Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker
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 7.45 pm at the Cahill Community Centre (Upper Hall), 34 Falcon Street, Crow's
|Ainslie Morris, 45 Austin Street, Lane Cove, 2066. Telephone 428,3178.
|Bill Burke, 3 Coral Tree Drive, Carlingford, 2118. Telephone 871,1207.
|Phil Butt & Barry Wallace.
|The Day It Snowed in Blue Gum
|Betty Farquhar, Jim Brown and Barbara Evans
|And It Rained for Forty Days & Forty Nights….
|On the High Tops at Kosciusko
|Advertisement - Eastwood Camping Centre
|The Magic of Ettrema
|Place Names in the Budawangs
|The June General Meeting
|Committee Meeting Report
THE DAY IT SNOWED IN BLUE GUM.
by Betty Farquhar
INTRODUCTORY (Jim Brown)
First, a personal disclaimer: I didn't do it; had nothing to do with it; wasn't there. Even as an erstwhile Trustee of Blue Gum Forest, I accept no responsibility - the Trust had already ceded control of the Forest to the recently established Blue Mountains National Park. But, despite the lack of any personal involvement, I still find it interesting to recall what happened in Blue Gum Forest on 17/18 July, 1965, when two S.B.W. parties camped there - together with a crew of Sea Scouts who spent that week-end far from what one might deem their natural environment.
Yes, it was 17/18 July, 1965, so Dear Reader, these events occurred almost exactly 20 years ago.
I suppose the reminiscence began when I received a copy of the Railway Historical Society's Digest for October, 1984. On the back cover were a couple of chilly-looking colour photographs taken at Lithgow railway station during the heavy snow-falls that blanketed the Blue Mountains early in July, 1984 (Funny term, that, “Blanketed” - snow would be almost the last thing I would wish as a blanket). Probably for comparison, there was also an old and rather fuzzy black-and-white photograph of a steam locomotive toiling through snow, and a caption reading “On July 18, 1965, 3639 - a C.36 class engine - has plenty to cope with as she struggles out of Lithgow with a down goods. So bad was the weather, this was the last goods train to work west from Lithgow for 36 hours”.
When I showed the magazine to Kath, she asked, “Was that the time they had the snow down in Blue Gum?” We looked up some old Club magazines and in the September, 1965, issue I found an article by Betty Farquhar “And the Snows Came”. In a report of the August General Meeting it is recorded that Ron Knightley spoke of a great mess of broken branches on the Forest floor as a result of the snow-fall of July 18th.
About this time the old memory-box got into gear and I recalled Barbara Evans telling me that, when quite a new member, she had been down in the Forest on a week-end of devastating snow falls, and the walkers had helped to salvage a group of semi-frozen Sea Scouts. Of course, light snow is not uncommon on the plateaux surrounding the Grose Valley, which are about 1000-1050 metres above sea level, but it is certainly uncommon to find more than a few flakes in the valley, where the height is about 350 metres - say, equivalent to Springwood.
That follows, then, is a composite of extracts from Betty Farquhar's story published in September, 1965, combined with recollections from Barbara Evans who was there in Jack Gentle's party. Barbara also points to the lessons one can learn from such a grueling experience, and for good measure, tells something of the story of the other S.B.W. party - the one that went out via Govett's Leap and had a very rough passage back to Blackheath.
“AND THE SNOWS CAME” (Betty Farquhar)
“A beer at Gardiner's Inn, a cab handy, and we were at Perry's, changing into our shorts…. was that a flake or two of snow? Yes, it was Gaby excitedly telling us she hadn't seen snow since leaving her native Italy, us telling her she'd need her snow shoes before we'd all be home again. Snow on the mountains to us really only meant a few scattered spots of ice-cum-snow…. never enough to make a decent snowman. We didn't give it another thought….
“Dinner on cooking, our tents all ready for the night, a talk with Brian Matterson and his party…. it had started to rain. Ern, anxious to try out a new parka, braved the downpour to make some tea. I climbed into my sleeping bag, sorry to miss a campfire and the talk…. it certainly was raining….
“We were up at 6.30 am cooking and packing, farewelling Brian and his party. It had rained steadily all night. Back up Perry's, Jack decided - no point in walking more than necessary in this weather. Suddenly it was ice, snow, sleet and cold. Three or four Sea Scouts arrived, cold, bewildered and feeling ill. Yes, we would help them, our party taking their wet, heavy equipment.
“Don't stop! Col Ferguson said, Keep going. Keep going! - our first trip up Perry's, and for several of the others too. I couldn't keep moving, a stop to catch breath, and on again up and up. The snow was falling fast, the track becoming covered, some parts icy and covered with snow. Branches crashing down made a frightening and awe-inspiring sight and sound. Almost at the top we found the Scouts' packs left in an overhang. Jack had sensibly decided there was no point in carrying them any further…. their first aid kit must have weighed five pounds.
“Then began the road walk, which was by this time some 12 to 15 inches under snow and it was still falling heavily. I was tired, the road seemed endless, I couldn't feel my legs, let alone hands and feet. Something to eat, that was it - it was past lunch time - perhaps I'd feel better if I ate something. What an effort to get groundsheet and pack off and get cheese and salami out of a pocket. What was wrong with my jaws? They just wouldn't work. I glimpsed a flask of rum poking out of Em's pack, a swig of that, yes, it went down, oh well, my jaws must be all right…. just keep on going…. ”
[En route to Blackheath an “old man” invited them into a derelict house, where they lit a fire and thawed out. It later transpired that the unidentified “old man” was one of the party. Finally into Blackheath, where the electric trains were stuck because of a frozen power cable, but at last a diesel-electric locomotive moved them off towards Sydney about 5.30 pm, and gradually the party recovered,]
“BARE-KNEED SEA SCOUTS CAME” (Barbara Evans)
During the night the downpour grew heavier, until by the first dreary glimmer of day, even the noise of the river was drowned by the beating rain. An enormous echoing CRACK! jolted me awake. A rifle-shot? A minute later another CRASH rang around the Forest. Could some one be out there shooting? Better light a fire to alert him we were around. Luckily, there was a big pile of wood left from the night before; my tent was stuffed with dry bark for kindling, the “Saturday Herald” could be used as a roof. Soon the fire was blazing under its newspaper thatch. The wet wood smoked lavishly, and the next CRASH to be heard was much further away.
Jack Gentle got another fire going and everyone had a hot breakfast with plenty of tea and coffee. By this time the rain was lessening, but somehow each drop had developed a solid centre. It was turning to snow.
The two parties were almost ready to leave when a group of jumper-less, bare-kneed Sea Scouts came shivering through the sleet and huddled around our dying fires. Their matches were wet; they had no warm clothes or even ponchos. They had thought travelling light was “hardy”. One of the boys was in a poor way, so Jack decided to take his party and the Scouts back up Perry's. A spare jumper was found for the Scout; his gear was divided amongst us, and we set off at once.
Snow was settling on the Forest and even on this gloomy day the trees looked lovely cloaked in white. Overhead there was a ringing CRASH. A huge branch, overburdened with snow, snapped off and fell uncomfortably near. CRACK! and another branch came down. Higher up, where the snow was thicker, the branches fell more often. Ever ready to dive for safety, we Cooee-d each other at every crash.
At the top of Perry's the Scouts' gear was repacked and stowed in a cave. “Come back for it next week,” said Jack. Along the road the snow was 40 to 50 cm deep and very exhausting to walk over. At last we reached a neglected-looking cottage which Ron Browne decided to break into for shelter. We lit a fire in the kitchen range, made soup, and thawed out the Scouts, two whom were showing signs of hypothermia.
No one was in any hurry to get back into the deep snow, so we huddled in the cottage and wondered how the other party was getting along in Govett's Leap Creek. It would be much easier for them, we said, the snow down there would be very thin, and so much less tiring to walk on….
“PUT IN THE BOOT” (Ruth Kinchington, as told to Barbara Evans)
Ruth Constable (now Kinchington) was in that party of experienced walkers and this, to the best of my memory, is her account of their ordeal:-
The first hour was fine; a relatively easy walk from Blue Gum to Junction Rock. Snow was settling, and when they reached Govett's Leap Creek, a lot of water was coming down, making rocks and track fairly slippery but everyone was warm and in good spirits. The track became steeper and narrower, and as they trekked higher the rocks were icy and treacherous, and it was hazardous to cross the creek. The gorge drew down a bitter, sinking draught from the mountain tops and the group was soaked to the skin with freezing spray from the swollen streams. As the snow got deeper, the walkers slithered and stumbled over hidden rocks, intent only on getting through without delay.
It was late morning when they realised one of their number was missing. Brian Matterson, their leader, had fallen behind. They went back and found him sitting on a rock. “Carry on,” he said, “I'll rest a while and catch up soon”. The party exchanged glances, and decided, “We won't split the party in these conditions, and we'll keep warmer if we're walking. We'll go a bit slower and make sure we keep together.” They set off.
It wasn't long before Brian wanted to stop again. After some cajoling he got going, but the others were worried. As a boy, Brian had suffered a mild attack of polio which had left him very susceptible to cold. Next time he stopped, someone offered him a jumper and they shared out some of his gear. The time after that he lay down and said he was going to sleep. He was dragged to his feet and chivvied along until he lay down a last time and refused to move. This was serious. In despair, the walkers kicked him (with sandshoes) until he got up. Somehow poor Brian was dragged, shoved and half-carried up the terrible ascent of the frozen, slimy old wooden steps to the Govett's Leap Lookout. A nightmare journey indeed!
In hindsight, it is clear that at least two lives were saved that weekend because each party STUCK TOGETHER, and had enough strong and experienced walkers to give confidence and support to one another.
FOOTNOTE (Barbara Evans) Both parties caught an afternoon train from Blackheath. Everyone was cold right through to the bone and rode all the way to Sydney in their sleeping bags.
FURTHER FOOTNOTE (Jim Brown) There is really no need for this footnote. Barbara has said it all. THE PARTIES STUCK TOGETHER.
(Dedicated to Ben Esgate - the greatest lover of trees)
On the word of command from Rain
The seed sprouted, and two green hands
Reached towards the sky.
Quickly you climbed,
Escaping hungry mouths and trampling feet
Clapping at the Wind and rejoicing with the Rain.
Four hundred years of unwritten adventure passed
Before I came, gratefully gathering for my fire
The cast-off branches you threw down.
Small creatures sheltered safe in your arms,
Possums, birds, and a thousand singing insects
Drawing comfort from your giant strength
For twenty years I enjoyed your thinning shade
Watched goshawks circle your balding head.
Then one night that old tyrant, Wind
Raged down the valley in a fit of fury
Tore at you until old roots lost their hold,
And threw you headlong into the creek.
Only a silver skeleton now
High on rocks, where floods have left you
Wreathed with orange blooms of autumn fungi
Mirrored in the dark waters of the creek.
Yet even in death, you still are kind
Offering me dry passage from bank to bank.
AND IT RAINED FOR FORTY DAYS & FORTY NIGHTS..... 24,25,26,27,28th April, 1985.
by Hans Stichter.
Route: Kanangra, Cambage Spire, Yerranderie Peak, Mt. Colong, Church Creek, Cambage Spire, Kanangra.
Members of the Party: Barbara Bruce, Bill Holland, Ray Hookway, Peter Miller (Leader), Fran Longfoot, Jim Percy, Adrienne Schilling, Hans Stichter, Jo Van Sommers, Barry Wallace.
9.00 am. I had just made a phone call to the Water Board at Headworks, Guildford, to find out the level of the Kowmung River when the reply came, “Why would you want to go down there?” I ignored that question as he further replied, “0.5 in above normal river level as at 8.00 am 23.4.85, at Cedar Ford crossing.”
Despite steady rain since Monday morning I thought that the weather must surely break soon, and that it couldn't possibly continue to rain for the whole of the extended Anzac weekend trip. A further call to Peter Miller to confirm transport arrangements for that night also revealed that Peter was about to pull out additional maps, just in case the trip had to be re-routed due to inclement weather conditions.
Bill, Peter and Fran arrived approximately 7.00 pm to pick me up and take me into the grey wet yonder. A stopover at Aroneys with the usual ordering of snacks revealed that Peter had already pondered on alternative walks that could be done from Kanangra, subject to river level/wet conditions and the general feeling of the party.
We arrived at Boyd Crossing approximately 11.00 pm with Barry and his passengers arriving immediately behind. Our car load decided to erect tents without any undue delay, whilst Barry and his passengers headed for the warmth and dryness of the Dance Floor cave at Kanangra. The sound of heavy rain on the walls of my japara tent soon sent me to sleep, only to awaken to the bright lights and sound of another vehicle arriving approximately an hour later. This was to herald the arrival of Jim and his passengers.
As conditions were not favourable on awakening, we all headed for the Kanangra car park with the intention of having breakfast in the cave with Barry, Ray and Adrienne. However, on starting off, we were soon confronted by three “not so amused” persons heading in our direction. It appears that on arriving late at Kanangra the previous night, there was some difficulty in locating the exact route down to the Dance Floor cave. This was not due to the incompetence of the three in question, but due to “restoration?” work being carried out by the N.P.& W.S. By the time the new pathway had been located, they had already spent some considerable time in heavy rain and muddy conditions.
A quick breakfast at the cars soon saw the party of ten moving off for the Coal Seam Cave, where we were to meet three other walkers huddled around a warm glowing fire. Our party soon settled in for a long stay with the conversation centring around predicting the weather. To me it was obvious - we should take it “one cave at a time”.
It was to be an extended stop and we moved off soon after having had lunch at the cave. The mist just began to lift in the valleys in front of us as we headed down Gingra Ridge for the turn-off point to Cambage Spire. We would camp that evening on the Kowmung River just upstream from its junction with Christie's Creek. The weather conditions would determine what the party would be doing on the next day.
Persistent and heavy rain during the night caused Christie's Creek to come up a little whilst the Kowmung still remained no problem in regards to crossing it. However, it was doubtful that the weather would break for some time, if at all today. With the extended trip not yet halfway through, the group decided that they would stay put until the following morning. Today's activities would consist of drinking bottomless cups of various teas, discussions on an endless number of topics, and for those energetic enough, a short walk up the Kowmung to Church Creek, in the afternoon.
It was just before lunch that we met the first of two parties of walkers, both consisting of two male members in each party. The first party, both members approximately 25-30 years of age, were completely saturated to the skin, in what can only be described as unsuitable bush walking clothes and equipment, i.e. denim jeans, long ex-army trousers, waist length nylon parkas and cotton 'T' shirts. All of this was saturated with water, with only a flimsy plastic undersized cape to protect them from the heavy downpours that they had been experiencing since leaving Boyd River crossing on Thursday morning.
When questioned about their route plan, their reply was “Katoomba via Kowmung River, Cox's River, Narrowneck, by SUNDAY LUNCH TIME”. Any experienced walker would realise that this would be a demanding trip under normal walking conditions, and yet these two persons had no idea of how long it would take to walk the Kowmung, where their present location was on the Kowmung, and the fact that they were facing a compulsory swim further downstream from our campsite if they were to keep following the river.
They took Peter and Barry's advice that they would be better off heading up to the Scott's Main Range Road and then following it to its end and dropping off at Mt. Cookem, thus enabling them to make better time. Perhaps they would have been wiser to return to Kanangra, as was also suggested to them.
The second party we met in the afternoon, as Barry, Ray and I were enjoying a cup of coffee around the campfire. How experience shows through with walkers, even from a great distance! These two fellows were obviously not new to walking. After the introductory handshake and offering of coffee and use of the fire, we discussed where they had been and where they were heading. They also took the opportunity to have afternoon tea, consisting of salami and biscuits, and it wasn't long before they were soon off walking up the ridge to Cambage Spire.
At this stage our energetic party of seven arrived back at the campfire. With intermittent showers most of the day, we had kept the fire burning continuously as it would have been an unenviable task to relight the fire when we would have needed it for dinner. Discussion around the fire that night revealed concensus that if the elusive sunny weather we had been waiting for did not appear, it would be best if we headed back to Kanangra Walls, and put the trip down to experience.
It is interesting to note that with persistent rain, the longer it continues to rain, the deeper the water penetrates into one's gear and equipment, no matter how hard one tries to prevent this. We had been unlucky, for up to now we had not had any sunshine to “dry out” since starting off on Wednesday night.
“And it rained for 40 days and 40 nights” as the story goes. Last night and particularly this morning was to be no exception.
“Forget the fire - let's have a cold breakfast and be off by 8.00 am” was the order. Three and half hours later saw us at the Coal Seam Cave, consuming bacon and eggs, toast and honey and other such items that we had missed out on at breakfast time.
Once again we met some other walkers who were ready to tackle the elements and the mountains. We were pleased it was them and not us. A quick dash to the cars with a change of clothing saw us heading off to Katoomba for that cup of hot chocolate at Aroney's.
Despite unpleasant walking conditions the members of the party had had many humorous moments shared around the campfires. There was little walking done over the three days but once again the party proved that it is not so much where you walk, but who you walk with that makes the trip.
ON THE HIGH TOPS AT KOSCIUSKO.
by Nancye Alderson.
“Three weeks ago I was staying on holidays at Kosciusko. Bill Hall and I were walking to Pretty Plains Hut. We were sitting on the grass reading the map”, I thought I felt the breeze on my hand. I looked around. There was a 5' copper head snake crawling across it. I shot up like a catapult and the snake slid off. He turned and looked at us as he moved away!” It is Meryl Watman speaking.
“That was a close shave.”
“Too close for comfort.”
There are fifteen bushwalkers sitting here on the ridge a quarter of a mile above the Blue Lake at Mount Kosciusko. Our ages range from 35 to 70. Most of us are dressed in shorts and tops and everyone looks fit. Several people have smeared their lips and noses with white cream as a protection from the sun. Our hats are colourful and stylish and range from purple spotted cotton, orange terry towelling to Army felt styles. It is February 1985 and we are mainly members of Sydney Bush Walkers.
The green-grey mountains are sweeping down to the lake. This mountain is covered in a carpet of silver Snow Daisies, yellow Billy Buttons with oval heads and lilac wildflowers. Scattered over two ridges are huge grey boulders and patches of green grass. A track leads down to the Blue lake.
“Is this morning tea or early lunch?” enquirers one of the walkers.
“It's early lunch.”
“It's very lovely here, even though some of the Snow Daisies are a bit tired,” says Barbara Evans. “Funny day, isn't it, a bit overcast but O.K. for walking.”
“Yes,” I replied as I ate my lunch.
We left the cars at Charlotte's Pass and started walking at 9:30 this morning. The track is covered with blue metal and there is a drop of 900' before we climb. Not a tree can be seen as we go up the steep grey-green mountains. At 11:15 we stop for a rest and to admire the scenery.
I decide to walk to the Lake. A March fly is biting me on the foot and there's a cool breeze as I go down the track. I can see a “snow patch” which hasn't melted. Suddenly I look back at the mountain.
My friends are silhouetted against the slope of the ridge blending into the sky. They are leaving without me and I hurry back to catch them. As I reach the ridge I see a family with a four-year old boy who is wearing a pack on his back.
Now we're moving up to the top of the mountain and there's a fuzz of rust coloured grass on one side of the path and a little stream flanked with yellow daisies on the other. The wildflowers are everywhere. We are on the high tops in an alpine meadow. There are clumps of white Snow Daisies with gold centres, snow grass, yellow Billy Buttons, lilac daisies and white eyebrights. The blue mountains of Victoria are in the distance.
“Isn't it fantastic. Let's take a photo,” I say.
“We're on top of the mountain, the top of the world and it's beautiful. Let's stay here and enjoy it,” says Elaine as we throw ourselves on the grass.
“We should throw our watches away,” Barry Zieren exclaims. “You can't capture it on camera, all these carpets of pom poms, Snow Daisies and grass shivering in the breeze. We're on Mt. Carruthers and it's 2,140 metres high.”
“If you walk and enjoy this you are richer than anyone on earth. You don't need swimming pools and cars.”
“No,” I reply, as we pass Little Austria with its jagged peaks and crags.
“There's a little bird leading us away from its nest,” warns Christa as we trudge on. “And don't walk past without seeing this bunch of eight tiny white crocuses.”
The track is narrow here and we're going around a craggy outcrop of boulders. The ground falls away into a chasm. Lake Albina is below. We're on the long trail back with impressive views. It's a climb down to the bottom of the valley now through the alpine daisies. A small stream is trickling through the beds of moss and yellow candle heath. Further down there's a bog.
“We have one last long climb.”
“I hope I can make it.”
“So do I.” I feel tired and the climb up is steep and slow.
“We're nearly there. The hut is at the top.”
“The hut, the hut. It's Seaman's Hut. Here we are at last.”
We throw ourselves on the ground. The hut is built of grey stone and lined with timber. Inside is an old fuel fire, two double bunks, a table and a few pots and pans. There's a cupboard with emergency rations. A store of wood has been left for the fire. It's very dusty and dirty.
“Laurie Seaman was skiing here with a friend in 1928. A blizzard came up and they both died. He came from a well-to-do family and they built the shelter,” says Bob Younger.
Tramp, tramp, tramp, we're on the road and it takes one and a half hours to reach Charlotte's Pass where a busload of tourists greet us. “Did you get to Kosi?”… “No.”… “You squibbed it.”… “We didn't intend to go there.”
We climb into the combi-van and drive to the ski lodge. After a shower and dinner we're relaxing in front of the log fire. Soft music is playing and people are talking. We're feeling relaxed and happy. It's been a great day.
THE MAGIC OF ETTREMA.
by Frank Rigby.
I have heard this expression a number of times but, not surprisingly, the “magic” is not always there. At least not for me. Of course I always like the place but there is a difference between liking and loving. In times of drought, or when the weather is cold and overcast, vital elements are missing.
But on Sunday, January 27, the middle day of Fred George's classic walk (Rock Slabs Creek - Ettrema - Tullyangela Creek), the magic of Ettrema was turned on at full volume. For starters the water was flowing (not always so). Not a big flow, mind you, nothing like it was in the spring, but enough to bring the small cascades alive with fluid movement. The famous pools were full, as clear as crystal and at just the right temperature. The sunshine bursting from a cloudless sky combined with gently moving she-oaks to fill the gorge with a sparkling, dancing light.
Fred, an expert on Ettrema, had planned the walk so that the entire day would be spent in the main gorge of Middle Ettrema, from Myall Creek down to Tullyangela Creek. At a total distance of about twelve kilometres it was nothing more than a pleasant stroll, just the way this place should be enjoyed. With the promise of heat to come, a suitable response to those inviting pools surely could not long be delayed.
And neither it was! Within a kilometre or so the sounds of splashing and joyous shouts could be heard ahead. An advance group of the twelve strong party was already at it - diving, bombing, swimming or just lolling in the clear cool shallows. That first pool of the day proved irresistible to one and all.
I do not know how many beautiful swimming pools grace Middle Ettrema. I do know there were many more than the party could use in that day's walking. They came in all shapes, sizes, depths and surroundings - one had infinite variety along the way. The water had such clarity that, ten feet down, every pebble on the bottom was clearly defined in shape and colour. The lunchtime pool was a particular gem; who could face a suburban swimming pool after that?
The popular mode of dress for “tween the pools” was now shirt or top only. Throwing off the pack and garment, before plunging, was simplicity itself, leading to routine. In the usual individual ways of bushwalkers not everyone swam together, for a “five star” pool to one might be “only mediocre” to another, such were we spoilt. Sometimes I would emerge and stagger for three minutes around the corner, there to find something even better than the beauty I had just left behind. Much discipline was then required to keep moving. As the afternoon advanced, a wind so hot that it must have been blowing straight off the Hobs of Hell generated ever more frequent dipping. I remember that I now plunged in shirt and all for the cooling effect of wet clothes. Without the pools I'm sure that day could have proved “a real stinker”, as they say.
And so, in the fullness of that memorable day we came to Tullyangela junction in leisurely fashion, there to have a final plunge. But no, it was not, for after making camp some were so hot that it was back to the water yet again. In my time I have enjoyed countless walks in all sorts of places but the Ettrema of that day will stand proudly with the best.
To many people in our society places like Ettrema Creek are, no doubt, useless bits of bush with no economic value. Only the rugged and inaccessible terrain has saved it from past exploitation of one sort or another. Today, thank God, most of the gorge lies within a National Park although much of the water catchment does not. Pray, let us be forever vigilant that this gem of wilderness remains every bit as magical as it was that day.
NOTE: This walk was conducted by the Canberra Bushwalking Club. Fred George, at age 73, is still an active walker and a frequent leader of trips.
PLACE NAMES IN THE BUDAWANGS.
by Colin Watson.
I noted with interest the article in The Sydney Brushwalker, May, 1985, “S.B.W. Place Names in The Budawangs” by Frank Rigby and his invitation for further information and any corrections.
Perhaps I can throw some light on this subject of change of names which I know has upset some people over the years.
Before the war, Herb Freeman of the Bushlanders Club of N.S.W., produced the first map of the Clyde River and part of the Budawang Range. After the war most features in the Budawangs were not named and so Ken Angel, to whom we owe a debt for his early maps of “Mt. Pigeon House - The Castle” June 1951, March '52 and January '58, placed some of the names on some of the features. But when his January 1958 edition was published, “Roswaine” and “Pataird” did not appear as well as “Junes Ridge”,”Byatts Ridge”, “Bethom Head”, “Campus Head”,”Joanemla Walls“ and “Mt. Stevard”. Other names appeared on other features. 'A considerable number of these names were from the '52 and '58 editions of Ken Angel's maps which were featured on George Elliott's first edition map of 1960 and second edition 1963.
When I was in Sassafras in 1964 Major Jim Sturgiss drew my attention to what he thought were errors on the '63 edition of the map. I gave him a map, to which he replied with the map and a letter giving details of thirty-four places on the map.
I wrote to Ken Angel on 27 August 1965, asking where the names came from on his maps, and asking for any suggestions about naming some of the creeks and mountains. He replied on 29 September '65 giving some details of names he had used, and also mentioned information from Drury's and the “old fellow at Sassafras”.
Just prior to this it was decided to form a Nomenclature Committee of Coast and Mountain Walkers of N.S.W. members, and this was the basis of the formation of The Budawang Committee. Information was gathered through research at The Mitchell Library, Field books of surveyors at the archives section of The Public Library, old local identities were interviewed and Major Jim Sturgiss' information was investigated. The committee also found that Ken Angel had named some of the features after his friends and it was obvious the Geographical Names Board would not accept these names.
After much deliberation one hundred and twenty five names were submitted to the Geographical Names Board on 30 October 1967, as required by Section 15 of the Geographical Names Act 1966. In July 1966 we wrote to Ken Angel on our findings and proposed name changes. A letter also went to Keith Renwick on 8 December 1966 on the proposed change of name. It must be remembered the Nomenclature Committee was guided by the Geographical Names Board ruling regarding use of names. They never accepted our submission of “Angel Falls”. The Board decided it was “Crooked Falls” on “Angel Creek”. (See Jan. '67 and June '68 editions George Elliott's maps.) The third edition map came out in Jan. '67 with the new names. The fourth edition map June '68 was published with the corrected names according to the Geographical Names Board decisions. A note on this edition of the map states that “the Place Names on this map were assigned by Lands Department Notice of 2 February 1968”.
In September 1978 I spoke to the Geographical Names Board as to why the new names were not appearing on the C.M.A. Maps, and I was told that all maps were gradually being corrected. The latest 1:25000 Second Edition Milton and Corang Sheets are correct except that some of the names are in the wrong spot (e.g. Trawalla Falls). Confusion has been caused by the late change of names by government departments and perhaps some explanation should have been made in “Pigeon House and Beyond”.
May I comment on three of the names:-
1. “Mount Fletcher” now “Donjon Mountain” was named after Ken Angel's wife. Beverly Fletcher was her maiden name. Letter 11 July 1966.
2. In the first Visitors Book 1960 on “Mount Renwick”, now Mount Owen, it is recorded that an S.B.W. party visited the mountain at Easter 1961. On 1 April it states “I've arrived. Keith Renwick of the Keith and Yvonne Renwick combination after whom this mountain is named”. Ken Angel states that he named it after “my old mate Keith Renwick” in 1952, in a letter of 29 September 1965.
3. Byangee Walls. The book “Pigeon House and Beyond” states - “Apparently named by Ken Angel”. Ken was unable to supply information on this name in 1966 so it appeared reasonably true to say in the book “Apparently named by Ken Angel”. Frank Rigby comments about the name are most interesting and historically helpful.
Ken Angel carried on the good work in conservation in the New England district of N.S.W. where Ken mentioned in his letter that he was a Trustee of the Gibraltar Range National Park in 1966. He served on this committee when it changed to the Gibraltar Range National Park Advisory Committee and passed away while he was chairman on 4 May 1981.
Beverly Angel complemented The Budawang Committee in a letter of 5 November 1982 on its achievement in publishing the book “Pigeon House and Beyond”. She said:- “I hope your decision will be followed by others who recognise the necessity to collate a history of, and guide to, other unique wilderness areas, having been encouraged by reading this wonderful book”.
The Budawang Committee has three publications on the way. It is up to us bushwalkers to gather the history of the wilderness areas of New South Wales before it is all lost.
Correspondence on these matters to and from Ken Angel, Beverly Angel, Keith Renwick, Major Jim Sturgiss, submission to Geographical Names Board and maps may be viewed by interested parties. These documents are on the files of The Budawang Committee.
Chairman The Budawang Committee,
Honorary Life Member The Coast and Mountain Walkers of N.S.W.
THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY.
The Wilderness Society is urgently seeking someone with some accountancy skills. It will require about 16 hours of your time each week. Several volunteers will help with the day-to-day book work.
We hope to have a computer soon, any experience in this area would be useful. If you are interested, please contact our office at 362 Pitt Street, Sydney - phone 267,7929.
16th August, 1985.
The.Wilderness Society BUSH DANCE, Ryde Civic Hall, with Skewiff, 7.30 pm. Tickets $7 and $4 concession - at door or Wilderness Shop, 362 Pitt Street, Sydney - phone 267,7929.
JUNE GENERAL MEETING.
by Barry Wallace.
The meeting began at around 2012 with some 25 or so members present and the President in the chair. There were no apologies, so we moved directly to the welcome of new members. Nancye Trimmer and Michael Green were welcomed in the usual way, with constitution, badge, and applause.
The Minutes of the Annual General Meeting were read and received. Of matters arising; there had been no advice to the Hon. Editor regarding bicentennial projects, and the discussion of trustees was held over to general business. The Hon. Secretary is to write to Ron Knightley seeking further information on his ideas for bicentennial projects.
The Treasurer's Report for the period from February to May indicated that we began with a balance of $1706.34, spent $2874.17, earned or otherwise acquired $4374.18, and concluded with a balance of $3206.35. Included in the accounts for this period was an adjustment for cheques which had been drawn and subsequently not presented for payment.
Federation Report brought news that preparations are under way for a delegation to the N.S.W. Minister for Planning and Environment regarding various topics including off-road vehicles, commercial usage, and staffing, of National Parks. There has also been some discussion of possible exchange bushwalking with clubs or individuals from the Federal Republic of Germany.
General Business commenced with a report from Malcolm Steele on the proposal to change the Club's Trustees. At present Colin Broad, the previous Hon. Solicitor, is overseas, and there is some delay in obtaining all of the documents relating to the Club's properties. Once these documents are in hand it will be necessary to clarify the exact relationship between Trustees and properties before assessing the prerequisites for any changes.
Mike Reynolds, our New Members Secretary, advised of a requirement for an assistant to cover the occasions when Mike is involved in Committee Meetings or away on holidays. You will no doubt have seen the ads in last month's magazine and are all out there clamouring for the job.
The Treasurer also weighed in with advice that members who have not paid subs by June will no longer receive the Club magazine or walks programmes. Best wishes to all you unpaids; it was nice writing for you - - - bye!
A motion was then put that the Club purchase 3 abseiling ropes and 6 sets of abseiling harness for use on abseiling instructional weekends, total estimated cost $600.00. This was passed after a brief debate; it then emerged that no-one had checked with the Treasurer to ascertain that funds would be available from the year's budget. After some minor procedural wrangles the Treasurer was able to tell us that such a purchase would require cashing one of the Club's securities. A motion was then passed requiring the Club Committee to determine appropriate means of financing the purchase. Barry Wallace gave notice of his intention to move a recission motion at the next General Meeting, citing the lack of a thorough debate and the question of possible legal liabilities which may be incurred by such a move.
All of which brought us to the Walks Report. Our Walks Secretary was not present so Ainslie Morris stood in. Curiously enough the first walk reported was that of 10,11,12th May led by Bill Capon. Alas there was no report. Malcolm Steele's Kanangra walk that same weekend was cancelled because the leader was sick with 'flu. Oliver Crawford's walk up The Castle went. There were 17 starters, the weather was fine and the views magnificent. There was also some muttering about getting back to the cars in the dark, but it was winter after all.
The day walks that weekend didn't fare much better. Morag Ryder's Katoomba to Leura walk did not go, Gordon Lee's rockscrambling and abseiling instructional was cancelled and of Ralph Penglis's beach walk there was no news.
The following weekend, 17,18,19th May, Don Finch led a party of unspecified size on his Capertee/Wolgan River trip. It seems that three people dropped out at lunchtime on the first day and the trip had to be truncated somewhat. Ian Debert's trip to Russel's Needle was deferred until July. Peter Christian's Hue Mountains day walk was slowed somewhat as a pictorial record of the journey was made, but one imagines the party of 31 was spurred on by the deteriorating weather which was reported. Jim Brown led a party of 34 on his Wondabyne area trip. It seems that they may have experienced similar weather, as there was a report of a stampede for home and the early train.
Over the weekend of 24,25,26th May, Bill Burke's Splendour Rock walk was deferred to the following weekend, Jim Laing's reduced Three Peaks Trip was cancelled, and only Jan Mohandas carried the overnight banner with 11 starters on his high speed dash from Glenbrook to Springwood. Of the day walks, there were no details of Hans Stichter's Bouddi National Park walk, and Errol Sheedy's Heathcote trip was reported as led by Derek Wilson with no other details.
Cancellations continued to be a feature of the Walks Programme over the weekend of 31st May, lst/2nd June, with Jim Percy and Jan Mohandas both cancelling trips. The ones that did get away were Ainslie Morris's The Castle, Mt. Owen trip, reporting a party of 8 sharing a rainy Saturday night and a gale-torn Sunday, not to mention knee problems and airborne waterfalls; Bill Burke's deferred Splendour Rock ramble with a party of 14 sharing the snug comfort of a large fire while the rain pelted down outside Mobbs Soak cave; and Bill Holland reporting a party of 25 plus 4, no make that 9, out of the Grand Canyon, which they reported to be grand indeed, at 1700 Sunday evening. (No, Virginia, I don't think there is any prize for long sentences, just happen to think that way, sometimes.)
The June long weekend saw Ian Debert with a party of 14 revellers firing off fireworks at Yerranderie, and bagging the odd peak in their spare time. Bill Capon led a party of 7 people on a speed-blurred tour of some spectacular Budawangs scenery and Gordon Lee and Peter Harris both cancelled their trips in order not to break with tradition. Of the day walks, Ralph Penglis led 23 starters on his Sydney Harbour walk, and Carol Bruce led 21 starters and 15 finishers on a Benowie Track walk, on which the pace was described as brisk. It is also reported that the Sydney Harbour walk crew lunched at the Aschanti Restaurant at Balmoral. Coverage of this event probably rests with the Social Secretary rather than the Walks Report.
The Walks Report over, we proceeded to the social and walks announcements and then to the close at 2141 hours, and it was all over for another three months save for the ravaging of the coffee and biscuits.
Please add the following names to your list of members:-
|30 Carlow Street, Crow's Nest, 2065
|1/16-18 Boronia Street, Dee Why, 2099
|330 Morrison Road, Ryde, 2112
|78/1C Kooringa Road, Chatswood, 2067
by Bill Holland.
Wednesday 31st July is the Club night set aside for BUSH FIRST AID.
This will be a “hands on” instructional evening under the guidance of Ainslie Morris and Hans Stichter. First aid techniques are changing and this evening will demonstrate how members can render effective assistance in cases of minor, or major, injuries.
The August Programme is shown below. Please note the BUSH DANCE on 14th August. These dances have been most successful. Remember, no previous knowledge is required; all dances will be CALLED and the Club will supply refreshments.
Later in the month, on 28th August, the TASMANIAN WILDERNESS SOCIETY will be our guests, with films and slides on Daintree, and other threatened wilderness areas.
The Club DINNER prior to the meeting on 21st August will be at Eric's Seafood Restaurant. This is a popular venue but, please, 6.30 pm sharp. We will be in the back room. 316 Pacific Highway Crows Nest.
|Magazine wrapping night
|Tasmanian Wilderness Society
COMMITTEE MEETING REPORT.
Apology. On page 20 of the June issue, the person reporting on the Trustees was Malcolm, not Wayne, Steele.
At this month's Committee Meeting, Wayne Steele did in fact appear, to offer a spare room to house the printer.
The Committee is investigating the sale of the printer and purchase of another off-set printer or a photocopier.
Insurance Report. Public liability, property, and personal accident quotes have been obtained. The Secretary is to investigate incorporation of the Club under the new Act operating from 1st July, and its effect on the Club and on Club insurance, if the Club chooses to become incorporated.
Thanks to MARGARET REID for acting as New Members Secretary on Committee meeting nights.
Budawangs - Tracks and Access. There is a recently opened new access track at WOG WOG, just north of the old access which was through private property. This will improve access for walkers to the Budawangs from the west near Nerriga. Also, there is now a locked gate at Newhaven Gap, so you can still drive in from Sassafras but not as far as Tanderra Camp, where 4WD vehicles were causing damage. There are new notices in Monolith Valley prohibiting camping there.
FROM THE SECRETARY'.
Any member who wishes to bring forward a Constitutional Amendment at the Half-Yearly Meeting in September should submit it to the Secretary in writing by the August Committee meeting, 7th August, so that it may be included in the Agenda for the Half-Yearly Meeting.
FROM THE TREASURER.
Warning note to UNFINANCIALS. This is your last magazine!! Pay your fees or else!!