A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St., Sydney.
|Editor||Alex Colley, 55 Kirribilli Ave., Milson's Point|
|Production and Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Sales and Subs||Shirley Evans|
|Production Asst||Bill Gillam|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey|
|Editorial - Lessons from Era||1|
|At Our Annual General Meeting||3|
|Social Notes for April||5|
|The Wettest Reunion Ever||Kath McKay||6|
|On the Other Side of the River||Bill Gillam||9|
|Club Officers and Committee, 1950||13|
|A Night at Hobart Walking Club||Kevin Ardill||14|
|Federation Notes||Paul Barnes||15|
|Letter to the Editor - Reunion Singing||H. Stoddart||15|
|The Meaning of “Currockbilly”||John Noble||16|
|Anzac Day Memorial||18|
|Outdoor Films of Australia||12|
|Let It Rain, Let it Pour - Paddy's Advt.||19|
The history of the efforts to have the Era lands reserved is a long one. The campaign was initiated by the Mountain Trails Club in 1925, and taken up by the S.B.W. when the Club was founded in 1927. The Federation took an active part in the creation of Garrawarra Park in 1933, but since then much of the campaigning has been done by the S.B.W., with the backing and advice of the Mountain Trails Club.
The story of Garawarra was published in the October 1948 issue of the Magazine, and the story of Lot 7 in the July 1947 issue. Subsequent events are described in the reports of Club meetings. It is not intended to cover this ground again, but merely to see what can be learnt from the campaign.
Perhaps the most remarkable fact about the campaign is that it took 25 years, or about half the working life of a conservationist, to reach the present stage. An enormous amount of work was put into the effort to have the lands resumed, but though it was spread over a long period there were long intervals when nothing was done. In these intervals the authorities were able to leave the files in their pigeon holes, while Ministers changed, and some probably never heard of Era. It was to be expected, therefore, that when the present Minister heard our pleas and resumed the land, he straightway proclaimed his intention of adding it to National Park. He probably had no idea of the difference between the Garawarra Park Trust and the National Park Trust, nor of what we meant by a primitive, roadless area. He didn't know (nor did the National Fitness Council know) that we had spent over £300 on lot 7 in an effort to forward our ideals. There is therefore every likelihood that our efforts will result in the “development” of three more nice surfing beaches.
After the long intervals of inactivity the few old members who kept the ball rolling had to start almost from scratch. Not only officials and Ministers had forgotten most of what had gone before, but so had kindred conservation bodies, the public, and even the majority of S.B.W. members. Though there was general agreement as to what we wanted, an enormous amount of time was spent talking and arguing amongst ourselves as to haw to achieve our aims, till at times the majority of members were fed to the teeth with the business. It is to be hoped that from now on there will be continuing interest and vigilance, so that we are not found, as we have been so often before, protesting when it is already too late. For, make no mistake, we will have to wage a continuous battle to prevent “development”, to see that the area is cared for, to persuade anybody to do anything effective in the way of fire prevention, and to rehabilitate the flora and fauna. Even now shacks are still being built.
The action which probably tipped the scales - i.e. the decision to raise a fund and bid at the auction, was inspired by the generous offer of one member. It took about a quarter of an hour to decide on our course of action. Then we let everybody know what we were doing - with the public spirited assistance of the “Sydney Morning Herald”.
This was not the first occasion when a sustained effort favourable publicity might have won the day - just as the vigorous action and favourable publicity of 1933 gained Garawarra. In other words one big fuss lasting a few months is more likely to succeed than a lot of little or medium ones spread over a quarter of a century.
The last lesson to be learned is one that has been taught before. It is that the S.B.W. is an ideal body for conservation work. There can be no blinking the fact - nearly all the people willing to work for bushland conservation are members of the S.B.W. Amongst the members present at our last meeting were representatives of all the leading conservation bodies. One or another of our members was able to supply everything to be known about the Era lands. We are able to act quickly because we meet often and know the opinions of other associations. There is no need to work through any other body. We have the knowledge, the good name, and the ability, to take the lead. If we do others will gladly join in.
We are, however, very dependent for knowledge and advice on some of our old members. Often they are “too busy” to come to our meetings - hence the gaps in our campaigns. Being “too busy” usually means having other interests or considering other good works more important. This is a mistaken attitude. As members of the very small band of people who can, and do, look into the future, and realise the importance of saving some of our bushlands, the most valuable work they can do is to lend a hand with the Club's conservation work.
Because no one was sufficiently prescient to move for postponement of this year's Re-Union, the annual general meeting was held in an atmosphere of mutual respect and admiration. The President was in the Chair, about 70 members present at the commencement of business, swelling to 100 during the vital portion of the proceedings. As there were no new members to be greeted, the awards for the Swimming Carnival opened affairs. Claude Haynes collected the Mandelberg Cup on behalf of Phyllis Ratcliffe and himself: Vera Matasin took off the Henley trophy, and certificates went to Claude Haynes, Vera Matasin, Gwen Jewell, Kevin Ardill and Bert Whillier.
The Annual Report was adopted without dissent, and the Annual Financial Statement after Allan Hardie had been satisfied that the “sundry debtors” entry was of a transient nature. He would have preferred to see more detail on the social expenses list, however.
The customary suspension of Standing Orders to permit election of office bearers during general business was followed by a further variation of procedure, when the Annual Subscription and Entrance Fee were fixed at last year's figures so that the Treasurer could make a financial scoop of the General Meeting. He was almost placed in the position of having to make refunds on a motion by Russ Wilkins that the combined subscription for married couples be reduced to £1 per annum. Dormie supported the motion, saying that the Highland Society observed this practice. Jenny Madden approved the idea with the notion of encouraging the people who “would supply future members”. Dorothy Lawry in graver mood thought it would probably reduce the non-active membership, but Bill Gillam expressed horror - why, everybody would be forced into marriage! The Treasurer had to decide whether to speak as a hard-hearted financier or a prospective husband, and compromised with the opinion that the Club could experimentally test results over this year. Put to the vote the motion was lost by a small margin.
The election of office bearers followed, and results are shown elsewhere. They were still being elected as the meeting drew to a hurried close hours afterwards.
We dwelt on the Social Report while the remote question of adapting the Club's projection equipment was revived, and it was resolved that the matter be investigated.
Of course! Era! Things had moved rapidly since the previous general meeting, not entirely in accordance with plan, and Tom Herbert had a report on the subject. The Garawarra Trustees, he told us, had unanimously agreed at a meeting in February that Era should be added to Garawarra on resumption: the Minister for Lands had announced shortly afterwards his intention of linking Era with the National Park. In a telephone discussion with the Minister that day (10/3/50) he (Mr. Sheahan) had been adamant on the addition of Era to the National Park, and also foreshadowed the amalgamation of Garawarra Park with National Park. He had urged the Minister to stay his hand, and the Minister had requested his written report on the subject by Monday. He proposed to send a letter as a Garawarra Trustee, and also urged that the Club and the Federation support this action, as he felt this was the last chance to have Era joined with Garawarra, and the best opportunity to press for retention of Garawarra as a separate concern.
Myles Dunphy said we must move for the gazettal of the Era-Burning Palms area as a roadless primitive area, and Tom Herbrt recorded a motion “That this Club write to the Minister for Lands strongly recommending that the lands between Garawarra and National Park be added to Garawarra on resumption, as we were of the opinion that the policy of Garawarra Trust is different to that of National Park Trust, and the merging of the two trusts would not be in the best interests of conservation of that area”.
Alex Colley said we should emphasise our conservation work at Era, the fact that we had bought a block there and virtually thrown it open as a public park; and that our policy on resumption and addition to Garawarra had been consistent throughout all our negotiations.
Allen Strom said he understood the Under Secretary for Lands held the same views as the Minister, and thought that if we could not influence the Minister's decision perhaps we should attempt to obtain a revised charter for National Park Trust to make it nearer the Conservationist's heart's desire.
Tom Herbert replied that the Minister apparent1y proposed to give the existing Garawarra Trust some representation on the Amalgamated Trust, so that perhaps Walkers would have better representation on the executive of the enlarged Park, but Dorothy Lawry pointed out that the membership of the Trust was limited by Act to seven, and the National Park trust was already overstrength. Betty Hall doubted in the circumstances whether even a minority on the National Park Trust would avail us anything, and Wal Roots thought that we weaken our case by considering an alternative at present. At the conclusion of discussion, Tom Herbert's original motion was adopted.
Wal Roots advanced to the matter of shacks at Era, and said we should present a definite policy for the Minister's consideration. After debate, in which the original suggestion of a maximum 20 years' tenure was condemned by Paddy Pallin as only putting off the evil day, and Alex Colley who said the owners had not 5 minutes tenure at present, while Myles Dunphy considered we were out of order in determining a policy (this should be left to whichever Trust administered Era after resumption, he said) a variation of Wal Roots' original formula was adopted:
This motion incorporated Bob Savage's amendment that we make no definite time limit. Better the shacks and Era than the shacks but no Era. Myles Dunphy added that the National Park would make a financial concern of Era, probably build a new road along the tops to Bald Hill, and no Minister would be prepared to dislodge the shack owners and face the ensuing unpopularity. Tom Herbert recommended the year by year permissive occupancies granted by Garawarra Trust to shack owners.
On Myles Dunphy's request, the venue of the Annual Reunion was altered to Moorabinda: it was decided to recommend Bruce McInnes to Federation as S. & R. Chairman, and the meeting closed at 11.0 p.m.
Just a short reminder about the dance on 29th April. We can again guarantee you an excellent night, with a good three piece orchestra, a fast floor and novelty dances. About 7.30 on that night a few strong men are needed to shift back the seats and of course they have to be returned to their proper places after the entertainment. Will you come along and help?
E. Stretton, Social Secretary.
Last issue we reported two marriages and soon there will be two more. George Dibley and Marie Walsh and Dennis Gittoes and Shirley King have just announced their respective engagements. Our congratulations to both couples.
Congratulations to Tom and Jean Moppett on the birth of their daughter, Katherine, and to Ron and Betty Baker who also have a daughter - Robin.
By Kath McKay.
Lest anyone living outside the Metropolitan area should get the wrong impression and picture the S.B.W. indulging in a kind of a lost-weekend orgy of riotous potations, jugs of wine beneath the bough and all the rest of it, we hasten to explain that the wet referred to was water - genuine aqua, lots and lots of it, and not particularly pura. Distinctly muddy in fact: turbulent, turgid: the sort of stuff that the Water Board would blush to see coming through its pipes.
The reunion's location, as no doubt you know, was Moorabinda, where several such gatherings have been held in the past. We have memories of warm sunshine sifting through the trees; of Tarro with his florascope revealing to us the beauties of eriostemon and heath; of dry logs piled for the camp fire; of dry snug beds beneath abdulled tents, where we slumbered lightly while the stars looked down.
This year, ah me! how different the scene.
To begin as near the beginning as possible, Saturday March 11th dawned damp and became progressively damper as it went on.
“Ridiculous to think of going” I muttered to myself, filling Nescafe tins with milk, tea, jam and what have you.
“Quite absurd to take the old bones out in this weather” myself rejoined, trying on a yellow waterproof hood, prudently purchased from Paddy during the week, and stowing Porphyria into my pack. (Porphyria is my tent, so called because we christened her with a bottle of Porphyry earlier in the season: also because Robert Browning says 'Porphyria…. shut the cold out, and the storm'. So far, she has done so.)
This dialogue went on all the morning, but by lunch time the rain had eased and by 2.30 it was so fine that only the poorest-spirited bushwalker could have skulked at home, so off we went.
Alas, as soon as we had left Central we could see dirty weather ahead, and at Sutherland it was coming down in buckets. I leapt for the tin hare, and who should be aboard but our esteemed President, and Len Scotland.
At Waterfall we girded ourselves for the descent, and the place certainly did live up to its name - it was a waterfall the whole way. Tracks provided natural creek-beds and our docile familiar rivulets became unrecognisable torrents, spreading with a lamentable lack of restraint over the entire landscape.
The President's noblesse obliged him to shepherd the aged and infirm (meaning me) and but for his helping hand over the worst crossings and his encouraging coo-ees from the rain-blurred vistas ahead, I feel sure that Porphyria and I would have belted and spent quiet night by ourselves on the first hillside.
As it was, we pressed on, skidding and slithering, but rejoicing none the less in the blossoming tea-tree, bright pink against the grey-green wetness of the bush, and in the really impressive imitation of Niagara thundering into Kingfisher Pool.
At last, and regrettably on the rive gauche, whereas we were plunging along on the rive droite, we saw blue smoke and the glow of camp fires through the gathering dusk.
But between us and them was a great gulf fixed; or not so much fixed as surging along completely out of hard, and rising every minute. One look at the raging body of water was enough. I would stay where I was, on terra that was reasonably firma.
And so thought some few others whose tents were already up. I switched on my torch and discovered them to be Dormie, Len, Margaret Stoddart and Eric Boman. The rain beat down, the ground was a network of small streams all hastening riverwards, and in the dark there was not much choice of a camp-site.
Tom came to the rescue again and helped me hitch Porphyria to a tree and anchor her guy ropes to stones, where rock prevented the use of tent pegs. He also gouged out, with a stick, a complicated system of drains to stop the worst of the water from flowing through the tent.
Meanwhile Dormie, by some secret formula, had conjured up a fire in a cleft of the rocks. The only trouble was that the space was too narrow to get near it for either cooking or clothes-drying; so he abandoned it, and while we held a groundsheet awning-fashion above him, he tried again in the open.
A little precious candle-end on a flat rock; fragments of leaves and bark from the depths of a rock crevice, portions of newspaper hoarded by Len in some miraculously dry corner of his gear; infinite patience and a little cautious blowing; these factors began to make our chances of a fire seem less of a lottery.
In the torchlight the groundsheet took on a diabolic glow; the rain hammered upon it, Dormie muttered incantations or anyway imprecations below it; the river roared; Len tendered advice and we thoughtlessly moved the groundsheet to see what was going on, thereby letting in the rain and drawing forth howls of anguish from Dormie, but at last she was away, really burning. We blundered about in the wet dark, collecting wood, and soon had a genuine camp-fire. Indeed we felt that ours was the only official one, seeing that it had the President's patronage.
Torch in hand, I gathered dead brushwood and bracken to strew the tent floor and keep the sleeping-bag out of water; and when my billy boiled, retreated to Porphyria for a sandwich tea and a really comfortable night - damp, but not cold, and no ants, fleas, rats or mosquitoes.
Shouts and cheers in the early hours of the Sabbath announced that Margaret, in swim-suit, and met half-way by Roley, had made the crossing to the other side. Roley's one concern, it was reported, was lest he should get his hair wet.
As daylight broadened we made out numerous familiar figures in the distance - some 45 maniacs in addition to our own poor demented selves. The river had dropped considerably in the night, and the President, staying not for breakfast, waded over to reune with the rest of his flock. For our part we took advantage of a momentary lull in the weather to cook breakfast, and then from a commanding position by the ford, to watch the homeward trek.
It was a strange sight, reminiscent of the Retreat from Moscow. Rain was falling again and the company filed past with a general air of draggle-tailed dejection, and for the most part in silence. Never can so few compacts and lipsticks have been used by so many. Never can waves have been less permanent.
Malcolm and Roley did yeoman service in piloting women and children across the rapids - yes, there were children. It would not be a reunion without them, though we saw only 2, Grace Noble's small Dorothy, blonde and serene in rose-red raincoat, and Jess Martin's nephew Peter, having the time of his life and quite undaunted by the perils of the flood.
Grace, not so serene, in borrowed shirt and accessories, had suffered everything from ant-bites to the melancholy fate of Displaced Persons, since she had to abandon her home in the middle of the night and seek shelter elsewhere.
Dorothy Brigden (tastefully arrayed in pale blue pyjamas, the only dry garb left her after swimming the river the day before) the Duncans, the three McGregors, Maurie and Tuggie, Sam and the Roots (O fortunate Miriam, home and dry with the two youngest) Kath and Jim Brown, Doris Stead, Billy Davis, Edna Stretton, Sally Mackay, Mary McDonald, Roys Braithwaite and Bruggy, Peg Bransdon, Bill Gillam - all these and more plodded by, carrying pounds of supercargo in their wet packs, wet tents, wet boots, wet everything.
In the distance we thought we saw Paddy, Alex, Bruce McInnes, George Davenport, Bill Kinley and Allan Wyborn: but if these gentry insist that they were elsewhere we could not gainsay them. We learnt subsequently that Bill Henley and Miriam, those confirmed troglodytes, were in a cave high up on the hillside, but even they were not dry. A spring welled up in the floor and everything became demnition damp and dilagreeable, as Mr. Mantalini would say.
Jenny and Stan set out on Saturday with every intention of being present, but soon after leaving their truck at Waterfall, they met groups of walkers returning from the reunion with the tidings that it was a complete washout. So after a brief amble in the rain they too turned and made for home.
My own fluvial walk trainwards was a solitary affair, enlivened only by meetings with a minute green frog, who dived to safety at sight of me: and with a truculent crayfish, who stood his ground on the watery track, his beautiful red and blue flippers extended, barring my way and hissing his disapproval. I had a few anxious moments when I got on the wrong side of the creek, and visions of headlines: “Woman Hiker Swept Away In Floods” turned me back several times in mid-stream. I had brought the club quite enough bad publicity in the past so went on cautiously till the waist deep stream was narrow enough to hang on to overarching boughs from one side to the other.
And at Waterfall there was the President once more, and Sam Myers waiting to round up the stragglers (meaning me).
The concert which should have been presented at the camp-fire was given in modified form at the clubrooms the following Friday night, but the initiation ceremony was skipped, to the relief of timorous new members - if indeed there is such a thing as a timorous bushwalker. The camp-fire was represented by leaping red flames of cardboard labelled: “Genuine Cotter Camp-fire”; and supper of cake and soft drinks in lieu of the traditional cocoa, made a pleasant interlude.
Malcolm's topical verses, sung by the female choir, were the hit of the evening. The Blumer brothers sang an attractive ditty in French dialect; Dorothy Lawry and Bill Gillam told funny stories; Dave Roots, Edna Stretton and company presented several sketches, and a few choruses were sung rather half-heartedly by us all. But somehow it was a colourless affair, a poor substitute for the real thing.
Here's hoping that next year the weather will prove kind and that we shall all be there to celebrate a super-re-union in 1951.
Impressions gained by Bill Gillam.
“Why didst thou promise such a beauteous day
And make me travel forth without my cloak,
To let base clouds o'ertake me in my way
Hiding thy bravery in their rotten smoke.”
Sonnet XXXIV, Shakespeare.
Well, it wasn't promised as a beautiful day; and by the time the early birds arrived at Waterfall the rain had started. There was much shaking of the head as to whether it was wise to go on but after buying another candle we went to the Reunion without the faintest intention of reuning. If the first cave we came to was dry I was going to curl up in it and hurl scorn on any S.B.W. who walked past. The first cave was unfortunately extremely wet.
Excuse me while I sneeze.
Dripping, and with the most fratricidal tendancies, our party reached Moorabinda and crossed the creek with little trouble. Ah, but it was wet. Packs were dropped and tents were thrown up. Cold and miserable I crept into my tent, threw a Bronx cheer to the weather man and tried to forget that it was raining, that the tent had a dangerous sag, that, oh my back, my feet were getting wet, and above all I tried to forget it was the Reunion.
Aah-chooo. That's better.
A shout, as though someone was being murdered, or at least drowned with violence, drew me from my cocoon. The creek had risen about five feet and there were a dozen walkers, very downcast, and wanting to get across to the reunion. All swam safely across except Edna Stretton who was “settin'” unless Roley would escort her across. Roley responded with the gallantry of Sir Walter and Edna, together with the third course in sweets, was hauled across the flood.
Excuse me, while I blow my nose.
With Ed safe it seemed a fit time to try some artificial respiration of the Reunion spirit and make the usual Grand Tour. Ah, the old faces; Patriach Roots, and sundry saplings, blew anxiously on his fire to provide tea for his brood; Cotter (in bare feet, for he had left his boots in a tree on the other side of the creek) gave culinary directions from his tent. Sally Mackay - in sun-top - dug a ditch around her abode, not very deep and not nearly far enough. Mary McGregor, now in her own right as a member, and not merely “Malcolm's sister” was dispensing Scotch wisdom. I learnt that a Scot perfected the present system of drains, that the only bottle was one of fruit cup and there were some eggs lying around “somewhere in there”.
Excuse me, while I take this lemon punch.
Gilroy, of course, was there with the cake, a blow lamp and the most thoughtful expression I've ever seen, even on Arthur. The McGregors were camped hereabouts with an ingenious system of catching the drops from an holey tent. Did it work? Of course, it didn't. They moved in with Arthur during the night.
Far up on the hill Jack Wren sent up smoke signals to the opposite bank. Someone claimed he could decipher them and gave the following translations: “Are there any more poor blighters coming down the creek?”, “It will fine up in half an hour”. (We didn't catch the reply to that.)
Ken Meadows presided over a fire which surely gave the lie to those who claim you can't cook without billy hooks. It valiantly carried five billies, seven plates and innumerable bodies crouched over it. I saw the feet of Don Read, the shorts of Jim Hooper and a cape which might have been wrapped around Billie Davis and the head of Vera Matasin all in the one perpendicular. How they did it I don't know, but it certainly kept the fire alight.
The Nobles, Grace and small Dorothy, were there wandering in the dead of night from plague and desolation; or, in particular, from bull ants and flood. They found solace at last but, oh, weren't they cold!
Breakfast was a dismal affair.
Excuse me, while I take my temperature.
Not being a married man my feasts are movable and interchangeable. I had lunch in bed, and when it stopped raining, I lit a fire and cooked my breakfast.
When the mist, rain and smoke had cleared it was revealed that the marooned walkers were the President, Dormie, Roy Bruggy, Len Scotland are Kath McKay. They had not escaped the ravages of the rain. A maze of drains ran around under and through the tents. Dormie had built a fire, a really beautiful fire, under a rock, it certainly kept the rain off it, but I thought it indelicate to ask how he cooked on it.
By ten o'clock most had folded their tents but not as silently as the Arabs. There were sundry groans about wet tents and complaints of wet pants. We plodded back along a still swollen creek until Paddy decided we should take a new creek to Waterfall. For the benefit of those who weren't there; the creek starts at Prince's Highway and turns left after it crosses the road. From there it falls in a series of brilliant falls and cascades. On its more level stretches it flows about six inches deep and two feet wide. It wasn't until I was halfway up that I recognised it as the track to Kingfisher's Pool.
At Waterfall there was just time to put on dry (or, to be exact, damp) trousers and leap with bare feet into the “Tin Hare”. Paddy, with the honour of the club at stake, hobbled in with one sock draped on his toe and the other clutched like a marathon baton.
Oh, make my bed soon, for I'm sick at the heart, and fain would lie doon.
Reports are filtering through of another “privrate” walk held recently. The co-leaders had the stimulus of a bevy of beautiful girls, but one lass stole a march on the others by producing a jaffle iron at lunch time. Swelling with a sense of his own importance (and jaffles) the axeman received rather a set back when he was referred to as “banana legs”. The “Gent in the Tent” with his usual diplomacy smoothed the ruffled one and a repeat performance by the jaffle expert sent the party home in exactly the right mood.
Excitement! Colour! Drama!
Scenic Tasmania. Koscuisko.
Bushwalking. Ski-ing. Canoeing.
Wild crocadile hunting.
Plus, exciting new specialty film:
“Exploration of Unknown Reaches of the Snowy River”
See Wild Australia at its best.
Assembly Hall. Margaret St., Sydney.
Wed. 3rd. Sat. 6th. Wed. 10th. May. 8p.m.
Plans at Paddy Pallin, 327 George St. Now! Nicholsons, Palings after 23rd. April.
The following were elected at the Annual General Meeting:-
|Vice Presidents||Arthur Gilroy, Paul Barnes|
|Hon. Secretary||Jim Brown|
|Hon. Asst. Secretary||Kath Brown|
|Hon. Treasurer||Gil Webb|
|Hon. Walks Secretary||Don Frost|
|Hon. Membership Secretary||Ken Meadows|
|Hon. Social Secretary||Edna Stretton|
|Committee||Jean Mowbray, Val Hands, Allen Strom, Jack Wren|
|Federation Delegates||Bill Hall, Brian Harvey, Paul Barnes, Allen Strom|
|Substitute Federation Delegates||Jack Wren, Bill Gillam|
|Literary Editor||Alex Colley|
|Business Manager of Magazine||Brian Harvey|
|Parks and Playgrounds Delegate||Mrs. Hilda Stoddart|
|Trustees||Wal Roots, Joe Turner, Maurie Berry|
|Foresty Advisory Council Delegate||Allan Wyborn|
|Honorary Solicitor||Mr. Colin Broad, though not a Club member, has kindly offered to act in this capacity and his offer was thankfully accepted.|
On the Monday after the reunion Kath McKay took her torch to the electrician for a new battery. “I'm afraid it's quite flat, although I got a new battery only last Wednesday”, she said. The electrician surveyed the feeble gleam with a practised eye. “Its damp, that's what it is ”, he said, “Have you had it anywhere near water?”
Voice from Python Gully between downpours on Sunday morning of reunion - - “Hey there Paddy, how'd you get on last night?”
Mr. Pallin: “Who's that?”
The Voice: “Bill Henley”.
Mr. Pallin:, “Ah, good-day Bill, I was all right. How did you do in the cave?”
Mr. Henley: “Ugh - no good - we got flooded out.”
Mr. Pallin: “Why don't you buy a decent tent?”
(This paragraph inserted free of charge.)
By Kevin Ardill.
It's a wet weekend, and I'm doing a solid bit of sitting. Just looking at the rain and thinking of all the lucky walkers enjoying themselves at bush parties and swimming holes. Kinda reminds me of similar days in Tasmania, the home of the leech, tiger snake and the Hobart Walking Club. I'd heard and read about the club's activities and had even been warned by some bird about its dislike of mainland walkers. Our preparations for the Davey trip had shown up this fairy story in its true light and when we were invited to their meeting we accepted like a shot.
Gladys Martin, Len Fall and myself, arrayed in our best togs, set out on Friday evening to meet the meeting. After experience of Tassie walking conditions we are not surprised to find the meeting room situated on the premises of the Thermal Baths. I suppose the idea is to acclimatise new members for when the serious walking commences. Surprise when we find the members in conventional dress and not swim suits is offset by the warmth of their welcome. Though we are assured the crowd is below normal strength there would be about seventy members present when the President, Mr. Jack Thwaites, opened proceedings. Business was progressing rather smoothly when all of a sudden it happened. Shades of Ingersoll Hall, S.B.W., and all that - someone wanted to alter the constitution. At fist I think they are trying to make us feel at home but when I notice the serious mein, the spirit of battle so openly manifest, I realise the constitution is in for a bashing.
With memories of other efforts to alter other constitutions, I play safe, the teeth go in one pocket and the glasses in the other. The initial skirmishing reveals the bone of contention. It wasn't involved and the issue was clear but don't ask me to explain. All I know is that blokes were leaping to the feet all over the place, till a gentleman with the honorable name of Smith practically ended the debate with about ten well chosen words, Viva Smith! The amendment is put to the vote, and after several voters are queried as to their status quo, the constitution is altered. It scorns that prospectives will now find the road to membership easier to travel and there is much cheering, doubtlessly echoed by the leech fraternity.
General business included an appeal by a leader for starters on the following weekend walk. He announced the time of departure, seemed a little vague on the exact route to be followed and concluded with a carefree announcement that he had no idea of the time the party would return - if they ever did.
The next item was most interesting. One by one the President called on leaders of various walks over the Christmas period to give an account of their trips. From our point of view it was most interesting. The narrators described the whole walk from go to whoa, and then answered questions as to the nature of the country traversed, condition of huts and bridges and any other information that might help following parties. One walker present had accompanied the party going from Recherche Bay to Port Davey and an account of his return with two companions was good entertainment. On one section they encountered some solid bauera scrub and decided to shoot through it. In quite a matter of fact manner he described their method of progress. The chap in front was pushed into the bauera, withdrawn and then pushed in again. As you might imagine rate of progress was slow and when they climbed a tree to inspect what lay ahead they weren't happy at the prospect and returned along the track they had made. It took them 55 minutes to make the track, the time of return was 5 minutes.
The entertainment came to an abrupt halt. The President acquainted the gathering with the fact that there were strangers in the midst, they were members of Sydney Bushwalking Club, they had done a trip and, furthermore, one of the party was going to tell of the doings. That's me. There were hundreds of thoughts flashing through my cranium but none had any relation to the task in front of me. The only time I ever leap to the feet at a meeting is to bleat “point of order, Mr. Chairman” and then no one ever takes any notice of me. When the cry of “those in favour say Aye” goes out I am well able to keep my end up with a fervent and melodic “Aye”, but to stand up as a stranger and tell this collection of bauera bashers about a trip in their own territory - death where is thy sting?
Through a thick fog (mental) I heard the voices of Len and Gladys murmur some drivel about the honour of the S.B.W. and next thing I hear a voice. It was mine. It could have been an account of the trip “The Sick Stockrider” or even “Daffodils” that I recited but at the conclusion there was polite applause and I sank on to my seat.
Now there was general movement and cups of tea and biscuits were passed hither and thither. I was assured that this is the usual procedure but it seemed strange that the cups of reviver appeared as soon as I finished talking. In any case it was appreciated and the circulating tea sippers were most sociable and informative. We saw excellent photographs and met several personalities who had been just names I had seen in copies of The Tasmanian Tramp. We had the pleasure of voicing our sincere appreciation of their work of trail blazing and marking and at eleven o'clock we left with a general invitation to all S.B.W. members to attend their meeting when in Hobart. Take our tip and stagger along. We enjoyed every minute of it and left with quite a glow - and it wasn't Cascade Beer. That's another story.
By Paul Barnes.
A letter has been sent to the Minister for Lands protesting against the proposed amalgamation of Garawarra and National Park.
Mr. Bruce McInnes has been elected Chairman of the Search and Rescue Section. A press campaign is being started, with Police Department co-operation, so as to publicise S. & R. principles.
Miss E. Jackson, of the Kameruka Club, has been elected General Secretary of the Federation.
Surveying work is in progress for the proposed nightsoil disposal area in National Park near Jibbon. Council decided to write further letters of protest.
A complaint was received of misconduct in the Kosciusko area huts. The letter will be copied and circulated to all affiliated clubs.
The Federation Annual Camp is on 6th and 7th May at Euroka Clearing. There will be no cars or motor cycles, and no organised sports, but a return to the good old fashioned Reunion.
“Dear Sir, On Friday night last we gathered in the Clubroom for the Sing-Song which we were not able to enjoy this year at our Reuion.
When called upon to lift our voices it really looked as if we had no voices at all. But we all do have some sort of a voice, and most of us know bits and pieces of songs. If we could be given the right note to start on and were told the first line, the result might be better.
Now, I have a suggestion to make that if followed up would, I am sure, produce something worth hearing in the way of good music.
Let twelve members take unto themselves eight or more Cobbers, and let those twelve groups choose two songs each in which they agree to become word perfect. When called upon they might render their items as a group or form a core to help their faltering brethren. We would do well to learn to sing those delightful rounds: “Fire's Burning”, “In the Campfire's Cheerful Glow”, “Row, Row, Row the Boat”, and many others.
How about making a great effort for the Federation Reunion?
by John Noble.
As we were exceedingly fond of Mt. Currockbilly we decided to so name our house and asked the Mitchell Library for an opinion its origin and meaning. We received the following reply from Sherrie, the Deputy Librarian:
“The name is recorded by Surveyor Hoddle in his report of a survey of the Clyde River 1828, but there may be earlier references.
We are unable to give you any definite information about it meaning, but it sounds as if it might be a corruption of an aboriginal word, in which case the words below from “The Thoorga Language,” by R.H. Mathew, may be of interest:
The Thoorga tribe inhabited the area and it looks as if “Bug-ga-ran” was their name for Sun. I think “Currockbilly” cou1d be a variation of the second part of sunrise - “kar-rick-bung,” as it only needs the “bung” to be altered to “billy.” It is the sound, of course, and not the spelling which matters in aboriginal words. This is, of course, just a personal opinion.”
We thought the above to be most interesting. I think, though, that where he refers to “bung” being altered to “billy: it seems more likely that the full “bung-a-leen” would be altered to “billy,” but I am not, of course, competent to pass such an opinion.
From the text of the reply a further suggestion seems pertinent, although he did not refer to it. It will be noted that “Bug-ga-ren” is suggested as meaning sun. It seems likely to us that the name Budawang for the Range is also a corruption of “Bug-ga-ran.” It would certainly be appropriate, as the range is both the first to receive, and the last to lose, the sun's rays, due to its topographical features. We have also enjoyed to the full the splendid from Currockbilly, under perfect conditions, and feel quite happy with the explanation.
The songster must have caught the ear of Jupiter Pluvitis on the weekend of 11/12 March the occasion of the Club Reunion.
The thirty odd (very “odd”, we must have appeared to sane stop-at-homes) souls who with waterproof spirits and (we hope) waterproof gear arrived at the camp site had a good weekend. They cheerfully chatted, chuckled and chinwagged, but the elements hardly encouraged soulful song singing.
It was good fun fighting one's way over those two raging torrents, Kingfisher Creek and Myuna Creek - believe it or not one party had to swim across the latter. Heathcote Creek was a magnificent stream hurrying, scurrying, roaring and pouring impatiently on its way. What a chance for a canoe trip.
The weekend gave us cause to realise that good gear is only half the battle in facing difficult weather. The other half must proceed from the skill and initiative of the camper. Did we have matches? Could we light that fire in the pouring rain? A good tent will hold the water coming from above but can hardly stop water welling up from the ground.
Steel frame rucksacks. Lightweight japara groundsheets, Billies upright and squat types. Plastic screw top jars.
Paddy Pallin, Camp Gear For Walkers.
327 George Street, Sydney. 'Phone BX3595.