Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker - No.66 - June 1940
A monthly Bulletin devoted to matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, 5 Hamilton Street, Sydney.
|Business Manager||Max Swift|
|Duplicator and Art||Mary Stoddart|
|Publication Staff||Doreen Harris and Jessie Martin, Bill Mullins and Arthur Salmon|
|I Read My “Bushwalker”||Ray Bean||3|
|The Club Library||4|
|Down Canberra Way||“Le Lapin Noir”||6|
|“Highlights” sponsored by Stephenson & Bird||9|
|Birds by Wills River||Extract||10|
|Sunshade - Tent - 'Chute - Gamp||11|
|At our own meeting||12|
Did you see the Bushwalkers' Photographic Salon on Friday the 26th of April last?
If you didn't, then you missed one of the events of the year and something really out of the Box.
None of us had ever before realized that there were so many photographers stalking about in our midst with weapons at the ready - not mere shutterbugs but real photographers. It makes one rather afraid to bring prints into the Club now, lest those who look at them have been practising the vice secretly and think inwardly that they have much better ones at home which they didn't think worthwhile bringing in. It is, however, to be hoped that the Salon will not have this effect on Bushwalkers, and I don't for a moment think that it will since hard struggles up precipitous slopes, down precipitous slopes and through thorny bushes have made them impervious to discouragement of any kind - and this is example rather than discouragement. The effect which the Salon really should have is to give Club photographers a good deal more confidence in their work than they had hitherto, but at the same time to make them realize that it is not enough merely to click the shutter at what they consider to be a pretty view in order to get a photograph which their friends will gaze upon enviously and which will give them a deep inward sense of something achieved.
Pictures came out for the Salon like rats to the Pied Piper. There were big pictures and little pictures) old pictures and new pictures, long pictures and short pictures, square pictures and oblong pictures, flat pictures and contrasty pictures, coloured pictures and plain pictures, toned pictures and black-and-white pictures, pictures by men and pictures by women, mounted pictures and unmounted pictures, pictures of girls and pictures of boys, pictures of hills and pictures of streams; in short, all sorts of pictures. And everyone who brought in pictures helped to make the Salon the great success which it undoubtedly was.
Many of the photos were gems from collections made over a number of years and which there had been no opportunity of exhibiting before, but a very substantial number of them were pictures which had been taken during the past twelve months or so. At any rate, it is clear that the output of members is such that a Salon can become an annual event. Club members should, therefore, go right ahead with the production of masterpieces, aiming at having a sufficient number of them on hand by the time of the next Salon to be well represented.
But the photographers of the Club are not going to be satisfied with doing nothing more than holding a Salon once every twelve months with a period of dead silence in between. A number of photographic walks have been arranged so that photographers will have the opportunity of practising their art together and learning from one another; it is also hoped that small shows can be held every few months for the exhibition of photos taken on photographic walks, and of other current work. Club members who are interested are urged to keep in touch with members of the Photographic Committee and to make suggestions, so that their particular needs will be fully catered for.
And so we progress.
I inhale great draughts of space,
The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine
I am larger, better than I thought,
I did not know I hold so much goodness.
All seems beautiful to me.
—— Walt Whitman
To our President and Marjorie on the birth of their daughter - Sarah Diana Croker, on May 10th.
I read my "Bushwalker"
by Ray Bean
I read my “Sydney Bushwalker”, and, in 1938, I found amongst its pages of fantasy, fact, and humour these gems of imaginative thought.
"Some days when I become a little more articulate I will endeavour to describe the beauty of the Cox in poetry.... "...The leaders were always Gordon Smith and somebody...."
David Stead. “82 Miles in Two Days.” January,1938.
"The only difference between us and ordinary madmen is that we know we are mad... "...How terrible to contemplate a society where everyone was sane and orthodox!"
Marie Byles. Editorial. February, 1938.
".. his boots are size 12<sup>1</sup>/<sub><</sub> - almost big enough for young Bruce to sleep in. " .. as brightly coloured as Christmas apples "Imagine a 501b. pack dry - and then imagine it wet. Hell! said the Duchess!"
Dot. English. “Bush Walkers in N.Z.” February, 1938.
".. within two shakes of an unfolded tent... "...the time flew by like the distance..."
Jack Debert “Wading Harry's River.” February,* 1938.
"...it is twenty miles to the nearest tree - probably it was to provide shade that he grew a moustache."
“Firelight”. Campfire Chatter. February, 1938.
"The heat doesn't come from just the one small sun in that blue expanse, it floods down from the pitiless spaces above."
Frazer Ratcliffe. “Gentle Art of Hitch Hiking!' April, 1938.
"Having no men in the party, swimming was a very convenient matter."
Edna Garrad “Tramping on Tourist Tracks.” May, 1938.
"How old were you when you took up walking?" "About 12 months I expect."
“Judex”. “The Phar Lap of the Bush Walkers” May,1938
"It scrambled up with no grace and a few grunts..."
Clare Kinsella. “Tiger for a Day:” July, 1938.
"Oh, how I hate the race of packs! I'd like to hit mine with an axe. ---- And does it feed upon the air, That it grows daily heavier?..."
Grace Edgecombe. “Hymn of Hate”. Ju1y, 1938
"They clambered up into a land bereft of landmark, time, and firm reality..."
Dorothy Lawry, “May Be”.” December, 1938.
"The pack may seem a heavy curse, To be without one would be worse..."
“Tuggie”. “In Defence of the Pack.” August, 1938.
"He had really walked 100 miles in 24 hours in the early days. We were surprised that he had lost his reason so early."
Alex Colley. “Debert's Last Walk” August, 1938.
The Club Library
The Club Library contains a complete set of “The Sydney Bushwalker”. We hope some of our readers will follow Ray Bean's example.
The Librarian (“Dunk”) hopes that some other Club Members will follow Jack Manson's example. He has just given the Library the following books:-
- “Secret Harbour” - Stewart Edward White,
- “On Tiptoe” - Stewart Edward White,
- “Sack of Beyond” - Stewart Edward White,
- “Masqueraders” - Georgette Heyer,
- “Sportsmen's Annual”, 1938,
- “Sportsmen's Annual”, 1939.
Many thanks, Jack.
There are some books in the library that are only for reference, but most of them can be borrowed for the large sum of 1d per book per week. We mention this in case the newer members don't know it.
Winter Draws On
Yes they are (or should we say it does.) It is good to feel the cool breeze and to snuggle in a huddle round the cheery camp fire. Then after songs have been sung and yarns told, it is good to wriggle into your “Paddymade” and take a deep draught of dreamless slumber.
But maybe other draughts come to worry you and you begin to wonder if your sleeping bag is as good as of yore. Perhaps years of hard wear and constant compression have knocked some of the stuffing out of your bag. What's to be done? Paddy can fix it of course. Extra down costs 1/3 per oz. Putting it in costs 3/-. 4 ozs. is often sufficient but 8 ozs. works wonders. So if the bleak breezes blow bitingly (say it aloud 3 times) fetch your sleeping bag into Paddy and have it fixed up.
By the bye, Paddy gets bags dry cleaned. This fluffs them up and revives the warmth. (4/-).
327 George Street,
Sydney (opp. Palings)
The Federation has decided to hold a Photographic Competition and Exhibition, so watch out for details. The closing date for the Competition is to be July 31st, but the results will not be announced, nor the Exhibition of Entries held, until the first week in October so that if any of the entries are also being published in “The Bush Walker” they will not be on show until after they have appeared in “No. 4”.
A sub-committee has boon appointed to arrange rules and other details for the conduct of inter-club Debates. The convenor is Oliver Wyndham and the other members are Miss Agnes Miller, and Messrs. Hilary Jackson and –(?) Green.
In April George Loder was appointed convenor of the Federation's Publicity Bureau in place of Horrie Salmon, who had resigned when he enlisted in the Air Force. As Horrie was still roaming around Ryde in May when George went into Militia Camp, the new convenor thought it would be a good idea to get the old convenor to act for him - but what about the nice holiday Horrie was having from all official duties? A well-earned rest it was too!
The Publication Committee is asking for contributions to this year's “Bush Walker”, and they are all wanted before the end of June. You can hand your picture, article or poem to Tom Herbert, the editor, or 'Mouldy“, who is the Advertising Manager and also accepts paid contributions from advertisers.
Down Canberra Way
by “Le Lapin Noir”
It was a fine sight on the night of Easter Thursday to see the “Tigers” getting into a luxurious limousine and an elegant motor coach at No.5 Hamilton Street. The limousine went north, the motor coach south. It kept on going south, hour after hour. By midnight it was at Goulburn. At 2 am it was navigating its way through Canberra, and at 3am it pulled up near the Cotter Dam and we turned out to sleep on the fallen autumn leaves. Three hours sleep and we were up again and eating.
Breakfast over, we decided to look at the dam, 400 yards along the road, so we got into our motor coach and were driven up to it and back again! Then we set off for Mount Franklin, with a stop for sight-seeing at Mount Aggie. By 11 o'clock we arrived at the Mount Franklin Chalet, and soon afterwards we started off to Ginini Creek - all so clean and so fresh.
Down we went into the gully where the fire had been, through the thin, twisted, blackened undergrowth, over boulders and logs, skidding on steep creek banks. Lunch amidst the tall timber, then on to Ginini Falls. A 600 ft climb down a 45 degree, loose, shaly mountain - but it would be all right at the bottom, anyone could see from the top that it would be easy going, and only two miles to the Cotter River, which was delightful. The charcoal thickened, the banks became steeper. The party strung out. Some went singly, some formed small, muttering groups. At times they would look up and exclaim in wonder at the scenery. Most of their exclamations began with a “b”. Two hours from the falls and we came to the Cotter River. Soon we would camp, on those delightful. grassy flats that were just around the bend. Another hour's struggle, and we came to the flat. “Ah!, we camp!” “No! says the black rabbit, “We have not gone far enough. There are plenty more flats.” The banks close in, the undergrowth thickens. The only place to walk is the river bed.
(N.B. The Canberra people are drinking this water about now. ) We put our heads down and burrow when we don't wade. Darkness is closing in. From the midst of a dense, blackened thicket comes a cry, “We'll camp here. You pull out the dead shrubs, and chuck away a few of the rocks, Bill, and I'll move some of the logs. Aren't we lucky to find a spot like this!” There was no audible comment. This was because most of us were too far behind to make our opinions heard.
The stars are just fading, a fire sparkles up. “All up”, says a sympathetic voice. Nothing happens. Another voice breaks the silence, “Git arp,” - and we get up. We swallow our breakfast and head into the scrub again. In a couple of hours we shall came to Kangaroo Creek, the start of the really good open country. Two hours later and the charcoal babies still fight on, steep, fire swept mountains on either side, burnt trees as far as the eye can see on bare, shaly hillsides. Another two hours, and Kangaroo Creek is still around the bend. We eat on a blackened flat. The black rabbit maliciously describes the beauties of the scenery in 1937.. Soon after lunch we come to that miserable watercourse Kangaroo Creek, and - there is only another 12 miles to go to the Cotter Homestead, where we camp. At four miles an hour, without rests, we should make it easily. As we walk, the distance we have to go lengthens and contracts in an odd manner. At times we don't seem to be making any progress at all, but at other times we cover two miles or so in about five minutes. Perhaps we were unconscious part of the time.
At last we are out of the fire area. Steep banks and rocks give way to long flats, covered in brown Kangaroo Grass, and surrounded by black and white ash trees (the Black Ash looked dark green to us). The clear Cotter winds around the flats. The sun is pleasantly warm, and the air light and dry. We have just covered two miles in five minutes and feel a bit better. But the black is pointing upwards at a steep angle. “That is where we go tomorrow,” says he! The hardier ones looked up and winced, The rest of us were afraid to look up.
Towards evening we came to a wide flat surrounded by great, rounded mountains, capped with bare grey granite, shining in the light of the setting sun. A two-roomed homestead with red doors nestled in the ash trees by the river bank. Some horses were grazing on the flat. They were the only domestic animals we saw on the Cotter, that is why the grass on the naturally clear flats was so long and so even. Up here there were no burnt trees, no trace of the axe.
Next morning we got up very early. We had to climb Bimberi (the native name for Everest). We started off through tall mountain ash trees, straight up for nearly a thousand feet, then along a gently sloping, winding ridge, then up another steep pinch through dense, low undergrowth and we emerged on to tussocky snow-grass and snow gums near the top. Up a gradual slope to the trig. station, and we take a look around at mountains, valleys, high plains and more mountains. On the southern skyline is Mount Jagungal, and beyond more high mountains, perhaps Kosciusko.
We pick our way down through the granite boulders on the other side of the mountain. This is new country to all of us - the part we had been warned might be really tough. We travel by a 10-mile-to-the-inch map which is largely white spaces. A long debate as to our route took place on the way down and differences were resolved by striking an average and going that way. Our spirits rose when we came to a clear trickle of water and a track. Soon after lunch we crossed a creek and came to a house. Differences of opinion again arose, and we divided into small bewildered groups, After a lot of shouting contact was established and we were on another track. We got instructions from the house. They directed us to Currangorambla Station. We followed the instructions according to our interpretation and arrived at “The Pockets”. We were pleased to find out that had we gone to Currangorambla we would have been 6 miles out of our way.
A little later we were walking along a long, narrow, sunlit plain. A stockman appeared in the distance cantering towards us, two dogs running alongside his horse. Be turned out to be Tom Taylor, looking very clean and neat, wearing a blue shirt to match his blue eyes and red cheeks. Ho directed us through a maze of fences, rocks, creeks, beehives, etc., to Peppercorn Hill. We were disappointed when we had to leave Tom, whose fund of anecdotes is famous. Another half hour and, as the sun set, we were speeding over Caves Creek, past an unearthly looking limestone gorge and the Blue Pool (we just had time to turn our heads to see where the Blue Pool would be if we had tine to go and look at it). We camped that night by a waterhole near Coolaman House.
It was cheering to know that we mere only an hour and a half behind schedule, and everyone got up even earlier than usual. Geoff had drawn us a map of this part of the country. Several sausages showed where the hills lay - geographers might well use the sausage as a topographical symbol, it is much superior to hairy caterpillars and black snakes). We sped on, spurred by the alarming manner in which our destination seemed to oscillate backwards and forwards according to local and official estimates of the distance. For some time the place seemed to be gaining on us. We met a chap in a sulky, but he was a stranger to the country. A little later a horseman galloped up behind us. He had come specially to tell us not to follow the sulky's tracks because the chap in it was lost and we might have missed a branch of the track. This horseman was a real friend and came with us for nearly a mile to show us the turn off, carrying one of the girls' packs on his back. He gave us the good news that we had only ten miles to go.
After lunch the track was all downhill. Six miles down the track we met another horseman. “How are you going?”, says he, “Good-oh”, we replied. You've got 18 miles to go yet.” “Ah, no our motor coach will be waiting for us 4 miles away.” “Yes, but the motor coach is stuck up on top of the mountain, it can't get down.”
We arrived at our destination right on schedule, but the motor coach didn't. It remained on top of the mountain eleven miles way (or 14 “bush miles”). The grin left the face of the black rabbit. Somehow we all arrived at the coach by 9 am, mostly by a car which we hired in the valley. One superman walked all the way.
Three hours later, and for the second time on the trip, we were in Goulburn after midnight, looking for food. Only one cafe showed a light. We went to the door, which was closed. Through the glass door we could see 20 or 30 people chewing steadily. We knocked and some looked up, We made more noise and they all looked up, their jaws moving rhythmically. The more voracious of the party started gnawing the woodwork and this brought out the proprietor. His palms turned upwards, his shoulders lifted and his head fell to one side, I am feeneeshed.” But there would be something left at the railway. So we drove round, bought platform tickets, and ate.
The sun was lighting up the clouds as we drove up Parramatta Road to Central Railway Station. Neil, our driver, cheered up. Those buildings, weren't they good? Trees, trees, he didn't know there were so many.
This morning we didn't get up. We just changed and went to work.
Sponsored by Stephenson & Bird
Opticians, Optometrists and Orthoptists.
The Invention of Spectacles
There is no certainty as to the name of the inventor of spectacles or the date of the invention.
The claim can be narrowed to three persons - Salvinus d'Armatus, Alexander de Spina and Roger Bacon, and the date to sometime near 1300 A.D.
Evidence seems to favour the claim of A. de Spina who had assistance from Bacon's theoretical knowledge and the date of his invention is about 1285.
Bacon published his 'Opus Major' in 1266 and suggested the use of lenses as an aid to vision, and de Spina, is known to have had access to this volume. Furthermore Friar Jordon a monk of Pisa stated in 1305 that - “it is barely twenty years since the art of making spectacles was invented. I have myself seen and spoken to the man who first made them” - and he alluded to de Spina who visited that monastry in 1285.
The claim in favour of Armatus for the invention of spectadles is based on one statement only, the epitaph on a tomb - “Here lies Salvinus d'Armatus of the Armati of Florence. Inventor of Spectacles. God pardon him for his sins. A.D. 1317.”
This is apparently an unsupported claim and it is believed that Armatus was a spectacle maker although not the inventor of spectacles.
There is no evidence to support the statement, but it has been suggested that spectacles were never discovered in Europe, but the idea was simply imported from China. This is upheld on the grounds that William of Rubruck's “Itinerarium” was accessible to Roger Bacon, who copied the idea of a spectacle therefrom. This suggestion is quite fictitious and unsubstantiated. The earliest authoritative reference is made by Marco Polo who was in China about 1368, when he briefly mentioned that old people need lenses to read fine print - a custom by that time not uncommon in Europe.
Birds by Wells River, Queensland
An Extract from “I find Australia” by Wm, Hatfield (Our copy S.B.W. Library)
The bird-life along that river counted for more than mere food, though in a yarn of the practical side of life like this I can put food first. Even budding authors have to eat. But it was wonderful to be wakened by that marvellous bird-chorus in the mornings. Before the galahs began their screeching preparatory to their morning aerobatics over the tree-tops as a pipe-opened for their long flight out over the plains, the butcher-birds gave out their clear sweet call, on surely the most beautiful notes in the range of music.
I have heard the lark, the thrush, and blackbird, the linnets and reed warblers and the far-famed nightingale, but I award the palm to the Australian butcher-bird. And he is a friendly cuss. A bit of meat thrown near the hut will bring him close, and he will sit on the bough to which he takes it to eat and sing to you for your thoughtfulness. When he has gorged his fill he takes the meat just the same and skewers it on the end of a twig. But if any other bird thinks he has gone away and forgotten it, let it look out! A crow's superior weight will not allow him to get away with that sort of thing.
And the magpies. You warm to the magpie for his husky attempt to emulate his near kinsman. He sounds just like a butcher-bird with a bad attack of laryngitis, finding out the hash he is making of it, then turning it to burlesque of himself. But he can become a nuisance if you leave a bit of flesh on a hide you have pegged out. That bit of flesh must come off, no matter how much your valuable hide suffers in the process.
Butcher-birds warbling their throaty, flute-like song, magpies chortling back at them in derision, galahs screeching above the trees and down at the edge of the waterhole, pigeons cooing and yodelling back in the scrub on their dainty approach towards the water, big white cockatoos and cheeky corellas putting in their harsh screams, and little quarrion parrots and budgerigars whirring past the window with their trilling chorus, croak of a flight of pelicans or herons winging high along the river - who wouldn't get up fooling he could write, with an alarm clock like that outside and a smiling bride within? I felt I had everything tho world could offer.
“He walked along briskly, feeling that he was stopping out of a harassed world into a simpler, happier one, even if of a more primitive typo, where his thoughts would be only of winds and currents, of waxes and of the wild birds that skim them, of dawns and evenings that are sheer intoxicating poetry to the man who likes such life.”
Sunshade - Tent - Chute - Gamp
Dessicated to Marie B. Byles.
by Paddy Pallin.
Being a reply to an open letter suggesting that umbrellas are a “good thing” for Bushwalkers to carry.
When burning sun rides in the sky
Heart pants for leafy glade
If you're equipped in latest style
You'll use the old sunshade
And gambolling parasol in hand
O'er mountain top to boot
How handy then would brolly be
To use as parachute
And having braved the noonday heat
And plumbed the chasm deep
With zipped-on walls you make a tent
And lay you down to sleep.
And in the morn when storm clouds lower
You'll be a lucky fella
Tin easy now to thwart the rain
Neath spreading umbrella.
So sun and rain can harm you not
No need to fear the damp
From beetling crag you safely drop
With Sunshade - tent - 'chute - gamp
At our own meeting
May meeting was well attended. Vice-President Cotter took the chair, and with words of wisdom he attached the Club Badge and Constitution to the new members - Marie Kinsella, Marjorie Price, Laurie Greenacre, and Clem Hallstrom. We welcome them to our midst.
Bobbie Cooper and Alma Whitfield received Swimming Prizes, Mary Stoddart who won the Damper Competition at the Re-union was presented with her prize, also Arnold Barrett who came second.
The resignation of Muriel Cox was accepted with regret.
The Working Bees at both Morella-Karong and Cheltenham reported lots of good results.
The Constitution, which one of our members felt had been forgotten, was given a vigorous airing. But the question “Are new members admitted into the Club too easily?” was dismissed, as it was considered that the Committee dealt with the matter satisfactorily. The Constitution was folded away with its moth balls.
The meeting closed with a query as to what happens on Friday night, with a coal strike and no light.
We shall see!!
The Editor and her chief assistant both had holidays in May - just when the magazine was being prepared so the services of a “Special Correspondent” had to be enlisted.
From “Our Special Correspondent”.
A massed attack on Holidays is in progress by a large force of Bush Walkers the southern flank being led by Vice-President Edna Garrad, whose party have taken up strong positions - we hope - in the Tumut-Canberra sector. Various points in the bush have been contacted by all the school teachers who have joined the holiday forces.
Our Hon. Members the Canons' are now Grand-parents. Gwen Clark, down from Parkes for the School holidays reports that Bernadette Allen's daughter is to be called Carleen. The Carlons, we hear, were surprised by a visit from Jack. Still walking and not on crutches yet.
Our S.C. reports that the Working Bee at Maitland Bay, besides doing admirable work, was a social success. The camp fire sparkled with song and mirth. Paddy, Mouldy and Frank Duncan being in good form. It was good to see so many new and old members out working and enjoying themselves.
Flo Allsworth cheered the workers on by her constant visits to each party. Dune. was there in the midst of the cooking. And even the Baby Carruthers did his bit. Congratulations to the Bouddi Trust.