Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker.
A monthly Bulletin devoted to matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers, 5 Hamilton Street, Sydney.
No. 109. January, 1944. Price 4d.
|Assistant Editor||Grace Jolly|
|Business Manager||Alex Colley|
|Production Assistant||Alice Wyborn|
In This Issue:
|The Ski Enthusiasts||One of Them||2|
|Grey Day at Era||M. Bacon||7|
|Our Own Meeting||M. Bacon||8|
|Federation Notes||M. Bacon||9|
|News and Views||M. Bacon||10|
|Some Notes on North Sea||Alex Colley||11|
|Letters from Lads and Lassies||12|
In this, the first issue of 1944, we have to announce further changes for “The Sydney Bushwalker.”
In the last quarter of 1943, the Division of Import Procurement cut down our paper ration. As the result of an appeal, 17 lb. of the cut was restored but we are still below our old quota. In order to have as much space as possible for Walks Articles and Club Affairs we have appealed to our two regular advertisers, Paddy Pallin and Goodman Bros. who have kindly consented to advertise every two months and three months respectively, instead of monthly. This will mean a considerable loss of revenue apart from the fact that the advertisements are always read with interest. We thank both the advertisers for their support in the past and hope that the time is not too far away when their advertisements will once again appear regularly.
Owing to an increasing demand for subscriptions to the magazine, it is regretted that new ones cannot be accepted from any but club members. Subscribers now number 90 and have increased by sixteen in the last six months. Present subscribers however may renew their subscriptions when they fall due.
The Ski Enthusiasts.
By One of Them.
To Ski enthusiasts the first keen wind of winter says “Ski Heil” and the end of April or early May, finds them facing up to their bosses (and their bank a/cs) with a determined glint in the eye.
Early May found me with the glint in my eye all right but being completely tied up, could do nothing about it until the end of August, when the opportunity came suddenly and I surprised a friend into coming with me, giving her two days to get ready.
And what days! Skis to be dug out, bindings re-waxed, boots waxed, minor repairs to stocks etc. and it wasn't until we actually sank into a welcome seat on the Cooma mail that we took anything like a relaxed breath.
With a big day ahead, sleep was our greatest need. We quickly sized up the position in the carriage. Three schoolboys - two women (us). Just a push-over. With a little straight out hinting at the perils to be faced on the ice bound alp, we soon had 3 small boys voluntarily cramped together on one side of the carriage, and two very tired young women tried to stretch (?) out on the other.
No good. Couldn't get comfortable myself, so I took my pack and my sleeping bag onto the luggage rack, where I soon composed myself for sleep. And as for the bitter drafts straight from approaching snows playing about my ears, and the lurching and side slipping of the train, why I hardly noticed them at all… really I didn't.
Sleep was mine until Bungendore, when the sudden glaring of the light announced an invasion. Very still I lay watching, through the cracks of my couch, the newcomer settle in. A sweet faced Nun on her way to Bega, I soon gathered. I also began to gather the life history of the Joey's boy she talked to. Very trying. Tom Brown's Schooldays at two in the morning is a bit thick you know - so I raised myself precariously onto one elbow and intimated politely but firmly I'd like the light off. That poor Nun - luggage rack sleepers are not of her world I fear, for she looked as though the Palsy was upon her. However she was very sweet, clicked off the light and we settled down once more.
You can't keep a small boy down though. No Sir! Six-thirty and still many miles to go, found the kid determined to get on with his life story, so Frances and I decided to rise and shine, ready for the road. Sleepily we rubbed at the frosted windows and were thrilled to see that the train was actually running through snow covered paddocks. This was good news. Our skiing seemed assured.
Not so good was our late arrival at Cooma. We'd lost an hour somewhere overnight and this meant less daylight at the other end.
However we did not come away to worry and after a good breakfast in blithe and happy mood, we took ourselves onto the bus, and here our tranquil anticipation of the Perfect Holiday almost died within us, for we had The Encounter with the Pessimist No.1 of our age (but a very learned gent mind you because didn't he impress on us that he knew everything?) who took it upon himself to find out how little (he hoped) we knew about skiing, and on little or no evidence began to wax nasty on the Tourist Bureau allowing the inexperienced and ill-equipped to wander alone on the snowfields! Sex him!
Self control is a laudable thing you know and we used plenty. Vulgarly I wanted to brag of my friends prowess, gained by a lifetime of Continental ski-ing. (Do you think sub-consciously I could have known the sight of Frances schussing the cornice at the Chalet was going to be an awful shock to him). Instead we endured passively our friend's intentions (Proclaimed to the bus-load generally) of “flogging us through” to the Hut in one hop.“ (We learned coming home he'd been nick named “The Flogger” by the rest of the passengers). As we had never intended to go further than Smiggins the first night, by means of a lot of dark and dirty looks, we managed to agree that our best plan was to ignore Sourpuss and concentrate on the blizzard we'd heard was blowing on top, and this we did.
The snow line this year extended for over two miles this side of the Hotel. A glorious sight. Plains of deep crystal snow stretching for miles. Where the bus dropped us a colourful little sled, horse drawn, was waiting to pick up our packs, but we were delighted to find room aboard for us. We could have skied, but somehow you can't drive on a sled every Saturday afternoon. Anyhow shadows were lengthening and time was precious.
At the Hotel we were given a light meal - soup, cream and honey on bread, lovely pudding (all of which I did not eat, more fool me). Refuelled we were ready for the Grand Push. It was two years since either of us had skied but we soon settled down to a comfortable lungeing pace which we kept up unceasingly through the white afternoon.
As far as the eye could see snow and more snow. All the familiar landmarks of the previous summer were completely obliterated. None of the lovely tumbling creeks were showing, none of the bunchy heather, all were lost under feet of snow - and how we loved it.
The blizzard, which had increased as we climbed, had almost hidden a sinking sun, when we pushed open the door of “Smiggs”.
Desolation greeted us within. Four tiny pieces of firewood, seemed all the wood available and the taps were frozen. Why did we leave home? We were assessing the fors and against when Gent of Much Wisdom caught up with us, but since he had nothing helpful to say (and did nothing helpful to get us any wood) we decided to make the most of it and go hungry to bed, not before encouraging him to push on to the Hut and get himself lost in the dark.
Despite the cheerless beginning we enjoyed our night alone in Smiggins. We put on all the clothes we had with us, even gloves and head scarves, and climbed like two over-fed cocoons into sleeping bags, where we gossiped (confidentially of course) until a telephone on the wall of our boudoir (have you been to Smiggs?) frightened the life out of us. Would we get up? if so which one of us? That was a tricky question to answer. So we let it ring, discussing what it could possibly be. Gent of Much Wisdom was at the camp? … So what? Gent of Much Wisdom was not at the Camp - so what?. We waited to see if it really persisted and since it didn't, decided the Hut was the richer for a new soul and turned over and went to sleep.
We were afoot early next day since there was no breakfast to cook and took to our skis in a morning, sunny for the moment, but we feared, in capricious mood. Chewing dates and loaf sugar for sustenance we mounted to the Perisher Plain where the blizzard really hit us. It was heavy going. Visibility was mostly two snow pies and the wind so strong I was actually pleased I had a pack to stop me taking off.
We were feeling by this very hungry. However every step brought us nearer FOOD and this thought spurred us on until in a surprising burst of watery sunshine, though Piper's Gap, we spotted the Hut.
Well, malnutrition or not, we made it. Taking off our skis we stepped down off the packed snow into our Holiday Home, interested, for the moment, only in Food, and here we took it on the chin. Slowly through blizzard soaked brains we began to understand that the Hut was almost out of food. They'd been blizzard bound for three days and George Day had been unable to make the run with his dog team.
That was that! No use grumbling. Our fellow guests were sympathetic and fed us for the moment on tea and bread and honey. Very welcome mind you, but a poor substitute for a juicy beefsteak.
The initial shock over, we began to settle in. Despite our trip up we took to the blizzard again in the afternoon. On a well covered slope partly sheltered from the wind, we got down to some practice. This is, I did, while my friend yelled instructions to me … “Bend your knees more…. skis together…. no don't fall over - it is not necessary.” (That's only what she thinks).
It was only when the light began to fade that we decided to call it a day and get in.
Dinner that night was a frugal one. Everyone could have eaten three times as much but the little food we had was carefully rationed.
After talking a while with our fellow hut dwellers, we left the cosy warmth of the kitchen and wended out way along a corridor white in spots with driven snow (driven through the cracks and crevices in the walls and roof) and so to bed.
Despite the wind howling in ghoulish fashion round the sturdy little hut, getting to sleep was easy really. If we started up at the machine gun rattle of an icicle as it blew across the tin roof, we'd soon forgotten it to wonder about the dull, unearthly thud under our window - just a drift settling down for the night. And of course the laughing gurgle of running water (the bane of all ski huts) and the hiss of the kitchen tap were just nothing at all.
Morning came - three of them in fact - but why they bothered I don't know. They were all so murky we could easily have done without them. Since however we'd come to ski - ski we did. In a sheltered valley stemmed and christied (and fell). In the driven swirling mist we ran down the timbered slopes of the Paralyser. Visibility was very poor certainly, but it added that element of risk, which makes all skiing exciting.
A daily trip to the Chalet was essential, for we could obtain fresh milk from the caretaker, so we'd all troop over to call on him, blizzard or no.
On Sugarloaf the wind became so strong at times we actually had to pole downhill. Always we arrived at the Chalet with eyebrows bristling with ice and our fronts frozen and crackling. The sight of Jack Piazza waiting by the oaken door of the ski room, smiling broadly in welcome, was always a great lift up, and the warmth of the kitchen range was scarcely warmer than his friendliness. Good old Jack!
Full of fresh milk and renewed energy we'd set off for home, this time with the blizzard behind (?)! With arms outstretched and by sitting a little into the wind we'd be blown along at little cost to ourselves.
On the third night the camp catering hit a new high in epicurean delight. From the bones of chops eaten several days before (by others) and since rescued from the dog tin, our ingenious cook ('tis said she's closely related to a S.B.W.) concocted a delectable stew, thick and wholesome-looking with PORRIDGE, and odd scraps of valuable kitchen refuse(as if there'd be any.)
On this, we and our indigestion went a-burping to bed, (no aspersions at the cook mind you) wondering what the morrow would bring - death by starvation - or George Day in a dog team?
Well it brought a complete breakdown of the cisterns (joys of skiing not mentioned in the handbook) first, then George Day and Food, and finally a break in the weather. Never mind the weather for the moment. Let's talk of food. Tinned soup, fruit, milk, tongue were other delicacies. The Hut, (and its inmates) smiled again, and, since the food problem was under control, turned to the weather. Thursday dawned ideal for the Main Range. We were afoot early. Remarkable the amount of dithering around there is to get a crowd out for the day. Eventually the route decided on and our leader (self selected variety) settled, off we went.
After the blizzard the very stillness was a joy. Add to this, golden sunlight and perfect snow and you have the setting for our day. We climbed the Back Paralyser (there seems to be some doubt if this is the correct name) and prepared for the run down the back to Pounds Hut. Dirty big and little trees seemed to be forever in the way, but what fun. The sight of my dark haired friend in a blue windjacket, white gloves, swinging into graceful christies was worth coming for. At Pounds we stopped only for a breather and to remove a few clothes, ready for the c1imb on to Twynam.
It was a long and arduous climb (especially for me as Strettococci had me by the throat) but worth it for the unbelievable beauty of the Main Range, unfolding ice white around us, the higher we climbed. Visibility from the top was perfect. Geehi, deep, secret, could be looked into. Back off the range the sweep of Munyang Valley beckoned and Townsend - what is it about that Mountain? Its lovely scraggy tops glistening white and majestic against an iris blue sky could never be forgotten. Its neighbour Kosciuski, although impressive, loses such a lot by comparison. We stood absorbing all this until a small patch of cloud in the north began to froth into something bigger. Time to go. The run down over deep ice waves - skava I think you call it - demanded steadier skiing than mine, but I schuss-boomed (mostly boomed!) with what enjoyment a terrific thirst and a red-hot respiratory system would allow. I took time off from my troubles to thrill over a schuss, hang onto a frozen flat of the Blue Lake, where only a few months ago I'd been swimming.
The country here was familiar, despite its winter's coat, and I felt very friendly towards it.
On the descent to the Snowy I have nothing to report, except out of sheer weariness I began to turn better than ever before. Once to the left, heavens! again to the right, and kept it up till I was down to the River. This run made the day for me. After the river which we skied across, we still had Guthrie to climb and Charlottes Pass to run down and it was a very worn little party who straggled into Jack's kitchen to soak themselves in good honest tea.
The trek home was made in darkness. Six pairs of skis slipping along in a world of sound. Nearing the hut, a crescent moon came up, giving a faint sparkle to the snow. All very lovely but we had had it for one day, and were glad to take our exhaustion off to bed.
My holiday really ended there. Septic Tonsilitis had set in and any strength I had stored did the right thing by me and got me down to the Hotel on Saturday. Another ride in the sled, a drink amongst friends at Jindabyne, dinner at Cooma, a slow train trip and I was home, and in bed - for a week. What a fool to spend a holiday skiing when I could've been in bed all the time. Yet when a solicitous nurse stood over me with a thermometer and a bottle of Dream Juice, all I could croak for was a calendar. Let me see, this is September, now if I go in early July next time, I won't have to wait the full year before I can do it again! Although a nice big husband laden with sugar bags of food might be an idea for next tine.
A woman wrote to the secretary of the London Zoo, Professor Julian Huxley, dep1oring the situation at Monkey Island. The bare rocks, she said, were baked so hot by the sun that the baboons could not sit down without being singed. For their relief, the woman offered to knit drawers.
Grey Day At Era.
by M. Bacon.
In mid November, three of us camped at Era Beach. Sunday dawned, but only just. It was cool and grey with prospects of showers, so instead of spending the day languidly lying on the sands, we three decided to walk over to Audley, and what a reward we had for our trip!
The Era Valley was a rich green after the recent rains. The Jungle Track was nearly a tunnel. The yellow Godenias were very prolific. In the open park-like spaces above, the evil smelling, but deliriously beautiful, evening Primrose lay with its chrome yellow blossoms nearly 3” across, the dark red stalks twining snake-like under the glossy green leaves.
On the track from Maynard's, the small golden flowering broom fell in cascades from 8-ft. high, almost to the road level. An occasional pool mirrored the falling yellow and the tiny blossoms floated on the surface. The gum tips in some parts ranged from rose pink to madder, bronze copper, maroon, with occasional jabs of scarlet where they were against the light. The long oval and sickle shaped leaves with the bluish silver powder on them were tipped by almost crimson new shoots. It really was a beautiful sight and well worth the 900-ft. climb.
From the Garie Rood we followed the Wattamola Road along the Ridge. First the park-like trees with Grevillias in grey, scarlet or pink, were still showing the last blooms of the season.
A little further on we came upon a small clump of Eriottomon Daphnoides. Its Star-like flowers were touched with rich pink. Daphnoides when growing, nearly always looks like a bridal bouquet just waiting to be picked up and carried to the Altar.
Ray decided that we must branch off on to the left for South West Arm Creek. Soon we were through battle scarred ground, or should I rather say, practice for battle scarring. Here and there were small craters where exploded shells had spattered the country with mud - the small flowers blasted from the perimeter - pieces blown off some of the rocks, furrows dug by missiles. An occasional limb torn from the trees was further evidence of battle practice. Soon this gave way to a foam of creamy lace thrown over the tops of plants, herbs, grasses and the early seed pods of the Pultinias, Dilwinnias and Compholobium. This Comasperma lace was from 1 1/2' to 2' high and covered several acres - Its loveliness increasing by accentuating the other plants beneath it. Even the brown grasses took on an added joy.
Edna discovered a patch of native roses smothered in bloom, the bushes about 3ft. high. She urged that we should take a long deep breath of its keen, fresh scent, perhaps the last for the year. These were perfect specimens, the full clusters of bright pink nodding quietly from their beautiful stems. Both the stems and the leaves gave the strongly serrated effect from which Boronia Serrulata takes its name.
Climbing down some rocks we found clumps of Ionidiun. This is s close relation to the Violet but it has lost all its petals except one which is about 3/4“ long, oval, and light blue. Ionidiun always looks like a fowl who has been through a strong wind storm and all the petals have been blown off except this one, more hardy than the rest.
We crossed over the creek where a waterfall slid in silky folds 15ft. into the clear pool below. From above, the flat pools in the sandstone mirrored the richly coloured banks with their profusion of greens and whites. Here the Comasperma reminded us of a time at the head of Devil's Hole when we stood and admired the newly fallen snow suspended above the ground, caught in the meshes of the bird cage ferns.
On South West Arm Creek, giant Gymeas with their heads of rich crimson flowers 10 and 12ft. above their clump of green swords, welcomed us, seemingly like so many torches already lit for a festival.
Here also, the Boronia Frazerii was growing 8-ft high and covered in a haze of soft pink. Edna discovered a flannel flower plant growing on an embankment. Perhaps it was the good soil, or sunlight, or the good drainage, but we stopped and counted - it had 70 blossoms each tipped with its pale green point, and its grey foliage giving no sign of ageing decay, but rather the vigor of its snow white blossoms - A lovely bush.
Further along the banks of the road, were more of the forget-me-not-like Dampierias and here and there the purplish heads Sowbear. Golden Isopogon, its round drum sticks not yet formed but in their place the golden stamens protected by their ring of tough green leaves.
The golden gravel, the gum tips, the wet rocks, the blue Dampierias and the ever present songs of the birds, the dripping of the rain, the greyness of the skies and the intensity of all the colours, made our “grey day at Era” a day we will often recall.
At Our Own Meeting.
Three new members, Jack Whitford, Gordon Ballard and Roger Temperley were welcomed.
A letter was received from the Red Cross saying that Bill Cawood, who was a P.O.W. in Germany is being repatriated and is now in Germany.
It has been decided that the proposed sanitary depot site at Warrah will not be constructed, the present depot to be enlarged instead.
In answer to a request from the Club, the Police Dept. said that police could patrol the streets only and could not attend to the inside of the building in which the Club Rooms are situated. The President had informed Jack Debert of the need for provosts and two had appeared in the building the following week.
A petition is being made up to the Premier to enact legislation to prohibit the sale of wildflowers. Ray Birt is organising the collection of signatures.
The Era Subcommittee reported that the owners of lot 7 have agreed to sell subject to the Treasurer's consent and with a reservation that they have the right to depasture cattle for a period of twelve months from the date of completion of the sale. The purchase money is £350 and a deposit of £50 has been paid. The Subcommittee recommended that:
A subcommittee be appointed to administer the area. That the property be vested in the S.B.W. Club trustees and that a constitutional amendment be passed enabling the trustees to deal with real or personal property in their names as directed by the Club in General Meeting by a resolution passed by a three-quarters majority of members present and voting.
That if the land is sold at the wish of the Club the proceeds shall go to the Club for conversation purposes, but that any donor may have his proportion of the proceeds of the sale returned if claimed within three months of final payment by the purchaser. That money be collected to cover both the cost price and improvements to the land.
Edna Garrad is receiving gifts towards the purchase of the land and paying it to the Treasurer, including the £100 of Club funds voted towards the purchase, gifts had been promised or received to the value of £306. These included at least two donations from members away in the Services. Over £100 in addition had been promised as loans.
The recommendations of the Sub committee were endorsed. It was suggested that should the land be resumed or sold the money should be paid into the Club funds, to be used for any purpose the Club thought fit. Marie Byles advised that this would not be legal, as under the trust the money would have to be devoted to a purpose as close as possible to that for which it was originally donated. The President drew attention to the need for policing the area.
It was decided to request the Federation to write to the Water Board, pointing out the urgent need for conservation measures to prevent soil erosion in the Warragamba catchment, if it was intended to construct a dam.
The Walks Secretary asked members to come forward and offer to lead walks in the next programme period.
Myles Dunphy told us that the land along Heathcote Creek is to be reserved, but that we may still be ab1e to retain Morella Karong. He told us quite a lot about the Alpine Reserve, but does not want to be “reported”.
The Water Board has advised that access to the Warragamba Dam will probably not be stopped.
Correspondence with the Military and the Lands Department, has resulted in the release for sale of the South Eastern Tourist District and the Blue Mountains and Burragorang Maps.
It was resolved to write to the Department of Post-War Reconstruction in Housing Committee drawing attention to the need for adequate parks and means of access to Bushland for all towns and settlements.
It was resolved to write to Bulli Shire Council asking for a uniformed policeman to patrol the North Era as indecent conduct by a group of youths has been reported.
Jean Harvey has been elected advertising manager for 1944.
A roster of bushwalkers willing to spend one week-end a month harvesting is being made. Payment is on a piece-work basis. The B.S.C. is receiving a minimum of 2/- in the £. Tuggie and Morrie Berry are taking names of volunteers.
The secret of being tiresome is to tell everything. Vo1taire.
News And Views.
The Butler Production Company announce the early release of RONA lst. 1944 Model.
- Ira Butler, Chief Engineer.
- Dot English, Production Engineer.
- Dr. Burnett, Technical Adviser.
Special features include:-
- Short wheel base, 18”
- Frame 6 1/2 lbs.
- Super chassis.
- 2 lung -power
- Free wheel and squealing.
Features covering present Model will b9 constantly improved and refined, but another Model cannot be promised until this year's product has been thoroughly tested on the home market.
The Annual Christmas party was held in the Club rooms on Friday the 17th December and everybody was there. The Social committee put their best feet forward with good effect and so the party was everything one could wish for. There was an excellent selection of paper caps, which in some manner most suitably became the wearers. The music provided by our usual Musicians, who by this time must be quite used to our madness was bright and plentiful. So was the supper.
Keeping an eye on the super to see that it didn't start without us didn't leave much time for anything else, but we did notice that several members whom we don't see very often had come along to the party. The Christmas party is becoming another re-union.
Amongst others we saw, Fred and Dorothy Svenson, Dave Stead, Thel Hillyer, Olive Greenacre, Ron Matthews from Nth Q1d., Norman Hellyer from New Guinea, Cedric Barnes and Doris Christian.
Mary Stoddart looked us up on the Friday. Saturday, the next day, was going to be her big day. Both Mary and her fiancee were looking fine.
We would like to know however what Bushwalker Parents do with their children on occasions like this as most of them come along. The Crokers, the Savages and the Iredales.
Well here's wishing you all a good New Year, good walking and camping.
“…. It is so rare a thing: a person who speaks Christian, and yet likes to walk.” Albert B. Franklin in “Ecuador, Portrait of a People.”
Some Notes On Lot 7 North Era.
by Alex Colley
For the benefit of the many members in far away parts here are a few facts about what we expect to be our block of land.
It was surveyed 10 years ago but survey marks have long since been obliterated. In 1937 I went down there with Frank Freeguard, who is a surveyor, and made a sketch map. From the Parish map we found that one corner was at the foot of the sand dune at the point where Stockyard creek flows on to the beach. There is no other holding between there and the sea, so presumably we cannot be denied access to the beach. On the map the corner is shown to co-incide with the coastline. From this point the boundary runs 23 chains West, about two to four chains South of Stockyard Creek. It runs North from the same point, about 7 chains East of the Northern branch of Stockyard Creek, for 18 chains. The North Western corner is within about 4 chains of the cliffs. The area includes the Stockyard Creek camping place (up the creek from the old yards) and Peter Page's camp spot near the North Era Jungle. It probably includes the spring above this. If it does not we will have no difficulty with water as it is obvious from the spring above and the swamp below that there is water near the surface in this part, and a well could easily be sunk.
Cattle, and the big bush-fire about three years ago, have kept down the trees and shrubs, but there are a lot of young gum seedlings, palms and shrubs struggling to grow. When they get above the grass cattle chew them. Once the cattle go these will have a chance to grow. We cannot keep the cattle off till the land is fenced and as no fencing material is available this will not be till after the war; but other cattle owners may follow Mr. Ziems example and remove their stock, and we might get enough wire to protect small areas in the near future.
Some day we may have the bush growing again and perhaps entice back the animals and birds which must have abounded there before the 1and was cleared.
A Sub committee is to be formed to look after the land, and no doubt will be only too glad to receive suggestions from absent members.
No special efforts have been made to raise money, as it was felt that the land was worth acquiring only if members showed a real and spontaneous interest in it. The response has been wonderful, and the Era Sub committee now has no hesitation in asking members who hope to enjoy camping there, or are interested in the cause of conservation, to contribute what they can afford towards the balance of the purchase money and, if possible, something towards improvements. By “improvements” is meant the encouragement of natural flora and fauna. This might mean a dog-proof fence sometime - at least a cattle-proof fence. A re-survey would be necessary before fencing.
It is considered that, by getting this block, the pick of the land between South Era and National Park, we will keep this area, one of the last undeveloped seaside areas near Sydney, from ever being subdivided or “developed”. It is not so long ago that a prospectus was issued for an “Era Development Co.” But now we can have bush instead of bricks and fibre-cement, glowing campfires instead of incandescent street lights, the call of the whip-bird rather than the honk of the Chevrolet.
Letters From The Lads And Lasses.
Letters were received during December from:-
- Betty Pryde (Qs1d)
- Frank Gentle (Torres Strait)
- Bill Burke (N.G.)
- Harold Buckland (Egypt)
- Peter Allen(2)(England)
- Russell Huntley-Tucker (Q'land)
- Bruce Simpson(W.A.)
- Norm Spedding (Australia)
- Brian Harvey (Darwin)
- Bob Savage (Australia)
- Sel. Norden (N.G.)
- Arthur Austin (New Guinea)
- Jock Kaske (Canada)
- Tom Moppett (England)
Betty Pryde: 19/12/43. This is to send my Christmas greetings to my friends of the Club and to wish them all good camping and happy holidays (if people still have holidays) and to say “thank you” for the numerous odds and ends of literature, sweet meats, photographic art and such that keep turning up to gladden my melancholy soul and to assure me I'm not forgotten. I find, to my surprise, every time I read that excellent little paper “The Bush Walker” that I have been posted somewhere else. It appears I am in Adelaide at the moment - such is fame - all the capital cities of the Commonwealth clamouring for me! Alas and 1ack-a-day, I am languishing in this city of sin and iniquity, madly striking b1ows for George. I had 8 marvellous months at Caloundra, one of the best beaches on the coast and did more than my share of beach-bashing and combing, fishing, riding and general fun and frolic, and then as the weeks crept by on sandy feet a certain little aircraft woman began to think that she had at last struck it rich and that the Mid-Summer's Night Dream would last forever. Then one sad day they caught up with me and realised that I wasn't striking nearly enough blows for George and sent me back to base where I languish in a dungeon away from the sunlight and fret over my fading sun-tan, just when I'd acquired a new set of sun-tan make up too!
Living in barracks with swarms of maidens is a unique experience. I occupy a balcony with 5 other hags and God bless my soul I was here nearly 4 weeks before I ever saw the girl in the next bed get up, or go to bed, she was always either out altogether or else right in bed with her head covered up. It got me so strung up I used to hurry back to barracks to see if the miracle had occurred and if I ever woke up in the night I would immediately peer over in the darkness to try to detect any movement.
I've found two very welcome spots within half an hour's trip from the city where I can have a lazy day in the bush and a sun bath, where there is relief from tiresome women and crowded streets. Both spots have rather forbidding entrances - one is labelled “U.S. ARMY KEEP OUT” and the other “TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED”, but one can always climb the high wire fences further down where one couldn't possibly see the notices, can't one?
This poor little town is struggling hard to cope with the hordes of extra people who are about. Every place is hopelessly overcrowded and shopping is a struggle - I wish they would let me go back to Caloundra to resist the King's Enemies and keep the King's Peace - it was so much pleasanter. Thank you for all the happy thoughts in the form of books etc.
Good Camping to you all in the New Year.