Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker.
A monthly Bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St., Sydney.
No. 197. April, 1951. Price 6d.
|Editor||Bill Gillam, Berowra Creek Road, Berowra.|
|Production and Business Manager||Brian Harvey|
|Reporters||Jim Brown, Kath McKay|
|Sales and Subs||Shirley Evans|
|Typed by||Jean Harvey|
In This Issue:
|Editorial - Holiday Walks||1|
|Social Notes for April||3|
|At the Annual General Meeting||Jim Brown||4|
|Notice of Motion||8|
|I Go to the Re-Union||“Sam Peeps”||9|
|Ballad of the Re-Union||Kath McKay||11|
|Camp Fire Introduction||13|
|Open Letter to Mr. Garside||14|
|Wombeyan Caves||“The Gent in the Tent”||15|
|Special Farewell Campfire||17|
|We are Still at the Y.M.C.A. - Paddy's Ad.||20|
Editorial - Holiday Walks.
On the Walks Programme there is a paragraph reading “The leader is responsible for the safety of the party, and if he thinks necessary may refuse a person's request to attend the walk”. The first clause places an onus an the Committee, which has the final word on the programme, to see that no walk is approved unless they are satisfied that the trip can be done with reasonable safety by the proposed leader. If the Committee considers the walk too rough, or the leader insuffiCiently conversant with the country, it is quite justified in not allowing the walk to appear on the programme. This has been done before and leaves no hard feelings on either side. Once the Committee has given approval it is up to the leader to show that the trust is not misplaced.
The second part of the paragraph is left entirely to the leader's discretion. On what grounds can a leader refuse a request to join the trip? Presumably he would be frank and give a satisfactory explanation. In the past anyone with the normal number of limbs could go on a walk and be fairly confident of getting home again. Purely physical handicaps such as a weak heart would prevent a member from joining a mid-summer walk over The Dogs or Solitary: the member's own sense would tell him it was unwise. But when attendance on an official trip is limited to chase with Olympian stamina then there is something wrong somewhere. To claim that the trip is “tough” or “terribly tough” is an admission that the walk was not designed for the majority of club members, in fact that the leader had already decided on his party before he submitted his walk.
The Easter holidays afford an opportunity for new and prospective members to do, possibly, their first extended walking trip. Many of them, indeed most of them, have not yet become attached to regular walking parties and for them the official walk should be designed. It takes some courage on the part of members to offer to lead an holiday trip knowing that the party will consist largely of a relatively unknown quality. With this in mind he must plan his walk accordingly; with the notorious exception of Bendethra it has always been done in the past.
On a four day trip much of the pleasure of touring and long trips can be learnt. The intensive planning often beginning weeks ahead of food lists and transport, as opposed to the casualness of the normal weekend trip. The new prospective can learn more on one interesting four day weekend through country new to him than he can on several instructional weekends at a well-known swimming pool. But he won't learn much if he has to watch the heels of the next fellow for the whole trip and then ache and groan for a week after he comes home. Walking is, after all, only our mutual recreation and the surest way to persuade a prospective that it is anything else is to provide him with tough trips or discourage him from the official trip.
Members who wish to do long hard trips in new country usually have no trouble in finding a party to go with them. Indeed, much of the best country can only be seen to advantage with a well organised handpicked private party, in which there are no weak links. These parties usually come back with much new and helpful information; you need only browse through back numbers to find articles on nearly all the walking country in Australia. Many of these walks were through bewildering country in which the only tracks were those of animals leading to soaks, and the only maps roughly drawn by an enthusiastic but often imaginative walker who sketched a distant ridge as he sat wondering where he actually was.
But the place for these walks is not on the official programme which is an invitation for all members to join a trip. When the offer is held out with one hand and then taken away with the other there has been a breach of faith somewhere…
Social Notes For April.
There are two most important social events in April. On 20th Mr. Wright will show us some excellent slides on New Zealand. To the increasing numbers of Bushwalkers who have been across to the Dominion, those slides should bring back many happy memories.
On 27th there will be another of those popular dances. Practice up your square dancing, kids.
Photographic Exhibition - 29th June 1951.
Members are reminded that this year's Photographic Exhibition will be held on 29th June, and there is no limit on any entries that will be accepted. Prints may be of any size, subject, and on any type of paper. There will be a Candid Section.
Get busy and do your prints now!
Fancy Dress Dance - Basket Supper.
Don't forget our gala Fancy Dress Dance on 22nd June. There'll be fun and prizes galore. Bring your own hamper. Beverages (non-alcoholic) will be provided. Remember, it's a fance dress dance.
- Ed. Stretton.
At The General Meeting.
Warned by the dreadful example of other Annual General Meetings, the 95 who were present for the big event of 1951 were on their best and most docile behaviour: as a result the Annual General actually wound up at the unprecedented hour of 10 p.m., no one tried to monkey with the Constitution, and the time and place of the Annual Re-Union was not interfered with.
The President first welcomed new members Bill Rodgers and Leigh Hart and introduced visitor Keith Scott of the Hobart Walking Club. Minutes were read and confirmed and in swift order we took the Annual Report and Annual Financial Statement as read, adopted both, suspended standing orders to permit of the election of officers, and decided to vote along the same lines as before.
Here Bill Cosgrove interposed the thought that a number of old members who were present for very few business meetings sometimes influenced the vote to the disadvantage of newer, more active, members. He suggested that the infrequent caller should refrain from voting, but his notion was received in stony silence, and we voted as before, our efforts being scrutinised by Messrs. Roots, Savage, Harrison and Harvey.
Before the serious business of elections got under way there came a further suspension of standing orders to fix the Annual Subscription and Entrance Fee, thus allowing the Treasurer to make his financial scoop of the year. Annual Subscription was set at 15/- for those over 21, and 10/- for the “juniors” - the sane rate as for the past five years: Entrance Fee was fixed at 4/-.
The elections, featuring the re-appointment of the retiring President together with many members of the previous Committee, followed, and results are given below.
Correspondence and the usual reports were received without comment, and it was announced that King's Birthday weekend had been incorrectly shown on the Walks Programme as June 15th to 18th. As June 11th had recently been gazetted as the Public Holiday, the events of those two weekends should be reversed on the programme, while the remarks “General Meeting” and “Club Room Closed” shown for Fridays 8th and 15th June in the Social Programme should also be switched. A letter to the Blue Mountains Council referred to unsafe track conditions at Victoria Falls, Govett's Leap and the landslide on the Ruined Castle track, and suggested that it may be necessary to close these trails. A letter from the Lands Department advised that tenancies were being discussed with shack owners at Era, prior to establishment of administration of the area.
We were already at General Business, and for the rest of the evening, while the scrutineers wrought mightily, the members debated several items at leisure and, when there was no business before the meeting, chattered idly. Strange indeed, for the Annual General!
Allan Hardie had a complaint concerning the conjoint walk with the C.M.W. This event, he said, should have permitted of fraternisation, but instead it was conducted at such breakneck pace that there was very little chance for members to get together, and the dash from Mt. Victoria to Blue Gum had resulted in a decisive win for the majority of the S.B.W. The leader, Don Frost, pointed out that the trip had been discussed with Stan Cottier of the C.M.W. on the Friday night, and it had been agreed to try to reach Blue Gum for a late lunch on Saturday. Some difficulty had been found on the pass down Victoria Falls, and as a result those of the party which reached the Forest early on Saturday afternoon had established camp and fire for those following.
Arthur Gilroy spoke of the skiing hut being erected near Lake Albina in the Kosciusko area, and moved that the Club purchase two shares (£50) so that members should have access to a hut in the bes ski country. Bill Gillam felt that it was rather a matter for the people interested in getting some priority for bookings at Kosciusko, perhaps the members interested could subscribe the money, while using the Club name. Alex Colley suggested that, as several Clubs and organisations Were building their own huts in the area, perhaps it would not be beyond our ability to do the same: he would be prepared to contribute cash and work to such a scheme.
Claude Haynes returned to the Lake Albina project with the opinion that the location would be inaccessible for skiers of our general calibre during a severe season. He thought we may do better to consider investing in another hut being erected in the Perisher region. On the other hand, Bill Cosgrove pointed out that the Lake Albina hut would give good skiing conditions late in the season probably into October, and would be a good summer base for walking parties.
Roy Bruggy queried the probable cost of building a hut in the snow country, and Len Scotland suggested from £2,000 to £4,000. For this reason he favoured the idea of buying shares in the Lake Albina project. Malcolm McGregor thought the figure quoted was excessive, and mentioned a group at present pre-fabricating a hut in Sydney for erection in the snow country. Paddy Pallin explained that this would be a temporary structure only - the Kosciusko State Park Trust controlled the character of huts in the snow country, and when their requirements were met, he thought the figure £2,000 to £4,000 was reasonable.
Dormie wanted to know if skiers were the only people worth saving: with Seaman's Hut partially closed to walkers in summer, it would be desirable to have access to some reliable shelter in bad weather. Phil Hall queried if this was relevant, and Dormie explained that he supported the motion for the benefit of summer travellers near Kosciusko.
About this stage the debate began to move away from the subject of the Lake Albina Hut, and was brought back by Don Frost's comment that this particular hut appeared to be a place which only the experienced skier could reach. If the Club were to sink money in any building in the snow country, it should be one available to the “mug” skier. After speech in reply by Arthur Gilroy, the much debated motion was lost.
Towards the close of the meeting a query was raised on the score of Parks and Playgrounds representation - why didn't we have a regular report on their doings? Various people rose to reply - if a full report was supplied our meetings would go on throughout the night - the Parks and Playgrounds people supplied an annual report to the Club - and they were amongst the consistent supporters of our conservation activities.
The scrutineers anticipated a motion of appreciation by explaining what a good job they had done: Paddy Pallin inserted a “plug” for the Y.H.A. Ski Hut at Kiandra, accessible to skiers of all capabilities: the Club's appreciation of the work of the retiring Editor was expressed in applause: and we packed up the bone to take it back to Euroka just after 10 p.m.
|Vice Presidents||Alex Colley, Allen Strom.|
|Assistant Secretary||Kath Brown.|
|Walks Secretary||Jim Hooper.|
|Social Secretary||Edna Stretton.|
|Membership Secretary||Ken Meadows.|
|General Committee||Gwen Jewell, Gladys Martin, Don Frost, Kevin Ardill.|
|Federation Delegates (From 1/8/51)||Paul Barnes, Allen Strom, Jean Golding. (Paul Barnes and Jean Golding to sit on Committee from 1/8/51 - one delegate to be elected.)|
|Substitute Federation Delegates||Bill Gillam, Brian Harvey.|
|Literary Editor||Bill Gillam.|
|Magazine Business Manager||Brian Harvey.|
|Parks & Playground Delegate||Mrs. H. Stoddart.|
|Trustees||Joe Turner, Maurice Berry, Wal Roots.|
|Honorary Solicitor||Mr. C. Broad (non-member).|
|Forestry Advisory Council Delegate||Alan Wyborn.|
The official trip of the 13th, 14th, 15th April down the Nattai has been cancelled, and will be put on the next programme.
In its place will be a Test Walk to Springwood - 1499 Trig - Richmond, the mileage being around the 25 mark. This walk will leave on Saturday 14th April, not Friday night, on the 12.27 p.m. train. Tickets to Springwood.
- Bob Chapman, Leader.
Linden - Grose River - Kurrajong Walk - April 27-29.
This walk is on the same weekend as the instructional weekend. Prospectives who have not attended an instructional weekend would be well advised to go to this one. But those who have been to an instructional weekend, and have had some walking experience, could regard this as a sort of advanced course, since much of the route lies through new country for the leader, and probably for everyone else who intends to go. It is difficult country to navigate and, if as is likely, the scrub is dense, it will be a rough hard walk. Nearly all the route can be followed on the Windsor Military Map. Tenderskins are advised to bring long pants. Return tickets to Linden should be bought - a permit will be obtained to return from Kurrajong on them.
- Alex Colley, Leader.
Trans Labyrinth Walk - April 20, 21, 22.
This trip may develop into a kind of conjoint walk with members of the Caloola Club, in which case certain amendments to transport arrangements will be made.
Members intending to do the trip are requested to contact the leader as soon as possible so that these details can be confirmed.
Attention is drawn to the fact that new growth has made the Labyrinth country very scratchy - those who don't wear slacks or at least gaiters are likely to end the trip in very lacerated condition.
- Jim Brown, Leader.
Notice Of Motion.
Mr. Don Frost advises that he intends to move the following motion at the April General Meeting:
“That a sub-committee of five be appointed to report to the June General Meeting on the feasibility of the Club erecting a hut in the Perisher Gap or other suitable areas.
The report to cover the following points:
- The position of the hut,
- The number to be accommodated,
- General description of a suitable hut which would comply with the Park Trust requirements,
- Approximate cost,
- Recommendations for finance.”
All interested are asked to give the matter some thought, and to attend the meeting to air their views.
N.S.W. Federation of Bushwalkers Ball.
Friday, May 4th 1951, 8 p.m.
University Union Hall.
Reservations through your Club Secretary or Social Secretary - or from the organiser, Bob Green (MA1120).
I Go To The Reunion.
To the window at six in the morning, a grey day, so I take me back to bed, where I reflect on the futility of lighting fires in the rain, and then remember that Miss Stretton has entrusted half a hundred weight of fruit cake to me, and expects me to deliver it even if sodden. So off to the station where I meet a pretty girl who beguiles the way to North Sydney, where she departs to persuade her beau that the weather is clearing.
Then to Penrith, where I an dragged past the Bar, without a chance to fortify myself against the rain, but am shepherded to a place where they sell milk, which product I put down with scarce a grimace. Through Regatta Crowds, to our ship which has to be rocked to get it clear off the banks, and so up the River, where we scatter a racing fleet in all directions. Claude lays me nine shillings to four that we shall hit at least one crew, but alas, I do not take the bet, for we miss narrowly. With no further adventures we arrive at Euroka Creek, to be met by our Treasurer whom I am relieved to see has not brought his receipt book. I am involved in a slight detour, but arrive in a drizzle of rain at the camp spot.
Alas I am evicted from any chosen tent spot, and retire in a huff to the heights of a nearby hill. From here I sit and smoke while my cook grills my steak, and soon our first visitors arrive. For Hilma we produce a drop of quinine water, the fame of which soon attracts Jess. Soon we have all the latest doings which is worth the expenditure of half our store of liquid. From our vantage point we watch the dozens of cooking fires through the trees, a sight so restful that I am moved to write half a sonnet with which I am disappointed in the morning, and light the fire with it.
Soon the Keeper of the King's Fire has gathered his band together and the fire is lit ceremoniously by the young Misses Matasin and Stoddart, with a fine speech delivered by friend Mouldy. Warmed by William Henley's conflagration Messrs. Pallin, Webb and Ardill commence the entertainments; whether they were preserving their voices or fearful of singeing their tails I could not discover, but they took it in turns to keep all happy. The singeing was more severe apparently than the singing, for Mr. Pallin did sing 'til deep into the night, prompting the thought that he had lost his own sleeping bag in The Great Fire.
My Friend Mr. Roots is next arrainged on a Treasonable Charge of “Burning off a Fellow Member, D. Long, to wit”. In the laughter of the gallery I cannot hear what defence is offered, but trust that it is “To the charge of burning off I plead guilty”, “But to the charge of being on a walk with the intent to burn off, I would plead not guilty”.
The Minstrel Boys, Bob Chapman and John Edwards, produced a duet with the amusing title of “Much Walking In The Bush” sang with some spirit, and very topical, judging by the enthusiasm with which they are received. They complain of not being allowed to do the Square Dance, a step which is very intrigueing. The opposition is of the mind that it detracts members away from the Barn Dance, which is considered essential for the conditioning of a walker.
Then to Cocoa, nobly brewed by Ernie French, whom I shall recommend to be Official Brewer to the Court. I fall to talk with Allen Strom, who does give me details of his Easter Trip, then with Mr. President (who disappears to comfort his children). In the firelight I see Bill Henley dragging yet another log for the night owls, then I depart to a rather voluble group in which I see Dulcie Jeans as the centre of attraction.
To bed at midnight, but am disturbed by Bosun Pallin and “Middie” Leigh Hart, who do sing Shanties till all hours of the morning. Their voices are pleasant, however, and I drift into slumber.
Am awakened early in the morning and thrust forth to provide coffee. While the brew simmers I notice the Wyborns with their two children, and further over Maurice and Tuggy, who are camped across the creek. The Duke of Clear Hill appears, discussing, I believe, Musick with Audrey Brady. The Moppetts and Moppettes appear in broad daylight, and then I see far away on the plains Cotter and his sweet cook giving breakfast to David Ingram.
In no time the competitions are organised and Miss Stretton wins the Fire Lighting, and the rank outsider, Miss Evans, whose talents were hitherto unsuspected, wins the Billy Boiling Competition. I make due notes of this and intend to use this as trump card in future disputes. The Damper Crown goes to Frank Young, who wishes to state that his Father is not in any way a Baker.
I make the traditional inspection of tents and find Dennis Gittoes with a deal of trouble on his hands, to wit, a dismantled camera, and a blonde and a brunette, Pat Walsham and Sadie King.
To the ship again for the voyage home, and I am full of the re-union spirit, and a wiser man into the bargain; at the next meeting I shall move that the camp fire be built from quick burning logs, and that night jars be pilloried for the remainder of the re-union. I might add that I have a seconder for the motion.
Ballad Of The Reunion.
While yet the infant Easter moon
Skulked in the clouds, did we re-une\ And Jupiter, by surname Plu.,
As usual, came with us too.
Damply we raised, in failing light,
Our meagre shelters for the night;
Damp was our modest bite and sup
And damper still our washing up.
But as we lay, content and full,
By Ripley! yes, there comes a lull.
(We change into the present tense
To heighten the dramatic sense).
And now, our spirits mounting higher,
The word goes round: “Let's build The Fire!”
All hands combine in willing toil
And nearby hearths with speed despoil.
In plastic cloak of baby blue,
A singlet and a pant or two,
A stately figure heaves in sight
Out of the darkness of the night.
'Tis he, stout-muscled Wonder Man
Fire-maker since camp fires began.
And - “Easy now”, says he, “Don't rush it:
Lay it on lightly or you'll crush it”.
“You need some dry old inside-wood
To start it, or you'll do no good”.
… The flame dies down … Hope swings to Doubt -
Can our campfire be going out?
“A flat tin plate is what we need
To fan the spark - run, run, make speed
And fetch one” quote the Man of Might,
“And we'll soon have the fire alight”.
Away his trusty helpers fly,
But now, with a determined eye
Steps forward from among his fellows
That prodigy, The Human Bellows.
Down on his knees, and ear to ground,
He drops, and blows. We watch, spellbound.
In, Out, In, Out - the rhythmic beats
Would not disgrace G.P.S. heats.
Back come the bearers of the plate
But ah, their mission is too late.
The Man of Muscle mutters “Whoa!
Enough!” but still the Bellows blow.
Our natural flair for speculation
Is roused, but mixed with trepidation:
What are the odds now? Will he burst?
Or will the fire get going first?
But there's no time to make a book -
The Bellows' work is done, for look
How the bright flames leap higher, higher,
Beyond all doubt we have our Fire.
Long will the S.B.W.
Relate to generations new
How with one blow the deed was done -
Re-union Camp Fire, '51.
(Perhaps we should have said before
The hero's our ex-Editor.
He's not a melan-colley fellow,
But boy, oh boy! how he can bellow!)
Camp Fire Introduction.
(This was the 1951 'Campfire Introduction' used by Mouldy Harrison. Four young members stood in a semi-circle bearing blazing torches. At the conclusion these were plunged into the fire and added to the rising flames. On reflection, for those not aware of the inborn kindness of club members, it should be mentioned that the young members were detached from the torches and only the torches were consumed. The young members still being available to care for the dignity and respect of the Club.)
In 1930 there was a memorable trip down the Shoalhaven River, that consisted of old members, who were firm friends, and it was a most enjoyable function. A few years later, on the banks of the Nepean River, it was considered that a camp of “old members” would be very enjoyable, and so the re-union was born. It was decided that all members of the Club, and members only, would be invited. The time chosen was the first week-end after the second Friday of March, and that the re-union would not only be a camp, but an occasion of welcome to the new President. The first re-union was held in this spot, Euroka. The fine friendly spirit was recreated - campfire songs were sung and games played. “The Bone” which is still used at meetings was also found at Euroka.
I even recall Betty Bell, a new member with a very sweet voice. She, in modesty, considered her voice not good enough for such an important gathering. The President then picked three members, who were considered to have the worst voices. Two, I am glad to say, I see here tonight. This showed just how much the members could stand! Betty lost her shyness and from then onwards was a soloist round the campfire.
To have shared joys, hardships and dangers together, to have overcame difficulties, to have rejoiced in the delights of a Spring morning, to have shared one's last crust; these are solid joys and lasting pleasures that live for ever in our hearts. It builds that staunch feeling of comradeship of which our Club is so proud. On members that have joined during the last year rests the responsibility of caring for our privileges and for maintaining the dignity and regard for our Club.
As the flames rise from this fire, so may the flames arise within our hearts and keep alive those sentiments and traditions of the Sydney Bush Walkers.
May each campfire remind you of your obligations to your Club and those members, who, with love in their hearts, have given so much to the enrichment of its members.
Open Letter To Mr. Garside.
It is common knowledge that your Department is compelled to strain every nerve and leave no stone unturned in order to make the Railways pay.
I feel it my duty, therefore, to point out to you a simple means of increasing your revenue.
Last Sunday, March 11th, I approached the booking clerk at Glenbrook Station to purchase a ticket to Emu Plains. This was made necessary by the circumstance of our having descended at Emu Plains on the previous day, travelling thence by launch.
I mention this in detail, to assure you of the lofty principles held by members of bush walking clubs. It would have been simple to elude official vigilance, and scale a ride to Emu Plains: I can only say that such a thought did not enter our heads.
Instead, I, together with several companions, bought a ticket, tendering the clerk a florin. To my dismay, it slipped through my fingers and fell to the floor, where it promptly disappeared down a crack.
In gratitude for the excellent service provided at all times by your Department, I forego all claims to this money; but you, Sir, who must leave no avenue unexplored to augment your profits, may, by the simple expedient of raising the floorboards, recover this valuable coin of the realm.
With best wishes for the continuing prosperity of your Department,
I am, etc.
Club Search And Rescue Notice (Agony Column).
Please return S.A.R.A. to contact man
By “The Gent in the Tent”.
The carefully prepared Walks Programme distinctly said - 26-29th January. Mittagong - car to Wombeyan Caves - Mittagong. Easy. Miles O. Leader - Allan Hardie. the advance blurb in January Magazine said, amongst other things “The distance travelled will not be “Nil” as shown, but will be a minus quantity, the walking being underground, and not on the surface”. Enticing, isn't it? In fact, I found it impossible to resist such a promise of ease and luxury for the Australia Day weekend. This was a good opportunity to spend some of the recent £1 per week basic wage rise, so I paid my car fare to the leader and waited impatiently for the great day to dawn.
I joined the 8.53 a.m. train for Mittagong at Strathfield with Gwen Jewell and Don Frost and straight away ran into Ernie French. The leader, Jean and Wal Jones and Bill Borral were riding in state in the reserved portion of the train. Misty rain welcomed us to Mittagong at about 11.20 a.m. where an unusually spacious Ford taxi took 7 of our packs into the rear boot, and 8 of our persons and 1 pack, into the interior. The recent 10 inches of rain had made the road muddy with several water crossings to negotiate, but the view as we descended into the Wollondilly Valley was superb. When we reached Goodman's Ford (his river crossing, not his car) about 30 miles out, the Wollondilly was rushing madly across the concrete causeway. With such a volume of water going over, it was too risky to attempt to cross in the car, so we piled out and arranged to meet the taxi on the same spot on Monday afternoon, hoping that the river wouldn't rise any more. Then we held council to consider our next move.
Rumour said that a local resident had a boat for ferrying passengers over the river, but fact said that he hadn't been at the crossing for months. Don waded out into the centre and pronounced the current fast and about 2'3” deep. The weather had improved by this time so we had some lunch and then crossed cautiously followed by two cyclists who had been dubious about crossing alone. By 3 p.m. we were ready to start on the 10 mile trek to the Caves. 8 of those miles were up hill but the scenery was interesting and we finally arrived some time before 7 p.m. in a lovely grassy valley containing Wombeyan Creek and some fine Casuarina trees. As we had all brought a few extra comforts, assuming that we would motor all the way in style, it was a relief to dump our heavy packs and prepare a decent meal, and discuss the luxury tour which turned into a fairly energetic walk.
Sunday was misty early but soon came out bright. The camping area is flat and well watered. In spite of all sorts of rumours, there is definitely no accommodation at Wombeyan other than for campers or caravaners who take their own gear and stores. The accommodation house was burnt down some years ago, and has not yet been rebuilt. I did not see any provisions for sale at the Post Office.
The first object of interest was the Vitoria or Grand Arch where Wombeyan Creek goes through a limestone hill. It is somewhat similar to the Jenolan Grand Arch without a motor road. There is a track into it which is well worth exploring right to the end because it affords a good view of the roof which takes on a pink glow when the sun is shining. At 10.30 a.m. we were ready to inspect the Kuringai Cave. As our party were the only starters, the guide gave us ample time to view the formations thoroughly. It is one big cavern and contains a lot within a small space - you don't have to walk far. Several columns broken by earth movements, also a lot of “mysteries” (formations which grow out sideways instead of up or down) were most interesting.
For the afternoon inspection the Junction Cave was open, but about 60 visitors made conditions crowded for the guide on duty. Chalker's Blanket in this cave is the most perfect shawl formation I've ever seen. There is also a column, or mass of columns grown together, said to have the largest circumference for this type of limestone formation. In the evening we visited the Wollondilly Cave, which our party considered to be the best, particularly the miniature formations of pine-forests, etc., some fine roof formations in a cavern 85 ft. high, and the formations known as Lot's Wife and the Golden Fleece. These caves are lit by electricity. Exploration of the unlit caves is not permitted. In our journeys from the camping area to the caves entrance and in exploring the caves, we must have covered 10 miles - so much for the minus quantity (underground) walking.
I have not rhapsodised about the many beauties of the limestone formations, but have left that for the curious to go and see for themselves.
The reader may wonder at the orgy of cave visiting at 4/- per person per time. Well, as the taxi man was unable to complete his hiring beyond Goodman's Ford, the consequent reduction in fare almost paid for our inspections. After the evening inspection the camera enthusiasts adjourned to the Grand Arch to try their luck with magnesium tape, and had an interesting time resembling a fireworks display, I hear. It was midnight before they finished.
Monday dawned a perfect day and we would have liked to have remained longer at this pleasant spot. A signpost nearby proclaimed Taralga 19 miles and Oberon 68 miles away, and the distant tree clad ranges certainly looked inviting. However, we turned our faces East and set out for the Ford (both) at 9 a.m. When we reached the top of the range, Big Rick, near Yerranderie, stood out plainly to the E.N.E. A leisurely trip landed us back at the Wollondilly at 1.10 p.m., where the water was now only about 18 inches over the crossing. After lunch we crossed, just as the taxi arrived. The Wollondilly Valley was looking particularly well in the sunlight as we climbed back up the winding road and was noted for future visits. At the Burragorang Lookout we stopped for the camera enthusiasts. A formation away to the North looked very much like Mt. Hay and Mt. King George over 60 miles away. To add further variety to the trip we returned on a train which came down on the Mittagong-Picton Loop Line.
I had intended to make this dissertation on the trip a sort of warning to those who may get the impression that holiday tours, advertised as luxury class, are going to be easy (in spite of 1ures held out by leaders). But as this isn't the first easy trip which has turned out more strenuous than expected, and the memories of it are all pleasant, further comment would be superfluous.
Special Farewell Campfire.
For those friends of Dorothy Lawry who would like to join her in a camp fire before she leaves to take up permanent residence in New Zealand, a camp fire has been arranged in the bush garden of the home of John and Laurie Wood, for the evening of Saturday, 14th April, at 7.45 p.m.
The Woods' live in Hammond Avenue, Normanhurst, and intending re-unionists should buy tickets to that station. Hammond Avenue is the second street on right on western side of line, walking back towards Sydney, the house being the last on the left.
Readers of this magazine are requested to kindly note that the May Issue will not appear until Friday, 11th May.
“In memory of bushwalkers who fell in World War II. Their splendour shall never fade.”
Erected at Splendour Rock. 22nd February 1948.
They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning,
We shall remember them.
Brian G. Harvey.
Clubs will be required to undertake specific duties at the Re-union and representation on the Re-union Committee is imperative. Convenor is Bob Gallagher, 20b Womerah Avenue, Darlinghurst, who requires to know how many will travel by launch.
Search and Rescue Section.
Report fencing wire on Carlon's Head is rusting. Walkers using this descent over Easter are requested to report on condition. The City of Blue Mountains has been requested to re-open the Horse Track at Evans Lookout for use in the event of Grand Canyon being non-negotiable due to high water, and to supply finger post at bottom. Also requested to stretch wire across creek at log crossing where recent fatality occurred. Plans were made with Police and Radio to broadcast safety code for Easter walkers.
Two vacancies exist on this Committee for any folk interested in the compilation of information for general use of the walking public. The Rover Ramblers, who inaugurated the present scheme are being requested to supply a substitute for their member, who withdrew.
Re-enactment of the Crossing of the Blue Mountains.
Paddy Pallin advised that volunteers were asked for to re-enact the crossing by Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth. The choosing of suitable personnel was left in the hands of the President and Secretary.
Helensburgh Sewage Farm.
The possible pollution of the Hacking River was to be brought to the notice of the Department of Health, and appropriate authorities approached in the event of positive reply.
Sales Tax on Sleeping Bags.
No reply had been received from the Federal Treasurer to our protest on this unfair tax.
Parks and Playground Movement.
Federation endorsed the proposed Parks and Playgrounds Movement scheme to have a Parks Board of Control created to ensure the proper administration of Parks for the purpose for which they were reserved.
Amendment to Constitution.
The S.B.W. motion that a Council meeting quota should be composed of 15 members from 8 clubs was adopted.
Mr. Ron Compagnoni of the C.M.W. was elected to take the place of Mr. Beaver, who is leaving for a job in the country for twelve months.
Will now meet on the first Thursday each month in the Big Sister Room, Scot Chambers, Hosking Place, commencing at 5.30 p.m.
Report the Mines Department has not yet sent an officer to inspect the tipping of spoil into Bungonia Gorge.
We Are Still At The Y.M.C.A.
Paddy is pleased to report that he has secured permanent shop premises but as various legal formalities have to be completed and considerable construction work done it will be a month or two before he is able to move in. In the meantime by courtesy of the Y.M.C.A. folk we shall still be on deck in Room D, 1st Floor.
The stock position is improving. Most rucksacks are available and some tents and groundsheets. Other items are available at short notice.
Repairs can now he taken, but please allow a full fortnight for return.
Billies. To those who were disappointed before Easter we have good stocks of 1 1/2 pint and 2 1/2 pint squat billies. Supplies just in.
Silva Compasses. New stocks to replace those lost in the fire have now arrived. These ingenious compasses combine the functions of compass and protractor so that a bearing can be transferred direct from ground to map (or vice versa) in a moment. Two models available - 10/6d. dry type and 48/- liquid type.
Ski gear on the way. Here soon.
Room D, 1st Floor, Y.M.C.A., 325 Pitt Street, Sydney.