A monthly Bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St., Sydney. Box No.4476, G.P.O. Sydney.
|Editor||Dot Butler, Boundary Road, Wahroonga (JW2208).|
|Business Manager||Jack Gentle.|
|Sales and Subs||Jess Martin.|
|Typed by||Dot Butler.|
|At our December Monthly Meeting||A.G.C.||2|
|Federation Report - December||Allen Strom||4|
|Impressions of Japan and the Japanese||A.G. Hackworthy||5|
|New England National Park||Tom Moppett||8|
|Letter to the Editor||11|
|Conservation Report||The Conservation Secretary||13|
|Those Test Walks||Jim Brown||16|
|Correspondence, matters arising. (C.M.W. letter)||17|
|Reply to the C.M.W. by the Inventor||Colin Putt||18|
|Leica Photo Service||3|
|Siedlecky's Taxi and Tourist Service||5|
|Sanitarium Health Food Shop||7|
|Hattswell's Taxi & Tourist Service||9|
Due to increase in production costs it has been found that an increase in the price of this magazine is necessary. The club does not set out to make any profit, and any excess money will be used to produce a better magazine.
The following charges were ratified at the December General Meeting, and will be effective from 1st February, 1956:-
We look forward to a continuance of the fine contributions which have been forthcoming over the past year, and wish our contributors, readers and advertisers a Happy New Year.
- A.G. Colley.
The President occupied the chair and there were about 36 members present. First business of the evening was a welcome to new member, Dawn Askew.
Correspondence brought an inquiry for the pogo stick advertised in the November issue of the magazine, of which more later. Also a letter from the River Canoe Club advising us of the opening of their new club house at Tempe.
Next the Business Manager of the Magazine moved that the price of the S.B.W. magazine be raised to 9d. for individual copies and 10/- post free for annual subscriptions, (7/- a year if picked up in the club room). The need for this increase he explained, with, perhaps, a tinge of regret, was not undue extravagence on the part of the Business Manager who had neither a new car nor extended holidays, but to rising costs. As an example he quoted magazine covers, which rose this year by 21.8% to £33/9/6. Efforts had been made to increase the number of advertisers, but it was unlikely that the loss, which, after some pages of calculation, he calculated at 0.2 pence per copy, could be covered by this means. The rates he proposed would be enough to cover the deficit, and had the advantage of simplicity in accounting and change-giving.
Brian Harvey opposed the motion, being of the opinion that the Club should subsidise the magazine to the extent of £10 a year. Frank Ashdown supported the motion on the grounds that those who enjoyed the magazine should pay for it. The motion, when put to the vote, was carried.
Sundry items of Club business were next; Jim Hooper said that the date of the Search & Rescue practice week-end had been deferred. Tom Moppett appealed for more names for the list of persons prepared to fight bush fires in National Park. Though the Social Secretary was away on holidays, the President was able to inform us that the loss on the Christmas Party was about £11, due to attendance being 90 instead of 120 as estimated. The President explained that the Federation Re-union, which had been fixed some years ago for the second week-end before Easter, would fall this year on March 17th and 18th. This was the date our own re-union would normally be held. By holding the March committee meeting on Feb. 29th and the Annual meeting a week later, the S.B.W. re-union could then be held on March 11th and 12th., which was the second week-end in March - the usual week-end for the event. The Walks Secretary explained that difficulty in obtaining card was holding up the printing of the next programme. The Secretary asked for notification of any changes of address for inclusion in the next annual report. As there were no volunteers for room stewards, the office lapsed.
Complaints from Era campers about cows brought advice handed on from the locals that tents should be left open at both ends so as not to impede the cows in their coming and going. That way your tucker might suffer (as was bound to happen anyway), but not your tent. It was moved that the National Park Trust be requested to have the cows impounded. The motion was carried, and so ended the last meeting of 1955.
You press the button, we'll do the rest!
Finegrain Developing. Sparkling Prints. Perfect Enlargements. Your Rollfilms or Leica films deserve the best service.
Leica Photo Service.
31 Macquarie Place, Sydney, N.S.W.
To the truly alive, life is an ever exciting, ever inviting thing - not a placid lake but a sea coming in turbulent waves, all refreshment and stimulation. It sets the mind a-swirling and drives the poet penwards.
Nature's show is anyone's portion, but to capture it is the privilege of the rare! Nature in itself is speechless, and only the mind that mirrors can make it vocal.
Happy the person possessed of the seeing eye and sparkling minds out of nothingness to grasp beauty, then put it in print for the eye to dwell on and the heart to ponder - joy for all who read.
- Allen A. Strom.
Paddy Pallin reports that he has maps showing approaches to Federation Peak and the Port Davey Track (Tasmania).
A deputation met the Chief Guardian of Fauna with a proposal that the Fauna Protection Panel take the initiative in organising a Wild Life Show. The Chief Guardian has undertaken to prepare some information on cost and organising procedures for consideration at a later date.
The first meeting of the Trust of the Warrumbungles National Park was held in Coonabarabran on November 30th. A very cordial atmosphere existed at that meeting and all members of Trust showed considerable interest in retaining the natural features intact and rendering them available to the public with the least possible interference. Although the Department of Lands could offer no financial assistance to the new Trust, the representatives of three Shires present each offered to secure £100 from their Councils. Arrangements were also put into train to organise functions in the towns of Coonamble, Gilgandra and Coonabarabran in order to raise funds. The Trust has requested that certain additional areas be added to the present area under the Trust and it was foreshadowed that certain other regions would be requested as additions at a later date.
The Trustees of the Bouddi Natural Park met the syndicate which proposed to work the rutile within the Park Boundaries. The Trust is of the opinion that no matter what attitude it adopts, the taking of rutile cannot, in the ultimate, be prevented. The Trust is therefore happy to report that the Syndicate appears to be prepared to meet certain wishes of the Trust to repair damage and to assist the work of the Trust. Negotiations proceeding.
Arrangements are being made for a deputation to meet the Under Secretary for Mines On the subject of Prospecting and Mining in Reserves. The deputation will ask that Trustees of Reserves be consulted in all cases where prospecting is proposed and that certain types of non-essential minerals be not mined under any circumstances, in reserves.
The old track along the Kariong Peninsula commencing near the Rifle Range on Kariong Trig. Station, has recently been cleared and regraded for motor traffic. Enquiries are being made as to the purpose and significance, as this is within the proposed Kariong National Park.
A recent amendment to certain Parks Acts has widened the powers of Trusts to make regulations and in other matters; this is very welcome and a long felt need.
Bushwalkers requiring transport from Blackheath, any hour, ring, write or call…
Siedlecky's Taxi and Tourist Service.
116 Station Street, Blackheath.
24 hour service.
Bushwalkers arriving at Blackheath late at night without transport booking can ring for car from Railway Station or call at above address - it's never too late!
'Phone Blackheath 81 or 146. Look for cars 3210 or TV270 or book at Mark Salon Radio Shop - opposite Station.
After three voyages during 1955 in the S.S. “Eastern”
“Uso kara deta makoto!” And that gives a complete explanation of the origins of this piece of ad lib reporting. Besides, I don't believe that it is in any way possible to be able to get more than a rather brief impression of a country or its people after only three short stays in that country, particularly when it is remembered that such a large amount of the time was actually spent working.
But to return to the opening quotation - “Uso kara deta makoto” - quite frankly I haven't any idea what the literal translation would be, nor which actual word means what; in its broader idiomatic sense it was explained to me as “Many a true word is spoken in jest,” and a jest is jest how this came into being. I could easily claim 'not fair', as I didn't manage to get a word in before it was decided that I should write something of what I have seen and been impressed or depressed by during a couple of trips to Japan during the past year.
Winter was in full sway when I first saw the country, and having been in the process of acquiring a suntan before leaving Australia, the cold really had to be felt to be believed. It was disappointing in one sense during the first day in Yokkaichi on the south coast of Honsu, as well as the next day at Nagoya only a few miles away, as we knew by the feel of the wind and the temperature that there was plenty of snow on the mountains lying behind the towns, yet we could not see anything past the first few miles of the plains around Ise Bay because of the haze and the quite low clouds. However, at sunrise the following morning while the ship was peacefully (except for dodging dozens of very annoying fishing boats) steaming along the south coast towards Yokohama, I saw one of the most magnificent views that could possibly be imagined. The sun was just rising as the ship steamed past Iro Saki, and I had first a glimpse and then the full sight of a colossal strawberry ice-cream cone. It was the justly famous Fuji Yama, rising in all its twelve thousand feet of glory above the surrounding hills, with its full covering of snow a deep yet delicate pink in the very early sunshine, the palid blue sky behind it and a layer of cloud hovering above the tip of the peak made it stand out like the answer to the prayer of some producer of 3 D. movies. Then in contrast, to turn round and look at O Shima, an island that was once famous for the number of people who suicided by jumping into the crater of its volcano. Whisps of smoke drifted upwards from the jagged rim of the crater that circles the top of the green island like a dusty crown.
I had been looking forward to the couple of days that we were due to get in Yokohama, to be able to have a rest from the continual daily round of a ship at sea, so I was hardly prepared for the amount of work that went on even after brief stops at Yokkaichi and Nagoya. The wharf gangs came aboard as the ship was still tying up to the wharf and started work on the cargo without any waste of time, and then they worked, and worked on! I wondered when they had their meal hours or perhaps smokos, and I kept on wondering as they just did not have any breaks from the work at all. Then someone told me that they work twelve hour shifts, and as each fresh shift comes on the job they take over from the old crowd without any interruptions of the work. And the ship's Officers have to take it in turns to supervise the working of the cargo, fitting in the routine jobs whenever there might be an opportunity. The port facilities were quite modern, and the shipbuilding yards were going flat out; yet there were a number of wrecks in and near the harbour to remind anyone that only a few years ago the whole place was somewhat of a mess after some terrific poundings by the Allied Air Forces. Yokohama was also my introduction to a Japanese city; and the first impression was of the disproportionate number of taxis to private cars and of their aggressiveness and tenacity in trying to get passengers. I would not like to drive in many of the cities I have seen so far, along narrow winding streets; streets which even in Sydney would be one way traffic are open to traffic from both directions, with an odd car or two parked here and there, There is a speed limit, but I could easily be persuaded that it works in reverse to our ideas; it is about thirty m.p.h. (40 KM.P.H.) and once they get a car moving they do not seem to go either faster or slower than that.
In contrast to so many other places through the Far East, Japan appears to be quite a clean place, and the general standard of education seems high. To try to place their courteousness, manners and habits to fit in with any Western ideas needs rather a good imagination, yet it is not too difficult to realise that from a general standpoint the Japanese should rate fairly high in any survey of civilisation. This is one thing they seem egotistically aware of and though it is obvious that they have incorporated many things from the Western world which apparently have been to their advantage, the Japanese are still intensely nationalistic in their outlook and their way of life. Some of these observations are largely inference from what I have seen, and from conversations that I have had with English speaking Japanese.
Some of the cities like Tokyo, Kobe, and Nagoya look very similar to Australian cities at first sight, but this does not extend past the appearance of most of the larger buildings. There are few straight roads - most of them twist and turn and don't last too long, and those that are straight are usually wider and have apparently been cut through whatever was in the way to give good traffic access through the centre of the towns. That may give the impression that there is plenty of space for the authorities to do as they wish, but the opposite is really the case, particularly in all the large towns, as very high buildings are impossible because of the risk of earthquakes, and to be able to centralise things as much as possible produces intense crowding. Imagine the lunch hour crowds in Pitt Street lasting through the whole working day from nine till nine! But it is the shops which show the most difference to Western ideas, though I know several large department stores run on Western lines. Most of the shops are the small family variety so familiar throughout the East, with open fronts and all the goods piled up to the ceiling in a completely haphazard manner. In some places they have special shopping streets, and it looks strange with pedestrians all over the roadway and not so much as a bicycle in sight.
Several times I've had the impression that Europeans are merely tolerated by the Japanese; people who are to be tolerated when they are useful, and dispensed with at all other times. This is something which is seldom openly apparent, as they have such a high moral sense and a natural courteousness that it would be difficult for such a feeling to get to the surface. With many things the Japanese have incorporated into their own culture what they must consider to be the best of the Western ideas. For instance, it is rare to see any men wearing the traditional costume in public, though it is possible that they still wear the ucata in their own homes. That appears to be their equivalent of our National Opera Company is the Takarazuka Opera Company, and each of their several shows that are being presented through Japan have one section which is called a review, and from the reaction of the audience I have no doubt that it is just that, though in a somewhat modified form to our type of review. Takarazuka, incidentally, is rather interesting; the entire cast is girls who join the company when they are eight years old, and receive their training at the special Takarazuka village and theatre in Southern Honshu. At any time there are several of the troupes on tour in Japan, and each show lasts for five or six hours.
One thing in particular I find completely monotonous about Japan. It doesn't matter where one goes, there is never any variation to the black hair; straight, plain, over-greased or dowdy, but always BLACK. But there are many other reasons why I like to head south again - largely because Australia is still my favourite place and it's a welcome thought to know that the ship heads for home with all that that brings to mind.
Keep up your vitality on walks with vegetarian foods.
Cenovis yeast (contains whole Vitamin B complex, also D, E, F and H.)
Light thin ry-king crisp bread (100% whole rye flour), well wrapped in handy 8 oz. packet.
Base your holiday food lists on wholesome foods.
Wide range of dried fruits, nuts, biscuits and dried fruit sweets.
The Sanitarium Health Food Shop.
13 Hunter Street, Sydney.
- Tom Moppett.
As soon as we arrived at New England National Park we dashed up to Point Lookout, just in case the clouds beat us to it in the morning. Point Lookout has a reputation for being hidden in cloud, as was the case on our previous visit a year before. As it turned out, we camped there for several days (in September) and enjoyed warm windless days and clear cold nights. Some night temperatures were around 33 degrees Fah., necessitating draining radiator and cylinder block.
The views, looking down from Point Lookout (5250 ft.) into the huge basin in which are the sources of the Bellinger River, and out to the coast about forty miles away, are magnificent. The maze of ridges and gullies sloping in all directions reminded us of the view from Splendour Rock. The creeks are full of rain forest, which runs up the gullies amongst the eucalyptus in places to the ridge tops. Whip birds are calling constantly. In good weather, unless it is too hazy, the Dorrigo Plateau, the lower Bellinger, coastal beaches, and the Fine Day Creek and Macleay flats can be clearly seen. The view encompasses miles of steep bush covered ridges around the lower Bellinger, Nambucca and Macleay which are outside the Park, but spoiliation of this bush country would greatly detract from the Park.
Roughly speaking, the Park (of about 42,000 acres) is semicircular in shape. It comprises the basin which is the source of the Bellinger, the eastern boundary being an approximately north-south line through Mt. Killiekrankie, about eight miles east of Point Lookout. On the north, west and south (not so high on the south) is the rim of the basin with several points over 5,000 ft. Tiers of cliffs make it almost impossible to reach the creeks below except in a few places. A narrow strip 15 chains wide along the rim is included in the Park. As far as I know, the source of all the water in the Park's streams is within the park, so walkers can be pretty sure of its purity. The vegetation along the rim is mainly eucalyptus and snow grass.
Before Jean, Nancy and Katherine arrived I spent a day walking down to the antimony mine which can be seen from Point Lookout. I understand the mine is 3,000 ft below the Lookout, and it certainly appears to be all of that when looking up from below. I was fortunate to meet the mine manager coming up the road in a jeep, and hitched my way back. The mine is eight miles from the top along the road, which was built by the mining Company and is suitable only for four wheel drive vehicles.
From near the mine an old pack-horse track, later bull-dozed but since allowed to become overgrown, leads to the Bellinger. It was intended to take the antimony out that way but it was found that floods too often made the creek crossings impassable. I heard recently that the mine is to close down.
Walking along the “rim” getting to know the area, I disturbed quite a number of rock wallabies and several lyre birds. Below Point Lookout walking tracks have been formed through the rain forest. I was lucky to be standing still when a female lyre bird with a drooping feather at the end of her tail hopped out from behind a rock, then hopped upwards from branch to branch of a small beech and finally took to the air and launched herself down the hillside and out of sight uttering a rather sharp call “chee-chee-chee-chee”. Her very quick lively movements were most fascinating.
Jean and I took Nancy and Katherine for a little walk in the brush near Wright's Lookout, but unfortunately no lyre birds appeared. However, the kids were delighted when one morning while we were breakfasting a wallaby hopped slowly by, not seeing us.
The walk down the road to the mine is most pleasant. Just after leaving the “rim” near the Park entrance, the road passes through the belt of antarctic beech which must be around 4,000 ft., then follows a long ridge, the old aboriginal and later pack horse route to the coast, and to the Macleay, and after about four miles, where there is an old bark hut, turns on to a subsidiary ridge down to the mine. Close to the road there are both rough barked eucalypts and ferns, and rain forest trees mingling with big smooth barks, and there are many glimpses through gaps in the trees of Point Lookout and the surrounding ridges. Unfortunately in one place some timber has been taken out leaving the usual debris which, I understand, is the home of numerous tiger snakes, although I saw only one. Of course, weeds have grown beside the road.
The Park Ranger, Tom Elliott, and Mrs. Elliott, who have bought Al-Hayatt from the late Cliff Moseley's Estate, are very keen about the Park, and are most helpful and full of information about it and the district generally. They told us about the family almost wiped out by blacks, and the cattle duffers in the Macleay gorges, and the source of the Bellingen being in a cave - but why not drop in and hear about these things yourselves? They will be only too pleased to give you what information they can.
I had several long yarns with Tom about the Park and he told me the Trust is a very interested and active one. They have plans for considerable improvements, but as I understand it, they appear to have a very sound approach to park management. They intend to enlarge the car park and the shelter shed and surface the track up at Point Lookout. Then down near the Park entrance it is intended to clear away logs and level the ground in places to form a caravan and car camping park, and probably build some cabin accommodation. For walkers there is plenty of space to camp not far from the entrance, close to a creek, and there is the existing tent camping area just below the Lookout near a spring. The danger of pollution of water supplies appears to be well understood. The road up to the Lookout has been improved although it is still rather soft in the steepest section and it is hoped later that this road will be continued all the way around the “rim” to the north and then link up with the road into Dorrigo. From this road, side roads would lead to lookout point. Most of this “tourist” type improvement is to be kept to the “rim”. The existing walking tracks below Point Lookout are to be surfaced so that people of all ages can enjoy the trees and ferns and glimpse of wallabies, lyre birds and other wild life. Then further tracks are to be established right down into the creeks. These are to be foot tracks only, or perhaps for horses too, but care is to be taken not to destroy the tree canopy.
A radio beacon for aircraft is to be established near Point Lookout.
It is intended to produce a map of the Park by voluntary effort, to include the projected tracks, but of course it will take a considerable time to do this. Some time ago I requested the Lands Dept. to supply a map showing the Park boundaries, but this has not yet been received.
There is both very pleasant easy wandering and tough walking available, as previous articles in the Magazine will prove - including a variety of through trips to the Coast.
The Park Trust and Park Ranger have a very beautiful Park to care for. I feel they will do it with forethought and understanding and they deserve our thanks and encouragement.
For all your transport problems contact Hattswell's Taxi and Tourist Service. Ring, write, wire or call any hour, day or night.
Telephone: Blackheath 129 or 249. Booking Office - 4 doors from Gardner's Inn Hote1 (look for the neon sign.)
Speedy 5 OR 8 passenger cars available. Large or small parties catered for.
We will be pleased to quote other trips or special parties on application.
Having read your S.B.W. magazine from time to time, and being interested in the articles and accounts of trips it contains, I thought it would not be out of place to write from a mother's point of view. My first idea was to be nameless, but as I can't keep on referring to “my son” all the time. I think perhaps it would be better to tell you I am Peter Stitt's mother, and as I'm sure many other mothers feel as I do they may be interested.
The first thing I noticed when Peter was buying his equipment was that it was always too something - too big, too small, or too heavy. I'm sure I have peddled as many miles on the sewing machine as Peter has walked. The tent he bought had to be added to and split open and then taped, and all after it had been dipped in some noxious smelling water-proofing solution. Even I smelt the same way after all that sewing, Peter assures me it is the best tent in the S.B.W. and so it ought to be.
And then he buys boots. They come home looking very nice and strong, but then they are attacked with force. They are put to soak in neatsfoot oil - in my baking dishes if I'm not quick enough in hiding them - and then for the rest of their life they have to be removed to the laundry or garage as the small of the oil always clings. After this they are hammered full of ironmongery, some of it really vicious looking. The best time to do this is after midnight as it only makes a noise like a busy blacksmith's. If possible Peter has to be met at the door with a request to remove his boots to save the carpets from being cut to pieces. This leaves at the entrance a nice little heap of sand, burrs, leaves, etc., and at times leeches.
Thursday is a day I dislike, for that is the day I have to get the food. Peter says anything will do, and knowing what he will eat I sometimes wonder why I bother. I can and do sympathise with you bushwalkers for the heavy packs you carry as I have already carried practically the same weight home from the shops.
And then the packing. Pete always has some reason why this can't be started early in the evening, and when everyone else is trying to sleep he is still rushing around asking where various things are. In all probability they are still in his pack having been left there from last week-end, and by now have ants and mice living happily in them. But off he goes Friday morning full of beans.
In no time you are round to Sunday night waiting for him to come home - usually reasonably early, tired and very dirty, but having enjoyed every minute of the week-end. But there have been times when he hasn't come home at all - overdue - but as the members of the party are the only ones who can tell the difference between lost and overdue it doesn't help those waiting anxiously at home thinking of all sorts of accidents, particularly if there has been any rock-climbing in the week-end.
Now we come to the Blue Gum joust - the removing of the fallen tree. On Thursday night Pete has to dismantle and get into his pack a drilling plant, together with dozens of bits and pieces his father has lent him. He gets dirtier and greasier in the process, and as it gets later and later he rushes in and out of the house at high speed till every door in the place
“Oh I say, Pete's mother, where's the rest of this masterpiece?”
“That's all I wrote. I hadn't the heart to finish it. That's where I heard about the gelignite. Do you know anything about gelignite?”
“Not much, except that they took enough on that jaunt to blow up the whole of Blue Gum Forest.”
“Well, if its temperature gets too low it explodes, so they went to bed with it to keep it warm!!!”
“Well, I bet you were glad to see the last of Pete when he left for New Zealand.”
“I most certainly was - for a week. Then I began to wish him back; the place seemed uncannily quiet… Listen! I think I hear him coming in now. You'll have to excuse me; I'm going to help him pack the food. I like to help him pack….”
By The Conservation Secretary.
The second of the series of Conservation Conferences was held on 5th November, the Club being represented by Messrs. McGregor and Colley. Two resolutions, which had been referred to the Conference' standing Committee at the first conference, were dealt with first. The first resolution, which was adopted after the defeat of two amendments concerning the form of the proposed National Parks Board, was -
“That this Conference recommends to the State Government that steps be taken to have a National Parks Act submitted to the legislature and that the Act contain, inter alia,
(a) Statements of the nature and purpose of National Parks, State Parks, Primitive Reserves, National Monuments, etc.
(b) Provision giving security of tenure to National Parks, etc.
© Provision for the establishment of a National Parks Board and a Directorship of National Parks.
(d) Provision for financing the requirements of the Authority or Directorship as an appropriation from the State Budget.”
The second resolution concerning the sale of native flowers, after a long debate and numerous amendments, was carried in the following form -
“That the Local Government Dept. be requested -
(a) to place a complete ban on the sale of picked protected native plants and flowers, but to permit nurserymen, who should be registered, to sell seedlings and plants grown by them;
(b) to give the widest possible publicity to the law relating to the protection of native flowers;
© to arrange for the adequate policing of the Act;
(d) to give Rangers and Police the same powers of entry under the Wild Flowers and Native Plants Protection Act as Rangers under the Fauna Protection Act.”
It is interesting to note that three growers of native plants were present. Naturally they were not in favour of the motion. They contended that the way to popularise and spread a love of native flowers was to encourage their planting in private gardens.
In addition the following motions were adopted -
“That this Conference urges the Government to take steps to prevent the use of firearms by reckless and irresponsible persons who employ them for the indiscriminate destruction of wildlife.”
“That the State Government be approached to expedite legislation pending regarding the proper protection of aboriginal relics throughout the State.”
“That a protest be lodged with the Federal Government against the proposal to construct a Woy Woy Rifle Range adjacent to the boundaries of Warrah Sanctuary.”
It was decided to hold a further conference in February.
Some years ago the Club suggested to the Authorities that the Armed Services be trained in bushfire fighting so that in an emergency they could assist Bushfire Brigades, and particularly so that they could fight fires in parks and reserves where there is practically no manpower to form brigades. In the September Bush Fire Bulletin an item informs us that the Prime Minister's Dept. has stated that Service personnel are receiving training in elementary fire-fighting methods and that assistance will be given in emergencies. It appears that this applies to the R.N. and R.A.A.F. as it is stated that “In the Army, the training syllabus is fully taken up with training for defence purposes and no additional periods can be allowed for the training of National Service Trainees in bushfire fighting.” In spite of this the Army in the past has given assistance in fighting bushfires. However it appears that the value of parks has not yet been recognised is some quarters. It was announced over the air in the middle of November when a fire was threatening Muogamarra Sanctuary that the Army refused to assist as life or property were not in danger. However, a much more enlightened view is taken in the Sutherland area. At the recent Bushfire Fighting Demonstration at Heathcote the Group Captain of the Sutherland Bushfire Brigades said that they had realised that it was no use waiting for the fire to reach their homes - it was necessary to go out into the bush and put it out as soon as it started. Because of this realization they have agreed to Bushwalkers' offers of assistance in fighting fires in National Park and Heathcote Primitive Reserve and the bush area thereabout.
The N.S.W. Bush Fire Committee's Technical Officer, Mr. Kinnear, who was at the Demonstration, said he was trying to arrange for small forces to go out and fight fires in the bush in other areas. He mentioned Moss Vale as one such area, and said that he considered that such a force, if it acted quickly, could have put out the fire which devastated a large part of the Morton Primitive Reserve last summer. The old roads which exist in the Reserve would have given adequate access. This improvement in ideas probably, in many cases, arises from practical necessity rather than from a straight out love of the bush, but most certainly it is a move in the right direction and merits every encouragement and assistance.
This conference, called by the-Inter-Departmental Committee which will make recommendations to the Minister for Lands, was held at Newcastle on 8th September 1955: The Committee consisted of representatives of the Dept. of Lands, Soil Conservation Service, Forestry Commission, Hunter Valley Trust.
The Northern Parks & Playgrounds Movement, which was formed to have national parks established at Barrington-Gloucester Tops, presented their Report of 8th April 1955, plus a Supplement. These are the results of years of field work and local conferences, and are a very fine effort in the conservation field. They show a clear understanding of the different types of country in the area and the different purposes for which they are suitable. They recommend “Catchment Reserves” for the actual tops areas, “Primitive Areas” for the steep slopes, and “Tourist Parks” for the lower valleys. The suggested two Tourist Parks, where tourist type development would take place, are on the upper Allyn-Williams Rivers with approach via Barrington Guest House, and on the Gloucester River including the Falls. The Forestry Commission is recommended as the controlling body for the whole area, except that the Fauna Protection Panel should be considered for control of the primitive areas.
The N.P.P.M. plan was supported by all the Local Government bodies in the area, the Trades Hall Council, the Barrington Club, and the Newcastle Technical College Walkers.
The Chief Guardian of Fauna submitted his case for Faunal Reserves, coinciding very closely in location with the N.P.P.M's primitive areas, and exactly with Federation's primitive areas.
The N.S.W. Federation of Bushwalking Clubs, Wild Life Preservation Society, and the Caloola Club were represented jointly by Mr. Moppett. A map showing the joint plan of these bodies was submitted. This plan coincides fairly closely with that of the N.P.P.M., the main difference being that the N,P.P.M.'s proposed Allyn-Williams Rivers Tourist Parks is omitted because this area is a State Forest.
Mr. Moppett supported in general the N.P.P.M. plan, and the Chief Guardian's case for Faunal Reserves, but recommended that the areas other than Faunal Reserves be reserved by the Lands Dept. and later placed under the control of a National Parks authority. He explained that conferences were taking place which it was expected would lead to a request for a National Parks Act. He objected to the N.P.P.M. recommendation that the area be controlled by the Forestry Commission on the grounds that it existed to produce timber and knew nothing of national parks. You will recall that this point was discussed at a Club Meeting prior to the conference.
At the close of the conference the chairman made a quite encouraging statement. He said the area would be conserved in a more or less primitive condition to preserve the catchment and prevent erosion - there would be definitely no alienation. He said further that all the represented bodies would be reasonably satisfied, although the N.P.P.M., Federation, Wild Life and Caloola would not get all they wanted.
All right, this is a crusade. If you're not interested in crusades don't read any further.
I have a decided impression that the Club wants more actively walking members. Agreed? Right! Well, we recruit them as prospectives and we tell them they are required to do three test walks and an Instructional week-end. We provide the Instructional walks at intervals of three months so that a prospective will have the choice of two in any six-month period. That is very reasonable. Are we being as fair with them where their test walks are concerned? I doubt it.
During the last two walks programmes, covering the best walking time of the year, there was a fair sprinkling of test walks starting out Friday evening, but only six 1 1/2-day test walks, and only 4 day test walks. In a period of 34 week-ends that's rather dismal reading. It's been like that for several years now.
Of course, our keenest walkers want to do Friday night trips. I quite understand that - I prefer them too. The trip starting on Friday allows much wider scope, ventures into fairly distant and untrodden country. Of course, it also needs less imagination to devise a novel and interesting 2-day trip than it does to think up a suitable 1 1/2-day or day walk.
But for the prospective, especially the newcomer to walking, the Friday nighter poses some problems. In some cases parental opposition, the difficulty of taking walking gear along to office or workshop, the minor but very real troubles of providing for and packing gear and food for two whole days and nights, the doubt if their condition will allow them to go well on Saturday and still be equal to a long day on Sunday - all these things make the Friday trip seem formidable.
It seems to me that if we sincerely want to maintain our walking strength, we should do more to cater for the prospective. It is pure selfishness to ignore the beginner until he or she has graduated up to the stage of doing week-end walks without fear or anguish. By that time they can either take care of themselves or have ceased caring about joining the Club. In other words, it isn't much use beginning to take interest in the apprentice when he has already reached the third year of his time.
Very noticeable, too, is the paucity of test walks in the summer months. It must be agreed that many of our orthodox test walks would be very severe, perhaps even dangerous, under conditions of extreme heat. Planning a summer test walk is a disappointing business…. trying to build up adequate mileage without too much hill climbing or bush-pushing, close enough to civilization to be able to curtail the trip under heat wave conditions…. but many beginners believe that summer is the proper walking season (I used to think so myself, years ago). At present we have a considerable list of prospective members, including some very promising material, but it's a poor outlook for the newcomer of October who finds scarcely a suitable walk until March or April.
Obviously it's too late to do much about the January/April programme which will be distributed before this is read, although some enterprising member may care to volunteer a suitable trip in January or February, and I'm sure Committee will endorse it as a test, and the widest possible publicity be given it. But please, not a Friday nighter!
It is not too late to start thinking now about the next winter programme, which must be ready for committee to consider prior to the Annual General Meeting in March. It is not too late to consider whether we can afford a better deal for the struggling prospective.
The advertisement for the Pogo Stick appearing in the October issue of your Club's magazine has excited considerable interest amongst certain members of this Club. As a result I have been directed to write to you seeking further particulars.
I shall be grateful if you will supply me with details of prices (including sales tax), delivery arrangements and any technical data available. If there is any literature or brochures for general distribution I shall be much obliged to receive them.
In particular I should like to know whether the contrivance (Editor's Note: “Lucky for you you didn't say contraption.”) has been scrub-tested and, if so, what were the results. (None of us have seen it mentioned in the “Herald”, but we may have missed it.)
Are models with pack-racks and seating accommodation on the market, and in that case, is it possible to obtain sports, family and tourist models? Finally, are such refinements as alcohol injectors available as standard or optional equipment?
It is naturally anticipated that the distributors of these machines have made adequate arrangements with the various oil companies for a supply of the appropriate high octane Super O.P. plus X1000 fuel to be located at strategic points such as Clear Hill, Cloudmaker and Cedar Creek.
Honorary Secretary, The Coast & Mountain Walkers of N.S.W.
- Colin Putt.
“We enclose a reprint of the newspaper report on a bush test of our latest model stick. Consequent upon receipt of your irrevocable letter of credit, drawn upon the Thurat Steep Scree Bank for £1,523/11/9 1/2, one S.B.W. Helistabilised Diesel Pogo Stick will be delivered to you on 30/2/1956.”
Bush tested by Stupe Grapefruit, B.Ox.
About this pogo stick:
Test route: The mountainous 35 mile route is from Wentworth Falls station via Kedumba Pass to Cox River, returning via Black Dog and Narrow Neck to Katoomba. The route includes road bashing, good tracks, river work, steep ridges, cliffs and swamp.
The new model S.B.W. pogo stick has been completely redesigned and incorporates many new features. It is ruggedly constructed, has ample power and low fuel and oil consumption. Its impeccable handling qualities make it a delight to walk with; it is anticipated that it will bring marathon walks within the range of non-active club members.
Starting and running: The new model incorporates a stepped piston, only the top portion being in use for starting and low-power running and idling. Starting is surprisingly easy for a Diesel Stick; an immediate response was obtained on the first jump from the overbridge at Wentworth Falls station, and the motor was warmed up and running at full power within 30 seconds. The dual-diameter piston has practically eliminated the tooth-shaking “Diesel knock” which was always experienced with earlier models when idling and running slowly, or downhill. The step scavenge valve lifter drops out automatically as the governor setting is increased, with an amazing surge of power and breathtaking acceleration.
Hill Climbing: The large-capacity longstroke motor gives leaps of an unprecedented height at full throttle; Taro's ladders can be cleared at one bound. Black Dog was ascended at 10-12-9-13 strokes per minute, and a higher speed could have been reached but for the loose stones.
Touring Speeds: The full speed of 15.2 m.p.h. was easily reached on Narrow Neck, and the machine cannot be baulked on a narrow track by parties of foot-walkers as its high leap enables it to clear them at a bound.
Cornering and roadholding: The exhaust-turbine-driven helicopter blade not only increases fuel efficiency, but also greatly improves the stability of the machine, The sharp corners on Debert's Knob were taken at speed without any trace of squeal or roll, and the new oversize suction cup foot gripped on the Cox River boulders without any tendency to slide. The danger of landing on a loose stone at speed must still be carefully watched.
Riding: The helistabiliser introduces a completely new conception of smooth riding to the pogo walker. The machine descends lightly on to its oversize rubber foot, most of the compression being provided by internal buffer cylinders. There is absolutely no need to bind the walker's posterior with sticking plaster as was usual with the old hobnailed models, nor is it necessary, or even useful, to have injections of local anaesthetic in the backside before attempting a long road-bash. It is possible, however, that conservationists will stick to these methods, as the effect of the lifting blades on foliage overhead is rather drastic.
Bodywork: The packrack of earlier models has been replaced by a sturdy support for a pack on the rider's back. The makers were doubtless forced to make this alteration owing to the frequent accidents in which solo walkers fell from a moving machine and were left packless to starve in rugged country.
The seat is richly upholstered in polyurethane sponge, and a small P.V.C. umbrella attachment can be used in case of rain.
Summary: The S.B.W. helistabilised stick is a single-seater machine of revolutionary design, offering great comfort and having better manners than would be expected of a bushwalker. Its introduction will doubtless be opposed by conservationists because of its effect on overhead foliage; by the proprietors of the filling stations at Cloudmaker, Clear Hill, and Cedar Creek because of its enormously improved range (1,730 miles per tankful); and by the local manufacturers of alcohol and arilene injectors for petrol and diesel pogo sticks because of its elimination of knock.
Malcolm McGregor is plastered. He got plastered on the 9th December and he intends to remain plastered for the next four weeks. Shame on ye, McGregor! An Ex-President too!
Paddy's first advertisement appeared in the Club's Magazine in 1931, and here it is 1956 and he's still going strong.
Try to imagine what those 25 years might have meant to bushwalking if there had been no Paddy. Who would have made our tents and packs when we weren't clever enough to make them for ourselves? Who would have striven to reduce our camping gear to the ultimate of light weight efficiency? Why we might still be struggling round under 40 lb. week-end packs, and not knowing any better. As one of our New Zealanders has said, the main difference between bushwalkers in New Zealand and bushwalkers in Australia is that the former haven't a Paddy.
He has studied and catered for our needs over the past quarter of a century, and may he continue to do so for the next. Paddy is 'one of us'.
He was too punch-drunk with Christmas shoppers to have time to prepare an advt. for this issue, but to one and all of his Bushwalking friends he says,
A Happy Christmas and New Year, and God bless you all.
(Inserted by the Magazine staff)
Paddy Pallin. Lightweight Camp Gear.
201 Castlereagh St., Sydney.