Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker
A Monthly Bulletin devoted to matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, 5 Hamilton Street, Sydney.
|No. 81.||September, 1941.||Price 3d.|
|Editor: Dorothy Lawry||Business Manager: Brian Harvey|
|Subscriptions: Doreen Harris||Art: Mary Stoddart and Dot English|
|Production: Brian Harvey and Jean West.|
|The Federation …||by “Delegate”||Page 1|
|Letters from the Lads - No.6||from Bill Burke||“ 3|
|Paddy Pallin's Advertisement||… …||” 5|
|Voice of the Social Committee||… …||“ 6|
|Kiama to Robertson …||by Alice Collins||” 7|
|Goodman Bros. Photo Supplies - Advertisement||…||“ 8|
|1941 Bushwalkers' Ball||by Our Special Representative||” 9|
|Trees and Things||by M.S.||“ 10|
|A Quiet-Week-end at Bouddi||by Dorothy Lawry||” 11|
|At Our Own Meeting …||… …||“ 14|
|Notes on the Sports Carnival||by the Assistant Soc.Sec.||” 15|
|Club Gossip …||… …||“ 16|
Apparently all bushwalkers are perfectly satisfied with the way the officers and delegates are carrying out the work of the Federation. Each year the attendance at the Annual Conference gets worse. This year the only non-delegate who came along was Daphne Ball, Hon.Secretary of the C.M.W. The members of the Council were glad they had arranged for the Annual Conference to be held in the same room immediately after their meeting on Tuesday, 19th August. Thus there was no extra cost for rent, and delegates were not asked to give up an extra night to the Federation's work. New members may ask, “What work does the Federation actually do?”
The Annual Report for the-year ended 30th June, 1941, shows that it is still working for conservation, and recently tried to save St. Helena by applying for a special lease of the area. This was refused, but the Federation was granted a permissive occupancy instead, so the result is much the same. About this time last year it saved Garawarra from probably being absorbed into The National Park when the Garawarra Trust's funds became exhausted. The Federation's donation of £10 2) enabled the Garawarra Park Trust to carry on its work until a Government grant was received. Camping fees and rents from permissive occupancies since received have put the Park Trust into a much better position this year.
Through the Federation the trustees of Bouddi Natural Park and The Blue Gum Forest enlisted the help of members of the affiliated clubs in those working bees that proved so enjoyable.
The Federation is giving valuable advice to the new Youth Hostels Movement, and from time to time is able to assist the Parks & Playgrounds Movement.
Then there are the Playground Walks on which children from the poorer districts are taken into the bush in charge of a Supervisor from one of the Playgrounds but led by bushwalkers - who thoroughly enjoy these outings. All arrangements are made by a member of the Federation's Publicity Bureau.
In addition, of course, the Federation holds a Ball and produces a magazine each year; it arranges inter-club debates, and this year also held a photographic competition and exhibition.
So much for the past year – What is the Federation doing at present?
For one thing, it has been asked for a bushwalker to attend a boy's camp at the National Fitness Camp, Hawkesbury River, on August 31st and again on September 7th to instruct the boys in bushcraft.
For another, it has made a donation of £1.1.0 3) to the funds of the Bushwalkers' Services Committee from the nett profit of this year's Ball, which only amounted to £12.8.0 4). The donation is not small when you realise that the affiliation fees are so low that the Federation depends almost entirely on the profits of the Ball and the “Bushwalker” Annual for its income – and this year the extra cost of producing “Bushwalker No.5” is going to make a nasty hole in its profits.
Yes, the Federation is carrying on in spite of wartime difficulties, the greatest of which is loss of personnel as one enthusiast after another enlists, or is absorbed in war work.
The start of the August meeting was held up for nearly half-an-hour waiting for sufficient delegates to arrive to make a quorum, so there was no doubt of the passing of Marie Byles's motion for an alteration of the Constitution to reduce the quorum. However, as her suggested number of “5” is just the number of office-bearers, delegates felt it unnecessary to reduce the quorum so low, so now it is “seven delegates or proxies”.
The Federation also supplements Paddy's shop as a clearing house for bushwalking information. For instance, in the cairn on Mt. Warrawalong there has been a bottle containing a list of people who have visited there. Recently this bottle was broken, so the “visitors' book” was, brought to Paddy's, where_it awaits a new bottle and a party of walkers to take it back to Mt. Warrawalong. Paddy notified the Federation of the facts and delegates are spreading the information amongst their club-mates, so that the first walkers going can take the packet with them.
Now you know what the Federation does, would you like to help it in some definite way? If so, let Vice-President Dorothy Lawry or one of the other S.B.W. delegates know. There are quite a number of voluntary jobs in need of filling at the moment. The Federation even has to elect a new Hon.Secretary at its September meeting as Merle Iredale finds she cannot cope with a Federation in addition to a job, a husband, and a home.
Letters from the Lads - No.6.
Dunc being the Club's official letterwriter, this letter from Bill Burke is ours as well as hers.
“Ever so pleased when your cheery message arrived the other day. Sorry you hadn't heard of me for some time; I usually write fairly regularly to Una and Poppy Mullin, but even they missed out in the last couple of months. With two evacuations and “Stuka” dive bombers to occupy my time, I didn't get much chance to write letters.
Most likely Una told you that I was up in Tobruk for a month, with plenty of wine, sand and “Itis” to keep me busy. My billets reserve of “Red Ned” consisted of five hogshead of dry wine and one cask of cognac; unfortunately, at the time I wasn't acclimatized. During my sojourn there we had three of the celebrated desert sandstorms; they usually lasted for about three days, during which time the whole universe seemed to consist of nothing but sand. As for the Italians, we had three of them performing batman duties for us, and I must say, they are excellent servants. It was lovely, on strolling into the billets after a hard day's work, to find everything spick and span; glasses and decanter of wine set out on the table and every now and again a plate of “hot cakes” used to greet us. They rather spoiled us and I was very sorry when I was told that I had to report back to Cairo.
As we could smell leave in the air we decided to do the 500 odd miles in a single day and so gain an extra day. Everything went off according to plan, and after a couple of days doing Cairo over, we were sent to a desert staging camp; our destination - Greece.
I had heard many wonderful tales about Greece; how cheap things were and of the reception our boys were getting, but was a bit sceptical until I arrived. Now I can add my own tales to the already lengthy list. Was in Athens for a fortnight all told, and spent many happy nights chatting with the Athenians in the various cafes, but what impressed me most was the send-off they gave us, when the knew we were evacuating. The unit had to go right down the main street of the town, on the way to the embarkation port, and everywhere the people cheered, clapped and wished us good luck. The boys are a pretty hard-boiled lot, but quite a few eyes were bright by the time we left the city.
They kept me pretty much on the move, and so, in company with three others I was sent up to Larissa to establish a railhead. You may have read about the town in the papers, as this was where the big earthquake occurred. Nature had made a mess of it before I arrived but “Jerry” had made a bigger mess of it by the time I left. We were only up here about a week, when orders were received to retire to a position 70 miles back. Had only just got settled down there when we had to do a moonlight flit again, this time ending up back in Athens.
Aside from one or two close shaves, we were pretty lucky on Greece and I only wish the same could be said about Crete. Here again the people gave us a marvellous reception; if anything, they were a little more hospitable than the mainland Greeks. The first fortnight here was one of absolute rest during which we lazed about in the sun, admired the scenery, and had an occasional dip in the creek. The creek was fed by the snow, which still capped the higher peaks, so it shouldn't be hard to imagine why it wasn't too popular. You'll probably think that this was an excellent place to write letters, well, perhaps it was, except that we possessed neither pen, ink nor paper, as all we were allowed to bring from Greece was our small haversack. I was too busy getting my sleeping-bag and camera out to worry about such things.
Our peaceful existence was rudely shattered one bright morn, with the passing overhead of a dozen Junkers 88 on their way to Retomo where they discharged their load of parachutists. The were speedily mopped up by the 2/11 Br. but the situation around Canca wasn't so good as this was where his main offensive developed. We were reminded that we were also in the war the following morning, when he laid two eggs right in our cookhouse, which laid seven of the boys out. Things began to gradually warm up now and by the time the evacuation commenced it as pretty hot. At times the sky was just a whirling mass of planes, dive bombing and machine gunning; during these periods we crouched in our caves in the hillside and hoped for the best.
We were fairly lucky up till the evacuation commenced, when orders were given that it was every man for himself. It was impossible to keep the unit together, as all marching had to be done at night and there were thousands of other troops on the road. The main trouble was lack of water; very few of us had water bottles left and what we did have didn't go far amongst the sick and wounded on the road. The wounded had a very tough time of it but sight of the boats was -compensation enough for them.
Since arriving back in Palestine I have had a very easy time of it. We were all granted seven days' leave with an open pass for Northern Palestine but we didn't do too much sight seeing as we had all had enough of travelling for a time. Best part of our time and money was spent in the different cafes. Went to Haifa for a couple of days and thoroughly enjoyed myself. It is about the most modern city there is in this part of the world and didn't have the filth, squalor and smells attached to it that the other cities have. I am back in camp now recovering after a pretty hectic seven days.
Up to date I have received several magazines from the Committee; they all awaited me on my return, and believe me I appreciated them. Often reread them as they often give me the feeling of being back with the club again. Several have arrived without any indication of the sender and one of them may have been Edna's socks; thank her very much for me, but please don't send any more as I have more socks than I can possibly use.
Best regards to all the Club Members and I hope I can rejoin you all before too long. Tell Geoff that I am looking forward to his long letter. I drank your healths in grapefruit juice as we are not allowed to buy beer with canteen orders. I think I'm the canteen's best cuetomer for the fruit juices. Weight wont allow me to put any more pages in this envelope so please tell Flo that I will write to her later on.
Cheerio and all the best,
Bill's address? NX31070 Pte. W.H.Burke, 2/1 Ord.Stores Coy. A.I.F. M.E.F Abroad.
In response to last month's advertisement, Dorothy Lawry replies:-
About Those Compasses Paddy Hasn't Got!
Dorothy Lawry says:- “Check up on this, Paddy, but I think you'll find I'm right when I say….. If you took an English compass to China, what would it do? Point north, of course, with bulldog tenacity.
If you brought one of these Chinese compasses to Sydney, what would it do? Politely point to the north, just like an Australian compass.
Now just suppose you took one-of-those-compasses-Paddy-hasn't-got to China, what would the Australian compass do? Politely point to the south. You didn't expect the Australian to be as polite as the Chinese? Or did you?
This was an Australian compass fit to be sold by Paddy, or used by a bushwalker, or a dozen, so of course, it must do the right thing always! Yes, it certainly would point to the south.
The secret is that the Chinese compass-maker must actually magnetise the “wrong end” of his needle if he wants the arrowhead to point south, for China is nearer the north magnetic pole than to the south magnetic pole. In the same way the Australian compass maker magnetises the “wrong end” of his needle if it is to point north when its centre of attraction is the south magnetic pole.
Indeed, and things are not always as they seem! But one thing you can always be sure of and that is that “Paddy-made” Camping Gear is the best procurable, because it is specially built to suit local conditions.”
Direct your steps to……….
Paddy Pallin's Shop, 1st Floor, 327 George Street, SYDNEY.
(Without prejudice, honi soit que mal de mer, ultra vires, eta., etc.)
The Voice Of The Social Committee
Says Don't Miss Any Of The Following!
|At 7.00 p.m.||Concert Meeting|
|At 8.15 p.m.||Mrs. Carrie Tennant-Kelly
will tell absorbing stories of her
“Life Among The Aborigines”.
|At 8.00 p.m.||Back to Childhood Party
We invite you to an hilarious night's
entertainment. If you don't feel equal
to going back to childhood, come in
fancy dress, but, please, it must be
|At —-|| The Galagher Dance Studio, 39 Rowe Street,
Sydney. – (our big new discovery)
|Price —-||2/6d per person.|
|At 8.15 p.m.||Popular lecturer Palmer Kent
will take us
“Wandering in Thailand and Indo-China”.
|At 8.15 p.m.||Epidiascope Night
Please bring along lots of interesting
photographs, as everybody looks forward
to these nights.
|To Be Or Not To Be?|
|This Year's Concert.|
|If You Can||–||Organise the Concert –|
|–||Suggest anyone who could and would organise the
|–||Help in any way with the Concert –|
|Be At The Special Concert Meeting|
|At The Clubroom at 7.00 p.m. on Friday, 19th September.|
Kiama to Robertson
By Alice Collins
Four of us caught the 6 p.m. train on the Friday night of last King's Birthday week-end, and after an uneventful journey arrived at Kiama about 9.15 p.m.
Here we paid a visit to some friends, and were welcomed with a big glowing fire in the lounge room, and supper of tea and cakes. From the front verandah we watched the moon rise over the sea. It was a lovely sight, and later, as we walked along the road to Saddleback, we had to keep stopping to drink in the beauty of the night, which was almost like a tropical scene.
We made camp in a snug cluster of trees near the foot of Saddleback, and soon settled down to sleep, after a few cows, sniffing disdainfully, had poked their heads into our tents.
Saturday dawned a glorious golden day, and after a leizurely breakfast, we started off, stopping frequently to admire the views. Allan and Wal, the camera fiends, started clicking away till I thought we'd have to go back to Kiama to buy more film. However, they managed to repress their enthusiasm sufficiently to enable us to go on to Baren Lands where we lunched and lazed in the sun.
Our next stop was the well known Drawing Room Rock, where we had a magnificient view of the south coast, and also of Brogher's Creek Valley, our destination for the night.
We camped just at dark near Devitt's farmhouse, Laurie and Wal being very anxious to get some fresh milk. I discovered there was an attractive young lady there also. Mrs. Devitt kindly gave us some delicious tarts which we enjoyed for tea. We turned in early with the promise of a cold night.
We woke on Sunday morning to find ourselves shrouded in a thick mist, and Laurie calling to come and see the “misticles” hanging on the tent. He took a lot of trouble to explain they were not icicles.
After breakfast when we went up to say goodbye to Mrs. Devitt the sun was shining and the mist breaking up, and we could even see the tops of the hills peeping through.
The walk down Brogher's Creek, although it was on a road, proved most delightful, with the sun shining through wisps of mist. We saw many willow trees shedding their golden leaves making a pretty picture against the dark green of Casuarinas. More photos were taken and Laurie entertained us with tales of Hungary.
We lunched in a sunny spot on the junction of Kangaroo River, and afterwards decided to leave our packs and make a trip down to Kangaroo Valley township to see the Hampton Bridge. Here we took more snaps and filled up with soft drinks and chocolates. We made a quick trip back to our packs, arriving just after dark. Off we went up the river, for about a mile and made camp under a huge gum tree.
We were all cold and hungry, but soon had tents up, and a good fire burning, and the odour of our tea cooking soon put us in good spirits. After tea I left the boys singing round the fire while I crawled into bed and was soon dead to the world.
Monday morning was really cold. Ice hung from the fences, our water bags were frozen and everything was covered in thick white frost. It was really a beautiful sight, especially when the sun came up and shone on the trees and grasses turning the frosty leaves to sparkling jewels.
We followed the road up the valley, and had a bit of fun on the way helping a farmer drive along a couple of stubborn cows. Here we found sheets of ice on the little pools of water on the road.
At 11.45 a.m. we reached the lovely old selection of Yeola, now long deserted. What tales the old farmhouse could tell of the early days if its old walls could only speak! We found the orange trees loaded, so had quite a feast before climbing out of the valley to the road at the top.
Lunch was a hasty meal about 1.30 p.m., as we still had a few miles of road walking into Robertson, to catch the only train at 3.55 p.m.
We arrived at Robertson with half an hour to get washed and changed, so ending a most delightful week-end.
Photographs In Colour
This is the time for starting photography in colour. The beauty of flowering trees, shrubs and gardens with a background of blue sky or water will result in colour pictures that give unending pleasure. You can nowadays take photographs in natural colours with any camera, without additional equipment. Ask for Dufaycolor film, and have your snaps processed in our laboratory.
Black and white photographs can be coloured too, and our artist makes an excellent job of them. Another process is colour toning. At present we do Sepia, blue, and green toning; red will follow soon - we have to wait for chemicals which are hard to procure at present.
That reminds us: our optical department (Mr. Frank-Goodman, M.I.O., Optometrist) has a few good pocket compasses left. Other articles are goggles of all kinds, pretty beach sets (consisting of sungoggle, comb and mirror, all one colour, in a case), fieldglasses and magnifiers. Our optometrical service is of the first order.
Goodman Bros. Photo Supplies
20 Hunter Street, City
(opposite Wynyard entrance)
Open Friday nights.,
1941 Bushwalkers' Ball.
by Our Special Representative.
After an absence of some years, the Bushwalkers' Ball returned to Hordern Bros. Florentine Ballroom (its original rendezvous) for the 1941 function. We were all happy to be back there again and hope that the Florentine Ballroom will become the permanent home of this social highlight of the bushwalking movement.
Our thanks and congratulations are due to Hon. Organising Secretary Cherie Jessop and her committee for their work, which was responsible for such a successful evening.
An old-time waltzing competition was held and the laurels were collected by Joan Townsend and Theo Atkinson. Two exhibition dancers showed us the correct way to waltz and tango, but, fortunately for the looks and limbs of the assembled company, no one attempted to emulate their more acrobatic movements.
Maurie Berry, the indefatigable head of the Bushwalkers' Services Committee brought along pencils and paper and a special letterbox in which, between dances, many notes were posted to bushwalkers overseas with the fighting forces. Maurie also combined business with pleasure by checking his list of names with the members of the various clubs and getting their promises to provide the names and correct addresses of any others of their comrades who were not on the list but should have been.
For a stormy night the attendance of 172 was good and, although many well-known faces were absent, it was none the less a very representative gathering. One particularly large gap in the attendance was caused by the absence of Bob Savage, and many were the sad remarks made on the distance between Sydney and the Middle East.
A large party of S.B.W.'s included President Alex Colley, Vice-President Edna Garrad, who danced with gay abandon in a floral gown; Hon.Secretary Jean Moppett wearing bright accessories with her smoky georgettes, and Editor Dorothy Lawry in floral brocade and black satin.
Hon.Social Secretary Doreen Helmrich headed the devotees of floral frocks - who were Joan Athill, Joyce Kennedy, Roxy Barrett, Joan Savage, Dot English, May Boyd and Fifi Kinsella. Win Duncombe and Sheilagh Porter wore lace, and Ada Frost a tailored gown of blue satin-backed crepe; Majorie Croker silver lame, Grace Edgecombe gold brocaded satin, Bobbie Cooper blue satin, and Ray Birt burgundy crepe satin romaine with a full-length hooded coat of matching velvet.
Federation Hon.Secretary Merle Iredale wore red organdie checked with gold; Jean West, white taffetas; Laurie Greenacre, dark green taffetas; Lola Bennett, black satin with pink camellias; Clare Kinsella, blue velvet and brocade, and Betty Isaacs, blue satin.
The world is wide, and holdeth many a joyous thing. – William Morris.
Trees and Things
You meet a scout or someone equally clever
At making cunning little contrivances of wood —
Freshly chopped sappy timber,
Always remimber 5)
Your manners, which you may be apt to forget,
And don't for a moment let
Your very wrathful
Feelings get the better of you
So that you may spill a bibful,
And get very much het
Up about this destruction of the Bush,
Or there may be a ruction;
So it is much better to hush
Yourself and say sweetly
In a tone completely
Devoid of malice
Don't you think those little twigs you have cut
Would look much better growing?”
As he sees in your glowing
Upright (or cylindrical) countenance
The marks of Pure Living and Kindly Devotion To Trees,
He will drop on his knees,
And say, “Please
Forgive me for being so croowull” 6)
And from that moment-you'ull 7)
Notice how all his Bad Ways he'll eschew
And become quite a credit to yew. 8)
Youth At The Summit
By Maurice-Hewlett in “Pan and the Young Shepherd”
I got up the mountain edge, and from the top saw the world stretcht out – cornlands and forest, the river winding along meadow-flats, and tight off, like a him of the sky, the moving sea, with snatches of foam, and large ships reaching forward, out-bound. And then I thought no more, but my heart leapt to meet the wind, and I ran, and I ran. I felt my legs under me, I felt the wind buffet me, hit me on the cheek; the sun shone, the bees swept past me singing; and I too sang, shouted, World, world, I am coming!
A Quiet Week-End At Bouddi.
by Dorothy Lawry.
“It's time you gave yourself a break and came bushwalking again”, said Tuggie. “You haven't been out for weeks. Turn your back on all your jobs and responsibilities; even leave your knitting at home; and relax for the whole week-end.”
It did sound good, and I was very stale, so we booked up the first week-end in August. I suggested that Bouddi Natural Park was too close to the sea for frosts and was sunny and sheltered from westerly winds. We decided that Bouddi would be an ideal place to spend a lazy week-end in winter.
After dashing home from the club on Friday night to pack, and rising to the all-too-familiar sound of the alarm on Saturday morning, we caught the 9.30 a.m. train and soon were roaring northwards while the city and all our responsibilities faded behind us. Relaxing happily on the cushioned seats, we rejoiced in the perfect morning and hoped the weather would hold for the whole week-end. It did.
From Killcare to Little Beach we went by the “Scenic Road”. Last time I went this way was in 1935, when I drove “Christine” and found that all the scenery I needed, and more, was in the road itself. However, since then it has been remade and even a motorist could now spare a glance occasionally for the many glimpses of Brisbane Water seen through the trees, or stop, as we did though on foot, to gaze southwards down the coast to Long Reef or northwards to Norah Head.
Though low, the creek was still running and the campsite as delightful as ever, but we were not at all pleased to have our preparations for a late lunch interrupted by the arrival of two Jersey bulls accompanied by a couple of heifers. While Tuggie finished the domestic duties, I impressed on the bulls that Little Beach is in a public park and we had every right to be there, while they were trespassing. However, apparently they were not convinced that continued trespass does not give a right to continued occupation for they and their girl friends were still grazing nearby when we finished lunch, repacked and hid our rucksacks, and left to walk over the hills to McMaster's Beach and Lake Cockrone.
August may be late winter in most places, but on the hills of Bouddi that afternoon it was early spring, with a slight sea-breeze lifting our hair and the wildflowers adding splashes of colour to the many greens of the bush. One particularly lovely patch was where hundreds of wattles were lifting their pale green spears of leaves ahoulder high whilst hardenbergia twined amongst them and mingled its deep blue flowers with the pale golden balls of the wattle blossom.
On returning to camp we were glad to find the cattle had departed, While Tuggie prepared a delicious dinner, I put up the tent and collected a supply of firewood. Gaudy streaks of cloud emphasised the setting of the sun. Then the moon rode in the heavens, the sea broke quietly on the beach, and the only thing that marred the perfect peace was a cold draught of air that blew steadily down the gully at our backs on its way to the wide open spaces of the Tasman.
Though the nearest houses were only a quarter of a mile away, they were beyond the hill, and as we reclined by the fire after dinner the world was ours, the stars belonged to us, and there was no ugliness or unhappiness anywhere. We drank in the beauty all around us until our relaxed bodies demanded sleep, and we retired to the tent and our sleeping-bags.
Some time in the middle of the night I roused to turn on to the other ear and heard a strange, persistent noise. I was still trying to identify it when Tuggie roused, sat up, and exclaimed - “The bull! That's a bull making that noise!” Sliding out of my sleeping-bag and into my sandals, torch in hand and followed closely by Tuggle, I crawled out of the tent to find and deal with the enemy. A game of matadors at 2 a.m. had not been part of our plans, but one must defend one's hearth and home…..
The moon had set; the fire was dead; and the trees and bushes dotted about the little, grassy valley were just darker blotches in the night. Have you ever looked for a black-headed bull in the dark? It was the bigger of the two bulls, the one with a ring through its nose, that was making the noise. When my torch beam picked him up he was standing about fifteen feet from the tent, facing it and challenging it, with his head down as though ready to charge past the fireplace and toss the tent out of his favourite camping place under the casuarinas. Apparently he could not make out what sort of animal the intruder was - we had returned and pitched the tent while he and his friends were grazing elsewhere - and, being unsure of the calibre of his enemy, he was working himself up before charging. With his nose only about an inch from the ground, he looked fierce when I appeared. I waved my lump of firewood threateningly, made loud noises, and advanced stampingly like the biggest, baddest human I could make myself sound. Probably all the bull could see was the lights of the two torches, mine shining in his eyes, and Tuggie's waving searchingly around for the rest of the animals. To my relief, the bull turned and angrily retreated a few feet. I followed my advantage and drove him a little further off, then returned to my pal – I did not want any of the others to get between me and the tent!
We could hear the cattle moving about nearby among the bushes; the cold wind was still blowing down the valley, and we were two lone women in the dark of a winter's night - and no longer happy! While Tuggie worked the searchlight I got a fire going and gradually built up - the job being interrupted by various shoo-ing expeditions. Had there been only one animal I might have managed to herd it up the track and away over the hill, but there were four of them and one or other of the heifers would break back among the bushes, and then the others would bunch and refuse to move off. I did not like to use force for fear of angering the bulls and starting some real trouble, so I retreated once more to the protection and comfort of the fire.
The grass was wet with a heavy dew, so were the bushes, and so were my pyjamas. The wind was chilly, and I was only just recovered from a cold, so, after drying myself by the good big fire we now had burning brightly, I retired to my sleeping-bag inside the cosy tent, while Tuggie, snug in her eiderdown coolie-coat but shivering in her shoes, kept watch and stoked the fire for hours until she was satisfied (through nearly falling over him while looking for him) that the big bull had really settled down to rest and the others had departed.
At 5 a.m. Tuggie crawled into her sleeping-bag again, and at 6.30 it was light, so we arose, packed, and departed for Maitland Bay, where we could breakfast, sleep, and lunch in peace.
The early morning freshness of another perfect day, more lovely wildflowers along the delightful track, and the beauties of the coastal views were compensation for our early rising and helped to soothe our nerves, but we were two hungry women who arrived at the camp of the official party at Maitland Bay just at nine o'clock. As soon as we were within hailing distance we greeted our friends with loud cries of “Is there a Trustee in the house?” for we knew Marie Byles was to be with them and we wanted to make our complaint.
After a large breakfast we settled to sleep in the sun, only rousing occasionally when we had to move to get our heads into the shade again. About half-past one we wakened with thoughts of lunch, and were just starting to prepare a salad when a small cloud of smoke was noticed rising behind the hill in the direction of Little Beach - a bushfire starting! Should we leave our lunch and go over and put it out? Where was it exactly? Who had started it? We knew we were not guilty - our fire had been extinguished when we left camp before eight o'clock. This fire was starting at half-past one, and it was closer than Little Beach. Perhaps someone's lunch fire had got away. Probably they would get the bushfire under control themselves. Anyway, let's have our lunch first!
So we ate and watched the smoke clouds rising and spreading, subsiding, only to spread again, die away once more, and rise yet again. By now we were all wondering “Where is Marie? Has she finished marking the route of that new track? Is she fighting the bushfire alone on her way back? Is she perhaps cut off by it?” for Marie alone had gone off over the hills soon after we arrived. The rest of the party had chosen to remain at Maitland Bay and bask in the warm sunshine.
Just about every time our consciences made themselves heard and told us we really should be up and off to fight the fire, the smoke died down as if the fire were under control. So we washed up. Then we packed up. At least the fire did not seem to be spreading, even though it had apparently flared up again, and it was only a small fire, judging by the area from which the smoke was rising. We sorrowed for the beauty of the bush that was being destroyed. We decided that Marie was not likely to be in real danger, though she might be wanting our help - she seemed to be getting it under control without anyway, for there was very little smoke coming up now. We told our consciences we did not think we were needed - and we set out along the homeward track, with our backs to the signs of fire and our faces to the magnifident view down the coast.
When Marie rejoined us at the ferry we were relieved to hear that the fire was not in Bouddi Natural Park at all, but in a holding adjoining, and was probably a deliberate burning off. Marie had seen it, and the bull, but had fought neither.
The launch made a fast trip back to Woy Woy and, after depositing. our packs on the station, two of us dashed back to the local pie shop for supplies before the train arrived. When it pulled into the platform an army of intending passengers attacked each door of each carriage. Somehow the seven bushwalkers had misjudged things - no carriage door stopped opposite to them and they were left “on the outer” - but, with the usual bushwalkers' resource, they had soon remedied that and secured a guard's van to themselves!
Hurriedly I opened my pack and extracted the butter. In my haste to get into the local pie shop I had collided with its fly-proof door, and I did not want a black eye as a souvenir of my quiet week-end at Bouddi.
At Our Own Meeting
Two new members were welcomed at the August meeting - Miss Beryl English (a cousin of Dot) and Mr. Charles Jones. They are both starting off the way all bushwalkers should go. That night Beryl provided a cake for the B.S.C., and the following Friday night Charles was deputising for the Walks Secretary with the next walks program.
The correspondence brought news of various absent members, and one letter to help the Hon. Sec. It was from John Harvey, who is still in Bathurst but wrote advising a change of address there.
John Manson has resigned from the Club. We understand there is no connection between this action, taken for purely personal reasons, and the mixed reception accorded by walkers to his recent piton placing at Carlon Head. Incidentally, we heard that he was out there again on August Bank Holiday week-end doing some improvements to his original job.
All the usual reports were received and we learned that the Busktwalkers' Services Committee have already despatched 700 Articles to the boys, and that its members have discovered a market for used postage stamps, so any of these received from Club Members will help to provide more “mental comforts” for the lads.
The question, Is there to be an .B.W. Concert this year? was raised by the Hon. Social Secretary. Joan Savage is not prepared to do the organising, though she will gladly help in the entertainment. It was resolved that we will have a Concert IF an organiser and helpers can be found, and all members interested are asked to attend a “Concert Meeting” at the Clubroom en Friday, 19th September, at 7 p.m. sharp. An interesting talk by a visiting lecturer will start at 8.15 p.m., but in an hour and a quarter we should be able to discover whether we can or cannot have a concert this year.
The attention of all members is being drawn to the fact that the Half Yearly Meeting on Friday, 12th September, will start at 8.00 p.m. As will be gathered from the notices received, it promises to be a long meeting. We hope it will be well attended. There is a paper shortage owing to the war, so it will not be reported in full in this magazine.
Notes On The Sports Carnival
by the Assistant Social Secretary.
Once again this year “Sunnyside” proved a delightful site for our Sports Carnival.
About 36 attended the campfire and on Sunday there were about 65 competitors. I think the majority of us felt that much of the enthusiasm would be lacking from the sports this year as so many of the energetic lads are in camp and overseas. However, each event was contested with great gusto.
Dot English proved to be a shining light and was successful in several events. Her style in the walking race was too much for the rest of the competitors.
To those who are not walkers in the athletic sense of the word there is a great deal of entertainment in watching a men's walking race. I think the competitors would perhaps be very amazed if they could see just how peculiar their gait is.
The three-legged race and orange race provided the usual fun.. This year a new plan was adopted for the orange race. They were simply placed in a heap and competitors had to dash up and down the field collecting one at a time from the pile. You can just imagine how the first few persons to reach the oranges first fared. The balance of the field more or less tumbled all over them, and I know I staggered away not knowing whether I was still intact or if a nose, eye, or ear had been left with the fruit!
Next year I have decided to use more discretion in entering events. I find that jumping once every twelve months tends to upset the muscles unduly and the following day they protest vigorously. I was somewhat consoled to know that Dot (who entered for everything) was doubtful during the following week as to whether she was suffering from pneumonia or lumbago in view of the peculiar pains she experienced in her back.
The direction-finding contest was again popular. I was lazy - excuse a cold - and had a lot of amusement watching the serious figures - with steady gait and expressions of intense concentration - striding around the paddocks.
Some of the prospective members showed a good deal of enthusiasm. Ken Joyce was outstanding, and Adrian Basser appeared to try very hard - but, alack, without much success. I noticed Joan Kilpatrick at one stage engaged in an apparently deep and scientific study of the teeth of a dead cow - the skeleton of which was in close proximity to the campfire site. Our members certainly have a variety of interests! Reggie produced a portable gramaphone, and I found I had no objection to music with my lunch. We also noticed his entrancing shorts.
Maurie Berry snooped around looking for suitable subjects to snap for the lads overseas. Poor soul, in endeavouring to obtain a close-up in the hop, skip and a jump contest, he was literally amothered 9) in sand. However, all in a good cause!
Bill Henley tells me that the crosscut saw we purchased was a great success. As usual Bill did yeoman service. I also noticed that one of our visitors, Darcy Frost, was a busy little man and proved most helpful, We hope he enjoyed himself, and feel that he did.
We are grateful to-the owners of “Sunnyside” for making the property available to us, and hope that we may look forward to an equally enjoyable sports carnival next year.
This month the boy to get our congratuaations is Ossie Brownlee. Did you meet his fiancee, Miss Violet Osborne, when he brought her to the Clubroom the other Friday night to meet the wild bushwalkers? She was quite unperturbed. Another night he was going to take her to meet the River Canoe Club Boys. Evidently the munitions works do give Ossie some time off occasionally for pleasure – and he has made good use of it.
Another hardworking member who dropped into the Clubroom for a while one Friday recently was Jack Debert - looking extremely well, and very glad that his brief visit to Sydney on duty included a Friday.
From Jack we heard that Max O'Halloran is also wearing the blue uniform now answers to “Flight-Lieut.” instead of “Dr.” and is busy examining recruits.
Frank Freeguard is still busy mapping Australia, but he recently had to have a few days in town to get a new uniform and then he came in one Friday night looking very smart with two pips up; said when he returned from the wilds of the bush he discovered that he had been a lieutenant for over a month without knowing it. It was just too bad that the B.S.C.'s first parcel of “physical comforts” should have reached him during the short time he was at Strathfield! All properly sewn up in calico it was, too!
In a letter of thanks to the B.S.C. ex-member Arthur Austin sent his regards to friends in the S.B.W. There are some still here, but he will probably find a lot of them on the other side. Arthur is with the Ack Acks.
In a letter to Rene Browne from Syria Morris Stephenson also wished to be remembered to old friends. Morrie is a lieutenant in the Survey Regiment.
Two other overseas letters that are floating sound the Club for anyone interested to read are from Evelyn Higinbotham from Suva and from Bob Savage from the Middle East.
The boys seem to be getting all the publicity this month, but the girls are having some too, in the report on the Bushwalker's Ball, which was held too late in July for us to include a description in the August issue.