Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker.
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, 5 Hamilton Street, Sydney.
No. 97. January 1943. Price 3d.
|Quiet days on “Canobla”
|2 & 3
|3 & 4
|Fears that Infest the Night
|Conservation and the Use of Land
|8 & 9
|Letters from the Lads and Lasses
|10 & 11
|Canis Major & Canis Minor
|At Our Own Meeting
|What Do You Think?
|The Voice of the Social Committee
|Goodman Bros. Photo Supplies
… She slid through the opening of the mia-mia and stood erect outside it stretching luxuriously. Through the trees the water was just visible, cool and grey in the morning light, and she left the camp and wandered down the hillside, stopping now and then on some rocky outcrop to look about her. She was hardly conscious of what she saw, for it was all too familiar; she looked at it not to see it, but to feel the stability which flowed from it to her. When she pushed through a grove of honey-scented wattles, or trod knee-deep among the pink boronia she did not notice their fragrance - but its absence would have touched her nerves with warning. Her reaction to her environment was that of all her people; to whom the earth was simply cradle, hunting ground and beer. Because it had never occurred to them to coerce the soil they lived in utter harmony with it. They did not demand that it produce and produce, exhausting its fertility, but were content with what it gave them, leaving undisturbed its serene cycle of disintegration and renewal. The trees which passed, clambering down to the water's edge, she recognised as she would have recognised a man or woman of her tribe, and although their fallen branches would feed her fire and their dark bark fashion her canoes, they maintained, not in her thoughts, but more deeply, their place as fellow inhabitants of a land in whose earth both their lives and her own were rooted.
From The Timeless Land - Eleanor Dark.
Quite Days on "Canobla".
When I came to stay at “Canobla” last March, there was not a blade of green grass to be seen. The rocky hills were brown and forests of dry thistles rustled on the creek bank. I couldn't see the sheep until I came upon them suddenly, they were the same colour as the landscape. No rain had fallen for many months and sheep were eating steadily into the haystacks. I left in May just as the rain began to fall and returned in September to find the scene was changed. The rolling hills are now covered in varying shades of green and the valleys are full of lush grass which the sheep cannot keep eaten down. There are groves of golden wattles, ridges of pine trees, and numerous dark and densely foliaged Kurrajong trees which seem to flourish among the masses of limestone rocks.
Ancient Casuarinas mark the course of the Nubriggen Creek which flows in great curves and sudden bends through the property and joins the waters of the Bell River, which in turn flows into the Macquarie at Wellington.
At the foot of a low ridge in a big bend of the creek, and towering over a green flat, stands a great mass of limestone as big as a block of flats. Its weird formation has given it the name of the Woolpack. Seen from the surrounding hills it looks like a waggon load of wool bales.
On this spot many years ago, it is said a big battle was fought between the blacks of Brewarrina and the Canobla tribe from Orange. The former had stolen a Gin from the Canobla tribe and this incident gave the name of Canobla Gin to this place. The previous owner didn't like the word Gin so he cut it out. (Perhaps he was a Temperance man).
It is good walking down the Bell River. The quiet stream is just a little like the Cox. There is no sand but gravel instead. There are lots of Casuarinas and some beautiful River Gums. Mostly the hills crowd in with precipitous slopes. Round every bend flocks of wild duck rise up from the water. Herons are seen and tiny dottrells run about on their long legs in the shallows. An occasional fox appears and, of course, plenty of rabbits scuttle among the rocks.
Hills that beckon me to climb are Coorangoorie Trig station and Mount Weary close at hand. Over the river Mehruda Big Hill is the best view point. Further away - too far in these days of no petrol - are the Condumbul Mountains and the Canoblas near Orange.
One Sunday evening lately the shearers came over the hills and down into this valley. Two cars and a lorry brought men and their gear and food. Before they came the sheep were mustered from the far paddocks, brought in and looked over. Everybody who could ride a horse and the children on their ponies turned out to help. Musical calls echoed round about; there was a great barking of dogs as the sheep streamed down the hillsides into the valley.
Monday morning the engine was started and shearing began. Each man seized a sheep from the pen opposite him turned it on its tail and putting his head and one foreleg under his arm began on the belly and with quick sure strokes ended up on the back and the fleece fell to the ground in one whole piece. Four to five minutes is the usual time - 25 sheep to the two hours - then a spell and a smoke and a billy of tea.
Boss had his work cut out to keep up with the woolclassing. Two lads threw up the fleeces to the table where they were skirted folded up and placed in bins. While the men rested Boss branded the shorn sheep with the sign for Aries the Ram, then they were shoo-ed out into the fields where they made a great noise calling to their friends from whom they had been separated during this great upheaval in their lives.
Behind the bins the Pressman worked. He was the great athlete of the team. The two halves of the wooden press were filled with wool and as each armful of fleece was put in by the lads he jumped up and down unceasingly, treading down the wool. When both sides were full to overflowing he worked the machine which brought the top side down over and telescoped it into the bottom. Then the sack was secured and the frame-work removed, the bale stencilled with the name and weight and so on while each day the bins filled up again.
When the last sheep was shorn the engine stopped, the shed was swept and washed out, the last bale filled and away the shearers went over the hill and home for a spell. The carrier made three trips for our bales of wool and when the first load was gone we all settled down with a sigh of relief and turned our thoughts to the vegetable garden.
Before I finish I must tell you how this house is built of red, blue and grey limestone blocks dug up on the place - just the colourings of the Cox river pebbles.
Fairy Martens and Swallows have built their mud nests all round, I counted 19 on the front porch. Their song wakes us in the morning and the air is filled with darting birds.
Beautiful Asbestos - A Visit to a New Zealand Mine.
Strange stuff, this asbestos. Its dull greyish surface, a cross between fibre-cement and blotting paper, suggests nothing beautiful. Yet seen in the raw, asbestos is a joy to sight and touch alike.
Thirteen of us, one wet Christmas, camped among some of the lesser mountains of New Zealand. There, plunging through sodden undergrowth, we came on a sign-post with a pointing arrow and the legend: Asbestos Mine.
We were blankly ignorant of such things; in fact it came as a surprise to learn that asbestos was mined. We pressed forward eagerly along the rough track, over streams and gullies. Speculation ran high as we reached the last bend in the path and read a notice.: “Please Coo-ee at this Point”. We gave tongue accordingly, dipped into yet another ravine, toiled up the other side and emerging on a rocky slope encountered a collie dog, and his master, the caretaker of the mine.
A charming host he proved, delighted to point out everything of interest. Not so his wife however - we did not catch as much as a glimpse of her, though doubtless she peeped at us through the curtained windows of their neat little hut. It was all of three years, her husband said, since she had seen a woman, and she was much too shy to show herself. We exclaimed at the loneliness of her life, but he said she was content - plenty to do, you know - she kept a few fowls, and she was a great gardener. Yesterday she had been busy making strawberry jam, and the raspberries ware about ready.
The “Coo-ee” notice then, was the wife's idea - a timid woman's insurance against being caught unawares.
We looked about us for mine-shafts or machinery, but saw only long trenches in the smooth dark rock. There, gleaming like moonlit water, ran the asbestos seams. Some were pale as silver, some dark as the New Zealand greenstone, some like polished jade. We broke off fragments of the brittle stuff, and shredded it in our fingers till it was a mass of silken filaments. To think that this lovely substance formed the dull asbestos of commerce! It was satin-smooth and chill to the touch, though the sun had come out between showers, and rocks and earth were warm.
We sat on the tussocky grass and wolfed bread and jam while the caretaker talked with the pent-up energy of many lonely weeks. Every couple of months he trudged to the nearest settlement, leading a pack-horse, and brought back supplies and mail. Oh yes, they got mail more often than that - when a man came to pack away a load of asbestos he generally brought any letters there were. Now the output wasn't very large from this mine. The raw stuff was railed to the factory and carded and spun into fibre with cotton added to it, or sometimes fine brass or copper wire.
We didn't export much to Britain, he said - she got most of her raw asbestos from Rhodesia and Canada. Her bill for one year's imports was somewhere over £700,000 and the annual world consumption was about 400,000 tons, and always increasing. Italy, it seemed, was the first place where commercial use was made of asbestos fibre, about 1870; but he had read that it was well known in the time of Ancient Rome. It was even mixed up in their mythology - the perpetual lamp-wick of the Vestal Virgins was said to have been asbestos.
Ancient Rome - New Zealand. We looked out over the bush-clad ranges, marching line on line to the horizon, with their razor-edged peaks and their rocky scarps untrod by human foot. We looked at our host's small well-kept dwelling, and we looked at the man himself, and wondered.
Regretfully we made our farewells, and tramped away to the tune of bellbirds calling in the rain.
Fears That Infest The Night.
Cripes I wish I hadn't been such a dope. Fancy choosing tonight of all nights to leave my tent at home. Well I think there are shelter sheds at the top anyway; but they are out of the way and my plans for tomorrow will be ruined. “Hullo. Yes, it is cold isn't it? Do you think it is going to rain? I hope you're right because I haven't brought a tent.” He sounded very confident but it doesn't matter to him and I suppose his guess is no better than mine. I'll see what it is like at the top. It's a pity the pictures are not out - I might have nuked a lift in one of those cars. There might be a shed somewhere beyond the top - in any case there's the old hut though it is four miles too far. Hot. That's a bad sign but of course I am walking uphill, it's not really warmer. I'll stop here and take off some clothes. The sky is rather beautiful. The clouds seem to be dashing over the moon like waves, it's all restless like the sea. Now I am high enough to see the towns on the plains - the lights are crowded together as though they are afraid of the dark. When the angle is right the lights in the centre of that one are symmetrical. There are orange trees flowering here.
Of course if it does rain during the night I can get up and walk out to the old hut even if nothing turns up between. It really doesn't matter but it's such a confounded nuisance having to get up in the middle of the night. I won't be in bed before one anyway. It feels dark and cold here in the trees. Getting wet an a cold night is very unpleasant. How lovely looking through this avenue of pines at the clouds - funny, I'm sure I should not have been aware of half the beauty of the night if I had brought a tent.
I won't go to the top, there's sure to be a shed out this way somewhere. That creek sounds miserable. None of these houses look very promising, - of course, I could sneak onto a venandah if the worst happens and I'm sure they wouldn't mind but they probably have wretched dogs that'll make a devil of a row. I suppose there are animals in those sheds. I hate sleeping where animals have been.
Well this is as far as I want to go. Nothing very hopeful looking around here. Those pines would keep off a light shower. Oh, hang it; the worst that can happen is having to get up and walk out to the old hut. It looks nice here between this low gum and the pine. The ground is still soft from the rain and the needles are thick. I'll arrange everything so that I could be off in a few seconds. About all I need do would be put on my boots. I could stuff my sleeping bag into my pack. How soft it is - feels like being in bed. Well, it's no use worrying - might as well sleep while I can…..
…. the sun's warm; only seven too and that's really only six.
“Cloistered amid the austere rocks.
A brooding seer, I watched an hour,
Close to the earth, lost to all else,
The marvel of a tiny fTower.
To build its palace walls of jade
What myriads toiled in dark and cold,
And what gay traders of the sun
Brought down its sapphire and its gold.
Oh, palace of the Universe,
Oh changing halls of day and night,
Does the high Builder dream in thee
With more of wonder and delight?”
This poem calls to mind an interesting remark of a friend of mine who was formerly an atheist. Meeting him some years after having taken up the study of flowers and plants he told me that through his studies, he was forced to the conviction that there was a guiding principal behind the universe and all its wonderful creation. One cannot help but see the work of the “high Builder” in the marvellous formation of flowers - their wonderful symmetry an exquisite beauty.
One of the most prolific flowerers at the present time is the Angophora Cordifolia (Dwarf Apple). The genus Angophora, taken from the Greek Auges - a vessel, and phero - to bear - was named in allusion to the goblet shaped fruit borne by its species. They were called Apple Trees by the early settlers because of the resemblance of some of the species to the orchard tree. The genus is very closely allied to the Eucalyptus, from which it differs in the usually opposite leaves and the over-lapping pointed calyx lobes, instead of the “operculum” or lid of that genus. The Angophores are all trees with the exception of the Cordifolia, which is a very handsome scrub with its masses of red flower buds and large sweet scented creams white flowers, which attract large numbers of bees etc. by its abundance of easily obtained honey. The leaves are broad and whitish on the surface. The blooms are produced in short compact inflorescence. The petals are absent but the petal like sepals and numerous long white stamens form a flower approximately 1“ across. It is common in the sandstone areas round Sydney and at the present time is blooming in great profusion in French's Forest and Kuring-gai Chase.
Eloscarpus Cyaneus (Blueberry Ash). A remnant of the brush flora which once extended over the whole of Eastern Australia. This shrub is most attractive both in foliage, flower and fruit. The leaves are lanceolate and serrated and when young are a bright red. The delightful flowers are shower-like and spendulous and rather resemble the lily of the valley. Fruit is bright blue. The name is taken from Eloeagnus (one of the wild olives) Cyaneus-bluish-referring to the fruit.
Lastly, we come to our old favourite Ceralopetalum Gummiferum (Xmas Bush). This specie was named from the beautiful transparent red exudation which is a Kino, not a true gum. It is known as Xmas Bush as at that season the colour of the persistent calyx is most vivid and unfortunately so attractive that whole trees are often cut down and used for decorations. Originally trees of fair size grew about Sydney but the demand for soft wood soon exterminated it and now only young plants or second growth are to be found near civilisation. The flowers are numerous and grow in terminal cymes. The 5 calyx lobed are small and white but enlarge 1/2” and turn red as the fruit ripens. The petals are deeply cut into 3 or 5 narrow horn like lobed and alternate with the shorter calyx lobes. The 10 free stamens are placed opposite each petal and Calyx lobe. The pistil has 2 more or less united styles and_the stigmas ripen later than the stamens.
[Cartoon of bushwalker sitting on log with 4 bottles at her feet and a camera by her side. In foreground are two bushwalkers talking to each other.]
“Don't ask me what's got into Dunk. She says its purely a scientific experiment - she's after some candid stuff on pink elephants.”
Conservation And The Use Of Land.
By Alex. Colley.
Our food and clothing and many of the raw materials used in industry are produced on the land. Much of the natural fauna and flora must be destroyed on land used for these purposes. We cannot sow crops in the bush, nor graze sheep on gum-leaves. But there is quite a lot of land which cannot, or need not, be used for producing the means of life.
Most of the land which cannot be used for these purposes is barren or rough or inaccessible. These qualities, however, often enhance its value as a reservation. What could be more beautiful than the “Barren Lands” near Kiama, or the rough grandeur of the Gangerang Range? Nor does inaccessibility rule out most places. There is probably no place in N.S.W. too inaccessible for Bushwalkers. But barrenness, roughness or inaccessibility does render land useless for productive purposes. This land should therefore have the first claim to reservation. It includes many of the finest scenic areas.
There are also many areas which contain a little fertile land, some third rate grazing land, and scattered stands of good timber. Often the flora and fauna on this land is spoiled by indiscriminate ringbarking and burning-off, or by the depredations of timber-getters. The upper Cox Valley, where thousands of acres of poor, steep country, covered with loose granite gravel, have been rung and exposed to erosion, is a good example of this type of land. We have also seen many examples of beautiful little gullies being spoilt for the sake of a few marketable trees. There is a good case for reserving this type of country, particularly if it is near large centres of population. The Blue Mountains area is perhaps the best area of this type. Something like a million and a half people are within a few hours journey of the Blue Mountains, and they can be reached from most parts of the State within 24 hours.
Some of the land now used for productive purposes could well be devoted to parks or reservations. Town planners recognise this when they set aside acres of very valuable city land for parks. But once we get to the outskirts of the city we come to scrubby, untidy areas, from which everything marketable has been plundered, or where the bush has been destroyed to make way for poor subsistence farms. There is a very good case for the creation of a “green belt” around Sydney, though it would admittedly mean the resumption of a little good farm land and a lot of poor farm . Why shouldn't the outskirts of the city merge into bushland instead of unsightly scrublands?
The typos of land I have described are perhaps the most we can hope to have reserved at the present time. But let us look into the future and suppose that a wise public authority planned the use of land. It would put our essential needs, such as food, clothing and housing, first. But it would not permit bushlands to be destroyed so as to produce materials which would be wasted. In Tasmania at present forests are being pulped to produce newsprint. Have a look at your newspaper and see how much of it is wasted in inch-high headlines and useless advertisements, telling you not to buy things. Was it worth destroying those trees to produce these headings and advertisements? As for food, how much is wasted? How much disease is caused from overeating? Countless acres have been ringbarked to graze sheep for wool. How much clothing is wasted in peace-time through trade-inspired fashion changes? Numberless similar examples of waste could be quoted. To produce these wasted commodities bushlands have been destroyed.
In many countries the need for conservation, in the broad sense of preventing waste and destruction, has long been recognised. In Canada the Reconstruction Committee has established four sub-committees. One of those deals with “Conservation and development of natural resources.” In Australia, we seem bent only on developing, not on conserving. Dr. Evatt for instance, did not ask for power to conserve anything, except for powers to combat soil erosion.
Our country was one of the last big areas to be thrown open to the rapid and ruthless exploitation made possible by modern machinery and transport. Our broad, flat fertile plains were ideally suited to great grazing properties and mechanical farming. Great flocks of sheep covered the plains in good seasons, chewing out the fine native grasses which bound the soil. In the drier areas most of the sheep would die in droughts when they had eaten out the last of the herbage, and after some years of alternate overstocking and drought there were few of the fine native grasses left. Soon the wind started to blow away the dry powdery soil and millions of acres were added to the desert. But, what did it matter? Fortunes were to be made in good seasons. On our forested mountain areas axe and fire destroyed the timber and soon the irreplaceable top-soil, built up over the centuries, was being carried down to silt up the streams. In the remaining forest areas timber-getters played havoc with the bush, wherever they could take their bullock teams. Cattle men dropped matches indiscriminately (and still do) so as to burn off the undergrowth and dry grass and provide a green shoot for their stock. The fact that thousands of acres of bushland might be destroyed and the valuable humus burnt out of the soil, didn't matter - cattle were worth £10 a head in good times.
Much of our bushland has been wastefully destroyed. Quite a lot still remains and can still be conserved. And perhaps some time in the future, it will be considered a crime to destroy it except to provide for real needs.
Letters From The Lads And Lassies.
We received letters this month from: Basil Dickinson, Bill Burke, Bill Whitney, Norm Scott and seven members of the other Clubs.
Bill Burke - 1-10-42 - Egypt.
I'm still up in the “blue” amongst the sand, heat and flies. Chances of leaving the desert seem further away than ever. There's always a date flying round on which we are supposed to be relieved, but I think that is only wishful thinking on our part. Home sweet home at present consists of a slit trench with a roof on it. It may not sound very attractive to you, but, believe me, I think a hell of a lot of my little “douver” - (douver, sanger, dugout, donger, all mean the-one thing; a hole in which to pop if Jerry gets playful).
When I first occupied this spot it wasn't so good; the hole was too small, every time I moved a shower of dirt and stones descended upon me, however, with the aid of a pick and shovel, some hessian to line the sides, and an old petrol tin to act as an air vent, I've worked wonders. When one has to spend over half one's time in a hole in the ground it pays to make it comfortable. At first glance the post resembles an old rabbit warren; some loose dirt lying around, entrances leading below, and occasionally a head pops up, contemplates on the surroundings for a few minutes then retires underground again. Life is both peaceful and pleasant at the moment, that is, as far as one can expect that sort of thing up here.
The weather is as good as ever it gets; the days not too hot with cool nights and only an infrequent dust storm. Even the flies are only up to half their normal strength. The wind blew from the south yesterday - the first of the winter “blows” - and brought with it a dust storm. It was only a mild blow compared with some I struck last year, but was sufficient to keep us all below ground for the day. The only time I poked my head up was when the cook yelled, “come and get it”. As far as tucker is concerned the situation is better than ever. The section is on what is called “post cooking”, the rations are delivered to us and we have to cook them ourselves. A former bushman from out Hillston way was nominated cook, and he's not too bad on the pots and pans either. Provided us with a treat the other day when he turned out a batch of scones for morning tea. We are out of baking powder at present, but an s.o.s. has gone forth and as soon as it arrives he's promised us fruit fritters and one or two other luxuries. Our favourite occupation is boiling the billy, there's no rationing here and it usually goes on about six times a day. Seems to help pass the time away. I would have taken on the cooking myself except for the bren. It's enough for one man especially with half a dozen others loafing about the post. Between eating, sleeping and watching, the days are slipping by fairly quickly. Have to have someone on duty the whole time in case he tries anything. Occasionally we receive an alarm and all have to occupy our weapon pits for an hour or so.
(next half page was censored) good honest sweat that night, We had a poker school going; which used to keep us occupied for best part of the day until “Sykes” my cobber and one of the payers, got knocked. It happened on the ridge just mentioned, The ground was practically solid rock, with the result that we wore only down a couple of feet by daybreak. We should have spent the entire day under cover, but the holes were too uncomfortable, so a few of us got fed up and hopped out in the afternoon for a cup of tea. It as a mad thing to do. But it is in keeping with the opinion that everyone has of the Australians over here. Hermann was quite decent about the whole business and let us finish our cup of tea, before he sent his little messengers whispering past our ears. Everyone was quite happy with the outcome; we were still intact and “Sykes”, with a perfect blighty - a bullet through the fleshy part of the thigh - wasn't particularly disappointed with the prospects of a month or so back near civilisation. At least he'd be able to poke his head up and set a spot of leave. Jerry must be saving his shells up as he doesn't worry us much. Occasionally gets a rush of blood to the brain and sends over half a dozen. Have his guns tagged by now however, and know which one shoots closest to us. I've lost a bit of skin at times in my hurry to clasp mother earth to my bosom and now and again we get a laugh when someone is caught in an awkward position. Our arty pops away all day long just to let him know that they are here. Once every so often they put on a shoot and belt away a few thousand shells. They cause us more annoyance than Jerry as when the big guns open up, the ground just shudders and shakes and sleep is impossible. Saw some of them firing in daylight and with each shot the guns jumped about three feet in the air. Strolled over to —- one day and was allowed to send a souvenir over his way. Hope it did some good. Had a couple of —- attached to us for a while learning the tricks of the trade. They were quite taken up with us and were sorry to leave. Don't blame them as they were getting decent tucker for a change and could dress as they pleased. I've been getting around barefoot and with only a pair of shorts on for the past three weeks. Haven't had a shave in that time either. I scored a victory a week ago. Was sitting on the edge of my sabger when up strolled the Brig. and the Colonel. We had quite a chat before they passed on. It's usually the other way about, I'm standing up while they remain seated. Still having no trouble from the planes. One came a little close a few days ago and I grabbed my bren and let him have a burst. Wanted to try her out firing from the shoulder. The Stukas were over a couple of times bombing a mine or so away, but our planes got amongst them one day and they've sort of given up the idea. Rarely a day goes past without us hearing sounds of a “mix-in” up above, but no planes have crashed close enough for me to be first to them. It's a great relief to be able to blaze away at any that come instead of just sitting and taking it.
Canis Major and Canis Minor.
The hounds of Orion (see last month's article) are represented by the constellations Canis Major and Canis Minor (The big dog and the little dog). Canis Major is easily found because it contains Sirius, the brightest star in the sky (not the brightest planet - stars twinkle, planets dent). Sirius is a lovely flashing star and has a very high surface temperature. It is also one of the nearest stars, being only 8 1/2 light-years away. The name “Sirius” means scorching or sparkling, and the star was so named by the Greeks because it rose just before the sun in summer in Greece at that time. It is also known as the “Dog Star”, and the “Dog Days” were a period of about 40 of the hottest summer days. Canis Minor contains only one bright star, Procyon. Procyon is also a near star, being only 10 light years away.
Visits to the Observatory:
This month two parties of Bushwalkers will be visiting the observatory. The following are some of the most interesting objects to be seen now through a telescope - Three planets are visible - Venus, the nearest and brightest planet, Saturn with its rings and moons, and Jupiter with its belts and seven moons. Sirius and the star cluster M41 (see diagram) are in good positions for observation. The nebula in the belt of Orion will also be near the Zenith. The times at which the planets rise are in the “Herald” meteorological reports. Star maps for January, and other information about these and other objects of interest, are to be found in Sir James Peck's “Constellations” (now in the library) and James Nangle's “Stars of the Southern Heavens.”
At Our Own Meeting.
In the absence of the President, who had a bad cold, and of both Vice Presidents, Maurie Berry was elected to the chair.
Two now members, Phil Peters and Harold Eldridge, were welcomed.
A letter of thanks was received from the Rucksack Club for the help rendered by Ray Kirkby when Millie Horne sprained her ankle on Mount Solitary.
The Services Committee sent away Christmas cards, parcels and Bushwalker Annuals in November. Photographs of the Federation Reunion will be sent next.
At the suggestion of Tom Kenny-Roya I and Marie Byles it was decided to write to Miss Ruth Schleicher and express our appreciation of her letters written to the “Herald” protesting against timber cutting on Mount Wilson. The Federation is to be asked to investigate the matter and take any necessary action.
Ruby Payne-Scott, the Federation Delegate to the meeting called by the National Fitness Council to form a Youth Association, gave us a report on the meeting and presented a draft constitution drawn up by the National Fitness Council. Suggestions for any amendments to this proposed constitution are to be sent in by December 31st.
The following opinions were endorsed by the S.B.W. meeting: (1) That the time allowed for consideration of the constitution was far too short (2) That the Federation was not eligible for membership under the proposed constitution as so many members of affiliated Clubs were over 25. (3) That no member of the Committee of the proposed Youth Association should be over 25.
The Club supported a recent resolution of the Parks and Playgrounds Movement “That future War Memorials take the form of parks rather than monuments.”
At the conclusion of the meeting Maurie Berry presented Jean and Brian Harvey with a decanter and glasses, as a mark of the Club's appreciation of their good work for the Club, and with best wishes for their future happiness.
A special meeting of the Federation was held to discuss its attitude towards Youth Hostels. It was made quite clear that the trouble was our fear of destruction of the bush; that we wanted any hostels kept outside Primitive areas.
Messrs. W. Roots and G.W. Kenyon were appointed delegates to the Youth Hostels Committee.
The third annual camp was held in delightful weather. The S.B.W. was well represented in the crowd of a hundred or more who enjoyed a real, oldtime reunion.
The Christmas party in the Club room on the 18th December was quite a reunion. In spite of this, it was a very enjoyable evening and the social committee are certainly entitled to relax on their bay leaves.
Though faithfully interpreted sartorially by a few daring people, the “Austerity” motif was not applied to the supper. There was an elegant sufficiency, and a swarm of locusts couldn't have demolished anything in less time or left more desolation. If the committee needed any proof of satisfaction they had it there.
One half page allowance this month, will not permit all the details we would like to pass on but we did notice, Len Scotland looking like the answer to a Koala's prayer. “Only the choicest tips” were used for his gum leaf creation. Joan Atthill looking very well and beautifully tanned, arrived beautifully gowned beyond mending, and Beryl English hid her charms beneath a bead skirt. She could not however hide her news and she will be married by the tithe you read this. Boxing Day being the day.
The Limerick competition proved what we have always maintained, that many members hide their illumination under a thicket. We do wish they would see the Editor when they feel the urge to write.
Arthur Gilroy and Ron Matthews came in during the evening straight from the Kowmung. They came up Misery Ridge, and we believe that this has not been done since 1930. See Dorothy Lawry who was on the 1930 trip, for further details.
What Do You Think? Democracy for Youth.
On November 18th a meeting was called by the National Fitness Council to form a Youth Association. I have it on good authority that, of the hundred or more delegates present at the meeting, not more than three appeared to be under 25. More than half looked to be 40 or over, and some over 60. A draft constitution was presented by the National Fitness Council, in which the Council reserved for itself the right to nominate the President, Deputy President and Secretary.
Youth has practically no say in public affairs. But it suffers more than any other section of the community from the mismanagement of the elders. In depressions most of the unemployed are young men and women. In wars it is youth who leave the comfort of their homes to fight and die for the community. And now, while most of them are away in camps, the elders are making a nice new association for them in which they shall again do what the elders think is good for them. They must be kept fit. Fit for what? They must be trained for leadership. Why not for democracy? I cannot help recalling that in Germany the leadership principle (Fuhrerprinzip) has been substituted for democracy.
Youth, which does most of the “dirty work” should certainly unite to protect its interests. It should be given every facility to live a full life and make its opinions heard and felt. Surely, if we are in earnest about democracy, youth should run its own association in its own way.
Dates Of Importance For Your Social Calendar.
|.Visit to the observatory - 1st Division. For 15 people who were not at the previous party. N.B. Reservations may be mad at the Clubroom on 1/1/43 and 8/1/43.
|Mr. Hanson will lecture on “The Moon” and illustrate with slides.
|Visit to the observatory - 2nd Division. For 15 other stargazers.
|“Scope Night”. that night of surprises. By and for the Services Committee.
|“Geology and the Bushwalker”. A talk by Mr. Strom.
|Second Watercolour Exhibition of Australian wildflowers. (Lent by Malcolm McGregor).
One Nine Four Three.
Magic numbers! There's no need to be a numeralogist, astrologist or occultist to know that 1943 stands for great happenings, world shaking events, and maybe the beginning of the end of the war.
We have passed through difficult times and greater difficulties and troubles lie ahead, but something we bring home from the bush will stand us bushwalkers in good stead when trials beset us. A serenity and understanding which comes of quiet yarns round camp fire glow and sleep under the stars will fortify us when all else fails.
Good luck and an occasional camping trip is Paddy's wish or 1943.
329 George Street, Sydney. 'Phone B3101.