A monthly Bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St., Sydney.
|Editor||Alex Colley, 55 Kirribilli Avenue, Milson's Pt.|
|Production and Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Production Asst||Peter Price|
|Sales and Subs||Betty Hurley|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey and Grace Jolley|
|Editorial - Are Firearms Necessary?||1|
|At our October Meeting||3|
|Social Notes for November||4|
|21st Birthday Reunion||Dot Butler||5|
|Melee in Martin Place||Grace Jolley||6|
|Letter from Mountain Trails Club President||7|
|The Ballet Business||“Ballerina”||8|
|The Bushman's Handbook||reply by H.A. Lindsay||9|
|Federation Notes||Brian Harvey||11|
|Extracts from Parks & Playground Movement Report||13|
At our last general meeting it was reported that some of the Federated Clubs like to carry guns (in lorries presumably), and that the subject was a cause of frequent argument at Federation meetings. At our own meeting too there was some rather confused discussion, though how anybody who subscribes to the objects of the Federation could possibly argue in favour of shooting in the bush is beyond comprehension.
One of the most popular arguments in favour of carrying firearms is that they may provide food in an emergency. This seems to be based on the common belief, apparently shared by the local 'bush-craft' experts, that if you miss a couple of meals you will die; whereas, in fact, people live for many weeks without food. The risk of death from starvation is negligible, but accidental shooting is an ever present risk to the party with firearms.
Then there is the “destruction of rabbits” argument. Any farmer or grazier will tell you that shooting is a perfectly futile means of controlling rabbits. Occasionally farmers may shoot a fox, or if they are lucky, a dingo. Sometimes marsupials become a costly pest. There is therefore a case, though not a strong one, for allowing farmers the use of firearms.
Others describe shooting as a “sport”. Anything less “sporting” than the steady, calculated aiming of a rifle or a shotgun at a defenceless animal, is hard to imagine. The truth is that the primitive hunting instinct of man still thrills for the blood of the quarry.
It is more “sporting” to shoot at someone in an enemy uniform, as he may have a rifle too. Practice for this art is accounted a civic virtue. But .22 rifles teach you very little, and shotguns nothing, about the use of a .303 military rifle.
Here the individualist protests. To ban firearms is to interfere with personal freedom. Most individualists, however, will agree that there are two good reasons for restricting freedom. The first is that freedom may be harmful to the person indulging in it (e.g. freedom to buy drugs). The second is that one person's freedom may transgress on another person's safety or wellbeing (hence traffic regulations). Firearms qualify for restriction under both heads. In 1938, when ammunition was cheap and plentiful, 138 people were killed by firearms in N.S.W. They included 94 suicides, 11 homicides, and 29 accidental deaths.
Probably not one in a hundred of the people who carry firearms has been taught the elementary safety rules to be observed by the shooter - e.g., never to carry a rifle cocked, never to point it at anybody, even if he knows it is empty, never to leave it loaded, always to carry it pointing towards the ground (not at his foot or at the person in front), how to put it through a fence without risk of catching the trigger, etc. The risk of the amateur marksman shooting himself is high - just watch the newspapers for reports of accidents and deaths. The risk of shooting someone else is even higher, particularly when lorry loads of youths with rifles pull up and shoot by the wayside, as do members of one of the affiliated clubs. Furthermore shooters nearly always choose a spot near a road, and naturally gravitate to the popular camping spots, where the danger of shooting someone else is greatest. Apart from the danger, the sound of gunfire is most unpleasant to the seeker of peace in the bushlands.
Shooting is no more than a passing interest to most of those who indulge in it. There would be no hardship if the possession of firearms were confined to members of rifle clubs and farmers, and the latter would welcome such a measure. The prolonged shortage of ammunition and recent good seasons have enabled the bush animals to multiply until they are quite numerous in some districts. They will soon disappear when the lorry loads of “sportsmen” get amongst them.
The President was in the Chair and there were about 70 members present.
Ten new members were welcomed - a record number we believe. They were Gwen Jewell, Gladys Martin, Jean Mowbray, Margaret Stoddart, Don Read, Alan Hill, David Harvey, Don Frost, Bill Kinley and Harry Goyne.
In correspondence was a letter from Marie Byles saying that two freehold portions on the Narrow Necks had already been sold. The letter went on to say “I propose to try and get the Parks and Playgrounds Movement to carry the work of reservation nominally while leaving the actual work to Harry Waite, Alan Hardie and myself, and anyone else interested to help. It is suggested that we get the Tourist and Immigration Department, the Wild Life Preservation Society, the Federation, and the Blue Mountains City Council to lend their support, and also of course individual clubs”.
Myles Dunphy said that all bodies should be banded together and that the land should be resumed on behalf of the general public under the auspices of the Greater Blue Mountains National Park. The Narrow Necks were the main entrance to the Dogs, Thurat, etc. The Boundary of the City of Blue Mountains was now at Clear Hill and the Mayor was heartily in accord with the Greater Blue Mountains National Park. He realises that scenery should not be cut about. Both the Katoomba people and the City of Blue Mountains Council realised the danger of somebody getting it and improving it.
Alan Hardy thought that it might not be psychological to approach the Lands Department just now. But the Parks and Playgrounds Movement could, and this would encourage “the legal luminaries and wits” of the Department to make investigations.
The meeting then approved of Marie Byles' proposal.
A report from the photographic section stated that because of the large number of engagements the Education Department galleries could not spare a night for our photographic exhibition. The report went on to suggest that the Club Treasurer should make the Section a present of half the money saved.
The President announced that the Ski-ing Sub-Committee would be elected at the next meeting.
Phil Hall announced that he had collected £8 for the Save the Children Fund.
Jim Brown appealed for more members of the Search and Rescue Section, which, he said, contained some old and enfeebled members and others who wouldn't go out anyhow. It was good fun, he said, “snooping about in the bush looking for bodies”.
Laurie Rayner then introduced contentious matter by moving “that this Club feels that under no pretence, rabbiting or otherwise, should anybody carry a rifle in the Cox's River area between the six foot track and Burragorang”. All the armies with all the rifles in the world could not exterminate the rabbits, he said, so why not forbid rifles?
Eric Rowen asked whether we were going to send a motion to the Federation about rifles every month. Gil Webb thought some bushwalkers might like to go on shooting parties. He suggested that what was needed was more rangers. Myles Dunphy said that he carried a rifle - in fact he once owned an arsenal. It was supposed to be a free-living country. Why have a motion which stipulated one valley while leaving all the others? He would not carry a rifle in a park. He wouldn't shoot at dingos - “they're my friends”, he said. He did not believe in killing snakes in parks, though once, at David Stead's instigation, he had been known to eat black snake in a park. He was against Laurie Rayner picking on the Bushwalker. One danger was the type of thing practised in the U.S., where parks were treated as game preserves - they were protected for several years so that men wearing red caps could go out and shoot the animals in an open season.
In his reply Laurie referred to the difficulty of shooting into the rabbits' holes and the “Don'ts”of parks. The motion, however, was lost.
Renee Brown asked for helpers for the Christmas Treat - particularly young men who would watch the kiddies in the water.
The meeting closed at 9.20 p.m.
Coming to the “do” on 19th November? We have gone all secretive and are not telling you a thing beyond the fact that the night will be full of surprises. There'll be entertainment for young and old, with prizes too!
Harry Whitehouse from the C.M.W. is coming along on 26th November to talk to us about Talbingo. Have had good reports about same.
Don't forget the Christmas Dance at the clubrooms on 17th December.
Two engagements to announce this month. Norma Barden is engaged to Eric Rowen and Jenny Felshow is engaged to Stan Madden. We wish them all the best.
Everyone was there - even Debert found time, after the evening milking of his cows, to come along and help make the night raucous till dawn, when the cows called him home again, thank God, and I was able to get to sleep.
Those who built the camp fires did a marvellous engineering feat - huge logs stacked lengthwise and crosswise to a height of 6 or 7 feet. Two fires were thought necessary to keep the huge crowd warm, but they had this disadvantage that they tended to split the party - groups edging in towards one or other fire as the night grew cooler, leaving a No Man's Land in the centre - at least so I am told, for though I was awake to see the fires lit (with ordinary matches - quite a novelty), soon the stresses of the previous night's party took effect and I slept through Fire's Burning, Little Tom Tinker and the rest. I have no excuses to offer; I think a goodly portion of the assembly were doing the same. The smell of hot coffee woke the dreamers to the realisation that supper was being served. And what a supper! Little red vermiform appendices dipped in tomato sauce, followed by a most superior fruit cake and coffee.
Various entertainments were put on after supper, but the fun-makers were backing a dead horse - in ones and twos and groups the exhausted audience drifted off to their tents to repair the ravages of the long-drawn-out festivities, leaving a mere handful of die-hards round each camp fire to see the night out. The large coffin-like box in which rested the remains of the cake still lurked by the fire, and those still up had a mid-night supper of cake and tomato sauce. I can recall another issue at 2 or 3 a.m. and the same again about dawn as distant cocks were beginning to crow and some bogus barnyard rooster by the campfire (Len Scotland to wit) was making hideous strangling sounds supposedly in imitation, egged on by Taro. Taro was working off an accumulated spite against the camp in general for having allowed the musicians (violin and uke accompanist) to be driven off early by vocal opposition. But the musicians didn't bring their instruments in vain, for next day they gave a very fine lunch-hour concert to all the music lovers gathered around their tent. Then someone came round hawking bottles of tomato sauce - at l 1/2d. cheaper than shop price and carry it home yourself! It made no sale with me; I don't wish to have any further truck with cake crumbs and tomato sauce till the Club's Golden Jubilee.
Dave Stead, having cleared an area of wandering small fry, had to blow up the usual kerosene tins with the usual vile chemical mixture; Golden Youth and Maidens Fair disported in the river; fond parents shepherded their offspring from camp to camp swapping notes with other f.p's; people went round meeting folk they hadn't seen for some 15 or 20 years and marvelled (outwardly) how they hadn't changed a bit and (inwardly) how fat they'd grown, Ray Bean being particularly noteworthy by having added a pound or so of unexpected flesh to his erstwhile sparse frame. Is now no longer Ray Narrow-Bean, but Ray Broad-Bean. I still say he's skinny!)
After all that folk began to break camp and depart for the station, and so ended the Club's first 21st Birthday Party. What next?
by Grace Jolley
The preliminary entertainment of the 21st Birthday week-end was the dance held at the Dungowan on the Friday night.
The tickets said that it commenced at 9 p.m., so we wandered down Martin Place about 8.55 p.m., feeling rather foolish for arriving so early and wondering how long we'd have to wait before anyone else came along.
In the distance we heard a low murmur which, as we drew nearer to the Dungowan, grew into a steady buzz, being given out by a large number of people in evening dress. Interested by-standers said that this had been going on since 8.30 p.m. and was anything wrong? We were drawn into the crowd and soon recognised the faces, but not the clothes, as belonging to Bush Walkers who apparently intended getting their moneys worth.
Whether the door was opened at 9 p.m., or whether someone fell down the steps at the correct time, we didn't find out, but we were all sucked into the opening, down the steps and came up sharply against Tom and Jean Moppett, who, together with Renee Brown were giving charming welcomes to everyone as they entered.
As is usual when Bushwalkers foregather, there was no standing around in frozen groups waiting for something to begin. The dance was on. The floor certainly was rather crowded, but this made for more cosiness in the long run. So many odd scraps of conversation could be heard without difficulty.
The tickets also said “Dress Informal,” but this was taken with as much seriousness as the time of admission, for some dresses were quite formal (a male member of the C.M.W. wore a three-quarter length fur coat) and were very lovely. So were some of the hair do's.
Unfortunately nothing could be heard of the President's speech when he was cutting the birthday cake, due to the very poor loud speaker system. This microphone really was a drawback because nothing could be heard from the M.C. either, and we should have done things in the Anniversary Waltz which we didn't, not from a disinclination to co-operate, as the M.C. (Ron Knightley) might suspect, but because we simply couldn't hear. It did pass through our minds earlier in the evening that inaudibility was caused by a heavy marine growth which the M.C. had allowed to encroach an his otherwise good looks, but after our clean-shaven President and other “Announcers” came through just as indistinctly, we put this thought from us as unworthy.
Then of course there was the Male Ballet. For the benefit of those unable to hear and thus completely in the dark, this was intended to be the life of a Bush Walker, Annual Meeting, Discovery of Era etc. This could have been placed a little earlier in the entertainment with some benefit to both dancers and audience. We couldn't keep an eye on all of them all the evening till they were due to appear and no doubt the abandon with which they danced, though of the bottled variety, added somewhat to the fun. Anyway that is a point rather verging on the moot.
So the evening went on and could have gone on till dawn, but the staff of the Dungowan in desperation turned the lights off and the crowd adjourned to Martin Place.
By this time everyone was in the sentimental stage and showed it and kisses were exchanged and given away indiscriminately. It is quite possible that some elegant socialites from Princes (turned out approximately the same time as us) received tokens of esteem not intended for them. We do not apologise.
By the way, our Social Secretary drove home with her feet in the kerosene tin intended far cocoa on Saturday night. So!
And who in heavens was responsible for breaking ten locks at the Dungowan? At least that's what they tell us.
To The President, The Sydney Bush Walkers.
The members of the Mountain Trails Club of New South Wales wish to join in the congratulations and felicitations of this 21st anniversary of the founding of your Club. In these days which now seem far away the foundations were laid for the future which now seen in retrospect fulfilled the ideals of your founders.
The funding and functioning of your Club has meant to so many people the countless hours of enjoyment of the bushland and the means of securing for the future generations some of the beauty of our homeland.
We wish you continued success in the future years and trust that many generations will enjoy the benefits of your existence.
Alan P. Rigby.
There were urgent matters under discussion at Admiralty House. Respectable citizens had reported that for several weeks a surly band of plotters, very reckless by their looks, had been gathering just down the road. In frantic dumb-show fearsome men and fearful women shouldered axes and guns, rushed hither and thither and gesticulated wildly, in fact, frantically, at a huge book labelled “Constitution” until they finally sank to rest on a communal mat. What else but violent rebellion and sedition could this portend? Even if they only blew up the bridge there was a dire threat to the public's morals in the way they shared the mat. Some mothers had already imposed a strict curfew on their daughters.
A police sergeant had just dusted the Riot Act when he discovered that it was the S.B.W. ballet rehearsing.
The prime instigator was Ray Kirkby - the guiding but evil influence behind it. “We are putting on a little act at the party”, he said, “would you care to be in it?” It was spoken so innocently and so guilelessly that I was damned before I even opened my mouth. With “pitfall and with gin” he lured five others and once securely secured we all repaired to Kirribilli.
There was dissension in the corps from the start. No one wanted to be the surprised bather, all wanted to be the worker. Never before did Lord Randall have so many mothers, but the choice of the dying “Tiger” was natural.
Much hair (pity it is, 'tis false) was rent on teaching aspiring ballerinas to point their toes at the carpet rather than the picture rail. The arabesque was nearly abandoned for a fireman's lift after many ribs had been buckled, the chaperone needed a ski-stock instead of an umbrella to protect her charges. To everyone's detriment the “little swans” couldn't make up their minds which way to go, although they tumbled into a wall whichever way they went. The Federation tableau became a thing of beauty and a tower of strength, united and immovable. (Unfortunately the lampshade was in the middle of the room - my head ached for days after colliding with it.) What an anti-climax that the contorted face of the central tower was hidden behind a pink skirt during the performance! The comments of the “conmere” were rather caustic and pointed - after order was restored they were toned down a lot.
And so with light hearts and lighter heads we tripped along to the Dungowan. After drinking everyone's health the “worst of the few” were helped up to the dressing room, a long, cold draughty corridor. Here a large sign “Insure at Lloyds” nearly lost its “at” from an “axe” wielded by an “early bushwalker” playing golf.
There were fits of laughter, now easily induced, as the “women” assumed womanly appearance. Then the usual last minute titivation for the “women”, a bracer for the “men”, and we leapt into the limelight.
Reply by H.A. Lindsay.
In giving-the other side of the case, I prefer to do so by stating facts with as little comment as possible, as facts speak a language which all save the wilfully blind can understand. My book has now gone all over Australia and the only adverse criticism has come from one place - Sydney. All these criticisms bear a striking similarity; they air the same theories, attack the same points and ignore the identical ones. This could mean an almost miraculous unanimity of thought and outlook on the part of the critics, but those used to analysing propaganda regard this as an almost certain indication that it originates from the one source. The attack on the book is clumsy, ill-advised and is misdirected; that is the hall-mark of the crank. Diagrams for making snares and instructions for their use appear each month in “Outdoors & Fishing”, and in “Bushcraft” by “Wontolla”, in Donald McDonald's “Bush Boy's Book” and a score of other publications, but only my book is singled out for attack. You can now work it out for yourself.
No active steps, beyond the writing of a few letters, have been taken to counter these attacks, because the attackers have sought to harm my book by giving it what money cannot buy - publicity on the front pages of the leading newspapers of four States. When anyone does that for an author he can only hope that they will continue to try to kill the dog by feeding it on rump steak. Every book review to date has been most favourable save the one in the October “Bushwalker”, and even that would have been fair - and welcome - criticism if facts had been quoted instead of theories being set out. Actually, there is nothing so calculated to bring derisive jeers from the experienced bushman than the idea that a map and compass is the substitute for knowing how to find food and water in an emergency. Hitchcock and Anderson had a map and a compass, but that didn't stop them from dying of thirst with water six inches under the soles of their boots. It was in the tree roots but they had never been taught how to get it. Recently, Adelaide Bush Walkers had as their guest speaker Mr. W.F. Johns, the S.A. Commissioner of Police, who was one of our most famous outback police troopers in his day. When he was introduced, Club members were informed that they were going to “Hear the voice of experience”. They did! and it would have been highly interesting to have heard some of the “Map and Compass” school trying to convince that old bushman that he could have avoided hunger, thirst and privations by the use of those two things. The same thing could be tried on survivors of the Rabaul garrison, men who went through the Burma campaign and airmen who made forced landings in bad country.
To counter that criticism from one small section of the people of Sydney there has been quite a fan-mail of letters from real bushmen and scientists; the former have only nice things to say while the latter seem to think that years spent in research on the water-yielding trees and plants of Australia has made a definite contribution to useful human knowledge. All criticism has most conveniently ignored the bearing which my book has on the defence of Australia; good bushmen are not made by giving them a few talks on the subject.
It has to be learned in the practical school of the bush. I have pleasure in announcing that I am now collaborating with some of the Empire's most famous so1diers in the preparation of similar books dealing with other parts of the world in which our men may be called upon to fight if we have the frightful calamity of a third world war.
The book was not written to be used as a guide in that small corner of Australia adjacent to Sydney, but for those who would venture into the far places. Week-end walking in the Blue Mountains bears the same relation to seeing Australia as harbour sailing does to an ocean cruise, although nobody can deny that in each case the former is good training for the latter. I admit to one awful blunder; I thought that Bushwalkers would be interested in Bushcraft because they would like to learn how to be as much at home in the bush as an aborigine. I was right about the walkers in every place save one - Sydney. The error will not be repeated. All those who have attacked the book have donned the prophet's mantle and have forecasted that it is “calculated” to incite people to destroy; it “will cause” harm, etc. But no case of such harm being done has yet been reported.
I do not see that it is wrong to make useful knowledge or scientific facts available per medium of the printed word; that is the function of all text-books. If any members of the N.S.W. Federation disagree with me, I suggest that we leave the decision to that impartial and incorruptible judge, Old Father Time, for only Time can show if I did right or wrong in putting the knowledge of a lifetime into print.
To this we reply -
(a) The people of Sydney are sometimes right.
(b) On simple issues they often think alike.
© The S.B.W. have always opposed any “bushcraft” which involves the cutting of green timber or the killing of animals, whether it is practised by the Boy Scouts, the Bushcraft Association or any other body.
(d) We never gave the sales a thought.
(e) Our main criticism was that if a lot of people did what Mr. Lindsay wants them to do they would destroy a lot of fauna and flora. What is the answer?
“The superintendent of the National Park Trust, Mr. F.E. Stringer, said the fire had destroyed a wide area of bushland, but no buildings had been endangered.” (S.M.H.) It would have been an awful pity if the fire had endangered a building.
This month it was Frank Young, a prospective member, who got hurt. Roy Davies' official party was making its way up the Knife Edge to Mount Solitary when, somehow, some stones started to roll. Frank looked round and before he could get out of the way a big one knocked him off his feet. The others soon realised that he had probably broken his collar bone, so they made him as comfortable as possible while Ray and Allan Mayblom set off for Katoomba. They made the foot of the Scenic Railway in the very good time of 50 minutes. Above this the arc lights were revealing the beauties of Katoomba for the benefit of those who don't like daylight, and tracks and ladders led to vantage points and lookouts, but they sped upwards and eventually arrived, panting and exhausted, at the top of Orphan Rock. Down they came again, like hungry, ants, then up again and so to Dr. Dark's house. Dr. Dark was away, but Dr. Boyd was looking after his practice, and, though not a young man, he consented to go out straight away. Four policemen and two detectives joined the party, which arrived at the scene of the accident about l a.m. They took Frank back to Katoomba that night.
Roy is to be congratulated on keeping most of this out of the newspapers. The Telegraph got out its “rough mountainous country” block, and quoted every figure wrong, but it didn't mention the S.B.W.
(Complaint to readers: Unless walks leaders or others send in a report you won't have any accident to read about next month. Ed.)
By Brian Harvey.
The Federation is perturbed at the alleged removal of gravel from within the Park area and enquiries are in hand as to whether the gravel is being utilised on park roads or outside roads. A meeting of all conservational bodies and interested individuals will be held at the Union Hall, Sydney University, on a Wednesday night in December to discuss the National Park administration generally and with particular reference to the absence of any representative of the conservational bodies in the Trust, and to decide on any action to rectify the present unsatisfactory position. All correspondence on conservation addressed to the Trust is completely ignored.
Has been suggested to augment the present track information available at Paddy Pallin's shop, with a view to making available to outside walkers more detail of routes to prevent their becoming overdue or lost with consequent imposition on the S. & R. Section. A joint meeting has been arranged at Paddy's on Monday, 22nd November, at 5.30 p.m. when interested Club representatives may air their views. The proposal is sponsored by the Warrigal Club and is worthy of deep inquiry but may be full of pitfalls should information prove inaccurate or misleading.
The Federation has given its support to the proclamation of a National Park involving the watershed of Deep Creek (from Narrabeen Lake to Mona Vale Road). This scenic area contains rock-carvings and a great variety of wild flowers and is of no use to rural pursuits, but is entirely suitable for a Park as suggested by the Wild Life Preservation Society.
Was lost, stolen or strayed from the Federation Reunion. In the absence of its return by the “acquirer” the Federation is reimbursing the owner as the bag was loaned to the Camp Committee for use in a competition. The unworthy action of the holder is to be deeply deprecated as bushwalkers in the past have always placed implicit faith in one another's honesty. The Re-union, however, was not limited to Club members and we hope an outsider is responsible.
This Club has always taken a dim view of the destruction of wild life for any reason and I have reason to believe that the Bushcraft Association or a member thereof is about to bring forth a publication on similar lines of a certain “interstate” handbook, and no doubt containing the diagrams of log-fall traps and snares as emplified by the nefarious pamphlets distributed willy-nilly to children a short time ago, and in respect of which this Club and other preservation-conscious and humane bodies voiced a strong protest. I was disturbed that the official bushwalking movement has been linked with this latter book and that the uninformed reader thereof may have gained the unfortunate impression that many of the suggestions therein are in common practice amongst bushwalkers in this State. The publicity given the matter in the “Sydney, Morning Herald” was not to our advantage. The deep-thinking and responsible walkers who, by their noble efforts in the past, have elevated the movement to its present position where it is respected by Government Departments (a no mean task) will find their endeavours undone by any such publication which associated itself with the Federation, particularly without its approval. How futile and ludicrous it would be for the Federation to report a breach of the relevant Acts while permitting an affiliated body to publish the means of the destruction of the animals, birds or plants protected by such Act. With this in mind, at the October meeting of the Federation I moved “That this Council disapproves any reference to or any remarks purporting association with the N.S.W. Federation of Bushwalking Clubs or Bushwalking Movement in general in any publication which advocates the destruction of flora and fauna as a means of self-preservation”. The more recently formed Clubs, naturally including the Bushcraft Association, opposed that motion on the grounds that some bushwalker may become overdue and this knowledge may be useful and that they might welcome wild duck (caught-on-the-hook of course) in their otherwise meagre ration. However, we have found that properly equipped and organised, parties have never had the necessity to live off the land and do not require the calling out of the S.& R. Section, the police and innumerable civilians, as on a recent occasion. The proposed Advice and Information Panel may be of great help to these clubs. The Motion was lost by a small margin so now we are faced with the problem created by Clubs which on affiliation with the Federation expressed themselves as conservationalists, but who apparently do not realise the meaning of the word nor are conscious of the fact that they subscribe to certain objects drawn up by solid responsible walkers on inauguration of the Federation.
To make amends the Bushcraft Association moved that the Federation write to the Minister for Conservation pointing out the large number of rabbits on the Cox River and the growth of nettles on the banks thereof, and requesting the Government take steps to eradicate both. They complained that they had been stung, and that the rabbits were instrumental in the carriage of the nettle seed. Opinion was offered that rabbits did not eat nettles - only the Bushcraft Association members did. However, we do not anticipate the Government will see fit to send working parties with scythes to clear the track of nettles, and the Cox Valley (from Hartly to Burragorang) of the rabbit. In any case I can only presume the Association was being facetious as such an approach to a Government Department would hold up the Federation to ridicule when millions of fertile rural areas are crying out for aid to combat the rabbit pest. The Bushcraft Association also thinks rifles should be carried ad lib to clear the Cox of the bunny, and despite its subscription to the Federation's objects, cannot see any harm in bushwalkers carrying rifles and firing bullets in all directions in our previously peaceful bash. Despite the Federation's recent approach to the Premier's Department at the instigation of this Club to amend the Firearms Act to control the use of rifles, this motion was carried. Apparently delegates' memories, were short. Our delegates voted against it.
From Mrs. Hilda Stoddart, S.B.W. Delegate to the P. & P. Movement.
“Two years ago, the Movement, at the instance of the Bushwalkers Federation, submitted to the Government and the Warringah Shire Council, suggestions for provision for a 1,000 acre park adjacent to the Wakehurst Parkway, the new main road between the Spit and Narrabeen. The greater part of the land is precipitous and some sections in the vicinity of Deep Creek and Middle Creek are real jungle country. There is a considerable area of river territory comparable with the river section of National Park. The proposal was rejected on the ground of lack of the funds necessary to purchase the land, which is all privately owned. A favourable opportunity is awaited to again bring it before the authorities.”
Mr. Hume, Secretary of the Movement, would be glad to see someone start the ball rolling in this matter. Deep Creek, Narrabeen, is part of bushwalker territory, and a letter written to the daily papers would help the good cause.
(Some further extracts of interest will be published next month.)
Here are a few items much in demand which Paddy is pleased to say he can supply:
Tents. Orders can be taken for stock pattern white japara tents.
Rucksacks. Good supplies on hand with and without frames. Stocks may be difficult around Christmas so suggest getting in early.
Billies. Squat and upright aluminium billies in stock, all wanted sizes. Prices from 4/6d. to 8/3d. each.
Screw-top jars at last. Plastic 8 oz. screw-top jars for butter, jam, etc. 2/6d. each.
Ponchos. Unused U.S. Army ponchos about 7' x 4'6“ plastic proofed sheets. Can be used as capes, waterproof sleeping bags or two may be press-studded together to make a tent. Weight 2.1bs. 2oz. Price £1 each.
Treble Hobs / Triple Hobs / Shamrock Nails. Take your choice of name. They are all the same thing, at 3/- lb.
Proofed nylon groundsheets. Reduced in price. 6'6” x 4' cape groundsheet, now 30/.
Paddy Pallin. Camp Gear for Walkers.
327 George Street, Sydney. 'Phone: BX3595.