A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKERS, Box 4476, GPO Sydney, 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.30 p m. at the Wireless Institute Building, 14 Atchison Street, St. Leonards. Enquiries concerning the Club should be referred to Marcia Shappert - Tel. 302028.
|EDITOR||Helen Gray, 209 Malton Road, Epping, 2121, Telephone 86-6263|
|BUSINESS MANAGER||Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive Carlingford, 2118. Telephone 871-1207|
|TYPIST||Kath Brown (this issue - Margaret Stichter and Shirley Dean)|
|DUPLICATOR OPERATOR||Bob Duncan. Telephone 869-2691|
|Bugis Street, Singapore||Marion Lloyd||2|
|Social Notes - May||Christine Austin||4|
|Mountain Equipment Ad||5|
|Letter from George Davison||6|
|Annual Report Continued||8|
|Yabbies and the Wollongambe Flounder||Barbara Bruce||9|
|Annual General Meeting||Barry Wallace||13|
|“And Apart from that ….”||Fazeley Read||14|
|Rod Peter's Accident||Helen Gray||16|
by Marion Lloyd
The wail of the muzzein heralded the beginning of a new day. The only sign of life in the street was an all night tea stall where a couple of seated figures were silhouetted against the glow of a solitary lamp. With the first streak of dawn the figures shuffled off in the direction of the mosque. Sleeping bodies here and there were curled up in a doorway or on the sidewalk. As the colouring of the sky replaced the gloom one, then two, ambulatory figures set the momentum as people spilled into the street, hurrying and scurrying like ants. In back alcoves men were exercising and shadow boxing. Before one notices, breakfast stalls have splung up patronised mostly by men on their way back from the mosque, the white songkok cap distinguished those who had pilgrimmaged to Mecca. Produce of all descriptions now started arriving for the morning markets, by 7.00 a.m. in miraculously short time stalls had been set up and loaded with fruit; vegetables and spices, many of which I had never seen before, whilst birds squawked from cages. Coolies were trotting with their loads to food stalls and restaurants.
By the time I had arisen the day was in full swing. Opposite our hotel which was at the end of Bugis Street was a construction site, men and women were lining up to be taken on. It's unbelievable how these people can carry such heavy loads all day through the heat and seemingly never tire, always trotting, carrying, working.
My brother David and I had breakfast down one of the side alleys. The stall we favoured most was run by a very fat, affable old Chinaman, his mate was sinewy and thin, with a humped back and a laughing smile. Both wore the working class white singlet, shorts and thongs. When we asked for boiled eggs, Skinny simply put the eggs in hot water and let them stand for five minutes and of course when we opened them they were still raw. We went to Fat's and Skinny's for tea and toast, but around the corner in a cafe we'd finish breakfast off. Here the upper bracket of the working class would eat, I observed Chinese table manners in the raw. Chewed bone, etc. was spat out on the table in a neat pile, the throat was cleared with a good Indian cough and disposed into a spitoon on the floor, whilst the food was eaten from a bowl held mouth level and shovelled in with chopsticks and any remaining liquid drunk straight from the bowl. The hands were wiped on the singlet. His cigarette would be lit from a slow burning rope hung from the ceiling.
Meanwhile, the street was now packed, with women in particular. The older women were dressed in black pyjamas or cheongsam (long dress with slit,up the sides). Many of the stall owners were women. The Chinese markets are noisy, as one shouts, gesticulates, barters, rumbling wheels of handcarts, hawkers' cries, trishaw bells, taxis hooting and the blare from transistors and street music.
Bugis Street was named after the Bugis seafaring traders from the Celebes. They were once the pirates of the Malaccan Straits and had a thriving bucaneering industry, trading in slaves and cattle.
Down the side alleys the sound of Majong tiles slamming echoed through open windows, in small groups huddled around tea stalls sat old men playing chess. Over the street hung multiple rows of washing, food baskets, bird cages, flower pots and Chinese lanterns hung from windows. The street houses seemed stacked up floor by floor and painted mostly green. The houses were subdivided; quarters were so confined that people slept in corridors, under staircases or any available space.
In nooks along the sidewalk were Buddhist shrines. Prayers, burning paper money and joss sticks, bowed and muttered quite oblivious to passers by. The diffusion of religions, cultures, commerce and food in this short street seemed a microcosm of South East Asia.
The morning markets mysteriously disappeared about noon and was replaced just as quickly by the afternoon markets; always there were people jogging, carrying, working in a never ending stream of humanity. Activity temporarily slowed as a series of terrific downpours hammer away unrelentlessly. Abruptly it stops, everything has been washed clean, but soon the heat and humidity become unbearable.
By the late afternoon the market is in full swing. Every conceivable item is on display, plastic predominates from buckets, tablecloths or shoes. In rows down the street are stalls selling bags, clothing, transistors, cassettes, electrical and photographic goods, books, brassware, silverware, glassware, flowers, shoes, wigs, cosmetics, rattan furniture, Chinese herbs and umbrellas, etc. The proprietor's fingers were always busy counting on his pocket calculator or abacus.
Soon after dusk the place becomes packed with families. There is an atmosphere of excitement of colour, noise and smells, a galaxy of light bulbs and Chinese lanterns gives added colour and brilliance. Food stalls, open-air kitchens and sidewalk cafes explode onto the street. Bugis Street and its side alleys now become a working mans food hall. Food is paramount, the street becomes a gourmet paradise. We worked out a system starting from the top of the road and tasted something different at each stall. Four hours later, about 10.00 p m. we had 12 courses, many samplings and numerous cups of free tea. Often it is not wise to ask what sort of meat is in the rice, it could be chicken, turtle, snake or alley cat, as the Chinese will cook anything.
From woks and as one could taste dim sims, chilli crab, mee (noodles), short, fat, long, fried or boiled delicious soups, satays, roast suckling pig, oyster omelette, bean curd stuffed with pork and vegetables, fried intestine of pig, seafood dishes and Malay and Indian curries.
Down the end of the street the hawkers were entertaining. One man was demonstrating virility by drinking one of his potions. His tirade was intermittently interrupted as he smashed bricks with his hands. The crowd loved it. Nearby a man was demonstrating wigs. He singled out David, who had a beard, to demonstrate a long blond hair wig. Deftly the man combed the hair into numerous styles whilst talking rapidly in Chinese, creating a laugh a minute and cat calls from the crowd. Unperturbed, David spun around showing himself like a mannequin. Over the way was a guy extolling the virtues of certain products that had aphrodisiac properties whilst letting a snake wind around his neck as his group stood fascinated. His weird goodies and porn were doing a brisk trade.
About 10.00 pm. many of the locals were going. Suddenly tables were clothed in tablecloths and menus switched, prices trebled. Europeans after a good time came to gawk and wait. Slowly infiltrating, the crowd were handsome looking “females” who in slow motion strutted with seeming indifferance. A sailor goes up to one “prostitute”, offers a fag, then both disappear into the shadows. I couldn't believe it when David mentioned that these “wax models” were guys, the famous notorious, fascinating, transvestites. Until after midnight, the street was like a mixture of Kings Cross and a German drinking hall as people drank and sang.
Finally, about 1.00 a m., people began drifting away. The street becomes empty once more except for the occasional body sleeping on the footpath and the dim glow of the lone lamp of a tea stall.
|MAY 16||Some time ago, Malcolm Noble wrote a magazine article about his intrepid trip to climb Changabang. This mountain is in the Nanda Devi area of Northern India (not Nepal). His slides are as spectacular as his article sounded.|
|MAY 23||Before they settled into a quieter life, Dot and Alan Pike did a lot of travelling. I have it on good authority that Alan's Middle East slides are excellent. What sounded particularly interesting were those of Babylon in Iraq .. a very little visited area by Australians.|
|MAY 30||The Noble family figures in a big way on this programme. John Noble, John Redfern and Craig Austin are going to combine forces to present a photographic exhibition of walking scenes. In particular, I know that John has some photographs of Colong Caves taken in the forties. Craig also has photographs of New Zealand fjords. Apart from these, the three of them have a lot more to show you.|
From Mar to September (the “dry” months), Australian Whitewater Expeditions are planning 10 treks over the Kokoda Trail, New. Guinea. Cost of the 16 day walk is $575 per person, Port Moresby return. To this should be added the $307 air fare from Sydney.
Further details from A.W.E., Suite 3, 2 Macpherson Street, Cremorne Junction, 2090 Tel. 908-3553.
(George Davison, as most member know, has done much work for S.B.W. at Coolana. As well as surveying our boundaries, Mr. Davison has been largely responsible for our acquiring the lease of the strip of land with the beautiful rock shelf that now forms a natural boundary for our land.
Dot Butler first met Mr. Davison at a Quaker meeting in 1970 when she was giving a lecture on the Australian Andean Expedition. On hearing of our newly acquired land in Kangaroo Valley and being a retired Government Surveyor, Mr. Davison offered us any help we needed in surveying and locating the boundaries. His offer was accepted and over the past nine years his help has been invaluable. Two years ago, Mr. Davison donated $500 to the George and Mary Davison Trust Funds, the interest from which goes to Coolana. Editor.)
23rd March, 1979
“Dear Madam President,
Judging from your very professional magazine, the Bushwalking Club seems to be a very happy organisation and everybody seems to be enjoying themselves. I hope that will extend for many many years.
I have been happy to help with my knowledge of Lands Department procedures and surveying. Coolana is in a satisfactory condition and things are now stabilised and your Faunal Reserve would appear to be there for all time. To that end I am now donating another $500 to the George and Mary Davison Fund for Conservation so that the interest will help to pay future rates.
I celebrated my 90th birthday last month and will now go for the 100. From my window I see plenty of bushland life. A mob of chirriwaks are camped in the trees making a terrible racket and two bluies come every day to the balcony for bread soaked in sugar-water.
GEORGE E. DAVISON.
Chirriwaks - kurrawongs
Bluies - blue bellied lorrikeets (what a horrible name for a lovely bird)
(In the usual rush to get the Annual Report together, the magazine report was accidentally left out. Editor.)
As “A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bushwalkers”, the magazine has fulfilled its function. However, as a chronicle of club walks, it has failed because of the very few trip stories submitted. Throughout the year, the magazine has had to rely on a handful of members who regularly submit articles, with virtually no new members contributing.
The production of the magazine continues to be the work of a small group, who, despite problems with the duplicating machine this year, has enjoyed the job.
LAMINGTON NATIONAL PARK
A chance to see the finest Australia has to offer
MAY (School Holidays) 5th to the 20th
Programmed walks are medium graded with a car base camp at “O'Reily's”
LEADER Victor Lewin Phone: 50 4096 (H)
by Barbara Bruce.
It was the Australia Day weekend when Bob Hodgson, Bob Milne, Barry Wallace and myself set out to explore the canyons in the Wollangambe wilderness area - Yarramun and Dumbano.
Everyone knows it rained on Friday night and Saturday, so everyone would understand how it was not hard to pass some of Saturday away in the luxury of the “Bilpin Hilton”, property of the Hodgson 'millionaires'. Late on Saturday afternoon, however, some consciences seethed to awake and stir and eventually come to life, so it was agreed to visit John and Heather White, as they lived en route to our destination of Shay Ridge.
I am assured that the bleakness of the Mt Tomah weather is typical of that location. It did, however, contrast appropriately with the warmth of welcome by John and Heather who, after treating us to coffee and biscuits, showed us around the more accessible areas of their property. All too soon the need to reach a campsite in daylight forced us to make a move.
Three hours later we had settled at a creekside camp, after a fruitless search for caves. The rain then sent us to bed early, while Bob continued to play us tunes on his harmonica.
On Sunday morning, after a late breakfast, we stumbled along the Wollangambe River through sections of knee-deep quicksand and discovered a huge, sandy-bottomed cave which will be ideal for future parties. We continued upstream to the Wollongambe Crater, while the sun peeped shyly from behind the clouds. Barry and Bob amicably debated the meteoric origins of the Crater, finally agreeing to differ.
By lunchtime we had reached Yarramun Creek and made camp near the entrance to Yarramun Canyon, as again we could find no cave. During the afternoon we explored this pretty canyon and saw many yabbies. There were lots of minnows and tadpoles too, and a couple of frogs. The water was very cool indeed, which really made me shift through it, come my turn to swim.
When on Monday we set off to go up Dumbano Canyon I felt I had a bit of an idea of what to expect - oh yeah? I'm sure Barry ended up having to push me along at least half of it, when I wasn't bravely trying to swim, as I found short legs certainly have their shortcomings in canyons. And what about the two occasions when I could see no way out at all? Well, apparently this was merely a case of the impossible taking longer to achieve, with Bob in the lead.
At the end my muscles were starting to cry with fatigue, but the agonies of slippery, awkward climbs were forgotten as I warmed inwardly with Earl Grey tea and outwardly from the heat of our little fire. And as I rinsed at least half a tonne of sand from my socks and sandshoes, I wondered how I hadn't sunk.
Exhausted as I may have been after it all, I know I'll go back for more, as all in all 'twas a very enjoyable weekend.
As Club Laureate, I hereby publish the results of the Poetry Competition. Entries were varied as you can see, but only the best have been included here; all poems are initialled (I have the Proper Names in my Safe Deposit. Wouldn't want them stolen!) The comments are done in a flippant manner so the authors and authoresses shouldn't take offence. Lastly, the prize is not being awarded, because friends dropped in and we drank it.
Boronia is a smelly bush
I pick alone and never with push
Then to my puppy I say “moosh”
And he breaks the shrub with a mighty “whoosh”.
There is something wrong with your grammar, and obviously you are not conservation minded.
I'm not a hairy Aryan
Or a noble Hungarian
Not even a Barbarian
I'm a nonvegetarian
Your verse is terse and your rhythm worse. 4½ lines foul it up too. Haven't you any literary friends to help you?
Beware of Christine Austin, folks
She has a strange idea of jokes
Five ton boulders she pries and pokes
And rolls them onto girls and blokes.
Interesting in its historical value. Incidentally, it was the only poem received with a name in it. Quite an honour. I gave this to a psychiatrist and he advises the writer to take lots of Valium.
Never walk with a giggling gertie
Never walk with anyone shertie
Never walk with anyone dirty
I wish I was young and not over 30.
I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiments. That touch of nostalgia breaks up the rhythm and has lateral thinking all through it. The last line made me cry. Also, Webster's doesn't have the last word in the 2nd line, therefore, you have not read the rules closely.
Across that river where Charon's boat it,
Or the Garden of Eden,, or the Land of the Lotis.
Wherever you're sent; by popular vote is
Bushwalkers are King Pins.
This entry is very good. The ONLY one to include a signature. I particularly like the way you have spread Heaven, Hell and Purgatory over 3 different cultures, and religions, AND woven them amongst the different millennia. Jim, please check your spelling of Lotus.
Walking makes me healthy and thin.
Out Canberra way (let mystery begin)
I fell and damaged my hip, shoulder and shin.
A perfect place to go for a spin.
Anybody who lives in Canberra deserves whatever he gets.
On a walk, don't think of sex
(If I do, I take a Bex)
On my system it makes checks,
So other muscles I do flex.
Quite clever, but not in keeping with the tone of this magazine. SHAME.
Eat no mush, never rush
And you will find that life is lush.
This is woeful. Puerile. The rules stated 4 lines. Your I.Q. must be nihil.
On a walk I never talk.
And Diff cliffs I never balk.
All I ever eat is pork,
And as for drink- pop goes the cork.
What an admission! You deserve to be thrown out of the Club. Or thrown to the lions for that matter.
Just past Kanangra, Aboriginals I saw.
Explorers followed with their axe and saw.
Bushwalkers scurrying with feet all sore.
I gave a “Mopoke” and continued to soar.
A touch of genius. I like this whole idea the composition and your style. You have kept it simple and yet have taken us on a flight, down the centuries. Full marks!
The Prospectives? I try to wean 'em
Away from cleanliness. Why, I've seen 'em
Scrub outside their Billies when trying to clean them.
Obviously, they're lower than, a snakes duodenum.
Also full marks for being topical, but terribly inaccurate. Quite a nice first attempt. You should go far. Preferably to the Himalayas.
ON TAKING TAKING COMPASS BEARINGS
If you have a hacking cOUGH
Steady your compass on a bOUGH
And even though the country's rOUGH
You'll all be led quite safely thrOUGH
This is very good. It never ceases to amaze, the variety and quality of the S.B.W. members' contributions. By your choice of subject, clearly you must never be lost or delayed; doubtless you would never have an accident.
If they couldn't have popped her
In the helicopter
After the stone copped her,
Down a cliff they should have dropped her.
I don't get the meaning of this one. Clever in its rhyming, though. You sound quite callous and unloved.
A Perfect word picture and not at all cluttered. Full marks.
Addendum: If you wish your poem to be printed, just send it in to the Club Laureate. Conform to the rules though.
The meeting commenced at about 2019 hours with 40 members present and the expiring President in the Chair. There were apologies from Hans Stichter, Gordon Redmond, Marion Ellis and others. The sole new member, Stephen Green, was welcomed in the traditional way with badge, constitution and hand claps. Minutes of the previous general meeting were read and received without comment. Correspondence in included the usual magazines and circulars, together with a letter from the Electricity Commission of New South Wales regarding the H.T. line easement across Coolana, a letter from Mr. Mulock, the N.S.W. Minister for Planning and Environment acknowledging receipt of our letter about the Ettrema wilderness and promising an answer. Correspondence out included our letter to Mr. Mulock, a letter to the new member and a letter of thanks to the N.S.W. Police Commissioner.
Annual Reports were then taken as read and received by the meeting. The Treasurer then placed before the meeting a letter from the Auditor regarding a $1,000.00 investment for the Coolana account and requesting motions to the following effect:
(a) Coolana Committee to accept income and authorise recurrent expenditure up to $500.00.
(b) General Committee to authorise acceptance of loans, capital expenditure and any expenditure of amounts exceeding $500.00.
Motions were duly proposed, discussed and passed.
A motion to suspend standing orders to permit annual elections was passed and the results have appeared in the March magazine. Subscription rates were set at: single member $10.50, married couple $12.50 and students $6.50. So make the Treasurer happy; pay now and create a rush.
Then came the Treasurer's monthly report to indicate a starting balance of $1,474.69, income of $63.15, expenditure of $209.02 and a closing balance of $1,382.18.
The Walks Report came and went among the various votes and I missed it all.
Federation report brought news of a search and rescue alert during the month and the proposed focus of conservation effort on the Colo and South West Tasmania.
General Business there was none, but there was a warning that the opposition to roads in the proposed Ettrema wilderness area could be expensive in terms of legal costs.
Then it was just a matter of the announcements and the meeting closed at about 2228 hours.
“And apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?”, the President Lincoln's wife was asked after the assassination. I suppose a similar question could be asked of me with regard to Pat's Barrington Tops walk one February weekend.
There was a long, wet climb up the steep road from Lagoon Pinch late Friday night and that “why am I doing this?” feeling. The next day was most enjoyable for we rose above the mist and drizzle to the varied scenery of Edwards Plains. There was evidence of wild pigs in the area and one was sighted. Jumping the swamp stream provided considerable entertainments and the campfire in the evening was one I will remember for the discussions, yarns, laughter, and that feeling you have after a good day's walk.
We set off early on Sunday morning for, as Pat had told us many times, it was going to be a long day. He was quite right. It was. We were approaching the Allyn River when a rock rolled behind me and broke my leg. A helicopter rescue in the early afternoon proved unsuccessful and I was carried out in a stretcher - an exhaustive business for those in the party, who eventually arrived back in Sydney at 7 a m. Monday, after what could only be described as “A Long Day's Journey into Night.”
The following ten days I spent in Maitland Hospital. I was pleased to receive flowers and mail from Sydney, and also visitors - a long journey, particularly when the entertainment on arrival was not remarkable. My efforts to be transferred to a Sydney Hospital were met with frustration until I 'attacked' the Matron who happened to pass by. She listened sympathetically, then said “I know. I was a prisoner of the Japanese for four years. I know how it is.” I didn't wish it to sound that bad.
However, I was transferred, the bones re-set, and I awoke to a new ward. I did not have time to knit coat hanger covers for charity as did my neighbour, for I had many visitors and the days went quickly. I'm sure I was the only one in the hospital who had bananas, plums, apples, grapes, oranges and peaches in every drawer of the locker. First steps on crutches were not easy and I do believe they should be approached in similar manner to the Ten Commandments - no more than six to be attempted at a time.
If I were to thank people for their assistance from the time of the accident, onward, I would not know where to begin and end. It is comforting to know that help is at hand when you need it.
On 26th March, many members heard over the radio of the accident in which Rod Peters was injured. Here are some more details.
Rod's story began on mid-day on Sunday 25th March as a party of Canberra Bush Walkers were resting in Jones Creek (a tributary of Ettrema) just below the top waterfall. Without any apparent reason, rocks fell from the cliff 30 metres above and landed on some of the party. A girl was hit on the arm (the arm later proved to be broken) and Rod was hit, by a foot-ball-sized rock, on the pelvis. Rod found he could not even stand with his injury, let alone walk, so leaving two men behind as company, the remainder of the party set out to get help.
The party was unable to contact any help from Nerriga, so proceeded to Braidwood, where they rang Canberra's S & R contact, who in turn phoned A.C.T. Police Search and Rescue Squad who elected to call in a helicopter.
Back in Jones Creek, Rod and friends spent the night under an overhang. At first light a helicopter arrived overhead. With difficulty, Rod's two companions carried him over boulders for about 20 metres to a more exposed spot. The helicopter made an unsuccessful attempt to come up the creek to this spot, off-loaded three personnel on a cliff above to reduce weight, and tried again. Although it got no closer, it lowered a doctor and stretcher, then moved to, and hovered above, a spot 50 metres above.
The doctor gave Rod a pain-killing injection, some field-dressing, strapped him into a banana stretcher and warned him he may spin a little. The lift began, and so did the spinning, half way up Rod had already lost consciousness. Because of the vortex effect in the box-canyon from the rotating helicopter blades, and the upwind in the canyon itself, he spun at an alarming speed. The helicopter crew were unable to grab the stretcher with Rod because of the spin, and had to lower it to the canyon floor again, deliberately banging it against some rocks on its descent in an effort to counteract the spin.
When Rod reached the canyon floor again, he was bleeding from the nose and ears from the spinning. Another crewman was lowered, and he and the others carried the unconscious Rod downstream to a spot where the helicopter could get a little lower. From here he was successfully, but still not without some spinning, lifted into the helicopter, and the dash to Canberra Hospital began.
The centrifuge effect by spinning had forced the blood to Rod's head and feet, and away from the centre of his body, but as the doctor was unable to ask Rod his blood group, no transfusion could be given en-route.
The girl with the broken arm, who had walked out was at Canberra Hospital having her arm set when the helicopter landed, She was amazed to see her friend (whom she had left looking reasonably fit) now unconscious, purple-faced and oxygen-masked, being rushed past her to the intensive care unit. She was able to give the hospital some details about Rod, for his name was not even known, while he was x-rayed all over. X-rays showed his hip bone had been chipped, but that he had no other major injuries from the falling rocks.
Rod gained consciousness about mid-day Monday, to find himself, a medical curiosity. It was claimed no one has ever been spun at such high speed before (or ever survived it if she/he has!) The helicopter crew estimated that he was spinning at 5 revolutions a second, with his head and feet subjected to 60 gs (60 times the force of gravity). He has been visited by every type of doctor and specialist you can think of, photographed daily from every angle, and his case will be written up in at least one medical journal. When the hospital staff finally allowed Rod to look in a mirror, he saw that his face and neck were bright red. (They still are, and with the green of his irises his eyes are a technicolour wonder).
Rod is now out of hospital. His hearing has been damaged in the high frequency range, but as he calmly and philosophically remarked “I was going to buy myself more sensitive stereo equipment, but now I won't need to.” In fact, Rod only has one complaint. When he arrived at hospital, his clothes were cut from his body to avoid moving him and causing further internal injuries. On being released, not only was he given his clothes, in pieces, in a plastic bag, but had to sign a receipt for them.
WANTED: Bushwalker to share a flat at Bondi Junction; fully furnished, own sunny room, harbour views, close to shops and transport and railway when it comes. ($35 per week). Ring Marion Lloyd 389-4416 (home) after 6 p m. or 861004 (any time) when I'm out - which is nearly always - and leave message.
STOP PRESS: The death occurred on Sunday 22nd April in the Grand Canyon of club member John Curedale aged 26. He slipped and fell about 10m while watching another party abseiling.