Established June 1931.
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476 G.P.O., Sydney, 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.45 pm at the Cahill Community Centre (Upper Hall), 34 Falcon Street, Crow's Nest.
|Editor||Ainslie Morris, 45 Austin Street, Lane Cove, 2066. Telephone 428 3178.|
|Business Manager||Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2118. Telephone 871 1207.|
|Production Manager||Helen Gray.|
|Printers||Fran Longfoot, Morag Ryder, Stan Madden & Ben Esgate.|
|From the President||Barbara Bruce||2|
|Conservation Page||Ainslie Morris||2|
|Has Conservation Gone Off Course?||Ronald Knightley||4|
|“I Was There”||Patrick James||7|
|“Rhymes of the Times” - 3, 4 & 5||Jim Brown||8|
|Bush Preservation - Self Preservation||Ben Esgate||9|
|Membership List - Alterations||9|
|The Great Snake Debate||Ainslie Morris||10|
|Reunion 1986||Helen Gray||13|
|The 1986 Annual General Meeting||Barry Wallace||15|
|Notes of Committee Meeting 2/4/86||17|
|Social Notes for May||Narelle Lovell||18|
|Walk Notice - Urgent!||Geoff Grace||18|
|Annual Subscription 1986||18|
|Eastwood Camping Centre||12|
|Canoe & Camping, Gladesville||16|
If you were at the Annual General Meeting on 12th March what I am about to say will sound familiar. However, if you weren't, you'd be interested in what I have to say because it is to bring you up to date with what's happening in the Club's affairs.
As you would be aware, we are preparing to incorporate, some advantages of this being -
To become incorporated we need to fulfill certain obligations and to this end Barrie Murdoch has prepared a draft for a new Constitution. The Committee has considered this draft over three meetings, making changes where it considers relevant, such as adding or altering clauses.
When the final draft Constitution is available, a copy will be sent to everyone, probably with the magazine, and an Extraordinary General Meeting will be called. More meetings may be necessary. When this has been accepted, the Club can apply for incorporation.
In the meantime, the current Constitution applies.
Personal Accident Insurance, as agreed in principle at the December General Meeting, has still to be considered in detail by the Committee.
At the Annual General Meeting members also decided to revert to the Monthly General Meeting, feeling that in this way they are kept more informed of the business of the Club. Hope to see you there!
Barbara Bruce, President.
by Ainslie Morris.
This is a new regular feature of our magazine. Contributions welcome.
Ben Esgate was to be seen on ABC T.V. on the “7.30 Report” on Tuesday, 25th March. Sickness and pollution in the Blue Mountains are reaching scandal proportions, or at least, the television news.
The problem is that effluent - Sewage to you - is partially treated daily and let out into the creeks from towns which are growing rapidly. The sewerage system is antiquated, badly maintained, with concrete pipes in poor shape, sewage can be seen bubbling out of the cracks. For example, untreated sewage beside Leura Falls Creek goes into the Kedumba Valley and eventually into the Cox's River and Warragamba Dam. The Grose River and its tributaries are similarly polluted.
What does this mean? The E. Coli count should be 0 per 100 ml; counts of 20,000 per 100 ml. are common. E. Coli causes diarrhoea and sickness when you drink polluted unboiled water.
The solution? Ask the Metropolitan Water, Sewerage and Drainage Board. In the meantime, treat polluted water by boiling for at least 3 minutes and adding a purifier tablet. Check maps carefully to see where creeks rise.
One of the three last wilderness stands of temperate forest of World Heritage listing standard includes Farmhouse Creek. This area is a “buffer” and is wilderness just as much as the “core”. If damaged by roads or logging, it ceases to be a buffer to the core, so the core gets smaller as its edges become the buffer. Follow?
The Wilderness Society makes two points not reported in the news media:
If you like your wilderness, write to:
Mr. Kerin, Minister for Primary Industry,
Every cry in the wilderness helps!
And while you've got pen and paper out, how about another letter to Mr. Kerin, M.P. for Eden-Monaro, on the matter of - woodchips or water?
The Federal Government will decide in the next few months on the extension of the license beyond 1989 of Harris-Daishowa (Australia) Pty.Ltd. (Japanese owned) and others in N.S.W. and Victoria.
South Coast environment groups are concerned that their water supply from the Tantawangalo Creek catchment could be reduced greatly by woodchip logging. This creek is the main water supply of Merimbula, Pambula, Pambula Beach, Candelo, Wolumba and sometimes Eden. The 5,500 permanent residents and 20,000 summer tourists rely on it.
The Coolangubra forest is a habitat of world significance for tree-living marsupials - especially yellow-bellied glider possums, one of Australia's most spectacular. Can they withstand the clear-felling of coupes (blocks of 50-100 hectares) as is done for wood-chipping? Or any logging at all?
Please add the following names to your List of Members:
by Ronald Knightley.
As old hands would expect from Alex Colley, his February article on the Hon. Bob Carr's January address to S.B.W. was accurate, discerning and highly readable. And yet, to me at least, it neglected the most significant comment of the evening, which was the Minister's lament towards its close, “This evening has not been at all as I expected it would be… I thought I would be amongst friends.” He would do well to ponder on that remark and its possible significance for the future of conservation.
S.B.W. rightly prides itself on its achievements in the conservation field. North Era, Garrawarra, Blue Gum Forest, Coolana, the foundation of the National Parks Association of N.S.W. and the drafting of the National Parks and Wildlife Act are but examples of achievements in which, as a club, we played a sole or significant role. Many individual members have engaged in activities above and beyond their membership of the Club, such that no less than four of them have figured in official honours lists, Alex himself among them.
What does it mean, therefore, when the Minister for Planning and the Environment appears to find us a hostile audience?
With admirable clarity and suitably muted pride the Minister outlined the achievements and plans of his government and himself, plus his personal victories in recent ministerial power struggles, particularly with the Minister for Natural Resources, then the Hon. Mrs. Janice Crosio. It was in the ensuing question time that the music turned to discord.
The Minister's first questioner was a long-time ski tourer who wanted to know: now that it is obvious that the Kosciusko ski-tube will cost astronomically more than the government estimates on which its initiation was based (as we said in advance, his questioner alleged), how will the government honour its promise that the skiers themselves would not be economically penalised? The Minister's response about the likely environmental costs of alternatives like “wall to wall car parks in Perisher Valley” avoided reference to the alleged promise; and I found myself wandering what corner of the ecology might be suffering under the tens of thousands of tonnes of rock being tunnelled out.
To the next barbed question I personally confess: noting the spreading square kilometres of blackened feather-duster forests left by successive major bushfires in the national parks (looking worse than the reafforested areas of the wood-chippers and limestone miners, I suggested), and noting that Mrs. Crosio's state forests have been virtually free of this scourge for more than a decade, what plans are there for future prevention of these ecological disasters? The Minister described various lines of research and experiment; but indicated that the problem remained a problem.
This triggered a question on a recent bushfire between Mts. Wilson and Tomah, in which a particular forest of beautiful gum trees had been decimated. What plans exist for replanting? None yet, it seemed; which projected Ben Esgate into a typically erudite discourse on the finer points of eucalyptus cultivation.
Another questioner adverted to Mr. Carr's reference to 100,000 pigs in Kosciusko National Park. “What are you doing about them,” she wanted to know. This really got me thinking. On my most recent visit to the Snowy Mountains, I had seen that pig-rooting is leaving bigger and more-intractable scars than any that I saw in those far-off sheep and cattle days. What have we done? Kicked out the graziers, just to let the pigs in? Is that conservation?
Even the president of Federation, in his private capacity as an S.B.W. member, had a barb to cast. How was it that the only rangers he ever saw in national parks were driving around in off-road vehicles? Did this square off with the government's recent subjection of the public to state-wide statutory discipline of off-roaders?
There were other questions, too; and they were nearly all barbed. As I left that evening my impression was, like the Minister's, that he was not among friends. Alex's article, refreshing my memory, widened my concerns.
The Minister announced his support for a State Wilderness Act. What need would the community see for yet another conservation act? Are there not sufficient powers in the N.P.W. Act? To illustrate my point, the Kanangra Boyd - Blue Mountains - Wollemi national parks form an almost continuous blanket over Sydney's hinterland, stretching hundreds of kilometres from Wombeyan Caves to Singleton. The N.P.W.S. has already announced that 90 per cent of this vast area will be “managed” as wilderness (which sets me wondering why it was not proclaimed wilderness area under the powers already existing in the N.P.W. Act). If this can be done, would it not be more appropriate merely to amend the existing Act, if wider powers are in fact needed?
Alex reported Mr. Carr as aiming “to preserve a small part of the State essentially as it was when Europeans first stepped on our shores”. There are few if any areas in such condition, for Nature herself has rung the changes. To give just a few examples. Who, now, can run full tilt down Strongleg or the Wild Dogs, or do a pre-lunch dash from Cloudmaker to the Cox-Kowmung junction, as we old wrinklies did in our youth? You might just as well try to run through a bamboo jungle. Who can scree-run from atop Mt. Ayr to Bungonia Creek in minutes, or similarly from King Pin to the Shoalhaven? No more can we enjoy those glorious swims in Lake Louise, for it no longer exists. Remember the beautiful grass flats of our reunions at Woods Creek, eclipsed by the encroaching cutty grass? Reserve, yes; but let us not delude ourselves that the ecology, left to itself, is immutable.
On the Minister's reference to Reagan's reversal of Carter's conservationism I have this to offer: the U.S.A. electorate gave Reagan a mandate to continue, by electing him for a further term!
Mr. Carr's words on the environmental plan for the Kosciusko surrounds set me wondering: is it right that the people of Sydney and elsewhere should dictate, through Macquarie Street, how the people of Jindabyne, etc. should govern their lives? On consulting the document itself, I applauded its philosophical objectives but found its detailed provisions hauntingly redolent of the type of Big-Brother government that I have personally witnessed in the euphemistically-labelled “Centrally Planned Economies”.
Alex reported that the I.U.C.N. rated “our system” as one of the five best in the world. Regrettably, I would not rate our National Parks and Wildlife Service so highly. I would rate the services in Queensland, South Australia and Victoria ahead, while personal observation overseas leads me to higher ratings for Canada, Japan, Kenya, New Zealand, U.S.A. and Zambia at least. Let me hasten, however, to defend the Service in N.S.W. I believe it to be in total overload through massive creation of national parks, etc. without matching increase in staffing and finance. The overload is illustrated by such matters as inviting amateurs and academics to draft some of the plans of management required under the Act, while the draft plans for the Kanangra-Boyd, Blue Mountains and Wollemi national parks appear to have been postponed indefinitely.
The reference to Mr. Wran as a “dedicated conservationist” intrigued me. This is the self-same Neville Wran who directed the N.P.W.S. to rewrite its Corporate Plan after declaring Labor to be “adamant in opposing” much of the Lewis government's conservation policy! I still have the quoted words, in typing, over Mr. Wran's personal signature.
Listening to Mr. Carr on the night and thinking over it since, I could not but remark the striking similarity between his pronouncements, now, and those of the Hon. Mr. Tom Lewis in those heady 1970's days when we all thought that Mr. Lewis was the Creator's greatest gift to conservationists; and of the similarity between Mr. Carr's recent Coalition quotes and Labor's adamant opposition in those times. Nor could I help remembering how roundly the electorate consigned the Lewis government to past history.
I am left, therefore, with two worrisome thoughts. In the last 25 years, conservationists have become organised and vociferous. But will we have the great, silent majority of the electorate with us in the 1988 or earlier elections? Or will it, as in the U.S.A., think that we are going too far, too fast and seek to redress our former gains? If conservationists have stirred up the thousands of four-wheel drivers and the even more numerous fishermen, and if even S.B.W. bares its teeth to the Minister most responsible, does the government's current conservation policy have any real friends left, apart from a few vocal radicals?
And even worse: if, for example, we are really opening up Kosciusko to the pigs and other national parks to bushfires instead of people, have we even convinced ourselves that conservation is going in all the right directions?
10 seater mini bus taxi. 041-87 8366.
Kanagra Boyd. Upper Blue Mountains. Six Foot Track.
Pick up anywhere for start or finish of your walk - by prior arrangement.
Share the fare - competitive rates.
by Patrick James.
Herewith is an eyewitness account of the Peter Miller birthday weekend and cultural workshop written by an attendee who was there and who saw nearly everything; however, some literary licence has been used. The venue for the weekend was the left bank of the Shoalhaven River at Long Point; down the hill, turn left, walk 1000 metres then flop down. The basic, underlying, fundamental reason for the gathering was the n+1th birthday of young Peter Miller combined with a saints and sinners gourmet repast (don't confuse this with a meal attended by gourmet saints and gourmet sinners).
As the 18 of us started out from the top of Long Point we met an interesting group of young men and a woman all dressed in the finest jungle green the disposal shops can offer and each equipped with a machete. Some machetes were attached to the belt while others showed more imagination or simply more attention to Hollywood detail, i.e. strapped to the back a la Robin Hood's arrows. One small machete was secured upside down over the left breast - ready for a quick draw, or if not careful, an unplanned mastectomy.
Our campsite was prepared under the watchful eyes of the birthday boy, a well-cleared area with nothing but dirt to sit on and the firewood heap outside the light of the fire so that at night only the fearless, the reckless or the torch-lighted could get extra fuel. The cultural aspect of the weekend started at 3 pm or, as the machete men would no doubt say, 1500 hours. At least, I think it started at about 3 pm, I did take notes but as the function progressed the notes became shorter and less and less legible so now I'm working from my photographic, eyewitness memory.
Some time before it got dark the gourmet spread was spread. Thirty dishes were presented for our mutual approval together with a number of red and white wines and after dinner port. A hangi was prepared on the river bank that afternoon and served at dusk. A hangi for the non-cultural is kiwi for crock pot: heated stones are placed in a hole in the ground, then food wrapped in banana leaves or alfoil is placed on top, then more hot stones to cover the food. The whole lot is left to cool down or cook. Long pig can be cooked this way.
Sometime in the afternoon our party members adjourned to their tents to dress-up in order to act out their fantasies of saints and sinners. The fancy dress showed imagination and daring. Seductive dresses, lacy knickers and well-filled tights come to mind as well as Father Christmas and Saint Sebastian transfixed with arrows and dripping tomato blood.
After a couple of drinks to aid night vision the saints and sinners went off to visit two nearby groups of fellow campers; a herd of boy guides and the machete men. I did not go but volunteered to stay behind and keep the possums from the food and drink. Eyewitnesses to this visit (the visitors, not the visitees) say they were well received and that they managed to enter the machete men's camp unchallenged and without being mistaken for sugarcane.
Interesting items of gear observed on the weekend were Uta's glow-in-the-dark shoelaces, very handy aiming marks when going to the loo in the dark. The other new piece of gear was a mono-bra, a supplement to normal wear. In this case the extra item was not on the back for dancing but mounted between the chin and the navel and contained a 35 mm SLR with 80-500 mm zoom lens, tripod, spare film and portable darkroom. Very ingenious.
The party broke camp on Sunday afternoon, climbed the 600 metres to the cars and had dinner in Mittagong. The weekend raises three questions:
by Jim Brown.
Can be sung to “The Vicar of Bray”.
The Constitution is a mess
So often patched and mended,
And even Presidents confess
The rules are sometimes bended.
But now we have this massive screed
That turns the whole lot over,
And if we adopt it, why, indeed,
We may end up in clover.
So very few of members know
The Constitution's contents,
And of the few who've read it through
Some felt it was all nonsense.
But now we have this massive screed…. etc.
This new proposal is complex
So few will comprehend it.
A legal eagle it would vex
Should we have to amend it.
For now we have a massive screed
So full of Information,
And if we adopt it, it may lead
To our Incorporation.
Can be sung to “The Little Plough Boy”.
For years we've shown endurance
And wandered here and there,
But now we'll have Insurance
That covers everywhere.
If you should bust an ankle
Or break a shoulder blade,
Those costs that used to rankle
Will all be smartly paid.
If from a ledge you tumble
Or meet a rolling stone,
Or on a cliff-face fumble
You're not out on your own.
If we believe this talking
We're covered from the womb
(Provided we're out walking)
Until we reach the tomb.
[ Illustration by Helen Gray of a bushwalking falling off a cliff clutching an insurance policy and saying “Don't worry! I'm insured.” ]
Can be sung to “Blowing in the Wind”.
How many reams of A4 must we use?
And how many litres of ink?
How many times must we publish the news?
Before it will drive us to drink?
How many drawings and maps must we fuse
Before we will shrivel and shrink?
The answer, my friends, is not many more,
The answer is not many more.
How many pages will be smudged or torn?
And how many tossed in the waste?
How many walkers, young or unborn
Will dabble in oil or in paste?
How many printers tired and forlorn
Will off-set in desperate haste?
The answer, my friends, is many, many more. The answer is many, many more.
by Ben Esgate.
I have been invited by your Committee to put a bush fire instructional on in the June-August programme.
So, gallopers - trotters - plodders - swimmers - walkers, the following will be a rough guide to the programme.
The instructional will be about down-to-earth-nitty-gritty bushcraft, not high tech, which is far too bulky to carry in your pack. The needs are simple and best carried in your brain, backed by some personal instructional experience behind it, plus common sense.
The programme involves some of each of the following:- basic geology, common bush botany, related ecology, some topographic values, and weather conditions, all leading to fire behaviour. This brings about the need for fire prevention, and fire control where possible.
This instructional may have to be in at least two sessions, one a camp-out for the campers, and the other a day for the non-campers and others. Remember, all who use the bush for pleasure this is a bush first aid. There will be no load to carry, and the aim is to try and keep our fauna and bushland alive and beautiful - as well as your self!
You may wish to alter your list with the corrections below. If aware of errors, please notify:
1. The Secretary, Greta Davis - phone 398 4053.
2. The Editor, Ainslie Morris - 428 3178 (if you want your correction published in the magazine).
Cornell, Don and Jenny - phone (075) 53 3427.
Gillezeau, Anton - 45 Austin Street, Lane Cove, 2066 - phone 428 3178.
Madden, Jenny - Deceased.
McLean, Jan - 5/2 NOT 5/7.
Willis, Lynn - 5/94 NOT 5/24.
Putt, Colin & Jane - phone (02)476 4253.
by Ainslie Morris.
Dr. Doug Wheen, bushwalker and active member of the Search and Rescue team, gave an excellent talk on Bush First Aid to a very well-attended meeting on 26th February. By inviting the audience to answer his questions it was able to boast a good deal of shared knowledge. It is up to each individual to be sure he or she knows all of the first aid information.
A question on snake bite and its treatment was asked, with reference to the statement in the February magazine (Now What? page 15) that the venom should not be washed off.
Dr. Wheen gave an opinion that it should be washed off if water is readily available. As this opinion contradicts the St. John Ambulance book's advice, and as some people think that St. John Ambulance's advice and courses are not applicable to bushwalkers, a debate seemed to be emerging.
The St. John Ambulance book and course are on First Aid, meaning that it is assumed that you are in the bush, at the beach, on the road, and far from immediate expert medical help. YOU become the FIRST medical helper, so you'd better get your facts straight and not rely on “common sense” (so often “common nonsence”) in a life-threatening situation. Such as venomous snake-bite or spider-bite!
The Reptile Department of Taronga Zoo, Sydney, was contacted by the writer, and an expert on snakes told me to leave the venom on!
1. It will not do any harm.
Most of the venom is in already. If you are a real expert on snake identification and are certain it is a brown snake - which can look like a harmless tree snake or a venomous tiger snake - then the puncture is shallow and you can wash it off - or leave it on, because you're not an expert, are you?
2. It will crystallize and detoxify in about 10 minutes - maybe 5 minutes, up to 30 minutes. So it becomes harmless, no matter how long it is left on.
3. At the hospital, even days later, the crystals (like sugar) can be scraped off and the sample tested for a specific antivenene (or antivenin). This is more effective than a polyvenene.
The most up-to-date treatment, the expert said, was to apply a pressure bandage quickly to the bitten area. Then tie firmly your crepe bandages to the the limb from the armpit or groin down. This would push the lymph which carries the venom downwards. (Note that the St. John book 1985 says to bind from the bite down to the extremities and then up to the armpit or groin.) Keep the limb down. Splint to prevent muscle movement which would push the lymph up.
Do NOT remove the bandaging or loosen it, even over days, as this could cause death. It will be removed at the hospital when suitable treatment is available.
Very sudden onset of symptoms is a feature: Be ready for collapse of breathing, which could occur 5 minutes to half hour after the bite; individuals vary. The bite is very painful, and shock is to be expected. (It sounded like our expert had had first-hand experience! He said great care is taken at the Zoo NOT to be bitten, as the bite leaves a scar, and the nervous system is damaged).
Replies in the great Snake Debate are welcome; please write to the Editor. (See Footnote - next page)
Footnote to “The Great Snake Debate”.
A check was also made with The Australian Museum, which referred me to a pamphlet “First Aid for Snake Bite in Australia” by Dr. S.K. Sutherland, published by the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories, 3rd Revision, 1985. He advises to leave the venom on.
For Winter Walks Programme - contact Carol Bruce 221 2855 (at work) no later than 1st May!!
Barbara Bruce has booked on this trip. She would like to have an S.B.W. group. Phone her!!. 546 6570. (H)
Great news! We have been given official permission by Ilai Naibosi and his family to prepare a package for the Bushwalking Tours he has been organising through the Fijian interior for the past 15 years. Each night on the trek is spent in a different, remote village, with the tour group eating and sleeping the way the villagers do and gaining direct experience of the village way of life. The trek is not of a particularly difficult standard with approximately 40 kilometres covered in the six days with horses carrying the gear. This should not discourage those energetic, for there are plenty of ways to exert yourself in the Fijian bush. A typical day will include two 2 hour stages of walking in between meals, each at a different village. Along the way there are streams and rivers to cool off in and nights will be spent enjoying Fijian hospitality and entertainment. At the end of the walk there is a two day stay in Suva, Fiji's capital and an optional extension to one of Fiji's famous Island Resorts.
A package has been prepared including economy return airfares, accommodation with air conditioning and private facilities in Nadi and Suva, shared accommodation on tapa mat floors in thatched huts in villages, all meals during walk from lunch Sunday to lunch Saturday, all airport transfers where required and bus transfer from Suva to Nadi. All this costs: from $875 ex Sydney, from $895 ex Brisbane, from $975 ex Melbourne.
Departures are available from Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne and the tour is available at any time of the year for a group of minimum 5 and up to approximately 30.
No poisonous snakes or spiders!
For more details ring or send this form to:
[ ] We feel we are not able to travel in 1986 but would be interested in 1987 so please keep us on the mailing list.
[ ] We are very interested in the 1986 tour so please send full details so we can plan ahead.
Your First Name:…. Surname:….
Phone: Home: ( )…. Work: ( )….
Roger Wettings or Matthew Giasheen
1st floor, 10 Martin Place
Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
Telephone: (02) 232 7244. Telex: AA24630.
Note. A $50 discount is available for club members and friends off the next trek - departing Sydney June 14.
Lightweight Tents - Sleeping Bags - Rucksacks - Climbing & Caving Gear - Maps - Clothing - Boots - Food.
Large Tents - Stoves - Lamps - Folding Furniture.
Paddymade - Karrimor - Berghaus - Hallmark - Bergans - Caribee - Fairydown - Silva - Primus - Companion - and all leading brands.
Proprietors: Jack & Nancy Fox. Sales Manager: David Fox.
Eastwood Canvas Good & Camping Supplies.
3 Trelawney St., Eastwood, NSW, 2122. Phone 858 2775.
by Helen Gray.
We Grays with Dot Butler arrived later than intended at Coolana, as is usual. There were diversions such as the St. Vincent de Paul at Bowral to replace forgotten hats (total cost, 90c) and for Dot to replenish her supply of “gardening” gloves (left-overs from the 50s, pearl buttons and all), and two stops for meat pies for Dot, whose taste buds still crave meat after a long stay with her vegetarian daughter. That's her excuse, anyway!
Kangaroo Valley shimmered in the heat as we arrived. We were in for a hot day. “Too hot to do any work now; we'll help later” we decided as we collapsed with heat on the terrace under the Davison Tree (above the hut), accepting glasses (yes! glasses!) of cold wine from the ever thoughtful Ray Hookway. Our feeble intentions were, I'm afraid, soon forgotten as more and more friends arrived and joined in the conversation. The Hodgsons and Vatiliotises had pooled their daughters on one rug and were reminiscing about the good old days, but none seemed the slightest bit unhappy about his/her present lot. Further down the hill near the river the Davidsons and their little boys and the Austins and their one-of-each were likewise thriving on their changed status, all of which was very encouraging to Steve and Jenny Brown whose first child is due in May.
However Fazeley, who had already contributed six nephews and friends to the gathering, suddenly took panic at the thought of little voices in the night and early morning, and pitched her tent well out of sight and sound. (In the wee small hours of Sunday a lone creature was heard stumbling around, tripping over tent ropes, and eventually Fazeley's soft voice was heard to say, “I've lost my tent!” John Redfern's voice replied from nearby, “It must be somewhere, Fazeley”. “I know,” she moaned, “but where?”)
Ainslie and Mike Renolds had arrived at 7 am after comet-watching on Seven Mile Beach, and had commenced work on removing the profusion of weeds on the flat and collecting fire-wood. They were joined by Barbara Bruce and Carol Bruce, Matthew Walton, Steve Brown, Bill Holland, Fran Longfoot and David Rostron. I apologise to any I've left out, for you all deserve many thanks for a long, hard job on such a hot day and for braving the many grass ticks. Maurie Bloom and Denise Shaw continued the good work on Sunday.
The campfire was under way by 7.30 and people started arriving from every direction. Barry Wallace and Barbara Bruce as leaders got some order into the singing and on one occasion everyone was reasonably in tune and time. (And that's an improvement on last year!) This year we each had a songsheet but some were printed in 1979, some in '80 and some in '82, with different songs. This was discovered when Barbara shouted “Top of the page, Page Two. Are you ready?” and…. chaos!
The sketches were great fun. Dot's reading of “The Undertakers”, an Indian story by Rudyard Kipling, was splendidly acted by Mike Reynolds (adjutant bird), Jim Brown (crocodile) and Ray Hookway (the hunter) in full costumes. Don Matthews was cast as The Jackal, but in his absence Frank Rigby stood in at short notice and made up for his lack of costume with realistic acting and great charm. Who needs Robert Redford! (The Matthews' car had broken down on the way to the reunion, we were later to learn.) Dot threw herself into the evening's activities with her usual gusto, despite having been hit by a car two weeks ago while riding her bike. “I ran over a car,” said Dot, which was literally true, but as she hurtled over the car she got concussion, gashes in her foot requiring 22 stitches, and injuries to her knee.
Oliver Crawford gave us two sketches, including “The Man from Ironbark”, mimed by Barry Wallace and Matthew Walton. The bit players had to be bearded, but casting George Gray as a “gilded youth” was really stretching the imagination, Oliver. During this sketch the bike riders had arrived - David McIntosh and Robert King from Sydney, and Bronny Niemeyer who joined them at Mittagong - to a camp-oven baked dinner provided by friend Matthew Walton, who'd cycled the distance last year and declares once is enough.
This is my 27th reunion in a row, and I can't recall one when Jim Brown hasn't provided original sketches of high quality. (How many years is it, Jim? I think it's time you got an Oscar, at least.) This year we were treated to “Colo-rific”, a sketch about the Colo River and the several trips done there '85-'86. Barbara Bruce, Dot, Ainslie and Mike, young Matthew and Jim Brown acted and sang their way through five songs. Mike Reynolds took over Don Matthews song (a rather difficult one) at short notice. Good work, Mike. This sketch will probably be put into the magazine in due course. Jim's second sketch was “Rhymes of the Times”, about recent official events in the Club treated in a very light-hearted way, and performed by the same people, except that Frank Rigby again helped out in place of Don Matthews.
Barbara Bruce was then “sworn in” as President for a second term, decorated with the symbols of office by the 9 ex-presidents attending the reunion, who all wished Barbara well for another year.
While we were being entertained, Spiro and John Redfern were preparing supper. This time Spiro fed us with his home-made fruit cake which, under pressure, he admitted had taken up many evenings the previous week to make. Many thanks, Spiro.
By two o'clock most had retired to their tents. The comet-watchers had all come with binoculars, but as the sky became increasingly cloudy that evening none bothered waking in the early hours of Sunday. Except Rosemary Baxter who, out of her tent for a nature call, looked up and saw the comet with her naked eye. (Why didn't you wake me, Rosemary?)
Sunday's damper competition was a great success. Lots of entries, all edible, some delicious. The judges, Barry Wallace and Jim Brown, were most entertaining. After much deliberation young Dane Austin's was declared the best. Spiro had appeared with butter and golden syrup and before little Dane's amazed and slightly sad gaze his damper was devoured, together with all other entries, by the crowd.
Carol Bruce, recently cleaning out the Club's cupboard, discovered the old swimming carnival cups and decided to resurrect the event. I'm pleased to report that this year's carnival was run on Rafferty's-Rules with plenty of cheating, in keeping with the non-competitive S.B.W. spirit.
The lilo race - two per lilo, to the opposite bank and return - was probably the most strenuous race. From the confusion, spills and collisions Matthew Walton and Chris Scott, followed by Kathleen Gray and friend Marion, then Carol and David McIntosh emerged as clear winners. The next lilo event involved trying to dismount or sink everyone in sight, the winner being the one to stay afloat. At first everyone was on the defence, but after booing from the spectators, the battle was on. I noticed Ian Debert put on a great fight but it finally came down to a semi-final battle between Kathleen and Matthew, and a final with equally-matched Matthew and David, who tied.
There were two match-box-on-wine-skin races, the winner being the first to light a match after arriving on shore. I won my race, but victory went to my head and I didn't record the other winners. Kathleen won the next, with Bill Holland second and Ainslie third. (Bill cheated, he put the matches on his head.) Having proved that cheating does pay, BIll started ahead of the mob in the final championship, but despite removing his swimmers to reduce friction he still didn't win and the same names came up again:- (1) Carol, (2) Matthew, (3) David, (4) Kathleen, with about 10 arriving fifth, 30 in the next bunch, then Bill Holland! No one cared who won so the cups didn't even appear. It was a fun event and, like the damper competition, may became part of the reunion tradition.
At the weekend's conclusion, the Davidsons and Austins were canoeing back to their cars on the bank opposite Coolana when they were met by the local Ranger who asked that in future they park on our side of the river and leave the opposite bank for others. This Ranger has discouraged people from using the flats on our side so I feel we should “keep in good” with him and comply with his not unreasonable request. Without his attitude we could well arrive one reunion to find the flats camped out by other groups who would be quite within their rights as, legally, the flats belong to the Water Board just as the opposite bank does.
So, with an estimated attendance of about 80 people, ended the 1986 reunion. See you in '87!
by Barry Wallace.
The meeting began at around 2000 with the President in the chair and some 40 or so members present. There were apologies from Bill Holland, Gordon Lee and Hans Stichter. New members Gayle Cooksley, David Matthews, and Geoff Grace were welcomed into membership with badge, constitution and applause.
Minutes of the previous meeting were read and received, and we were just about to accept as fact the Secretary's advice that there were no letters of interest, when Kath Brown pointed out that her letter to the Committee regarding the inclusion in the new constitution of clauses covering the Club magazine and the presence on Committee of the Editor and Conservation Secretary might be read to the meeting as a matter of general interest. And so it was.
The meeting then moved to the election of office bearers. There was some initial confusion over systems of voting, and the absence of the necessary motion for the suspension of such of they standing orders as was necessary to permit voting to proceed concurrently with the business of the meeting, but scrutineers were duly elected and voting commenced. The results were published last month, so will not be repeated here.
There was no monthly Treasurer's Report available as all documents had been in the hands of the Hon. Auditor for the annual audit.
Federation Report brought news that Federation had declined an offer from a Mr. Dick Smith to install an emergency radiophone at Kanangra Walls, that Federation had obtained insurance for the Bushsports programme, that the Central West Bushwalking Club had experienced a membership increase of 500% after producing and screening a video tape of club activities, that five member Clubs had recently been crossed-off for non-payment of Federation subs, that John Berry is the new Federation Secretary, that a Bush Dance is scheduled for 2nd May and the Federation Ball on 19th September, and that there is a S. & R. exercise planned for the weekend 12/13 April. All of which gave rise to a motion that our delegates protest that the decision on the offered radio telephone should have been referred to the member Clubs for consideration.
Then came Bill Capon with a new high speed force-fed Walks Report, which went something like this:- Thurat Rift trip went on the Sunday due to inclement weather, Jim Laing's Du Faurs Creek trip had 6 persons, Bill Hall's trip on the Sunday had 11 starters and Len Berlin's trip the same day had 10. (Pause, take breath.) The following weekend Peter Miller had 6 people on truncated Mt.Colong-from-the-other-side trip, Bill Capon and a cast of 10 did over his Fossicker's Flat base-camp and a passing Italian Restaurant, Ben Esgate had 21 on his Explorer's Tree to Explorer's Tree Saturday walk and Peter Christian had 12 on his Engadine to Heathcote Sunday walk. There was an offer for anyone who thought they knew more about any of the walks to comment at the conclusion, but no-one did. There was, after all, a certain breathlessness about it all.
Determination of the level of Annual Subs brought forth the Treasurer's recommendation together with a budget for the coming year. The results of the deliberations that followed were published last month.
A motion that the Club return to the previous practice of holding general meetings at monthly intervals was passed after a debate which indicated that many folk believed that what had appeared to be a good idea at the time had not turned out that way in practice.
The change to clause 5© of the constitution, forehsadowed in the notice of meeting, was carried.
General Business brought a motion that the Club write supporting Dr. Bob Brown in the battle to save the Farmhouse Creek area from logging… carried. Then there were a series of votes of thanks; to Phil Butt and Barry Wallace for the printing, to the retiring Committee, to Kath Brown and Christa Younger for all that typing, and to Bill Capon for the Walks Programmes. Alex Colley remarked to the meeting at large on how much he had enjoyed the Annual Reports.
Then it was just a matter of some debate as to how best we should cope with the weed invasion on the river flats at Coolana, a warning that those same flats were host to numerous grass ticks which had displayed a total lack of loyalty by transferring their affections to human visitors over a recent weekend, the announcements, and the rallying cry “Let us Re-une”, and it was all over at 2153.
265 Victoria Road, Gladesville, 2111. Phone (02) 817 5590. Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9-6, Thurs. 9-8, Sat. 9-4. (Parking at rear off Pittwater Road).
A large range of lightweight, quality, bushwalking & camping gear:
We stock the largest range of canoeing gear in N.S.W.
Quality touring craft of all types. High quality, performance competition craft.
Anyone who would like to help organize the Club's Diamond Jubilee (60th Anniversary) please ring Carol Bruce 798 0915 (H).
The draft of the new Constitution was further discussed and will be typed up for printing so that it can be sent to members and then put to an Extraordinary General Meeting in due course.
by Narelle Lovell.
May 7 will be a Committee Meeting and there will be a General Meeting instead of the photos and displays competition, on May 14th.
After a convivial dinner at The Fernery at 6.30, magazine wrapping occupies the evening of May 21st, and the assistance of many agile hands and smiling faces makes a friendly evening. In addition, the hand-eye co-ordination involved is said to slow ageing of the brain. This may counteract the effect of wine quaffed during the evening.
“People in Unusual Places” is the theme on May 28 for Members' Slide Night. No more than three derisive comments per slide will be permitted, so dig deep into your collections and bring along the interesting ones for peer group criticism.
Postscript: Don't forget the Bush Dance being run by the Federation of Bushwalking Clubs to raise money for S. & R. at Lane Cove Town Hall, Longueville Road, on Friday 2nd May. Bring your own drinks and supper. Dress, casual, no need to bring a partner. Ask for S.B.W. table. Pay at door - $7 or $8 ( think).
* Dinner at “The Fernery”, 6.30 pm, 60 Alexander Street, Crow's Nest.
May 3 - 18 School Holidays. Leader: Geoff Grace 817 2807. Wollemi National Park: Baerami (near Hunter Valley) to Bell. Ridge, creek and track - 160 km Medium/Hard/Exploratory. Experienced, fit walkers are invited to ring Geoff for his wonderful detailed plans.
Please send this notice with your cheque/money order to:-
Bill Holland, Hon. Treasurer,
The Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476, G.P.O. Sydney 2001.
Name/s: (For all members in household) ….
I will collect the receipt at Clubroom / I want it posted.
Type: (Cross out those not applicable) Single / Household / Non-active with Magazine / Non-Active / Active over 70 years of age / Entrance Fee (New Members)
Amount enclosed: $ ….
(Single $20 - Household $20 plus $10 for each extra person, $30 for two, $40 for three, $50 for four - Non-active $5 - Active over 70 years of age $10 - Non-active with Magazine $10 - Prospectives (6 months only) $15 - Magazine subscription only - $10)