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The Sydney Bushwalker.

A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, C/- Ingersoll Hall, 256 Crown St., Sydney.

No.214 September, 1952 Price 6d.

EditorJim Brown, 103 Gipps St., Drummoyne
Production and Business ManagerBrian Harvey (JW1462)
Sales and Subs.Gladys Roberts
Typed byJean Harvey


Editorial - “All the World Loves …“ 1
At The August General Meeting 2
With Paul Barnes to MarraMarra Creek 5
An Australian in Parisletter from Allan Hardie 8
Young People in the BushBy Allen Strom10
The Quarter Century Party 11
Walks Notes 11
In the Steps of the Explorers (Part 3)By Kevin Ardill12
On Bushfires and Nature Protection 14
“Australian Wild Life” (Review) 14
A New National Park 14
Letter to the Editor 15
“Government Gazette - Late Final Extra”By Paul Barnes16
Federation Notes - AugustBy Allen A. Strom18


Leica Photo Service 3
Scenic Motor Tours 5
The Sanitarium Health Food Shop 9
Siedlecky's Taxi & Tourist Service15
The Flowers That Bloom In the Spring - (Paddy's)20


"All the World Loves..."

They say that all the world loves a lover. They say. But the old saw is wearing thin so far as this Club is concerned. We have far too many marrieds and too many engaged couples.

The last incumbent of the Treasurer's office quoted some simple arithmetic at the year's Annual General Meeting. There were, he said “fifty-two active people all married to one another”. Since then the position has deteriorated and, to judge from the stream of engagements announced in this journal, it is likely to worsen.

Consider - to all intents and purposes the marrieds are members for the equivalent of 15/- each per annum. Worse still, a pair of marrieds purchases one magazine only, where previously they would have bought one apiece. A menacing cloud of matrimony hovers over the finances of both Club and Magazine.

Intensive study of Constitution, By-Laws and the deplorably lucid motion concerning subscriptions carried at the last Annual General Meeting reveals no loophole. We hesitate to approach the recently engaged Secretary for access to other records.

Well, then, if no legitimate course is open, we must consider cloak and dagger methods. The magazine staff is earnestly considering an approach to the Treasury to form a “match-breakers group” in opposition to the many match-makers known to operate in the Club. The purpose of the Group will be to watch closely for incipient romance and to prevent it reaching fruition. No hold will be barred. All that guile, slander and calumny can achieve will be done.

Finally, if, in spite of our best endeavours, the couple proceeds to the state of engagement, we shall announce it in the magazine, followed by the word “BOO”!

At The August General Meeting.

On the form of the August General Meeting members might be forgiven for thinking the latest Club game is “keeping the meeting short”. In August we again found 25 minutes was time enough to cope with all matters demanding attention.

Allen Strom took the chair, apologising for the President's absence with a gastric bout, and welcoming new member Brian Anderson. The minutes of the July meeting referred to the proposal to hold a Christmas bush party in the grounds of the Roots family at Wahroonga. Gil Webb outlined the position: Wal Roots had indicated that his original offer stood: all that remained to do was to form a sub-committee to plan the barbecue. The Chairman cautioned that we may find restrictions on the lighting of fires in the open during the summer, but members were prepared to meet that when it arose and voted for the party. Gil Webb was elected convenor of the sub-committee, with Dot Butler, Jean Harvey, Molly Gallard, Wal Roots and Bill Rodgers as his team.

Amongst correspondence were replies from the Chief Secretary's Department, from Mr. Kingsmill of the Bush Fires Committee, and the Federal Government to our latest representations on bush fire control. The Canberra answer was carefully non-committal, asseverated that military forces would be made available for fire fighting if urgency existed, and reiterated the old formula that protection of Crown land and reserves was a State concern.

After hearing the Financial and Federation Reports the Conservation Secretary referred to a meeting convened by the Forestry Advisory Council on July 31st, to make a final bid to save the Kurnell Peninsula from the oil refinery. A number of conservation bodies had been represented, and a deputation had been selected to interview the Premier. It was hoped that either Mr. Dunphy or Mr. Strom would be available to represent bushwalking interests on the deputation. There the matter rested.

The Chairman called for General Business, once, twice, and again. There wasn't a peep from the meeting, and at 8.40 p.m. the business of the evening was wound up.

Yes! Another One!

Another combined walk with the Newcastle Technical College Bushwalking Club has been arranged for the weekend 27/28th September. The trip will be to Mt. Hay, and hasn't been done as an official walk for some time, so there's no excuse. Not only the tall and short folk should turn up again but also the fat and thin folk. For further details, please contact Ross Laird.

You are expected to be there.

Instruction Plus.

Edna Stretton's Instructional Walk to St. Helena on 9/10th August broke all attendance records. Once (in 1949) we had 42 present at Euroka Clearing, but this time we managed to go one better, with 30 members, 12 prospectives and 1 visitor.

Admittedly, there were many comings and goings. The main body reached St. Helena at 4.45 on Saturday, but four were already in residence, eight more (including several who had been rock climbing in Glenbrook Gorge) rolled in about 7 p.m. after groping their way out along the ridge by torchlight.

Finally, two appeared on Sunday morning at 10 a.m., having put-putted out to Glenbrook per motor cycle. Soon afterward some of the rock climbing contingent crept away. All in all, it was difficult to know just who was there at any given time.

To Whom It May Concern:

(Particularly Ticket Examiners, Ticket Collectors, Guards, Inspectors and other Officers of the Department of Railways authorised to badger the Public)

This is to certify that Miss Edna G. Stretton (whose specimen signature appears hereunder) is free, white and over 21: is a British Subject and an employee of the Crown: and resides at Kent Street, Newtown, in the State of New South Wales. Should she at any time elect to join a train at Central, whilst not in possession of a ticket covering travel from Newtown to Central, she should be issued with an excess fare ticket at the usual rates. It is not (repeat NOT) necessary for her to produce birth certificate, affidavit, statutory declaration, or other evidence of her bona fides. Neither is it necessary for her to demonstrate that she resides in Newtown by reference to electoral rolls or receipts.

(Space for specimen signature) …….

It is hoped that the foregoing, if carefully cut out and pasted in her rucksack, will avoid the risk of the leader of the last Instructional Walk missing the train. We understand it was a close thing. However, she did make the 12.27, only to find that, having battled to get aboard, it was even harder to alight.

Whodunnit? or Panic At Glenbrook.

In the leading car of the 12.27 West were about 24 rucksacks and the equivalent number of bodies to man (or woman) them. At Glenbrook they alighted in a steady stream from the one exit until an untimely rightaway was given, the engine tooted and began to haul sway. Three more bounced out, and then the carriage was clear of the platform. The cries and gestures of the crew on the station went unheeded - the connecting rods were settling down to a steady rhythm when …Whodunnit? Someone tugged the communication chain and the train jarred to a stand. In the leading carriage air roared and shrilled through the emergency alarm whistle. The leader, the President, and others clambered down to the permanent way, four carriage lengths beyond the platform and, after a couple of chilly exchanges with the engine crew, the train rolled west.

With Paul Barnes To MarraMarra Creek.

(“The Gent in the Tent” gets busy again.)

There were five of us when we finally assembled in the Glenorie bus at Eastwood Station. The bus made good time to Rogan's Hill where another bus from Parramatta connected and gave our vehicle a large overload for a few miles.

The day was cold and clear, and, as we went along the Old Northern Road, the views across to the Blue Mountains were really fine. Glenorie appeared amongst the orange groves shortly before 2 p.m. We were able to get private transport immediately for a further 5 miles North to a point about halfway between Campbell and Martin Trigs., actually in the Government village of Maroota, according to the Lands Department map. Our driver, a local resident, knew where we wanted to go when we showed him the Broken Bay Ordinance Map, and was able to indicate where the turnoff on to a long ridge going North-eastward could be found.

When we turned off the main road, a local resident informed us that “There ain't no creek out there! It's the Canoe Lands you fellows want”. However we assured him that we knew what we wanted to do, but it was perfectly obvious that he was quite convinced that he'd have to come and look for us before the weekend was over.

About an hour's walk brought us to the end of the ridge and a sharp descent into Colah (Colo) Creek where there was a pleasant cascade into an excellent swimming pool. There was much evidence of heavy flooding the week before and several trees had been blown down by the recent gales. Colah Creek turns East at this spot and flows through a rather steep sided gorge. The going along the floor was rather rough with a few possible camp sites, and pleasant scenery. Growing dusk forced us to seek a camp site on a good flat spot well up on the hillside. Colah Creek descends a lovely cascade into a couple of fine rock pools about 1/2 miles before the junction with MarraMarra Creek.

The night was mild and cloudy. Eric Pegram's almost ceaseless punning, aided and abetted by Paul Barnes, passed the evening quickly until nearly 10 p.m., when it was considered wise to retire to recuperate for whatever tomorrow had in store.

Next morning was almost wet, but a wind came from somewhere and gradually dispersed the clouds. We set off before 9 a.m, and were soon at the junction of Marra Marra Creek where there appears to be a good camp site on the North-western corner of the junction. A couple of hundred yards downstream, then up on to a ridge going generally South, which we hoped would take us to what we called “Fiddletown Road”. During the climb we introduced jack Luursema, a new arrival from Holland, to some of the local plant wonders. Looking back, when we reached the top, we had a fine view of the timbered sandstone ridges falling away towards Berowra Waters and the Hawkesbury River. Most of the vegetation along the ridge we were traversing had been badly roasted by bushfires but was slowly recovering. After about a mile a timber track appeared and led for about 5 miles on to the Northern end of “Fiddletown Road”.

We walked along “Fiddletown Road” for about 3/4 mile before turning South-east along another ridge towards Waddell Trig on the other side of Calabash Creek. At the end of the ridge the descent was tricky around cliff faces into a deep gully, where the sunshine and pleasant greenery looked just right for lunch. Assuming this creek to be Calabash Creek, we crossed and settled down for the midday relaxation.

A short, sharp climb after lunch, then a search for Waddell Trig, and a couple of farms East of the trig. No trace of either until an orchard appeared to the West of the ridge we were following. This didn't quite tally with the map, but we made for the property, where the occupant emerged obviously suspicious until we charmed him with soft words. Out on to a road, which we assumed to be Calabash Road and followed it for mile to a newly cleared patch of ground; then across another steep gully with a beautiful creek at the bottom, making for a group of buildings which we took to be Birrilee, the starting point of our homeward bus. Upon arrival at the buildings, no school house in evidence, much to the leader's surprise. However, we made for a stand of pines, so often used as a breakwind for the local orchards, and finally reached the main Berowra Ferry - Galston Road at Calabash Road, 2 miles West of our intended finishing point.

The bus was due in 25 minutes, so we occupied the time trying to puzzle out where we'd gone wrong. Two paragraphs back, we thought we crossed Calabash Creek. As so often happens, we crossed a tributary of it, and from then on were one creek further West than we should have been each time we crossed a gully. Actually parts of this country is quite similar to the Blue Labyrinth so that a slight deviation is understandable.

To reach this area, train to Eastwood thence bus to Glenorie (3/- single), or train to Hornsby and bus to Birrilee (2/6d. single) but make sure of the bus times as the services are infrequent. Another means of access is train to Berowra and bus to Berowra Waters, then vehicular punt or launch across to the Western shore. The country is such that ability to read a map is essential and it is best visited for weekend trips - a day isn't long enough.

Club Officer Assaulted.

Sensation in the Bushwalkers!

Blaxland. August 11th.

Whilst descending a steep hillside in some of the most rugged bush country in the State (phrase by courtesy of newspapers reporting lost hikers) Phillip Mason, aged 85, of Windsor, was the victim of a dastardly attack. Heavy rocks, dislodged from a point higher an the slope, fell and struck him on the skull. Displaying great fortitude and clutching a blood-stained handkerchief to his head, he completed his descent to Glenbrook Creek. Here approximately forty other bushwalkers who had received instruction in bush first aid only that morning gathered about him eager to render treatment. In spite of all this, he survived. He was transported by car to Windsor, where five stitches were inserted in his scalp and he was allowed to go to his home. His condition is understood to be satisfactory.

Attention has been drawn to the fact that he is Club Treasurer, and investigations are proceeding.

In more serious vein we once coined the phrase “Rolling stones may gather no moss, but they collect an awful lot of walkers”… Watch your step!

But Girls Never Trifle With Men Who Carry Rifles?

Seen in the Club room, several Friday nights ago - Peter Stitt with the rifle which fired the first shot in the Napoleonic Wars (or was it the Battle of Hastings?). It is reliably reported that he is NOT entering for the King's Cup. However, here is the chance for some forward lassie to prove that you can get a man with a gun.

To A Flying Start.

Bob Younger was pinned down on vital overtime work on the Sunday when he should have led his day walk early in August. Walks Secretary Don Frost chased around the small group in the Club Room on the Friday night, and found one only substitute - Brian Anderson, who was there for the specific purpose of being interviewed by Committee for membership. So Brian got away to a flying start by leading an official walk two days after admission to full membership.

At the notorious Instructional Walk the following weekend Brian referred to himself as a “week-old member”. Neil Schafer queried the spelling of “week”.

An Australian in Paris.

Letter from Allan Hardie.

“C/- Grand Hotel du Nord, Rue Lafayette, Paris, France.

30th June, 1952.

Dear Jim,

Please publish this letter in your journal for the information of my friends in the Club.

My trip through Europe ends today with my departure for London. All the difficulties I envisaged about travelling through strange lands vanished by a judicious use of the bushwalking technique I acquired from the Club. Finding one's way around a European city is no different from traversing our bushlands. You use you map and compass just the same. Foreign people are as useless to you as trees and shrubs for giving you direction because they do not speak the same language. So, if it is near noon, or it is a dull sun, you just calmly take out your compass and map and get your bearings. This was particularly essential in Rome where streets head into some central square called a a “piazza” and then radiate outwards in all directions. Moreover, crossing over a street in a European city, especially in Paris, needs the same judgment as we use when we have to cross over a river. You have to judge for yourself what is the best place and time for a crossing for, when once you leave the footpath in Rome or Paris, your life is in your own hands.

On the other hand, walking along a Parisian boulevarde is for all the world like walking along some of our bush tracks, because there are huge trees all the way along, giving a consistent shade in the heat of the day. Paris is without a doubt the cleanest and best laid out city I have so far found in Europe.

Again, swimming in the Seine River in the heat of the day is not unlike swimming in the Kowmung River on the hottest day. The water is delightfully fresh, deep and cold. Provided you do not make an exhibition of yourself, you can also undress on the bank and the whole adventure costs nothing, which is different from the rest of Parisian life.

By means of the Youth Hostel Movement, I have been able to live within the £100-sterling allowed me by the Commonwealth Government. This Movement is one of the greatest ideas ever conceived by the brain of man. By paying the equivalent of 2/6d. in our money (or even less in Germany and Austria) you may secure a bed in one of these hostels for the night, and you are also enabled to meet other English-speaking people, and to compare notes with them. I have used the hostels in all European countries except Switzerland, and here in Paris. I was not allowed to use them in Switzerland, because I was over 25 years of age, and I did not use the Paris one because I wished to go to the opera and the Folies Bergere. The trouble with the movement is that you are treated too much as an irresponsible adolescent who must be safely tucked in bed by 10 p.m. This is all right for the country, but no good for the night life of the big cities.

So, in Paris, I secured accommodation at the rate of 450 French francs (equal to 11/3d. in our money) per night, and had four late nights.

On the first night I saw a naughty French film, which, after seeing the Folies Bergere on the next night, was no longer naughty but quite the normal thing, and two nights I spent at the famous Paris operas. I do not know how “Rigoletto” finished last night, because I fell asleep before the end, wearied by my strenuous day around the sights of Paris. Now I intend to return to Youth Hostelling for my six weeks of travelling through the British Isles.

My great regret is that we have not in our capital cities Youth Hostels to reciprocate the hospitality we enjoy when we go to the big cities of Europe. Young and poorer people from overseas, when they come to Sydney, have to find a cheap room, which in Sydney is very hard to find.

Yours sincerely,

Allan Hardie.”


You won't find that word in the dictionary, but it deserves to be there. On the Instructional Walk (to end all Instructional Walks) we saw a pitiful case. Kevin Ardill was kneeling on a flat rock, surrounded by the throng, painfully scratching the name “Blaxland” with a chip of stone. Apparently it all started when he signed the New Explorer's Tree (see article in this issue).

Heard of the member who decided to spend holidays at a Guest House at Leura? She proved to be the Guest (the only one) and got very bored at sitting in solitary state at meals. After one week, the guest House was reduced to the status of House.

Young People In The Bush.

By Allen Strom.

(For almost twenty years prior to 1950 it was the practice for the Club to conduct a Christmas Treat for children from the poorer areas of Sydney. This usually took the form of a picnic outing in bushland close to Sydney. While the Club could not, under its Constitution, make direct contribution to any charitable cause, this achieved the same end, while giving children from congested regions some appreciation of the out-doors. In 1950 it was decided to cancel the Christmas Treat, and seek some scheme for giving young people a “preview” of bushwalking practices, particularly our ideals of nature protection. After considerable discussion in Committee the scheme outlined below was submitted by Vice President Allen Strom, who is also Secretary of the Caloola Club. A recent Committee Meeting endorsed the principle of co-operation with the Caloola Club in this plan. - Editor.)

Are there any amongst readers of the Magazine who would be interested in introducing young people to the pleasures of our bushlands, particularly if it permits the establishment of an attitude of preservation?

Work in the field, with children and young people, frequently meets with numerous difficulties… the carrying of gear and food over long distances, the problem of transport and safe accommodation, the reluctance of parents to allow their offspring to combat the vagarities of the weather.

The Caloola Club believes that it has reduced the hazards to a minimum without affecting the opportunity to instil the basic principles that bushwalkers regard dearly. Huts have been established at Tongarra (near Macquarie Pass), Albion Park and at Springvale (within the proposed Kariong National Park area), Woy Woy. One visit per month is at present being made to one or other of the huts and the Club Truck (specially equipped to do the work) provides transport to within a very short distance from them. The areas surrounding the Huts are full of interesting bushlands and scenic charms. We can offer advice on teaching techniques and usually have instructors available.

Costs are at a minimum …

under 12 years; 2/6d.
12 to 15 years; 10/-
all others; 17/6d.

…covering transport and accommodation. Visits are planned for the following weekends …

September 19/20/21
October 17/18/19
November 21/22/23
December 19/20/21.

We wish to bring this matter to the notice of the altruistic bushwalker or social worker who wishes to bring one or two young people (for a start) into the light of the true appreciation of the bush. More information will be gladly supplied.

Come And Join Us...

At our 25th Anniversary Party at “the Dungowan”, Martin Place. Friday night 17th October. Tickets 17/6d. 8pm - 1am.

and Later...

At our weekend bush party. Saturday and Sunday, 18th & 19th October, at a location soon to be announced…

Walks Notes.


As it has not been possible to make suitable arrangements for the programmed day walk on Sunday 28th September, this trip will be altered to :-

Bundeena - Marley - Winifred Falls - Audley.

8.14 a.m electric train, tickets to Cronulla - Gladys Martin, Leader.

In place of the official walk over Mt. Solitary, programmed for 26/27th July, and cancelled through illness of the leader, and bad weather - Jack Gentle will now run the walk on the weekend of September 13/14th, and advises he is seeking Committee approval for its acceptance as a test walk.

Mr. Ted Phillips of the River Canoe Club advises that the following map has now been produced by this section, and is available for perusal by those interested :-

No.53. Tuross River (Belimbla Creek, (Berowra) to Bodalla and the sea section); this includes the whole of the Tuross Lakes and Lakes Boro and Bumbo.

John Bookluck (alias Bootlace, alias Bookcase) has acquired a new identity. For his recent walk from Faulconbridge to Kurrajong he obtained authority from the Railways to return on the branch line. The letter from the Commercial Manager read: “To Staff Concerned. Please note that, on production of this authority, Mr. Goodluck and party…”

In The Steps Of The Explorers - Part 3.

By Kevin Ardill.

(Concluding the story of the re-enactment of the First Crossing of the Blue Mountains.)

The barbecue was being held in a paddock behind the pub at Wentworth Falls. In addition to sheep, there were legs of mutton and about 20 ducks. Our old friend Perce arrived and threw his rabbit on the coals, skin and all, declaring he was going to eat it. I lost sight of Perce when a wary chef caught a peckish soul trying to thieve a leg of mutton. After supper there was square dancing and at a late hour we returned to the Hotel in time to participate in an impromptu Scotch dance. Some of the pipe band were present, and we finished up touring the corridors to the skirl of the pipes, with a number of startled heads popping out of doorways.

The thick mist made the going slow to Bodington and Queen Victoria hospitals next day. All the patients had heard the broadcast the previous day and we got a great kick out of their interest as we were shown over the hospitals. The school sports were cancelled in the afternoon and instead we joined the kids in a film showing, one explorer blotting his copy book by dozing off at his desk. The Jubilee dance topped off the day and we were presented with “mountain devils” dressed as explorers.

We left Wentworth Falls on a beautiful sunny day. I think we planted about 20 trees prior to leaving and, after 15 minutes roadbashing, had just enough energy to stagger into the golf clubhouse for a reviver or two. Further along we were amused to see a large sign by the road: “Welcome to Blaxland Road - Discovered 18-? - Nothing been done since”. The A.B.C. Station waggon held us up a little further on, we put our manly voices once more on the tape machine and there was nothing between us and Katoomba.

Dick Gadd was accompanying us with the utility waggon and was particularly worried as to whether we would be late and held up at the rail crossing at Katoomba. While Dick waited for us an top of a hill we took a short cut through the bush around the base and were half a mile ahead before a very disturbed publicity officer caught up with us. Dick lost about a stone in weight during the re-enactment, mainly worrying about the explorers, who never seemed likely to keep to schedule, but somehow always managed to get there in time.

There were 8,000 folk lining the street in Katoomba and we were given a welcome at the Post Office. Three days were spent at Katoomba. At the school sports we participated in a maypole dance. There was a howling wind and some small girls were having difficulty with their maypole: Joe Gore went to their assistance and held the pole. I joined him and we were doing well when an extra strong gust snapped the pole and we finished an our backs in a tangle of red and white ribbons. Another day we were taken on a motor tour and shown the mountains. There were fireworks, a dance, and the last evening we had the Jubilee Dinner and Ball. At the Ball we did a broadcast over 2KA and there was confusion when we introduced our partners. As you might guess they were very new friends and one explorer introduced his girl by her correct Christian name and her girl friend's surname. It wouldn't have done for the Duke, sir!

Leaving Katoomba we marked the new Explorer's Tree, cutting the initials B.L.W. Don't worry, conservationists - the tree wasn't spoiled or killed and is to be used as a record when the original tree has crumbled. Now you and I are going to cover the last of the trip very smartly.

Saturday morning we arrived in Blackheath. It was bitterly cold and the log fire at the hotel was the biggest attraction. There were fireworks and a dance at night. Sunday was quiet, with a re-enactment of finding Govett's Leap in the afternoon. Some of our bushwalking friends staggered up from Blue Gum into the middle of the ceremony and made a few bright remarks.

Monday morning, and our last day. A bleak morning greeted the explorers, but we sallied forth, did a broadcast in a group of trees to the accompaniment of the wail of the wind. Poetic, eh? Well, we had all the clothing we possessed on under our explorer's garb and we still shivered as we entered Mount Victoria. The crowd was small but enthusiastic, and the show of a lifetime was the school kids doing their exercises with the snow falling about them. We adjourned to the hotel for the official dinner. A magnificent spread with the correct wines with the courses and we sat back sipping liqueurs as the snow drifted against the windows. Temperance fellows please note, with the wine always flowing freely, the boys never forgot themselves, and moderation was the prevailing theme.

As usual, we were late in leaving, and covered the four miles to Mount York in under the hour. Air Force 'planes flew overhead as the closing ceremony took place. All the notables were present, we were presented with silver medals and, with the snow falling over Jenolan and the Kanimbla and Megalong Valleys, we very sadly turned our backs on Mount York and headed back to home and - perish the thought! - work.

No words can express my feeling about the trip. As Paddy said in the first place “the experience of a lifetime”. Thanks to Dick Gadd, Mr. Galway and the multitude of kind-hearted people, the thirteen days will remain evergreen in my memory. Last, but not least, I parted with the beard, and the last shades of Gregory Blaxland had disappeared.

To quote the original Gregory (and many an enlightened Bushie) “The way is found”.

Rock climbing must be hungry work. In the train returning from the notorious Instructional Walk two of the team which spent Saturday climbing (or was it having afternoon tea?) in Glenbrook Gorge were pleading for any old trampled, moth-eaten remnants of bread. Our compartment was unable to oblige but, being better bred (no pun intended) than the late Marie Antoinette, we didn't suggest they eat cake instead

Of Bushfires And Nature Protection.

During the early part of July the “Sun” newspaper published a series of articles and news items dealing with the bush fire problems. It was rather surprising at this time of the year, when the fire hazard is conveniently forgotten in most quarters, to find a journal devoting space to the matter, and Committee resolved, at its August meeting, to congratulate the “Sun” on its campaign.

At the same Committee meeting a discussion arose an the matter of the five native plants, sale of which was recently banned. It was felt to be a step in the right direction, but one which did not go far enough, and a decision was made to congratulate the Minister for Local Government and to suggest at the same time that the ban be extended to include waratahs, christmas bells, eriostemon aid flannel flowers.

"Australian Wild Life". (Review).

It is always encouraging to find that other people are thinking along the same lines as yourself, and, further, can produce the testimony of experts to support those views.

This is the greatest satisfaction to be found in the journal of the Australian Wild Life Preservation Society of June, 1952. There are references to the bush fire problem, the threat to Bungonia Gorge from cement workings, the lack of policy on Era, 2 1/2 years after its resumption - and a number of other similar matters which have already been discussed by the Club. There is an article telling the tragedy of Wilson's Promontory in Victoria, a nearly perfect flora and fauna reserve destroyed by bush fires following admission of graziers to the Park.

Even the walker who is not essentially interested in the case for conservation will appreciate the virtue in seeking reserves in the Barrington Tops and Clyde-Budawang country, places where there is still ample scope for pioneering walks.

For those interested, we understand Allen Strom is in a position to supply copies of the journal.

A New National Park.

A few weeks ago Phil Mason produced a pamphlet published by the Cumberland County Council which refers to a proposed new National Park of 3,000 acres, stretching from Wallacia to Penrith along the eastern bank of the Nepean River, and embracing Norton's Basin and the Warragamba Nepean Junction.

The intention is to provide a stretch of parkland for people in the western suburbs as a parallel to The National Park and Kuring-Gai Chase in the south and north. The Cumberland County Council is now negotiating for the acquisition of the first 500 acres of the Park.

Letter To The Editor.

“Dear Sir,

Your editorial in the August edition of “The Sydney Bushwalker” entitled “Making Haste Slowly” touches the nerve-centre of work in Nature Protection and Conservation generally. There is very little to hearten the toiler in this field… perhaps the most disappointing aspect, the apathy, the lack of understanding, the ridicule and frequently the organised opposition of one's fellow men… the very blokes that you are fighting for… or their offspring, anyhow!

It is surprising therefore, to find my organisation prepared to sponsor a film… an ordinary, straightforward entertainment on a strip of 35mm. emulsion… devoted to the subject of Conservation for the sake of spiritual values… the retention of a Primitive Area and the animals that go with it. Yet such is the theme of “Where No Vultures Fly” recently screening at the State. If your readers are uninitiated into the problems that harangue the Nature Protectionist; if the members of our Club believe that there are times when the enthusiasts demand too much… then let them ponder upon the machinations of the ivory poacher, the “rights” of the sportsman and what else they will, in the revelations of this film; and let them parallel these in the events that we know so well at Kurnell, Morton Primitive Area, Wilson's Promontory, Era… or a hundred other places. For this film is more than fancy… based upon the struggle for the National Parks of Kenya… a fight for a cause designed to add to life, a little of the joy that the contemplation of natural beauty may bring… a joy that every bushwalker experiences even if he does not know whence it comes.

“Within the film itself we feel this joy… from the splendid photography done in technicolour… and even the story is but a backdrop to the spectacle of unshackled animals… not the hopeless, caged beasts of the Zoos… the wholesome freshness and rhythmic integration of the bushlands that we love so dearly.

It was obvious too, that the large audience was infected with this feeling… many I suspect for the first time in a mundane life. This is the propaganda that Conservation must have… an awakening of the general public to what delightful experiences there are in the bushlands. The bush has given us much… we must give something in return: surely no better than to take our story into the untouched hearts… by films, by words, by actual experience.

Finally, may I suggest that your readers might care to “tape” this film and even though it leaves its city rendezvous, follow it with a band of recruits, through the suburbs or through the countryside.

Yours sincerely,

Allen A. Strom.”

"Government Gazette - Late Final Extra!!"

By Paul Barnes.

Our much maligned Government has proved to me that there is at least one time when it can really MOVE - move with high speed and with as close an eye to a situation as any battle commander. When?? When proclaiming bushfire danger!

In recent summers, at least since 1949 when the Bush Fires Act became Law, we have become used to hearing fire lighting prohibitions proclaimed. Have you wondered, as I did, how they came about and just how much value they had?

Commonwealth Meteorlogical Bureau Director, J.C. Foley, has carried out years of research on bushfires, their causes and prediction. He has concluded that the conditions giving rise to extreme bushfire danger are definitely known, can be forecast accurately and, happily, are rare. About five days in an entire summer is the average extent of the extreme “blow-up days” which spell raging, disastrous, “express train” fires with such tragic certainty.

What makes a “blow up” day? - Mr. Foley enumerates four conditions :-

  1. Dry fuel, caused by a period of low rainfall
  2. Low Humidity
  3. High Temperatures
  4. Strong North or North-West winds.

Each in turn can be further elaborated.

  1. Dry Fuel. A protracted period of below-average rainfall leaves timber, leaves, and forest litter in a tinder dry condition. This state can be predicted from rainfall records, and cross checked practically by a scientific device called a “hazard stick”. A specially prepared wooden test piece is accurately weighed daily to determine its moisture content, hence its inflammability.
  1. Low Humidity. Mean daily humidity falling over a period of some days; coupled with
  1. High Temperature. Mean daily temperature rising over a period of days. The combination reaches a point where, even at night, the temperature does not fall below what scientists call the “dew point” - the temperature at which moisture will condense from the atmosphere on to a solid object as “dew”. Mr. Foley plots temperature and humidity readings daily on special charts. If, for example, temperature rises above 75° and humidity falls below 50% simultaneously and early in the morning - say 8 or 9 o'clock - he looks for trouble. If, in addition, the readings stay that way through the night, with temperature up and humidity down, Mr. Foley is certain there'll be trouble the next day. And he's usually right.
  1. The meteorological men with their weather maps can predict North or North West winds, which are the fire danger winds for Sydney and eastern N.S.W. They do it by studying their pressure systems and barometer readings. If these winds are due, even if velocity is only 10 MPH and the other three conditions exist you have the combination to give serious fire danger conditions - conditions when the least spark or smouldering fire can start an uncontrollable holocaust. Conditions when men with beaters, men with spray pumps, even chains wide so-called firebreaks are useless, conditions when men, far from being able to fight the fire, are lucky to escape with their lives,

Remember - meteorological men have plotted all this in advance, have checked and cross-checked their findings by means of the special “Fire Hazard Rating” table, have followed graphs of rising temperature and drying-up humidity, and have compared fire reports from all over the State. They pass their findings to the N.S.W. Chief Secretary's Department in Macquarie Street. When they find that a “blow-up” day is forecast, the message goes with top speed to the Department; the Minister signs a proclamation and before an hour has passed the fire lighting prohibition has been printed by the Government Printer and published as law of the land.

This - the speediest of all transitions from a laboratory figure into a Government Gazette = is done for your protection and mine, in an endeavour to save large portions of the country - farms and forests, homes and national parks, from going up in smoke.

Respect the official proclamations of fire lighting prohibition and do your part in upholding then.

Federation Notes.

By Allen A. Strom.

Canberra Alpine Club:

Mr F. Cook of the Canberra Alpine Club was present as an observer. This Club has made an application to the Federation for affiliation.


Letter to Federation suggesting that Werong was likely to be offered for sale. Information to be passed on to the S.B.W. and the Garrawarra Park Trust.

Search and Rescue:

A minor alert during the past month had shown that one member of the lost party had not informed his parents of where he intended to walk. Federation reminds Club Members of the foolhardiness of this practice.


Arrangements going smoothly for the Ball. It is hoped to have 300 bushwalkers attending when the Ball is held at the University Union Hall on September 12th. Tickets are 16/-, obtainable from Molly Gallard.


Blackheath Chamber of Commerce has asked for information regarding the condition of tracks in the Blackheath area. Any bush walker interested should see Paddy Pallin.

Folders with latest information on walking country should be on display within the next few days.

The Brisbane Bushwalkers will supply information personally to any bushwalker requiring details of Queensland walking country.


Inaugural Meeting of this section held on August 1st when the following officers were appointed:

ChairmanJ.A. Fletcher
SecretaryLionel Smith
Assistant SecretaryBeverley Alcorn
Maps CompilerE. Sisley

Since that meeting, Mr. F.A. Pallin had agreed to accept the position of Convenor. The meeting decided that the Section should aim to…

  1. Collect, record and correct maps,
  2. Make maps of unmapped walking country,
  3. Arrange for the publication of maps.

The officers elected were charged with the task of arranging a business agenda for the next meeting of the section set down for 4th September in the rooms of the Big Sister Movement, 6th Floor, Scott's Chambers, Hosking Place, Sydney, at 6.45 p.m.

Revival Of The Bushwalker Annual:

The matter of publishing another edition of “The Bushwalker” was discussed at some length, during which the subject of cost played an important part. Some members of Council expressed the view that, since the publication is one form of propaganda for the bushwalking movement, the subject of cost was not predominant since the Federation held a fair bank balance. It was decided to canvass the Clubs for the following officers:

  • Editor
  • Business Manager
  • Advertising Manager

and delegates would be pleased to hear of any person willing to hold one of these positions.

At the ridge above St. Helena KeVin Ardill halted the party and gathered the prospectives around him for on-the-spot map instruction. “Keeping them hopping”, observed President McGregor. “They're perched on a bull ants' nest”.

A New Champion For Our Wild Flowers.

By Brian G. Harvey.

It should create much satisfaction amongst our conservationists to learn that we have a new champion in our crusade against the sale of wild flowers in the Hon. Anthony Alam, of the Legislative Council. I cannot recall a member of the Upper House bringing the subject before that Chamber before, and the fact is very encouraging and raises our hopes for greater pressure and ultimate success for the complete prohibition on the sale of the blossoms.

The Hon. A.A. Alam drew attention to the depredations of protected flowers from Ku-Ring-Gai Chase, from which, he said, professional thieves had been making £100 to £150 per week. One such thief had made £630 in one week! It had been discovered that certain Chase rangers had been prepared to, and did, accept at least £20 per week to guide thieves to the spots where blooms grew in profusion! These rangers found themselves in the Hawkesbury Police Court. It was difficult to engage new rangers, and those remaining work as long as 24 hours a day at the height of the wild flower season. At night they pitched their tents alongside the choicest areas and had guns, but were loth to use them.

Protection for the 50,000 acres area is very difficult. Present Regulations did not prohibit the sale of waratahs, flannel-flowers and boronia and the ban on these was very desirable. He said if depredations continued at the present rate, there would be no native flora in the country. 30 or 40 years ago he recalled flowers growing in profusion on the Blue Mountains. The small holdings which were licensed to sell wild-flowers would be better engaged in cultivation of roses, carnations and the like. An appeal was made to the Minister for Justice to persuade the Premier to make available the services of No.21 Police Division as was done two years ago, to patrol the area during the critical period of two or three weeks to combat the racketeers.

The Flowers That Bloom In The Spring.

That vicious cycle that seemed to bedevil weekends seems to have ended and we now have had a succession of glorious weekends. Lovely weekends to enjoy the flush of flowers which each year usher in the spring. The flowers are better than ever this year - they always are. Sometimes memory plays us false and we see in imagination a more glorious picture than is actually vouchsafed to us in reality, but not so with the flowers. Each year they surpass one's fondest memories. The joyous outburst of the eriostemon, the exquisite beauty of the native rose and the exuberant effervescence of the heaths have got to be seen and smelt again to be believed.

An announcement of goods for sale after the above outburst hardly seems to be in keeping, so Paddy will sign off with the fervent wish that all his friends spread far and wide over Australia will be able to snatch a few hours in the bush to enjoy the flowers.

Paddy Pallin, Camp Gear For Walkers.

201 Castlereagh Street, Sydney. 'Phone M2678.

195209.txt · Last modified: 2023/08/31 13:16 by sbw

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