Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker
A monthly Bulletin devoted to matters of interest to The Sydney Bushwalkers, 5 Hamilton Street, Sydney
No.121 January, 1945 Price 6d.
|Assistant Editor||Grace Jolly|
|Business Manager||John Johnson|
|Production Assistant||Alice Wyborn|
|Sales & Subscriptions||Betty Dickenson|
|Something About Our Snakes||D. Stead Page||2|
|Climbing Snowden||I. Butler||4|
|Snakes Alive||M. McGregor||5|
|BushFire Fighting||Abores Australis||6|
|Notice re Monthly Meeting||8|
|Notice re Request for Annual||8|
|Notice re Map of Hawkesbury River||6|
|Letters from Lads||10|
There is some sweetness not to be seen in air,
Not to be trapped in rain, not to be found
In earth, that made this sky of blossoms flare
In blue and sparkling daylight out of the ground;
Some struggle of more than earth is in triumph here.
It that gesture of joy and fulfilment lifted on high
Where, dancing with pale blue fire, the branches rear
And the dark twigs hold the sky up to the sky.
There was a day when the mountain lories came
Through the creekside gums in such a red flash of grace
That a whole mountainside was turned to flame;
I have seen the glory glow white in a woman's face;
But never more clearly than here on the delicate pyre
Where the petals fall as the flames of sacrifice climb
Have I seen that manifold Presence, that triumph of fire
That flashes from nowhere down into space and time.
Something About Our Snakes
By David D. Stead.
What famous bushwalker was it who said that the death adder is sum snake? Probably the one that discovered that one of the main differences between snakes and lizards is that a snake has no eyelids - it sees out of its snaked eye! Should a snake bite you while you are on a trip on no account bite it back ac most Australian snakes are poisonous.
But to be a little more serious, one might say of the average person's knowledge of snakes that it isn't the things they don't know that matter, it is the things they do know that aren't true.
Quite a large volume could be filled with popular, but erroneous beliefs about snakes, but at the moment it is merely proposed to deal with a few of the commoner fallacies and mention some points of interest regarding snakes, finishing up with a brief description of some of our commonest local snakes.
The most elementary knowledge of anatomy would show the impossibility of many of the acts credited to snakes by credulous humans including, I am afraid, far too many members of the S.B.W.
While it is obvious that buehwalkers should be moderately careful where snakes, particularly large ones, are concerned, it should be remembered that snakes have no desire to encounter humans and almost invariably make themselves very scarce long before they are seen. The death adder is a possible exception, and on account of its dirty drab colouring frequently prefers to risk being stepped on than to make itself more obvious by wriggling away and this brings us to our first fallacy.
1. The death adder does not sting with its tail. It does not need to - its business end is its head and is sufficiently deadly not to require any assistance from a stinging tail. The spine at the end of the tail is used as an anchor in soft sand or soil to increase leverage and so assist the numerous belly plates or scales on which all snakes travel. Each of these plates is, of course, attached to a pair of ribs and the harmonious movement of these ribs backwards and forwards which cants the scales so that the rear edge catches on almost microscopic irregularities of surface, is only one of the many wonderful ways in which living things have adapted themselves to their environment over a long period.
2. The fangs of a snake are not to be confused with its tongue which it darts in and out of its mouth continually; this is so obvious that I hesitate to mention it but I have heard bushwalkers speak of the fangs when referring to the tongue. The tongue is used as a sensory organ and possibly assists a combined sense of taste and smell by carrying back into the mouth microscopic odorous particles. The fangs are a pair of hollow or grooved teeth through which the venom is injected into the victim.
3. Snakes do not swallow their young when danger threatens and disgorge them afterwards. Despite the accounts of otherwise reliable witnesses this feat is quite impossible. Large snakes frequently consume small ones, possibly their own offspring, but the digestive processes of reptiles are very rapid and after even a brief period in the stomach, the contents would be very dead, and snakes have no special compartment between the mouth and the stomach in which to conceal young snakes until danger passes. Some of our snakes, notably the black and the tiger, bear living young, and many times an adult female must have been killed and cut open and a number of fully developed living young found in the oviducts which to an ignorant person might have been mistaken for the stomach.
5. If you kill a snake, (be careful it is not one of the harmless species) its mate will not follow you to your next campsite and bite you during the night.
6. The fabulous ring or hoop snakes which have been described from time to time are as mentioned - fabulous. These are supposed to take their tail in their mouth when in a real hurry, form their body into a ring or hoop and go bowling along at a terrific speed. I will not comment.
7. In a number of cases in our dairying country, carpet and diamond snakes - non venomous and quite harmless - have been accused of milking cows. While these snakes must frequently have been found in and around cow bails and possibly near cows which had gone dry, it would be quite impossible for a snake to milk a cow. Snakes are unable to suck, their teeth are severely recurved in the mouth so that once they fastened onto a cow's teat it would be impossible, or almost so, for them to let go of their own accord, and finally even a large snake could only hold quite a small quantity of milk or any other liquid.
8. An even more fantastic idea, held by some bushmen regarding snakes, is that a ring of rope laid around the camp will protect those within the ring from visitations by snakes. Snakes have frequently been found asleep on coils of rope or across one or more strands of rope in many places on the coast and in any case it would take much more than a strand of rope to prevent a snake from travelling to its destination wherever it happened to be.
9. We will finish up with the old one about a snake killed during the day not dying till sunset. This idea has resulted from the contraction of certain muscles in a snake which has been killed or severely injured and which is caused by reflex action. It is not by any means an invariable rule and many of you must have seen snakes which are quite “dead” within a very short time of being bashed several times by some intrepid bushwalker.
Notes On Our Local Snakes
I will take the commonest snakes only and group them into harmless and dangerous. The harmless ones include the Carpet, the Diamond and the Green and Brown Tree snakes.
The Carpet snake reaches a length of 14 feet, but is freqUently found from 8 to 10 feet in length. The ground colour is pale brown with irregular darker markings which give it its name. It is a very handsome reptile and should not be killed. It is a tree snake and in common with the diamond and green and brown tree snakes, is equipped with two leg like spurs which are the rudiments of hind legs, these spurs assisting in climbing. Found in all the coastal mountain districts from the South Coast of New South Wales right up into tropical Queensland.
A variety of the same species is the Diamond Snake which differs from the carpet in having a dark blue to black back with diamond shaped clusters of yellow dots. These snakes are true pythons and kill their prey by crushing. They lay eggs which they incubate by lying in a coil above them to keep them moist.
The Green and the Brown Tree snakes are also harmless. They grow to about 6 feet in length, are very slender, and are exceedingly graceful as they glide among the trees in the rain forests of the coastal mountains where they live. The Green Tree snake varies in shade of green and is hard to see amongst the green foliage. The brown of the Brown Tree snake matches the bark of many of the trees perfectly. Both of them lay egg which are hatched out by the parent in a similar manner to that used by the pythons.
(My allotted space has run out but next month I hope to deal briefly with the dangerous snakes and perhaps write a few notes on some very different reptiles, the Crocodiles and the Turtles).
I have been very busy working nearly every day and night either in Wales or in London. Have managed to see a fair bit of the country however, and during most of last week we had a tour of some of the agricultural country around Birmingham.
Must tell you about the only day we had off while we were in Wales. I climbed Snowden after all - and mists don't look much better from the top of Mt. Snowden than from the top of any other mountain. The rain and the fine hail and the cold wind, however, were a bit exceptional, and I don't quite remember an occasion when the edges of my ears and my eyebrows, the top part of my cheek and to a lesser extent the whole windward side of my face felt quite so painful - somewhat like my feet felt the last time I crossed the Cox in winter time.
We set out from Colwyn Bay at the early hour of 7.10 a.m. and caught a train from Llandudno to Bettws-y-coed (pronounced Bettoos-ee-coid). There round the hours of 9 to 10 we wandered up and down amongst the various hostelries looking for some breakfast. No one wanted to give us any and we began to be very impressed with the efficiency of British food rationing and the shortage of domestic staff when we found a shop selling some rather miserable but very acceptable apples. Shortly afterwards we found a place which agreed to provide a meal and produced some quite good bacon and eggs (dried - scrambled), and toast and marmalade.
We then caught a bus to some unpronouncable Welsh village and then hitch-hiked on a R.A.F. transport to some other equally unpronouncable village. We walked a short distance along a road and then took the Pig track to Snowden.
The Welsh mountain country is grand - a real Bushwalkers' paradise. Treeless country with high knife-edge ridges, little mountain streams cascading down, lakes scattered all about and Welsh long-tailed sheep grazing around. The only country I've seen anything like it in Australia is the Cradle Mt. country in Tasmania.
We soon ran into showers and these became more frequent as we neared Snowden. Before we entered the cloud area we were thoroughly wet.
Emerging on the other side of the cloud we found a crofter's cottage where we were able to relax to the accompaniment of a cup of tea and a bread and cheese sandwich. Went past more streams and lakes and so down to a bus and train home through Carnarvon.
Shall have to write you a lyric on the English pub - its easily the best of all the English Institutions even though the beer is weak compared with pre-war.
Have not been worried by buzz-bombs, although as you may have read there are still a few about.
by M McGregor
“Look out.” It was a rather belated cry because half the party had already walked over the black snake which was coiled in some grass on the track. The snake itself didn't seem to be worried at all by our presence for now quite a few people were gathered about it, watching. But, Hark! the cry is David. And lo the scrub divides (with apologies). “A snake, where is it?” shouted the president pounding up to the group, but apparently the serpent had also heard that the doubty snake catcher was coming, so he beat a hasty retreat and successfully defeated all attempts to find him again.
It was a beautiful place for snakes, a moist soak, with waist high reeds and low scrub. David rubbed hie hand reflectively over his chin. “Hmmm, I think I'll walk up the soak a bit. I've got my snake bag, I might catch one Or —”
As soon as the words were out, Peter and I ranged ourselves alongside him and asked if we might accompany him. He agreed and we set off walking slowly, ankle deep in mud, looking for and hoping to see a snake (Some people are mad).
While we were working our way up the swamp David gave us a few hints about places where they like to coil up and he also begged us to keep as quiet as possible. He even went so far as to say that if we were unlucky enough to be bitten not to shout and frighten any other snakes in the vicinity but to say calmly, “This is it”. He beamed down at us and added, “I have my universal antidote with me so there is no need to worry”. These few words cheered us up a great deal, as you can well imagine, but not wishing to appear scared, we stuck to our self appointed task and kept our eyes down.
Things were going beautifully (not a snake to be seen) when quite suddenly Peter shot vertically into the air to the amazing height of fifteen feet, (both David and I are quite sure on this point) and while suspended there he uttered the magic word “snnnnnake”.
He came down shortly afterwards and the three of us surrounded a small clump of reeds into which our quarry had disappeared. Peter and David were armed with short sticks and carefully I separated the grasses until the black body of our victim was exposed. One! two! and the sticks held him firm; a little wait and then his head came into view; the hindmast stick (it is so difficult to tell which is the front or back end when a snake is all coiled up) was moved to a position just behind the head. The next move in this “Saga of the Swamp” was enacted by David, in went his hand, and his thumb and forefinger clamped themselves about its neck and a black snake about four feet long was withdrawn from its retreat. Very carefully I photographed the final stage, then popping the catch into David's bag we made off towards the rest of the party.
When we reached them the snake was emptied out on to the road for all and sundry to see and “admire” whilst we explained and demonstrated how it was done by re-catching and re-bagging the specimen.
No Frank Buck or Martin Johnstone could ever have been so proud as we were about our “all alive” catch. We were walking on, gazing into space envisioning all kinds of exploits in the “Bring 'Em Back Alive” sphere, when Bill Hall, who was quite some distance in front of the main group rudely smashed all our dreams. We saw him, armed with a sturdy sapling, viciously belabouring the ground. It could only mean one thing; another snake. We galloped up, quite ready to offer our services but it was too late the job was done. With tears in our eyes we gazed at the carnage wrought by Bill's sapling. A once “beautiful” serpent lay before us. I suppose a moral could be taken from this part of the story – A good snake is a dead one, because Bill's specimen was twice as fat and a good deal longer than the one we had taken such pains to catch alive.
By Abores Australis.
There are very few properly organised bush-fire fighting services in Australia. This is what happens when such is available and to know about it may assist volunteers who are inexperienced. The Officer-in-Charge notified and works out the location of the fire by cross bearings telephoned from two or more look-outs. He then sends out one motor truck with a small party of men. This will be followed by another with water tank and pump, or the first truck may take both men and tank. Some responsible individual will be sent out with the first truck whose duty it is to hike all round the fire, find out just how big and how bad it is, decide hew many men and how much gear are needed to deal with it and arrange with the Officer-in-Charge for the necessary reinforcements.
A great deal depends upon the judgment of the man who does this work and his ability to forecast the weather during the next twenty-four hours or obtain the forecast from official meteorologists. If very bad weather is approaching he will play safe and back-fire from a wide trail or even a main road; if only normal weather is approaching he will go right into or very close to the fire.
If the fire is very small a frontal attack may be mad without any burning back. This is an attack right on the fire with rakes, bushes and knapsack pumps with ladywood sprays, of which we shall say more later.
Having decided the extent and potentialities of the fire, and unless very small a trail must be cut two to six feet wide. This trail must be thoroughly cleared of all sticks, bark and grass. The light rubbish is raked to the fire-ward side and forms a convenient windrow for lighting. The heavy logs, branches and masses of bark must however be taken well away on the lee side. As much as possible of the dead logs and branches must be cleared from the fireward side of the trail for a distance of up to twenty yards or more. The ultimate chances of holding the fire depend to a very large extent on the thoroughness with which the trail is raked and cleared in the first place.
If the fire is a large one, the trail will have been cut anything up to six miles in front of it; it will be a full six feet wide and may involve felling trees if it cannot be kept on the fire-side of them. The trail having been cut, the fun commences and all volunteers, men and women and children are useful. The firing-back starts generally at night or in the late afternoon and the people ranged along the trail have the work of preventing sparks from getting around it. It is wildly exciting pouncing down on sparks and putting them out. Everyone forgets to be tired and it is just a grand adventure.
Usually the fire will burn back fairly well even though it is against the wind. Let us assume that all has gone well and the fire has burned back to the main fire and extinguished it. Now the really difficult and conscientious work begins, all the more difficult because by this time there has probably arrived a waggon of free beer from the hotel. You have perhaps read how much such and such a fire was got under, started up again the next day, and so on day after day, until the rain came and did the work which the fire-fighters could have done perfectly well if they had been well trained and disciplined.
This is what lay behind that laconic newspaper report that the fire restarted. The flames had died down and with them had also died the excitement and fun. The heroic volunteers suddenly realise that they are weary, and ?? under the shade of a tree – with their backs to the fire – and begin discussing their adventures.
Then up comes the inevitable gust of wind, away goes a shower of sparks over the trail and the fire is off again. If that particular jumpover cannot be controlled the whole party must retreat to another line of defence, and start the whole job over again. Even without the gust of wind the fire will very likely sneak across the trail in a section that was carelessly raked, or it may invisibly creep along between the bark and the wood on the underside of a big log that someone was too tired to chop right through.
It is because of this danger that the experienced forester tries to hold his own men back to conserve their strength until this time in order to do what is called the “mopping up”. This consists of completely extinguishing the remains of the fire for a distance sufficiently far back from the edge of the trail to prevent any possible chance of a spark blowing across. Dead trees and trees with broken dead branches in their tops are particularly dangerous and must be felled even though they be up to twelve feet in girth. A single spark landing on the top of broken stub in the top of a tree will smoulder away and eventually send out sparks which will carry the fire over the trail. A hollow tree roars like a blast furnace and showers the countryside with sparks. A stump may be completely burnt out yet carry fire along one of its roots to pop up on the other side of the trail a week, maybe two weeks, afterwards. Mopping up therefore means cutting trees, grubbing stumps and examining ashes and the ground beneath them with the naked hand. A fire is not considered as being extinguished until the naked hand can play with it happily. Mopping up is hard, dreary work and often means many burns.
For mopping up you cannot have too much water, a thousand gallon tanker-waggon with powerful pump which will force the water into the tiniest cracks of logs or stumps is the thing, if you have one. If you haven't and in rough country, the humble knapsack water-container with Ladywood spray is worth its weight in gold. This has an adjustable nozzle like a hose and it is surprising how far five gallons of water will go when sent out through a fine nozzle. It has a fine mist spray which is used for damping down grass and a fine needle spray for cutting into ash bed and the insides of logs and stumps.
Even though a fire may be thoroughly mopped up by careful and conscientious men there is still a good chance that it will break out again, and to prevent this or to control the new fire should it break out again, the trail must be patrolled for several days after the mopping up has been completed, There are cases on record where small fires in logs and rubbish have been raked over and doused with water to the extent of twenty gallons of water per square yard and yet some hot ember has been missed or thrown aside and has started up again the next day. If therefore the preliminary work of extinguishing the fire is not to go for nothing, a great deal of work must be done for a long time afterwords.
Notice Re Monthly Meeting
Notice is hereby given that the Monthly General Meetings will in future start at 7.45 p.m. and the Annual General Meeting will commence a 7.30 p.m. It will be appreciated if the people who do not attend the General Meetings, but who stay outside, would make just a little less noise, thereby enabling those who do, to at least hear themselves talk. Members will realise that the acoustics of the Clubroom leave much to be desired so that silence of members attending the meeting is essential if the President's voice is to be preserved and the business of the meeting to be expedited.
Request For Bushwalker Annual
Would the correspondent who wrote recently requesting old copies of the Annual please communicate with the Editor of The Sydney Bushwalker,
Please note that a further map has been completed by the Topographical Section River Canoe Club of N.S.W.
Canoeists Chart of Hawkesbury and Macdonald Rivers (from Cattai Creek to Wisemans Ferry and, from St. Albans to Wisemans Ferry sections) — with the completion of this map, the whole of the Hawkesbury system has been mapped for canoeing purposes from Maldon on the upper Nepean, and from Cox Junction on the Warragamba, to Brooklyn, nine separate maps embracing these distances.
Maps produced by this section will in future be placed on exhibition in Paddy Pallin's store for periods of about one month.
Although conditions in the bush were not ideal, due to drought and bushfires, most people enjoyed their camping at Christmas time. Quite a crowd spend their holidays at Era. A few returned home for Christmas Day and then went back. Water problem was eased considerably by the thoughtfulness and ingenuity of Harry Ellis who did things with pipes and concrete so that very little water was made a considerable supply.
Peter Page being on leave was at Era and made the camp fire seem like old times when he sang several songs for the crowd.
Also enjoying leave from soldiering was Alan Hardy (Dormie Long to most of us). Dormie also obliged with vocal items.
Another party travelled to Kosciusko, even wangling an extra day to make the trip possible, but were unfortunate enough to strike extremely wintry conditions, snow, blizzards etc. After having anticipated very warm weather even to the extent of omitting warm clothes the cold was rather a setback. Being confined to huts for some time is not an ideal way of spending Christmas holidays.
We hear that Brian Harvey is another on leave. He was in Sydney for Christmas and we believe may be here for a while.
And now for the younger generation. Mr, and Mrs. Bill Mullins doing things in a big way, are now parents of twin sons. Apparently the problem of names for the youngsters was not solved when we read the birth announcement, but we hope to hear all about that later.
Mary Stoddart has done the right thing and presented her husband with a son and heir. He, the son and heir, is being called Robert Brian.
Mr. and Mrs. Alan Rigby have another son. Although we do not see the Rigby family very often we hope they will see this and accept our congratulations.
The meet shortage presented no problems to one large carpet snake we know. Going down the track from Blackheath to Sincarpia New Year weekend we met a large snake that had just caught his dinner. The dinner being a ring tailed 'possum. The 'possum realising the injustice of things generally was putting up quite a struggle but several thick coils wound round him made breathing rather difficult and he gave in. Both snake and dinner had gone when we returned but we would like to have seen his girth.
Letters From The Lads
Was away down south Dunk, on a tour of inspection during the week. There was a 50 mile an hour gale blowing and the aircraft travelled crabwise from place to place. The ceiling of cloud was low and every now and again we would have to deviate from our course to circumnavigate a dark front.
Later on I stood on a rocky headland at Albany (a delightful spot) and admired the glorious view. The gale was whipping the seas into a turmoil and even the waters of Princess Royal Harbour - King George Sound would have done credit to the Bay of Biscay at its worst. The wild elements of nature entered into my soul. They were exhilarating and though wind blown and battered I was invigorated.
The gale was terrific and I watched the seas breaking over the southern side of Eclipse Island. Terrific waves broke right over the headland. Later on, when it was safe to open my map case, I checked up on the 1st Military map and found the spray went over 150 feet high. Sounds tall but now I know why I had to lean into the wind when I was admiring the view. I had to brace my legs and lean over at 45 degrees. Even then I felt that at any moment I would be carried off my perch.
The country Was not unlike parts of our National Park, but the immense granite headlands and rocky outcrops made the place so much more impressive than our sandstone. The wild flowers were amazing - thousands of flowers of so many varieties.
I could write for hours on the wild flowers of this State. Then I could fill pages on the amount of sand it possesses. May be one day I shall sit around a good old campfire and tell you and others of the good and bad points of this State, of its extreme mineral wealth and its untouched opportunities etc. But for now I've other things to write of.
Later on my driver picked up papers in town for the personnel of another unit. Reading matter for the troops, I find myself staring at the front cover picture of a female figure. A figure too well known to need introduction.
Hell clouds pass before me. Shades of lengthy discussions at S.B.W. meetings flit before my eyes. Dark shadows look across the stage, Chardons, Rigbys, Pices, Dunphys, Prydes - yea even censorships. The one time catch cry of the die hards “We do not want publicity”. My great aunt. Ye Gods and little fishes how have the mighty fallen! Publicity is not wanted and here's the Federation (who turned “hiking” into a science - Did it? Or was it late in the piece?) - the cream of the hiking world, not just the milk of the cocoanut, the cream mind you having three full Pix pages. Pix of all papers. Gee won't there be a flutter in the committee rooms. Oh. well times have changed.
Your letter Dunk of 18th Oct. remains unanswered. As a special Xmas effort I'm trying to write you a few lines before the festive season begins. Thanks for your letter Dunk. There's little chance of my turning up at the club for many moons. Once one gets over to W.A., it is difficult to return east. This state is almost like another country. One has to pass a dictation test before one can return to Australia. Have been here so long I now have doubts as to my passing.
You and the Service Committee deserve an occasional letter for the excellent work you all do. Don't think I'm lacking appreciation of the good deeds done. I'm a busy man with lots to do. Still the old club and its activities hold a place in my heart.
Wish I had bee4 at the half yearly meeting. I might have sided with the rebels, for there is a lot in what they say in spite of Marie's passioned appeal for Myles, Tom etc. After all it is a walking club (the old phrase Dunk) or is it? I do feel members, older members especially, could make an effort to lead one walk a year. Of course age, inability and sickness must be considered. Still the club should liver be allowed to become top heavy with talking members, who seldom go out and yet turn up in force when the word gets around the meeting might be a hectic one. It is so easy to lose touch with the younger and walking members unless one does go out with them every now and again.
Am afraid I haven't changed much. Don't know if you ever hear anything of me. I write to Doris Young occasionally and tell her of my travels around this vast state. I get around lots and have now seen most all parts of Australia except a little bit between Drysdale and Wyndham and I've still hopes of seeing that.
Some months ago I went out on a day's walk with a Sgt. Jessie Wakefield, an A.W.A.S. once a member of the Hobart Walking Club, and three other people. Jessie knew many of the S.B.W. People. Had met them in Tasmania. A W.A.A.A.F. Officer, Elizabeth Turner (one of the party) said she was a member of the S.B.W. I didn't know her and so asked her when she had passed the committee. She then admitted she had joined up before the committee had let her in. Do you remember her at all? She is tall and not unlike Flo Allsworth. We had a great day and walked and talked as only walkers can. One of the party - an elderly R.A.A.F. officer came out with an attache case and carried it all the way. I never thought I'd see the day when I'd lead a walk with a member of the party carrying an attache case, still I gave him hell and we had great fun.
I see L.J. Drake occasionally. No doubt some of the old timers will remember him. He is still the same and sent his regards to those who knew him. He was responsible for my hitting the news headlines in the local evening paper over walking that 100 miles in 24 hours. Since the item appeared I am usually told to walk when I ask for transport.
That reminds me I was 'over at Cape Naturaliste the other day. Another one of the corners of-Australia. I had completed my business and as the transport had to await other officers, I set off to walk. I strolled along thoroughly enjoying the beauties of the countryside.
It was all very charming. There were rocky headlands and inlets together with lovely sandy beaches. The sparsely timbered undulating hills were covered with coastal scrub not unlike our Lambert Peninsula country. The whole countryside abounded with wild flowers, most of which were unknown to me. There were thousands of the tree kangaroo paws - a most fascinating flower. The car picked me up in 1 3/4 hours after I had covered 7 miles.
My work is most interesting. Am on the A.O.C's staff as Area Defence Officer. Briefly that makes me responsible to the A.O.C. for the ground defence of our dromes, strips, units etc. in w.A. I have lots of liaison work with both the Army and Navy. Am also responsible for defence training of all pereonnel, etc. etc.
The Federation had so many matters to consider that its November meeting lasted for three hours. Two of the matters considered were a report from delegates to the recent “Save The Trees” Conference, and the election and instruction of delegates to a Conference on 1st December regarding Kosciusko State Park and Primitive Areas therein. Briefly, the Federation is supporting Myles Dunphy's suggestions.
A Forestry Advisory Council and an annual “Save the Trees” Conference having been recommended by the first conference, Federation placed on record that its aim is re-afforestation and it will support any move to achieve it. Mr. Wyborn and Mr. Stead were appointed Federation representatives. Other appointments made were Miss Grace Jolly, Publicity Officer; Mr. Schumack of teh Y.M.C.A. Ramblers Club - Convener of a Committee to be appointed to arrange a Federation Party in 1945. The Committee will consist of Club representatives, probably their Social Secretaries.
The questions of Joint Rooms or a Co-operative society were raised, but the matter was referred to Mr. Frank Duncan to draw up a scheme and submit it to Federation for consideration.
Word was received that the recent successful Federation Re-Union at“Leonay” had benefitted the Nepean District Hospital, Penrith by £5.10.0. 150 people signed the attendance log and eleven Clubs were represented.
The Secretary to the Trust has been congratulated on the dedication of the new Oatly Primitive Park.
The Forestry Commission has stated that the Forest On Mt. Coricudgy will be kept in a primitive state.
The new Department of Conservation is looking into the suggestion to reserve the Warrumbungles as a flora reserve and State Forest.
There was no definite news about Era as the State Budget was still before Parliament.
The Youth Hostels Association will probably rent shacks at Little Garie as a trial. Another possibility for a hostel in that area is just south of Maynards', or Maynards' property itself.
The National Fitness Council is planning to buy the land at the top of the Pallisades and add it to the Patonga Fitness Camp so that the through route for hikers will always remain available.
Binnaburra, Lamington National Park, is private property and the Owner wants prior notice if any bushwalkers intend to visit the property. Otherwise they are liabe to get a hostile reception.
The last business was probably the most important, It was decided to refer to the Clubs a suggestion that bushwalkers appoint a committee to undertake Research Of The Prevention Of Bushfires by various means - not merely by burning firebreaks when fires are raging, and not merely to save houses but also the bush itself. The matter is to come up for discussion at December Federation meeting.