A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St., Sydney.
|Editor||Jim Brown, 103 Gipps St., Drummoyne|
|Sales and Subs.||Shirley Evans|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey|
|Production and Business Manager||Brian Harvey (JW1462)|
|Editorial - The Era Funds - Facts and Fallacies||1|
|At the Annual General Meeting||5|
|Officers Elected - Annual General Meeting 1952||7|
|Reunion 1952||by Kath McKay||8|
|How We Went to the Reunion||by “Possum”||11|
|With or Without Mint Sauce||12|
|Tasmania by Two-Stroke||by Frank Rigby||13|
|Federation Notes||by Allen Strom||15|
|Swimming Carnival Notes||by Kevin Ardill||17|
On the evening of the April General Meeting we are to hold an Extraordinary Meeting to debate the destination of the moneys held in the Bank as “The Sydney Bush Walkers Era Account”. This seems a suitable time to examine the history of this fund, and perhaps to demolish one or two of the fallacies associated with it.
For many years before 1943 walkers camped without hindrance on the privately owned lands at Era, first at South Era and then, as huts encroached on camp sites, at Stockyard Creek and finally North North Era. During portion of this time some person, unknown to campers and owners alike, and without any authority, collected camping fees. This, coupled with the threat of sale of the Byrnes' Estate,. inspired walkers in 1943 to make a bid to preserve North Era as a camping area.
After several efforts to secure Government resumption, or a purchase organised by Federation, the Club decided to proceed an its own initiative. Promises of money from Club members and other interested bodies were encouraging, and at the Half-Yearly Meeting of 1943 it was resolved “That the Club devote £100 from its Saving Bank Account towards the purchase of the whole or half Lot 7 at Era, provided that the balance of the money required be raised from individuals by loan or gift”.
The support was extremely good, and by the end of the year a total of £350 was in sight. Now a hitch occurred. During the War years land sales were subject to rigid control, and the Federal Treasurer refused consent to payment of an amount of about £350 for a block valued at £210.
Several years elapsed, with the fund remaining in existence until regulations were relaxed, and for much of this time the Club paid a rental of about £17 annually to retain Portion 7 for camping purposes. It was once believed that the State Government would effect a resumption if offered the moneys held for purchase, and the various contributors were asked if they objected to this use of their donations, provided the whole of the Era lands were reserved. Some indicated that they were not prepared to give all or part of their original donation to this end, and the amounts involved were refunded to them. The only donations retained were those which may be offered to the Government to secure the resumption: the expected Government action did not occur.
Finally, in 1947, with general increases in land values, a surveyor was commissioned to re-assess the valuation. The new valuation was accepted as “near enough” to the sale price of £350 and the Federal Treasurer gave consent. The composition of the funds at time of purchase was :-
|S.B.W. - Club funds||£100. 0. 0|
|S.B.W. - donations from members||214.15. 6|
|Australian Forest League||14.15. 6|
|Rucksack Club||10. 0. 0|
|Federation of Bush Walking Clubs||7. 2. 6|
|River Canoe Club||5. 0. 0|
|W.E.A. Ramblers||5. 0. 0|
|Bush Club||3. 3. 0|
|Burning Palms Life Saving Club||1. 1. 0|
|1st Ramsgate Rovers||1. 0. 0|
|Individual donations||3. 3. 0|
|TOTAL||£365. 0. 0.|
Apart from recurring land taxes, met from Club income, the funds remained vested in the land until February, 1950, when the sale of the Byrnes' Estate was again mooted, and after a considerable public outcry, the Minister for Lands resumed the whole of the privately owned lands between the National Park and Garawarra Park. After the customary delays in obtaining fresh valuations, compensation amounting to £458. 2.11 was paid to the Club's Trustees in October, 1951, and placed in the Special Account until its employment could be considered.
It is a familiar fallacy concerning this fund that the Trust Deed dictates our course of action. The Trust Deed, however, although it envisaged such possibilities as wholesale demise of the Trustees and disbandment of the Club, did not specifically provide for the present situation. The clauses most nearly appropriate read :-
“4. The Trustees will at any time and all times transfer or otherwise dispose of or deal with the said lands in accordance with any directions contained in any resolution passed by a three-quarter majority of the members of the Club present at a duly convened general meeting provided that notice of intention to move such a resolution has been posted to each member of the Club (at his or her usual or last known address in the records of the Club) at least fourteen days prior to the date of such meeting.”
“10.The Club shall have the power to revoke alter or amend these presents from time to time in accordance with any resolution passed by a three quarter majority - (and so on..)”
You see, we have not a great deal laid down for us. The Extraordinary Meeting on April 18th will have to chart its own course to a great extent. Nothing has been pre-determined as to how any moneys accruing from sale or resumption of Portion 7 shall be used.
The meeting will necessarily be an “extraordinary” one in several respects. Non-members and non-active members may not debate at normal business meetings of the Club. However, many of the original donors are now non-active, whilst others have not at any time been Club members, and it would obviously be unfair to deprive them of the right to offer suggestions and opinions and to vote. In view of the £100 devoted from Club funds, all current Active members are eligible to join in the discussion.
A familiar statement when Era funds are being discussed is that the donors made an unconditional gift of their contributions. It is very true that all donations were gifts for the purchase of Era: it is equally true, as outlined above, that they were prepared to have their donations handed to the Government to secure the resumption of Era. However, Era has now been resumed, and despite our best endeavours it seems improbable that we shall be able to devote the funds to any project connected with Era. In these circumstances, if any contributor seeks a refund could we morally (or legally) try to deny him?
If these private donations were recalled, the fund would shrink to slightly more than £200, made up of the original Club contribution of £100, plus about £100 “profit” due to increases in valuations. This factor should be kept in mind in considering how the Club may expend its access of wealth.
In the first place the fund was created with the object of securing land for recreational and conservational purposes and, if we can employ the present moneys to a similar end, it is far more likely that the donors will be prepared to leave the fund intact. At the same time it will realise the aim for which the money was originally raised.
Malcolm McGregor, elected President at the Annual General Meting of 1952, was admitted to membership of the Club in February,. 1943. His active interest in walking matters may be judged by the fact that he was elected a Vice-President a little more than a year later, holding that office during the 1944-45 period.
The following year (1946) saw his marriage to fellow member Elsa Isaacs, and shortly afterwards the call of home-building interrupted his walking activities. As with so many people who have the bush in their blood, even the rigours of home construction couldn't keep him away from the gaze entirely, and over the intervening years his annual holidays have been spent mostly on walking, camping and canoeing trips. He has invariably appeared for re-unions, and with near completion of his home, expects to see more of the bush in the future.
In two other ways Malcolm has always kept himself up to date with Club matters, and closely associated with Club functions. Members generally, and photographers in particular, will remember his lovely work displayed at the Annual Photographic Exhibitions, while those who love camp-fires will never forget his flair for entertainment, his fund of songs, his humourous sketches.
We wish him well in his office as President, and believe that the Club will accord him all its support in the job that lies ahead.
Tom Moppett was elected to the Presidency at the Annual General Meeting of 1947, and has held that office throughout the past five years. This is by far the longest Presidential term in the history of the Club, and Tom, as President, has witnessed and dealt with some of the Club's most significant events. There was the purchase of Portion 7, Era, in 1947: the Club's 21st Birthday in 1948: the resumption of Era in 1950.
We believe that only those who have been honoured to serve on Tom's Committee's and to work with him can appreciate the patience, thoughtfulness and care with which he approached these issue, or can know the volume of work involved. May we say, thank you Tom, for a big job very well done. We believe all the Club will echo that opinion.
At dawn, on Anzac Day, 1948, at Splendour Rock, in the heart of the Wild Dog Mountains, the simple brass plaque, which once again we are proud to reproduce, was dedicated to the memory of those bushwalkers who fell in World War II.
As sunrise tinted the cliffs they loved so well, as dawn glowed upon the mountains their feet shall roam no more - there we placed an eternal record that we honour those who gave their lives that these beloved ranges might be ours to roam for ever more.
“They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
We shall remember them.”
Breaking all attendance records for recent years with almost 120 present, the Annual General Meeting of 1952 witnessed first the welcome of new members Barry Hemming and Neil Schafer, followed by Bill Henley's presentation of the Swimming Carnival Awards. Bill Rodgers collected the Henley Trophy and certificate for the Men's Freestyle: Jean and Tom Moppett took off the Mandelberg Cup: and certificates went to Keith' Renwick (Diving), Jean Moppett (Ladies Freestyle), Tom Moppett (Plunge). Bob Chapman, winner of the Men's Breaststroke event, was not present to share in the sweets of victory.
After notice of the Annual General Meeting had been taken as read, we brisked through the minutes (somewhat stale after 12 months storage), and received and adopted both Annual Report and Balance Sheet. Then the customary Suspension of Standing Orders, this time somewhat more involved than before, since we had to fix subscription and entrance fee, debate two constitutional amendments which would affect the elections, and secure approval to elect officers while other business proceeded.
The Treasurer had a word with us on the first subject. We had made our way through the year with a minute profit, we had actually met the cost of the duplicator from current funds instead of reserves, but if we were to invest in any new equipment in the coming year then the position may become impossible. He favoured an increase in subscription of £1 for members over 21 years of age, and 15/- for junior members, provided that where both man and wife were active members, the wifely sub. should be only 10/-. The probable financial results were demonstrated by a mathematical analysis on the blackboard. Gil pointed out that a number or married couples remained active for sentimental reasons, and would possibly desert us if we socked them £2 for active membership. And as he pointed out we had 26 active married couples, that was to say, “fifty-two active members married to one another”. He suggested an Entrance Fee of 5/-.
Somewhat queried was the attitude towards working wives, but Gil observed that these were “anomalies”. How could we discriminate? Some may be working part time. By this time the whole discussion had grown so hilarious that the motion was swept through without debate.
Now for the constitutional amendments, normally bones (nay, very skeletons), of contention. We carried both of them virtually without speaking, so that the Literary Editor shall in future also be a Committee Member, and the considerable work of Conservation will have its own specialist officer.
We decided to vote in the same manner as of yore, and Edna Stretton took post at the blackboard, while Allen Strom, Wal Roots, Brian Harvey and Roy Bruggy scrutinised. At intervals between other business the elections proceeded, and the results are recorded elsewhere in this issue. It was interesting to note that all the major portfolios changed hands.
Only one issue came from correspondence: sundry replies had been received to our letters concerning bush fire prevention, and the originator of the scheme, Betty Hall, was prompted to move that we contact these bodies and attempt to set up a sub-committee to gain further publicity - perhaps we could even organise a public meeting. The motion was carried, and later in the evening the existing Club sub-committee was empowered to look into the possibilities, its numbers being increased by addition of the retiring President and Secretary, who had begun as ex-officio members.
After Federation Report excerpts from a Blue Mountain newspaper was read, with suggestions of road construction from Bell's line of Road to Mt. Banks (Mt. King George). We decided to refer this to Federation for investigation. The Treasurer's Report, read with a thick wad of bank notes in hand, called forth a suggestion that we escort that officer home.
We heard the report of the Song Book Sub-Committee, and carried by acclamation Edna Garrad's note of thanks to the sub-committee and its helpers. At about this stage, when nominations for Walks Secretary were being called, we elicited from Kevin Ardill the sorry fact that nominee Len Fall was “losing portion of his anatomy”. It appears that it will curtail his walking activity only to the degree that any appendectomy will do.
So much having been done in the way of suspended orders, we were already at the adjourned debate on Christmas Parties. Gwen Frost resumed discussion, and Ken Meadows took up the challenge. In the year of the 21st Birthday, he said, many wished we had held a Christmas Party, so why not this time. And to relieve the Social Secretary, why not special sub-committees for both functions? Kath Brown felt that we should be guided by the Social Secretary, and many would not be happy to spend £1 or more on each of two parties in a short time. If we didn't make the minimum number to pay the bill, the Whole Club met the cost. Jack Wren agreed, saying we could hold a good Christmas Party in the Room, and Kevin Ardill hammered home the money angle - the Club would have to pay the tax on both functions.
Taking his cue, Gil Webb said of the 125 members at the last Christmas Party only about 40 paid in advance, which made it a worrying time for the organisers. We had escaped from that event with only a small loss - mostly by very good luck. He emphasised it was very good luck. Wal Roots wondered why we couldn't manage some parties in the grounds of members' homes - very pleasant on a fine summer's night, and suggested his house could be used for some such show.
To this point the Social Secretary's guns had been firing, but Dormie argued we should only hold one Quarter Century Party - the next big event would be 25 years on (I wonder? - Ed.). We should hold both parties down town. Frank Rigby agreed saying we spent most of our Friday nights at the Club Room - why not get away from it for a couple. Then the gag was applied, and on the final vote, we ousted the Christmas Party.
Came the last item on the programme - ratification of by-laws. It was a thorny question; after we had tossed out one letter objecting to all the rules because it was signed only with initials, we heard Wal Roots declaim on the subject. - No, he didn't like by-laws, but if we were bound to have them, they should be better than these. Send them to a sub-committee for redrafting, and do nothing until they were returned in decent condition.
Amid some tumult, the President drew attention to the Constitution as amended, and ruled Mr. Roots out of order. We went on to the first letter of objection and, on a motion by Gladys Martin, cancelled No.7 in Section I. We would have proceeded to the other written objection, when Bill Cosgrove claimed attention. He moved that we rescind the procedure laid down at a previous meeting, and throw open the whole of the by-laws to debate. There was protracted argument, much of which had little to do with the by-laws, but maligned postal efficiency, and contained dark hints of what an unscrupulous Secretary might do, and after a time, with the hour approaching 11 p.m., the meeting decided by a slender majority to delete all reference to the pre-determined procedure.
There did we go from here? From various sources came rumblings of “adjournment”, but the legal lights swooped on this point and proved that we couldn't adjourn a debate in these circumstances, but must adjourn the whole meeting. It was decided to be cunning, and leave the by-laws until the few remaining items of business were dealt with. So we hastily elected the last few officers, heard some plaints on the ancient and tear-stained topic of blank spaces on Walks Programmes, and finally carried a motion adjourning ourselves until May 30th - the first free night on the calendar, when we may re-assemble to debate the By-Laws.
It was ten minutes past eleven when the President cried “Let Us Re-Une!” and the race for the tram commenced.
|Vice-Presidents||Paul Barnes and Allen Strom|
|Asst. Secty.||Jean Schoen|
|Walks Secty.||Don Frost|
|Social Secty.||Molly Gallard|
|Membership Secty.||Gwen Frost|
|Conservation Secty.||Tom Moppett|
|Committee Members||Edna Stretton, Elsie McGregor, Ken Meadows and Jim Hooper|
|Federation delegates||Paul Barnes, Allen Strom, Kath Brown and Jeanne Golding (Kath Brown and Jeanne Golding to sit on Committee from 1/7/52|
|Substitute Delegates||Wal Roots and Brian Harvey|
|Literary Editor||Jim Brown|
|Magazine Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Parks & Playgrounds Delegate||Hilda Stoddart|
|Trustees||Wal Roots, Maurice Berry and Joe Turner|
|Hon. Secretary||Colin Broad (Non-member )|
By Kath McKay.
During the week I met one of our past Presidents, and mentioned that as Jim Brown was on holidays, I was deputed to write up the Reunion. He shook his head sadly. “Through the years”, he said, “many people have tried to write up the Reunion, but no one has ever managed to do it. It just can't be done”.
With this chastening reflection, I take up my typewriter to jot down a few bare facts about the weekend, all too conscious that the narrative must be but a poor shadow of the reality.
Sometimes, it seems, the gods relent and hand us the perfect gift with no visible strings attached. Reunion this year was one of these rare occasions, and a perfect autumn day saw us heading for the perfect camp-site - Woods Creek, near the junction of the Nepean and the Grose. Transport consisted of train to North Richmond and bus thence to a bushwalker's mile above the camp. Many went by private cars, but the crowd that poured out of the train and advanced on the bus was so large that the driver quailed visibly. When all were miraculously stowed on board, packs towering to the roof, the driver asked, not unreasonably, where did we want to go? “We don't know!” shouted everyone happily; so he set off in a westerly direction, remembering that he had once driven boy scouts to a camp somewhere out that-a-way. We overran a cross-roads and paused uncertainly. Somebody trotted back to look at the signpost.
“This is right - S.B.W.” he said. (Two unenlightened cyclists, seeing the sign later, were heard to remark: “South by West? Surely anyone can see the track?”)
Just then the Pallin car shot by, heading west, so we followed in hot pursuit and a cloud of dust. At journey's end the bus disgorged us on to a dusty track through blackwattle scrub.
“Missee Butler, she bin go 'long here” said our black tracker, pointing to an adult naked footprint between those of two children.
Quite a bevy of cars were parked farther on in the bush, where the steep descent begins. “Ah, Stan and Jennie have arrived” we said, seeing the Madden utility. The ex-President's car, complete with trailer, was also noted.
When we reached camp there was a scene of great activity. Bill Henley's axe rang out as usual, preparing the camp fire, tents were going up, bathers were scaling the beetling cliffs from the river bed, fresh from a dip in water deep enough for a bath but not for a swim; Ernie French was staggering manfully up with kerosene tins of water ready for the supper brew of cocoa; tea was being quaffed sociably round numerous fires.
After selecting a choice position on the river terrace with soft turf, plenty of bracken, water view and nearly all mod. cons., we had time to re-une here and there, inspect the ideal location of the Camp Fire in a natural amphitheatre, admire the lofty blue gums and angophora; even (though being bus-walkers this was a minor consideration) cook ourselves a little food before darkness fell.
The washing up was barely done before the company began to move towards the Camp Fire, torches flickering in and out between the trees and curses curdling the air as feet tripped over the guy ropes. The night was warm, still and starlit, so sleeping bags were taken along as cushions rather than for warmth. A touch of Roman luxury was lent by the Barretts' camp-stretchers on which they reclined and listened to the programme. (Need we say they came by car?)
Tom Moppett, as outgoing President, bade us reflect a moment on past camp-fires, then introduced the two old members (Renee Browne and Tarro) and two new (Pat Sullivan and Billy Rodgers) whose torches of kerosene-soaked rag touched off the 1952 Camp Fire. A Masterpiece it was too, one of the best Bill Henley has ever built us, burning in a compact glowing mass the whole night .
Paddy was soon on the job of leading choruses, and the new song book issued recently under Kath Brown's guidance was a boon to faltering memories. Paddy also contributed several solo items and the moon obligingly rose behind the trees to lend atmosphere to his “Ain't yer comin' out tonight Juliet?” Kevin Ardill sang a song unclad as a seductive houri in draperies, turban and a bra-cum-tympani of saucepan lids on elastic. Edna Stretton appeared in a couple of her inimitable thumbnail sketches, and Dormie sang us two songs with all his accustomed vigour.
The traditional impressive ceremony of investing the new President, Malcolm McGregor, with his insignia of office was conducted by Tom Moppett, and past presidents were called forth to add their prestige to the induction. Only five were present this year - Wal Roots, Frank Duncan, Maurie Berry, Edna Garrad and Tom Moppett.
Our new President, together with Elsa, gave us a topical version of Sweet Violets composed by himself, and sang solo Arthur Askey's Bird Song. It is some years since we have had a singing President, let alone one with a Madame President similarly gifted.
Kevin Ardill presided at the initiation of some 16 new members who were compelled to quaff (out of a boot) a horrid brew or witchetty grubs, sock-washing water, grey hairs of wisdom from Renee's head, earth, a cigarette butt, kerosene, metho and what have you. A second boot fitted with a cup containing nothing worse than water was dexterously substituted for the one with the witch's broth; but the illusion was quite effective.
The most amusing sketch of the evening was a dramatised version of Jim Brown's article in the February issue of the magazine, “To Make Damper”. Malcolm played the principal role of damper-maker, Grace Jolley read the instructions, Edna Stretton supplied the Little Fat mentioned in the list of ingredients (Brian Harvey and Roy Bruggy were rejected - the too much fat, the second, too little.), Frank Duncan was the pinch of “old” salt, Billy Taplin was the long-nailed walker who scrapped the dough from the baker's arms and hands, and Bob Younger the keen-nosed walker who reported progress of the damper when it at length reached the fire.
The most appealing musical turn was undoubtedly that of “The Pat Sullivan Singers” who harmonised in several items with the ease born of long practice on their recent Tasmanian trip. Indeed one round they sang - Heigh-ho, nobody at home - became virtually the theme song of this year's Reunion. Snatches of it echoed from tent after tent as we went sleepily bedwards, and in the morning we woke to hear again its simple charming melody.
Before the Camp Fire was well under way who should arrive but Ray Bean and Ron Eddes, just dropping in for the evening and off again after the performance as though it were a suburban picture theatre. Brightest quip of the evening came from Ray as we talked with him over supper. He had drunk his cocoa, and twiddling with his mug, got the handle stuck on the third finger of his left hand. He wrestled with it anxiously, muttering “Hope I can get it off - I'd hate to be married to a mug. So does my wife”.
A rough count of heads at the Camp Fire showed the number at about 90, and with a few more arrivals on Sunday and 11 children we were well over the century. The children ranged from Barry Duncan and Peter Cramp in their teens to the Herb Morris's product Rosemary, or Morris Minor, just toddling, and having the time of her life at her first reunion. In between these ages came Rona and Wendy Butler, Nancy and Katherine Moppett, Eileen Ashdown and George and Josephine Barnes; and a very late arrival was Jack Gentle with his small son, Barry, at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Other late-comers on Sunday were Jim Hooper and Barry Frecker, who had set out in good time on the previous day but had trouble with Barry's newly acquired car.
Quite a number saw the night out - not by the camp fire proper, where Tom Kenny-Roya1 for one slept undisturbed - but in small groups round individual fires, where singing was kept up till 6.30 a.m.
Several tents were struck early and the Duncan family, Clare and Fifi Kinsella, Edna Garrad, Maurie Berry, Tuggie Harris and others took their departure. The rest of the assembly spent a leisurely morning talking, eating and dipping in the creek. Noises off like a paddle steamer coming round the bend proved to be merely Renee Browne doing a backward kick stroke in the shallow water.
At 12.30 Miriam Steenbohm as usual judged the damper contest, awarding first prize to Claude Haynes, second to Bill Rodgers and third to “Little Fat” - Edna Stretton - who thus saved her sex from complete humiliation.
The same perfect weather continued throughout Sunday, and not even the crowded tedious train journey homewards could shake our conviction that Woods Creek is the best Re-Union location we have seen for many year,
Is the Woods Creek Re-union legal? At the February Meeting it was resolved to hold the Annual Re-Union “on the weekend immediately following the Annual General Meeting”. Now the AGM was adjourned to May 30th. Does this mean we must hold yet another re-union on May 31st June 1st?
The Madden damper was insufficiently cooked to present to the Judges at the Re-union. Comment by L. Scotland - “Perhaps they (k)needed too long”.
This is the only way to get to reunions, we say, as the latest acquisition speeds merrily along the highway under the expert (?) touch of the proud owner. We think pityingly of those lesser fortunate beings doomed to rely on the vagaries of the Railways Department, not to mention the tantrums of bus owners, to get them to Woods Creek. Spoils half the fun, we think.
Reaching the wide open spaces of Beecroft, we settle down to enjoy the scenery and the weather. So much better than dirty steam trains. Alas, man proposes, but God (and the devil) disposes. Our complacency is suddenly shattered by what is surely an alien sound in any self-respecting vehicle.
“It's O.K.”, says the proud owner, hopping out gaily, “only the exhaust fallen off!” Follows sundry scrabblings underneath with a few kicks aimed at the suspect part, and off we go again. Not for long, however. An ominous clunk-clunking noise from the vicinity of the back wheel suggests that the maligned exhaust was not the cause of the trouble. The proud owner disappears underneath once more, to emerge presently dusty and slightly puzzled, holding aloft a rather forlorn-looking 'spare part'.
“Eh, Jim, this cane out from somewhere, do you think its important?”
Jim rather thinks it might be, so the car is nursed gently into the side of the road, where it rests at a tired-looking angle with two wheels in the gutter, and apparently seeking support from a friendly telegraph pole. Off comes the wheel, and after much poking and probing the two experts sit back and assure each other solemnly that there is “something gone in there”. Finding that they can't dismantle the car with the aid of numerous spanners (and a nail file), they finally sit down to wait for the N.R.M.A. During this time the proud owner displays the usual traits of most owners of broken-down vehicles. They are prone to suddenly get up, wander round the car, land one or two thoughtful kicks in the general direction of the offending bit of mechanism, gaze dejectedly round the landscape and sit down again. The process is repeated at roughly ten minute intervals.
After about an hour the N.R.M.A. arrives in the person of a bored looking mechanic who obviously has no inclination to soil his fingers with our miserable wreck. What is needed, it seems, is some rare and elusive contraption called a wheelpuller. Personally I'd settle for a wheelbarrow.
Heated discussion follows, resulting in the proud owner departing (by courtesy of said Railways Department) for Chatswood to try to locate a friend who might be at home, and might have a key to a garage which might contain a tool which might do the job which might end in us getting to the Reunion after all.
Jim pessimistically inquires about the trains to North Richmond. There aren't any. The prospects of hitching being regretfully abandoned we turn sadly for home. By 5.30 p.m. much anxious telephoning establishes the fact that the Reunion is 'out'. Either the friend, the key, the garage, the tool or everything is unprocurable.
Ah well, as someone was heard to remark recently: “The only thing wrong with a Vauxhall is you vaux all the way there, and you vaux all the way back”. Could this, I wonder, be the origin of the expression “Windscreen Bushvauxer”.
Anyway, I don't have to repack for Federation Reunion!
There have been dire prophesies that walking this winter will be very much limited as a result of the summer's bush fires. Certainly it is depressing, if not actually uncomfortable, to walk through Burnt Out Areas. As a service to Club members we hope to be able to log the regions most seriously affected in this and following issues of the Magazine. All walkers, whether in old familiar country or in new areas, can assist by telling the Editor just how badly it has suffered from bush fires: in the case of new areas we hope to hear complete details - write it down or tell us verbally - we don't care what form it's in - we want GEN.
To start with, observations along the Narrow Neck Peninsula and the Cox from Blue Dog down to Cox Junction: Narrow Neck has escaped the fires: so have all the Wild Dog Mountains except Black Dog. Kedumba Valley appears to have had bad bushfires, and Mt. Solitary shows a few red scars.
The Gangerangs and the Mt, Guouogang - Mt. Jenolan country show burnt patches (from distant viewpoints). The valley of the Cox is untouched from Blue Dog down to Cedar Creek; but from this point fires have burnt almost to water level on the left (north) bank. The grassy flats have recovered, but the hills are in bad shape.
To sum up, walking in the south Blue Mountains should be generally quite reasonable this winter.
With the election of Don Frost to Walks Secretary, please don't gain the impression of cold wintery walks. Don is like the rest of us - he likes roast lamb - but don't give him the Cold Shoulder - at least when he approaches you to help complete his Walks Programme for July - October. Remember, spring will be in the air half-way through his programme - there's wild flowers to see - and there's two holiday weekends. Even the Magazine Business Manager, who hasn't led a walk since 1939, is definitely down for one. So all you dahlia fanciers, homebuilders, big family men, and motorised bushwalkers, dig up your old favourite walk and let Don have the details as soon as possible. Please don't leave him out in the oold!
By Frank Rigby.
(Part I of an account of a motor cycle tour of the Apple Isle.)
There was much merriment and chuckling among the thirty odd motorcyclists who came over with me on the “Taroona” from Melbourne when the little Francis Barnett two-stroke was unloaded at Beauty Point. Of all the hell-machines that were setting out to tour Tassie that day mine was the sole and lonely representative of the “put put” cult. Undaunted, however, I was determined to see this Island in its entirety or die in the attempt which, of coarse, is quite often an all too true prophecy when one is dealing with these unpredictable monsters.
The first piece of trouble came along before “the thing” had moved ten yards on Tasmanian soil. The wretched clutch cable protested by snapping clean in two, but a spare ready-made duplicate prevented the bad language customary on such occasions.
And so to Launceston for the first stop, accompanied by two long-lost friends I had met on the boat. Strange to say, I was in front, but after a couple of miles I became aware of the fact that I was travelling alone. After a short wait, my friends duly turned up - with my torch! My pannier bags were so full of gear that it was impossible to close them completely and so they protested quite justifiably by starting to throw a few things out. At this early stage all sorts of horrible misgivings crowded my mind concerning a certain lack of preparedness for this, my longest trip. However, it proved to be a false alarm as I was fortunate enough to be in possession of all the odd and sundry baggage a the end of the trip.
The glorious orchard and river scenery of the Tamar Valley is indeed a sight worthy of Tasmania's front doorstep. The excellent bitumen road was also conducive to high spirits (especially after what I had heard of Tassie roads), and I found myself singing the praises of the Island State's powers-that-be. I could never have guessed that this premature impression of the roads was to be dashed to pieces on the corrugated gravel a couple of days later.
Our first impressions of Launceston were the beautiful gardens on every side and the attitude of the people to life. No one in Tasmania ever hurries or ever seems to have to hurry. There are no jammed streets, no survival-of-the-fittest atmosphere and, most conspicuous, no five o'clock stampede at the hotels. This, of course, is all very sensible but to a Sydneysider it seems somewhat strange at first. And what wonderful people these “Taswegians” are. It is open house from the word go to any Mainlander and nothing is too much trouble.
With so much material all around, I was itching to get the colour camera clicking and so to one of those magnificent private gardens - or in actuality this one was more like a flower farm - blooms en masse of every conceivable variety and colour. With a try-anything-once state of mind we walked in and found the avid gardener almost hidden behind a bank or vivid gladioli. With obvious pride he showed us around his “estate” but explained apologetically that this had been a bad season! Can you Imagine? The Kodachromes duly taken he proceeded to load us up with raspberries, peaches and cherry-plums, which can be a bit disconcerting an an already fully loaded motor cycle. However, a bulging shirt did the trick, the ultimate result being an orgy of fruit eating and three aching stomachs. Upon recovery, we trekked up the famous Cataract Gorge, an enchanted spot unspoiled by any excessive commercialisation, despite its proximity to the city. It was a case of the line of least resistance when we fed in town - and providential, too, because when we reached our camping spot we found that the modern amenities as advertised consisted of a water pipe out of which no water could be coaxed. After much bending of tent pegs and all that goes with it (I have now thrown away all my aluminium pegs), I eventually conquered the “concrete” underfoot with “stayput” boulders. And so into the cosiness of the sleeping-bag and recuperation. My first day in Tassie, I felt, had been worth remembering.
The next morning my new found companions and I parted company, they to travel the Island in the anti-clockwise direction while I was to try the clockwise. I think they had grave suspicions concerning the capabilities of my frail looking machine, and I in my turn became possessed of an indescribable hunch that they were going the wrong-way somehow. How providentially right this turned out to be was plainly evident when we eventually compared notes. They had ploughed their way day after day through rain and cold and slush, a veritable motorcyclist's nightmare, while I had suffered nothing worse than one rainy night. It is only a small Island but apparently the winds and mountains conspire to produce same really cunning weather.
And so I plodded my way over towards the east coast, with the continuous chatter of the exhaust my only companion. An attempt on 4,000 feet Mt. Barrow was made but on this day the engine flatly refused to tackle the climbing in anything but low gear and so a humiliating retreat had to be made. The rich farming country around Scottsdale is a sight indeed, as every conceivable vegetable grows in profusion. Suddenly you leave the farms and find yourself in that exquisite mountainous region of the north-east corner. Then almost as suddenly again the blue of the Tasman Sea hits you from below. That is the beauty of Tasmania - over the next hill is a complete change of scenery type - what a contrast to parts of our mainland with its unending monotony for hundreds of miles at a stretch. I put-putted into the camping ground at St. Helens tired and hungry but was immediately compensated with a going-concern fire and a huge flounder freshly caught by a fellow camper. Imagine that! My joy I just could not express. Well, flounder, chips, onions and what-not, washed down by a billy of tea, can keep anyone happy for a while, I guess.
New Year's Eve had come round again and true to form, I was in foreign parts as seems to be my annual fate, this time rapidly eating up the Tassy east coast. Coles Bay was the next objective and, covered in red dust and a now familiar growth of beard, I crashed to a horizontal stop in the treacherous loose sand right outside the chateau, much to the amusement of the inmates. This Freycinet Peninsula seems to be a Nature Lover's Dream from my brief exploration of it. 1,500 feet red granite mountains, virgin bush, sleepy little still water bays, white ocean beaches and glorious panoramas of the east coast are all there. I could imagine a summer resort a la Hayman Island style doing well at Coles Bay but no doubt that would ruin the area for all time. I climbed one of the mountains there per the tourist route, but apart from this, I can recommend this granite to all exponents of the rock-climbing art.
(To be concluded.)
Who is this quiet, unassuming young gent who manages to scoop the pool? First he yaffles most of the prizes at the Swimming Carnival. Then he produces slides in colour which must make our old-hand photographers look to their laurels. Finally, to display his versatility he carries off second prize in the damper contest. Gents, keep an eye on your girl friends! He is insidious, and we don't yet know the measure of his talents.
Talking of leeches (vide March magazine). Unqualified “experts” tell us that the leech is capable of remaining dormant for ten years (longer than most Bushwalkers ) and still getting a wriggle on when he spies a walker.
The latest pastime. One of our members has a mole which reveals that he will marry early and probably die through being struck by lightning: another is a spendthrift. If you have interesting moles, refer to the ex-Social Secretary.
Congratulations to Marjorie and Paul Barnes on the birth of a son – to Laurie and John Woods an the birth of a daughter - Rosalind – to Alice and Allan Wyborn, a daughter - Lynne.
By Allen Strom.
Mr. Pallin has intimated that he is now able to resume his activities as Information Officer and Mr. Norman Allen (Kameruka) was elected to act as Assistant.
Approaches have been made to the Police Department and the Bushfire Committee in an effort to determine how the Federation might assist in these matters. The Canoe Club, through one of its members, has offered to supply a fire fighting vehicle for a unit established by the Federation. It was also suggested that Flood Rescue might be better organised through the Canoe Association.
Reported that access to Adamsfield and Gordon Vale had been cut off by the Australian Newsprint Mills. The Launceston Walking Club is organising a petition to the authorities and would like any information that Sydney walkers can give.
The proposal is now being opposed by the Minister for Local Government, the Cumberland County Council and four members of the Sutherland Shire Council. The C.C.C. has suggested an alternate site (Crown Land) on the Gosford-Woy Woy Road about four miles from Gosford with a pipeline to a landing stage on Mullet Creek. This pipeline would appear to pass through the area contemplated for the Kariong Nati6nal Park.
The Secretary was requested to represent the Federation at the meeting called by the S.B.W. He was given authority to act he thought fit.
The President reported on another move by the Burning Palms Surf Club to have a Surf Shed erected. The Federation was invited to put its views before the Trust and had been represented by Messrs. Barnes, Cottier, Dunphy and Moppett. The conference had taken place at Burning Palms, there being no decision to date. The Secretary had further summarised Federation attitude in a letter to the Trust.
To be held at Euroka Clearing on March 28/29/30th.
The President reported that these patrols had been successfully carried out over the last six or seven weeks. There had been a good reception from the National Park Trust and the public generally. The activities would wind up on March 23rd. The Garawarra Park had requested that the patrols be extended into that Park during next summer. Good contacts had been made with the Bushfire Advisory Committee. It was resolved:
It was agreed that the quorum shall be nine delegates, representing five clubs.
By Kevin Ardill.
Believe it or not, the Swimming Carnival was held in perfect weather. The sun shone, the water sparkled, the competition for cups and prizes was particularly keen: the only criticism that could be expressed was that of 250 active members only about 30 active members were present. To sum up, the bodies were dampened, the spirits were not. Rather amazingly nobody drowned in the underwater events and one or two dark horses (or fishes) came to light.
Results - with comments.
Men's Champtionship: Will Rodgers: Reacted better than the others to the female cries of encouragement - 90 per cent of same being on his behalf.
Men's Breaststroke: Bob Chapman: Don't know whether the butterfly or house fly stroke was used, but the result was the same.
Ladies' Championship: Jean Moppett: A strong rumour that the ladies champ was doped; unfounded of course.
Mandelberg Cup: Jean and Tom Moppett: A fluke, but don't envy Tom trying to prove he played the major part in the win.
Diving: Keith Renwick: Showed a clean pair of heels to the judges. Corny, what!
The Plunge: Tom Moppett: A natural for a married. He took plunge years ago.
Underwater Swim: Tom Moppett: At least 55 yards underwater was more than a fair effort.
The Henley Cup for most points scored was won by Will Rodgers and all competitors wish to express their thanks both for Bill's interest and enthusiasm in running the Carnival.
One of the many Reunion highlights was Conductress Miriam Steenbohm, who did a good job collecting fares on the second bus from Woods Creek to Richmond. She handled, with practised charm, those who claimed half fare rates because they wore short pants. The fare bag added just the right touch, Mim.