A monthly Bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St., Sydney.
Annual subscription May 1948 to Jan., 1949 3/9.
|Editor||Alex Colley, 55 Kirribilli Av., Milson's Pt.|
|Production and Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Editorial- A Message to Contributors||1|
|At Our Annual General Meeting||3|
|Club Officers Elected in March, 1948||5|
|Re-Union 1948||Grace Jolley||6|
|Did You Go to the Re-Union||Claude Haynes||9|
|On to Adamson's Peak||Ray Kirkby||10|
|Horse Trouble||Kath McKay||12|
|Film Review||K.R. Hardy||13|
|Kosciusko Sheep Shooting, letter from Allen H. Strom||15|
|Era Working Bee, Social Events in April, Congratulations, Kowmung Cavalcade, Federation, Secretary Resigns, “Tarndanya.”||16|
|Federation Notes||Brian Harvey||18|
|Bushwalkers' Memorial||Brian Harvey and Ron Knightley||19|
A year ago we wrote “Should contributions lag the editorial will become longer and longer.” The results, though hardly flattering, were most satisfactory. Contributions did not lag again, and consequently readers have never had to flick over more than the first page or two before coming to reading matter of interest. In fact often the editorial has been cut off in its prime to make room for other material.
Many of the contributions have been very good. By this we don't necessarily mean they were literary masterpieces. We mean that they were interesting to readers. In this a good style and good English is a great asset, but it is not so important as the spirit in which an article is written. If the writer is really keen on his subject and keeps his readers in mind all the time, he may well produce a more interesting article than the literary stylist. As in conversation, personality and enthusiasm often count for more than education.
Nevertheless many articles would be much improved if writers would take note of a few simple hints. In the first place we would urge everyone to write under their own names. It is the author's right to choose his pen name, and, if the article is up to standard, it will be published under any name. All we wish to point out is that personalities account for most of the interest of magazine articles. Articles are twice as interesting when readers know who wrote them. Incidentally, contrary to popular belief, the Editor never writes under a nom-de-plume.
The second hint follows from the first. Tell readers who else was concerned. Contributors to the “Tararua Tramper” have a practice which the S.B.W. might well follow. At the beginning of a trip description is the word “Party” followed by the names of the people on the walk. This is important if you have been on a new or unusual walk - other member know who to ask for directions. If it is not new or unusual country the main interest is in the people rather than the country or the weather. So say who your companions were and what they did.
The third hint concerns the form of your manuscript. Some contributors just let their heads go and write freely and at length without any worries about grammar, punctuation, spelling, clear meaning, or length. This is often quite a good way of writing an article, particularly for the inexperienced. But please don't send it to the Editor like this. Put it away for a few days. Then go through it carefully and critically, reduce it to an acceptable length (anything over 1,000 words is approaching the danger zone and anything over 1,500 words will almost certainly be pruned), type it in double space, or copy it clearly, and then send it to the Editor. Remember that the magazine is typed by a fellow member and it is a day's hard work which is made much easier if the manuscript is clear.
Lastly we would remind readers that they can make useful and interesting contributions without writing articles. There are several members who, from time to time, furnish interesting bits of information which are quoted in the magazine. If you hear of any interesting incident write it up, even if it takes only two lines, and post it to the Editor - you might miss us in the Club room for several weeks on end. Some have complained that there is no “gossip” page in the magazine. There will be one just as soon as members take the trouble to tell us what is going on.
“It would be an argument for a week, laughter for a month, and a good jest for ever.” (W.S)
The President was in the Chair and there were about 90 members present. There were no new members.
The meeting soon warmed to the debate. Last year it was the bush lawyers. This year it was the accountants who took the bit between their teeth. The Balance Sheet didn't balance. There was £100 too much on the expenditure side, and, if it hadn't been for that we would have made a profit of £46:14:11 instead of a loss of £53: 5: 1d. The Magazine costs were £17:14: 8d. too high. Not that anyone doubted the honesty of our Treasurer but, as Dorothy Lawry pointed out, the whole of the general public doesn't know our Treasurer and the Chief Secretary's Department is very suspicious.
The Treasurer defended his position stoutly. It was, he said, all explained at the bottom of the Balance Sheet but, for some reason, the explanation was not reproduced. (Members may find solace in the fact that, had the explanation been reproduced, our entire profit, loss, reserve, or whatever it is, would have been swallowed up in the purchase of paper, leaving nothing to argue about.) “Miss Lawry” said the Treasurer, “may talk from now till kingdom come”, but the accounts were right.
Someone tried to save the situation by pointing out that the Balance Sheet was all right, this was only a copy; however, his logic was weighed and found wanting. Eventually Tom Herbert saved the day by moving that we take the £100 out of the Balance Sheet and then make it balance again.
In correspondence the National Fitness Council objected to the magazine saying that the 2/6d. camping charge was for the purpose of forcing hostellers into hostels. But the magazine didn't say this, someone else did. That was why we wrote “alleged reason for charge”.
The Social Secretary reported that the iron curtain had been raised for a while during the Club debate. The Commos were not ashamed to appear in their beards, but the capitalists had left off their spats and diamonds a big as birds' eggs.
Brian Harvey reported that Federation had not had time at the last meeting to discuss Narrow Neck or the Kosciusko sheep shooting. (We cannot imagine what more important subjects could have occupied the Federation's time. After the hours devoted to these subjects in S.B.W. meetings it is most disappointing to learn that the Federation had not time to consider them.)
Laurie Rayner aired his views at some length on the subject of associate members talking and voting at Federation meetings. This peroration inspired Ron Knightley to move “that the rules of debate be enforced and that speeches be limited to 3 minutes”. Laurie Rayner then composed a motion and was followed by Allan Hardie. In 2 mins. 10 secs. dead Dormo said that he agreed with the sentiments of the motion, but couldn't support it “while it had all those words in it”. After this the motion was lost.
Next came the constitutional amendment requiring auditing of Club accounts every 6 months instead of every three months. In speaking to the motion Dorothy Lawry said that in the days when the Club was young and there were lots of accountants amongst the member's the requirements of the constitution was quite easily met. (Murmurs: “What a Club it must have been then!”) The motion was carried.
On another motion from Dorothy Lawry it was resolved that the meeting recommended the incoming committee to consider the advisability of fixing subscriptions for non-actives at 5/-. She pointed out that other fees had been raised from 10/- to 15/- while non-active fees remained at 2/6d.
Allan Wyborn then brought up the subject of timber cutting in the Morton Primitive Reserve. He said that, according to the “Moss Vale Post” of 24th February “the Minister for Lands has agreed with a recommendation of the Forestry Commission furnished through the Minister for Conservation, that sawmillers be allowed access to the reserve under strict supervision of a joint committee consisting of representatives of the trustees and the two departments”. He then moved “That this Club voice its protest to the Minister for Lands and Minister for Conservation regarding the decision to allow trees to be cut from the Mark Morton Primitive Reserve, which is contrary to the purpose of the Reserve. If this decision cannot be revoked, that only employees of the Forestry Commission be allowed in the Reserve to remove timber with their usual discretion”. Speaking to the motion Dorothy Lawry said that, though there had recently been at least one resignation from the Trust, it was still 4-3 against allowing timber cutting. In supporting the motion, Myles Dunphy said that the Forestry Department could over-ride the Trustees - logs were being taken out of the Heathcote Creek Reserve contrary to the wishes of the Trustees. The Tallowa Reserve (later called Mark Morton Reserve) was the first primitive area in the State - if we lost out this would be our last chance of a primitive area. When the intention to expand the area became known the Forestry Department got in first and got the tailus slopes. It also had designs on the Tallowa and Bundanoon Park areas for a number of years. The park trustees must be bolstered up by strong public opinion. The motion was then put to the meeting and carried.
At the end of the meeting Tom Herbert took the opportunity, on behalf of the Garrawarra Trust, to thank Arthur Gilroy and the Club members who attended the working bees for their assistance. He said too that the Trust would like to see more bushwalkers becoming honorary rangers. At present only one of the 15 rangers was a walker. He would also like to see walkers taking more interest in the Park, so that encroachments in the way of buildings could be resisted. Constructive suggestions for a cattle proof fence would be welcomed.
The meeting closed at 10.50 p.m.
Election of officers went on throughout the meeting, and the results are shown below. The Office Bearers, excepting for the President and Vice-Presidents, were elected unopposed, but there was stiff competition for the positions of lady and gentlemen representatives on the committee.
Ruby Payne-Scott, Kath Hardy, Jack Wren, Paul Barnes.
Ron Knightley, Paul Barnes, Brian Harvey, Jack Wren.
Substitute Delegates: John Noble, Fred Doutch.
(These delegates have been elected for the Federation year commencing August 1948. Kath Hardy, one of the present substitute delegates, resigned, and her place until August will be taken by Jack Wren.)
By Grace Jolley.
Dropping in on the Annual Meeting before going to the Annual Reunion seems to add to the enjoyment of the weekend. It is like having jam on scones, not essential but much nicer.
The Annual Meeting was held on Friday, 12th March, therefore as you know the camp was held 13th and 14th.
A few people going campwards by car to Macquarie Fields had some difficulty in finding the spot, or rather finding the right road to lead on to it, especially those travelling on Friday night, as the darkness was no help. One small party, seen on Sunday along the river, hadn't reached the camp at all and was very disappointed. So it appears that though cars and walkers have, in the rain, the same principle of motion - that is, sticking to the ground - in very rare cases walkers have the advantage. This is a change.
Those footing it to the camp were well guided along the road to the river with neat signs on trees. These soon changed to neat stakes in the river showing the crossing. So strong was our faith in signs by this time that we overlooked the portents and entered with the usual suspicions at rest for once, and waded across to find a large slippery log to be crossed. Alternative, deep water. We can, in writing, pass lightly over this log. We didn't then.
We noticed that after David Stead had launched into shallow water a lass with a large tin of chemicals which he had handed to her he remembered to caution her as she went deeper, not to let the water get to the tin. The spectacular results of this likely eventuality were shown with startling brilliance when used later as a means to start the camp fire. Just water added to the chemical. Imagine!
The weather, which had looked “doubtful” (whatever that means), on Saturday morning decided to brighten up and by the time the majority of people had arrived we had a fine sunny afternoon. By campfire time conditions were perfect. In fact it was pointed out as an example of the perfect conditions that the ashes from the camp fire went straight up and fell straightdown on us. So it must have been good.
It is the first time that a reunion has been held at this place, and quite a number of members have put it down in their books as a likely place for a quiet week end for swimming and loafing. There are not many places with so many advantages so close to the city. Those with children found it easy to walk down the road.
So in this beautiful spot with its tall trees and river frontage, tents sprang up and with much visiting and foregathering the reunion was on.
Dunk, though the loser in an argument with a bulldog ant, an eye being painfully swollen, was handing out name tags to those she could see and didn't miss anyone. These name tags saved many a difficult moment because no one had to say “I know your face, but…”.
With dinner just on, several people were called to rehearsals for the evening show. To many it was their first intimation that they were to appear in the show but between 6 o'clock and 8 o'clock songs had to be learned, lines memorised and entrances noted. It was quite common at this stage to stumble over someone burning the chops with one hand and peering in the semi-darkness at a scrap of paper held in the other hand. These poor conscripts were considerately stepped over and left to their chops and mutterings.
As dusk and 7.30 came everyone crept down to the camp fire for front row seats. The perfect conditions mentioned before still held, and to add to the majesty of the scene a beautiful spotlight lit the scene, shining from a tall tree, with a sweet little battery nestled at the foot.
While Dave Stead and Bill Hall played about with fuses in the bushes in preparation for lighting the fires, Paddy tried to distract our attention by coaxing us to sing. Strangely, this time everyone was pitifully anxious to sing, part songs were sung from water tight compartments, very compact and no overflow from the sides. With a banjo and violin accompaniment supplied by two of our most versatile young ladies the Bushwalkers sang and enjoyed it. They threw themselves into it and such was the goodwill that possibly if someone with enough foresight had chosen that moment to walk round with a hat they may have put a deposit on a water bag, but it is too late now for regrets for lost opportunities.
The spot light faded, went out really, the camp fires were alight, and the children gazed wide-eyed.
From then on, all was entertainment. All who were asked for items came forward quite willingly with solo items and to help, in the community singing, printed leaflets were handed out so that all who could read could sing.
There were longer items needing several people in the cast and these were topical and typical of Bushwalkers. Recalling a distressing occasion in the Club when a Lecturer could not be heard for noises off, an optimistic little scene was shown of what may take place in the future at lectures. This was the ceremony of Dropping The Pin. When the pin in its dropping is audible, then, and not before, the lecturer will proceed.
Dormy's earlier fall from the straight and honest path - not the Balance Sheet, the tram scaling attempt - was the subject of an operetta with Dormy trying to sing his way out of a conviction. This appealed strongly to the warped humour of the audience and they responded by calling for the Author, Producer, Stage Manager and Librettist. Ray Kirkby, fresh from his triumph in the operetta as the Singing Judge (no relation to the Hanging Judge), stepped forward in response to these calls. The audience, now on its feet (how we love that expression) would have called for the chocolate boy. Someone held Ray down at this point.
A tour out from Katoomba, conducted by Malcolm Macgregor, showed us new aspects and unsurpassed and unsuspected contours of Bushwalker's Hil(ma). The true possibilities of Coral Swamp and the usual position of Carlon's Head were shown. The absence of Narrow Neck couldn't be helped, Flo just couldn't get down on Saturday. Malcolm astride his mount, Mouin, called his Dogs to heel. The late arrival of the latest addition to the Kennel, Edna-Hot Dog- Strett was not surprising. No doubt she had other business to attend to.
New members for initiation numbered about thirteen, but it was the longest thirteen ever seen, they stretched away in to the distance but nevertheless were dealt with faithfully by Paddy Pallin, Frank Duncan and Eric Rowen. More faithfully than we have room for here.
Poor Newies. With F.B.I. thoroughness the committee had delved into their walking lives, flung high their weaknesses, glossed over their virtues and paraded the result at this reunion. Apparently we have a mixed bag of new members. According to the list of crimes read by the initiators, we can look forward to association with one reformed vegetarian (reformation not guaranteed, however, he having seen the light after only once cracking up after a walk), one lass with ideals and an urge to become a policewoman (the ideals and urge do not necessarily coincide), a bearded walker, male, and a physical culture expert, female. Less harmful, but equally interesting, were the pillion riders, the wild party addicts, gentlemen weight shifters and, like a good deed in a naughty world, Jack Wren, the man they couldn't hang, or the boy they couldn't pin anything on.
Supper was served. Smooth cocoa, and large pieces of cake, were served, another successful item. Sleepy children were carried off to bed. John Harvey's little girl couldn't sleep, she was still awake at 2 p.m. sticking it out with the few left at the fire singing old songs. Many slept round the fire and by 3 o'clock most of the singers were back home in their tents. David Stead allowed his better nature to be appealed to and did not explode kerosene tins, and many children have, as a result escaped nightmares. The frustration experienced by David is another matter altogether.
Sunday was spent the same as at all reunions, visiting and talking, swimming and talking. A storm in the afternoon made no difference, the programme was the same as the morning except that swimming was not so popular. After the storm, however, people were departing in groups. There were plenty of trains to and from this well chosen spot and everyone found one to suit them.
It was the general opinion that this weekend was a lovely reunion.
By Claude Haynes.
I intended to go - you know the saying “Man proposes and God disposes”, but in this instance my friend Bert Whillier insisted that God had been helped by Frank Duncan, who, I gathered, had given the road directions.
Well Walkers, I saw more country with walking possibilities than I have seen in many a day.
After leaving the Moorbank Road crossing, we got into a maze of timber cutters' tracks and seemed to go for miles. I offered the advice that we night be miles past the Reunion spot but was informed that we were probably going around in a circle, so distance didn't count.
Eventually we decided to get down to the River. Bert walked downstream for about a mile and a half and I in the opposite direction. We both returned with no success story to tell. Then began the return to the spot where we had left Bert's family. Suddenly a motor horn rent the air. “Ah! there they are - this way Bert”. His reply staggered me. “That's not my motor horn”. Two minutes later we were beside Clem Armstrong, a well dressed member whom I had not met before. With his wife and son he was bound for the Reunion. Time now being 6 p.m. we decided to camp for the night, visions of the Reunion becoming very dim. Water necessitated getting down a steep 150' in semi-darkness.
On returning Clem Armstrong offered me a long sherry and I began to feel a little sympathetic towards him. Here he was with a stock of “Mudgee Brew”, “grape juice”, a portable wireless, a sleeping bag-de-luxe with a mattress on it at least six inches thick, and weighing a hundredweight; heavy grillers, steel food carriers which screwed down to keep out ants etc. I could see that Clem was now a lover of comfort but had looked forward to the Bushwalkers' Reunion to yarn about the good old days of discomfort. We polished off the “Mudgee Brew” visions of the Reunion becoming even dimmer. We had our own breakaway movement going by his time.
On the Sunday I located the Reunion Party and told them of the good intentions Bert and Clem had of being present. Clem said: “They won't believe us anyway”. That sentence assured me he was a walker. As for Bert, he had a huge rubber army pontoon for the children and was, I think, a little disappointed, but there will always be another Reunion for the children, and for yarners both male and female.
By Ray Kirkby.
Our retreat from the Hartz Mountains to Dover, in order to climb Adamson's Peak from there, began in earnest when we arrived back at the mill. We were hoping for a lift back into Geeveston but who could be optimistic about getting a lift from a mill which might not even be working? Nevertheless, a lorry was being loaded when we arrived and we got a lift after having lunch and sharing our tea with the two men.
Having with us Lesley, who was the local authority, we felt we had all the trumps in our hands, but unfortunately it was no trumps. All the transport for Dover had gone for the day - even the grocery delivery. We wandered disconsolately down to the garage to see if a car could be hired when the doctor pulled up in his Rolls Royce. “Where are you going?” he asked Lesley. “We want to get to Dover”. “I'm going over in an hour and, if you like to wait, I'll take you”.
That, however, is not the end of that chapter. An hour later the doctor pulled up beside us once again but, as he jumped out, he queried “How many are there?” “Four”. “Oh, I can take only three”. Three was all he did take and I was left lamenting, like young Lochinvar, but very unromantically, on the kerbstone.
I instructed the others to go on and leave any message at Lesley's home, but I soon overtook them in my lorry, still drinking tea in the kitchen at Lesley's. Having had our fill of tea, a little gentle pressure for a lift out to the Adamson's Peak turn-off was put on sister, who again obliged with the car for the six miles.
The first part of the track is across a sandy coastal plain on which grow many flowers of the type we see in National Park here. There were ti-trees and bauera with giant heads of flower and kunzea with balls of purple as large as bottle-tops. The track itself is an old tram track (on which the timber used to be carried), a lot of it burned by bushfires so that delicate picking of steps is often required.
The rise was not startling until the last mile or so. Then the pull up is very drastic through myrtle forests and mud and, as we had not left the road until about 4 p.m., it was getting dark. Finally I, who had gone ahead, debauched from the forest into a low scrubby area and above me I could faintly discern cliffs and hear water falling. “The hut”, I thought thankfully, “is not far off”, for I had read that it is on the edge of the sandstone plateau with a commanding view. But it was still a few hundred weary feet and, as soon as I put my nose over the plateau, a powerful and freezing wind hit me.
The hut looked delightful. It is in a spot comparable to the edge of Sublime Point, Bulli, but with a much more intricate coastline and behind it is Adamsons Peak with many more peaks to be seen if one walks a few yards. Around the hut on the southern side is a ten foot semi-circular wall of rocks to protect it from the wind. The hut itself is small with only two bunks and is used by the Forestry Department for fire-watching. That is why the front room is glassed on three sides and provides one with delightful views without having to go out in unpleasant weather. And what colourful views we had at dawn and sunset and all the time between! During the summer the hut is in touch with Dover by telephone but when we arrived the latter was out of order.
The next day the mountain was obscured by mist and rain and we had a fleeting glimpse towards midday. This induced us to attempt to climb it but when we attained the top ridge heavy rain forced us down, and we saw nothing.
We were drying ourselves out in the hut when we heard voices outside. We were all horrified because the hut was already cramped with four in it. However, it was only the men who had been re-conditioning the line and, having called the Dover Exchange and had a chat they departed thankfully, I feel sure, to their Dover homes.
Occasionally during the afternoon the mountain cleared. It is practically certain that it did not clear without being seen for heads were continually popping in and out of the hut and there would be a cry of “Look, you can see nearly all the Hartz” or “The peak is practically clear”. The atmosphere was tense for the next day was our last chance to see the view from the top. We had advanced a theory that it would more likely be clear at dawn but that particular day the theory failed. Nor was it clear when breakfast was being cooked nor when the washing up had been done.
However, we set off across the plateau not in a very cheery state of mind and expecting a repetition of the day before. From the ridge the view was of mist and, as we threaded our way up the rocks to the cairn, there was no improvement.
A half hour sheltering behind the cairn gradually sapped all our warmth and, sad and disillusioned, we were forced to descend the boulder-crammed ridge. A few hundred feet from the top the mist suddenly began to clear and in a short time the whole view appeared to be revealed. Lesley and I, despite our palpitations, started to re-ascend with as much speed as we could muster but George, either too tired or too cynical, refused to cajole the mountain further with his attentions. When Lesley and I re-arrived at the summit ten minutes later the view was almost perfect for the naked eye. The mountains to the south, seen from the Hartz, were now so much closer and we saw for the first time La Perouse and all its attendant peaks. The walking revealed in this small corner of a small island was enough to last for years. The views from the Hartz and Adamson's Peak are particularly attractive because you see at the same time the precipitous inland and the convoluted coastline - almost from the extreme south of Tasmania right across to Tasman Peninsula.
While we were taking in the view as quickly as possible a storm like a black javelin was pointing straight at us from over Picton way. We decided that we had enjoyed our lucky twenty minutes and to descend a little before the inevitable storm broke, as in a few minutes it did.
This capriciousness on the part of the mountain had delayed us so we lunched, packed and cleaned the hut like charwomen on piecework. Then Lesley rang home and this is the conversation we heard - “Hullo, is that you Dad? Look, we'll be leaving the hut in a few minutes, we should be on the road by seven o'clock. Will you came out and pick us up? Oh, and my friends will be staying the night, and they like fish, so will you try to get some?”
The beautiful forest could be enjoyed much better as we descended, and we arrived only ten minutes late for our appointment with father. You may sing about the while cliffs of Dover but we shall extol its fresh flounders and soft beds.
By Kath McKay.
Blow me down, if it's not rats it's horses.
We packed for our four days' summer at Era with the usual regard for lightweight camping, and laid in a stock of Paddy's good dried vegetables, dried apples, Vita Weats instead of bread, and cubed soups in lieu of tinned.
Knowing the roving habits of the livestock in our green valley (and you should see just how green our valley is this season) we took all the food into the tent with us when we retired for the night. Some time in the small hours I heard choofing and champing going on outside our old family pewter, so uttered a few “Shoo's!” of protest and went to sleep again.
The sun was already over Thelma Ridge when there floated into my dreams the voice of some siren on her way to the surf. (Could it be Jenny's?) “Who's been scattering Vita Weats?” it said. The sentence went on echoing through my waking consciousness remote and unimportant as a phrase from The Three Bears. Or like Nuts and May - Who's been Scattering Vita Weats? Who's been Scattering Vita Weats? Well, who had, anyway?
Suddenly I was wide awake, sat up, and peered round the tent flap. On the grass were fragments not only of Vita Weats, but of carrots, and spinach. I turned in consternation to our bags of food, too near, alas, to the tent door. No vegetables, no biscuits, no apples - not even a trace of the bag they were in, complete with a modicum of cloves in a screw of paper. And most surprising of all, no soup cubes. The only fruit and vegetables left to us was the small supply hung in a tree, to wit: 2 potatoes, 4 tomatoes, 1 onion and 6 oranges, for 2 persons for 4 days. Enough (but barely enough) to make a vegetarian shudder with horror. Next time we'll take everything right inside our sleeping bags with us.
By K.R. Hardy.
Recently I went to see the film “Bush Christmas”. The posters had advertised that it was taken in the Blue Mountains, and the name indicated that it was about the Australian bushland, so for that reason I was keen to see it, and also because two of the children taking part are sons of Edgar Yardley, this State's best actor, familiar at many an S.B.W. Reunion campfire. The youngsters are following most successfully in their father's' footsteps.
The film was made for English children about the adventures of a family of Australian bush children during their Xmas holidays. It isn't a big expensive production like “The Overlanders”, but in its simple way is an excellent children's picture and good entertainment for adults too. As it shows our lovely mountain scenery, the beauty and wildness of our bush, and the happy carefree life that our children and young people can have in the open in our glorious sunny weather, it provides good advertisement for Australia overseas.
But a bushwalker seeing this film would notice many interesting and confusing things.
Being filmed in the Blue Mountain country most of the scenery proves familiar to a bushwalker. The pastoral scenes of the Burragorang, the lovely sweep of the Grose Valley, the rock uplands and spectacular headlands of Narrow Neck - these appear in a sequence of views which delight the eye but confuse the mind. As the homestead in the picture is obviously in Burragorang Valley, it certainly seems strange that when the children set out after the stolen horses they first ride across, a large river (the Wollondilly?) and then in next to no time are up on Narrow Neck. How their horses climb Taro's Ladders remains a mystery. Then we see a fine shot of Black Billy's Head, but almost immediately after comes the view of the Grose Valley - even the Tigers couldn't travel as fast as that! Moreover, when the horse thieve's camp is shown at the bottom of Nelly's Glen in the Megalong, why do the thieves climb up to the top by the Golden Stairway from the Jamieson Valley? Because it was so interesting to recognise the different mountain views and so confusing trying to piece them together into a continuous trip I found it hard to concentrate on the story.
It rather shock me to find that the children did the trip from the top of Narrow Neck down to the Valley and back twice in one night - once would have been more than enough for me. And how brave they were, tip-toeing round the horse-thieves' camp to steal their food and boots despite the menace of three rifles! We felt the thieves were very dumb to allow their boots to be taken by the children so easily, but as they stumbled over the rocks and twigs of Narrow Neck in their bare feet we felt that we, too, knew what it was to stumble and curse on that rough track, even though we had our boots on. And when Chips Rafferty as the tough leader of the thieves told them to “Get a move on and never mind yer bleeding feet!” we felt quite at home and realised he would have made an admirable leader of a test walk. The statement that Kanangra was “40 miles away and the nearest water” rather staggered me - the distance was pretty right but they seemed to have forgotten the beautiful rivers en route. However, when they started talking of the deserted gold-mining town of Mt. Solitary we realised that we had at last come to the realm of pure fantasy.
A good point noted by a Search and Rescue member was that when the children set off into the wild “Warrigal Mountains” they left a note in a tin tied to a tree to tell their parents which way they were headed, and when they lost their way they blazed the track for their rescuers to follow. We don't know, though, how our Conservationists would regard the cutting down of a sapling as part of “blazing the track”.
All in all, it proved an interesting film, being exciting, human, instructive and showing good views of the country we know and love so well.
There were 17 in all. “Dunk”, who kept the records, supplied the following list:- Eileen Ashdown, David Roots, Colleen Coffey, Frank Burke, Judy Harvey, David Harvey, John Harvey (Jnr.), Nancy Moppett, Wendy Butler, Rhona Butler, Gael Savage, Sue Rose, Ross Wyborn, Barry Duncan, Jennifer Pallin, Diana Croker, Caroline Croker.
Sir, “It is with alarm and apprehension that I read of “the alleged sheep shooting incident at Kosciusko”, contained in the March issue of your magazine.
No matter who was responsible for this disgraceful conduct, the culprits should be brought out of the oblivion and made to pay in spirit as well as in hard cash. Only in this way can the name of “bushwalker” be dragged from the mud which will inevitably surround it, about the Snow Country. Anybody that carries a pack will share in the disgrace.
Obviously it is a matter for very strong action by the Federation and I sincerely hope that the Committee of the S.B.W. will keep the Federation to the purpose. A quasi-governmental body like the Youth Hostels must not be permitted to besmirch the name of purely voluntary organisations that have plugged away for years without rooms and finances.
But I think the incident goes further than this. Consideration of entrance qualifications to the Youth Hostels Association shows one glaring fact. Any and everybody may enter willy-nilly without trial and precedent; there are no stepping stones beyond, there is no sorting out of undesirables - pay your money and you are in. The result has been that great numbers of “no hopers” have sought sanctuary here and the very small number of worthy people have been diluted down to less than water consistency. The Youth Hostel's Association cannot be responsible for the action of its members because, apparently, its members have no respect for its authority. The spirit of “Hail, fellow! Well met!” has produced a looseness that will spell disaster to the bushwalker.
One may agree that every one has a right to enjoy the bush, but then surely we should earn that right through respect. Again, these people may be prepared to seek the bush whether in or out of a club. But the facilities of a club only serve to organise the ramp.
This, to my mind sir, is just another occasion upon which it is evident that loose entrance qualifications to a club are a menace. It furthers the plea for a wholesome, directed training for people new to bushwalking, and it demands that the Federation should require of its member clubs that they demand a given standard of their personnel. It is only a weak Federation which goes in search of member clubs - let them come to the door of the Federation seeking affiliation.”
Allen D. Strom.
“C-O-N-S-E-R-V-A-T-I-O-N. What again?” This is the opening of the only article in the 1947 “Bushwalker” devoted to conservation. The article is directed only towards walkers themselves. There is no mention elsewhere of what the Federation has done, hopes to do, or wants others to do. This is because, though Federation may be able to spell the word, it doesn't know what it means.
Members have promised to support the Era Sub-Committee. Their chance will come on April 8th 9th and 10th., when the working bee is on. Workers are asked to bring, if possible, wood-splitting wedges and spades (and when we say spades we mean spades, not shovels). The work to be done is the cutting and splitting of posts and the digging of post holes and holes for trees. The girls are encouraged to come, as, when they are worn out with digging, they can prepare refreshments for the lads as they slave. Judge Kirkby and Prosecutor Rowen threaten a breach of promise case if members don't turn up. Don't forget their concluding chorus at the last court case -
“Alas we have lost our prey
But we'll catch him another day
Then he'll be here to stay
Just let him see.”
There is to be a dance on April 16th.
On April 30th Frank Leyden will be showing his coloured slides of Tasmania.
Herb Morris and Jo Clayton, who were engaged at Christmas.
Russel Wilkins and Norma Phillips, who have just recently announced their engagement.
Grace and John Noble on the birth of a son, and Miriam and Wal Roots on the birth of a daughter.
Main counter-attraction to the show was the Kirkby's walk down the Kowmung. At first it was a little difficult to find starters, but a few were found. Then it became known to a few who were at a loose end or were not wealthy enough to go to Point Lookout or Bendethera. At this stage the Committee heard about it. They decided to come too, Certain other members with long and sensitive ears just couldn't afford to miss a party of that size. Lastly sundry strays, including a Melbournian and a misanthrope came running into the fold. Just who was there, or why they were there, remained an exciting speculation till the whole 30 paired off in the special bus, thus affording invaluable basic data to the long-eared.
The trip itself was, of course, purely incidental, but we must nevertheless remark upon the scenery. The Kowmung is running strong and clear, not quite deep enough, usually, to wet the pants. The banks are green and lush, the ravages of years of drought and fires almost covered by grass. Even the once-cleared and rabbit-destroyed lands round and above Hughes' are clothed with herbage - not grass any more - but weeds and small clover. The Cox is a lovely broad clear-running stream, thirty or fourty yards wide at the crossings. It is hard to remember now the years when it was just a few dirty pools well below the parched banks.
Six Other parties were encountered en route, including the “Live Wires” Club. One lass, forced to submerge while the ten “Live Wires” passed, sparking in every synapse, emerged just in time to meet the twenty-ninth and thirtieth members of the S.B.W. party. Everyone knows who they were. In fact, as everyone will know everything about this trip by S.B.W. telegraph long before this goes to press we won't say anything more about it.
Following the appointment at the last Federation meeting of a Public Relations Committee “to handle all matters that were of a controversial nature and affecting outside bodies,” Mr. Ron Compagnoni has Submitted his resignation as Honorary Secretary of the Federation. He states that “the motion destroys the right of the Honorary Secretary to correspond or negotiate on the matters most important to the existence of the Federation.” Though the work of the Federation takes from two to five nights a week of his time, as well as many lunch hours, he regrets giving it up, and would be willing to continue were it not for the existence of the new committee.
Tarndanya, the aboriginal name for Adelaide is the title of the new magazine of the Adelaide Bush Walkers. Object of the magazine is “to build up a bigger and better club.” The January issue was almost entirely devoted to matters of personal interest to club members, but the February issue, enclosed in a new printed cover similar to that of our own magazine, denotes considerable space to conservation. Though we might not agree that conservation is “the shot,” or that people don't start fires purposely, we cannot but be impressed by the sincere interest shown. The club has been granted permission to use portion of a water reserve to plant various Australian species. No mention is made of fire control, stock exclusion, watering or cultivation, but the Adelaide Bush Walkers are no amateurs, and no doubt realise that planting is the easiest step in a long process. Members are requested to seek out land near roadways suitable for purchase or reservation - a very practical proposal as it would enlist public support. Conservation work, says Mr. H.A. Lindsay, is a long range policy, but “the day will come for us, as it has for the Sydney Bush Walkers, when we can look around us and say “It is owing to our efforts that these parks now belong to the people.”
By Brian Harvey.
Mark Morton Primitive Area. Sawmillers are making strong representations to obtain permission to cut timber in this beautiful reserve. A protest meeting is being arranged and Federation will prepare a brochure for distribution.
Era. The National Fitness Council and N.P.P.A.C. are endeavouring to secure South Era as a Recreational Area.
Kanangra Marathon. University B.W. Club announces walking race from Katoomba to Yerranderie via Kanangra Cave weekend 14-16th May, commencing with arrival at Katoomba of 6.23 p.m. train from Sydney. Prize of £1 open order on Silver Mines Hotel, Yerranderie. No set route. Open to all. No examination of hearts or brains necessary. Federation adopted motion of disapproval and resolved that Search and Rescue Section will be under no obligation if called upon. This stunt is to preface University Festival Week.
Search and Rescue Section. will conduct practice weekend on 14th-16th May (not in Kanangra area).
Bouddi Natural Park. There will be a Working Bee 28th/29th/30th May. The Dedication of the tablet to the late Charles D'Arcy Roberts will be at 2.30 p.m. on the Sunday.
Kosciusko Chalet. Investigations indicate that the culprits of Xmas disturbance are outside Federation's sphere. Apparently also a bad impression was created by a party of interstate walkers.
Trapping. Legislation is being brought down to tighten up laws against trapping of birds and animals. (May be “interesting” for the log-fall trap exponents.)
1948 Annual. Deadline for articles and photos is 28th May (S.B.W. better buck up.)
Midwinter Party is to be held at North Sydney Council Chambers in June or July. Details later.
Notice of Motion “that visitors be given right to speak on matters under discussion”. Only co-opted Councillors have this right under the Constitution.
Public Relations Committee of 4 appointed to conciliate on controversial matters affecting outside bodies, arbitrate between Clubs, to answer any matters appearing in the press and letters of complaint. (Four Solomons, indeed.)
The Conservation Bureau is not in favour of expenditure of £400 to purchase lots 14 and 15 on Narrow Neck which include Corral Swamp. Surveyor General has been requested to ensure access to Crown Lands beyond.
“In memory of bushwalkers who fell in World War II. Their splendour shall never fade.”
Erected at Splendour Rock 22nd February 1948.
At Dawn on Anzac Day, April 25th, 1948, the simple plaque commemorating the memory of bushwalkers who fell in World War II will be unveiled at Splendour Rock, in the heart of the Wild Dog Ranges.
Cloudmaker and Kanangra Walls, Paralyser and Guouogang, the Wild Dogs and the Cox's River - these familiar landmarks all lie within a single sweep of the eyes from this lofty buttress of Mount Dingo. How oft had they gazed in happiness upon this scene that we shall still enjoy?
Upon that crag, as sunrise tints the cliffs they loved so well, as dawning glows upon the hills their feet shall roam no more - there shall we place eternal record that we honour them who gave their lives that these beloved ranges might be ours to roam for ever.
They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
We shall remember them.
The other night I had occasion to go down to the bush garden after dark. I took a torch. Suddenly my eye lighted on a shrub. It was a stranger and I wondered how it came there, what its name was and how I had missed it hitherto. Then suddenly I recognised an old friend - but he was sound asleep! I had a good look round and found to my surprise that quite a number of my friends, the bush plants, were enjoying a nap. Their leaves were neatly folded or were pressed close to the stems, giving a totally different appearance to the plant. Most of the shrubs observed were pod bearing plants, wattles, pultenaeas and philotas, but probably a large number of other families have the same habit. Probably our friends the botanists can explain the reason for this behavior, but it is surprising just how much movement such “still life” is capable of.
New pattern steel frame rucksack. No leather fittings, all web. This four pocket web-fitted rucksack is at least one pound lighter in weight than the standard job. It has been christened “the Rover Steel Frame Rucksack”. And note the price folks: £3: 5: 0.
U.S. Navy K Ration. Watertight cartons, containing:
Price … 1/9d. Contents sold separately if required.
327 George Street, Sydney. Phone BX3595.
Camp Gear For Walkers.