used to copy fine steel engravings in pale niggling pencil-work. Yet I enjoyed the trouble, enjoyed even the inconveniences, after a fashion, since they were richly paid for, in the pure gold coin that Nature mints for sailors, campers, and gipsy wanderers alone. Some need, so exceedingly deep down in the roots of humanity that one cannot even define or name it, seems to be satisfied by wanderings such as these. It is a need not felt by all (though lying latent in very many who never suspect its existence, until sudden changes of circumstances call it out), and those who do not experience it find it hard to understand. Yet it is one of the strongest forces in the world - hunger, love, the lust of battle, alone can rank with it in power over humanity. The “Song of the Road” - the “Call of the Wild” - and other names coined by an analytical generation for this unknown force, leave the kernel of the matter untouched. But those who know what it is to come home to Earth, understand the meaning of the call, although at the very coming, she lays a cold finger on their lips for welcome, and says, “You shall know, you shall enjoy, but you shall never tell…”
(Taken from Chapter V - “From Fiji to the Cannibal Islands”, by Beatrice Grimshaw.)
So help me I saw it, and it wasn't as if there had been a pub handy. You see, I was at North Era and the nearest ale was to be tapped at Burning Palms, or so 'twas said. Being a little curious I ambled over on the afternoon of Boxing Day, but anyhow, what I'm talking about happened unexpectedly on the morning of that day. So while you may raise the doubting eyebrow, please remember that the body was in a state of complete sobriety.
The rest of the crew had departed for their first swim of the day and only Christa and myself were left. Christa was dutifully removing the black from the breakfast dishes and your raconteur was bashing the spine. Even so I would not have been in a position to describe the event only Chris murmured “water”. What I murmured, I muttered, but I climbed to the feet and groping for a water bucket, away I went. I know what is in your minds. The men sympathise: “The poor bloke must have been half asleep.” The girls “Half dopey from the enchanting Christa's request and wouldn't be capable of seeing anything anyhow.”
But, so help me, I saw it. You couldn't blame the poor light, the visibility was one hundred per cent perfect and couldn't be bettered. My workmates suggested I may have left my glasses behind at camp, but I checked on this at the time. No sir, it was the genuine article. It couldn't have been otherwise because I saw it with my own eyes.
Now, some blokes make up these stories and build on them at each successive telling but mine has remained unchanged. I told them the story seventeen times at and never changed a word. To be truthful they accompanied me word for word at one stage but later kept a respectful silence. Some unkind person suggested it may have been a stunned silence. That is hardly reasonable because it was so darned rare and interesting.
Anything is likely to happen at Era but you must admit that this was something out of the ordinary. At Burning Palms you may often see queer shapes and on occasions smell beer - pardon - queer smells. But to walk away from the camp at Era and bump right into it, well I can see the point in your disbelieving stares. I also have another obstacle to overcome. They point the scornful finger: “The bloke's only just lost his prospective status, only been lost twice, and has never tasted dried cat's meat.” In my defence I submit that, firstly, I am a friend of Roley Cotter, secondly, I had the good judgement to get lost with a glamorous girl on each occasion, and lastly, I am told my ignorance of dried cat's meat will be adjusted within the next thirty days. Can I say more?
All this points to the fact that I not am not pulling your legs, so to continue with my story. So help me I saw it… What's that? Ladies and gentlemen, I believe I have been handed a metaphorical specimen of a fruit of the berry family.
So, be darned to you, I wish I hadn't told you the story, anyway.
at itching bite;
throughout the night;
and bless the light;
for where her writhing body lay
the insect world made hellish play.
With patches red
on face and head,
a mirror tells her all;
with swollen eye
from stinging fly
from beauty she must fall.
“Ah, me! my beauty,”
saith the cutie,
“is that me or gall?
If I must wear these bites all day,
'tos time I rose and stole away.”
On Sunday, March 30, Bob Younger wants you to help. When the children from the Devonshire Street Free Library go to Lane Cove, the more helpers there are, the merrier we'll be, and so will the kids. Women are wanted to handle eating arrangements; men are wanted for the fun and games; money is wanted to cover costs. Dip into your pockets now for a donation, and then turn up in person. Remember - Bob Younger needs your assistance.
Have you forgotten your contribution? Walking tales… poems… cartoons… sketches… photographs… plus suggestions for cover. Remember the closing date: March 31. Please forward contributions per editor of this journal.
Part 1 (January edition) of the ancient history of the Shoalhaven R. area outlined the way in which the various rocks are formed - shale and sandstone are formed as sediments on the floor of a lake or sea, and changed into flint or slate when the countryside is crushed and folded by great forces in the earth's crust; whilst limestone is an accumulation of the calcium-containing remains of living organisms, e.g. corals.
Now that we understand the nature of the rocks - the brown and grey flint and slate in the lower part, and the sandstones overlying them, we can examine the history of the area from a map - a geologic map (Plate 1). In the eastern portions of this map, we see that there are Ordovician slates, overlain by a cap of Permian sandstone, as is seen in the section, A-A. The names need cause no alarm - they are simply a convenient way of classifying a rock according to its age. Thus, from the list on the map, “Ordovician” rocks were first laid down as sediments during the period, 400 million to 380 million years ago; “Silurian” rocks originated during the Period 380 million to 320 million years ago, and so on.
Upon what evidence do we base these statements of age? The chief evidence is that of fossils. In the sea which overlay the area of the Ordovician slates were small fish called graptolites, organisms which lived in colonies, and grew in small, stringy clusters so that the aggregate was somewhat as illustrated in Plate 2. Now, these graptolites underwent a fairly rapid evolutionary process - the number of branches and the direction of growth of those branches changed, as is illustrated by reading the figure from left to right. Hence, if a particular type of graptolite is found in a particular stratum of slate, then its evolutionary stage at once gives a key to the age of that slate.
Now, when we look to either side of the gorge in this area, we note three things. Firstly, the lower rock strata is distorted, and at about 1,000 feet above the river gives way suddenly to horizontally bedded rocks - that is, the upper rocks were not in existence at the time when the area was subjected to the great earth forces which distorted the lower shales, and hardened them to slates. Secondly, the lower rocks are brown or grey slates, laid down far from the shore of a sea; the upper are yellow sandstones which are deposited near a sea or lake shore. Thirdly, referring to the ages listed on the map, the Ordovician age ended 380 million years ago, but the Permian did not begin until 155 million years later. Layer by layer, the shales were built up, year by year - and then a gap. A hiatus of 155 million years, for the Silurian, Devonian and Carboniferous ages are missed out. Deposition ceased, and in the interim the shales were crushed and folded and hardened into slates; and then, so many million years later, when the crushing forces had died away, sedimentation occurred again.
What is the explanation of this missing chapter? It lies in the fact that, throughout the Silurian, Devonian and Carboniferous ages, all this land had been uplifted above the water level; the sea had drained away, and where previously, deposition had been occurring, denudation (erosion) was now taking place. And finally, the area had been submerged once more, but this time the sea had not extended very far beyond the regions we are examining, and sandstones were laid down where for ages only erosion and earth-crumpling had taken place.
Now look to Bungonia - here, Silurian shales and limestones. The rocks of the missing chapter! This area had been submerged whilst the eastern sector had been uplifted. That is, a shore-line had existed between the area now called Bungonia, and the opposite side of the present Shoalhaven. A noteworthy feature of this limestone belt is the fact that the remains of the ancient corals flank a gorge 1,000 feet deep. And yet, coral is a shallow-water organism and does not build at depths greater than about 10 feet. How, then, can there be 1,000 feet of fossil remains where the water had not been more than some 10 feet deep? The fact is that the land had not tilted and lain still, but it had gone on gradually tilting for millions of years, and as the region sank, fraction by fractions the corals went on building, always growing upwards to maintain their normal depth below the rising water.
However, despite the existence of Silurian sediments on the Bungonia sides there is evidence even here that the progression was not a smooth one. For the upper slates were somewhat eroded away before being covered by the later shales. That is a general uplift had raised the whole land above the sea, and then re-submerged the western side. It did not now subside beneath the original sea, however, being covered instead by a vast inland lake.
This land being now submerged, and gradually tilting to allow of the building of the corals, erosion started on the still-uplifted eastern section. Year by year, rivers were breaking down the Ordovician slates, and carrying the particles westward - to the lake, this time, and not to the sea - where they were deposited as muds around the corals, later to be dried to form the Silurian shales we now see around the limestone roof.
We now have the history before us, and may recapitulate the tale, in some six stages: see Plate 2.
Stage 1. Ordovician times. Whole area the floor of a sea, far from shore; muds being deposited year by year in horizontal layers on the sea-floor - later dried to form shales. Graptolites in sea and on muds.
Stage 2. Silurian times. Whole area uplifted and partly eroded (time-gap between Ordovician and Silurian at Bungonia). Intense earth forces crush and fold area into slates.
Stage 3. Silurian. West side subsides under inland lake, with shoreline east of Bungonia Gorge: limestone belts established and Ordovician rocks of east carried west by rivers; re-deposited in lake.
Stage 4. Devonian - Carboniferous times. Region uplifted entirely. Erosion of Ordovician slates and of more recent Silurians of west.
Stage 5. Permian times. Eastern sector submerged below sea, but not so far from shore as in stage 1 (shoreline close to present Barber's Creek). Sandstones deposited in horizontal layers.
Stage 6. Post-Permian times. Bodily uplift of whole area, and erosion to present contours.
The story is there complete in the main, and only one minor aspect remains. During the Silurian activity, molten rock from deep down in the earth's crust welled up into the areas near the present Maru1an. This, on cooling gave rise to granite and porphyry in these regions.
Thus we may see in the story of the ancient Shoalhaven area, not a tale of hills eternal and timeless lands, but of a varied inter-change of land and sea. On future walks, you may see yourself the story revealed; the folded slates of the lower gorge, the sandstones of the upper, and the limestones of Bungonia - pieces of a history before the dawn of man.
Review of February 8-9 1947.
Oh, boy! what a weekend! Rain? Did you say, “Rain?” What rain? No, of course I didn't get wet. Okay,okay - you all know by now who the gossip writer is; or if you don't, you go damned near the truth in the scathing remarks you hurl at me each time a new issue goes on the mart. So I spent the weekend in a shack, did I? So what - was I the only one? And if I did, can I be blamed? Did I or did I not spend part of the weekend dishing out tea to wearisome walkers staggering down or up the hill? Oh, yes, I know - “But to spend the whole time… Because I forsook the dampness and inconvenience of being cooped up under japara on a weekend of water - well, is he not best qualified to comment who views happenings from the heights of unbiased detachment?
So there was I, and there were you. And maybe you thought I didn't get round much? If not, did you enquire whose face was poked in front of the camera every time the “Pix” chappie clicked the shutter? Sure thing; there I was, being photographed right and left at the slightest provocation.
Did we have fun on Central! A special carriage on the 9.12 to Kiama, and me delegated to load it. Imagine my reaction; just imagine the shock to my brain - when I found that there was no 9.12 to Waterfall. Or, rather, there was, but it was first stop Austinmer. Panic! Organised, of course. An interview in the Station Master's office culminated in the consultation of a form some 3' x 2' and the verbal conclusion, “Nope, there's no special carriages reserved for any bushwalking mob on any trains to-day.” This, mind you, when I was carrying an official letter of intro. to the S.M. (written on paper headed in letters 3/4” high, with a list of at least 20 clubs appended) assuring him of my willing help in filling the carriage he had so kindly set aside…! And now there was no 9.12 to Waterfall.
Ah, but you can't keep a Bushwalker down. There's a way wherever there's a will; and there's a 9.20 down the line. Some folks resort to greasing the palm. But not me. A winsome look, a wry smile, and a pathetic tone of voice; just that, and the job's done. I went to the chappie on the gate, who passed me to the Head Porter, who in his turn pitched a pathetic tale to the Guard. And lo! when the 9.20 pulled in, there was a carriage marked “Not In Use”, and the Head Porter whispering in my ear, “That's for your mob, mate.”
At this juncture, I might digress, Railway employees came in for a lot of abuse. In this case, someone had blundered; it may have been me, or it may have been they. In any case, I should pay tribute to the four who showed me so much courtesy in the task of loading some 60 Bushwalkers on some train or other.
But I forget! Here am I telling you all about what I did, when the scandal scout's real job is to tell you what you did.
Anyhow, next came the bus to Governor Game. Those who stayed on the train, bound for Lilyvale, mouthed some cutting comment about, “Bushwalkers, or bus-walkers?”. We ignored them - they'd learn their lesson when they found all the beat camp sites taken.
Arrived at “The Palms”, I found that S.B.W. was, according to the map, scattered hither and yon. Principal group was up behind the Ranger's hut, which stood there in mute, unfinished tribute to the willing workers of our clan - to whose chosen spot I forthwith repaired. Tent stood on tent (almost, at any rate), but the only topic of conversation seemed to be, “Have you seen Billie Yet?” No, I had not - little knowing that she was even then reclining in a shack, sipping tea from a glass cup!
Dorothy Lawry now armed herself with a shovel, to dig out a waterhole. Rainy days have their compensations: on Sunday, the S.B.W. Construction Co. went to town, dug a tank, and lined it with rocks!
Camp-fire, Saturday night. S.B.W. arrived and settled in. Then more S.B.W. arrived. Then more S.B.W. - what? aren't they all here yet? No, Maurie and Tuggie are just leaving Lilyvale, and Peter Gracie and Betty Penfold won't arrive 'til 3.30 a.m.!
A procession of flaming torches came down the hill, plunged their brands into the fire - and things were away. Singing, sketches fun and games; the rain held off, and the flames roared high. Flashes of brilliant light here and there told those “in the know” that “Pix” was all about. My, how their faces beamed whenever those flashbulbs went off (little knowing that the photo was already taken!)
The greatest revelation of the whole weekend was the bus which brought us home. Fair dinkum, folks, a bus with elastic sides! Walkers just kept going in and going in… you've no idea! Ah, but you should have seen the smooth system worked by Jean Harvey: she swept up the Eastoe toddler in her arms and, whilst men fell back on either side, stepped regally into the elastic sided monster and - oh, yes, she got a seat, alright! But to get back to the bus: a large sign over the door read, “To seat 26.” When finally the driver had finished wrestling with his gears, the mob had piled out, and the sides had settled back to their normal contours, a number was written in my mental notebook: “52 plus 4 kids plus packs!!!” The following weekend, I noticed he had a new bus!
And so we came back to Sydney town. The weekend was wet (raining, I mean), but we enjoyed it. However, there was one question which worried me when the mob had drifted away from the camp-fire: can you burn, bash and bury a bottle?
Reported by Brian Harvey.
The February General Meeting opened with about 50 members present, with President Jack Rose in the chair.
Four new members were welcomed to the ranks, and after the customary cautions and handshaking were handed their Flannel Flower and Book of Golden Rules. By name: Minnetta Bowles, Alice Thomas, John Lenton, and Norman Thornton. Resignations were received from Lance Bryant, Russell Roxburgh and Don and Betty Gordon, while our old friends Charles Pryde and Bill Kilner were transferred to the Non-active list.
Wilbur Morris is reported now to be stationed in Tasmania.
It was announced that an agreement had been reached whereby we are permitted to pay our rent for the Era Camping Lease on a quarterly basis. Apropos of this, we were very grateful to receive a donation of £2/2/- from the Coast and Mountain Walkers towards defraying our expense in this matter. The right spirit!
On the motion of Edna Garrad, it was decided to request the Federation to communicate with major airlines pointing out that many walkers now travel interstate by air and asking that special attention be paid to the safe packing of rucksacks in luggage compartments. A complaint was received that a steel frame was found bent on arrival in Tasmania. A serious position could arise from this cause.
Following an agitation over the presence of roving cattle in Garrawarra Park, Dorothy Lawry announced that the Government had granted £50 towards purchase of material for construction of a cattleproof fence on the Northern boundary. (Over Christmas two tents were destroyed by the cattle and Ranger Campbell reports more stealing and fouling of campers' tucker from the same source). During the very successful Federation Reunion a well was constructed be1ow the soak behind the Ranger's Huts which will be handy for Harry Campbell and campers on the nearby flat. Pending erection of the main fence, steps are being taken to erect a cattle fence round this soak.
Alex Colley's resignation as a Federation Delegate was accepted with regret and Ron Knightly elected as Delegate until 1st August next. Ron is now Federation Publicity Officer, in lieu of Horrie Salmon, who is resigning owing to pressure of business.
On 22nd. March, the Forestry Advisory Council is conducting a tree study walk at “The Island”, National Park (near Scientists' Hut). All welcome.
The President stressed the importance of the rule that under no circumstances could a Sunday Walk be cancelled. If a leader finds it impossible to lead a Programme Sunday Walk, a substitute leader MUST be found and the Walks Secretary advised. In other words “The Walk Must Be On!”
On a fairly close vote it was decided to hold the Annual Reunion an our lease at Stockyard Creek, North Era. It was pointed out that we are paying good money to lease the land - so, why not camp on it!
Bill Henley informed the meeting that the Annual Swimming Carnival was being swum at Cattai Creek, via Windsor, and a good time would be had by all. (It's now over - see results of Championships elsewhere in this issue).
After Gwen Roots' trip to Frazer Park, many questions are being asked: Was it an Official Walk or an Official Bus-ride? Will the Leader report on Prospectives or Prospectives report on the Leader? Did the Programme say 4 miles or 40? Was the Official train early, or was half the official Party late?
Perhaps the year's prize quip was heard on Marj Clarke's recent walk. A Prospective remarked, “I'm so glad that S.B.W. take walking so sensibly, and don't go racing away at an awful pace like Y.H.A.!!” Need I add that it was not a test walk?
Lost! Bushwalkers!!! Sure thing, fellers. Where? Who? Well of course, we don't know where - they don't even know themselves. Who? Bob Younger and Kev Ardill, with Norma and Christa - no, no! delete Kev Ardill; he was on the right track. Imagine it: Bushwalkers bushed! And, of all places, in Lake St. Clair Reserve, Tasmania. A countryside riddled with tracks, and these veterans of the Wild Dogs pathless jumble were up on the wrong mountain!