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The Sydney Bushwalker.

A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bushwalkers, 14 Atchison Street, St. Leonards. Postal Address: Box 4476, G.P.O., Sydney, N.S.W., 2001.

November 1971

EditorJim Brown, 103 Gipps Street, Drummoyne. Tel. 81-2675
TypistsKath & Christine Brown
DuplicationJim Vatiliotis
Business ManagerRamon U'Brien, 7/25 Dartbrook Road, Auburn. Tel 888-6444 (Business)

In This Issue.

From the Editor 2
At the October General Meeting 3
Echo from the Past - A Trip to the Snowy Mountains, 96 years agoDundas Allen 5
Letter from abroadFrank Leyden
Uralla to Kempsey (via Macleay River)Jess Martin11
Excerpts from the “Colong Bulletin” 13
Coming TalksPat Harrison14
Membership NotesGeoff Mattingley17
Federation NotesRay Hookway18
Christmas Party 20

Enquiries regarding Club….. Marcia Shappert Tel. 30-2028


Paddy's 6
Mountain Equipment16

From the Editor.

Inheritors of the Earth.

Until quite recently there were few people who paid any real attention to the quality of the environment. In that era the “developers” - often a polite term for the despoilers grabbing at the quick quid - were frequently acclaimed as pioneers, captains of desirable industries, benefactors of society.

Suddenly, over the last four or five years, there has been a dramatic switch in a large body of public opinion. Issues involving pollution, the indiscriminate squandering of natural resources, or devastation of unspoiled places, have provoked protest meetings and demonstrations at which substantial support has been expressed for Conservation principles in all their many forms. Preservation of a satisfactory environment has become the “in thing”.

Of course, some of these new-found conservationists have simply jumped on a popular band-waggon, and will be quite ready to divert their facile enthusiasm to some other crusade when the herd-instinct dictates it. Others certainly belong to pressure groups which find the environmental stick as good as any other to belabour a political or social opponent. In other words, some people will be doing the right thing for the wrong reasons, or without any real knowledge of the causes they are serving. Amongst these must be counted some quite sincere supporters of the campaigns to preserve Colong, Myall Lakes and the Illawarra Escarpment - people who have never taken pleasure in, or come to be familiar with the places they are striving to save from the villainous developer.

Unhappily, too, there will be a few who will seek to turn the public enthusiasm for environmental matters to their own financial advantage, or to use it to secure office or status. Governments are likely to pay lip service to the conservation ideal, so long as it doesn't prevent them facilitating the activities of influential industrialists.

This is where bushwalkers differ considerably from many of the people lately converted to conservation doctrines. Walkers have been preaching important features of nature preservation for upwards of fifty years, and during most of that time have been advocates of the wilderness crying in the wilderness, with just the occasional success to encourage them to keep on saying what they believed to be right. Walkers know what they want to save, and know why they want to save it. The word “know” is here used in both its senses - as an intimate and loving acquaintance with the lonely places, and as an awareness of the need to keep them unspoiled.

Amongst the recent rallies intended to stimulate public interest in environmental problems was an “Earth Day”. Walkers need such reminders less than most other people. Because they have the urge, the opportunities and the skills, they can find their enjoyment in the lovely unravished places of Earth, where few others ever venture.

It has been suggested that, in a happier age, the meek will inherit the Earth. Walkers may count themselves singularly blessed - already they have inherited much of the best of it.

At the October General Meeting (13.10.71).

With Secretary Don Finch otherly occupied, Vice-President Phil Butt joined the President on the dais and deputised during the October Meeting. Initially a small gathering of about 30, it built up during the evening. Two new members, Jane Parish and Alan Fall, were welcomed, and June Tyrell was named as elected, but was not present.

Minutes provoked no business, and in Correspondence we heard that Warwick Deacock's Ausventure Group was organising a series of Wilderness Camps; Dorothy Lawry had requested acceptance of her resignation, as she could no longer play an active part, but Jess Martin had written suggesting that Dorothy be offered Honorary Membership, and the Committee had eagerly adopted that line. There was advertising matter from Tasmanian Aviation Services giving prices and details of passenger transport or food-drop services. Jim Callaway felt he would not be able to get in to the Club frequently in future and had resigned as Federation Delegate - a successor was sought without immediate result.

Alan Hedstrom presented the financial doings, which showed we had received the fee for the T.V. Advertisement, and funds at the close of September stood at $1,083.

The Walks Report contained a fairly full account of activities in September, commencing with a trip from Medlow Gap into the Cox River country led by Don Finch in lieu of Ray Hookway: seven folk went along, and there was comment on some irregular patches of burnt scrub noticed in the Wild Dog Mountains. Alan Hedstrom had been prepared to take over leadership of Jack Perry's Instructional week-end, but with one starter only the event was cancelled. On the Sunday were two day walks, Nancye Alderson and party of 10 prowling around historical sites in the Woodford-Linden-Faulconbridge area, while Meryl Watman, who inherited Bill Hall's trip, varied it to go from Waterfall to Engadine via Uloola, and the party numbered 14.

During the second week-end Doone Wyborn and party of 8 were out in the Yalwal-Danjera country - a report had not been received, but it was understood they had not penetrated into Ettrema Gorge. Starting on the Saturday, Neville Page's team of 7 went to Blue Gum, camping away from the Forest, but noting other parties in the forbidden area.

Gladys Roberts (19 in party) covered the Sphinx - Mt. Kuring gai day walk on the Sunday, finding a nice wildflower display in the latter part of the trip.

The third weekend was the occasion of the Harrison/Finch two-way assault on the Colo-Capertee (reported in the October magazine), and two day walks on the Sunday: one was led by Jim Callaway in the Audley-Bundeena region, and attracted six starters, the other jointly conducted by Barry Zieren and Les Davidson, and passing through good wildflowers in the Mount Colah - Berowra country.

For the final week end there was the Finch/Wyborn bicycle marathon across the Northern Blue Mountains to Singleton, with 8 in the group. Despite a confusion of timber cutters' trails towards the Singleton end, they made it through, but rather late on Sunday. While the cyclists pedalled their way to the north-east, Tony Denham and team of 9 was in the Mount Sturgiss end of the Budawangs: they tested a report that there is a way direct from Hidden Valley towards Sluice Box Falls, but came to the conclusion it wouldn't “go”. Two easy day trips went on the last Sunday, David Cotton celebrating his Apiary-Darke's Forest centenary with 12 people, and Esme Biddulph's group of 21 (10 visitors) going to The Bluff-Euro Trig area.

Federation activities were reported in the previous issue, but as a rider it was related that the protest meeting on Myall Lakes held at Anzac House on October 7, attracted a full house and and overflow attendance - probably upward of 600 people present.

General Business brought a report from Alex Colley on recent moves by the Colong Committee - a summary of the main features of a Colong Bulletin appears in this issue. Nancye Alderson suggested thought might be given to a representation of the Club badge on cloth for attachment to packs and the like, and it was agreed that the idea be investigated. Bill Gillam announced that he had vast quantities of wildflower seeds for Coolana plantings, and some might be made available to members at a small cost to cover expenses on work at Coolana - further advice would be given later.

Wilf Hilder and Ray Hookway then presented information on two “coming attractions” which are likely to stir conservationists. One relates to a scheme to divert the new Western Highway south into the Blue Mountains National Park, rejoining the main ridge about Woodford - possibly to facilitate mining operations projected by the Clutha group! The other dealt with a new type of aerial direction finding apparatus likely to be installed as a great mesh of wires spanning a portion of the Nattai River valley. On these cheering notes we closed down at 9.15 p.m.

Echo from the Past.

(The other “echoes” published in recent months have been borrowings from earlier editions of our own magazine. As a temporary departure from that practice, we have a story of a trip to the Snowy Mountains almost a century ago, written by a friend of Gladys Roberts, who passed it on, feeling it would be of interest to present walkers.)

Trip to the Snowy Mountains 96 years ago.

by Dundas Allen

In these days, when a man can leave his office in Sydney on Friday afternoon, have two days in the Snowy Mountains, and be back in his office on Monday morning, an account that my father wrote of a ride from Myalla to Kosciusko and back in January 1875 makes interesting reading.

My father, who at this time was just 18, had been at Sydney Grammar School, but was then in his second year at Sydney University. Myalla is a station just south of Cooma, then owned by Edward Pratt, a master at Sydney Grammar, but managed by his brother, Sam Pratt, and is now owned by Edward Pratt's grandchildren. In those days masters and boys from Sydney Grammar School frequently spent school holidays at Myalla.

The railway line had reached Goulburn in 1869, and in 1875 anyone going to Cooma had to do the remaining 150-odd miles by Cobb's coach, going via Queanbeyan. My father's account only covers the actual ride from Myalla to Kosciusko and back, and I know nothing of his journey from Sydney to Myalla except that he left Sydney at 10.0 a.m. on December 20th, 1874, to go by train to Goulburn, thence coach to Cooma. Since he did not start on the ride until January 6th, he obviously spent Christmas at Myalla.

From here I shall let my father tell his own story from his diary.

Wednesday, 6 January 1875.

“Started from Myalla on our trip to Kosciusko. The party to ascend has sadly dwindled down - only Mr. Stephenson, Willie, Whitfeld and myself remain. Mr. Sam Pratt could not come at the last minute. We have for guide one of the men who was on the Snowy Mountains with Mr. Wallace six years ago - Jim Scully. Mr. Wallace was to have gone with us himself. Started out at 10.0 a.m., I on a tall grey horse - Greygo - Mr. Stephenson on the cob, Willie on a chestnut horse and Whitfeld on Cocky. Scully also rode and led a packhorse. Of course we all had our blankets and greatcoats strapped on our saddles. In fact we looked like a party of miners going to the diggings. (Mr. Stephenson was a friend of Edward Pratt, “Willie” was a friend of my father, and later well-known as Dr. Camac Wilkinson; Whitfeld is believed to have been a student at Sydney Grammar; and Mr. Wallace was a former owner of “Myalla” and at that time had a property near Berridale.)

“We did not halt at all during the day and at 6.0 p.m. arrived at Kalkite - a station of Mr. Donald Ryrie's - 35 miles from Myalla. We invited ourselves to stay the night, as indeed seems the country fashion to use other peoples' homes almost as inns. Mr. and Mrs. Ryrie were very kind and asked us to stay a night at Kalkite on our way back from the mountains. Of course, we gladly accepted.

“The day had been, and was still, very hot, so we were glad to find a cherry garden close to the house. Though they were only the wild or Kentish cherries we enjoyed them very much. Towards evening there was a thunderstorm and several showers fell before we went to bed. We shall have a miserable camp on the mountains if the rain continues. (Kalkite is on the Eucumbene River, just above its junction with the Snowy River.)

Thursday, 7 January 1875.

“Gloomy morning. Up early. Started off about 7.20 a.m. Crossed the Snowy which was not deep about 8.0 o'clock, and halted on the hills about 900 feet above the River at 9.0 a.m. for breakfast, which consisted of tea, damper and some tinned meat. Started again about 11.15. As we ascended I suppose we got into the clouds, for a gradually increasing rain came on and lasted for over two hours - just long enough to wet us thoroughly. During the rain we halted for nearly an hour on a hill, from which we got our first clear view of Kosciusko. It appeared nearly covered with snow. The first snow we passed close to us lay, so far as I could afterwards estimate, about 5700 or 5800 feet above the sea. It was only a small patch, quite hard frozen. The rain cleared off in the afternoon and it was quite fine about 4.30 when we reached the place where we intend to camp for the night - about 20 miles from Kalkite and nearly 6000 foot above the sea. We hobbled the horses, lit a good fire, had tea and otherwise tried to make ourselves comfortable.

“A thick fog came on about 8.0 p.m. - more like a Scotch mist than anything. The day was not so cold but the night rather chilly - at midnight 45. Did not sleep well. Had to get up several times to put wood on the fire.

Friday, 8 January 1875.

“Got up before 5.0. Had some breakfast and at 6.30 started off to walk to Kosciusko. We had a terrible climb. I was never so thoroughly exhausted in my life and don't think I ever shall be. The distance was nothing and it was not the 1,400 feet or thereabouts of the ascent that tired us, but it was the succession of ridges we had to cross - the alternate ascent and descent. I am sure we ascended three or four times the height of Kosciusko above our camp, if we include all the hills. We were all wet through almost directly we started, owing to the wet grass and scrub, and besides that we had to walk through the river. There was quite a lot of snow in patches of several acres in extent - some of it was over 4-ft in depth, but quite hard and frozen so that we walked over it without sinking - we could not make very good snowballs. The air in the morning was cold, but as the day wore on the sun became powerful though the air was still cool. We got on to what Scully said was the summit about 11.0 a.m. It was a long and rather narrow ridge. As we walked along it I saw through the clouds a peak evidently much higher and apparently precipitous. I showed this to Mr. Stephenson and he agreed that was the summit and that we had better try and get up that.

“We had to descend into a deep gully and then ascend a steep cone-like hill about 800 feet above the gully. It was a dreadful climb. Scully and Mr. Stephenson got up first, and we afterwards - about 20 minutes to 1. I must say I was delighted though tired. On the top of the cone is an enormous natural pile of stones about 40 or 50-ft in height, and on to of this is a round cone of stones placed by some surveyor - about 8 or 10 feet high. On this we sat in turns so that we could say that we were for the time the highest people in Australia - 7,300 feet above the sea. We all wrote our names on a slip of paper and put the paper in a tin matchbox, and fastened the matchbox to the top most stone. I also brought down a piece of the top of Kosciusko with me. We descended off the stones and ate our dinner of damper and jam and snow on the grass. I forgot to say that we could distinctly see the Murray on the west side. It rises just at the foot of the mountain. The day, however, was not good for seeing. The mountains and gullies (very deep on the Victorian side) were pretty clear but the whole of the low country was hidden by clouds.

“We did not stay on the mountain but came down early, and as it afterwards turned out, luckily, for had we stayed longer we should have been unable to find our camp through the fog. We went back to our camp by a somewhat easier route that the one by which we had ascended. We had one little dangerous piece of climbing however - the only dangerous place on our journey. There was a very steep hill - slippery and very nearly covered by snow, and very high - more like the side of a gully than a hill. We crawled down this on our backs, clinging to the grass and making holes in the snow to put our feet in. Had we slipped we should have slid over the snow on to the rocks beneath. However we didn't slip. We got back to the camp in the midst of a thick mist - fearfully tired. The night was damp and cold, still I slept very well.

Saturday, 9 January.

“Luckily a fine morning. Had there been a fog we could not have found our way down the mountain. Rode on quietly and arrived at Mr. Ryrie's before 5.0. We also halted five hours in the heat of the day. So we have been successfully up and down Kosciusko, and what is more we went higher than any of the other people we know to have been up. Neither Mr. Wallace nor Mr. Ryrie, no anyone they know of had been right up to the cone. They had only got on to the ridge. I think the most remarkable thing of the whole expedition is that we did not see one snake or one centipede, for which reptiles Kosciusko has a great reputation. Some men who were up with Mr. Wallace say they killed 19 snakes one day. I don't believe that.

Sunday, 10 January.

“Started early and rode back to Myalla before dark. Got two batches of home letters”.

At this point my father's account stops, but Edward Pratt's diary notes that the party arrived back at Myalla on January 10th. His return journey was made via Nimmitabel, then riding across to the coast at Merimbula and back to Sydney by coastal steamer. Whitfeld left Myalla on foot later to walk to Eden - a distance of about 90 miles.

Many years ago my father told me that, from what he had learned later, he was in some doubt as to whether the summit they reached was Mt. Kosciusko or Mt. Townsend. The question is not of much importance. Kosciusko (7314-ft) and Townsend (7215-ft) - which is about 2 1/2 miles from Kosciusko - are both points on the main range. If my father did mistake the two mountains he was not the only person to do so, for in 1870 the Victorian Survey Department in making a survey of the Victorian border, prepared a map in which Mt. Townsend is shown as Mt. Kosciusko.

Paddy Made.

Bushwalkers, of course, are a crowd of rugged individualists…. we wouldn't have it otherwise.

Just think of the different kinds of footwear they use -

Boots with heavy rubber soles.
Boots with hobnails.
Desert boots.
Golf shoes.
Sandshoes (volley-type tread).
Sandshoes (other).
Gym boots.

For all we know there may still be a few ripple sole enthusiasts.

Well, it's the same with packs, and tents and sleeping bags, and all the other paraphernalia walkers carry. Some people have made up their minds what to take, and don't intend to change it. Others are still looking around until they work out just what suits them exactly.

Have a look at Paddy's catalogue of gear and equipment - you'll find it caters for all comers. Has done for nearly forty years.

Paddy Pallin Pty. Ltd. Lightweight Camp Gear.

69 Liverpool Street, Sydney. 'Phone 26-2685

Letter from Frank Leyden, abroad.

East Grimstead, Sussex (in orbit from hotel to hotel) 3rd October, 1971.

Dear Fellow Walkers,

My “charter” trip to England took five of the latest aircraft and a gastronomical impossibility of exotic dishes, and I'm only starting to resurface on good old English fish and chips. The trip was fabulous. Perth was more beautiful than I've ever seen and the wildflowers delightful. I was motored just about everywhere in Perth, Fremantle, suburbs and beaches, and hopelessly overfed.

The dreamy-smooth Convair to Kuala Lumpur was transformed from a magic carpet when we hit some 40,000-ft thunderclouds over Indonesia. In fact the coffee was rather spilt, and there are occasions when seat-belts are useful. And how those wings flap about!

Djakarta with its red tile roofs and palm trees was hot and humid. My picture-window bedroom in the Federal Hotel at Kuala Lumpur had a view like Geehi with the Warrumbungles in front. The rotating restaurant at the top had marvellous views in all directions.

Next day, for $3.00 an hour, I hired a private guide with an air-conditioned Holden and was King for a day. The palaces, mosques and gardens everywhere were most impressive, also Batu Caves and the five-legged cow. A Fokker Friendship and crab salad took me to Singapore and the even posher Equatorial Hotel. Divided highways, roundabouts, nature strips, everything tree-lined, drooping staghorns, elkhorns, ferns, orchids, flowers and colour everywhere.

Another private guide next day, and thanks to Frank Ashdown's propaganda, I headed straight to Tiger Balm Gardens. Wow! what a place - fantastic Chinese sculptures, grotesque and cartoon-like, amazingly coloured, and startling tableaux. Then the view over the City and harbour from Mt. Faber. And a tour of the beautiful botannical gardens and city. And then the SHOPPING! - for which Singapore is world famous. From shop to shop looking at cameras, watches, tape recorders, etc., one-third or so of Sydney prices. Drinking their free drinks and buying nothing, until one put a can of Singapore Tiger Beer into (the heat and sweat and thirst of the tropics is just flattening). I even lost some of my capacity to drive a crippling bargain. Quick as a flash, the salesman started to prepare a lunch for me on the counter.

You know, this treatment sharpens one up. So does travelling charter. Charter travel starts at Kuala Lumpur. It ain't what the charter ticket in Sydney says. Thanks to my private guide I found the Travel Office in Kuala Lumpur, who discarded the Sydney ticket and wrote a new one. Different time… different flight… and ring at such a time, as the departure time might be different… and be there 2 1/2 hours before to queue for baggage check, seat issuing, membership of “Club” cards. It takes a helluva time to go through the formalities of packing 200 people on to a mighty 707. All in the sweaty heat. Day and night always 80 to 90 F. and 80-90% humidity. And you have to be wide awake to pick up the messages on the speakers from the multiplicity of languages. I'll always go charter. It's exciting!

Dawn just after Karachi, and the incredible harsh, stark mountains of Iraq, Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean. Over the top of Mount Ararat - I wouldn't have been Noah or Moses or any of those blokes in a place like this! Cup of tea for $1.00 in Athens ushered us into Europe and reality.

Traffic is thick, fast and solid in London, where it's very hard to got across streets. Dirt and litter everywhere and faces from every corner of the Globe. Weather warm to mild. Sussex Downs delightful. East Grimstead a very interesting and historic area.

Kind regards to all, Frank Leyden.

Uralla - Kempsey (Via Macleay River).

by Jess Martin

One February Sunday in the late 1930's saw four of us - Jeane Travis, Gordon Mannell, Lance (Donnie) Bryant and myself - on the Glen Innes Mail, our destination Uralla, and our plans to walk down Postman's Creek, the Macleay River to George's Creek, along the Armidale-Grafton road to Ebor, and then down the Bellinger River, to the Point Lookout and Dorrigo.

We left Uralla before lunchtime on the Monday, after receiving some local information from the Town Clerk, and then plodded along the road out to Dangar's property “Gostwyck”, where we had a delightful camp on fragrant pine noodles under a tall row of pines near the sheep dip.

Away early next morning out on the Enmore Road, and into Sherwood Forest where we camped for a couple of days, being very hospitably entertained by 78 year-old Sam Dodds, a pensioner/prospector who lived alone (except for his dog) in a self-built slab and bark hut. He was very pleased to have such good listeners and, to show us his prowess as a miner, led us down into his gold mine. Very reluctantly I followed him and my friends, down his home-made sapling ladders (which could be felt pulling out slightly from the wall of the shaft as we descended) to the 80-ft. level where he had cut a cross-shaft, the main shaft being another 40-ft deep. Mr. Dodd lit a candle a few feet inside the entrance to the cross-shaft and the flame promptly disappeared; we beat a hasty retreat due to the bad air and this time I was first out of the shaft!

Our host claimed that his powers as a water diviner helped him in his search for gold and gave us a demonstration, walking along with a forked peach twig which began to tremble and then to bend toward the ground, the old man obviously exerting some effort to keep the dowsing rod horizontal. He suggested we try it and Jeane held one of the forks whilst he held the other. The twig behaved exactly the same and Jean said she could feel a power pulling the point of the fork downwards. I have always been sceptical of divining but, on the insistence of my friends, could not escape my turn. When I held the fork and followed the same track as Jean, the rod did not behave so positively as before. Old Sam said grey or blue-eyed people made much more successful diviners than the brown-eyed!

Mr. Dodd said he always called each of his claims after a brand of whisky, the present one being “Glenkinchie”. He was always hopeful some wealthy concern would buy him out.

We were then shown how to dolly a piece of gold-bearing quartz and to wash the gravel and dust in a sluice box with a screen over an amalgam sheet to catch the gold specks.

Next morning we were up early and later that day we were in the Valley. The Postman's Creek falls steeply through a rough gorge.

In the valley we met some men droving a small herd of cattle and they were amazed to see two “ladies” walking in that country. The river banks were beautifully green and the water clear. We marked off on our sketch map the mouths of the Styx and Chandler Rivers as we passed them. Gordon spent a short time washing in a dish some of the sand at the confluence of the Chandler and Macleay Rivers but found no gold.

Up till now we had had perfect weather, but then it started to rain and, when it rains on the North Coast, it comes in inches. Near Kunderang Creek we sheltered one night in an old slab building, which later we found to be part of “Kunderang” Station. As it was Gordon's birthday, a special damper was made in a camp oven we found in the hut.

By this time the river was rising very rapidly, so we made as much speed as possible down stream. The main river was impossible to ford and we had difficulty in crossing side streams, every depression and gully was running deeply.

At “Kunderang” homestead Mr. Alex McDonald, who was alone except for his father (on a visit) and two aboriginal stockmen, kindly allowed us to use an old slab building for shelter. This I believe was the original home, one room and a kitchen. A large open fireplace was equipped with chains in the chimney and we soon made ourselves comfortable. The “Kunderang” homestead, entirely built of red cedar, had once housed a large family, and Mr. McDonald, Senior, told us an amusing story of their efforts to bring in the family piano and other large furniture.

A couple of nights at “Kunderang” and then to George's Creek, from whence the mail goes in to “Kunderang”, a delightful camp at Five-Day Creek just off the road and on to Comara, from there to Ebor.

All this time it was raining steadily and at Comara we were given the key to the little schoolhouse where we slept. We were advised by the storekeeper and others not to attempt the Bellinger River as it was also in flood, so we continued along the road to Kempsey.

I am sure we could have successfully completed the planned trip, as we heard later a mob of cattle had been taken through the day before we arrived in Comara - but country people think City folk are incompetent and I am sure they had visions of searching some wild and rough country for us.

Despite the incessant rain we had had an enjoyable holiday, met some delightful people and seen interesting and beautiful country, and after boarding the train at Kempsey for Sydney, an uneventful journey home.

The story by Jess Martin on pages 11 and 12 was inspired to some degree by an article from Frank Leyden published on the issue of May, 1968. A paragraph from Frank's story goes -

“We talked with Alex MacDonald, manager of Kunderang Station, 8 miles down the Macleay River. The rare sight of a bushwalker is always remembered… (Alex MacDonald) said 'There was a bushwalker from Sydney during the war who came down Kunderang with a push bike' (would it perhaps be the late Max Gentle?) 'Me must have got pretty tired carrying it! Then there was another party of two chaps and two girls in 1937 (Jess' Party). 'Then at Easter there was about 14 of them, with girls and ropes - from Sydney. Came down Rowley Creek and went up Reedy. One had a red beard - he laughed all right - could hear the laugh for miles. Next day we were mustering and couldn't find the castle for days” (Ross Wyborn and party.)

Excerpts From The "Colong Bulletin" - September, 1971.


Notwithstanding statements indicating that the final decision on mining at Colong would be announced, no such determination had been released up to Sept. 30th. (see footnote)

Boyd Plateau

Two representatives of the Colong Committee saw the Minister for Mines and Conservation in August. They were assured the future of the Boyd area would be reviewed, and no further forestry operations in Konangaroo State Forest were currently proposed. (However, on September 10 an area of 1250 acres near Council Creek, an upper tributary of the Kowmung System, was gazetted for addition to the Konangaroo State Forest. The Committee has written the Minister expressing its concern)

Bungonia Area

During May and July the Colong Committee appeared before a Mining Warden's Court in connection with the development of limestone mining operations at Bungonia. It was the first time that objections in the public interest have been the grounds for a hearing at such a Court.

The objectives of the Committee were achieved to a large extent, although the results were not entirely as favourable as hoped. Witnesses from a wide range of conservation bodies were in attendance, and evidence was given by a Consulting Engineer that the Mullock and spoil from mining operations could be dumped in places that would not be injurious to the environment at a cost that would not materially affect the price of manufacturing cement.

The Mining Warden aid not accept the Committee's view that in no circumstances should a public reserve be mined, but he did accept that very stringent conditions should be placed upon any proposal to mine a reserve. These conditions included containment and restoration measures.

It was evident that the Southern Portland Cement Co. had already illegally dumped spoil into reserves, and sought the right to dump additional mullock into headwaters of Barbers Creek.

The Warden's judgement reduced the area of lease for depositing spoil from 400 acres to 138 acres, and required the building of retaining walls and revegetation of the area. So far as consistent with safety the public were to have access to the leased area. It should be noted that the Warden's role is advisory, and responsibility for allowing the violation to continue is now entirely a question for the Minister and the Government.

Note: Daily papers on November 3rd contained a report that State Cabinet had discussed the termination of leases for mining limestone at Mount Armour (Colong). However there were indications that alternative mining operations at Marulan may result in damage to the famous “slot” on Bungonia Creek.

Coming Walks.

by Pat Harrison, Walks Secretary.

December 3,4,5Another chance to see the Myall Lakes and thus be better equipped to argue the case for their conservation and to press your local parliamentary representative to do something about it.
December 3 4,5Ray Hookway has one of the old favorite classic trips in the Kanangra-Kowmung region. Spectacular views from the Wa1ls, a steep dropdown from Cambage Spire to the glorious Kowmung, then take your choice of Lilos or Shanks's Pony for the scenic passage of Bulga Denis. A good steady climb back to the Walls on Sunday by way of Roots Ridge. (See footnote * ).
December 4,5Roger Gowing, one of our wandering sons, has come home again and has immediately set an example by leading several trips. This one is an Abseiling Instructional at Mt. Wilson. Here's your chance to escape the coastal heat for a couple of days and to learn something at the same time. Alan Pike is co-leader.
December 5Bill Hall put this walk on specially so that Prospective Members could have the choice of a day Test Talk. A bit of scrub on Scouter's but otherwise easy going.
December 5When David Cotton put his first Bee walk on he thought it would be the first and last but, like temporary taxation or other measures introduced by Governments during war, it is still with us. The reason of course is vastly different… David's bees have proved so popular that he has to keep putting them on the programme.
December 10,11,12The Hon. Walks Sec. has a leg stretcher to Barrington. Plenty of fire roads, but we shall avoid them after we complete the 4,000 ft ascent to the Tops, where we shall begin with an inspection of the cunningly concealed Selby Alley Hut, then a dash across the alpine plains to try our hand with the trout in the Barrington River and Brumlow Creek, before camping near Brumlow Hut on Saturday. A visit to the Beean Beean Plain on Sunday morning, then back to Barrington House via Carey's Peak and the Antarctic Beeches. The walk passes through a wide vegetation range… Blue Gums and Rain Forest on the Williams River track, Rain Forest and Antarctic Beeches on the way to the Tops, then Snow Grass and Snow Gums.
December 10,11,12David's Bees will be in the background this weekend as he conducts an exploration of the Darkes Forest area, commencing with a barbecue on Friday night. And all of this is only 35 miles from Sydney.
December 11,12Nancye Alderson has an easy swimming trip to Woods Creek, the locale for many a successful Reunion. Walking will be minimal and taxis will be used beyond Richmond.
December 12Kath Brown reckons that, with some of the regular day-walk leaders unavailable, there could be a shortage of easy day trips to beaches on the summer programme. Hence this walk to Burning Palms going out on the top trail, down the Squeeze Hole track, and returning via the Palm Jungle.
December 18,19Bob Younger leads one of the favorite walks of yesteryear. Saturday morning start, only a moderate distance to cover, swimming, a popular leader, and a Test Walk.
December 18,19All Prospective Members must attend an Instructional Week-end if they wish to become full members of the club. Spiro Ketas, an old hand at this kind of thing, takes command of this one in and around Carlon's Green Gully. Of course these Instructional Week-ends are a pleasant outing for everyone.
December 12Don Finch leads the first of several Li-lo trips in the Mt. Wilson area this programme. Be sure that your Li-lo doesn't let in water before you go. (See footnote * ).
December 24,25,26,27,28An extended trip in the Cox valley at Christmastide, led by Owen Marks and another one in the Kosciuscko area, led by Don Finch. The attractions of Owen's trip are its closeness to Sydney, the fast-flowing rivers suitable for swimming and fishing, and the varied scenery. The attractions of Don's trip are that it takes in the highest peaks in Australia and the glacial lakes which lie at their feet. Too cold for swimming, and there are usually snowdrifts lying along the Main Range between Kosciusko and Twynam.
December 31, January 1,2,3The month concludes with another extended trip to the Kanangra-Kowmung area. There will be walking, li-loing, a creek exploration, an exploration of Church Creek Caves which are involved in the Colong dispute, pleasant campsites, and a good ridge walk at the end. PLEASE NOTE that Peter requires notice from intending starters by Christmas.

* Footnote: At the November Committee Meeting it was resolved that members attending trips on which li-los are used to travel along streams should be advised -

(a) Only competent swimmers should attempt these trips.

(b) Lilos used should be of robust material - NOT thin plastic fabric.

Membership Notes.

by Geoff Mattingley, Membership Secretary

Hullo folks of World! This is your new Membership Secretary speaking. As you will have read, Barbara Bruce has resigned from the position, and I have taken over, making a bad start on the job by not having any Membership Notes ready in time for the last Magazine. However, to make up, here's a double issue.

During October, three people were accepted to membership of the club. They were Alan Fall, June Tyrrell and Jane Parish. During November, only one person became a member - Peter Munday. Congratulations, all!

We extend a warm welcome to the following new prospective members:

Christine Kirkby, Margaret Long, Joan Finlay, Dudley Finley, Ken Stuckey, Janet Studdert, Clifford Jones, Ian Cook, Rod Peters, Peter Nex, Francis Richards, Rosemary Edmunds, Jim Gardner, Anne Finedon, John Ellis, Louise Burn, Jean Logie.

And now a warning to the following prospectives, whose term expires at the end of November, and who should either be ready to appear before Committee on December 1st, or request an extension of their prospective membership:

Parbpra Altorjai, Stuart Conroy, Barbara Gorrie, Susan Hancock, Cedric Leathbridge, Phillip Miller, Kay Piper, Louise Rowen, Frank Wyndham, Zenda Spry, Edmund Becus, Barry Foy, Marie Hancock, Valerie Hannaford, Victor Mason, Michael Owens, Barry Rowe, Brenda Scerri, Hugh Stark.

I would be grateful if readers who may be in contact with any of these people could pass on the message.

Federation Notes - October, 1971

by Ray Hookway

The mood of the October meeting was somewhat dampened by the resignation of Ninian Melville as Director of Search and Rescue. Nin, who has filled this role for 13 years, spoke feelingly of his regret at leaving and expressed his gratitude for the loyalty and support he had received over the years from his associates in S. and R. In accepting his resignation the meeting expressed its regret and thanked Nin for the magnificent job he has done in building up and maintaining the high efficiency of Federation Search and Rescue over the past years.

Mr. Robert Pallin was elected to the position of Director of Search and Rescue.

Rescue at Carlons Head

44 S. and R. personnel, 4 policemen and one N.P.W.L.S. ranger participated in the rescue of Ian Olsen of the CMW who fell about 10 ft. from the bottom of the first section of Carlons chains and rolled about 40 ft. Ian was lowered to the bottom and whisked off to Prince Henry Hospital by Air Force Helicopter and is now up and about without any after effects. Both Ian and his parents have written to Federation to express their appreciation of the help rendered by the S. and R. section and Ian has made a generous donation to S. and R. funds.

Access to Morton National Park

The Goulburn Land Office has written confirming the access route to the Budawang area from the west, and enclosing a map. A copy of this map showing the legal access will be posted on the SBW notice board.

Minto Wallerawang Power Line

Following on an invitation from the Electricity Commission, Federation conservation delegates, Gordon Edgecombe and I are to meet with representatives of the Commission early in November to discuss the proposed power line route.

Federation Ball

This year the ball committee excelled itself. Except for one club, all outstanding ball and raffle ticket money has been collected. This apparently is something of a record for these functions.

National Parks Association membership

After some discussion the NPA was accepted for membership of Federation. Because of the large membership and the composition of the NPA, affiliation fees are to be determined by the next Federation annual general meeting meanwhile a nominal affiliation fee of $30 is to be charged.

New ladders at the Golden Stairs, Katoomba

The CBC has informed Wilf Hilder that there is a new set of ladders on the Golden Stairs.

Search and Rescue Committee

The Search and Rescue section of Federation are anxious to obtain more participation by the various member clubs. They propose to increase the size of the committee and are calling for at least 10 members from each club. Meetings are to be held once a month and film nights, demonstrations and first aid classed are to be arranged. Interested members should contact Heather White (98-6526) direct.


Latest news is that the Minister for Mines has withdrawn permission for Clutha to prospect for or mine coal in the Blue Mountains. The real reasons for the repeal will probably never be known but it is certain that the vigorous protestations of the Blue Mountains residents played a large part. The lesson to be learnt from this incident is that individuals can exercise their rights and get results by combining their efforts. Have you written to your member lately about Myall Lakes or Clutha on the South Coast? If not, why not?

Dot Butler and Owen Marks have just returned from investigating areas around the border between N.S.W. and Queensland that might be suitable as National Barks. They popped in to see Eileen and Jack Wren at Coffs Harbour - and received a message that the Wrens wish to be remembered to all their S.B.W. friends.

Lesley and Neville Page are just back from a tour of outback N.S.W. Mootwingee, out from Broken Hill, was their objective, and they were pleased with the way in which this historic site is managed.

Barbara Bruce, our energetic ex-Membership Secretary, is at present at Broken Hill, on the first leg of her working holiday tour around Australia. She has her sights set on Adelaide, Melbourne, then over to Tasmania… and who knows where.

Question for topographers. Where is the Six Foot Track ? How many gates and fences are there on it?

Walks leaders during October produced conflicting reports on the conditions along the track. One party claims to have climbed over six fences; another records four gates and two fences. There seems to be scope for another kind of marathon… how many fences can you climb over when following the track.

The Colo River valley is an intriguing place. Once upon a time, if you wanted to “do” the Colo, you did the lot, like a party back in 1934 that went from Newnes right down to Upper Colo. The development of the Putty Road, and the spread of fire trails, timber cutters tracks, and so on, has made it practicable to do the Colo in bits and pieces and in the compass of a normal week-end.

In the previous issue we had Pat Harrison's story of Stage I - Glen Davis down the Capertee and Colo and out via Culoul Range. Shortly we hope to publish Part II - Boorai Creek down to Angorawa Creek - and then you'll have times and some information about the country almost all the way.

Announcement Extraordinary.

Christmas Party at Atchison Street, St. Leonards.

Now that we have a club room where such things can happen, it is planned to hold -

S.B.W. Christmas Party, December 1971.

at The Club Room, Atchison St., St. Leonards.

on Wednesday, December 15, 1971.

Drinks, both soft and hard, to be provided by the Club.

Members are asked to contribute to the foodstuffs, and the organising genius, Owen Marks, offers the following suggestions:

Savouries, Biscuits (plain and fancy), Dips, Potato crisps, Cakes, Cheese (multiple varieties), Sandwiches.

Present plans include the installation for the evening of a music reproduction system, and dancing, possibly including demonstrations and participation in Square Dances.

If you are one of those who has so far felt St. Leonards is off the map, try your luck on December 15, and you may come back again.

197111.txt · Last modified: 2016/03/16 16:17 by tyreless

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