Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker.
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bushwalker, The N.S.W. Nurses' Association Rooms “Northcote Building,” Reiby Place, Sydney.
Box No. 4476, G.P.O. Sydney. 'Phone 843985.
|Editor||Frank Rigby, Unit 5, 52 Market St., Randwick.|
|Business Manager||Bill Burke, Coral Tree Dr. Carlingford. 8711207.|
|Typist||Shirley Dean, 30 Hannah St., Beecroft.|
|Sales and Subscriptions||Neville Page, 22 Hayward St. Kingsford. 343536.|
384. December, 1966. Price 10c.
|The November General Meeting||J. Brown||2|
|S.B.W. Crossword||P. Butt||3|
|The Old Black Billy||Alice Wyborn||5|
|One More Month||Observer||6|
|Explorations of Some New Walking Country||8|
|North From Wanganderry||J. Brown||11|
|With the Gourmets at Era (Version 1)||14|
|With the Gourmets at Era (Version 2)||15|
|Federation Report - November, 1966||18|
|Obituary - Wendy Butler||19|
The November General Meeting.
Outside was a night of storm, complete with thunder, lightning and deluge rain, but within the Nurses' Association Hall all was bathed in light and tranquility as we entered upon one of the most placid meetings of the year.
First there was a greeting to five new members, Katie Stoddart, Peter Lanigan, Richard Foster, Russell Derbridge and Frederick Ellis, after which we heard and assented to last month's minutes.
Correspondence told us that our landlords were concerned at the vanishment, about the time of our last Club supper, of a large teapot, a crime for which we could accept no responsibility. Colo Shire had approved of our holding the Reunion at Woods Creek, but there was a note from Honorary Member Roy Bennett saying Grose Wold Progress Association was concerned over rowdy parties being held in the area and there was talk of extending a road to Woods Creek.
In correspondence too was the usual crop of late subscriptions and a brochure from the Australian Conservation Foundation which is seeking additional members. Publications included a very detailed summary of reserves and parklands in South Australia, and outgoing correspondence covered representations to the Lands Department over the Alienation of land for a bowling club at Epping and to Kosciusko Park Trust suggesting improvements in facilities at Sawpit Creek.
The Treasurer being away, there was no financial report and. Walks Report covered quite an array of well-attended trips in October, together with several that failed for lack of starters - notably on the weekend of the U.S. President's visit.
Federation's items have been published in the November magazine and by the time this is published, any social items mentioned will be old hat. Parks and Playgrounds matters referred mainly to suburban areas, especially the master plan for Ashton Park which looked likely to be thoroughly de-bushed under current proposals. It had been stated that land released for home-building in Warringah Shire would not be an area classified as green space. The report by Myles Dunphy on Colong Caves area had been received.
Marching on to General Business, it was first announced that the Club Room would be closed on 28th December and 4th January. Dot Butler asked that the members of the Australian section of the N.Z. Alpine Club be permitted to amalgamate their Christmas Party with ours, as was done last year when it seemed that there would be insufficient SBW to make a good event of it. Frank Ashdown desired to know if the NZAC were aware of the existence of the Australian detachment, and Dot assured him that about 75 of the Kangaroos would be visiting the Kiwis this summer, after which we agreed to the merger of the parties.
Alex Colley mentioned the Volunteer Bush Fire Fighting proposals, adding that an article in the “Sun Herald” mentioned that ten walkers had already offered their support. They were not members of this Club, and he was still seeking additional volunteers before submitting details to the Parks Services people. Alex also moved that a letter go to the Colo Council, pointing out that the proposed road into Woods Creek would remove one of its main charms for scouting and walking organisations - also carried.
By the time Owen Marks had contributed the information that the Military authorities had no power to exclude people from the Tianjara Proof Range, it was time to call it a night at the quite modest hour of 9.10 p.m.
1. GTBARRON (10)
7. An extinct New Zealander (3)
8. Lunch In Norway (4)
10. Seize us add an ancient city with a vegetable. (5)
12. Machine part about a Scottish surname prefix (3)
13. Bendethera has a pronoun (3)
15. Headwear has “T” in it (4)
17. King Ose near 1 (d) (5)
19. “…. and behold”. (2)
20. Direction (2)
21. To climb 150! Ready to go? (7)
24. A large drink for an affluent bird. (7)
26. Grab with no British sun god (2)
28. About the engineers (2)
29. A six-fifty for a blacksmith (5)
30. Each in a record jump (4)
32. “The view was missed because of the mist”. That did they see? (3)
34. The last into the life-boats! (3)
35. A preposition about a preposition with an artery. (5)
36. No South East feature on a dial. (4)
37. Is it it is? It is! (3)
39. Pale home on Point Perpendicular (10)
1. Navy glue near Banks. (4-3)
2. A representative devil (3)
3. Not endless anon surely? (2)
4. A crab has only one (4)
5. An ancient mariner (4)
6. 1 (a) has these spinners (4)
9. Climb a balance (5)
11. “Once…. a time” (4)
14. Stretch on a river. (5)
16. Ports with no extras resurrected on a mountain (3)
18. A sea in a hardened faction (4)
21. 21 (a) up this? (5)
22. First treatment for a used tin (4)
23. 1 (d)'s have this (7)
24. Mineral or East? That is the question! (3)
25. Hems (5)
27. Assent five in a capsized ear (4)
30. Bobcat (4)
31. The huntsman of Cumberland was a contemporary of Sir Robert Rind (4)
33. A solemn swearing of a little Thai. (4)
35. Mountain cinder? (3)
38. One drink for a pronoun (2)
The Old Black Billy.
On a beautiful day a few weeks ago, I rested against a rock with half closed eyes. We had been scrambling about all morning and now after a pleasant lunch I was relaxed. All round were the sounds and scents of early spring, with a blue sky overhead where small clouds scudded by. What a perfect day! In this somnolent state my eye caught sight of the thermos flask sitting on a rock nearby. Now what was a thermos flask doing out here in the bush? Well we have got into the habit of carrying our tea in one for the mid-day snack, and I must admit that on some occasions it is a jolly good idea, especially as on this day, when one is perched on a rocky rampart several hundred feet up from the creek bed.
As I looked at its bright blue cover, my thoughts turned to my very early bushwalking days when the old billy was a symbol of the great outdoors. Yes, in those days with two girl friends, we would set out for a day's walk with a small military pack and a billy for tea carried in the hand. The funny part was that none of us drank tea at home! It was just part of the adventure to boil the billy and always cook sausages on a forked stick. At this time I was living with my parents in a mid-western town, and so our walking was very limited - there were no mountains - only the rolling plains and low hills typical of that part of the country, but we had wonderful days together. Of course we did not camp out - I don't suppose that even entered our heads. We would get up very early and be on our way before sunrise and not return home till it was setting. It was here in 1929 that I had a great experience, in that my Father took me with him on a two day business trip to the Coonamble-Tooraweenah area, and so I had my first view of the Warrumbungles - little did I know then, that some 15 years later I would actually be bushwalking in the area, which has become so well-known now. In those days, no one took much notice of them - they were there - and just part of the landscape. Another thing which made the trip a great thrill for me, was that my Father allowed me to drive the car from Dubbo to Coonamble. Of course I did not have a license then, but I had been driving with him for about twelve months on various occasions, and I was quite confident. The roads were only gravel in places, mostly they were sandy tracks, but I loved every minute of it, and we stopped by the road and boiled the billy each lunchtime. The night was spent at the hotel in Coonamble and we were up and away again early the next morning.
I had another girl friend whose parents had a sheep and wheat property out between Gilgandra and Eumingerie. I often stayed out there for a week in the school holidays but could never induce her to go walking with me. Being farmers, the only walking they did was down to the horse paddock to catch a horse for riding whenever they went anywhere - and so we would go out for a day's riding, and the old billy would go along too - tied onto the saddle with a piece of string. Maybe the thermos is a modern touch, but it is also very handy on a day trip, so we are sure to go on using it. But it can never really take the place of the old black billy.
One More Month.
“There comes a time in every man's life ….” Looks like that time has come for Bob Duncan, bachelor and Club Character of long standing; and who's the plucky girl - physicist Roslyn Sorensen. Bob and Roslyn plan to marry in Melbourne in February and S.B.W will be represented by Snow Brown as best man. Best Wishes to Bob and Roslyn from the Club.
Conversation on recent trip:
Barry: “Don, how about finishing off my Instant Pudding?”
Don: “No thanks, mate”
Snow: (in amazement): “Did everyone hear that? Finch has refused food!”
Don: “Whoever called Instant Pudding 'food' must be off his rocker.”
It's taken a long time to discover that there is something our Don can't stomach!
Recent Conversation in Clubroom:
Member A: “Notice anything odd about the November magazine?”
Member B: “Seemed to be a bit smaller than usual.”
Member A: (Obviously a mathematician): “Yes, and I've done a simple calculation - exactly 50% of it was the work of only two contributors”.
Member B: “Don't the other members do anything interesting to write about?”
Member A: “We should talk!”
It's a long road that hath no turning. After seven long years, the National Parks Bill goes before State Parliament this month. One might say that the Age of Enlightenment has just about begun.
Nice to see that the Swimming Carnival (February 18-19) has made a comeback on the Summer Walks Programme which has just been issued. Both as a lot of fun and as a social week-end, it used to be a winner - congrats to Kath Brown for Making the initial move.
A. black day in the life of all bushwalkers was November 26, when a fine young woman lost her life in a freak drowning accident in the Kowmung River near Morong Falls while on a S.U.B.W. trip. Wendy “Foxa” Butler, 20, daughter of popular S.B.W. member Dorothy and ex-member Ira, had been on many jaunts with S.B.W. as a visitor, and bush walkers who had grown to know and admire her felt it as a personal tragedy. One could sense the tremendous amount of sympathy, not always expressed in so many words among S.B.W. members for the bereaved family.
On Wednesday December 7, Jean Wilson presented Alan with their 3rd daughter.
There really aren't any so this is just a reminder that:
December 21st is a Free night while the Clubroom will be closed on December 28 and January 4.
So you are planning to do something interesting over the Christmas - New Year period? Maybe the coast, the mountains, Lamington, Warrumbungles, Kosciusko, Era, Tasmania, New Zealand, etc.
Whatever and wherever, remember that everyone else would like to hear what happened.
You could tell them through the Club Magazine.
Is your entry in the Members' List up-to-date? Any changes would be welcomed by the Secretary, without delays!
Explorations Of Some New Walking Country.
On Friday, 16th September an illustrious party of S.B.W.'s set off for a wilderness experience - our revered President, 3 members and one prospective.
Good time was made out along the old Newnes railway on the Friday night to just past the site of the Newnes Prison Farm which seems to be making some progress. The old Sawmill has been burnt down, so the intrepid members of the party camped out while lesser ones succumbed to the comforts of the back of a Holden Panel Van.
The Saturday morning sky threatened snow, which fortunately did not fall on the party. They were soon on the Mt. Cameron road which, it was decided, was impassable to all but the most daring Land Rovers. Some clearing has been done at Mt. Cameron and a field ploughed; several wallabies were enjoying the lush grass on the basalt capped mountain. The hut is in reasonable condition and there is water in some 44 gallon drums, but none in the southwards flowing creek, at least for some 200 feet down in the present dry times.
The President demonstrated that he was an expert in wire tightening on fences - almost at the expense of the fence at Mt. Cameron.
The track to Permanent water, as shown on the Wallerawang map is often difficult to follow but the campsite, when finally reached, is very worthwhi1e with an abundance of wood and water, in fact, eminently suitable for a Reunion. Ascents of Tambo Limb, which is basalt capped, and Pommell Hill were made, and from the latter a fine view of the mountains in the Mt. Munundilla area was had.
On Sunday, away to an early start under clear skies, little time was lost in finding a pass across Nayook Creek, and straight up the other side. Once up on the tops, the party had its full share of wilderness experience through dense scratchy sandstone scrub, and headed straight for Deep Pass. This col, defended by sheer sandstone walls was successfully attacked, and another relatively short march brought the party safely to the Presidential vehicle.
This area is one well worth visiting many times over, and offers a wide range of trips all the year round.
Report on walk Rocky Top - Landrigans Creek - Megalith Ridge - Kowmung River - Venn's Holding - Cockerills Lookout - Venn's Holding - Werong Creek - Kowmung River - Steps of Sorrow - Lost Rock - Rocky Top on October 28-29-30 with 5 members.
The route down Megalith Ridge to the Kowmung is a somewhat elusive one to pinpoint, but affords excellent views of the last stretch of the Morong Deep. From the Hanrahans Creek saddle it was possible to see the Kowmung rushing through its gorge at a fearsome pace. Although the river level was up, crossing was no problem.
Packs were left at the campsite at Venn's Holding on Werong Creek and the party assailed Cockerills Lookout. All previous steep hills in everyone's experience paled into insignificance before the almost vertical ridges up to Cockerills. Fortunately there was very little scrub on the ridge. The view from the summit, which is a trig point, takes in the lower Kowmung Valley, the Yerranderie and Mt. Colong area and Mt. Jellore was visible on the horizon. There is a visitors' book in a tin in the trig cairn. A road from the thriving metropolis of Jaunter comes to within a few yards of the summit.
Sunday morning was spent exploring Werong Creek. As far as the party went, the creek is relatively level with one pool a deep wade even for the longest legs. It is rather reminiscent of Galong Creek, though the surrounding cliffs and ridges are more impressive. l 1/2 hours walk upstream the party came upon the site of some old workings, 3 adits in the right hand bank, in various stages of decay, hand hewn into the tough quartz in search of gold and copper. There was a quantity of tools still lying around including a wheelbarrow still in reasonable condition.
The Steps of Sorrow seemed aptly named - their steepness almost causing tears of anguish and suffering. This would be an extremely difficult ridge to locate coming down and there is a large cairn possibly misplaced on the rise before Mt. Misery, not on the mountain itself. The Lost Rock view was up to its usual standard despite heavy afternoon haze and a setting sun.
A most enjoyable weekend - Cockerills Lookout should be a must on everyone's programme.
Seasons Greeting from paddy Pallin and staff.
When you require gear for walking and camping, remember…
Paddymade gear has been developed for Australian conditions by bushwalkers. It has been continuously improved over 36 years by incorporating the suggestions of many active walkers.
It is practical, tough and backed by a reliable name.
You'll get service with Paddymade.
Paddy Pallin Pty, Limited.
109 Bathurst Street,
Where walkers meet
P.S. A new edition of “Snowy Mountain Talks” is now available.
Answers to crossword on page 3.
1. Barrington; 7. Rea; 8. Oslo; 10. Usurp; 12. Mac; 13. Her; 15. Hats; 17. Grose; 19. Lo; 20. NE; 21. Clamber; 24. Ostrich; 26. Ra; 28, Re; 29. Anvil; 30. Leap; 32. Fog; 34. Men: 35. Aorta; 36. Nose; 37. Tie; 39. Lighthouse.
1. Blue Gum; 2. Imp; 3. No; 4. Gate; 5. Noah; Tops; 9. Scale; 11. Upon; 14. Reach; 16. Tor; 18. Sect; 21. Cliff; 22. Turn; 23. Foliage; 24. Ore; 25. Seams; 27. Aver; 30. Lynx; 31. Peel; 33.: Oath; 35. Ash; 38. It.
North From Wanganderry.
If my grandchildren - should I have any - ask (1) what I did during the War, and (2) what I did when President Johnson visited Sydney, I shall have no difficulty in answering the latter question. In accord with the principle of “getting far away from LBJ” I was groping my way gingerly out along the divide between the Wollondilly and Nattai Rivers north of Wanganderry.
It was a project that had been in cold storage for years and years, ever since I had led my first programmed walk for the Club over the gap between the Wollondilly and Nattai - the pass variously known as The Getover, Travis' Pass and Beloon Pass. In the absence of sign posts, blazed trails and the like, it had taken two reconnaissance trips to find the gap from the Nattai side, and I was immediately taken with the notion of using it as access to the Wanganderry Plateau, then continuing south to the Wombeyan Caves Road at Wanganderry.
Well, that was back in '47, and in all that time the idea had never got beyond a proposal. I knew that a party from the Club had been along the divide some years ago as part of a long holiday weekend jaunt, and on a day walk a few months ago, I asked Frank Leyden about it. His reply was not really encouraging, and he inferred that it was a slow, slugging march through very dense scrub. He advised wearing gaiters, and I said that in thick scrub I preferred long trousers. “If so,” he said, “Don't wear old worn out ones. They want to be pretty strong.”
He did add, however, that there should be some quite interesting scenery, now that Lake Burragorang fills the Wollondilly valley. I got the impression any views likely to be found would scarcely be worth the labour. This rather discouraging intelligence had, if anything, the reverse effect on me. And, strangely enough, coupled with the newly released maps of the area, it provoked me into tackling it the wrong way round. From the navigator's angle it is always easier to follow a ridge towards its junction with the main range, because the side creeks and side ridges all converge. Going “out” along a ridge is always fraught with the possibility of veering off on a series of side spurs. So the sensible way of doing the Wanganderry Plateau is from Beloon Gap south to Wanganderry. Perversely, I went north from Wanganderry seeking the Gap.
Departure from the deserted farm at the head of Burnt Flat Creek was at 7.40 a.m. on the Saturday and the going over pasture and a couple of richly grassed hills was very pleasant for a mile or two. At the second basalt knob I could see the scrub beginning to crowd in on the ridge ahead, and decided to get out my compass in readiness. Then I remembered digging it out on the pack half a mile back, intending to slip it into my trousers pocket. Either I had left it lying in its tan leather case on top of a pile of the brown basalt rocks which were all over the place, or it had fallen from my pocket. The chances of recovery didn't seem so bright, but that compass had sentimental value for me.
To start with, I had for almost four years accounted for that compass on the monthly stocktake of binoculars and compasses returned by an Infantry Brigade Headquarters; then in 1946 I had purchased at a disposals place for £2 one of the very compasses I had recorded for years. Since then it had guided me across miles of Blue Labyrinth in the days before fire trails, in mist along the Talaterang range, and on several jaunts in the most obscure ridges of the Northern Blue Mountains. I even knew its individual error - about 1/2° east - so it was worth trying to find it.
This part of the story ends on a happy note because I found the compass in ten minutes and was back to my pack in another five. Fortunate, too, because once the scrub closed in it was never out of my hand, and for three hours it was consulted at intervals of two or three minutes.
The Wanganderry Plateau is the trunk divide from which the ridge runs out to Paddy's Peak and I had heard it was not by any means easy navigation. It is flat, fairly wide and covered with open forest and underbrush; on its eastern side spurs lead off toward the Nattai valley as thick as a porcupine's quills. Between 8.30 and 11.30, in spite of cautious progress, I found myself off-course on three occasions. Each time, as the bearing of the ridge veered too much to the east, I turned back and picked up the right range, and in total, lost little more than half an hour.
By 11.30, however, the trickiest part of the pathfinding was almost over. I emerged on a rocky area, with the creek between the divide and Paddy's Peak forming a ravine on the west, while the head of Album River flowed towards the Nattai in a rocky cleft to the east. The crown of the ridge was narrow and obvious, its fretted sandstone wearing into domes and minarets rather like parts of the Northern Blue Mountains. At that time it was a veritable flower garden, with massed pale pink boronia - the only place I have seen better is on the Barren Ground.
From the western rim, too, there was a magnificent view, with the glittering sheet of water to the north, the paddocks around Jooriland, and beyond them timbered ranges rising to the peaky tops around Yerranderie. Paddy's Peak, so spectacular from the west or north, was revealed as just another sandstone plateau with a knobby point. Unfortunately there was a good deal of haze despite a fair mild south-west wind.
I had carried a 30 oz plastic water flask in anticipation of a dry stage along the divide, but the naked sandstone had weathered into a series of good water holes, filled with the rain of the previous days. I halted here for lunch, and concluded from the map that I was just about to leap from the Mittagong one-inch map to the Nattai two-inch survey.
The easy open going over bare smooth sandstone continued for almost a mile, then the ridge widened, and it was back to the Mulga. Where the garden had been mainly boronia and spider flower in the morning, I was now in an eggs-and-bacon region, with shrubs laden with yellow and red pea flowers crowding together, the air sharp-sweet with its scent, and the whole bush humming with bees.
The growth was denser, too, much denser, and in places one had to contest every steep. Speed dropped dawn to something like a mile an hour, and remained so for the next 2 1/2 hours. Somewhere along this stage the knees of my trouser-legs were ripped open - they were neither new pants nor by any means worn out - until then.
I headed a few small steep gullies leading to the western side, and at 3 p.m. the divide narrowed and I was again on bare rock - a spine of sandstone along the Wollondilly rim, where deep gullies cut in from the Nattai side. The views in the mellow afternoon light were very lovely and I decided well worth the toil: unfortunately the distance was still hazy.
My relief at the re-appearance of the open rock was short-lived, because the divide which had been mercifully level to this point, began to saw-tooth up and down. The going was slow, with abrupt rocky slopes and deep growth in the saddles, but as compensation there were non-stop views over the golden-green Wollondilly valley. An hour produced only 1200 yards of progress.
Then the ridge went up, widened and stabilised again, and for a short way the vegetation thinned out. There were lookdowns into shadowy green gulfs on the Nattai side, with the slanting sunlight falling on the ridges leading down beside Album River and Martins Creek: off to the south Jellore was a dull green cone.
As I neared the last 500 ft descent into Beloon Gap the bush clamped in again and I was driven over to the rocky Wollondilly rim, dropping quite steeply into the saddle with its cairn marker and the reverse slope rising abruptly towards Beloon Trig. It was just after 5 p.m. as I reached the gap.
I remembered I still had an untouched flask of water, carried all the way from Wanganderry. All the way? Well, only 9 or 10 miles, but representing nine hours fairly steady effort. I took a sip and was about to pour out the rest when I reasoned, no, I could break a leg going down the pass, and what a fool I'd feel then. I put the flask back into the pack and started down into the setting sun. The rest of the trip, which was quite straightforward, has no part in this chronicle. It was all open enough to allow me to wear shorts - much more comfortable than long trousers with the knee caps abraded out. And, finally, I did drink my carried water, which was a good deal cleaner than the bulk supply down in the valley.
With The Gourmets At Era. (Version 1)
by “A Gormandiser”
(The now famous Gourmet Week-end at Era, organised and led by that Gastronomical Genius, Owen Marks, made such an impact that two accounts of the doings were forthcoming - Editor).
There was much conjecture about Owen Marks' Gourmet Weekend held recently at Era. Lunchtime saw quite a number of tents already in possession of the “hill” area, so, as the party started to trickle in, it was decided to camp on the flat so as to keep together. It was inclined to rain during the afternoon, so it looked as tho' abdulled tents would have to be used for the judging.
The leader led his party down the hill, and arrived about 2.30 very much the worse for wear with an “Eski” ice box, plus a very large cardboard box. Apart from Judy and Neville, whom he was eating with, the contents of his pack were taboo to the rest of the party. By sundown, we had grown to a party of about 24.
Luckily for us at this time the rain cleared off, leaving us a clear run to display our “goodies” on the ground. And now we saw the apparition of Owen, Neville and Judy, complete with long, hand-painted hostess skirts and Indonesian hats, which had to be manipulated by skilful hands as they strode from one entry to another in the circle of tents. Betty Farquhar joined the expert panel, to add her wisdom to their ignorance. Ern made an immaculate waiter, complete with arm serviette and pink tie made from genuine toilet paper, and would have done justice to the “Chevron”.
Isla and Herbert brought their meta stove and served soup and other delicacies with eclat. Four competitors cooked on the spot, which meant they collected quite a few marks for their zeal.
Once the meal was judged, the hungry competitor was allowed to devour it, or offer the crumbs or a taste to the hungry horde gathered around. It was just one long meal that went on for hours. Raymond's Brains were quite unique, and everybody assured him it was their favourite dish, done and served just as he had garnished it. Chickens with all the trimmings were popular. Each table was set up with table cloth, floral decoration of local weeds etc., silver plate was much in evidence, and most tables boasted a cocktail wine, served in fine wine glasses. Neville, self-appointed wine taster, never missed an opportunity, with the result that towards the end of the judging, he seemed to be suffering from the affects of his imbibing.
Owen was cooking his huge fish wrapped in Alfoil, and, as by this time most of the party had digested all the other dinners, we all congregated round him to see his entry. As organiser, it was queried whether he could rightly compete, but the rest of the Judges as well as the surrounding company gave way because of the prospect ahead of even a bit of his goodies. The fish was duly displayed complete with garnishes and a neat little baby fish of cucumber quite a hit on its own. Judy, Neville and Owen had quite a job to enjoy their fish meal with so many spectators, and had to offer bits of fish to the hungry ones. The large cardboard box was opened next, and proved to be a huge pavlova, centred with a red jelly, surrounded by strawberries and pineapple pieces. At this stage all the company retired to arm themselves with mugs, plates and tools of trade. When Owen and Co. gave the word, the horde rushed in, and Pavlova, jelly, strawberries etc. disappeared. Jean Seagert - trying to stock up for her trans-Siberian trip, just wasn't in the race, even tho' Owen had taken pity on her and given her the cardboard box with the remnants on it. She unfortunately had no spoon with which to scoop it out, and had to stand by and watch the more fortunate ones literally take the pavlova out of her hands, leaving her only the box to lick. By this time we were all interested in the “Eski”, so Owen opened up a large icecream cake, coloured and shaped as a Boree log with coloured flowers on it. We all made short work of that too.
A circle was formed and the judges gave their decision, with comments on the entries. Owen's library is now short of many interesting and informative books. One member was reading Upton Sinclair's “The Jungle” and is now an authority on the Canning Industry of America. While Isla and Herbert are studying “The Sino-Indian Boundary Question”. The next morning Frank was seen at the leader's tent reading from a Mormon Bible, but is not likely to be converted.
The Vaiseys had arrived in the meantime and we had no difficulty in persuading Margaret to fill up on icecream pavlova etc. and wind up with fried sausages. What a mixture!
Then we invited a few bods from round about, struck up our 4-piece orchestra a la Latin America, and had a pleasant singsong of folk songs for an hour or so. We finished up with a set of “Strip the Willow” dance, followed by the “Hoki Poki”.
Feasting, wining, singing and dancing finished at midnight. Everybody voted Owen's Gourmet Weekend an annual event from now on.
With The Gourmets At Era. (Version 2)
by Ivy Painter.
After the really hilarious and most enjoyable gourmet week-end at Era with Owen Marks a Number One Gourmet, it was agreed that this must not pass without some mention being made of what prove an historical event - historical in that (it is hoped) it may go down on record as the precedent to future annual events of similar nature.
Most of us arrived at Era on Saturday afternoon, having been detained by the voting. The weather was anything but promising. A steady drizzle greeted us at Waterfall, and conditions did not improve as the day progressed. Altogether, it was a dismal prospect and no Owen! As we reviewed the situation, the rain cleared as though to greet Owen and his entourage coming around the hill, loaded like mules, bedecked in oriental garb along with black umbrella. Then ensued much speculation as they proceeded to unpack the weird and wonderful assortment of goodies - the obviously most spectacular being the great fish tied on the side of Owen's gear. This was to prove the least spectacular, however, as other packages were produced. This certainly did not come under the category of a light-weight camp.
After settling in and much hilarity, we all set about the serious business of displaying our culinary skill. The desire to bedeck our table with flowers was suppressed. Bracken sufficed. Others were more ingenious, having gathered shells and succulents from the beach for decoration and candle bases. Owen's preparation proved to be a laborious one, as each time he produced another extravaganza, there were wild whoops of delight with everyone descending on him en masse, only to be ordered 'to hell out of it.'
Neville Page, claiming to be a connoisseur of some degree of good food and wine, acted as official judge. His costume was of dubious mixture, purporting an Eastern sage, methinks, but with the great dignity befitting his serious task, which he performed with much ceremony.
Everyone had entered into the spirit of the occasion. I'm still wondering was Frank responsible for the red bow on the wrong end of the Ashdown chicken, prepared by Jean and so attractively garnished with coloured onions, olives etc. Also noticed Don Woods & Co, sampling Elsa and Herb Papakellas' fondue, served in traditional continental style from bronze brazier, with appropriate sauces, wine - the,works. I must get that recipe of brains in batter from Ramon U'Brien, whose table-setting would do any hostess proud. Ern Farquahars' Cannibal servers added just the right interest to his salad platter and a striking contrast to Bet's Royal Daulton coffee cups. Late comers, Meriel Sternbeck and friend, produced 'a meal in a minute' in the form of a mixed grill with all the trimmings. Ros and I prepared our chicken camp fire style - alfoil in the coals, aided and abetted by the flies. All the while our gallant gourmet leader was plying his gastronomical skill in cooking and displaying that great fish. 'Twas told me was an Indonesian concoction. There was the Chef's Sukarno cap to prove it. We loved the pseudo baby fish, the figs, the wine, and oh! that tablecloth! But most of all we loved the 'Boree Log' and the pavlova filled with molded jelly, strawberries and cream. This, an ice-cream “Boree Log”, packed in 5 lbs of, dry ice, came all the way from Sydney. What a man!
Prizes were won by all. Any contributions of discard books, censored or otherwise, will be gladly accepted for future gourmet prizes. After prize-giving, our friends from neighbouring camps joined our campfire sing-song. Doug Worth with Tambourine, Don Woods with bongos and Russ Delbridge and his guitar added a really professional touch. I must not fail to mention the Chinese lanterns that hung gaily from the tent poles, adding a really festive air.
Sunday morning and a typical gourmet's 'Morning after the Feast Before' - lazing on the beach. The surf was really good, cold and invigorating on a very hot day.
As though to add the final touch of excitement to the week-end, Don Woods put on a display of snake charming much to the delight of a group of scouts, who first gave the alarm of 'Snake, Snake'. For many moons to come, your scribe will carry the memory of the gallant Sydney Bushies streaming down on that unsuspecting reptile, which now, I believe, abides with Don's friend in Blackheath. Should anyone doubt my story, the Farquhars have slides to confirm it.
With this we made our farewells, endorsing an earlier suggestion that the S.B.W. must endeavour to have bigger and better gourmet weekends in future.
For your information, twenty eight in all attended the camp - twelve members and sixteen prospectives.
Federation Report - November, 1966.
Report of meeting held on 3rd November. It was resolved in principal that a letter of protest be sent to the Blue Mountains National Park Trust if an application to put a road, pump and pipeline to the Wollangambie River from Mt. Wilson seemed likely to be approved. However, it is still hoped that the application would be refused.
A letter has been sent to the Premier of Tasmania supporting the South-West Committee.
Volunteer Bushfire Fighting - The Operations Officer of the National Parks Service has appealed for volunteers for bushfire patrolling and fighting.
All Clubs were asked in a determined effort to muster volunteers on the theme: “Good for Parks, Federation and Clubs.”
Tracks and Access:
Robertson Pass is now cleared. The track is in good condition except for ladders up the cliff. Lindemans Pass from the bottom of Robertsons Pass to the base of Sublime Point is to be cleared soon.
Search and Rescue:
On 23rd October, a party of three walkers met with a mishap when one of the party fell 30 feet down a rock slope while trying to scale an apparent break in the cliffs about 1 mile south of Perry's Lookdown. One of the three reported to Blackheath Police Station while the other stayed with the injured member. When found by a rescue party the injured person was not seriously hurt and was able to walk out. The search was conducted by the Police and members of S & R.
It was reported that quite a number of provisional and final 1:31,680 maps have been printed by the Lands Department in the Apsley, Mt. Kaputar, Barrington, Gloucester Tops, Namoi and Braidwood areas.
A new edition of Gundungra (Second Edition) has been published.
A map of Colong Caves by Bob Battie of Normanhurst is now available.
Wendy Butler died at the age of twenty on the 26th November 1966 when cascading in the Kowmung River. Her foot became jammed in a crevice at the bottom of a cascade and despite frantic efforts of her companions, she drowned.
Wendy was educated at Hornsby Girls' High School where she excelled in outdoor activities and matriculated to enter Sydney University to study Medicine. She was a keen member of the Sydney University Bushwalkers and was elected the first female Senior Vice President. The first girl across the line in the first of the University's 50-mile walks was Wendy. In the spirit of conservationism a campsite would never be left unclean when Wendy was on the trip. Her singing brought joy and entertainment to all who heard it.
With the encouragement of her mother, Dorothy, she made several climbing trips to New Zealand where she climbed more for the aesthetic qualities of the activity than to satisfy the egoistic drives from which we all suffer to some extent. She climbed in the Matuki, Darran, Tasman and other areas. Wendy was treasurer of the Australian Section of the New Zealand Alpine Club.
Amongst her Tasmanian trips were included Federation Peak both in summer and winter, and a traverse of the Western Arthurs. Probably the most successful winter trip in Tasmania made by mainlanders was co-led by her last winter. Her rock-climbing included a first ascent in the Budawangs. Possibly her greatest contribution to the climbing and walking fraternity was the confidence she inspired in others, especially the girl members of her club.
Wendy was nicknamed by her family and known by all as “Foxa”. A simple love of nature dominated her personality. She was interested in fauna and flora of Australia and New Zealand, and in particular had an avid interest in birds and her father's orchid growing hobby. Her curiosity was not only restricted to the bush, but in this age of chronic specialization she looked and wondered at almost everything, from new reasons for cats licking their fur to why semi-trailers have pendant lights. In fact amongst other reasons, because she felt Medicine was narrowing her interests, she gave up her course not long before her passing.
At this time of sorrow the temptation is too great not to be drawn into rationalising. To the parents who worry every time their sons and daughters go climbing or walking, I ask you to remember that you have never seen the grandeur and splendour of mountain scenery; nor heard the roar of waterfalls; nor swum between the messy walls of a canyon; nor felt the thrill of exposure on a rock climb and the smooth firm rock; nor experienced the friendship fostered by the outdoors nor witnessed the sun set behind icy peaks in a kaleidoscope of colour. Risk of life and chance of limb is the price we pay for these priceless experiences, so refreshing in a world of artificiality. Without bad there is no good. Without death there is no appreciation of life. The editor of a New Zealand Alpine Journal once said that we tend to extend the notion of the reality of death into everyday life encouraging us to live out the important issues and put aside trivialities. Grief is such a terribly egocentric thing.
I think it is a fitting tribute to Wendy to seize the opportunity to say the following: In our present society, so full of false values, we have exaggerated the roles of masculinity and femininity to such an extent that we are conditioned to believe that because of supposed biological handicaps a woman is not “feminine” unless she is physically weak and helpless, unintelligent,and totally dependent on the male. Behind a facade of overemphasis on sexual attraction we have lost the idea that sensitivity is a criterion of femininity. In the words of a psychologist, we have failed to recognise the presence of the opposite sex in each of us. A woman who takes up the supposedly masculine challenges of walking and climbing is therefore often considered not “feminine”. Wendy was an example of a truly feminine person - this must surely be the greatest tragedy of her untimely death.
Why she should so ironically die while being assisted by two of her warmest admirers, God only knows.
Sincere sympathy is extended to Dorothy, Ira, Rona, Wade and Norman.
Dorothy and Ira Butler and family most sincerely thank all Walking and Climbing clubs and their members for the assistance they have given over the past sad time, both in rescue work on the Kowmung and their presence at the funeral, and for the cards, flowers and messages of sympathy they have sent to show their sorrow at the loss of Wendy.
“It is not growing like a tree
In bulk, doth make Man better be;
Or standing long an oak, three hundred year,
To fall a log at last, dry, bald and sere.
A lily of a day
Is fairer far in May.
Although it fall and die that night;
It was the plant and flower of Light.
In small proportions we just beauties see;
And in short measures life may perfect be.”
(“The Noble Nature” Ben Johnson)
No fairer flower e'er walked the bush, than Wendy, Flower of Dorothy.