A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bushwalker, 14 Atchison Street, St. Leonards.
Postal Address: Box 4476 G.P.O., Sydney, N.S.W., 2000.
Meetings at the Club Room on Wednesday evenings after 7.30 p.m.
Enquiries regarding Club - Mrs. Marcia Shappert, Tel.30-2028.
|Editor||Spiro Ketas, 104/10 Wylde Street, Pott's Point, 2011. Tel.357-1381 (Home)|
|Business Manager||Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2118.|
|The January General Meeting||Spiro Ketas||2|
|Notice from the Secretary||Sheila Binns||3|
|Social Secretary's Notes, March||Elaine Brown||3|
|Claustral Without Tears - Almost||Barry Wallace||4|
|I Saw a Strange Land (Part 3)||Marion Lloyd||8|
|Walks Secretary's Notes for March||Wilf Hilder||11|
|In Poetic Vein||?||14|
by Spiro Ketas.
The January General Meeting was a quiet small affair with about 30 members present. President Bob Younger and Secretary Sheila Binns returned to their place of eminence seated at the dais looking down onto the audience.
There being no apologies or new members Sheila read out the minutes of the last meeting. Business arising from the minutes saw Alex Colley agree to take up the matter of camp sites at Burning Palms and Wilf Hilder mentioned the danger of the practice of poisoning lantana (it has been rumoured that the National Parks and Wildlife Service may use this method of controlling lantana growth at Burning Palms), and also suggested that Alex urge the N.P.& W.S. to restrict the use of the existing huts in the Royal National Park.
Nothing of any significance emerged from the correspondence and the Treasurer's Report disclosed a closing balance of $871.42. No Federation Report was available as the January meeting had not as yet taken place.
The next item of business was the Walks Report. John Campbell's Kanangra Gorge abseiling trip had to be postponed due to the sudden illness of the leader. On the same week-end 15/16th December, Owen Mark's Bondi sleeping, swimming and talking event was described by our Walks Secretary as a social function, not a walk and obviously mistakenly put on the walks programme rather than the social programme. Regardless of its category a handful of bods attended and ate the lavish food Mrs. Marks had prepared for a larger group. On 16th Bill Hall's Otford - Werong - Burning Palms trip was attended by five, and unfortunately marred by rain.
The next week-end, Christmas, Alan Fall and six others set off on their Pilot trip in the Snowy Mountains, leaving one sick member camped at the cars. Upon their return the ill person and one car were missing and after much searching, both were found at Cooma Hospital, the car in the car park and the sick member in bed with pneumonia.
At Burning Palms on the New Year week-end, 10 members enjoyed themselves even though a pet kangaroo attacked one of the group, and a rat chewed a hole in Gladys' pack to get at her home-made biscuits. Dot Butler offered a consoling remark, if it, the rat, had. big eyes it was a clean bush rat, not a dirty small-eyed city rat.
Going back to the 23rd December, Merle Watman's Heathcote - Engadine walk was attended by 11 people, that is not including the naked man seen standing in a knee-high pool reading a book (what a wonderful way to spend Christmas, reading not watching). On January 6th, Barry Zieren's West Head walk attracted 15 starters and although it rained at the beginning the rest of the day was dry and sunny.
The Christmas Party got a mention in the Social Secretary's Report - a slightly smaller affair than last year, yet very enjoyable, thanks to the hard working organisers, play actors and actresses and the food and drink.
In General Business it was learned that Channel 10 had rung Marcia requesting that they purchase from members any old bush-walking gear such as old billies, packs, sleeping bags, tents, etc. The meeting had a good laugh over this, yet due to such short notice your reporter doubts if any such items were forthcoming. A motion that we write to the National Parks & Wildlife Service asking that a notice warning people of “boxing” kangaroos be erected, was lost, the majority of the meeting regarding the unfortunate matter as a result of man's interference with wild animals' freedom, environment and diet to such an extent that the poor creatures became understandably obstreperous.
The meeting closed after an unsuccessful plea for a convenor for the Re-union at Woods Creek in March.
The following members of committee have indicated that they do not wish to stand for re-election for the year 1974/75:-
Bob Younger (as President)
Wilf Hilder (Walks Secretary)
Sheila Binns (Secretary)
Elaine Brown (Social Secretary)
Marcia Shappert (Treasurer)
Rosemary Edmunds (Fed. Delegate)
by Elaine Brown.
Saturday 16th March is the S.B.W. Re-union, which is probably the most social and sociable event of the year. Try to think up items - sketches, songs or other entertainment - for the campfire on Saturday night. Supper will be served and afterwards a general sing-song will probably go on till the early hours of Sunday. A damper-making competition will be held during Sunday morning, so don't forget to bring the flour!
On March 20th an Auction Sale is to be held. Anything you have at home which you feel is of no further use to you, bring it along, someone is sure to buy it at bargain prices! Camping gear, books, clothes, toys, ornaments, furniture. Don't bring broken things. An auction is a lot of fun, and it's surprising how other people's discards maybe just the very things you want! You may put a reserve price on items of value, and anything received over this price goes to the Club. Profits are for club funds, mainly to pay the rates on our property “Coolana”.
Mike Short is to give a talk on March 27th on “How to lose weight and feel better for it”. As most of us over-eat and get over-weight it will be interesting to hear Mike's ideas.
The Federation of Bushwalking Clubs Re-union is to be held on 30/31st March at Wyong Creek (near Wyong State Forest). [Next sentence redacted and illegible] 3353).
by Barry Wallace.
(The following article has had a gestation period of a little over twelve months. It might never have seen the light of day if Spiro had not been, at the same time, editor of the magazine and author of some truly delicious spinach pies. B.J.W.)
Alarm-shattered sleep, a hasty breakfast and then away at 6.30 a.m.- through the early Sunday morning of a slumbering city. First the luxury of uncrowded suburban streets and then up, up into the mountains, into a morning already bright and clear with the promise of a hot day. Quite clearly the right weather for a canyon!
At the Mt. Tomah turn-off Ruth Sorenson, Jenan Davidson, Bill Burke, John Campbell and Laurie Quaken are already waiting. We discuss the leader's absence, the weather and breakfast, in that order. Then comes the chatter of Joe Marton's V.W. from further down the track, and we are claimed by our leader, Roger Gowing.
A short, dusty drive to near the end of the track, a pause to greet the rest of the party, Anna Klumpp and Frank Taeker, the sorting and discarding of gear, and then off, down the hill at a brisk walk - almost a skip in places. We pause where a gully runs down from the saddle and Roger sends the leaders on and waits to gather in the tail-enders, and of course, Frank.
The party gathers in a patch of sunlight further down the creek, some drink the water and some steam in a quite remarkable manner; the party is warming up. The time of wet feet comes and goes, Laurie becomes detached and is retrieved. John Campbell practises advanced scrambling to avoid a thigh-deep pool and I chicken out and go the easy, wet way.
I am beginning to wonder if this canyon ever starts when everyone halts and begins tying themselves into slings and waterproofing their equipment; too little, too late for Ruth's watch it seems.
Now it begins in earnest, some pools are shallow, some are deep, most are unavoidable. The party divides, probes the easiest way and rejoins. A last steep scramble and Roger is fishing out ropes from various packs; his own a masterpiece of repair and consumer-resistance. Someone has previously placed a sling on the belay rock. A dated tag indicates that it is only one week old and dedicates it to “Julia” - I wonder!
John and I both have ropes so we are democratically chosen to be first down into the unseen depths. Roger gives his advice and instructions. I am stupid enough to be ready first so down I go. The rocks are black, wet and a bit slippery; the air is black, wet and cold. Carefully, steadily, down; the water now pouring down over my knees, now off to the left. The ledge Roger mentioned is not obvious but there does seem to be something narrow and apparently foot-worn just below the water. Curses! it slopes at about 45° and affords little support. My numbed hand welcomes the dying warmth of the carabiner and after some struggle I am free, for what? The water is deep and at first glance the way out is not obvious.
The narrow chock-stone in the exit is capped by an inverted dead stump and there once again is Julia's sling. By the time the rope is in place John is swimming across the pool. We squeeze past each other, yours truly trying hard to keep his dry jumper that way. John hooks up and I watch Jenan descend the last feet on the other rope, guiding her to my useless ledge because that is all I can see that looks like a support. She struggles a long time and I am just about to go and help when she finally clears.
Then comes Frank looking like the creature from the depths in his grey long-johns, black turtle-neck sweater and gardening gloves. Only the camera gives him away.
I finally find the elusive ledge tucked away inside the skirts of the waterfall just as Ruth is a little too low for it. She decides she isn't and crosses into the water and gains the safe footing that everyone so far has done without. Roger arrives quickly and watches mother-hen over Ruth's descent of the second rope. She slips and drops a couple of feet, steadies and continues down. Roger straightens and declares that she will be O.K. now she knows that falls don't matter! “Down”, he says to me.
Some slippery rock but less water this time. I learn later that Anna managed to sit down, legs in the air, on this particular spot, and water which is only ankle-deep can be quite another thing when you sit in it, facing upstream. The ledge at last. I unrope and bomb the 6 or 8 feet into an icy pool. Out of the pool and across a pebble heap to where Frank points out a small but most aggressive snake; asks me to warn people, and pads off to the next abseil. I wait, gazing up through the slow motion hail of water droplets falling out of the sunlight of the real world of soft green ferns above me. Anna passes through, but when Laurie arrives I entrust to him the office of snake-watcher and move on into the darkening cavern.
The next abseil begins from a ledge which is attained by crawling doubled up through a circular hole about 3 feet high. Anna is waiting just upstream of the hole and she insists that I go first. The belay point is a 5“ diameter log which is wedged crosswise across the hole. It is somewhat alarming to feel it move as you climb over it to hook onto the rope. There is no appreciable amount of water this time so the going is fairly easy, but rather long.
The canyon opens out a little and one can even see where one is going, in fact there seems to be smoke ahead, could this be lunch?
A heap of rocks, a small patch of sunlight and John Campbell slaving over a smokey fire. As it turns out this is not the spot the leader intended. but John is a leader-manipulator from way back. After all, what can you do when you arrive to find about one-third of the party eating lunch and a fire (?) going. (I use the word loosely.)
As we eat the canyon fills with smoke, the patch of sunlight yellows and visibility drops to about 40 feet. Out of the gloom stumble a party from Sydney Uni, muttering darkly about pollution. Among the group is none other than the Julia to whom the slings were dedicated, in fact the only bushwalking Julia that I know. Indeed 'tis a small world. We exchange greetings and they push on, shivering, down the canyon.
The leader's job of getting us moving after lunch is a pushover, we are all starting to shiver and develop smoker's cough. About half a mile from lunch we reach the junction with Thunder Canyon where a beach of sun-warmed sand provides a brief touch of comfort for our agued bones. The going becomes even easier and but for the EXIT sign we might have built up a quite respectable turn of speed.
Now there is a slight trick in going up the creek that serves as an exit from the canyon! You must leave the creek just after the first substantial rise from the canyon floor. Roger and Bill Burke know all about this and we are all close together, so there is no problem. For us!
The climb back to the cars is quite leisurely, we even lie around on a sun-baked rock and Roger reminiscences about his previous Claustral trips. This is the first time he has been back at the cars in daylight. Ho! Hum! Claustral without tears.
Roger had travelled to Mt. Tomah in Joe Marten's car with Anna and — oh yes, Frank Taeker. For some strange reason their car was last to leave, in fact everyone else was some five minutes away when Roger and Joe and Anna and - - - Frank were at last ready to leave.
“Oi! Help!” shouted a wet, dishevelled Senior Scout. “Hurry up, Frank!” shouted Joe. “Hellpp!!” - - - “Not me”, said Frank, “I didn't call for help.” “Arrgh!!”
A party of about eight senior scouts had apparently set out to “do” Thunder Canyon. It looked easy, or someone had said it was so they took manilla ropes, little food (“be out by lunch, anyway”), no warm clothes, and only three slings and 'crabs between them. The party was now scattered from the EXIT notice to Joe's car and all were unsure of just where they had come out.
The bod who had reached Joe's car happened to be their car driver so Joe and Anna set off to ferry him back to his car, while Roger, armed with nothing more than a 30 oz tin of peaches and a spoon, set out into the gathering dusk to find the wanderers.
You may remember I said there was a trick in coming up the EXIT creek. Well, they didn't have Bill or Roger with them and they weren't close together. If you miss the turn-off you eventually come to a 20' sheer earth and rock wall. The scout who reached Joe's car had managed to scale this, but the next one up didn't quite make the top before the ever patient gravity had a convincing victory. As Roger said, you didn't have to look very hard to realise that he had fallen off something.
Eventually Roger located and revived (great things, peaches) the whole of the party and got them up to Mt. Tomah. Joe and the other driver returned with the cars, and at about 9.30 p.m. they all left, the scouts to have their fallen member checked out at a hospital, and Roger and Co. for home.
I am still not quite sure just why, but Roger is somewhat brittle when one mentions scouts and Claustral Canyon in the one breath. Something to do with ruining a near record perhaps? As this is near the first anniversary of that trip someone might care to ask him. (The trip took place on 10th December 1972.)
B.J.W. 8/1/74 (At last).
Lightweight bushwalking and camp gear.
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Everything for the bushwalker, from blankets and air mattresses, stretchers, boots, compasses, maps, books, stoves and lamps to cooking ware and freeze dried and dehydrated foods.
69 Liverpool St., Sydney. 26-2686, 61-7215.
by Marion Lloyd.
Conservationists feel deeply sensitive about nature they see around them especially as it is gradually dwindling away. They feel that the concept of this area as a National Park is being abused and becoming a farce. They see it as becoming a mecca for tourism to capitalise on the Park's unique isolated features and that fauna and flora and aboriginal significance is being pushed aside.
With increasing affluence, mobility, leisure time and increase in population, national parks are becoming important.
That then is a national park? That are its aims?
To conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein. To provide for the enjoyment of same, in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment and inspiration of future generations.
The area containing both Ayres Rock and the Olgas was designated a national park to fulfil the following objectives:-
(a) To preserve the outstanding scenic and geological features of Ayres Rock and the Olgas.
(b) To preserve a reference area of Australia's arid zone ecosystem.
© To preserve sites of aboriginal cultural significance including the integrity of these sites.
(d) To provide controlled use of the Park's resources for the purpose of appropriate recreational activities, education, scientific study, wilderness experience.
It must be appreciated that these management objectives are not complementary and that with increasing numbers of visitors to the Park conflicts will arise in management to achieve objectives (a), (b), ©, which are concerned with the preservation of existing values and objective (d) which aims at using these attributes.
Many conservationists feel that due to tourist pressures the Park is becoming abused, misused and wrongly used like many of the celebrated spots overseas. This Park faces the additional problem of two outstanding isolated highlights in a desert where all visitor attention is centred, as opposed to the dispersal of interest over a wide area of well-watered vegetation supplied by a reliable rainfall such as the Snowy Mountains. Consequently the Park is suffering the adverse effects of large numbers of people concentrated in a small area. Much of the park is unseen or given a fleeting glance in passing by tourists and so is unaffected-by them, but the main focal points - Ayres Rock, Village, connecting roads, Sunset Strip and the Olgas are causing concern.
To conservationists many of the unsightly man-made developments that cater for tourists do not harmonise with the environment but tend to stand out like sore thumbs on the landscape to completely spoil the natural character of the place. The idea of some sort of elaborate tourist complex within the Park, especially between Ayres Rock and the Olgas, seems quite wrong and it would be an eyesore whenever one looked from one to the other.
There are those concerned for the Park's well-being to preserve the unobvious as well as the obvious for research and as a wilderness. That will happen to the fauna and flora, the delightful walks around the Rock and through the Olgas, with their intimate nooks and crannies, unexpected corners and vistas and caves once steeped in aboriginal mythology? Will these be lost or retained? Much is still left somewhat untouched, but for how long?
What of the Olgas? This beautiful primitive area has so far been spared the exploitation that Ayres Rock is experiencing because the average tourists, due to insufficient time, incapacitation, lack of interest and many other reasons, do not climb the many humps and bumps or have the inclination to explore and potter amongst these giant egglike structures and deep shaded valleys. The Olgas are still comparatively untouched by white man's tampering and it is still possible to find solitude. Here amongst the domes the fauna and flora are protected and very few have seen the aboriginal rock art. The area has not been desecrated to the same extent as Ayres Rock and I hope it will be left unmolested.
If there are too many people visiting the Park now that it has became world famous, how are the numbers to be restricted fairly and who does one discriminate against? Such a move would disappoint a vast number of people. Everyone should have access, rich and poor, the fit and the incapacitated. Where does one draw the line and how? By deflating its popularity (e.g. less or no tourist promotion), rationing, permits or return it to the aboriginal reserve and allow no one in?
I myself would hate to have my freedom of movement curtailed to explore because there are too many people roaming all over the place. I would resent being told what to see and where to go and nowhere else.
How then does one stop this spoilation without curbing freedom of the individual?
1. Because tourist demands are outnumbering accommodation visitors should be accommodated outside the Park in an unobtrusive position where there is an abundent water supply. There should be no more development inside the Park.
2. There should be an assessment of the carrying capacity of the Park and possibly there should be a limit to the number visiting the Park during a given period of time.
3. Limit the number of vehicles to the Park (shuttle service to Park from tourist village). No unauthorised vehicles should be allowed in the Park. This would reduce spoilation of the Park from the many roads springing up in the Park which are contributing to the present problem of soil erosion. It would also put a brake on the thousands of vehicles visiting the Park during the tourist season. Perhaps a monorail network would be the answer - smokeless, noiseless, fast, carry a lot more people, would not cause soil erosion.
4. The only facilities that should be allowed to be built in the Park would be toilet blocks. Some of the present buildings could be turned into refreshment, administration and information centres.
5. Stiff fines for littering, desecration and souveniring of objects sacred or unique to the Park. Aboriginal sacred places to be preserved for ceremonial purposes. More rubbish bins, discourage wastage of water, and crack down on visual and noise pollution (people, vehicles and aircraft).
6. Close Park at night to stop vandalism and other nocturnal activities.
7. Close Park initially for at least 12 months and then for a couple of months each year. This would give the vegetation, especially around the focal areas, some chance to rejuvinate and to allow the fauna and flora to return undisturbed.
8. At tourist village - roads to be tarred, adequate amenities. Camping grounds to be supplied with chopped wood or other fuel (e.g. gas) for cooking requirements in order to control denudation of trees in the vicinity of the camping areas.
The developers can be allowed a free go, they can do what they like.
More controversial advice please.
I was rudely awakened from my philosophical, meditating stupor when a light aircraft buzzed the top of Mt. Olga. This brought me back to practical reality that here I was on a mountain from which I wasn't too sure whether I could descend. For one fleeting moment I felt envious of those peering eyes from the plane knowing that they would land safely in time for lunch. It was midday and my tummy was rumbling Beethoven's 5th Symphony unceasingly. So with this incentive and not wanting to spend a cold, wet night up here I proceeded to descend. I was not disappointed, the descent was as bad as I expected, but finally I reached good old mother earth.
The next day we left the park and I was able to study it in perspective. What will it be like when I visit it again?
Whatever its fate it is our heritage, it deserves special care. It is a monument to earth's beginning and to Australia's past. Let's hope that those entrusted with its preservation have the wisdom to match the size of their responsibility.
So to each of you who visit the park9don't rubbish it, look after it and treat it with respect as it is the only one we have of its kind.
1. Ayres Rock - Mt. Olga National Park N.T. Reserves Board
2. A Layman's Guide to the Geology of Central Australia - D. R. Woolley B.Sc.
3. Your Guide to the Olgas - C. P. Mountford and A. Roberts
4. Our Rock of Ages Celebrates a Centenary - Evan Green (Sum-Herald 29/7/73)
5, National Parks Leaflet
6. A Study of the Impact of Tourism at Ayres Rock - Mt. Olga National Park - Prof J. D. Ovington, K. W. Groves, P. R. Stevens, M. T. Tanton
7. I Saw a Strange Land Arthur Groom
by Wilf Hilder.
|1, 2, 3||Believe it or not - Alan Round is Ettrema bound. This classical March trip heads thru the scrub to Bullfrog Creek. Some easy scrambling around a small fall and into the mighty Ettrema Gorge, with two short but compulsory swims where the canyon walls close in. If time permits a short side trip up the famous Jones Creek with its gorgeous waterfalls is scheduled. Steep climb to Naked Pass and more spectacular views.|
|1, 2, 3||David Rostron is paddling his own li-lo Coxwards and invites you to join him on this medium hard trip, starting at Carlons. Good tracks down Breakfast Creek to ye Cox. Plenty of white March water to White Dog - where you will meet the ranger.|
|Sunday 3||Kath Brown leads this easy Sunday walk from Cronulla - ferry to Bundeena - good tracks to Deer Pool and Little Marley and return to Bundeena. Plenty of time for swimming and photography on the sun-drenched coastline.|
|8, 9, 10||Christine Kirkby is your guide on this unusual but very scenic Barrington trip. Cars to Gloucester Tops via Gloucester and then tracks all the way to Careys Peak, Rocky Knob Lookout and Barrington River. Magnificent scenery and small snowgrass plains as well as rare forests of negrohead beech on this great walk. Please book early.|
|Sunday 10||A really hard day walk to The Crater from Mt. Wilson - bring your running shoes along. Tracks to the Wollongambie, then some tricky navigation to The Crater. Some compulsory swimming on the scenic way back. A very early start is essential on this rare opportunity of visiting this area in one day.|
|16, 17||It's Re-union time again for S.B.W. Woods Creek is the venue and the leader is El Presidente. New members, old members, ex-members and prospective members - all welcome. A. BIG campfire on Saturday night. Swimming in the Grose. Visitors (except members' children) need Committee's approval to attend. For details of transport and route, see Club Notice Board.|
|22, 23, 24||Bob Hodgson's car-swap Colo trip is on at last. One party will set out from Culool Range while the other will set out from Natural Bridge near Mt. Cameron.|
|23, 24||Well, it's Bluegum time again - this time a Saturday morning start with Kathie Stewart. Taxi from Leura along Mt. Hay Rd. Good tracks down Lockleys to Bluegum, with spectacular views - across the Grose Canyon. Good tracks up Grand Canyon to Walls Cave and Medlow Bath.|
|Sunday 24||A medium hard exploratory ramble in the Bantry Bay area starting at Seaforth Oval at 9.00 a.m. (11 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time). The distance is short but the scrub is nearly bulletproof and tracks are in very short supply. As nearly all the water in this area is polluted it would be a good idea to carry a litre of water per person. The area is rich in historical relics, both of aboriginals and white men. The legendary Bantry Natural Bridge some 7 metres long, 4 metes wide and 2 metres above the stream will be admired and photographed during the afternoon - it is the largest natural bridge in the Sydney Region.|
|Sunday 24||Sam Hinds leads this easy Sunday walk from Berowra to Mt. Kuring-gai. Good tracks all the way, with picturesque views of Cowan Creek most of the way. Please remember no fires in Kuring-gai Chase National Park. Special excursion tickets to Berowra. The train times are 8.45 a.m. via St. Leonards and Harbour Bridge and 8.24 a.m. via Eastwood and Strathfield.|
|29, 30, 31||Another interesting week-end trip - Mt. Hay down the Grose to Grose Rd. Uncle Frank Taeker is your guide on this “seldom seen” Grose walk. Rough tracks over Mt. Hay with some scrub down Show Gully. Excellent views on both sides of the mountain. Rough tracks down Grose to Grose Rd. foot trail. Please book early - private transport.|
|29, 30, 31||Bill Burke leads this popular Shoalhaven walk from Long Point. Good tracks to Cedar Flat (base camp) with a side trip to the mighty Bungonia Canyon. Plenty of swimming in Lake Louise - that jewel of the Shoalhaven. Return via spectacular Barbers Creek with its famous bombing holes.|
|30, 31||Federation Re-union at Wyong Creek - in the upper reaches near Wyong State Forest. Week-end base camp with big campfire etc. Full details later.|
|Sunday 31||Margaret Reid leads this popular Sunday walk from Lilyvale to Burning Palms and then thru Palm Jungle to Otford. Magnificent views over the rolling Pacific breakers - with good tracks all the way. Special excursion tickets to Otford.|
If you are…
Buying or hiring. Hiring or buying.
Walking… Camping… Climbing… Canoeing… Walking… Camping… Climbing… Canoeing…
Think of Mountain Equipment.
17 Alexander Street, Crow's Nest. 2065. (On the corner of Falcon Street) Telephone 439-3454.
Fairydown sleeping bags, high load packs (weight 3-lb. 10-oz.) and all other things you could possibly need.
(The Editor of the Sydney. Bushwalker Journal, Dear Sir -
I found the enclosed poem in a glass jar recently down on the Cox's River, and ringing up the people named in the poem, they advised me to send it in to you. It seems to be part of a larger work (and most probably will never be finished); I think that it should be published and then the author will came forward and may be finish his story.
Yours sincerely, R. G. Ingersoll. )
On a week-end in the middle of May
That you mortals call Mothers Day,
A strange sight did I see from my cloud
And here are my observations, written down aloud,…
Bushwalkers are a race apart. Indeed,
In all their hearts I've placed a seed;
This self-same seed I placed in Marco Polo,
Kingsford Smith when he did his trip solo,
Ibn Batuta, Dot Butler, Pizarro,
Not to mention that old fogey, Taro.
Great men and women; one and all
Have me to thank (if they thank God at all).
Here's another thought I do recall
That's been nagging me since Adam's fall,
That beyond any doubt, and it can be said
I do not forget them when they're dead.
Their souls do praise me for evermore.
But believe you me, it is a bore
I've to endure. At least the living
Only thank me on Sundays - giving
Me a rest from their incessant praying.
My mate Zeus says, “Your mob's braying.”
Well, at least I'm mod and on the scene,
He's nothing but a memory - a has-been.
The human race was my own creation.
True a result of boredom and negation.
But where was I?
Oh, yes, I know,
I'm supposed to be telling of what went on below.
Cars were coming up the Mongarlowe road
Full of cold bushwalkers - what a load!
I made a frost that night and so
The longer I could observe them come and go.
Yellow beetles, Monaros, a Mercedes-Benz
(With a car like that, you have lots of friends).
The other cars I can't tell apart;
They look alike - they go, stop, start.
Soon sixteen bodies with all their packs
Were about to start on the Budawang tracks.
But before they walk off to the Monolith Valley
Let me introduce them. (I'm used to being pally.
I'm not at all omnipotent, a demogogue).
So pardon me please - here comes the -
A family group comes first, and here
I'll introduce them singly. Have no fear!
BOB YOUNGER there is, and he a worthy man
Who from the moment when he first began
To lead walks up and down the coast,
He would always be among the first to boast
Of former walks in days of yore.
But you could never say, “Oh, what a bore.”
No indeed, this man among men could be
A model - no a candidate for divinity. (?)
A temperament well-balanced, helpful, kind,
A better bloke you'd never find.
His only fault is, and I mean no offence,
He works for the Department of Defence.
For a man who believes in preservation
It is incongruous. A strange situation.
And tongues do wag but I must be fair
It isn't true he dyes his hair.
Such is vile rumor. Such is life.
Next is CHRISTA, his charming wife.
She was a walker “in olden days”,
When walkers were walkers, as the saying says.
Her reticence is renowned, her brain so clear,
Not a sound or movement escapes her ear.
She has a sense of humor, and it is said
Her greatest saying is, “You're a long time dead.”
David in his psalms had her in mind,
When he said “A woman of worth, who can find?”
It was she who made her husband take her,
He said “It'll either kill her or make her.
But to see Seven Gods before she dies
Is worth the effort. The more one tries
To see the beauties God created is to remain/ Forever young……. striving, but not for gain”.
These were her husband's words, and to hear
Me included in his wise words I fear
Made me give a sigh and shed a tear.
“It's raining, it's raining!” moaned Norma Rowen.
“My back will get bad!” cried hypochondriac Owen.
It makes me sick to hear them winge
When I am about to start a melancholy binge.
My sadness went as quick as a wink
When one is sad one musn't think.
But back to my prologue, now where was I?
I get so dizzy on my cloud so high.
David Younger, (Bob and Christa's son)
And his girl friend, Kerry, were as one,
True lovebirds! That a joy to see
A hairy lairee and an airie fairy.
NORMA ROWEN, too, with her daughters was there.
Is you've realised and have been made aware,
She is the Second Wife of Bath
In that her life is one big laugh.
(I doubt if she can rival her rival.
Seven hubbies had she. What survival!)
Our Norma has had only one,
A rather jovial Englishman
Norma can cock and do it well,
And there is another story they do tell,
That as a teenager many years before,
She farewelled the troops off to the Boer War.
Norma talks, and talks, and talks.
Thank Heaven she doesn't go on many walks.
“This is my first walk in twenty years!”
The leader must have burst into tears,
Imagining he'd have to carry her out……
(To be continued, maybe???)