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. Box No.4476, G.P.O. Sydney.
No. 259. June, 1956. Price 9d.
|Editor||Dot Butler, Boundary Road, Wahroonga (JW2208).|
|Business Manager||Jack Gentle.|
|Sales and Subs||Jess Martin.|
|Typed by||Dot Butler.|
In This Issue:
|At our May Meeting||1|
|The Stirling Ranges||Kevin Dean||4|
|Report of Walks Programme Sub-Committee||6|
|Colour Transparencies Insurance (Notice)||7|
|Federation Report, May||Brian G. Harvey||8|
|Insurance Scheme for Skiers (Notice)||9|
|Our Reporter Gets the News||Alex Colley||10|
|Instructional Week-end (Notice)||12|
|Give us this Day our Daily Bull (Press Report)||13|
|The S.B.W. versus Tasmania, Round Three||Digby||14|
|BANG! A Report of the Sydney Bush Walkers' Meeting||Geof Wagg||15|
|The Wedding of Betty Swain to Peter Armstrong||Dot B.||21|
|Sanitarium Health Food Shop||3|
|Siedlecky's Taxi and Tourist Service||5|
|Leica Photo Service||7|
|Hattswell's Taxi & Tourist Service||9|
|More About W.I.T. (Paddy's Advt.)||22|
At Our Monthly Meeting.
The meeting commenced at 8.20 p.m. with the President, Brian Harvey, in the Chair, and about 30 members present. Apologies were received from Paul Barnes and Heather Joyce. The President extended a welcome to Jim Cuthbertson, a visitor from the Brisbane Bushwalkers, and to Ron Knightley who has come back to live in Sydney and is looking forward to some walking.
Jack Gentle said he had been in touch with Ansett Airways. The Company was now prepared to go anywhere and Clubs were advised to get together if they wished to take advantage of the discount offers and discuss it with Mr. Brown, one of the Company officials.
The Federation report raised the question of whether the Federation Reunion should be continued. Frank Ashdown moved a motion to effect that we should instruct our delegates to tell the Federation that, because Federation had no policy for controlling its members, it was desirable that the reunion be no longer held. He said that, because Federation would not take action, the older members would no longer bring friends or children. Grace Aird said that the reunion was for young bushwalkers who liked to camp together. They enjoyed themselves and their behaviour wasn't objectionable to other young members. Frank Young supported this, saying that a lot of younger members turned up. If Federation gave it up they would still meet together and camp, and it was better to have the reunion under Federation control. John White thought it was very important that the Clubs get together even though there were many of the older members who didn't enjoy the reunions. Jack Wren said the trouble had been recurring for some half dozen years. It was not alcohol, but the way it was consumed that was the trouble. Drinkers who couldn't hold their liquor were a bad influence. As they could not be controlled we would be better off without them. In his reply Frank Ashdown said that it was not a sound argument that the reunion should be for young members. Once it was well attended by both young and old. There was no letting down of tents and beating of tins. We should re-unite as walkers, not as larrikins and hooligans. The Motion was lost, but a motion by Jack Gentle that strict instructions should be given to Clubs that liquor should not be abused, and people were expected to behave themselves, was passed. Jean Harvey said that delegates should ask Federation to try to make the Clubs more sociable at reunions. Dave Brown suggested that it was held at the wrong time of the year. If it were held at the end of the walking season, instead of straight after the S.B.W. reunion, many more S.B.W's, might go. Brian Harvey explained that it was once held then but clashed with the period of intensive study and examinations for many young walkers. If held later there was a risk of a ban on fires in the open. In April it clashed with Easter and in winter it was too cold. Jim Brown thought that, nevertheless, the opinions of delegates might now have altered. He moved that the question of the date be reintroduced in Federation. The motion was carried.
Jim Hooper said that the S. and R. exercise in collaboration with the Amateur Radio Club was successful. It proved the limitation of wireless gear in wet weather. Some of the amateur radio operators had offered to go on searches.
The next subject of discussion was whether or not to spend £3 on decorations for the Christmas party. Geof Wagg said he was strongly against the proposal; £3 was far too much to spend on balloons which went off pop, when a lasting asset like a duralumin ladder could he had for only £5. Jack. Wren thought we should donate £1 towards decorations, give Geof Wagg £2 towards the ladder, and let him decorate the hall. Bob Abernethy pointed out that we could not decorate the hall with a duralumin ladder and the meeting endorsed this viewpoint.
Brian Harvey put to the meeting the question of whether shirts should be on or off in public places, referring to the old club by-law that leaders should be consulted before removing them. Several spoke against such a restriction, the opinion being that people were too used to bare briskets to care any more. It was decided that the removal of male shirts be left to the discretion of the member removing the shirt.
Alex Colley then moved, and Frank Ashdown seconded, a motion designed to prevent the Committee from giving away Club funds. It was defeated by a wide margin.
Jack Wren now raised the question of the crashes and bangs which in recent years had accompanied our meetings. They were caused by people sitting on tables not meant to be sat on. It was an irresponsible, childish and moronic practice, and after much repetition became stale. The tables now had metal braces and there was ample seating accommodation. He moved that all members must sit on proper seats towards the front of the meeting or leave the room. Frank Ashdown was in favour of a show of strength by the responsible, grown up and intelligent. Frank Young said that people sat on the tables at the back because they came late and couldn't see over people's heads. The crashes were not intentional. The motion was carried.
John White suggested that if it became obvious that the Walks Programme couldn't be distributed on time, a copy be placed on the Notice board. On the previous Wednesday half the Club was wanting to know what was on. Goof Wagg, Walks Sec., said that it had been ready for duplication a fortnight ago. The Walks Sec. was asked to give us a report on it at the next meeting. Frank Rigby said that there should be a definite time limit for the supplying of information by leaders so as to leave adequate time for printing.
At the conclusion of the meeting Jack Gentle volunteered the information that on his last walk to Myuna Creek a nudist colony had been discovered. The nudists had several sheds there and when sighted were having a party with large coloured balloons. There are no walks in this vicinity on the next programme.
The Sanitarium Health Food Shop.
Offers quality dried fruits, nuts and biscuits. Delicious fruit sweets. Wholesome, light ry-king crisp bread.
Amazing, low economy prices.
Come to out store at 13 Hunter Street, and see our wonderful range of health-giving foods - for walking and home use.
The Stirling Ranges.
- Kevin Dean.
During last year an article appeared In the “West Australian” by one Peter Thorne, describing a trip to Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Ranges. Interest stirred in the S.B.W. “Western Branch” which boasts a membership of three - Peter Price, Shirley and myself - and we resolved to explore the area at our first opportunity.
Walking scope in Perth is somewhat limited as areas of interest are too far away for normal weekend activity and the only club here, The Western Walking Club, limits its activities to a Sunday day walk each fortnight, during the winter months only.
We had visited the Porongorups, a small range offering easy access and walking, on a long weekend last year. The range lies further south (about 20 miles north of Albany) than the Stirlings; but the views obtained of that range served to further strengthen the resolve, and we set Easter as the time for the trip. The range lies 230 miles south of Perth and runs in an east-west direction for about 40 miles. The highest peak is Bluff Knoll (3,292'), W.A.'s second highest and is situated on the eastern end of the range. Maps of the area are practically non-existent. An army survey map of 4 miles to the inch yielded little detail, but enquiries in various and numerous quarters revealed that there was a road to the farm of a Mr. Cooper near the Knoll itself.
Unfortunately Peter could not came with us and so on Good Friday we set off from Perth in the Holden Utility with another interested couple. Lunch on a gravel road running between Porongorups and Stirling Ranges, then a quick look at Chester Pass which crosses the range through a low saddle. The range itself is spectacular and vaguely reminiscent of the Warrumbungle and McPherson Ranges - a low main range with violent upthrusts of decomposed quartzite dominated on the western end by Mt. Toolbrinup and the eastern end by Bluff Knoll and Ellen's Peak. Viewed from Chester Pass, Bluff Knoll looks like a cresting wave and this is probably its most spectacular aspect. From the south it merges with another two peaks and loses its individuality. The road to Cooper's farm was located and there ensued 16 miles of road which could well have been included in the Redex Trial. The height of the range in otherwise flat country makes distance deceptive and we were surprised to find from Mr. Cooper that it was 8 miles from the farm to the foot of the range. During our conversation we learned that the Knoll had been climbed first by his parents in the early twenties and he pointed out the route which they had taken as far as he could remember. There was a track in for 8 miles and another party had just gone in driving a 3-ton ex-army Blitz waggon.
As it was getting late we decided to try the track and that last 8 miles took 1 1/4 hours, a few rude words, much pushing over scrub and bushes and a muffler for the utility before we reached the already established camp of the other four enthusiasts. They were YMCA chaps with a common love of walking, led by Peter Thorne who had started the whole thing as far as we were concerned. They had climbed the Knoll from the north side but had been beaten on another attempt from the south by inclement weather last year.
As a matter of interest to web-footed walkers in Sydney, we had had one day's rain in 5 months up till Easter and consequently carried water with us, although there was a small creek running further up in the range.
Saturday morning saw us on our way, the four others having left earlier - a wise move as it later transpired. From the farm, the range appeared to be covered in low button grass after the main belt of timber, but closer examination made us sadder and wiser. Thick scrubby trees about 8 ft. high cut vision to a minimum and the steep slope made going very slow. For some three hours we pushed up through the scrub and eventually broke out into closely packed knee deep bushes which made every step an effort. It was well after 2 p.m. when the summit was reached and with the thought of sunset and being benighted, the really magnificent view was somewhat short-lived. Away to the south were the Porongorups, insignificant now from the Knoll; further again, the south coast in the hazy distance. Toolbrinup to the west, Ellen's Peak to the east (it being noted that the Peak would be a rope job) and the almost sheer drop on the north side down to the rolling plains.
The return to the base camp was another fight through the low scrub until a creek bed offered good rock hopping practice for some 2,000 ft. down with occasional climb-outs to avoid sheer waterfalls. Dusk was falling rapidly when the camp hove in sight and there was cheap walking gear for sale - mine! That night a small reunion took place with coffee, cake, and the inevitable exchange of reminescence which is common wherever walkers meet round their fires in the silent darkness (except that we had a couple of kangaroos scuffling about on the other side of the firelight.)
Sunday we said our goodbyes after an exchange of addresses and promises of joint trips with Peter and his friends and crossed over to the Porongorups for a lazy day and then return trip to the City on the Swan. Perfect weather blessed the whole weekend and some time we hope to return and explore this area more fully.
Important Transport Notice.
Bushwalkers requiring transport from Blackheath, any hour, ring, write or call…
Siedlecky's Taxi and Tourist Service.
116 Station Street, Blackheath.
24 hour service.
Bushwalkers arriving at Blackheath late at night without transport booking can ring for car from Railway Station or call at above address - it's never too late!
'Phone Blackheath 81, or Sydney No. LU3563 after hours, or MA3467.
- Kanangra Walls: 30/- per head (minimum 5 passengers)
- Perry's Lookdown: 3/- per head (minimum 5 passengers)
- Jenolan State Forest: 20/- per head (minimum 5 passengers)
- Carlon's Farm: 10/- per head (minimum 5 passengers)
Look for T.C.3210 or Packhard T.V.270.
Report Of The Walks Programme Sub-Committee.
We regret that some delay occurred in the issue of the current Walks Programme. This was due to several factors, not the least of which was the timidity of members in volunteering to lead walks, which resulted in a last-minute effort, when the Programme should have been in the hands of the duplicators, to find additional leaders to fill the blank spaces on the draft programme. With a view to rectifying the position, the following policy was suggested by the Committee:-
- A monthly walks programme report to be submitted to Committee and to the General Meeting each month. Contents - Details of the previous month's trips, including numbers attending, prospectives, any interesting details, and leader's or members' comments (possibly prospectives' comments). Also, if a walk did not go it is to be listed and reasons given.
- At every meeting the Walks Secretary or his deputy will announce the walks programmed for the following week-end, giving as many details as possible about each walk. The leader or his representative (a member who will be attending the walk, or the Walks Sec.) should be present on the Wednesday before his walk, so that prospectives will be able to meet the leader and any members who have indicated that they will be present.
- A walks committee to draw up a list of walks of all types in all localities. These trips to be recorded and as time progresses any details (transport, points of interest, side trips, etc.) will be added to each listed trip, so that a very comprehensive trip catalogue will be developed. Details contained in the catalogue to be published periodically in the magazine, and the same catalogue will be used in setting up future walks programmes.
Further details of the workings of the scheme will be submitted to members in due course.
You press the button, we'll do the rest!
Finegrain Developing. Sparkling Prints. Perfect Enlargements. Your Rollfilms or Leica films deserve the best service.
Leica Photo Service.
31 Macquarie Place, Sydney, N.S.W.
Colour Transparencies Insurance.
Holders of “All Risks” Policies with the Alliance Assurance Co. Ltd. on Camera and Photographic Equipment may now have the insurance extended to include Kodachrome and other films. This extension covers Loss by Fire, Burglary, Theft and Physical Loss of the spools. It does NOT cover loss or damage by accidental exposure to light, processing, atmospherics, tearing due to mechanical defect of the camera, nor, naturally, inaccurate exposures!!
See Brian Harvey regarding your requirements in this regard.
Walks Programme Alteration.
Grace Noble's walk of July 8th: Cowan - Edwards Trig - Cliff Trig - Cowan: Train time is altered from 9.23 to 8.15 at Central.
Federation Report - May.
- Brian G. Harvey
Clubs shortly will receive a supply of Trip Reports to be completed by the leaders of walks selected from Clubs' Walks Programmes, for the information of the general public at Paddy Pallin's shop. The completed forms should be returned to the Information Officer, C/- Paddy Pallin Pty.Ltd., 201 Castlereagh St., Sydney.
It was resolved that a copy of the Bulletin be forwarded to every Club delegate. Clubs are asked to advise Federation secretary the necessary details of names and addresses.
Steps are being taken to obtain details of the land tenure of the Panorama Lookout, Kurrajong Heights, with a view to approaching the Dept. of Lands for resumption of the area as a reserve.
The position remains vacant and an appeal has been made to affiliated clubs to respond with a nomination.
A letter was addressed to each of ten Clubs pointing out that their delegates did not attend Federation Council meetings and asking for greater support in Federation work.
Search & Rescue Section:
It was reported that a party from the Bushcraft association was one day overdue from a trip to St. Helena. The section considered the acquisition of transceiver radios an advantage but insufficient funds were held to make any purchases.
Overseas Walking Activities Report:
Mr. Paddy Pallin has been invited to attend the June Council Meeting to discuss his recommendations with delegates.
To be held at Hotel Australia on 6th October. Tickets will be £1 per head. Early reservations are advisable as tickets will be limited to 300. Valuable prizes will be given.
Canberra Alpine Club:
This Club reports that the Mount Franklin Hut is being repaired. All enquiries regarding local conditions should be made to the Club and not to the Tourist Bureau.
The question of reduced affiliation fees for Interstate Clubs is to be considered at the Annual General Meeting in July.
High Country Corn.
Said Geof: “I thought I was a Tower of Strength, but after Garth's Cedar Creek trip I find I am only a Ruined Castle.
Hattswell's Taxi and Tourist Service.
For all your transport problems contact Hattswell's Taxi and Tourist Service. Ring, write, wire or call any hour, day or night.
Telephone: Blackheath 129 or 249. Booking Office - 4 doors from Gardner's Inn Hote1 (look for the neon sign.)
Speedy 5 or 8 passenger cars available. Large or small parties catered for.
- Kanangra Walls - 30/- per head (minimum 5 passengers)
- Perry's Lookdown - 3/- per head (minimum 5 passengers)
- Jenolan State Forest - 20/- per head (minimum 5 passengers)
- Carlon's Farm - 10/- per head (minimum 5 passengers)
We will be pleased to quote other trips or special parties on application.
Attention All Skiers.
We don't want to cast a hoodoo over our skiers just because Peter Stitt was unfortunate enough to break his leg up in the snow country, but hospital and ambulance expenses being what they are today, prospective skiers can obtain a policy to cover up to £100 Medical Expenses. This will give protection whilst on snow-covered ground anywhere in the Commonwealth. You don't have to be actually skiing at the time - falling over in the snow and breaking your arm whilst wandering about is sufficient. And the price - £1/8/3 per year. The policy will not cover you whilst taking part in ski races, nor jumps. For further particulars contact Robinson & Mitchell Pty. Ltd., 26/30 Bridge St., Sydney, Insurance Brokers.
Grace Jolley wishes her many walking friends to know she has now taken up permanent residence at Henderson Road, Wentworth Falls, so we will see less of her in Ingersoll Hall as of yore. When she does come down she will be as welcome as a breath of the mountains!! How about leading a local walk, Grace?
Our Reporter Gets The News.
A couple of weeks ago our reporter complained that he was tired of reporting nothing but Club Meetings and would like more scope. We told him to have all the scope he wanted and so he has turned in the following items:
Reading in the “Daily Horror” that a party of hikers had set out to traverse 'the roughest country in N.S.W.' and were lost immediately entrained for Katoomba, and, together with the other reporters, was in position at Gearin's bar on Monday afternoon. The experience of the lost party was as follows:
They set out from Katoomba on Friday night, intending to reach Yerranderie by Monday evening. After crossing the Cox on Saturday afternoon they were befogged in thick mist most of the next day. On arrival at what they believed to be the Kowmung River that evening they were nonplussed to find that it was flowing the wrong way. “We are lost,” said the leader, an observation with which the rest of the party immediately concurred. A few minutes with the map and compass, however, revealed that they had followed a ridge leading back to the Cox. They had no difficulty in locating the Black Dog track on Monday morning, and following it to where they arrived in time to catch the 6.10 train back to Sydney.
Though the country in which they were lost is rough, there is plenty rougher in the State. Few areas are so well mapped. There are numerous drops of 200 ft. and more, and if anyone fell over them they would be killed, but as the track keeps several yards back from these drops the party had no difficulty in keeping away from them and was never in danger.
Sixteen Thousand People Lose £500,000.
National Park, Wednesday.
There was widespread despondency today when 16,000 people learnt that they had lost a total of £500,000. This was revealed by the drawing of the Super-Gigantic Thursday Island Lottery. Though unable to see more than a few of the 16,000, those I interviewed all agreed that they could not have made a worse investment since they would receive no return whatever. One of those interviewed was Mr. I. Doolittle, known as “Unlucky Doolittle”, who has recently moved into a tent on one of the alienated portions of National Park. Mr. Doolittle said: “I have been buying lottery tickets, man and boy, for 45 years. I have so far spent over £6,000 on them and have never won a prize. Now I've gone and done another fifty quid. How silly can a man get?”
Australian Girls Not Attractive.
Interviewed Sir John Equals, world famous mathematician, on his departure to-day, and asked his opinion of Australian girls. Turning to his Secretary he said, “Give me file No. A.1. please Harry,” whereupon his Secretary pulled a form from his briefcase which read as follows:
“Which females are to be included in the general term 'girls' depends entirely upon the age and sex of the individual using the term. There are estimated to be 1,937,530 females in Australia between the ages of 15 and 45, but no female below or above these limits can safely be excluded. I have seen only a comparatively small sample of these girls. My impression is that they average about 5 ft. 5 ins. in height and about 9 stone in weight. Their average I.Q. is 100.
The influence of Hollywood is as strong here as elsewhere, and they appear to dress similarly to women in all the other cities I have visited.
I can state definitely that they are not attractive. “Attractiveness” is a state of mind induced in a person by the presence of an individual of the opposite sex. It can only be induced by one person at a time and one cannot be attracted to 1,937,000 or more females, though I have been attracted to several during my visit.
The Call Of The Bush.
Hoping to stimulate Club membership I waited on the railway station this morning on the lookout for typical bushwalkers. Sighted Mr. W.F. Cosden, a sun-bronzed character with worn pack and boots, who appeared to be an experienced and ardent bushwalker and put a leading question. “You appear,” I said, “to be a lover of fresh air and exercise. Might I have your impression of bushwalking for publication in the S.B.W. Magazine?” “Fresh air and exercise be blowed!” replied Mr. COsden, “I am the President of the Anti-Taxation League. It is at week-ends, when a man relaxes to drink, smoke, have a bet or drive his car, that the depredations of the tax-gatherer are most insidious. In the bush I earn nothing and spend nothing, and so for two days a week I incur no taxation.”
No further reports were received till last Friday when the following arrived:
The Antelope Swift (no marks)
Manufacturers' specifications for this car are:
- Length: 22 feet
- Weight: 2i tons
- Brake Horse Power: 450
- Top Speed: 150 m.p.h.
- Ground Clearance: 3 1/2 ins.
- Price: 14/6 a lb. plus tax.
The car is distinguished from last year's model by a kink half way along the chromium streamline. Accompanied by an automotive engineer and my lawyer, I set out to test it under typical road conditions last Sunday. Typical road conditions were interpreted as those existing on a main highway on a Sunday, as this is the time when most people motor and the type of road they have to use. Due to the prevalence of speed restrictions, and the amount of traffic, we were unable to drive at 150 m.p.h. On one occasion we attained 53 m.p.h., but oncoming traffic, together with the proximity of the traffic policeman who had followed us from Sydney, precluded a full trial. Lapstone hill was climbed in first gear (behind a semi-trailer) in 25 minutes at an average speed of 7.3 m.p.h. We accelerated once from a standing start to 30 m.p.h. in 30 seconds before touching the car ahead. The racing brakes always stopped us far quicker than the following cars, and excited unfavourable comment from their drivers. We were moving along steadily at 35 m.p.h. near Mount Victoria when the rear wheels entered a slight recession and the muffler dropped beneath the wheels of a following truck. Police stopped us at Bell after we had covered 90 miles at an average speed of 20 m.p.h., with fuel consumption of 11.2 miles per gallon. Because the special mufflers for the Antelope Swift come from Switzerland and there are no spares in Australia, we expect to be here at Bell for some time yet.
The sole Official Walk for the week-end June 30th / July 1st is the Instructional Field Camp Week-end which will be held at Long Angle Gully, Warrimoo. These camps are a great opportunity for a “minor re-union” and we hope to see a good roll-up of members as well as prospective members. Bring your song books. Leader - Edna Stretton. Official train - 12.27 p.m. from Central. Tickets to Warrimoo. It's an easy walk from the station. Don't be backward in bringing all home comforts, you don't have far to carry them! And for the motorised section - they have barely to walk!
“The bigger the fire the warmer the fool,” says the Admiral. You just can't win with the Admiral.
Give Us This Day Our Daily Bull...
Section: Stricken Skiers
Snow Rescue Of Hurt Man. (Press Report)
Mt. Kosciusko, Wed.
Seven rescuers battled their way through wind swept snow drifts at Mt. Kosciusko last night to carry a stricken skier four miles to safety.
The rescued man, Peter Stitt (of uncertain age and no fixed abode) crashed and broke his leg while skiing four miles from the Chalet. He is now in Cooma Hospital.
As he lay in bitter cold, unable to move, Stitt was preparing to cope with a nightlong ordeal when he was seen by Mr. Kelly, manager of the Kunama hut. Kelly was unable to move Stitt but went back to the hut and radioed for help. The Manager of the Chalet gathered six volunteers to form a rescue party. They were joined by the house doctor and battled their way by torchlight with a stretcher for Stitt. The rescuers were near exhaustion when they carried Stitt to the Chalet late last night.”
Now ask Pete for his version!!!!!
We went and saw Bet Swain and Peter Armstrong off on the Wanganella the day after their wedding party, and them still not knowing what their address was to be other than New Zealand. But now a note comes informing us that for the time being it will be:
Mr. & Mrs. P. Armstrong,
164 Sutherland Rd.,
Lyall Day, Wellington. N.Z.
Help! Help! Help! Help!
The ship is sinking! Barbara Brown has just informed us that she will be unable to duplicate the Magazine after this issue as she has taken on a second job - that of usherette at night. Barbara has done a marvellous job over the past two years and now we wonder is there someone else who would take the job on? It isn't very difficult to turn the handle.
Is there a duplicatist in the house?
The S.B.W. Versus Tasmania - Round Three.
The angels who are assigned to bushwalkers smiled sweetly on us all that Tuesday we hitched from Lake St. Clair to Queenstown. Within four hours our four separate parties had been shifted sixty odd miles over a road that carried only a modicum of eligible cars and almost as many hitchhikers. There was much to do in Queenstown - letters to be mailed, collected and read; malted milks and ice cream to be consumed in quantity; personal shopping to be done; victuals to be replenished for the Frenchman's Cap trip; and a city campsite to be found. This latter is no pushover in a town where grass grows only in pampered front gardens. Our Public Relations Officers, Joan and Don, were despatched on this important task and produced the goods in next to no time - a lush vacant allotment with protecting trees, a loan of the owner's special cooking gadget and use of his “edible filtered” water. We immediately raised their rations and decided to celebrate by having dinner at one of the local pubs. This was our drop of luxury in the bucket of bushwalking austerity but it nearly cost us a king's ransom - we felt sure we would lose our Don (Juan) to the friendly young waitress who gave us double helpings. However we managed to save him from his fate by all sorts of artful lures and trumped up stories of the fickleness of women. One for the S.B.W.
Score: Tasmania 5, S.B.W. 5.
The next day was rest day and the party minus Grace and Geof eked it out on board the most fantastic little train this side of toyland. It was the Mt. Lyell Company's rack and pinion loco that chug-chugs its leisurely way for three hours over the 24 miles to Strahan. There were some fine views of the King River Gorge en route but the river water carrying waste from the smelters would surely put even the best pea soup to shame.
Thursday morn found us out on the road again with thumbs up hopefully, this time bound for the Cap. It must have been an angels holiday that day and progress was slow, but with the help of the devil and a few of his devious ways we managed the Frenchman's track turn-off in dribs and drabs. That night we pitched camp at the Lodden River in the customary drizzle, and it is at this point I must record the infamous episodes of the Roots and the Mossies. Now I have nothing against the roots of trees in their proper place - after all, without roots there would be no trees - but I object strongly to their sinewy tentacles weaving in and out of the only bit of earth, that sacred strip of earth where one must lay one's tired body. Of course my comrades protest their innocence. It was pure coincidence that they were all at my end of the tent! Why they weren't even there when it was pitched - they must have sprouted up like mushrooms! Well, I would be a silent martyr, I thought, and put on a brave Yogi act. Ha ha! It was a tortuous experiment. I found the body will stand just so much and after being twisted into all the letters of the alphabet it finally gives up the ghost at Z, this being some three hours after A. Worse was to follow. The Digby-eating mosquito that only the Lodden Plains can breed suddenly attacked in force. You'd swear it was a giant conspiracy for they wanted only me (perhaps to carry off to their eyrie). It had gone far enough. The others were awakened as I engaged in a torchlight battle with the invaders. The only human sympathy I could get were the uncontrollable bursts of hysterical mirth that robbed my co-tenters of five minutes of their precious sleep. At the first light of dawn I got up on the wrong side of the sleeping bag and had no hesitation in conceding Tasmania a double victory (a sort of private one).
Score: Tasmania 7, S.B.W. 5.
All that Friday we pushed upwards in threatening weather; up to Lake Vera over the Barron Gap, and at last Tahune Hut, the final goal. We had not yet sighted the peak of Frenchman's Cap although we were now less than half a mile away. It reminded us of Ossa - never happy unless it was brewing its own dirty weather. Writings in the Hut Book like ”… been here four days - have yet to see the Cap“ did nothing to reassure us. If we could only have seen but a short 12 hours ahead….
The time was 5 a.m. I was half conscious of a movement in the tangled mass of sleeping beds that filled Tahune Hut. The vague green shape of Geof arose and stumbled to the window. There was an awed gasp of wonder from his lips, a moment's pause, and then dynamic action as seven moved as one out into the still crisp morning air of 3,500 ft. We stood for a moment rubbing sleepy eyes, trying to believe it was not a dream. Across the Tahune Lake rose the great sheer precipice of Frenchman's Cap, its white quartzite now tinted pastel pink in the first rays of the rising sun. A deep lavender sky formed the perfect background for this majestic peak, which, as though not content with itself alone, threw its image into the glass waters of the lake beneath our feet. Behind us and stretching far away into the north lay the Cradle Mt. Park, its valleys filled with mist, the baseless peaks jutting up into the clear sky above. Within minutes the Frenchman had faced a veritable battery of cameras and then we were all action plus to gobble up some breakfast and climb the mountain. We had never had more incentive.
It was indeed a morning to remember - the great quartzite masses all around us as we climbed and finally the reward of magnificent summit views on every side - peaks and jagged ranges stretching away to the horizon; tiny lakes tucked away in deep valleys from which the mist swirled up in eerie shapes. Nature had never been in more impressive form. Up the S.B.W.
Score: Tasmania 7, S.B.W. 8.
(No correspondence will be entered into re the referee's apparent bias. If you don't believe me, order some Grade A. Super Tassie weather and poke your head out the window of Tahune Hut at five o'clock in the morning.)
It was very nearly a repeat performance the next morning at the same unearthly hour. Something was lacking though (I'll leave this to your imaginations) for only Geof and I could dig up the desire to go jaunting off again. We explored the Lion's Head and some of the lakes beyond the North Col of Frenchman's Cap - where else could you get scenery like this? We basked in the early morning sun and wondered - some day we might return and ….
It was a happy carefree stay at Tahune Hut, full of good fun and humour. I could tell of such things as Don's sudden collapse into the lake while posing for a picture; the full-scale clothes-washing drive that made the hut look like a Chinese laundry; the high-altitude corn that sprouted profusely from the mouths of one and all; the hopeful ceremonial dipping of Joan's new (ex Queenstown) hat in the sacred waters of the lake in a vain attempt to make it stiff and stylish; the bushcookery experiments that were won and lost and the King Billy Pine that looked like wood but burned like a lost cause. When we bade farewell I'm afraid the hut book copped a bashing from my sentimental pencil, much to the amusement of the others. They talked in undertones about odes (or was it “odious”) and tacked on a “We liked it too” to bring it all back to earth.
On the way out we camped overnight at Lake Vera and in the morning Geof decided to straighten out the tangled and monstrous financial (or unfinancial) position of each and every member. This was so exhausting that we put on the old termite act and devised an artful policy of passive resistance to our leader re packing up. Well, when it comes to crushing rebellions there's no one quite like Geof. Order was churned into chaos in seconds; tents collapsed as if struck by a hurricane; there was water everywhere without rain and bodies and their chattels littered the landscape. Suffice it to say that we moved off very smartly.
Scene: Our overnight campsite on the lush riverside greenery at Ouse, en route to Hobart.
Weather: Perfect - cloudless sky all day.
Time: 7 p.m.
General Mood: Not over energetic - delight at good fortune with recent weather.
Conversation: Me: We'd be crazy to stick up tents on a night like this. It couldn't possiblly rain, not even in Tasmania. Geof: You're darn tootin' right. It's under the stars for us tonight.
Result: Pouring rain by 2 a.m. - seven saps soaked and shivering - grumblings and rumblings as tents go up in the dark - never again!
Score: Tasmania 8, S.B.W. 8.
The next day we were due in Hobart whence Geof and I must return to the workaday world while the others did a spot of touring. Despite the rain, Joan and Don tried their luck on the highway and, of course, they immediately wound up in a plush sedan heading straight for Hobart - Public Relations Plus! (Plus what? That's what we can't figure!)
The rest of us, deterred by a bit of a debacle the previous day, decided to play safe and catch the bus.
Reunited in the little Big Smoke Down Under, the big Food Orgy soon got under way. Hobart is famous for its food and it all started when we couldn't pass the first cake shop we saw. It was just too much for stomachs hungering again for the delicacies of civilization. There were ham and tomato rolls, cream puffs, rich buns and all the usuals and unusuals defying description. Lunch consisted of a combined multiple cake-shop-fruit-stall-milk-bar-crawl spread over about two hours in which vast quantities of edibles both good and not so good for you were consumed. How we weathered that 'plane trip back to Sydney was undoubtedly a miracle, and as miracles still happen, I have lived to tell the tale of the S.B.W. versus Tasmania, 1956 Contest.
(P.S. Don't let this score business fool you. We really had a mighty bonno superiarer time)
I ought to write to Colin,
I ought to write to Jane,
I ought to write that thing for Geof
I promised in the train.
I ought to write to Ian,
I ought to write to Pat,
Here's a letter from the Alpine Club -
I ought to answer that.
I ought to write to Garth,
I ought to write to Snow
And finalise the details of
That trip with Prof. Munro.
The Warrumbungle trip we had
At Easter's still to do,
And I'm committed to produce
“The Aqua Lung - Part Two.”
And then there's Betty's wedding -
“I'll write it up,” I said.
Hell! What a lot of things to write!
I think I'll go to bed.
We regret to hear that Vice Pres. Malcolm McGregor has bunged up his knee. Here's hoping for your speedy recovery, Malc.
A Report of the Sydney Bush Talkers' Monthly General Meeting.
- Geof Wagg.
Now every Wen'sd'y night or so we 'as a General Meeting,
An' all the Talkers gather roun' an' give their gums a beatin'.
Well, usyully its pretty safe - just Conservation stuff,
An' “Those in favour please say Aye,” an' all that kind of guff,
But this last meetin' took a turn 'at lef' me fair unfurled -
Into our carefree walkin' works a spanner 'as been hurled.
The Talkers, as it 'appened, coulda took no better cue
'Cos lots o' Walkers was away at Bet Swain's Weddin' do;
An' that's why, when we entered, the 'ole 'all seemed sort of 'ushed
An' nothin' like the Club at all - a bit like laughter crushed.
So we feels a mite uneasy, but we're 'ardly in our seat
When Frank Ashcan moves a motion 'at we feels we must defeat.
Seems the Coast and Mountain Talkers puts the word on Federation
An' complains: “that its Reunion is a source of consternation
From the 'ooligan be'aviour of a mob o' girls and boys
'oo lets down tents an' bangs on tins an' makes a lot of noise”
An' they say because o' this the Fed. Reunion's 'ad it's chips
An' they moves to put the kybosh on these get-together trips.
Frank moves we gets our delegates to vote Reunions out
”'Cos it's no good 'avin' them,“ 'e says, “if 'ooligans wi11 shout.”
An' Jack Wren says, “The trouble is these blokes can't 'old their liquor”
Because they aren't all quite like 'im when they gets on the shikker.
Frank Young 'e says 'e reckons 'at Reunions is all right,
An' lots uv other people adds their voices to the fight.
An' Snow Brown says 'e isn't sure if 'e's in order 'ere,
But 'e thinks they 'old Reunions at the wrong time of the year.
So the President informs 'im, with a glare right down the 'all,
“If 'e don't speak to the motion then to shouldn't speak at all!”
Then Frank Ashcan in 'is summin' up says everything again,
Yet when at last we gets a vote 'is jawrin' seems in vain
For it's “thumbs down” on 'is motion - this Reunion enjoys
Too good a reputation to be finished by a noise1
Then the President 'e starts up, 'an he lays us in the aisles -
When we 'ears is propasishun y' could 'ear us roar for miles,
Because 'e says 'at, in the old days, when the club was just a squirt,
On trips y' 'as t' ask th' leader before y' doffs y' shirt.
Then the leader 'as to think it out, an' answer yes or no,
An' 'e says, in 'is opinion, ”'at's too good a rule to go!“
Not many takes 'im serious - they all laughs, anyway -
But Frank Ashcan recons any'ow 'e'll up an 'ave a say.
So 'e 'olds forth fer a while until the Pres. says, as a notion
'e might just collect 'is sentiments 'an frame 'em as a motion.
“Good-oh,” says Frank, “an' 'opin' that there's no-one's feelins 'urt
I move we leaves the big decision to th' remover of th' shirt.”
Then we 'ears a few more speakers an' the motion's moved with thanks,
An' it's the first time 'at I knows of 'at I've raised me 'and with Frank's.
Well, there's silence for a moment while the Talkers gets their breath,
Then Alex Colley's on 'is feet an' doin' us to death.
It seems as 'ow 'e doesn't like the way committee's 'andin'
Out donations to th' Bushwakkers with reckerless abandon
An' 'e says, in 'is opinion, “the 'ole system is unsound,”
An' 'e wants t' see us “puttin' it upon some safer ground.”
So moves 'at to accomplish this an' save our finance fleetin'
We itimise accounts for payment at every General Meetin'.
Someone moves a slight amendment on the form 'at it should take,
An' this lot is just sinkin' in then, right into the break
Frank Ashcan 'ops - of jaw 'e never seems to feel a dearth -
An' 'e gives us 'is opinions fer what they may be worth.
An 'e tells us 'at it's sumpthin' 'e could never underatand
Why the Bushwakkers don't just get paid like any other band.
Then Jim Brown 'e puts 'is spoke in; with the feelin's gettin' warm
'e says 'at 'e's agin' the thing in any shape or form,
An' explains t' Mr. Ashcan, which I s'pose is very kind,
But I still doubt if he'll see it fer y' know, “there's none so blind.”
There's a few more verbal sallies, then we puts it t' the vote,
An' we beats it, so it seems we've got our troubles by the throat.
We relaxes while the Walks Sec. gets the meetin' on 'is back;
Seems 'is programme's 4 weeks overdue - 'e must be gettin' slack.
The President frowns down at 'im an' says, “Come clean, me lad,
An' tell us what's become uv it - the truth can't be so bad
As this hinfernal waitin' for the darned thing to appear!!”
But the culprit 'e just stands up an' stops to scratch 'is ear;
An' 'e clears 'is throat, an! 'ums an' ahs, an' says, “Er - I dunno”,
Then the Pres. 'e thumps the table with a great resounding blow
An' says, “Cor strike me 'ansome! Blow me down an! spare me day!!”
While the Secretary says, “Oh dear!” an' “Cor, strike me bloody 'ooray” At which the Walks Sec., 'oo's subsided, sinks down lower in 'is seat,
But Mister Robert Abernethy scrambles to 'is feet.
'ere's a bloke 'oo, if just talkin' could insure yer right t' fame,
Then mighty gales uv 'is own breath would echo with 'is name.
But sad it is frum deeds alone y' gets yer earthly praise -
'e's raised no 'and to 'elp the Club in all 'is walkin' days.
Yet 'ere 'e sees 'is duty plain an' moves a motion short:
“Next month the Walks Sec. should produce a co'erunt report
On where the programme is, t' get it overdue so far” -
Per'aps it's so much overdue we'll call the S. & R.
Well, no one wants to argue - those in favour all say “Um.”
The meetin' seems to fizzle out - bids fair to end our fun
When Old Jack Wren, that bitter man, decides to make a stand:
In the name o' “Law an' Order” all our freedom must be banned!
But it wasn't just 'is sentiments 'at rocked us to the core,
'Cause some o' what 'e says is true - none would admit it more.
'E says 'e sees the tables in the 'all now 'ave supports
An' we didn't oughta sit on 'em, 'at's what we didn't ought,
Or kick 'em over during leckchers an' smash 'em all t' bits-
Well, we still thinks this part funny, an' Snow an' me's in fits.
An' yet, we wouldn't argue like 'at what 'e said was true,
Except t' say we often 'as t' climb t' git the view. An' it's not us 'oo sits an' watches 'at hinterrupts the show
But some other cove 'oo creeps in late an' sends 'em fer a row. Still, we don't mind, because we feels 'at we can stand the rub;
But then 'e glares at Snow an' sez 'at we're in a dolt' club.
”'at's a bit rough on Snow,“ I thinks, but Jack looks very grave
An' sez 'at we're an adult club an' so we should behave
Like grown-ups do; (which means, I s'pose, most uv the time like kids
On'y jist a bit more vicious - NO! We won't do that fer quids!)
But 'e says we gotta mend our ways or git our 'at an' coat -
Well, y' know 'ow ultimatums seem t' get some people's goat -
The Walks Sec. 'e gets 'oppin' mad an' says, “Y' can't do that!
'cause Walkers won't be bullied, an' I can tell yer flat
'at all yer plans 'll come to nort!” Frank Ashcan, like a flash,
'e snatches up the gauntlet an' 'e cries, “Let's 'ave a bash
An' show these cheeky young'uns we can keep 'em neath our thumb!”
But blessed are the peacemakers, an' thus up pipes Frank Young
'oo says that now they're mended, p'raps they won't fall down no more,
But Jack Wren, the old pessamist, says, “Yes they will, fer sure!”
So when we 'as a vote on it, the motion wins the day,
With which the meetin' closes an' we goes our merry way.
Only….. we don't feel so merry, 'cause it seems there's somthin' wrong…
There's a motion on the minute book 'at doesn't quite belong…..
An' I seem to see 'em shapin' all our Walkers to a mould
Until they looks jist like poor Jack, as sour… an' crabbed… an' old.
Imagine cramping all Stitt's power into that foreshortened style,
Or masking Garth's endearing grin behind that bitter smile -
Or Dot, or Snow, or Putt, or Stan - there 'as t' be a noise!
The Club'd be jist like a tomb without them kind o' boys!
That's why it seems a big mistake…. What are they thinkin' uv?
Because, it's like Tom Moppett says, “Bushwalkers won't be druv!!
Forthcoming Social Events.
Wed. June 20th: Greece - Talk and pictures by Peter Antoniades.
Wed. June 27th: Black-and-white Photographic Competition.
Errata: Walks Programme.
13/14/15th July: Frank Rigby - read Frank Young.
The Wedding Of Betty Swain To Peter Armstrong.
- Dot Butler
The trouble was my mind was straying and I was carried on past Vaucluse before I woke up to where I was and leapt out of the bus. The church bells had stopped ringing as I came chasing back through the windy blue darkness along the shadowy serpentine above the bay. There rose the dark pile of stones that was St. Michael's, a gleam of soft yellow light at the entrance. I crushed my hat on to my head, shook my skirt straight, took a deep breath and stepped inside.
And suddenly there was silence.
Outside the wind might call, the lights glare, the traffic rush past, but in here all was still. I slipped into a place amongst the small gathering of well-loved friends who had come to see Betty and Peter start out on their new life.
Down there in front was a pink-petalled bridesmaid and a little flower girl, and over there the earnest serious profile of the best man - gleaming white collar and one lavender glove holding a drooping other… (Gee, Garth, how short while ago we saw you dangling half naked on the end of a rope half-way down a precipice, a world removed from this solemn splendour of spotless suit, clean white collar and the sartorial magnificence of lavender gloves).
The two young people were kneeling high up in front. The priest's voice pulsated in a low monotone through the softly-lit hush like the sound of bees in a cave buzzing through a contented afternoon.
And then the voice stopped and they had gone out to sign the book, and I didn't regret having missed all the preliminaries because here, I felt, was the core of the matter - two you folk taking their first steps together on the long walk through life, whether through green, pleasant valleys, down leaping, laughing waterways, up sunkissed, rugged ridges, or bearing patiently the long monotonous road-bash…..
“It's we two, it's we two for aye,
All the world and we two, and Heaven be our stay.
What's the world, my lass, my love; what can it do?
I am thine and thou art mine; life is fresh and new.
Take a kiss from me, my lass - Now the song begins…
Life was made afresh for us and the brave heart wins.
If the darker days should come when no sun will shine
Thou wilt dry my tears, my lass, and I'll dry thine.
It's we two, it's we two, While the world's away,
Hand in hand together, lass, on our wedding day.”
More About W.I.T.
From Jamberoo 'twas Peter wrote,
“I want a collar for the goat;
No, not the nanny, don't be silly;
I want a strong one for the billy.
30 inches is the fit,
Above all else it must have W.I.T
It must have W.I.T. 'cause he's so strong,
It must be 30 inches long.
Mind you see it's just the ticket
Because it has to hold Ben Rickett.”
The collar was made stout and strong
And it was 30 inches long…
Strong enough to hold a steer
But Ben looked at it with a sneer.
“How dare they hold me back in chains
When love is surging through my veins!”
A mighty heave - It came away
And Ben was loose to love and play.
Ah lack-a-day, Oh what a pit!
The collar just did not have W.I.T.
“I'll not be thwarted,” Paddy cried,
A chap's not beaten till he's tried!”
A double collar now adorns
Ben Rickett's neck behind the horns,
And this the secret is, to wit, If aught proves weak we strengthen it!
W.I.T. = What It Takes - the built-in ingredient of Paddy-Made Camp Gear.
Paddy Pallin. Lightweight Camp Gear.
201 Castlereagh St., Sydney.