A monthly Bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St., Sydney.
|Editor||Bill Gillam, Berowra Creek Road, Berowra.|
|Production and Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Reporters||Jim Brown, Kath McKay|
|Sales and Subs||Shirley Evans|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey|
|Editorial - “Matters of Interest”||1|
|At the April General Meeting||3|
|Social Notes for May||7|
|Snowy Grand Gorge to Kosciusko||Alex Colley||8|
|Alteration to Walks Programme||14|
|“The Lower Income Group”||15|
|The Field Unit of the Rangers League||17|
|“Forgive Us If We Appear To Boast” - Paddy's Ad.||19|
Every journal of any repute must have a policy, those that last longest usually have a slogan. The founders of our magazine chose in the “thirties”, “a bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bushwalkers”. Their aim, they said in the first issue, “was neither ambitious nor comprehensive, the main endeavour being to place before members accounts of trips which otherwise would not be readily accessible to them”.
This then was the original aim of the magazine, an aim formulated when the club was still in its infancy; now, when the club has reached its majority, a tremendous amount of knowledge has been accumulated, in rather a leisurely, haphazard fashion, giving an intimate and vivid history of the bushwalking movement in N.S.W. To browse through a collection of old issues is like reading a pile of undiscovered, or long-forgotten, letters, depending on the vintage of your membership.
An absorbing biography, almost a collective autobiography has been written as the magazine has mirrored the changing moods and personalities of the club. For the moods and personalities of the club are constantly changing and it has become the tradition of the magazine to reflect these changes as faithfully as possible. The moods of the club find expression in the reports of the general meeting and in reports of trips, while the changing personalities of the club are set down, often with the utmost candour, in the “personal” articles. Month by month the club has changed, although the change is too imperceptible to be noticed say, over a year, or even two or three. To go back twelve or thirteen years is startling, to go back twenty years is a revelation.
Some say the change has an economic background. When the club was first formed the country was in the grip of a depression, a few enthusiastic people were brought together by a letter to a newspaper, formed a club and then spread the idea that bushwalking was a cheap and healthy recreation. And so the early issues were definitely “spreading the faith”, perhaps unconsciously, and still in the nature of guide books. One member even took the “opportunity to condemn the selection of the upper reaches of the Grose River for a pleasure trip”. The passing of a few years saw some of the financial worries lifted, and members learned to laugh at each other, and wonder what a varied lot had been attracted. They were quite a vocal lot luckily, and have set down for possible posterity some very exuberant sallies such as -
“Off on a trip with the bangers
With the wife of Our-ang-outang Roots”.
Just as a merrier note crept into the Club with the brightening years the trips reported covered adventures further afield; adventures they were indeed, when most of the more rugged country in which we now walk with familiarity was completely new, and relatively unexplored. From detailed trips in the Blue Mountains members graduated to Kosciusko, to Tasmania, to New Zealand, even to Western China, setting down for others to read the best places to go, what and who to see to get the most out of their trips.
In the conservation field the growing awareness of our bushland heritage was revealed. For the last few years more and more conservation has appeared. Your present Editor has neither the experience nor the talent to report this subject adequately, and is therefore relying on ardent conservationists.
In a very general way this is to be our policy, if we can be said to have a policy: to produce a magazine that in future years can be shown as an indication of what the club was doing, thinking, and saying, in 1951.
It was Friday 13th: two or three “B” grade wars were in progress on the planet Earth: President Truman had just precipitated a first-class squabble by sacking MacArthur: a Federal election campaign was boiling up in Australia: Sydney had its worst day of blackouts ever. Astrologists would probably tell us that the turbulent planet Mars was in the ascendant. At all events the April General Meeting, with the President in the chair and some 60 members present, was probably the most dour debate since the famous Annual General (Deferred Re-Union) Meeting of 1949.
We welcomed two new members Geoff Boucher and Geoff Gumm to the arena, and dealt with minutes and correspondence in short order. The Victorian Mountain Tramping Club had donated to us a set of their blue-print maps of the Howqua - Mt. Howitt - Mt.Wellington area - a most welcome gift. Blue Mountains Council advised that repair work had been carried out on the Govett's Leap Track. A letter from the Local Government Department to the Wild Life Preservation Society (copy to us for information from the latter body) denied that there was any risk of infection in the Hacking River by reason of the sanitary depot at Helensburgh.
George Spicer enquired why we had written the Sydney University Bush Walkers declining to advocate our members joining in their annual marathon and the President explained Federation's objections on the score of accident hazard and possible adverse publicity.
Federation Report pointed to a vacancy in the Information Bureau and called for delegates to the Re-union Committee and helpers and entertainers for the Camp Fire.
It was announced that the Non-Active subscription had been fixed at 5/- per annum as before, also that Peggy Bransdon and Roley Cotter had agreed to organise the Photographic Exhibition to be held on 29th June. Roley stated that prints of any size and on any type of paper would be accepted, but asked exhibitors to produce them at an early hour on the night. After brief discussion it was decided to invite members of affiliated clubs through the Federation to submit entries in the Exhibition.
For a meeting which was to become quite garrulous, the call for Room Stewards met with a deathly hush, and after uneasy discussion on the functions of these gentry, the meeting drew a breath of relief when the whole distasteful affair was shelved sine die. The Committee Members deputed to lock up after dances and film nights will hereafter have to be endowed with power of levitation, or else battle for half an hour to replace the furniture no doubt.
We came to Mr. Frost's pre-publicised motion to appoint a subcommittee to look into the possibility of establishing a club hut in the Alps. Alex Colley seconded, and elected to speak later. Allan Hardie thought consideration should be given the walking fraternity in selecting the site and suggested extending the scope of the enquiry to consider that aspect. Ken Meadows pointed out that the terms of the motion “Perisher Gap or other suitable areas” embraced it already.
Len Scotland voiced the opinion that a decision could be made then and there. He thought the whole scheme too ambitious, and called attention to an earlier project to buy shares in the Lake Albina hut on behalf of the Club. George Spicer deprecated such pessimism and thought that the best in the club would come out when an appeal was made: we would be unified in the purpose. Gil Webb (speaking as Treasurer) said we were apparently thoroughly unified already judging from his perpetual appeal for funds.
Alex Colley felt there was much merit in the idea. It cost anything from £15 to £35 for accommodation in the snow country during the season, and the most enjoyable snow holidays were to be had with bushwalking company. We had in the Club craftsmen and experts in almost all the classifications needed for the construction work itself, and surely we could expect as much aid from the Kosciusko Park Trust as the other clubs who were building there. Anyway, that was the purpose of establishing a sub-committee, to review the whole project.
Bill Cosgrove joined Len Scotland in drawing a less cheerful picture. He warned that the cost would probably run into £2,000 to £4,000, and stated that he had heard another Club building in the Kosciusko area had sunk a considerable amount into erecting a temporary structure which must be replaced by a more elaborate job to meet Park Trust requirements. He supported the Lake Albina contribution. Mention of a temporary hut inspired a few vague suggestions that such a building may be another “Spit Bridge” job - temporary for 20 years or so - and it was resolved to create the the sub-committee. Don Frost was appointed convenor, with Len Scotland, Bill Cosgrove, Alex Colley and Arthur Gilroy as members.
Came General Business and Allan Hardie's motion that the words “The Leader is responsible for the safety of the party and, if he thinks necessary, may refuse any persons request to attend the walk” should be deleted from future walks programmes. He considered the words offensive, likely to cause ill-feeling, and tended to make official walks into private trips. He contended that any member should be permitted to attend any official walk; that if a leader warned a member that the trip was difficult and the member still joined the party, then the leader had discharged his responsibility, and it was up to the member to stay with the party or find his own way out. The recent inclusion of the words in question in walks programmes tended to filch members rights. He himself had been declined by leaders of two trips recently; the leader of one trip was a comparatively new member and in his opinion an alarmist.
Dorothy Lawry intervened to ask if a leader had not always been entitled to decline, and the President explained that the sentence under discussion had been added to the Walks Programmes about 12 months ago, but it had long been an understood thing that a leader could refuse a members request to join his trip.
Jim Hooper, one of the leaders concerned in refusing Allan Hardie, rose and explained that his official Easter trip had been, in fact, a very rugged one. He had noted on a previous walk that Mr. Hardie had lagged well behind the party and was in apparent difficulty at a hazardous spot, and had to be assisted with his rucksack. He read from an article which he intended to submit to the Magazine Editor on the subject of leaders and members on official walks.
The lengthy debate which followed (lasting over an hour) included comment by Shirley Evans, who had also been refused, that such a severe trip was surely a bad choice for an official Easter trip: George Spicer, who had done the Gloucester Tops walks, and agreed it was very rough - the party had been astray for 27 hours - (uproar) but Jim Hooper found his way (continued uproar) … found his (still continued)… found his … found his way out admirably in the end.
Kath Brown agreed that such a severe trip was unfortunate for Easter, but pointed out that it was a case of that walk or none at all, and indicated that Walks Secretaries often found it difficult to find any leader willing to conduct an official trip on holiday week-ends. Claude Haynes considered it was a bad thing that leaders could discriminate so widely - as he understood it, the Easter trip had been an entirely male party, all women had been excluded - and that surely approached a breach of the Constitution which decreed the sexes equal.
Alex Colley said he had led many official trips for the Club - including many rough trips. He had declined a number of people, and there had been no hard feelings. The leader was unquestionably responsible, and should be empowered to decline those he thought incapable of carrying out the trip satisfactorily. Dorothy Lawry agreed with this view, adding that she could call to mind instances where weak walkers had ruined a trip. Bill Henley contributed the thought that very rugged trips should be kept as private pioneering trips.
Don Frost said that, when Walks Secretary, he had been largely responsible for having the words inserted on the programme, and he believed them necessary. John Cotter returned to the thought that such tough walking was not desirable as the Easter official trip, though he agreed with the tenor of the sentence published in the programme. The President pointed out there was no reason why there should not be several Easter trips, of varying severity, provided leaders were forthcoming.
Max Gentle remarked that if he were ever declined he thought he would just drop out, taking it in good part, and ascribing it to his advancing years, while Bill Cosgrove asked if it were not an unwritten law that official walks should be reconnoitred first (cries of “Jim Hooper went over it at Christmas time”). Roy Bruggy commented if it were a pre-requisite that the leader should have been over the route, it would be even more difficult to get walks for the programme. Ken Meadows suggested, if the motion were adopted, that the Membership Secretary should be instructed in the calibre of members to be admitted - very rugged, or very frail. Roley Cotter rejoined that the standard was to be that of the pattern test walks. We were simply wasting time, he added.
Members continued to hop up and down, calling for “point of order”. The writer, the other leader to decline Allan Hardie (for a walk across the Blue Labyrinth) said that, printed or not, the leader had a moral responsibility for his party. Take away the clause which protected the leader and he must either bear all the burden, or the Club must protect him by reducing the standard of official walks to an absurd level. His reason in this particular case was that the country was tangled, and he could not risk taking anyone who may lag.
Phil Hall supported this view, saying that probably 30 per cent of official trips would have to be deemed too severe, and the standard of the programme would have to be lowered to that of the frailest members. Jack Wren pointed to a risk in the clause, in that it could be used to debar members from attending a trip purely because of personal bias. Allan Hardie made a lengthy reply, but the motion was lost.
Claude Haynes continued to be worried by the apparent discrimination against the female of the species, and moved that the Club publish in the magazine all its by-laws; it was pointed out by several speakers that this would be a prodigous job, and the motion was lost. Alex Colley succeeded, however, with a motion that the Pattern Test Walks should be made known.
With all this ado, it was 10.20 p m. before we adjourned.
Whether it is an indication of how seriously members are taking the Fancy Dress Dance, we can't say. It has come to our ears, and eyes, that the ghost of Gregory Blaxland still lives. In the club a few weeks ago was a rugged pioneering type, which, when the whiskers were parted, turned out to be none other than Kevin Ardill. The report of the expedition will appear concurrently in the “Gazette” and the Bushwalker.
There are two most important social events during the month of May :-
A slide night for members. These nights are becoming increasingly popular and judging by some of the work I've seen around the Club lately, this should he an excellent night.
Social Night. Not much information about this except that the entertainment is of very high standard. There will also be some fun and games.
This dance is really a fancy dress one, so be in it. Come along heavily disguised. Bring your own tucker. Soft drinks and coffee will be supplied.
Organisation for this function is well under way. See Peg Bransdon and Roley Cotter for information.
- Ed. Stretton, Social Secretary.
Mr. E. Gaines (Ted) Phillips, Convenor, Mapping Section of the River Canoe Club of N.S.W., has advised that the following canoeists' map has now been completed and is available for inspection by those interested :-
No.51. Moruya and Duea Rivers (Merricumbene to Moruya Heads Section) including all tidal and canoeable creeks.
Regretfully Mr. Phillips also advised that the following two maps were destroyed in Paddy's fire :-
Map No.20 (Warragamba and Nepean Rivers - Cox's River junction to Penrith section), and Cruising Canoe Club's Map No. 3 (Tuggerah Lakes and Creeks, including Wyong River).
(Dec. 22nd - Jan. 1st, 1950/1.)
By Alex Colley.
Party: Bill Cosgrove and self.
The Kosciusko country is popular round Christmas, but, as in most of the other walking country, nearly everybody follows a few well worn routes. We had been around most of these before, some of them both in summer and in winter, and decided we would like to see something new, while avoiding the tedium of summer walking in new country with heavy packs. So we planned four days loaf on the easy part of the Snowy, followed by a few days easy walking above the 4,000 foot level.
Being experienced travellers in New Australia we knew how to get out of Cooma in reasonable time. I had travelled up in the day train and camped the night on my private camp site just out of the town. I was installed in the R.R.R. before the train came and Bill rushed straight out of the train to join me. Breakfast over, the two of us boarded a horribly expensive looking black car, and after a couple of purchases in the town we were on our way. We stopped at the butcher's shop at Jindabyne, where we took our turn after another customer's request for “bacon from zee peeg” had been satisfied. Then we turned off to Ingebyra, about 17 miles distant. The car only just made Ingebyra, because of a boggy patch on the way, and thereafter our progress was in the lap of the gods. Many years ago, when road-building was a more popular occupation, a good road had been built from Ingebyra right down to the Jacobs River, some eight miles away and 2,000 or more feet below. The road just went to the River and stopped. Nobody lived there, nor did there appear to be any reason on earth why it should be maintained. But it had been open a year before, and we fervently hoped it was still negotiable, though we hardly expected it after the wet season. Sure enough there were landslides a-plenty, but our driver somehow wove his way through the obstacles and eventually ran the car up the little incline in the middle of the bush by the side of the river where the road that led to nowhere stopped. We got out, wished the driver luck in getting through the bog on the way back, and, as our last means of transport droned up the mountain again, we started to convert ourselves from passengers to bushwalkers. I think that the pulses of all bushwalkers must beat a little faster as they realise that they must rely entirely on their legs, their intelligence, and what they have in their packs, for the next week or so. Is everything there? Is there enough? Then the doubt as to how one can possibly walk for day after day with such a lump on one's back.
Below us the Jacobs River flowed strongly. Though only a short stream it carried as much water as the Cox in a good season, so that it took us some time to get over the rocky stream bed with our heavy packs. Then we resigned ourselves to some hard going. But we soon became accustomed to our packs, and we were pleased to find that it was almost cool down in the valley. That day we covered some seven miles to a grassy camp site by the hurrying waters of the Pinch River. The next day we set about making a food depot, in which we stored six day's food. We found some old tins and billies which we scraped with sand and washed, put our spare rations into them, then pushed everything into hollow logs and blocked them with stones. That night we camped a few miles above the border. We left our tent and made another depot next morning, taking nothing but our lunch. This too we cached before midday and, feeling like Scott on his way to the Pole, set off to attain our furthest South. As we had now run off the map into the wilds of darkest Victoria we couldn't say just how far we were along the River, but at least we were somewhere over the border.
The Snowy Grand Gorge is a fascinating place, unlike any other Australian river gorge. The River bed itself is usually between one and three hundred yards wide - to take the great flow that comes with the spring thaw. The stream is usually clear with a faint greenish tinge, though on this occasion there was a strong fresh and it was grey with mud. Unfortunately it bears the dismal tokens of erosion - great stretches of sand and mud engulfing the once clear-cut rocks and stones of the river bed. One of our problems was to find stretches flowing slowly enough for swimming. During one of our evening swims I set out to swim the river, but had gone only a few yards when I ran aground and was able to walk all the rest of the way - well over 100 yards - on the sand which had silted up the channels. Above the banks the “pine-clad ridges” which were the setting for the exploits of the “man from Snowy River” started. On these slopes and mountain sides there are only two species of trees - Cypress pines and one of the boxes. The lower slopes are covered with dark pines, amongst which grow a few scattered box trees, and higher up there is mainly box. It is very barren country, with little grass cover. This puzzled us quite a lot. Had it been burnt out, or eaten out by travelling stock? or had the rabbits destroyed the cover and then died out themselves? We were inclined to think that it was probably fairly near its natural state, and that steep gravelly slopes and low rainfall accounted for the lack of grass. The cypress pine and box association is typical of parts of the Western slopes and plains somewhere round the 15 inch rainfall belt. The high mountains round the Grand Gorge probably caught most of the rainfall before it ever reached this great inland trough. As a result there was little wild life. Reptiles couldn't exist in the sandy wastes of the river bed, while there was not enough grass to support kangaroos or wallabies. Here and there were rabbit warrens.
The distant scenery was magnificent, as the gorge is fairly open. We could see great vistas of ridges and peaks rising up from the wide valley. The walking too was most enjoyable. When we learnt enough to ignore the survey pegs which some pre-war hopefuls had used to make out their projected road, and looked instead for the remains of an old stock route, we had easy walking, almost free of obstacles, without undergrowth, and with beautiful views round every bend and over every saddle. The weather was delightful - warm and dry without being hot.
The journey back was just as enjoyable as the down trip, though the last day was hot. As we approached our base depot we imagined a queue of possums, goannas and echidnas gnawing their way into our rations. However we found all as we had left it. We had half the afternoon left to do our washing and prepare for the next stage of the trip. We had the hardest part of the trip to do the next morning - the 3,000 odd foot climb up the Pinch Pass. As the ridge we were to follow had little tree cover, the morning sun, shining across the gorge, would be pretty fierce. An early start wouldn't do much good because it feels just as hot, or hotter, at 7 or 8 a.m. on a dry summer's day as it does at noon. However we decided to start at 7 and hope for a cloud.
Next morning dawned clear, but as we breakfasted we were pleased to see a thin cirrus cloud starting to form high above. It protected us from the full heat of the sun as we toiled up the pass and converted the morning from a “plug” into a most interesting climb. As we rose up the narrow ridge, which forms a natural embankment leading to the tops, the Grand Gorge of the Snowy took shape beneath us. There are probably steeper and deeper gorges to be seen in our State, but I doubt whether any afford more extensive and varied views, because they are usually narrow and flanked by tablelands rather than mountains of varying shapes. The river here is about 800 feet above sea level, while the mountains rise to over 4,000 feet. The distances, the depth, and the sombre hues of the pine ridges, created a truly “grand” scene. As we mounted the ridge the bare pine slopes gradually gave way to box, then box and dark green kangaroo grass. After about two hours we left the ridge top and went into a little gully through which flowed a clear alpine streamlet. As kangaroo grass gave way to wallaby and snow grass and box yielded to mountain ash we knew the top would not be far. The valley heat was now below us and before long we were on the crest of the Suggan Buggan Range, from where we had our first glimpse of the nobbly crown of the Ram's Head, some 25 miles to the North.
That afternoon and the next morning we walked along through the open forest country alongside the Ingegoodbie. Sometimes we found clear remnants of the old track, but most of the time we were probably following Brumbie tracks. There are a great number of these animals through this country. Many like them, but to my mind these heavy pounding, hooved animals spoil the quiet of the bush. I suspect too that they are displacing much of the beautiful native fauna. They may also be responsible for the heavy tussock growth on most of the flats - often the result of over-grazing. We saw only four head of cattle along the river.
Soon after lunch the next day we came to the Tin Mines and inspected the workings. We were puzzled by the long narrow deep trenches - up to about twenty feet deep and only six inches wide at the bottom - it must have been a thin miner who cut them. The winch used for raising the dirt was just like an illustration from an early history of N.S.W. - a sapling with one of the roots as a handle. We were just about to pass the hut, which we have thought empty, when the miner himself (Mr. Carter) emerged. He was one of the old school - 74 years of age he told us - and evidently one of those whose heart ever warms to the lure of a rich find. He invited us in for a cup of tea, which we were glad to accept. He was surely one of the oldest inhabitants of the district and would explain several mysteries - why weren't the stock routes used? where were the cattle? what were the trenches for? Mr. Carter did give us some interesting information. The trenches were his own special method of mining - the dyke method - and the Park Trust had not renewed many of the leases - but we found that his real interests lay in Cancer, Finance, and Communism. We could only wait to hear about the first topic, but left equipped with his booklets covering all three subjects. We had one of them each night round the campfire for the next three nights.
1. Snowy River above junction with Jacobs-River.
2. Looking downstream from between Jacobs and Pinch Rivers.
3. Typical pine-clad slope near river (below Pinch River).
4. Looking upstream from near border.
5. Mountain Ash upper Ingegoodbie River.
6. Snow Daisies near Mount Stilwell.
(Photographs Nos. 1 and 2 taken by Laurie Rayner in December 1949. Nos. 3-6 taken by Bill Cosgrove December 1950.)
That evening we camped near the headwaters of the Pinch River, having failed in the last hour to find the track beyond. Next morning we found what, by a process of elimination, must be the track; but again it disappeared. However we knew where we were on the map and would inevitably cut it later, so we kept going. But look as we might we couldn't pick it up, and lost some time climbing through abominable scrub which abounded in snakes, until we crossed over into the valley of Cascade Creek. After this experience we decided to go where the map said the track was, whether we could find it or not, and this method later proved its worth.
Our camp that night was in a magnificent spot. We were about 6,000 feet up and looked up the Murray Valley almost to its source. This great rift was draped in mist and cloud through which penetrated the rays of the setting sun. We knew it was foolish to camp in such an exposed place with unsettled weather about, but couldn't resist that view. Sure enough a mountain storm with copious rain, thunder, lightning and wind of gale force, broke upon us before dawn. We didn't attempt breakfast in the storm but, just as we finished our packing, the sun struck through and the wind dropped.
That morning we did a side trip to “The Chimneys”. They proved to be the nearest thing to a peak that is to be found in the Alps. The last few hundred feet are bare rock with almost vertical stratification. From the top we had a fine backdoor view of the massif of the Ramshead Range and below, to the South, the valley of the Jacobs River leading to the Grand Gorge in the distance.
As we were ahead of schedule we decided to look over the Upper Crackenback and come up Merritt's Spur, thereby ensuring a good sheltered campsite for the night (it was cold, windy and misty by this time, and we both hated huts). The upper Crackenback proved narrow and rather scrubby at first, due to bad fires which had destroyed the big timber, but as we neared Merritt's it opened out into a typical upland valley with open flats and clumps of black ash.
The mist was still above us when we started our climb up Merritt's next day. Though it blotted out the view we were grateful for the coolness and the soft beauty of the Alpine scenery, particularly as we reached the tops and came to magnificent clumps of Snow Daisies and other delicate alpine flowers. That night we camped below Charlotte's Pass, on the Snowy side. We had planned to do the tourist track round the tops the next day, and decided to do the walk, mist or no mist, just in case it cleared on the way. But luck was with us again. As we breakfasted the mist lifted, the sun shone through, and as we started our tour with just a day pack between us the clouds receded giving clear vision to the horizon in every direction. So ended a perfect trip.
(Adopted at the Half-yearly General Meeting, 14/9/45).
Katoomba - Six Foot Track - Gibraltar Creek - Cox's River - Tin Pot Hill - Carlon's Katoomba.
1. Bundeena - Marley - Wattamolla Garie - Burning Palms - Bola Heights - Wilsons Creek - Helensburgh.
2. Blackheath - Govett's Leap - Blue Gum Forest - Grose River - Mt.Victoria.
3. Campbelltown - Minerva Pool - O'Hare's Creek - Pheasant's Creek - Wedderburn Bridge - Campbelltown.
1. Mt.Kuring gai - Crosslands - Berowra Creek - Fish Ponds - Hornsby.
2. Waterfall - Mt. Westmacott - Myuna Creek - Heathcote Creek - Scouters Mountain - Woronora River - Sabugal Crossing - Engadine.
3. Waterfall - The Mill - Island Track - Palona Brook - Garie Trig. - Era - Lilyvale.
4. Gordon - Rocky Creek - Middle Harbour Creek - Cowan Creek - track to Sphinx - Cockle Creek, Wahroonga.
Federation Re-union (shown on programme for May 12/13) is now scheduled for May 19/20. Location - Euroka.
King's Birthday Weekend has been gazetted for June 9-10-11, not 16-17-18 as shown on Walks Programme. Events for the weekend 9-10 have therefore been transferred to June 16-17. Club room will be closed Friday 8/6/51 and Monthly General Meeting held June 15th.
June 16th-17th. (Shown on programme as June 9/10th, but deferred owing to King's Birthday falling an weekend 9/10/11 June.)
Route: Hawkesbury River (Brooklyn - The Dam - Cowan (5 miles)).
Tickets to: Hawkesbury River. Train: 12.10 p.m.
Reference Map: Broken Bay 1“ = 1 mile. Military Survey.
Leader - Kath Brown.
An unofficial outing of the above group will be held on King's Birthday weekend, June 8/9/10/11.
For those at a loose end: seeking something less strenuous than the demi-official trip over the Gangerangs: in straitened circumstances… the following is offered -
Wentworth Falls - King's Tableland Road - McMahon's Lookout - Cox's River - up river to Black Dog Range - Narrow Necks - Katoomba.
Milage: About 40. Type: Easy to Medium.
The scorned King's Tableland is somewhat drab, but much of it won't be seen anyhow, as it is proposed to camp on Friday night at Nott's Swamp, half-way along the plateau, so that much of the distance will be done in the darkness. McMahon's Lookout is worth a visit, and the rest of the journey is by the ever-agreeable Cox's River, and Narrow Necks.
Particulars of trains, etc. later from -
Kath Brown, Jim Brown.
Dennis Gittoes and Val Downing have announced their engagement. We wish them both the traditional “good camping”.
Letter from Trust thanking Bushwalkers generally and the Cromach Club in particular, for the fine effort put forward at the Working Bee in the Forest during the weekend April 6/7/8. Most of the obstructing timber in the River was removed and it is hoped that there will be no further diversion of the stream's course. Paper and bottles were buried. Altogether a fine tribute to the co-operative spirit of bushwalkers.
Invitation received by Federation from S.B.W. to their photographic exhibition. All Clubs and all manner of work would be welcomed.
There are reports that wireless parts were removed from White's River Hut, and first aid equipment from Seamen's and Mawson's Huts during the summer season.
Fifteen men have volunteered to co-operate in this matter. Meeting to take place at Paddy Pallin's Room on April 19th, (Kevin Ardill will represent S.B.W. as Gregory Blaxland.)
The Secretary commented on the value of this magazine from the Ranger's League and of the League itself. The Secretary of the Field Unit of the League spoke briefly on the work of the Field Unit and invited membership.
Are there any volunteers from the S.B.W. to assist with the Supper or Entertainment? Reunion on weekend May 19/20.
Ticket sales have been good but not with all Clubs. At least 300 must be present to be safely above the margin. In the meantime the rent for the Hall has risen. There will be some good floor shows. Parties for tables are now wanted.
Mr. John Noble has been elected to the Information Bureau.
“Gregory Blaxland” presents his respects and requests the pleasure of your company at the Grand Fancy Dress Ball to be held on the twenty-second day of June. Owing to the scarcity of bread, and funds, in the colony, it is suggested you bring your own victuals. Since the ticket-of-leave men who are employed as stewards are an undisciplined crew, it is further suggested that peanuts and prawns, although plentiful at the moment in the colony, should not be brought. Recently a consignment of coffee was landed and this will be brewed for those who wish. Other light refreshments will also be available.
What - no Rum Corps?
Founded over 20 years ago, the Rangers League has for its aims and objects the protection and preservation of our bushlands, together with the Native Flora and Fauna which they contain, also the prevention of bush fires which every year devastate some portion of our glorious bushland.
The Field Unit of the League was formed from the younger members of the League to actively carry out these aims and objects. Our main object in going bush is to assemble data relating to native flora and fauna, bush fire prevention and forest conservation. By filing Rangers' reports, it is hoped that authoritive information on the most important aspects of these matters will be readily available to justify moves made towards the protection of many of our finest plants and flowers, native animals and birds.
Where do certain wildflowers grow? Where are the haunts of our Lyre Birds and rare furred creatures? Are they surviving the hazards created by careless use of fire or thoughtless, often wanton, destruction by human beings?
If not, what can we do to save them from extinction? How can we lead them back along the road to recovery and preserve them for the enjoyment of future generations?
These are interesting problems to be solved, interesting questions to be answered and answers can only be found in the field.
The good work of the Field Unit goes on from week to week, and at every turn in the League's activities there is evidence that the field work of the enthusiastic body of young men has become a vital and progressive part of the organisation.
The education of bush frequenters to the necessity of flora and fauna protection is the primary object of our honorary rangers, but in the case of flagrant breaches of the Acts there is no hesitation in launching prosecutions.
The Field Unit has a special committee of three members who decide on the evidence available whether summonses shall be issued, the Field Units' legal adviser being finally consulted before a summons is issued.
Last year a number of offenders were prosecuted the average fine being £2 and costs, the defendants being involved in a payment of about £5 each.
The Field Unit has established the most cordial relations with the Rangers employed in Kuring-gai Chase, and National Park, with the authorities of Muogamarra Sanctuary and Warra Sanctuary, and our members are in demand to assist in policing these reserves.
The Field Unit investigates complaints received by the League regarding indiscriminate shooting, thieving of wildflowers, etc., and members camp out at weekends, and have travelled as far north as Gosford, on this errand.
In connection with this work the Field Unit has a lot to offer in the way of adventure, education and healthful exercise to all who are interested in the open air. It will soon become apparent that the age of exploration is far from dead.
The Field Unit is always on the lookout for new members. If you have youth and energy, experience or enthusiasm, you are a person we are looking for. Bushwalkers, Canoeists, Nature Lovers, Boy Scouts, there is a place for you all in this very worthwhile scheme. You can materially assist by gathering information for us while on regular outings with your own clubs. We would welcome your co-operation.
The Field Unit meets in the Big Sister Movement Room, Hosking Place, at 7 p.m. on the 3rd Thursday of each month.
The Rangers League meets in Bull's Chambers, 6th Floor, 26 Martin Place, on the 1st Thursday of each month at 7.15 p.m.
Visitors are very welcome at either meeting.
R.H. Metcalfe, Field Unit Secretary.
There are waters blown by changing winds to laughter
And lit by the rich skies, all day. And after,
Frost, with a gesture, stays the waves that dance
And wandering loveliness. He leaves a white
Unbroken glory, a gathered radiance,
A width, a shining peace, under the night.
There is one thing about advertising - a man can blow his own trumpet without too many raised eyebrows provided of course he is not too blatant. So without further excuse or apology we print below an extract from a letter received the other day from
Robert E. Will,
2707 Yale Station,
New Haven. Connecticut. U.S.A.
“News of your craftsmanship in the making of camp equipment, particularly sleeping bags, has finally reached this far outpost of civilization. When I recently spoke of my need for a new sleeping bag, my roommate, a mountain-climbing outdoorsman from Auckland, New Zealand, said that the very best equipment was made by Paddy Pallin, and that we should write, requesting you, if at all possible, to supply us with a new sleeping bag”.
We are still in the Y.M.C.A. and likely to be for a month or two yet, but we have signed a lease for portion of the basement of the C.E.N.E.F. Memorial Centre, 201 Castlereagh Street, between Park and Bathurst Streets, three minutes from Town Hall Station and three minutes from Museum Station (Bathurst Street Entrance).
Paddy Pallin. Camp Gear for Walkers.
Y.M.C.A. Building, 325 Pitt Street, Sydney.