Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker.
Established June 1931.
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476 G.P.O., Sydney, 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.30 pm at the Cahill Community Centre (Upper Hall), 34 Falcon Street, Crow's Nest.
|Editor||Ainslie Morris, 45 Austin Street, Lane Cove, 2066. Telephone 428,3178.|
|Business Manager||Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2118. Telephone 871,1207.|
|Production Manager & Artist||Helen Gray.|
|Printers||Phil Butt and Barry Wallace.|
In This Issue:
|Byles Creek Named||2|
|Brown Snake||Morag Ryder||3|
|The Country With a Human Face||Wal Liddle||4|
|Museum of Bushwalking and Bushwalkers Centre||Alex Colley||6|
|New Zealand Notes||Gordon Lee||9|
|The December General Meeting||Barry Wallace||12|
|Letter to the Editor||Paul Mawhinney||13|
|St. John Ambulance First Aid Certificate Course||14|
|Social Notes for February||Roger Browne||14|
|Eastwood Camping Centre||8|
Happy New Year to all bushies and their families! 1985 is starting well, considering that a January issue of the magazine was touch and go - or gone, like most regular magazine collators. Hardly anyone was going to be left in Sydney to produce this issue, but tradition is tradition, and the mag. must go on every month. It is now in its 54th year.
This month lots of people are away on extended trips - in Tassie, New Zealand, South Coast, Snowies. And you'll notice that the articles in this issue are mostly about overseas places. So all you battlers of the Xmas bulges, we want your accounts of your trips coming in over the next few weeks. I promise I'll lead the way if you'll follow.
Byles Creek Named.
(From The North Shore Times)
The Creek Is Named.
A creek flowing through Pennant Hills Park is no longer a stream without a name.
The National Trust approved of the name, Byles Creek, after an approach by the Beecroft Cheltenham Civic Trust through the Hornsby Council.
However, the name still has to be lodged with the Geographical Names Board, which is expected to approve.
The environment director of the trust, Mr C. H. Prateen, wrote:
“The trust recognises the significant contribution made by the Byles family to conservation. Miss Byles had a deep appreciation and respect for the bushland through which the un-named creek flows.”
(It is nice to see another S.B.W. member's name on the map, this time in the Sydney rather than a wilderness region. Ed.)
The hot weather is with us again, and snakes are in evidence, which means it is time for all those wildly exaggerated snake stories to be trotted out again.
Australian snakes must be among the least belligerent in the world, as my numerous encounters with them have amply proved. Yet snakes continue to be reviled, hunted and ruthlessly killed, usually for no reason except that they are there.
Accordingly, I should like to say a few words on their behalf:-
by Morag Ryder.
Knee deep in ferns, I blundered
Onto a sunny rock
There, arrayed in all his glory
A brown snake glistened in new-minted mail.
Glorious as a Greek hero
In freshly polished armour
Not even Achilles could have looked
More radiant or more deadly.
With princely dignity he raised his head
Surveyed me with golden eyes,
Then politely turned his head away
Giving me the signal to pass.
Slowly I walked on, watching
Him re-arrange his shining sinews
For comfort, on the sun warmed rock
And shading his eyes with a tuft of grass.
Why are such beautiful creatures persecuted,
Slaughtered by the brutal, for no good reason
Perhaps their mysterious ways frighten us -
What we cannot understand, we destroy.
The Country With A Human Face.
by Wal Liddle.
(Ed. This is the first of a four-part article on Wal's group bike tour in Southern China. A map and photos will appear in the February issue.)
We entered China via the Macau border post under the red and gold flag of the Peoples' Republic.
The customs officers, both men and women, were taller than the normal Chinese and wore dark blue uniforms with brass buttons and gold badges. A single Red Star was worn in the blue peaked cap. One woman officer was very interested in my books, especially the one on philosophy by Alan Watts. My thoughts turned to the sayings of Mao, the Little Red Book and Hitler's book burnings.
Was I to become the victim of State Bureaucratic oppression as some of my friends had predicted or would I live to see another day? Well, I wasn't considered to be a capitalist reactionary because after a few brief questions she waved my bike and luggage through the final barrier. Imagine my surprise to see a duty free shop at the end of the customs building stocked with Johnny Walker whisky and other western goodies.
Our party of 15, consisting of 9 girls and 6 boys, lined up outside and we checked our 10-speed gears and the brakes ready for the days' ride. I was appointed leader and Malcolm the “tail”. Although it is impossible for a Westerner to get lost in China it made for better organisation if we were grouped together between the leader and the “tail”. We were all clothed in jeans, beanies and gloves because of the cold weather.
Over the next 16 days we would ride 660 kms, cycling on each alternate day, with a bus tour on each rest day. The longest day's ride would consist of 110 kms between Foshan and Shaoquing. Our route with deviations would be from the border to Guangzhou (Canton) and north to Hot Springs. Some of us had trained in Australia preparatory to the trip but two of the girls had not ridden a bike for years. To the cry of “mush” we cycled out of the walled compound onto a tarred road which skirted an angry sea.
Our route passed by a number of small seaside villages where bamboo fenced pods stocked with white ducks could be seen. A large fishing net was draped across the entrance to the lagoon.
At a curve in the shoreline, the road deteriorated into a dirt track and cyclists had to be careful of punctures because of the sharp stones that were being spread on the ground by a gang of men and women. The macadam surface again materialised but we were “slowed” because only one lane was passable. Three men were slaughtering and skinning a water buffalo in the other lane.
Our accommodation for the evening was at the Stone Mountain Tourist Centre in rural Kwantung - a modern brick complex situated in a shallow valley surrounded by mountains. Booking into the hotel to the relayed sounds of “Buttons and Bows”, I was intrigued by the sign on my bedroom door which stated “If you're looking for your room maid after dark, please contact the main office”.
Late that evening we were infected by the gay laughter of Joseph, our Hong Kong interpreter, as we gathered round fireworks in the hotel grounds. Passers by were amused at our antics around the white and yellow fountains, the silver sparklers and the whistling red and blue rockets.
Our route the next day continued into the countryside; hens wandered across our path and a small chow dog barked at us as we passed through one of the villages. A group of ducks waddled along in military formation en route to the nearest pond, followed by their herder, a young boy who used a long stick with a flag on the end to control them. A gnarled old woman was ploughing a field, behind a water buffalo, dressed in black cotton slacks and jacket under a straw coolie hat. She was barefooted and sunk to her ankles at every step she took.
The school recess bell sounded as we turned down a dirt road to the Sun Yat Sen High School, the pathways being crowded with pupils on their way home for a two hour lunch. A loudspeaker was blaring out quotations from Chairman Mao:
“Young people should be able to achieve anything”
“The young should learn from the old”
“Young leaders should be better than the old leaders”
The heroes on the school wallboard consisted of Government leaders, opera stars and construction workers.
Next to the school was the home of the founder of modern China, preserved as a museum. Joseph whispered that the captions on some of the photos distorted the truth as they indicated that Dr. Sun Yat Sen was a “working class hero”.
The further we rode, the heavier the traffic became as we weaved in and out of hundreds of Chinese men and women riding their bicycles to the nearest town or coming home from a shopping expedition. Their bikes were heavy black or green, one or three speed, machines that were built for durability rather than for speed. As we came to a steep gradient, a middle-aged man was pushing a bike loaded to a height of two metres with a stack of green palm fronds. Further on, a man was doubling his wife, whilst their baby was tucked into the front basket. At a bend in the road we passed a bike with two large pigs slung in baskets from the rear carrier rack.
That afternoon, we were deafened by the honking horns of the buses and trucks that pulled out to pass us. Another hazard was the lack of road sense by the Chinese, who would change direction without warning or hand signals, imperilling their fellow cyclists including us Aussies. I learnt my lesson the hard way, when a Chinese gentleman turned across my path causing us both to do a “bike waltz”. It was pure chance that we did not hit each other and end up under a bus!
Late that afternoon we entered the outskirts of Shiqui, a large provincial city situated on a tributary of the Pearl River. Hundreds of bikes, pedestrians and three-wheeled carts were criss-crossing each other along the dusty streets with blue uniformed police directing the traffic at the major intersections. We came to a dead stop in a “people and bike jam” outside the building housing the “Peoples Insurance Company of China”, but eventually did our final weave down a wide avenue leading to the Overseas Chinese Hotel, a modern eleven storey building. The evening meal consisted of a seven course banquet with one of the dishes being a meat we did not recognise. Joseph informed us that the chow dog we had seen earlier might have ended in the cooking pot as a special treat for the overseas guests.
The next morning was spent wandering the town, absorbing sights and sounds, the narrow streets being lined with unpainted shops and stalls. The chemist shop sold only homeopathic medicines whilst the hardware store sold earth powders in different colours. Meat was sold uncovered and without refrigeration. An itinerant merchant was attracting attention [illegible] of ancient design whilst a magician performed his [illegible].
An old man had set up a table on the footpath complete with lacquered pots and brushes. For only a few cents he would paint Chinese characters on gold spangled red paper as a good luck symbol to welcome in the New Year. Two men, in civilian clothes, with red arm bands, patrolled the area on behalf of the Revolutionary Committee to prevent littering and enforce law and order.
Museum Of Bushwalking And Bushwalkers Centre.
(A copy of this letter was sent to the Editor by Alex Colley O.A., together with a full copy of the submission, of which the Summary is reproduced below. Would members like more details from it published, or like to write their opinions to me? Ed.)
7th Nov. 1984.
N.S.W. Council of the Australian Bicentennial Authority,
10th Level, 16-18 Bent Street, Sydney. 2000.
Through the Federation of Bushwalking Clubs, of which this Club is a foundation member, we have already expressed our endorsement of the Total Environment Centre's proposal for a museum of bushwalking and bushwalkers centre. We believe we could make a special contribution to the centre.
The Club was sponsored by the Mountain Trails Club in 1927, and many M.T.C. members became foundation members of the Sydney Bush Walkers. With visionary enthusiasm for the preservation of the remnants of our natural heritage, they inspired, under the leadership of Myles J. Dunphy (now O.B.E.) not only the Blue Mountains National Parks, but most of the major parks now in being. It is therefore most appropriate, for both national and historic reasons, that a record of early bushwalking activities should be preserved in tangible form.
It is also most appropriate that the museum be located in the Blue Mountains. Being near the population of the State it would be readily accessible. The mountains were favoured by the early bushwalkers, not only because of their accessibility, but because of the scenery and availability of water, and remain the most popular walking country. I personally started walking there as a boy in 1918, and have been returning frequently ever since.
The special contributions this club could make to the museum include:
Personal knowledge of early walkers
Old equipment, maps, photographs, etc.
Probably, a complete set of S.B.W. magazines
The magazine has been published since 1933. It has been extensively used by the writers of the books “Wild Places”, “The Colo”, and “Pigeon House and Beyond” and other publications and scripts.
We believe that the conservation work of the early bushwalkers is an important part of the nation's history. If material from these early days is not soon collected and preserved, it will remain dispersed and much of it will eventually be lost.
We therefore strongly support the submission of the Total Environment Centre.
(Signed) Alex Colley. Conservation Secretary, S.B.W.
Museum Of Bushwalking And Bushwalkers Centre In The Blue Mountains, New South Wales.
A submission to the NSW Council of the Australian Bicentennial Authority for a grant under the Commemorative Programme.
This submission is presented by Total Environment Centre, 18 Argyle Street, Sydney, 2000, phones: (12) 27 4714 and 27 2523.
It is supported by:
- Mr. Bob Debus, M.P. Minister for Employment and Finance and Member for Blue Mountains.
- The NSW Federation of Bushwalking Clubs.
This is a proposal for the planning and construction of -
(1) A permanent museum of the bushwalking movement, with public displays, at the entrance to the Blue Mountains National Park, the area where the bushwalking movement began. From the early bushwalkers of NSW came the strongest strand of the present-day conservation movement in this State. One of the most important and successful national park concepts in the State is the Greater Blue Mountains National Park. This concept was put forward by bushwalkers/conservationists in 1934 and is now almost fully realised. Thus the Museum will be an important educational and cultural resource regarding the growth of the conservation movement and Australia's only indigenous sport: Bushwalking.
The proposal also includes (2) a facility for modern bushwalkers visiting the Wollemi, Blue Mountains and Kanangra-Boyd National Parks. This bushwalkers' centre provides storage, toilet, cooking and rest facilities for those using the park.
Funding sought for this project is seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($750,000), over three years (see Budget).
Order Form - 1985 Calendar.
1985 Wilderness Calendars are now available, containing 13 Henry Gold coloured photos, reproductions, an introduction by Milo Dunphy, a map showing the location of the wilderness areas depicted, and a table of phases of the moon. There is space below each date on the calendar grid for the noting of engagements. By purchasing your calendar from the Colong Committee, rather than commercial booksellers, you will be contributing to wilderness conservation. It is an ideal gift for your conservation friends, or anybody else. Price includes postage to any address - $6.95.
To:- The Secretary, Colong Committee, 18 Argyle Street, Sydney, 2000. Please send copies of the 1985 Wilderness Calendar to:-
Address: ….. Postcode: …..
Enclosed is ….. for $ …..
Save The Daintree - World Heritage Rainforest. Car Stickers.
Available from Total Environment Centre, 18 Argyle Street for 40 cents, or from Colong Committee for 80 cents posted, or collect some to sell.
Eastwood Camping Centre.
Lightweight Tents - Sleeping Bags - Rucksacks - Climbing & Caving Gear - Maps - Clothing - Boots - Food.
Large Tents - Stoves - Lamps - Folding Furniture.
Paddymade - Karrimor - Berghaus - Hallmark - Bergans - Caribee - Fairydown - Silva - Primus - Companion - and all leading brands.
Proprietors: Jack & Nancy Fox. Sales Manager: David Fox.
Eastwood Canvas Good & Camping Supplies.
3 Trelawney St., Eastwood, NSW, 2122. Phone 858 2775.
New Zealand Notes.
by Gordon Lee.
Over “there” is a different country. “They” even speak a different language - N.Z.'ese. Ask any native, whether North or South, to say “hit” and his/her (Feminists please note) sounding of the short “i” vowel is a dead giveaway. Despite their peculiar speech they are friendly people, certainly those in the South Island which so far is the only I have visited.
My main object on this trip was to walk. Here again the language difference intrudes. Walking is not “walking” over there, it's “tramping”. This is not to be wondered at since the indigenous trampers have huge appendages hanging on the ends of their legs with which they pound the country into submission. Anyone who has the temerity to “tramp” their countryside in anything less than Blundstones, at 6 lbs a pair, is considered to be seriously lacking in the upper register.
The previous time I was here ('79) I was regarded by N.Z.'ers as a creature from outer space. They looked down at my sandshoed feet and wagged their heads knowingly. However this time I notice quite a large percentage of trampers are wearing lightweight footwear.
Offtrack tramping requires lots of patience and time. In fact I would say that by N.S.W. bushwalking standards it's extremely difficult. The surface of the terrain especially in forest areas is “lumpy”. Obviously the land has not had time to weather and erode as Australia has and this adds considerably to the problem of navigation.
Most of the tramping here has the object of getting to a “saddle”. To achieve this usually means an upward lift of from 1000' to 4000' up a ridge or stream valley till you are above the treeline, up over snowgrass to the saddle then down again via the same into another river system.
Once again differences become obvious before you have tramped very far. As we have our hazards in Australia (N.S.W.) so too in New Zealand there are those with which you must learn to cope.
Travel above the treeline looks easy but looks deceive. N.Z. snowgrass, the steepness and sometimes snow sees to this. Then there are the slips, where for hundreds of feet the hillsides have slid downhill, leaving bare impassable areas of mica schist.
N.Z. snowgrass, the hazard of the hills, is slippery wet or dry. Its frictionless action could be likened to a 45° slope covered with ball bearings. The tussocks occasionally hide a small spiky plant with 2 cm needles which can create a nuisance for the perspiring tramper grasping handfuls of grass for life preservation. Something like the iron maiden in reverse. However, since it is tussocked it does have the redeeming feature of being used as footsteps up or down, and other than the hidden nasties mentioned it offers lifesaving handholds so that over all it's not as black as it's painted.
N.Z. bush has almost as many nasties as ours, minus snakes of course. The low scrub is particularly thick and tough requiring a lot of time and energy to push through. Then there are things called “spaniards”, like pineapples gone wrong, with needles on strong, long, up and out leaves which penetrate even stout gaiters causing pain and blood.
And of course you can never forget, you are never allowed to forget, that you are in the land of the long white cloud, though this is mostly grey and invariably dripping. It rains and rains and rains so woebetide the unwary or foolish whose raingear is not the best for it can be a miserable existence. So in choosing gear, prevention of wetting is a prime consideration.
Who said N.Z. was the land of the long white cloud? Seems this person may have been colour blind. More likely the land of the small black cloud - of sandflies. These persistent small black demons, unlike mosquitoes, approach with silent stealth to go about their gory business. It has to be an optical illusion that their probing proboscides are almost miscroscopic, for in use they have the nerve tingling shockingness of a dentist's drill, calculated to penetrate the awareness of even the most obtuse.
On an idyllic day (when it is not raining) and no black speck can be detected, if you move offtrack for the purpose of relief, these harbingers of itchy nights materialise and with the swiftness and unerring accuracy of cruise missiles home in on the small or large mounds of virgin flesh, there to satisfy their Draculan urges.
Many are the means employed by the tramper to thwart these miniscule marauders. Among these the most frequently used is a type of repellent with the innocuous title of “Dimp”. Or in N.Z.ese, a cross between “Dump” and “Doomp”. This clear “innocuous” liquid smarts the eyes, stings cuts and scratches, dissolves plastic watchglasses and has the bouquet and palate of diesolene, but it does outsmart the sandflies - well, for a time. But as noted before, certain unmentionable parts cannot be so coated and are therefore vulnerable.
Combating the little black devils is definitely an individual matter. And some individuals adopt very novel approaches to the problem, but none more novel than one member of our party who shall remain nameless. I suppose “apparition” would be the best single word description of the overall effect. If encountered round the bend of a track on a moonlit night the appearance of this diaphonous creation would be enough to blanch the features of even the most rugged macho man.
The contraption seems to be a combination of a bridal veil and flat coathangered umbrella under which the wearer sits or stands wearing such a smug self-satisfied look that the mere mortals around him slapping and scratching find the situation less than bearable. Seeing this berobed dignitary, entrained in volumes of nylon netting, floating over the grass or at rest being fed scroggin while trying to prevent the black invasion was sufficient to reduce the rest of the party to tears of mirth. Strange as it may be, the system works.
N.Z. beer is different. It's delivered in petrol tankers and offloaded into holding tanks in the pubs where it is gassed and pumped into glasses of varying sizes or into a litre jug at $NZ 1.75. You can have as many glasses as you want and it is a very convenient way of sharing a drink. Its mostly “Old English” style brew, and there are not great differences in taste between the various breweries. The general consensus was that D.B. (Dominion Bitter) was best. Nothing gave me greater pleasure when emerging from the bush after five hard, wet days than to have an icecream and a jug of beer - great stuff.
Icecream! Other than the magnificent scenery the thing which stands out in your mind, something that comes closest to a taste treat El Dorado is N.Z. icecream. This is of course “bulk”, and for those who can remember, N.Z. icecream today is like what Australian icecream was 30-40 year ago. At least it's possible to discern that it's made from cream. And the flavours!! Boysenberry, Casata, Hokey Pokey! If this is not enough you can have your choice dipped in hundreds and thousands or chocolate or both. Truly a gastronome's great gobful. However, I miss the huge wafer baskets this creamy delight was dished up in when I was here before - another of the depredations of inflation.
In all towns large and small are to be found “dairies”. If the uninformed traveller thinks that here he (unisex concept for the avid feminists) is going to hear the lowing of cattle or witness the milking of a cow he (same as before) is going to be sadly disappointed. For these are simply the equivalent of our “corner shop” and always the vendoria of icecream.
And of course there are the “Fush and Chup” shops. A generous meal of a variety of fish and other fried concoctions can be purchased for between $1.00 and $2.00. These always seem to be well patronised.
One of the very depressing things I have noted this time is the increasing number of “permanents” in the Motor Camps - the equivalent of our Caravan Parks, and the proliferation of “motor camp kids”. They don't appear to have parents or, if they do, these don't seem to care. A lot of them smoke and play the slot machines. Where the money comes from I don't know. Another of the results of a depressed economy and unemployment.
We here (that is, some of the more avid conservationists) are having huts removed from National Parks, especially Kosciusko, so that it won't be long before there won't be any. Quite the contrary in N.Z. Every hut which I had previously lunched in, stayed in, or passed by had been demolished and replaced with a bigger and better. I certainly applaud the Park Service and the Forestry Service for their fine efforts. Both these services are also responsible for the formation, marking and maintenance of tracks which do make walking a little easier.
One other thing worth mentioning, something which makes me feel ashamed as an Australian, is the obvious pride N.Z.ers have in their country. Vandalism of the huts was not evident, nor was littering. I only wish I could say the same about us.
Unfortunately, all halos have some tarnish. Lake Mackenzie (Routeburn Track) is a gorgeous blue. I wonder if the flushing toilets of Mackenzie Hut with its “Bloohoo” is responsible in some small measure? This septic system is no more than 56 metres from the Lake shore!!
The map in the November 1984 issue on page 3 should show BEEFSTEAK, not Breakfast, Creek. - Ed.
The December General Meeting.
by Barry Wallace.
The meeting began at around 2018 hours with the President in the chair and 30 or so members in attendance. The were no apologies. The call for new members brought forth Stewart Maxwell and Gregory Warner for the traditional welcome, while Stephen Brown and David Lewis were not present.
The Minutes of the September Half-Yearly Meeting were read and received with no matters arising. Correspondence comprised, apart from circulars and other clubs' magazines, the letters to new members and a letter from our Hon. Conservation Secretary to the Australian Bicentennial Committee offering bushwalking magazines and records for a proposed Museum of Bushwalking.
Our Treasurer then revealed that we had begun the quarter with a balance of $1753.29, had received income of $2354.98, had spent $1492.73 and had closed with a balance of $2614.54.
The Walks Secretary advised of a need for members to submit walks for the Autumn Programme. He also advised the following details of walks conducted during the month.
Over the weekend 2,3,4 November the Club held its Annual Barn Dance at Coolana. This was well attended, no numbers mentioned. That same weekend, on Sunday 4th November, Jan Mohandas led a party of 29 people on his Faulconbridge to Glenbrook walk.
The following weekend saw the deluge, of both walks and rain. Oliver Crawford reported the Colo in flood and cancelled his Canoe Creek exploratory as a result. Ian Debert told of glorious wildflowers on the Grose River, but we do not know how many people he shared them with. Ken Gould had 7 people on his Jerusalem Bay Saturday walk, and on the Sunday Jim Brown had 16 people and some measure of intestinal affliction on his Helensburgh to Otford walk, and Paul Mawhinney's Waterfall to Heathcote walk was described as “good”. Gordon Lee's programmed abseiling weekend at Kanangra was cancelled.
Over the weekend of 16,17,18 November Jim Laing led 12 people on his Constance Gorge walk, Gordon Lee had 3 starters on his Budawangs trip, and of the day walks Peter Christian, acting out his beliefs, led a party of 19 from Waterfall to Otford, and Errol Sheedy had 19 on his Engadine to Waterfall walk.
Peter Miller and Tony Marshall combined their walks over the weekend of 23,24,25 November to produce a Gourmet Instructional Birthday walk. It was described as a delightful weekend. David Rostron's family walk that same weekend had around 38 starters, was described as a pleasant trip, and saw the party split up to follow either Galong Creek or the Tinpot Track. Joe Marton's day walk with a difference, down the Grand Canyon the wet way, had 7 starters and Len Berlin had 11 people and some train problems on his Jerusalem Bay walk.
Over the weekend of 30th November, 1, 2 December, Frank Woodgate's walk on the Hawkesbury had some problems with trains. Ainslie Morris had 13 people on her McMasters Beach day walk, Errol Sheedy's Waterfall to Waterfall trip was led by Brian Bolton with 13 other starters. Jim Laing's Katoomba cafe to cafe walk was cancelled due to lack of starters.
Over the period 3rd to 7th December Alex Colley led 7 people on his Batemans Bay beach crawl. The walk was described as pleasant with beaut campsites.
Over the weekend 7,8,9 December Gordon Lee had 3 people on his Davies Canyon walk. They had good weather and a minor navigational problem. John Redfern's programmed Goulburn River trip did not go - John was sick that weekend. Roger Browne's Faulconbridge to Richmond trip had 5 people and good weather. They reported the Grose River as “different”. Ken Gould ran the other Saturday walk, a bike trip, which did not go. Bill Hall's Sunday day walk from Otford to Waterfall had 27 starters, plus 2, minus one and was described as uneventful. All of which brought the Walks Report to an end.
Federation Report brought news that Barbara Evans has been elected Federation Publicity Officer, that SBW will organise the 1985 FBW Reunion, and that the FBW 1984 Ball returned a profit of $1700. Federation have also written to the NPWS regarding the proposed Plan of Management for Myall Lakes National Park.
Of General Business there was none and the meeting closed at 2110 hours.
Letter To The Editor.
I noted the “Reminder from Committee” in the November issue, and felt some dismay with both its form and its implications; I shall, however, deal only with the latter aspect of the message, and only with reference to day walks.
It has been the practice for as long as I have been associated with the S.B.W. to regard members as free spirits as regards walks, within the limitations imposed by considerations of party safety and the leader's plans; abuse of this freedom has, to the best of my knowledge, been non-existent. A logical extension of this principle has been the practice or non-practice, of members who feel themselves to be familiar with the logistical details of a walk to turn up unheralded. Such a practice is reprehensible only on those walks for which the leader must arrange transport; for all other walks it relieves the leader of the chore of answering unnecessary telephone calls, so leaving more time for those callers in need of information.
Should a leader feel otherwise, then surely it is more appropriate for him/her to indicate that prior notice is required - “P.N.R.” should suffice - upon the programme, or, as has been done in the summer programme by one leader, details of transport could be omitted.
There thus seems to be little to commend in the “reminder”, and its intent will no doubt be subverted by convenience and commonsense.
To conclude, I wish to advise my fellow S.B.W. members that I do not expect them to notify me of their planned attendance on the walks which I conduct, unless unusual circumstances prevail, such as public transport disruptions, floods, bushfires, plagues; i.e. when doubt exists about the walk. Otherwise, I do feel that I can cope with unexpected arrivals, and that the majority of day walk leaders will feel the same about the matter.
(Sgd.) Paul Mawhinney.
(Any other members have views on this subject? Ed.)
St. John Ambulance First Aid Certificate Course.
Is your life worth $47,000?
Is your limb worth 47 cents?
Too much? Too little? How about $47 for both life and limb?
Send me your cheque (made out to St. John Ambulance) by 13th March next for the Weekend Course held 13th and 14th April 1985.
(Saturday and Sunday 9 am - 5 pm, Wednesday 17th April 6 - 8 pm for the exam.) Venue: 6 Hunt Street, Surry Hills.
Social Notes For February.
by Roger Browne.
A walking trail is being established from the Sydney suburb of Gladesville, to Maitland and Newcastle. Find out about this exciting project from Leigh Shearer-Herriot and Barry McDougall (the founders of the project), who will show slides of the walk and discuss the planning and implementation of the project.
Dinner before this meeting at the Curry Bazaar, 334 Pacific Highway, Crow's Nest. Meet outside at 6.30 pm sharp. Late arrivals ask for the Sydney Bush Walkers' table. Cheap. BYO.
Magazine wrapping night - Help out with the collating, stapling and wrapping of the Club Magazine and Walks Programme.
Members' slide night - Theme: Summer Trips. Bring a few slides of your summer travels (bushwalking or otherwise).
Lisa Calder, S.B.W. member, is seeking a person to share accommodation. The details are as follows:-
Marrickville. Person to share 2 bedroom semi - Preferably non-smoker. Large room, partly furnished - $48 per week plus expenses. House is close to trains, bus and shops.
Phone 558-9019 (Home) - 211-5844 Ext. 24 (Business)