Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker No.63 March 1980
A Monthly Bulletin devoted to matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, 5 Hamilton Street, Sydney
|Misses Doreen Harris and Jessie Martin; Messrs. Bill Mullins and Arthur Salmon
|The Spellbinder & the Frieze
|Xmas and Kossy
|From Here, There and Everywhere
|At Our Own Meeting
|Strange But True..,
|Ray Bean's Advertisement
|Xmas Trip '39 '40
|by A Tired Tiger
|Highlights - sponsored by Stephenson & Bird
|A Bunyip and Her Rucksack
|Marie B. Byles
“Morella-karong” - the camp in the hills - our Re-Union spot, the special lease of 100 acres which the S.B.W. had secured the right to use and preserve is a blackened ruin. During the past three years this, our own bit of the bush, has grown very dear to us, and now it has been destroyed by a great bushfire which swept most of the Heathcote Creek valley at the beginning of February.
In December someone reported that the campsites at “Morella-karong” were very worn; that casual picnickers had done a certain amount of damage there; and that something should be done to protect our lease. The General Committee appointed a special sub-committee, which visited “Morella-karong” on January 20th/21st and was delighted to find the place in splendid condition in spite of the long dry spell. Myuna Creek was terribly low - never had any of the subcommittee members seen it so low and it had ceased to flow weeks before, yet all the bush in the valley was green, almost lush. There were many healthy Christmas bushes that were almost trees, and lots of waratah bushes six, eight, and ten feet high.
Immediately after this the heatwaves became more frequent owing to almost continuous strong, hot winds, and the general drought conditions were intensified. Day after day the newspapers reported bushfires, nearly always started by carelessness or through small fires being allowed to get out of control. Apparently the general public did not realise the extreme care that was necessary while everything was so tinder dry.
At the general meeting on February 9th word was received that on the previous Sunday, a bushfire had swept “Myarra”, the M.T.C. lease on Heathcote Creek, and our sympathy went out to our comrades of that club, while our fears for our own beloved “Morella-karong” was intensified. On the week-end they were proved to be only too well-founded. Our re-union campsite was a black desolation, with even the big trees split from top to bottom by the terrible heat of the bushfire that had wiped it out on the previous week-end.
For three years the S.B.W. had paid over £7 a year for the right to use and conserve the area. Now all our efforts were rendered void, all the beauty was destroyed, as the result of the carelessness of some unknown person or persons!
The first effects were that the Field Week-end on February 17th/18th had to be held elsewhere, and the Re-union Organising Committee spent that week-end in small groups scouring the countryside for some suitable area which was not yet burned out, and where there was still drinking water available. By this time the Warragamba River had ceased flowing in spite of its widespread catchment area, which includes Lithgow, Goulburn, Mossvale and Robertson! Where the 1940 Re-union will be held will not be announced until shortly before March 9th in case the new site should also be burned out beforehand.
What can be done to regenerate the bush at “Morella-karong” remains to be seen. What steps can be taken to prevent any recurrence of the tragedy there remains to be decided,
One thing everyone can do right now is to start being so very careful always with matches, cigarettes and fires that never will there be any chance of a fire getting away from him or her, or a bushfire being started through his or her carelessness or neglect. Another thing is to preach care to others, and to do everything possible to reduce the sources of bushfires. For instance, is every railway engine in N.S.W. fitted with an effective trap to catch all sparks and hot cinders and prevent them from starting fires? If the engines are not so fitted, why not? If they are not so fitted, to get it done would doubtless be a big job, but something worth doing.
Nothing can restore “Morella-karong” to its former beauty; nothing can bring back to life all the birds that probably were burned to death in that fire; but to achieve an objective such as making it impossible for any railway engine in the State to start a bushfire would probably save thousands of acres of lovely bush from destruction in the future. Let us find out if this work is necessary! If it is, let us undertake it with enthusiasm and carry it through with determination.
Let us seek other ways also in which we can achieve a worthwhile reduction in the number of future bushfires. This will be practical conservation indeed, and out of the evil of “Morella-karong” desolation will come some good to the' country we all love.
The Spellbinder and the Frieze - A Murder Story - (with no bloodshed)
By Bill Mullins
Once, in a weak moment, I inveigled a non walking friend (male) into the precincts of Paddy's Den. I suppose, as I reflect back on the whole business, the stars or something were against him, for he went – just like that. His money, reputation, spare time, everything (and even at a later date his benign unmarried state) went too.
Well, it was like this –
We waltzed up the stairway, lurched against that door (the door that seems to be like the material form of a particularly weak-kneed guardian angel, standing by, allegedly guarding your pockets and therein your money), and were brought to earth by the pealing of that bell in our ears. Transfixed in the act of entering the N.W.F. turned upon me and glared balefully with a withering “what-hole-have-you-brought-me into, Mullins?” look in his eye. Arrogantly I told him to cease his glance throwing and get inside the Emporium. The door banged back and the bell ceased its din.
Eyes apopping he gazed around and like a bird seeking an exit from its place of captivity, his eyes searched the walls and ceiling. And what do you think his gaze lit upon? The frieze! The soul in him must have overflowed with joy at that moment for the fierce, hunted light in his eye had gone and, turning to me he burbled gleefully about the wonders he had seen – the frieze.
Explanation he demanded of me, then knowing me and remembering the literal constructions I usually supply, he said he would find out for himself. He had me call the chief lion from the den, by name. Out came the No.1 boy, Oliver. Well, as most of you know, little Olly knows his job. He summed up the situation quickly- “Mullins, he never spends lavishly - just pokes about. – The stranger already filled with awe, and under the spell of his environment” – The magic of merchandising had gripped him. And, of course, not to break the spell, Oliver called Paddy.
Mouth agape and eyes wide in astonishment, the N.W.F. was still trying to decipher the frieze when Paddy arrived,
As you may guess, from here the plot thickens. Paddy spun the tale of tales. The N.W.F. lapped it up, or should we say became deeper and deeper in the mesh of lore and legendary of the noble pastime of bushwalking. And then, O fateful step, he started to concede points of discussion and agree with Paddy. Horror stricken, I heard him relate some fable about his “vertebra” being warped, or going that way, or something, and that being a desk worker it would probably get worse. (How to avoid concurrence and concession of points to salesmen should be taught to all growing boys. Anyway it just goes to show you that Paddy is an honest-to-goodness, dyed-in-the-wool salesman.)
Like a flash, Paddy was amongst his beloved rucksacks reeling off the merits of each style in its turn. When he came to the Model A, Super de Luxe, I remarked, rather uncharitably I suppose, that one of “those” with about 50 lbs aboard for a week would cure any tendency of the spine to kink, or kiss ends, or touch toes or whatever spines do.
Well that was the beginning of the end. My reward for the remark for a glare from the N.W.F. such as traitors are given by the betrayed. I winced audibly (I must have, because there was at that moment dead silence and I definitely heard something.)
Then, with the elan of a man about to be reincarnated, he strode up to the rucksack battle area and commenced hostilities with Paddy in the price-and-value-for-money sector.
The attack was halted awhile during a discussion on the relative disadvantages of cold feet and sleepless nights. Dazed by this amazing display of sales tactics I awaited the end. Rapt in marked anticipation of the kill I listened to a long dissertation by Paddy on the utter incompatibility of cold feet and a Paddymade sleeping bag; one inside the other he said and such a state of discomfort cannot exist. Either you have cold feet outside the bag or you have warm feet inside the bag; and so the slaughter went on. Ground sheets, waterproof jackets, all the cooking gadgets – and then the tent.
To me the tent rose from Paddy's hands like a spectral figure, something that will haunt me always, a reminder of the day when I led the unsuspecting N.W.F. into the Pallin Emporium.
And Paddy the Tentmaker, the Spellbinder, is ready for you all, anytime, all the time, to give service, and to tell the magic tale of the frieze.
The Federation has increased its membership by the affiliation of the Y.M.C.A. Ramblers and the admission to Associate Membership of Mr. A.J.Marshall, Up to the 18th January, 1940, 619 copies of the “Bush Walker No.3” had been sold, with further copies still available - and the retiring Publications Committee reported that a profit of about £17.10.0 had already been cleared. Miss Betty Bell's resignation as Editor was accepted with regret by the Council, which expressed its appreciation of her splendid work for the magazine. A new Publications Committee was elected for the ensuing twelve months, consisting of:-
- Editor: Mr. T. A. Herbert
- Assistant Editor: Mr. R.Else Mitchell.
- Business Manager: Mr. O. Wyndham
- Advertising Manager: Mr. L.G.Harrison.
- Technical Advisor: Mr. J. Cavill
In addition to his work on this committee Mr.Mitchell has offered to compile a bibliography of bushwalking literature. He will be glad of any information YOU can give him.
The Federation has accepted an offer from the “Camera Specialist”, Mr, Hans Leicht, of 147a Elizabeth Street; he and two of his assistants will give a series of lectures on different phases of photography, if sufficient club members signify that they wish to attend. All arrangements are in the hands of Horrie Salmon of the Trampers' Club. His address is 86 Charles Street, Ryde, and he wants the names and addresses of all starters, and he wants the information in writing so that he can advise them when and where as soon as arrangements are completed. There will be a small charge made to defray the rent of a room, postages and stationery.
The Publicity Bureau is still asking for bushcraft instructors, lecturers, and slides. These may be “pretty stuff”, camp scenes, maps, or conservation pictures such as before and after scenes of bushfires, or erosion, or where tracks have been replaced by road.
Has anyone any pictures of “Morell-karong” before and after the fire?
During the past six months since the outbreak of the war prices of goods from overseas have advanced rapidly. Japara now costs from 40% to 60% more. Duck is 40% up in price and almost unobtainable. Leather (produced locally) is up 16 1/2% as authorised by the price-fixing commission. Buckles rivets, thread and down are scarce and increased in price.
These items comprise over 90% of the materials from which Paddy makes his tents, rucksacks and sleeping bags. It is obvious therefore that the cost of making gear has increased greatly in price.
It might have been possible by reducing quality to lessen the amount of the increase but Paddy feels that the walking fraternity must have reliable gear above all else and therefore he has decided to continue his policy of maintaining quality at its present high standard. He therefore feels that walkers will agree that some increase in price is inevitable and that in view of the circumstances an increase of 15% on the price of 'Paddymade' gear is a moderate and just one.
F. A. PALLIN
327 George Street
Xmas and Kossy
There must be something wrong with the S.B.W.! Laz - having been most carefully roped in for Xmas at Kossy happened to mention it at the club. He was instantly attacked on all sides. Out of the tumult and the shouting emerged..Laz was mad - a muggins - a stoopid - a time waster - a money waster. The place was bleak, cold - miserable - nothing to see - no firewood - nothing. However, there were two very honorable exceptions - both female of the species - Marie Byles, the maid of the crumbling crags, and the English Dot, our exquisite equilibri-ist; both applauded the trip. Laz pondered a while, then, closing the door on the still faint rumbling of the rabble, packed up. Laz took train and tourist car; myself - having an old, three-wheel pram - put the question to it and the old thing agreed gladly.
I left at 5.20am. on Friday, 22nd, sidecar loaded over the Plimsoll mark. Up, down and on she went till Queanbeyan showed up at mid-day; dinner. 'Twas there we said good-bye to proper roads, the next hundred miles were gravel and mostly corrugated. At 6pm some miles beyond Cooma, we chucked it - (censored). A deserted house by magic showed up right there - fair shelter - good fireplace and in my waterbag was enough for tea and breakfast.
5am up feeling cold. “Me boy”, ses I, “you're sick - 300 per day too much.” Just to make sure, I looked at my thermom. – 35°! – and my shares bounced up and stayed up.
The old thing took the bit in its teeth. Berridale, Jindabyne and the Hotel glid by; then Charlotte's Pass and dead stop - a big bank of snow right over the road and down the valley. We had intended camping outside the Seaman But but the snow decided otherwise, and wisely too.
At this very spot another hut materialised, right on the road; the door was open and I sniffed in and found much promise, but I did not move in till Laz a lad with stacks of dainty ways - approved. He arrived with a party of C.M.Ws twixt noon and one, sniffed in, and agreed. The place was a charming understudy for a pigsty, so we put in till dark cleaning, dusting, washing and re-arranging the 6 x 2 table and a pair of comfortable bunks. Wood lay in stacks all around and a stream ran past the door.
The hut is well and truly built and has a fine fireplace. We added many shelves - meat safe - low boys and gadgets galore, also a very fine outside bathroom and porch. No fun like the fun of R. Crusoe!
Charlotte's Pass is more central than any spot higher up and is comfortably within the tree-line. Perhaps without the snow the water might not be handy, but as it was everywhere in profusion this did not trouble two who had suffered under Pontius Pilate and the blarsted black dorg track. After the walking and paddling of the day 'twas nice to come back to the well-appointed hut and concoct large and tasty meals. We generally dined at five, and thus had three to four hours of daylight to trifle with.
Many happy nights were spent with the company of the clean-flamed snow-gums - the rafters ringing with the vibrations of Laz at his best singing while the flute soared along in perfect accord just one octave higher. Then Laz in turn - all fireglow - listened to the flute in many a laughing lay of that great lad, Master Schubert.
The roominess of our palace enabled us to entertain comfortably seveh of my clubmates of the C.M.W. and a most diverting time we had - a real talkie night, the sort that should happen at many a camp-fire, but doesn't. We banged and shaped the answers to questions ancient and modern, touched on a few rare books, and then, having a few minutes to spare, we reconstructed Europe. The party stayed a bit late, but not late enough. We aristocrats of the hut had forgotten the meaning of “late”, we rose usually at 7.30, and it was interesting to notice the chinks that let the sunlight in. In town 'tis always a bar of fluff, but in the hut the air was so clean that the sunlight was not apparent till it touched something. Evidently light is invisible until impact.
Right through the eight days we had flawless weather - cold in mornings, one touched 33° and the hottest day reached only 99° in the sun.
The whole country is a walker's paradise - ever cool - beautiful, soft snowgrass underfoot right up to the edge of the rocky tops. Barefoot walking as easy, especially on the ever-present snowfields.
No pests worth a mention - some flies, which, curiously, love a pick-aback ride, so while we walked they parked themselves on our backs - unnerds and unnerds on 'em - but the moment we stopped they swarmed round to the front to find out what was up with the driver. Strangely enough, they refused to go indoors - however many passengers we carried, they all left with a roar as wo crossed the doorway to go in. No skeeters and no ants - some flights of parrots and a big crow conference near by - a fox and a baby one - some large prints of a 'roo on the snow - and the only other wild things we saw were beetles - black beetles - thousands on 'em, all seemingly convinced that what the world needed was .. beetles! more beetles!
Day after day we took lunch and camera and had great tat tas. We were lucky indeed to get such a snow show in summer; a road man told us that early in December the snow near our hut was 100 ft. deep.
The visibility was perfection - no matter where we were going, we could see our objective miles ahead - no tangling trees to block the views or the track, and the whole countryside is a sponge squeezed into a thousand streamlets and, even at 7,000 ft. there is plenty of firewood because a rock-creeping plant seems to be short-lived and leaves its skeleton white and dry upon rocks large and small; some which once lived on whopper rocks had trunks 6“ diameter. A particularly fine show of these is on the lower back track from the Blue Lake. To those who take the official track to the lake, I advise the back track home. All you do is to avoid all the man-made, sheep-made, and map tracks, and be personally conducted by its Serene Purity, the Blue Lake overflow, right through the valley to the bubbling, laughing Snowy River. A most delightful walk over grassy carpets, by endless circular and other shrub-lined pools of crystal, with patches of joyous big-rock-hopping. Every square inch of the earth, or the things which grow or rest on it, is clean enough to eat off, while the few flowers which have survived the snow are dreams of delight and design.
The Blue Lake looked exactly like a Frank Hurley picture of Antarctica, with solid snow dazzling against the rich blue of the sky, sweeping boldly half a mile down to the lovely lake, to be slowly melted and poured through the overflow down to the eager Snowy.
Lake Albino, too, was majestic, with its amphitheatre looking like a colossal tiger rug, of deep, mottled brown and whitest of white snow all aglisten from deep blue skyline down to the ice-studded lake.
Mt. Townsend, just 60 ft. lower than King Kossy, was quite encircled with snowfields, and only by hopping from island to island did we get to the top comfortably. It is a savage top, too, huge boulders as though just hurled from a volcano. Sheer down 6,000 ft. below we saw the valley where the Murray makes some sort of a start. The Geehi hut was just a pin's head, but quite distinct. We lunched on the very top of Townsend - melted snow for tea and used creeper skeletons for fuel. Some wild scenery in a nearby gorge - huge spires a la Kanangra but more fearsome - 'tis here the beautiful Lake Albino tumbles over to the Victorians.
We did our best with the time available, but much remains for another Xmas. Sadly, we packed and slipped down to Jindabyne, where the Snowy is wide, quiet and respectable, showing not a trace of its wild youth just about 4,000 ft. higher. Here, after seeing '40 come in, Laz decided to hang on a day or two, so, at 9am on January 1st, I cranked up and the old thing smashed and bashed the corrugations for a hundred miles. Then, seeing asphalt and concrete, it went real wild, laid its ears flat out and landed me home at 9pm. And so ended the most truly delightful trip ever, and quite justified the faith of Laz in man - if not in men.
Here, There and Everywhere
The Campfire Club is not very old, and neither are its members (we heard a rumour that 24 was the upper limit, but cannot vouch for this), however both club and members are full of vim and enthusiasm and appear to be carrying on all the best bushwalking traditions most worthily. They have just published Vol.No.1 of a new quarterly - “The Camp Fire Club Magazine” - in an attractive green cover. Modestly, the authors of the various articles all use noms-de-plume. From the articles, announcements and comments, we learned a lot about the clubs activities; it is holding a Song Competition to get Club songs, has a Recorder, and finds the same difficulty as the S.B.W. in getting leaders to report on trips for Club records; has a Photographic Album - and the same difficulty in getting pictures. It also has the same difficulty in getting members to attend meetings, but is not yet big enough to have a large and noisy overflow in the entrance passage like the S.B.W. Otherwise there does not seem to be a great deal of difference between a club of about thirty members and one of about two hundred and thirty. We congratulate our young comrades on their enterprise, wish them lots of luck and good camping, and hope they won't find the loss of their energetic Secretary - Len Raper - a knockout blow. Len has joined the Air Force, so now some other member will have to do a lot of hard work for the Camp Fire Club.
The Mapping Section of the River Canoe Club has completed two more maps and added them to the Club's library. They are as follows:-
- Map No.13 Macleay River (in three sections). (a)Kundarang Crossing to Bellbrook (b) Bellbrook to Uralgurra © Uralgurra to Kempsey.
- Map No.14 Nymboida and Clarence Rivers. (Buccarumbi Bridge to Copmanhurst section).
“The Tararua Tramper” for January is an exceptionally bright number but we have no space for extracts - so many of our S.B.W. members have honoured us with articles this month that we have had to hold over some till next issue.
At our own meeting
At our February meeting we were all pleased to see our good friend and Honorary Member, Mr. Norbert Carlon.
New members welcomed were Max Swift, Ken Iredale and Arthur Brophy.
We learned that Audrey Lumsden has resigned as she never gets time to walk - she is to be married shortly.
Our Honorary Secretary, Tom Moppett, had a fresh supply of Bushfire Prevention Posters available for distribution, and also displayed a specimen notice for erection near the boundaries of “Morella-karong” stating that it is a private lease.
The President reminded those present that the Re-Union will be held on 9th/l0th March and is CLOSED TO NON-MEMBERS. Permission of Committee must be obtained beforehand if any member wishes to bring along a near relative on the Sunday.
Members who have been admitted to the Club since last March are asked to contact Maurie Berry before this year's Re-Union.
Fears were expressed for the safety of “Morella-karong” as Maurie Berry announced that “Myarra” (the M.T.C's 85-acre lease on Heathcote Creek) had been burned out on the previous Sunday, and so had Miss Crommelin's conservation area near Patonga. The organising committee was instructed to look for an alternative re-union site in case of need.
The meeting decided to appoint Joint Room Stewards for three months at a time and several members volunteered. The two names drawn from a hat were Flo Allsworth and Harry Savage.
Jack Debert, having returned from holidays full of vim and vigour, started stirring up the club, with the usual amusing and possibly useful results. The amusement was immediate and sustained; any useful results will appear later.
Support our Advertisers - they support us!
Strange But True
And so it came to pass that, even whilst pessimists discussed the possibilities of “Morella-karong” being burnt out, the fires were raging and burning up the place.
“Woe is me” cried the pessimists when they heard the tidings. They wrung their hands and said, “That is the end of all things.”
“Not on your sweet life,” replied the club members of 1940. “Maybe the Club is dying on its feet, according to some, but come, scour the four corners of the bush and we will show them. As Nelson said at Waterloo, 'You ain't seen nuffing yet!' The Re-Union must go on.”
So “Let us Re-une” became the battle-cry. Telephone wires ran hot. Urgent meetings were called. The Re-Union Committee had started on the big job of finding the most suitable site. It may not be easy, but, remember, it takes less than 1 1/2 hours to pack up and leave camp, so be ready to pack and move off in five minutes.
Even bushfires cannot keep a good club down.
THE RE-UNION WILL BE HELD on 9th/l0th March, 1940.
Details will be given later.
1940 Re-Union Committee
See what it means to relax after 12 months pent up repression. If you have been to a Re-Union B4 there is no need to tell you any more. If you have never re-uned just come along, experience the joy of living. B glad! B mad! At Acacia Camp, Nepean River (near Glenbrook Ck) on Saturday and Sunday, 9th and 10th March this year, and don't forget:-
WHEN BETTER RE-UNIONS ARE HELD
THE SYDNEY BUSH WALKERS WILL
and we don't mean MAY BE
Xmas Trip 1939-40
By “A Tired Tiger.”
One thing I learned from this trip – don't do the Nattai during a droughty Xmas, or the Upper wollondilly – anyway, not if it's the first time of visiting either river. In both the water had shrunk to a chain of pools, not too clear on the Wollondilly, and jolly murky on the Nattai.
We began the trip with the good old Kowmung – may it never stop running! Crystal clear and cool, it refreshed our large, hot party, arriving at its brink after a breakfastless walk from Yerranderie.
Everyone showed a commendable preference for cleanliness to food, and so, after a dip and a merry meal, we staggered down the Kow-pads to Christys Creek, our packs positively groaning with the weight of good food for Xmas.
At the junction loads were rested while an expedition set off up Christys in search of Myles's “good campsite”. We must have been very hard to please –, or else Christys is drier than usual, because we decided to stay on the Kowmung, and so camped on a delightful strip of greensward just inside the Bula-Denis Canyon, between Sunset and Sunrise Bluffs, both of which were duly admired and photographed. Stacks of Shutter-bugs on this trip! – so you may expect to see some, fair illustrations about the Club on Friday nights.
Sunday was occupied variously - some sallied down the canyon and disported themselves in the many and deep pools therein, and some, the intelligentzia, dozed and read and made wise comments, on the aforementioned strip of greensward (hereinafter referred to as the S. of G.).
On Monday the Dauntless Dreadnoughts of the party tootled off up Christys Creek to see the far famed falls and cold, close cuffed canyon that bounced Burallier back. (!!! Ed.) We found the beginning of them while chasing some Kows upstream. Suddenly they turned and charged back towards us. They had come to a pool about 5 ft. deep with a narrow water-chute behind it where the cliffs on either side almost met at one point. Climbing past this for some distance, Christys became an easy creek to follow, edged with graceful young casuarinas and, incidentally, lots of fat, juicy black snakes with sanguine tummies, and the most smug, self-satisfied, over-fed appearance you could possibly imagine.
From then on, between snake-killings, tree-climbing, photography, eating, swimming, (with special underwater endurance tests), and rock hopping, we proceeded upstream passing through the really remarkable Purple Gates, and up the lovely, slippery Hidden Beauty Falls till we came to Barallier Falls, which drop a clear 40 ft. or so into the limpid green of a deep, still pool.
Some of the party climbed around these falls, and went a little further upstream, on their return reporting more falls and even lovelier country.
We made tracks for home, with sundry snake episodes to enliven the return journey, and rejoined the torpid tent-tenders, on the same old S. of G. Strenuous eating was then the order of the evening, and, except for one small Tiger who insisted on returning her Xmas Pudding with thanks, everyone had the most beautiful binge, and so to bed!
Tuesday saw more aquatic acrobatics, and then Exodus Yerranderie-wards. Someone should compose a poem to the “Ecstasy of Eating” or the “Deep Delight of Drinking” on the porch of Yerranderie store.
There we met four hairy savages who had just completed the submarine trip from Morong Falls through the deeps and the Werong canyon. Carrying cwts. of comestibles and cumbersome coils or cord they had conquered the Kowmung canyon.
Bundling into the lorry that awaited us we became swiftly snow white with fine powdery dust and we rattled off to Upper Burragorang. Six of us alighted to proceed up the Wollondilly past Bonnum Pic and up Burnt Flat Creek. This proved to be a delightful, fern fronded gully and brought us onto the tableland at Malcolm's deserted Farm. Here we spent three hours as the Lotus Eaters must have lived - reclining and eating and sleeping - it was very hot and there was a hammock and fruit by the ton - bless Malcolm's, may it's tribe increase.
Next we essayed Wilson's Creek and made a very rough passage to a spot about three miles from the Nattai. Here we made a forced camp among ferns, rocks, beetles and mosquitoes.
Friday found us travelling up the Nattai past McArthur's Flat, with the lovely blue of the over-arching sky broken by pure white woolly clouds and framed by inspiring sandstone cliffs, ruddy in the drenching sunlight. Wee camped a mile below Jelore Creek. Most of the pools we passed were muddy and not too inviting in spite of the heat, but the casuarinas, gums and acacias were among the most beautiful I have ever seen.
New Year weekend was spent in Flora Gully. This camp site was the most comfortable of the trip, and was truly delightful. Four new additions to the party had arrived on Friday night from Colo Vale and led us to where the tents were pitched among flowering paper barks. The ground was covered with a coarsebut comfort yielding grass, and wood was everywhere handy to be burnt.
Our last day of care-free holiday was variously spent - six of us went off in a wild dash up Mount Jelore and arrived back in time for an excellent lunch prepared by the honorary camp cooks who were in truly great fettle.
We then tramped into Colo Vale and lit a fire under pines beside the station, again establishing a record for quick and efficient eating, before we entrained for the city and the bonds of civilisation.
Wanted to Purchase
BEFORE EASTER - Eiderdown Sleeping Bag - frame rucksack -
Offers to be made to SHEILA PATRICK, 47 MILSON ROAD, CREMORNE. Phone B6793.
STEPHENSON & BIRD
Opticians, Optometrists and Orthopists.
2 Martin Place, Sydney.
'Phones: B. 1438, XB. 4406
Morris M. Stephenson
A.S.T.C. (Dip.Opt.) F.I.O.
If Looks Could Kill
Plinius Secundus Caius, that fine old philosopher of Ancient Rome, in his “Natural History”, describes a wild beast which kills with a glance. He says..
“Among the Hesperian Aethipians is the fountain of the Nigris, supposed by many to be the headwaters of the Nile. Near this fountain there is found a wild beast which is called the catoblepas, an animal of moderate size and otherwise sluggish in the movements of the rest of its limbs; its head is remarkably heavy and it only carries it with the greatest difficulty, being always bent down towards the earth. Were it not for this circumstance it would prove the destruction of the human race, for all who behold the eye of this creature fall dead upon the spot.”
So even in the old days bushwalkers had to beware of things-that-gobump-in-the-night.
If Thoughts Could Kill
The population of Australia would be considerably depleted.
For instance, everyone who has deliberately started a bushfire and everyone who has let a fire get away would now be stoking in eternity. The thoughts of bush lovers, tree lovers, bird lovers, would have sent them there. And we don't mean maybe…
“We live in the eternal Now, and it is Now that we create our destiny. It follows, that to grieve over the past is useless and to make plans for the future is a waste of time. There is only one ambition that is good, and that is: so to live Now that none may weary of life's emptiness and none may have to do the task we leave undone,”
From the Book of the Sayings of Tsian Samdup
A Bunyip and her Rucksack
By Marie B. Byles
It was her birthday and Uncle Jim and Auntie Dolly had given ger a real rucksack, a “Bunyip Senior” with pockets in it, and better still Auntie Dolly was to take her out for her first Bunyip Walk, She could hardly sleep for excitement.
In the morning she packed and unpacked and repacked the new rucksack several times over until it was perfect. Then she slung it on her back and walked to the station almost bursting with pride. There were twenty-three Bunyips on the walk, boys and girls, old and young, and the young ones seemed to lead all the others, and she was a young one. They climbed up rocks and slid down prescipices; they bathed in the river and cooked potatoes and chops in the fire. It was just glorious.
That night she was asleep almost before her head touched the pillow and when Mother came to tuck her up, Mother found that she had securely strapped the rucksack on her shoulders over her pyjamas!
That is a true story, bushwalkers, and I can understand exactly how that little maid felt. The happiest days of my childhood were the days in the bush and they linger more clearly in my memory than any circus or pantomine, or even the times I came top of the class. There must be thousands of children like that little girl who took her rucksack to bed, and there is no greater joy than to see such children in the bush. Their enthusiasm becomes yours “and you come back feeling younger and happier yourself.
Do you know any children who might like to go bushwalking? Of course you do. Well, bring them out with the Bunyips and become an active member of the Bunyips yourself. You will obtain an enormous amount of pleasure out of it, and incidentally you will be giving tremendous happiness to the boys and girls you take out as well as building up the bushwalking movement far better than any number of Federation meetings could ever do.
A schedule of the Bunyip walks can be obtained from “Topsy” Ankerson, Richard Croker or myself, and if none of us are at the Club, just leave a note on the board and we will post you one.
It may be that you already take out boys and girls in the bush, If so, good luck to you. But remember that union is strength, and that to be successful a Junior Bushwalking movement must be based on organised numbers. Consider whether it might not be a good idea to link them up with the Bunyips.
Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons,
It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.
– Walt Whitman.
Congratulations are again the order of the day:
- Max O'Halloran has announced his engagement to a Temora lass, Miss Madeleine Meagher.
- Betty Bell and Don Gordon were married during February
Best wishes for every brand of joy, to all these folks!
The balance of our congratulations must be equally divided between our old friends, Thel. and Arthur Hellyer, and one of our newest members, Max Swift, and wife, Lorna. In the last few weeks these two couples have each become the proud parents of a small daughter.
We have been told by an expert, that Miss Hellyer is dark and beautiful and Miss Swift, fair and beautiful. Some day we hope to see them both and confirm the report - meanwhile, welcome, young ladies!
We were glad to see Hec. Carruthers and his wife and son at the club room on February 16th for Tom Moppett's lecture on “Buller and Bogong”. Young Gordon apparently enjoyed the snow pictures; at any rate he made very appreciative gurgling noises, or gave loud, disbelieving grunts at very appropriate places. Already a young man of discernment!
Suzanne Richard writes from New York in appreciation of “The Bush walker” No.3, and adds: “I gather that the S.B.W. is still as flourishing as ever and that they are still tigers for tough walks. I still try to get out every Sunday and certainly miss it if I don't. However, I am afraid that I will be no match for you all when I get backs after all this sissy American walking with cleared and marked trails, and shelters spaced at easy intervals. Say 'cheerio' to all my friends in the S.B.W.”