Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker, July 1941, No. 79
A monthly Bulletin devoted to matters of interest to The Sydney Bushwalkers, 5 Hamilton Street, Sydney
|Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Production||Brian Harvey and Jean West|
|Club Members in the Casuality Lists||1|
|Mt. Coricudgy & The Western Blue Mountains||by Max Gentle and Marie Byles||3|
|Paddy Pallin's Advertisement||5|
|Letter from River Canoe Club - Mapping Section||6|
|Word from Wal. Roots||7|
|Doings of the Bushwalkers' 'Services' Committee||9|
|Voice of the Social Committe||10|
|A Balanced Diet||Stoddy Junr.||11|
|Goodman Bros. Photo Supplies - Advertisement||13|
|Letters from the Lads - No.5||Arnold Rea, C.M.W., R.A.A.F.||14|
Club Members in the Casualty Lists
During June the long lists of casualties suffered by the A.I.F. in Greece and Crete started to appear and not all of our boys had been as lucky as Bob Savage, who got back to Egypt savely.
Listed as missing was Lieut. Ralph Holroyd, and, on behalf of all his club-mates, Hon. Secretary Jean Moppett wrote to Mr. Holroyd Senr. conveying our sympathy with him. In reply she learned that later word had been received that Ralph is a Prisoner of War.
Warrant Officer Bill Cawood of the 2/5th Aust. General Hospital is also understood to be among those left in Greece, although his name has not appeared in the Casualty Lists. Bill's only relation being a younger brother, who is also in the A.I.F. Abroad, it will be some time before the authorities can be sure his next of kin has been notified. The S.B.W., together with Bill's other friends, can only hope the Germans will appreciate the action of all members of the 2/5th General Hospital in remaining to care for the wounded and treat them as their devotion to duty deserves.
Waterfall Station Lighting At the June meeting of Council a reply was received from the Railways to the Federation's request that the electric light be extended from the signals and the stationmaster's office to the rest of the station so that the travelling public would have adequate lighting. The reply was to this effect – All stations suffering from kerosene lamps have been lined up in a queue for electric light and Waterfall will have to wait till its turn comes. The inference was that Waterfall was fairly well back in the queue, so - the travelling public will have to continue to be the suffering public. The Illawarra line has so many natural attractions that people will continue to use it in spite of all the discomforts so there is no need to give them service. - The revenue proves this! And we, as part of the travelling public, know the discomforts!
“The Bushwalker” No. 5 - 1941 issue The Editor reported that difficulties were being experienced as the publication Committee was now minus Business Manager and an Advertising Manager; paper would be very much dearer than last year, and advertisements probably very hard to get. The response to his first appeal for contributions had been negligible. He asked for directions from Council as to whether the magazine was to be produced or dropped in view of war conditions and the possibility of making a financial loss on it. Council decided that “The Bushwalker” should be brought out this year, if necessary in a more unassuming form as well as a reduced size. Now is the time for everyone interested in this magazine to rally round and help to provide the material for it. Again this year the S.B.W. representative on the Publications Committee is Dorothy Lawry.
The Federation Ball on 22nd July The committee for this function reported that this year there will be no prize for the best-dressed table. 'Pity, just when the hoodoo of the R.C.C. stranglehold was broken and people might have taken an interest in the competition! Still, we know it will be a good Ball anyway!
Garawarra Park Trust recently provided the Surf Club at Burning Palms with a full-sized First Aid Kit at a cost of £3/-/-. The Trust is in a better financial position this year and has sufficient funds in hand to last until November.
The Youth Hostels Association has now drafted out a constitution and set of bylaws, and has decided that the first place's in which it should endeavour to establish hostels are Otford, Waterfall and Wattamolla. Its meetings are open to all people interested and Federation Secretary Merle Iredale can supply information about place and date.
Pitons on Carlon Head John Manson of the SBW announced that the route from Narrow Neck Peninsula over Carlon Head to the Black Dog Track is now negotiable by walkers as he has placed pitons and a hand chain on the big rock which used to make it impassable to all but rock-climbers. The delegates present welcomed the news of the opening up of this fresh route and passed a hearty vote of thanks for the work done.
When supporting our advertisers, please mention “The Sydney Bushwalker”, they like to know they are getting results.
Mt. Coricudgy & The Western Blue Mountains
By Max Gentle and Marie Byles
When Max suggests an expedition you can take it for granted that it will be an interesting one, just as when Marie suggests making an early start you know it will be a before dawn one.
This expedition was to finish off Max's famous Uraterer trip some years ago when he went from Wallerawang on the main western line across the Wolgan and Capertee Valleys to Mount Uraterer and back by a ridge to the Main Divide and thence by the Cudgegong River to Rylstone. The sandstone canyons and the high basalt dome-like mountains seen on that trip, were a lasting memory. And thus it was that we came to tumble out of the train onto Kandos platform on the morning of Anzac Day, 1941, after a more or, less sleepless night. Ruth McLaren apparently lost a shoe before or after the tumble and she stood pathetically on one foot watching the departing train steam callously out of the station. Gwen Clarke had been waiting patiently for an hour in the chilly dawn to take us to the hospitality of Kandos Hotel, so we found Ruth another pair of shoes and hurried off.
Gwen had also chartered a lorry ready for us, and after breakfast we mounted it thankfully, little dreaming what lay in store. It was a real he-man lorry and had evidently had a tank or tractor for its father or its mother, for when it came to saplings barring its way, it simply drew back a step or two, took a deep breath and hurled itself upon them; and down they went like ninepins. As for needing a road or a path, it had not been born or bred for such sissy things, and it lurched determinedly-over ridges and furrows, and streams that would have made an ordinary car turn pale with fright. In this occasion the only things to turn pale with fright - or maybe black and blue with bruises - were the occupants, that is to say, us, the seven bushwalkers bound for Mount Coricudgy.
The lorry at last dropped us in an open, grassy, swampy paddock through which ran a clear stream and above which towered one of those curious, dome-shaped, basalt mountains which had lingered in Max's memory. It was draped with several basalt scree-slopes, an unusual, possibly a unique, phenomenon in Australia.
We made through the hills to the Cudgegong Valley at the foot of Mount Coricudgy, and another of those curious dome-shaped hills, Big Ben by name. The Cudgegong was flowing pleasantly when we met it, but unlike the streams in the Wolgan and Capertee valleys - which usually flow only near their sources - this stream behaved normally, and got smaller and smaller and drier and drier as approached its source. However, after lunch Max located a perennial swampy spring on the Wollemi side of the Divide, that is, east of it. It seems to be the usual thing in these parts to find water on the east of the slopes but nowhere else.
In the remaining daylight Marie made a dash and put Big Ben “in her pack”. It was a stinging-nettly climb, but the view from the top is possibly one of the best in the district, and the half bare, partly-screed hill is a landmark which would make it difficult to lose one's way when anywhere in the vicinity.
It rained that night, but 'morning' dawned with a thick white mist and the promise of sunlight to come. As it was a fixed camp we were able to leave early (not really early, says Marie - no till 7.30am, in fact). It was a wet climb up through the rained-dewed vegetation of the basalt-capped Mount Coricudgy. No views could be seen for the dense white mist but when the top was at length reached and we found ourselves in a forest of noble blue blue-gums, then the mist made views to complete its perfect beauty.
We were nicely wet through, anyhow up to the knees, by the time we reached the trig at the northern end of the ridge Mount Coricudgy, which runs for a mile and a half in a north-westerly direction. There was a cold wind, and, we repeat we were wet. Max duly parked his party at the trig in the coldest, windiest place for a little ten minutes rest while he strolled round to see if there was a view anywhere about. He returned in one and a half hours! However, after about an hour the party, took things into its own hands, made a fire and had lunch, and were after that was extremely suspicious of Max's “ten minute rests”.
We completed the day by going out onto the rocky tops of a spur which runs southwards from Coricudgy and commands far finer views, Max's Mount Uraterer as well as the pointed Mount Tyan and other familiar points being visible. It as a wild, untrodden country which stretched away to the south - sandstone canyons breaking up a wildly dissected plateau between Mount Tyan and the Wolgan Valley.
The last morning we left, early, says Max, late says Marie, 8am to be exact, to climb Mount Boonboura which lies on the Main Divide. We followed the unmapped cattle track which runs right from Putty near the Macdonald River to Rylstone. It is said to have been the scene of cattle-duffing in early days, but it is seldom used now. For a person who does not mind a long trip with a heavy pack, it is a most interesting route to take.
We returned to the lorry, via a different route to that by which we had come ad crossed another of those charming streams flowing through a green valley backed by Kamilaroi conglomerate cliffs perforated with many caves. The final descent to the car lay through a blackberry-sprinkled valley and the luscious black fruit was just at perfection. Gorging on blackberries was a little rash in view of the nature of that lorry and the country over which it had to pass, but nothing happened, not even when we reached the road and started trying to overtake a car in front of us whose dust was not altogether pleasant. It is sad to relate that our driver forgot all about the golden rule of doing to others as one would have others do to oneself. Instead, by dint of speed of 58 miles an hour, he rushed upon that car and overtook it, and merely rejoiced to see the road a cloud of smothering dust in which the car was lost. But it is questionable whether two wrongs make up a total of road-courtesy!
So much for Coricudgy, whose silver blue-gums peering through the white morning mist will linger far longer in the memory than the dreary Monday which most of the party had to face after a nearly sleepless night in a crowded train.
Whether those blue gums will remain more than a memory, is doubtful, for a local saw-miller is said to have been given a permit to demolish them. Letters have been written to the Forestry Department and to the lands Department, and it is hoped that perhaps the destruction of a unique beauty spot may still be prevented.
Come where the leaves, are young and green and sweet,
And bush scents flow and mingle in the breeze
To make one's breathing inspiration true.
No rare old perfume of the secret East
Intoxicated as this soft, pure air.
There, where the cloudless blue of distant sky
Peeps shyly down between the tops of trees
So lofty as to seem sky's window-frames,
All essences of silence and of sound
Make one pervading stillness everywhere
The softest silver plash of water near,
The shivered slurring wail of grasses dry
The mingled music of the bushland birds,
A liquid, golden, bell-like aria,
Falling with crystal-clearness on the hushed
And whispering undertones of lesser songs,
Blending and long-drawn-out to soothe and heal
That inner ear, so bruised with city's roar,
Till in a pleasant, musing daydream wrapt
Sun warmed, the happy hours are sped away.
Letter from the River Canoe Club of N.S.W.
“To The Editor,
The rivers were (and again are) low; hence map production slow; that is the only explanation we can offer for not advising you of further maps completed by us for some months; the low rivers have cramped our style, but more data has nevertheless been compiled and the following have been completed and added to our library:-
- Map No.21, Canoeist's Chart of Nepean River (Camden to Warragamba Junc. Section). This river has now been completely mapped for canoeing purposes from Maldon suspension bridge to where the stream becomes the Hawkesbury at the Grose Junction. Five separate maps embrace this apprediable stretch of water.
- Map No.22. Sketch only of the Snowy River. (Dedick Bridge N.S.W. to Orbost, Vic. Section) Showing river detail as regards position of all rapids etc. This compiled by R.C.C,-S.B.W. ites and Kaske.
More maps are in course of preparation.
(Snd.) E.Caines (Ted) Phillips.
Convenor R.C.C. Mapping Section.”
Word from Wal.
Some extracts from a general letter front Wal Roots.
In a recent note. Secretary Jean T. “ticked” me off in a mild sort of way for not keeping in touch with you all, for not dropping a note now and again to let you knoe that the Roots was still a Bushwalker in fact and in spirit, as well, as by reason his name still being on the active members list.
Jean is right. Frankly I hate getting down to writing letters, although I get the greatest kick in the woad from the receiving of them. So in chewing over Jean's remarks I had to confess to myself that I had not, of late, been putting as much into the old club as I had been expecting to receive……..
Whatever you do, don't any of you ever get the impression that I am drifting away from the Club. On the contrary the S.B.W. and all of you who make it what is, mean (if this is possible) more to me today than in those halcyon days when my own world was complete in itself. Every walk on every walks programme is studied out and checked over. Every “Bushwalker” is read from cover to cover and every bit of news which finds its way up here is digested and absorbed……
The day may come when we will be foodlisting together again quite frequently, and when that day comes the other interests which have come into my lift will most assuredly assume an ever lessening importance.
I've taken up golf,-and frankly get quite a kick out of it. It is assuredly the nearest civilised approach to bushwalking. Plenty of fresh air, sun, rain and wind, and quite a fair bit of walking tossed in. The course on which I play has the loveliest situation, it stretches for a couple of miles along the Brisbane River and as a result there is always a wealth of interest apart from the golf. All the sailing races are sailed past the course and on some Saturday afternoons the river is just one mass of billowing white sails and scudding boats.
Fishing, also, has become a big thing in my scheme of things. In this I am joined by our mutual cobber, Les. Douglas, and many are the trips we have had together. I believe Phil told you some time ago of our having decided to build a rod each and of the subsequent manufacture thereof. She probably didn't tell you of our first experience in the use thereof. Neither of us had used a rod, we were just raw mugs, so after the completion of the manufacturing operations we (Phil, Imps and all) piled into the car and hied ourselves down to Final Head. We arrived there just on tea time so contained our eagerness while we polished off a whacking big billy of stew which we had brought down with us wrapped in a sleeping bag. Incidentally this is an excellent idea as it keeps the stew piping hot for many hours. If any of you are going on a trip involving a long and probably cold train trip, but a billy of stew into your bag and knock it over (figuratively speaking) before you start your walk. It will make the pack seem ten pounds lighter.
Then off we went to a little jetty jutting out into the Tweed River. We hauled a prawn out of the tin, bayoneted him (or her) with the hook and then prepared to cast. I might mention that it was by this time dark with a darkness that effectively cloaked our amateurishness, and we were very glad. Doug. heaved out, straight towards the centre of the Tweed; he came very nigh to knocking off my hat and landed some ten yards upstream. Next it was my turn. I gave it all I knew (which was not a lot) and finished fifteen yards downstream, hooked up on the rocks of the embankment. It was not a very suspicious start, but how we have progressed along the road since then!
Two more rods have added to the Roots collection since those days, one belongs to David (who shows distinct tendencies of developing into a good fishing cobber for his daddy in the years to come) and the other is a little gem specially designed for bream……..
Don't get the impression that fishing and golfing take up all of my spare time and that I don't ever get away for a night or two under the little tent. At Easter, The Imps, a cobber (one Ross Bulgin of the National Parks Assoc.) and I had a wonderful trip, if you are interested I'll tell you about it. You are? 0.K. here she is.–
….The first part of our journey lay along the banks of the Tweed to Murwillumbah. No doubt many of you have been along this lovely strip of road and know just how entrancing it is. Surely there are few places quite so beautiful as this introduction to the Tweed. From Murwillumbah we followed the road through Uki which follows right along the headwaters of the Tweed. Folks, this is grand country up along here, if you get the opportunity to make a trip through here don't miss it. The road twists and winds, dips and rises, and every twist and every rise gives you a view which is entrancing in its sheer loveliness. Old Man Warning towers above everything and makes the perfect background for almost every view. There is grass, green grass, the lovely river, sometimes placid, sometimes rapidly, lined with willows or the dark green scrub trees. And there are cows, fat and sleek and lazy, and sprightly paddies. Homesteads with kids who look at you with bright eyes and always give you a cheery wave. Yes! It's certainly grand country. That night we camped just below a little waterfall on the Tweed, and what a pleasant campsite it was. With the song of the river in our ears we slept the sleep of the just that night.
In the morn we swam, ate and sunbaked, and the keen fisherman threw a line in just in case. Strange to say a whopping big freshwater catfish liked the look of the worm and took it aboard. So we had about three pounds of fish we didn't particularly want. However, we were short of bread, and some milk would have been most acceptable. So, with memories of a certain “Mouldy” sixpence in the back of the mind, the fisherman approached the nearest farmhouse, kissed the blarney stone and succeeded in trading the fish for a two quart billy of milk and eighteen whopper scones. 'Owzat Mr. Bacon?
Away then through more beautiful country and on to Nimbin. Then away eastish through The Channon and on to the eastern end of the Nightcap Range…..
When next we shall be able to go down that way it's impossible to, say, who knows if ever? Since then we have had petrol rationing and yet more, and more must yet come. The motor trade is busted wide open and cannot expect to be any other way until after. So who is to tell what next? However, let's all keep the old chin up, there's a good time coming sometime.
Well folks, that is about all for the present. Believe me it has been good having a yarn to you all again, I've thoroughly enjoyed myself. Please overlook the errors for they are only slips of the tongue made when I've been chewing the pipe.
Cheerio! and good camping.
Doings of the Bushwalkers' 'Services' Committee
The month of May found the above Committee nearing the place it hopes to attain within the walking movement.
The support given by other Clubs is evident in the supply of material for posting by the Rucksack Club, while other clubs have in hand plans for supporting the scheme financially The River Canoe Club's “Night of Chance” July 4th and The Trampers Club's “Card Evening” in August.
The names and addresses of men on record for posting have reached 45 in number and as various doubtful addresses are clarified it is expected to increase this number by ten.
It will give satisfaction to know that your Committee's efforts are being well received by the men both interstate and overseas. We place on record the thanks of Rob. Morrison (Vic), Peter Allen (Vic), Harold Chardon (Vic), Horrie Salmon (N.S.W.), Lloyd Edwards (Middle East), George Archer (Canada) and Oliver Moriarty (North Sea).
During June financial support was received from the Coast and Mountain Walkers, River Canoe Club and The Mountain Trails Club.
During this month also the Committee made a special effort to contact every man overseas by Air Mail with a Canteen Order and a friendly note from his own Club. On the first mailing night of the month the Committee members despatched 22 Air Mail letters and 75 packages of magazines, books etc. a total of 97, while on the second mailing night 82 packages were posted, making a total of 179 mailings for the month.
In last month's “Sydney Bushwalker” there was an appeal for articles for raffling on Friday nights and this has met with a splendid response. The Committee would like to thank the donors of the many very, tasty items which will be disposed of during subsequent Friday nights.
In closing this report of “doings” the Committee is pleased to state that it is still receiving letters of appreciation from the boys in the Forces.
The Voice of the Social Committee says Coming Events of Importance
- July 18th (Friday) Dot English will entertain you with tales of her mountaineering experiences in New Zealand.
- July 22nd. (Tuesday) The Bushwalkers Federation Ball at Hordern Bros. Ballroom tickets 7/6d.
- August 9/10th. Sports Carnival at “Sunnyside”, North Richmond. No Entrance Fee.
- August 15th. (Friday) Dorothy Helmrich will tell you of the fascination of Jave & Bali, Ancient and Modern.
- August 20th (Wednesday) Skating Party. At the Glaciarium.
- August 29th (Friday) Variety Night. Full of surprises.
About the Bushwalkers Federation Ball
- as listed above -
Could we have just one party of Sydney Bushwalkers at the Ball this year? If you wish to come singly, in pairs, or in any other sized group please let the Social Secretary know. But, of course, if you prefer to have your own smaller party that also can be easily arranged.
A Balanced Diet
By Stoddy Jnr.
Many a bushland campfire has flickered and crackled with wayward and knowing mirth while, “grave faces gathered in a ring”, Bushwalkers, old and young, fat and thin, short and tall, have argued, declaimed, denounced, and harangued on one poor threadbare subject, – Diet! Breathes there a man without an opinion on Diet? Everyone is ready to add his or her jumbled, or concise gleanings to the mounting and unending hubbub till the firelight wanes in protest and the accustomed quietude of the bush conspires with night to make our voices small and inconsequential and one by one we retire from combat to acquiescent slumber.
But here in these pages is opportunity to make oneself heard, felt, and to generally slang the other fellow black and blue. Hooray! Now here's what I say:- (Non-Meat-eaters gnash your teeth - if gnashable).
A balanced Diet must impose the least burden on the body while supplying it with enough material in accurate proportions to meet its needs. To do this the materials must contain animal and vegetable proteins, carbohydrates, fats, water, salts and last but not least, our precious vitamins.
I foresee some wise young professor of the future standing up and saying, “Vitamins are the bunk! 'Cos why? Well just take a look at all these batty folk filling their interiors with raw this and raw that until they (the said interiors) grumble in natural wrath.”
“With the approach of civilization our ancestors discovered fire and began to cook. Naturally! Of course.
Cooking kills a heap of germs we might succumb to, not being as robust as our cave-man forbears. And why should we be as robust? Haven't we swapped some of our toughness for things we'd rather have? Women with hairless faces; taller and less ape-like men?
But to return to our muttons. (Aside: Mmm, yes! nice juicy lamb chops.) Nobody can lay down a diet which will suit everyone, but for anyone doing eight hours mainly brainwork per day I recommend two meals a day and three strictly censored snacks. Thus:-
(1) Arising at a respectable and regular hour (say 6am) consume: one of the following:- An apple, orange, banana, two slices of pineapple or a grapefruit.
(2) Breakfast at 7.30am on:-
A. Cereal, Stewed or fresh fruit.
Tomatoes on Toast
Or B. Bacon and Egg
Toast and Marmalade
10 minutes later: Malted Milk, Cocoa or Coffee
Instead of morning tea, a glass of water.
(3) Lunch: Fresh fruit in any quantity or a salad of any shop variety. N.B. No Bread at all.
(4) Dinner: Soup in winter, Meat - but not much, Cooked vegetables - ad infinitum, Milk puddings and so forth. Northing to drink
(5) At least one hour later: Any sort of beverage with nothing to eat.
This diet is eminently suitable for most walking trips. Long trips, unfortunately, make it necessary to overbalance the diet in the carbohydrate direction but anyone who can stand up to a long trip can put up with this. The inevitable reaction sets in on returning to shop windows full of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Some of the food combinations, I have recommended, and some in which I habitually indulge, would give any trained dietician nightmares, but, you see, I don't believe in making things too easy for the tum. By all means give it work to do, glorious conglomerates to sort out, but at the right times and not if you aren't in the best of health.
Trundling off to work on train, bus or boat the old foodbag can get in its stretch of pulverising, & liquefying while you mentally digest the morning news. If you have breakfast at the last moment and then make a wild rush out the gate every day you may as well resign yourself to a crotchety old age with accompanying digestive troubles.
If you enjoy an argument with your fellow-workers at midday - have a salad - lettuce is hard to digest. Then, after dinner, the films, quiet study, or a good book - and that meal is efficiently dealt with. Your stomach (the Victorians would shudder, wouldn't they?) may have an exiting time all day, but if you give it opportunity after dinner to function peacefully you may be sure you will get enough nourishment stored away for your needs.
I know this article will call forth protests. That’s what I want it to do. Do I worry? I don't dare. Worry's the one thing even a perfectly balanced diet cannot cope with.
The Best Picture of the Week
Club members, who supplied “Best Pictures of the Week” during May and June, were. Messrs. Brian Harvey and William Whitney. Several other BushWalkers scored “near misses”. We are pleased to announce these results, which are quite up to our expectations.
The main factor to be considered in the selection of a “Best Picture” is, of course, the pictorial effect: the technical qualities, however, also have to be taken into account. Several excellent pictures had to be rejected because of under-exposure.
It is winter, and the actinic value of the sunlight is smaller than would appear. It is advisable to allow longer exposure (or to open the diaphragm more) than one would think necessary at first glance. The use of fast films will help a good deal.
We are looking forward to showing more “Best Pictures” made by Bushwalkers this month - watch our showcase in Hunter Street - opposite Wynyard.
We do developing, Contact Printing, Enlarging, Copying, Colouring, Mountings, Framings, etc. We stock always fresh films of the best brands and Papers, Chemicals and Equipment for those who do processing themselves.
Goodman Brothers Photo Supplies
20 Hunter Street, (Opposite Wynyard), Sydney
Letters from the Lads - No. 5
This month we give you some extracts from his description of his arrival in Canada last February written to his clubmates of the C.M.W. by Arnold Rea of the R.A.A.F.
“This is written in a very thirdclass carriage somewhere on the western slopes of the Rockies. The train is not one of the far-famed tourist-type, but old carriages that have been dug up from the scrap heap aid put into service for troops.
Yesterday afternoon we sighted a low cloud bank slowly resolved itself into the American coast, and a high cloud bank like cumulus cloud solidified into Mt. Baker - a lovely snowy peak pointing 11,000 ft. into the sky and glorious to look on. Then strange seabirds appeared - fat and well preserved and larger than our seagulls, and there were little white-breasted birds that skittered over the surface in formation and duck-dived every few minutes and were lost to sight.
As we sighted the mouth of the gulf between Victoria Island and U.S.A. a lazy ground swell rolled the boat more than the open Pacific. Fir trees clothed the steep hillsides right to the water, and bare patches showed up ugly where the millers had laid on the axe. Back of the foreshores the mountains rose thousands of feet to their ragged snowy tops and the still water of the gulf of someone or other Spanish gave the impression of a fiord in Norway.
Houses were all wood, which seems the universal style in this land. It was dark by the time we reached Victoria and we had to hustle around getting our big bags packed and in the luggage room. Spoke to the stevedores who came aboard to unload part of our cargo, and they all speak very American. Trams are street cars, cars are automobiles, footpaths are sidewalks, but the nasal twang is not unpleasant and we practice it at every opportunity.
We all trotted ashore onto a big wharf where a few Canadian Air Force officers kept us standing around for an hour or so and officially took charge of us while our toes slowly solidified. Then we all trooped on board again, were told where we were to go and received ten dollars each advanced out of next pay. Then we went to bed, and woke up to find ourselves moving very slowly through heavy fog and our boat's whistle blasting harshly in reply to numerous tugs shoving great rafts of logs along.
A picturesque wooden township ran from the water right up to foothills that culminated in two tremendous snowy spires above the layers of fog that wreathed the town. A miscellany of marine craft rested like painted ships over their reflections on the still water; the aldermanic proportioned gulls wheeled and dived among flotsam from the big timber rafts, and our boat nosed slowly and fearfully up to her birth. Of Vancouver we could see little - a few large buildings reached out of the fog and the wharf with its travelling gantries and covered walks came into vies. Stevedores clustered on the wharf and, as the ship pulled in, the boys heaved their N.Z. and Fijian coins over the side and nearly started free fights among the toughs below. Over went leis, bows and arrows and carved knives from Fiji, and a dozen or so pounced on each. Gangplanks were set and we followed the New Zealanders off the boat and lined up on the wharf, and, after an hour or so's delay during which we took last photos of “Aorangi”, and talked to the crew, we marched a couple of hundred yards to the station where our train waited, complete with large engine with cowcatcher, brass bell and five foot driving wheels. As in N.Z. the platform is only a few inches above the metals, and one has to climb four or five steps to board the train. Carriages were sooty and have troughs folding into the side (and we're to sleep in these) with a strong spring in the supporting gear that made us apprehensive of them folding up with us.
On the train are trainees bound for Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Macleod, and New Zealanders going right through, and we left a lot of cobbers to enjoy a day's leave before entraining tonight for Edmonton and London (Canada)….
We farewelled our late officers and cobbers and pulled out of the station amid much noise and promises to come together again. Then we wound for miles through Van's suburbs around the harbour. Practically every house was of bare unpainted wood - shingle roof and walls, the older ones dark from weathering, the newer ones hard on the eye…. We passed thickets of what I'd imagine to be larch with coarse brown grass all through them, sawmills sandwiched between log rafts and heaps of sawn timber, sorrowful little villages of untidy unpainted houses. One percent of the houses I've seen today are painted, and of that number many have the paint badly falked….
“After a while we left the coast and followed a wide river, the Fraser, flowing lazily between heavily, wooded banks, with small clearings here and there round small shingle cabins. A lot of timber has been cut but plenty seems to remain….. We followed the Fraser for hours, running along a narrow track cut in the side of the steep gruesome hillside, diving periodically through little tunnels 50 or 60 yards long that saved expensive cuts or building up. The long train snaked about round the continuous sequence of corners, and we alternately had the engine or the weird top storied and bathroom chimneyed cook houses brought into view. The river was running much faster now with great snags sticking up and making eddies and white water in the green flood…..
The air was decidedly frigid when we turned in, and patches of snow lay all about. The hinged trough arrangements we had to sleep in were none too comfortable and as soon as one got out of them they sprang back into place with a snap. There was great hilarity as the boys shut up some poor cuss who'd retired early and strange cries came from the ponderous structure……
Woken up at about 2am by a cove below yelling for me to come on down and see. Peered out into the dark, and the countryside was dead white and terrific mountains, all snow and fir covered, shot straight up, and below, great dark gorges that moonlight (it was a perfect night) couldn't penetrate, merged into the gloom. The scenes I saw that morn are indescribable. It hurts like blazes not to be able to tell you all about them so you could visualise what I saw, but I just cannot…”
That is just the start of a very long and very interesting description of the trip through Canada to Macleod that is circulating amongst C.M.W. members. We are sorry that space will not permit us to publish more of it as we had permission to use what we wanted of it. Any of you who know Arnold Rea and want to write to him can get his address from Daphne Ball, Hon. Secretary of the C.M.W. or from the Bushwalkers' 'Services' Committee. If we gave it to you as it was in February we'd be sure to have at least the rank wrong.
Some of our congratulatory remarks this month concern Mrs. Audrey (Lumsden) Lockwood who is the proud mother of a baby daughter, and Tom and Josephine Herbert who recently welcomed a “little brother” as a playmate for young Gregory.
The balance is shared by Gwen Clark and her husband Edgell Sydney Hunt, who were married on June 9th and will reside at Orange, and Hilda Blunt who was married in Melbourne on May 24th to Capt. J.H. Newstead of the A.I.F.
To all these folk we offer our very best wishes for the future.
Dot English did not dash off to N.Z. after all - she was offered a job in Sydney that was sufficiently attractive to keep her here; did the companionship of her S.B.W. pals perhaps weigh the scales?
The S.B.W. beat the Campfire Club by 13 points in the interclub debate on June 20th - partly owing to bad luck for the Campfire Club, who had to use a substitute speaker owing to an illness that occurred earlier that week. The subject was “That an insular policy is in the best interests of Australia” and the S.B.W. had to affirm this.
While this debate was going on in the Committee Room, and the Social Committee was meeting in the kitchen, the crowd was gathering in the main club room and then enjoying Marie Byles lecture on her Tasmanian trip with Peter and Ray. This intensive use of all facilities precluded any possibility of holding an adjourned business meeting, so when there was no quorum present on Friday, 13th June (because of the King's Birthday Holiday) the monthly business meeting just had to lapse. No, we could not hold it a fortnight later, either, because that was the night the Club was holding its second annual Photographic Exhibition. More about this next month!
Once more “Paddy” has moved into, bigger, brighter and, better premises. Where? Far away? Not he is still on the same floor of the same building, but - remember - next time you make a last-minute dash for those forgotten gadgets, you will have to turn to the right at the top of the stairs. That's where “Paddy” is to be found now, in Room No. 12.