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The Sydney Bushwalker

A monthly Bulletin devoted to matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, 5 Hamilton Street, Sydney,

No 84 December, 1941, Price 3d.

EditorDorothy Lawry
Business ManagerBrian Harvey
SubscriptionsJean West
ArtMary Stoddart
ProductionBrian Harvey and Jean West
“Peace on Earth”?The Editor 1
Federation Notes 2
Down Arethusa Wayby Stoddy Junior 4
Goodman Bros. Photographic Supplies Advt. 7
Crime CAN Be Made To Payby “Mumbedah” 8
Why Go Out On Club Walks?by “Inquirer” 9
Club Gossip 10
Re-Union Recollectionsby “Re-une-er” 11
Paddy Pallin's Advertisement 13
At Our Own Meeting 14
Letters from the Lads - No.9from Tom Moppett 15
Voice of the Social Committee 16

"Peace on Earth"?

December again! And the third Christmas of the war is here! Can you remember away back to the days before the war, When life ran smoothly and once a year, almost automatically, we wished one another “Merry Christmas”? Those words would grate under present conditions. Then what can one say? What the Bushwalkers' Services Committee said for all of us to our comrades in the fighting forces – “Greetings!”

Here in Sydney we are fortunate; we can still find peace in the bush near our homes - our homes are still safe. With those overseas it is still “chins up” and “thumbs up”. They have shown Jerry quite clearly that, though he may knock them down, he can't keep them down, and our pride in them is intense. And so, after mentally reviewing the past years, we look forward.

Last December your Editor suggested that “Goodwill to men”, needed to be supplemented by “goodwill among men”, what hope is there that we shall live to see this? There is more than a vague hope for the future, there is clear evidence that “goodwill among men” has already been born and is growing daily.

Look where the Russians are making their magnificent stand against the hordes of Hitler. See how the admiration of all free men for them is dispersing the fog of misunderstanding that has for so long hidden all the good points and distorted and magnified the bad ones of that mighty people. A Communist is still a bogey-man to many people - but during the past six months the term “Russian” has come to mean something other than “communist”.

The proof of this is in the British, American, and Australian aid to Russia - and Russia's aid to Britain.

From co-operation comes true understanding - and just recently we heard (through a B.B.C. broadcast) the assurance of the British Foreign Secretary that this co-operation with the Russians will continue after the war. Let us, therefore, march forward with peace and goodwill in our hearts this Christmas, and with our pulses throbbing with hope for the future of mankind.

Federation Notes

At the November meeting quite a lot of time was occupied in dealing with the correspondence arising out of the various instructions given by the October meeting. Of course, not all the replies expected had been received from the various authorities contacted, but the following results were reported. (More next month, we hope).

Windsor Shire Council has in hand the matter of clearing water hyacinth from South Creek, and thanks the Federation for its letter.

The Secretary to the Railways reports that it has now been decided to extend the electric light at Waterfall Station as requested, and the work will be done as soon as possible.

The Boy Scouts Association located the boys who did the carving in the rocks at the junction of French's Creek and Middle Harbour Creek, and their scoutmaster has convinced them that it is wrong to carve names or initials anywhere. Previously they were “tree conscious” but “did not think rocks mattered”…

Regarding sawmilling on Mt. Coricudgy, a reply had been received from the Forestry Commission, but it was not considered satisfactory, so further letters will be written.

At the request of the S.B.W., Council of the Federation decided to write to Johnny Manson and ask him to remove the notices regarding “Mansons Ladders” which he had erected by the Clear Hill and Black Dog Tracks.

Also at the request of the S.B.W. a sub-committee was appointed to consider formulating a policy regarding tracks, blazes and other markings, and routes.

Following a complaint from the C.M.W. it was decided that whenever possible, notices or other publicity, should be submitted to Council for approval before being issued. Any members of any sub-committees of the Federation, please note.

The Blue Gum Forest Trust asked that Members of the affiliated clubs be requested to note and advise the Trust of the brands of any cattle seen roaming round and grazing in or near the Forest. They have no right to be there and the Trust wants to find out who owns them so it can ask for their removal.

The Conservation Bureau followed up its verbal report of last month with a written report giving maps and details of the areas which it intends to ask the Minister for Lands to have reserved. Not to be too greedy, the Bureau has, for the time being, dropped any suggestion of reserves along the Shoalhaven, or at Kanangra, where it thinks there is sufficient protection at present. It also finds the Otford access is in existence, and is limiting the area to be asked for on Heathcote Creek to the section downstream from where the road from Woronora Dam crosses on its way to Heathcote. This, of course, is below “Miarra”.

Since no clubs showed any enthusiasm for a debating competition next year (the Y.M.C.A. Ramblers had no delegate present) this was “left in abeyance until further notice.”

As a preliminary to revitalising the various committees of the Federation, and more particularly the important “S.&R. Section”, delegates were asked to find out from their clubmates what support there would be for Signalling Classes in the bush and First Aid Classes. Who could, and would, instruct? Who would attend? Would you? Could you? The S.B.W. delegates are Marie Byles, Merle Iredale, Joyce Kennedy, and Dorothy Lawry, so let any one of them know if you are interested. And what about a series of lectures on map and compass work? Have you any other suggestions?

Delegates are also asked to advise their clubmates that all members of affiliated clubs are authorised to police the permissive occupancy at St.Helena. The Federation does not mind other people camping there, but no damage of any kind must be done.

To avoid clashing with the S.B.W. Christmas Party, the Federation has moved its December meeting forward one week and delegates will be reporting back to Council on the second Tuesday, which is December 9th.

OH, Yez! OH, YEZ!

Hear Ye All Bushwalkers!

“Tuggie” lacks but one number of Ye Magazine to complete her set, to wit “The Sydney Bushwalker” January, 1940.

Will anyone having such a copy and not wanting same please negotiate with said “Tuggie” who guarantees a good home to the unwanted one.

Down Arethusa Way

By Stoddy Junior.

When Laurie, anxious to tackle the Arethusa steeps and chasms, suggested that we co-lead a Programme walk in that direction, unthinkingly I agreed. For perhaps a moment, I reflected that if any of the timid or untried ventures to join the party, they could be kindly but firmly despatched to Syncarpia per Grand Canyon, while those stalwarts of sufficient stamina strode via the Mt Hay Road to the cliffs overlooking the Arethusa Canyon, and nimbly negotiated the narrow chimneys and overhanging ledges pertaining thereto. However, on the eve of departure the expeditionary force was found to number five, all of the strong, but not silent, type.

A thunderstorm preceded our arrival at Leura, and we made our way out through gleaming wet streets to sing along three dark miles of the Mt Hay Road, where we spent the night in an abandoned cow-shed.

Early next morning we continued our way along the track, which now resembled a garden path, so profuse were the wild irises, fringed violets, pink buttons, flannel flowers, boronia, vanilla plants and roseate gumtips. We saw many waratahs and shook their honey on to our fingers. Nectar of the Gods!

After about 2 1/2 miles we left the track, and followed a low ridge downward into a small creek. There was a type of pink Grevillea there, rather like a bottle-brush in habit, and abundant Boronia, and tall groups of waratahs all along the creek bed.

Presently we pushed our way through masses of palest pink and white boronia, and reached the Rookery Nook. This is a small but comfortable cave, furnished with a fireplace, a breakwind, sundry pots and pans, a griller and a billy. To the partition post is nailed a neat sign, which reads, 'Rookery Nook', and at one time there was a notice requesting the user to leave things as found.

We decided to call our creek Rookery Nook Creek, and, after a short pause, continued along it, keeping to a well defined wallaby track at the base of the closing walls, while the stream plunged deeper and deeper through black wattle and banksia, ti-tree, coach-wood and lilli-pilli into a diminutive canyon of its own.

Suddenly the U-shaped valley opened out, and we found ourselves standing on a promontory marked by a well-built cairn. Across the Arethusa Canyon we faced straight black cliffs, and from the jutting rock on which we stood our dizzied eyes came to rest some 350 feet vertically below, where Arethusa Falls were diminished by distance to insignificance. Heights in this valley are accentuated by the closeness of the walls on either hand. The depth of the yawning chasm was awe-inspiring, and from our vantage-point we could espy no visible way down.

As I write, I reflect that I was the only one present who had been a member of that previous walk in which these heights had been scaled from below. I feel that my companions were both brave and foolhardy to pursue the adventure from that point, having only my word for it that it could be done. It is a vastly different matter to climb down, however, as I found to my disquiet.

We retraced our steps a little way till we were able to descend into Rookery Nook Canyon. This was not very difficult, but it involved a short, icy swim. Then we rounded the corner on a safe but narrow ledge, and entered the main valley where the Rookery Nook Creek took a reckless header into space. We were now down about fifty feet. The next point to be tackled was most exciting. The way, so easily traversed once before when our gaze was being continually directed upward, now lay down a vertical rock-face, undercut beneath two small niches, into which one must place one's feet - over a 25 foot void!

One long-legged member of the party safely overcame this obstacle and fastened the rope so that those following were assured of a secure handhold. We four remaining came down with the rope about our chests as a precautionary measure. The packs were despatched more simply over the cliff face.

Next, we followed the base of the cliff to gaze over the third and last drop. Pooh! A mere nothing of about 60 feet!

Arethusa Falls seemed suddenly quite close, and yet in some ways that last section of the descent was the most difficult. I had had quite enough of swinging on a rope when my feet finally touched terra firma.

It was one o'clock when we sat down in the glorious sunshine on top of the Falls to eat a sorely needed lunch. A pleasant tiredness, accompanied by satisfaction at our accomplishment, stole over us and we decided to leave exploration of the canyon till next day. So, rested and refreshed, we swung down the tree beside that vociferous waterfall, and after admiring it, made our way along the famous ledge between the Devil and the Deep.

We paused half-way, The grand rock faces were aflame with orange and gold, and one glance could not measure the immensity of the scene. Standing on a three-foot wide interruption in the face of a sheer cliff, where the cushioned moss upheld a thousand spell-bound violets, we gazed first downward to the river one hundred and fifty feet below; then let our vision travel upward over the graceful tropic growth, which covered the flared lines of scree above its banks; up to the sheer, rugged, towering ramparts themselves, so close and menacing; and above, with craning necks we followed the span of the azure sky to where the dripping wall we touched leaned out aloft.

The ledge encompassed, we sped downward beneath feathery tree-ferns and padded paperbarks to where the first turpentines heralded the proximity of Syncarpia Camp. We bathed in a circular, shadowed pool, and played with its friendly waterfall, then hastened on to build our tea-time fire.

Syncarpia is a lovely place. As we lay on our backs beside the campfire, contemplating the aspiring tree-trunks, the sky deepened in colour with evening's approach, and the sun-bathed cliffs became a richer molten gold. A myriad small conversations took place between the birds.

Next day we made our way back to Arethusa Falls. We left our dry clothes in the sunlight, and, clad in swim suits, entered the shadowed archway of the canyon. Between the cold green walls nearly meeting over our heads, we swam “through icy caves and barren chasms”, climbed through narrow crevices, and carefully edged round mossy ledges till we saw before us the rope left hanging at the head of the canyon by Ken Iredale and party. The water in the river bed was much lower, and in that final pool, erstwhile a seething cauldron of tortured water we were now able to wade across to the very foot of the falls themselves. They were still deafening, and as we shouted to each-other we were, amazed fo hear an answering yell. We climbed back a short distance and beheld two ancients leaning on their staves at the head of the waterfall. After shouting uselessly at each other we waved a shivery Adieu, and left them a little reluctantly.

Speeding back over enormous boulders, down waterfalls and cracks and crannies, creeping under one tremendous rock which blocked the chasm from side to side, we plunged into the last dark pool and at length regained the blessed sunshine.

As soon as we were warm again we wound our way down to Syncarpia to lunch and a prolonged rest.

The walk finished via Grand Canyon and Medlow Bath to the tune of 'Down Argentina Way' and these words:

'You'll have a h–1 of a time
If you learn to rock-climb
Arethusa. (Tsk, tsk, tsk,.tsk—tsk,tsk)
Before each obstacle's passed
You think each moment's your last
Down Arethusa. (Ditto.)
Though with cold it is true
You may be purple and blue
You still can be gay—–
Down Arethus–a way!

Your Christmas Photographs

will of course go to Goodman Bros. for processing.

Please remember a few points:

When you bring your films or negatives, don't forget to mention that you are a Club member. It will ensure particular attention to your order, and consequently the best results.

If you have not yet seen the outcome of our experiments with colour toning of photographs - sepia, blue, green, purple, and red, ask to be shown some of the pictures. You will certainly like them and have some done for yourself.

Many nice Christmas cards are for sale at stationers' shops. None, however, will be so nice as cards with your own photographs. They will bring the greetings of the season in a much more personal way. We make such cards from your own negatives. Don't leave it for the last moment, though, and enable us to finish the work in time.

A big enlargement from one of your nice negatives, mounted and framed, or coloured, makes a beautiful, personal Christmas present for your friends, and is not expensive. Here, too, we ask you to bring your orders in time. Framemakers are frightfully busy before Christmas.

Other Christmas presents comprise cameras, enlargers, photographic accessories of all kinds, and the beautiful Swiss precision watches, MARVIN. No further supplies of these latter are available, and we sell our small remaining stocks at prewar prices - real bargains.

And there is our optometrical department with a first-class modern eye testing service, and all sorts of optical goods - goggles, magnifiers, fieldglasses, etc.

Now you know all about what to get at


20 Hunter Street, City.

(Opposite Wynyard entrance)

Open Friday nights.

Crime Can Be Made To Pay

By “Mumbedah”.

I quite agree with “Ubi” after reading his, her (or its) article in the last magazine, that the map is incorrect regarding the run of the ridges lying behind Konangaroo Clearing. From the map it would appear that the ridge which commences at the Clearing rises to Mt Queahgong, but, in actuality, it runs up to Mt Guouogang, first in a westerly direction, then swinging south into a deep saddle, up into the west again, southerly into a further saddle, then towards west and up on to the mighty Guouogang.

I have not been on this particular ridge myself, but from close observation from the opposing ridge on the Gangerang side of Konangaroo, and from photographs taken from there and from Splendour Rock and Merri Merrigal Plateau [Mt Merrimerrigal], I can definitely state that the ridge extends from Konangaroo to Guouogang in the manner described above.

In the confusion of the mist, unless “Ubi” descended down a ridge having one or two saddles, he, she (or it) must have mistaken Queahgong for Guouogang, and descended a well-defined ridge which ends at the junction of two creeks having their heads either side of Queahgong, one rising between Jenolan and Queahgong, the other between Queahgong and Guouogang, to form the creek known to the Megalong folk as “Cedar Creek”,and so described by “Ubi” in the article. This would account for the “delirium”. The junction of these two creeks is not far from the Cox [Coxs River], and the main stream joins the Cox, at a sharp bend at the foot of the Yellow Dog Ridge, (about half a mile up from Konangaroo).

The crime therefore can be made to pay in the shape of someone with more time at their disposal than I have, doing a bit of climbing (mere 3000'),and plotting the exact positions of the ridges and creeks, which, if notice is to be taken of the map, will surely lead to confusion. I attempt here to give my interpretation from the photographs in my possession and my memory, and hope that the scene of the “crime” will some day be represented in a true and faithful manner on the Blue Mountains and Burragorang Map.

[insert map image]

Why Go Out On Club Walks?

By “Inquirer”.

“People ought to go out on more club walks”. “Prospective members ought to do more official walks”. “Old members ought to go out with the Club.” Why? Why this aching desire to get people out in large mobs? Sort of Neo-Mystery-Hikes?

Have you ever stopped to think about it, or are you merely accepting the ceaseless repetition as if it were Gospel Truth? Oh, but you get to know people by going out on Club walks? But, do you? Just stop and think; and anyhow, perhaps there is something more important than “getting to know people”.

In a crowd of 15 to 20 people - and official walks often number that, and would number more if people were not partly impervious to propaganda - do you get to know anything more about people than their names and faces? Do you find out if they keep good-tempered when they are tired, whether they can find their own way through the bush, and unless you happen to be in the rear of the party, even whether they drag behind? Often I have been asked to support the nomination of a prospective member who has been on some official walk I have been on, and I have had only the vaguest idea of both his walking capabilities and his character. But a person who has been with me on a small private walk remains indelibly impressed on my mind together with all his virtues and vices.

I put it to you that you do not get to know people on Club walks, anyhow not intimately enough to know if they are good bush men and women.

And What About Bushcraft?

Club walks seldom number less than a dozen these days, and often they are over twenty, and they might well number over fifty if everyone went on club walks. Even experienced walkers have difficulty in following the route when they are in the midst of a large party. How much less the beginner. True, you may learn to trip quickly through rough bush, but that is not bushcraft. Perhaps you may even learn to pitch a tent and light a fire. But whatever you learn, you do not learn to find your way through the bush, and this is the major part of bushcraft.

I do not want to decry Field Week Ends, and lectures and demonstrations may be useful, but they do not teach bushcraft. The only teacher of bushcraft is the bush, and the only guides are your own mistakes. Until you have been lost, you cannot say you can find your way. It is only in the small party that you can learn to do things for yourself and learn to find your own way.

I put it to you that you do not learn bushcraft on Club Walks, nor even on Field Week Ends.

Bush Hosts and Hostesses

But, you say, that is all destructive criticism. What constructive proposals have you to offer about prospectives who want to learn bushcraft and get to know older members so that their nominations may be supported.

My proposal is that the Selection Sub-committee should be enlarged, and that its members should constitute themselves bush hosts and hostesses whose job it would be to organize small private parties and invite not more than three prospective members to come on each walk, and see to it that each prospective member had the opportunity of leading, and learning bushcraft generally, but especially learning how to find his way by map and compass, sun and commonsense. This would mean, not merely that the prospective member learned bushcraft, which he does not do under present conditions, but that he would be intimately known to older members of the Club.

Of course the same prospective members may be already well versed in bushcraft and require no further experience. Such are among the most valuable members the Club can have, but the onus would be on them to get to know older members in other ways, and in a few rare instances they might be able to prove their capabilities by general repute. But the onus would be on them if they did not avail themselves of the services of the bush hosts and hostesses.

And, finally, if the club really wants its members to be competent bush men and women, it must absolutely refuse to admit to membership anyone who cannot lead. I realise that some people are natural leaders and some are not. But no one, unless he can find his own way, is a safe person in a party, nor is he a fit person to be admitted to any bushwalking club which takes bushcraft seriously.

Incidentally, if you want to keep the membership from growing, this is the easiest and fairest way to do it. Sweep away all the childish test walks, and instead examine each applicant on his own merits. Let the prospective member bring evidence to show he is a keen and capable bushwalker, that he has done and is capable of doing walks through the roughest bush, of camping, of finding his own way, that he genuinely loves the bush and is neighbourly and “compatible”.

Club Gossip

Edith Finlay (S.B.W.) and Bill Watson (Rover Ramblers) have announced their engagement, and we offer our congratulations to both parties in this inter-club event.

We extend our sympathy to those members and prospectives who got their feet burned on a recent “official” while crossing a peaty area on the Grose about an hour's walk below Burralow Creek. This is the first bushfire trouble reported this season. We hope it will be the last. Never forget the menace of bushfires; someone's carelessness had started that one maybe a week before our party reached the spot. Be very sure you never cause a bushfire.

Did you hear of Ray Bean's splendid gift to the Bushwalker's Services Committee? The eighty Christmas Cards that were needed for the lads from all the Clubs were all Ray's work, and his donation! To each of the boys went one with his own club's badge on it. We are glad and proud to know you, Mr Bean!

By the way, the Bushwalker's Services Committee continues its fortnightly postings of magazines, books, and photos. A continuous supply of these is needed, and “The Sydney Bushwalker” has been asked to make it known that the King Pin of the Bushwalking Movement - yes, Paddy Pallin, of course - allows his shop to he used as a receiving depot. Can you imagine what bushwalkers would do without Paddy? Neither can we.

Perce Harvey reports that one day recently he ran across Dick Schofield in the street. Dick occasionally gets home for a day or so from the wilds of Victoria, and hopes next visit may include a Friday evening so he can come along to the Club Room. In the meantime he sent his good wishes to everyone.

Reunion Recollections

By “Re-une-er”.

We all store away our impressions and memories in a series of photographic-slide-like mental pictures of the happenings we witness. When I went along to the Federation Reunion on Nov.1/2nd on the banks of the Nepean River, I added quite a few happy “slides” to my collection - may I “show” you some of my latest pictures“?

  • Scores of cheery, chattering Walkers, each with a bulging rucksack, trying to squeeze into a ramshackle bus at Penrith Station, so as to avoid walking to the campspot on Fitzgeralds Creek.
  • Paddy and others tying odd parcels and paraphernalia to the outside of said bus with pieces of string.
  • The lass who succeeded in securing a front seat in the bus having to clutch to her bosom the “body in the bag”, - the “special export quality” carcase of mutton, which was to become the much advertised and anticipated “Barbecue Supper”.
  • The camp during two glorious sunny days and under the calm serenity of the full moon that was Nature's floodlight for the campfire festivities.
  • Many little tents under the casuarinas, with the smoke of cooking fires curling lazily into the purple dusk.
  • Members of the various clubs enjoying gay and happy cameraderie and the exchange of ideas and opinions about all those things dear to bush walking hearts; but with time to stop, think and chat about absent friends - especially those overseas.
  • Folks coming, singly and in groups, to the “Official” tent to sign the “Log Book”. About 182 signatures were recorded by members of affiliated clubs, non-members and visitors.
  • Vice President Dorothy Lawry (in the unavoidable absence, through illness, of President Oliver Wyndham) officiating at the Fire Lighting Ceremony, and the representatives of each affiliated club coming forward, in turn, and lighting their Club Torch from the blazing Federation Torch she held.
  • How the great Camp Fire leapt into life when the lighted Club Torches were thrust into the prepared kindling among the large logs.
  • Everyone enjoying the gay laughter and singing - community and solo - melodious harmonicas; the radio thriller”, complete with “commercial advertising” 0 that told us all about “Ramsbottom's Remarkable Rat Traps” and the virtuous heroine 4 who, when the villain threatened to turn her parents into the snow,exclaimed, “Snow, snow, a thousand times, snow!” - The ballet of Bathing Beaux and Belles of the Gay 'Nineties. - The shadow show, by means of the headlights of an old car and a sheet, that put before us all the horrors of a 'major operation' and the various weird and wonderful 'innards“' that the 'surgeons' removed from the wretched victim.
  • Specially the slow solemn procession of cooks and butcher bearing the Barbecue Supper, done to a turn and emanating very tempting odours. The munching of mutton and appreciative licking of greasing fingers.
  • Large interested audiences watching the Rock Climbing demonstrations,some urging the others to try their luck and risk their necks and reputations on the various dangling ropes.
  • Comic capers in and out of canoes, by capable and incapable canoeists.
  • The popularity of the swimming pool. Lounging groups chatting lazily under the shade of green trees.
  • A 'mud fight' between the boys of rival clubs. How they were plastered from head to foot with black clinging mud. The innocent onlookers who also received a share of the badly aimed and misdirected 'ammunition'. Peels of laughter as the combatants in this unique fight plunged into the river to wash away all traces of their “good clean fun”.
  • The long shadows stealing across the camp as the little tents one by One were folded away, packs shouldered and folks turning homeward, some to walk in the cool evening to the train, others, once more, to emulate the sardine and pile into the old motor bus for a ride to the station.

That is the end of the series of “Reunion Pictures”: now added to my memory album as a memento of yet another glorious weekend spent in the out-of- doors in the company of many kindred spirits.

Please mention this magazine when you purchase goods from our advertisers

Fifteen days left

Only 15 shopping days to Christmas.

Use them well. Overhaul your gear; make a list of repairs and see Paddy pronto.

Early shopping will help you by securing quicker service and save Paddy (and Oliver and the girls) a few headaches.

Camp Gear for Walkers
327 George Street SYDNEY.
Tel. B3101.

At Our Own Meeting

At the November meeting there were no new members welcomed, but there were new Room Stewards appointed. When the usual call for volunteers was made there was a pause, and then a rush, so now we have four Room Stewards - Arnie Barrett, Roley Cotter, Brian Harvey, and Jo. Newland, to list them alphabetically.

In connection with arrangements for the Field Week-end on the 15th and 16th November, it was reported that the launch service between Cronulla and Bundeena has been curtailed owing to petrol rationing, and there is now no ferry between 2 p m. and about 3.20 p m. on Saturdays. The best trains to catch leave St James at about 12.40 p m. on Saturdays or about 8.45 a m. on Sundays.

Another change to be noted, this time by Era-ites, is that the 8.35 a m. on Sundays to Lilyvale has been moved forward five minutes and now leaves at 8.30 a m.

“Business as usual” is Rene Browne's motto so the usual S.B.W. Christmas Treat for kiddies from Surry Hills will be held on Sunday, 21st Decei4ber. Rene is asking for plenty of helpers that day, and is also collecting contributions towards the cost of food, fares, and toys for the Christmas Tree.

Once again Johnny Manson's pitons on Carlon's Head [Carlon Head] were discussed. Are they quite safe and “a good thing” as opening up a new route, or are they too difficult and dangerous for most people. The consensus of opinion was that the route, though awkward in one place, can be used by bushwalkers, but should not be known to tourists and, for their safety, the notices on the Clear Hill Track and the Black Dog Track which indicate the turn off to “Manson's Ladders” [Mansons Ladders] should be removed. It was resolved to ask the Federation to write to Johnny Manson and request him to remove the notices, since he erected them, and if he does not comply with the request, the Federation to get them removed.

Following on this discussion, the meeting resolved to suggest to the Federation the desirability of its going into the matter of forming a definite policy regarding tracks and the marking of tracks, its draft policy to be submitted to the clubs for approval; after the adoption of a policy in this regard, all clubs to co-operate and control their members in this direction. Upon adoption, the policy regarding tracks and the marking of tracks should be well publicised amongst all bushwalkers.

All enthusiasts who are thinking of making any “improvements” anywhere should note that this resolution of the SBW in no way lessens all bushwalkers' appreciation of the thought and work of such enthusiasts, but only seeks to get general agreement on what is desirable and necessary so that the best results can be obtained from the efforts expended.

The Editor's calendar told us this one –

“It's easy to show hands and carry resolutions, but better to show shirt sleeves and carry them out.”

Letters from the Lads - No.9

From Tom Moppett.

he Editor approached Jean Moppett with “What news of Tom, and can we have something from his letters for the magazine?” Here are a few extracts from the 102 pages sent over from Canada and ports on the way.

“Well, although I am not the perfect sailor, by exercising care have managed fairly comfortably … Am not sure yet if I like ships. Will be able to say by end of voyage, but there is that ship smell. It is certainly far inferior to a good campsite on the Kowmung…..

”…Have just left Auckland….The country round Auckland was all low hills, many of a peaky shape; there were some sandy beaches, but near Auckland rocky cliffs fronted the water suggesting England's famous cliffs, but they were not white. The afternoon was spent wandering about the city which is not very big … like Brisbane. That evening we went to a dance in our honour arranged by a women's organisation, it was quite pleasant —- Tuesday we went on a bus tour to Rotorua…. We stopped at Hamilton and were surprised at the size of it bigger than a N.S.W. country town. The Waikato River flows through the town, is N.Z.'s biggest river, about 100 miles long, wide and deep and swift … be excellent for canoeing - that is, down it… ….Rotorua was interesting but that was all .. the whole place is pervaded by a smell of sulphur which would take quite a bit of getting used to … we first smelt it at least 10 miles away.

”… Left Suva yesterday afternoon, 18/8/41, having arrived very early the previous morning. The tropical uniforms are a great idea. I don't like this muggy heat at all, but at least my clothes don't irk me…. Can't say I think much of Suva .. there does not seem much for a visitor to do or see, we even found it most difficult to get a feed… When I came up the next morning I was quite surprised to see the size of Suva, because there had been so few lights during the night, not that Suva is big. After breakfast we went for a march, about miles, finishing up outside the Bank N.S.W. and Bank N.Z. where we got El worth Fiji currency (worth 17/6). Then there was a rush for the pubs - but horror - it was Sunday and they were all tight shut ….

“…We joined a party going to a native Fiji village about ten miles away…The Fijians appear good tempered, pleasant people, quite good blokes in fact. They sang and danced for us and gave us Kava, the local drink, in cups made of half coconuts. It is most unpleasant - looks and tastes like muddy water - but leaves a clean taste in the mouth….The dancing was merely shuffling about in time to the music. Four of us were honoured by being asked to partner the women during a couple of the dances. With two dancing it is still a shuffling step of a few inches, the partners standing side by side, with arms round waists. Our partners had dressed in their best for the occasion, one in blue cotton with white flowers, and one in delicate pink. I thought I made rather a good job of the dancing, in fact even improved it with the addition of a spin. It was a most interesting visit….

This goes as far as page 31, so the rest will have to keep till some other time.

The Voice of the Social Committee



December 16th
(see below)
January 16th
8.15 p.m.Lecture with Coloured Slides –
“A-Naturalist in New Guinea!! by Mr. MEL.WARD of the Australian Museum.
January 30th
8.15 p.m.NIGHT OF SURPRISES by the Bushwalkers' Services Committee.
February 4th
– swimming and or dancing and supper.


We are pleased to announce that the Christmas Party arrangements are going ahead apace!

Dinner Music and several items of entertainment have now been added to the list of attractions.


I. Will you not come without letting the Social Secretary know? - (As there would then be no food for you!)

II. If your name is on the list and you find you can't come, will you also let the Social Secretary know? (Or you'll get a bill for 3/- for your dinner)


194112.txt · Last modified: 2016/01/06 12:49 by sbw

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