Table of Contents
The Sydney Bushwalker.
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476, G.P.O. Sydney, N.S.W. 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.45 p.m. at Ella Community Centre, 58a Dalhousie Street, Haberfield (next to the Post Office).
|Editor||Patrick James, P.O. Box 170, Kogarah, 2217. Telephone 588 2614.|
|Business Manager||Stan Madden, 9 Florence Avenue, Gosford, 2250. Telephone (043) 25 7203.|
|Production Manager||Helen Gray.|
|Printers||Fran Holland, Morag Ryder, Stan Madden.|
|S.B.W. Reunion at “Coolana”||Helen Gray||2|
|The Heaphy Track||Dot Butler||4|
|The Wondabyne Sandstones||Jim Brown||7|
|Emmagen Creek, North Queensland||Col Gibson||8|
|The Incident at Howling Dingo Camp||Clio||11|
|60th Anniversary Dinner|
|The Annual General Meeting||Barry Wallace||12|
|What Ain't We Got?||Jim Brown||13|
|Social Notes for May||Wendy Aliano||13|
|Theatre Party Dates||Fazeley Read||14|
|F.B.W. - Bush Dance||14|
|S.B.W. Annual Subscriptions 1987||14|
|Eastwood Camping Centre||8|
|Belvedere Taxis, Blackheath||9|
|Canoe & Camping, Gladesville||10|
The new Editor's editorial will be published next month when he will be over the shock of election and has a better idea of what he has let himself in for.
S.B.W. Reunion At "Coolana".
by Helen Gray.
“What made this reunion so good?” I asked as we were leaving Coolana on Sunday afternoon. “Was it that so many of your friends were there?” asked someone, “or that the weather was perfect, with a full moon?” “The full, clean river making swimming a delight” suggested another. “The beaut campfire entertainment” came another voice. Like all good trips, the “goodness” is hard to define.
When I arrived on Saturday afternoon the “reuning” was well under way. The terrace-dwellers had pitched tents and lit a fire (to the joy of dozens of children immediately drawn, like moths, to its light and danger). The wine casks and food were being shared together with good conversation. The Rigbys had come from Canberra, but were outdone by Roger Browne - from New Zealand for the weekend! The river-flat dwellers, some of whom had arrived in canoes from the bank opposite, had brought with them an amazing quantity of luxuries such as chairs, tables, wine (in bottles, with glasses), gas cookers, lamps, etc. I estimated a sum of about 80 from both camps.
Work was under way, too. The campfire site had become heavily overgrown with every weed known, including. thistles. With the minimum of equipment, a small group worked for many hours and left us with a large area of lawn (?) to sit on that evening. Many thanks to Joy Hines, Ian Debert, Anita Doherty, Alan Doherty, Barry Murdoch, Les Powell, Bob and Margaret Niven, prospective Carol Lubbers and her daughter, and apologies with thanks to those I've failed to mention. Thanks also to Bob Hodgson and Joan Rigby for the construction of the campfire.
It was near 8 pm when the campfire was lit and from every direction people appeared, including those who like a bit of solitude and had camped on some of the smaller sites in which Cooiana abounds. Barbara Bruce immediately started us off on a song and… What's this? Can it be?… We were in TUNE! Barbara couldn't believe her ears. A couple more unison songs, and with Mike Reynold's help, she started us off on rounds - three parts, no less! (The singing over the past few years has been woeful, to put it nicely.) This year, were we more sober? Were the good singers more vocal this year? The latter certainly was a big factor; Alan and Anita, Ton Wenman, Mike Reynolds, Barbara, Wendy Aliano, are amongst those I noticed who kept we-of-less-talent on the right key. Mike gave us his “Song of the Bantam Cock” again, by popular demand, but next year we hope for solos from the others, too. Tom's beautiful voice should not be just for those who stay awake after midnight. Likewise, Bob Hodgson's talented mouth-organ playing deserves a larger audience.
Our “professionals” were there, of course. Don Matthews brought us a mini-opera “Red Riding Hood”, in which he also starred. Dare we hope for a block-buster for our 60th Anniversary year? Our other “pro”, Jim Brown, gave us “Where Our Caravan Has Rested”, the history of our many clubrooms in poetry, prose and song - a real delight. Thanks, Jim.
During all this, John Redfern and Spiro Hajinaketas were keeping the cooking fire going and laying the table with cakes made by Spiro and Christine Austin and other contributors. The smells reminded us that it was nearly supper time and therefore time to wind up the official entertainment with a welcome to our new President. Barry Murdoch was hauled out of the shadows and seven past-Presidents handed him the symbols of office, wished him luck, and applauded his short speech.
Supper over and small children off in their tents, the after-hours singers settled down to some fine performances, all accompanied by Bob and his mouth organ, with Bob playing non-stop till 2 am. The full moon lit the landscape and the temperature remained warm, even into Sunday's early hours.
At 8 am, when I awoke tired - even that extra hour gained by the official turning-back-of-the-clocks that night wasn't enough - the valley was full of mist with the sun's rays breaking through in shafts of light. Glorious! Spiro was already heading down the hill for the second time with flour etc. for the damper competition, so I reckoned it was time to get up. George Gray could be heard boasting that it was his 36th consecutive reunion. Grace Noble, camped nearby, no doubt has been to many more in her 50+ years of membership, but wasn't boasting.
When I arrived at the damper competition judging was well under way, with Barry Murdoch and Alan Doherty ignoring all bribes and fairly judging young Josh Calandra's as the best (which meant that his was the first to be greedily eaten by the onlookers). I was by now aware of groups of people displaying strange behaviour; peering under arm-pits, poking in ears, examining scalps, and generally exploring one anothers' bodies. Was this some new game? The beginnings of orgies? Grooming time at the zoo? No; it was tick-removing time. Immature grass-ticks were on the attack again this year. They aren't harmful - Alan Doherty got a few hundred and is O.K. - but they are mighty itchy for the next few days. Not much can be said in their favour except that on Sunday many of us got to know others far more quickly and intimately than is usual!
The swimming carnival, for the second year run by Carol Bruce, was fun for everyone. The lilo race, two per lilo, was won in style by Jeff Niven and Janet Waterhouse. The lilo fight, the winner being the last one left on his/her lilo, brought out plenty of agressiveness, but it was good to see a female, Kathleen Gray, making short work of all those men, even though she nearly lost out to Fazeley's young nephew Allistair. “The most people on one lilo” came next - kids versus adults. Adult-planning (10 people) won over kid-confusion (8). Race No.4: the winner was whoever could understand Carol's rules. Result: no winner. The Minty-scramble was again a double lilo-race, again to the other side of the river where the Minties were floating, and back; the winners were John Caldwell and Kathleen Gray who showed their lack of table-manners by grabbing 19 MInties (most got 5 or 6!) and stuffing them down Kathleen's costume.
With everyone now exhausted, the championship races were held. (Next year, let's hold these races first.) Results. Adults: (1) Carol Bruce, (2) Laurie Quaken, (3) Jeff Niven. Kids: (1) Josh Calandra, (2) David Calandra, (3) Michael Piestrzynski, and last Frank Rigby who claimed he was disadvantaged because none of the other kids had had a cigarette just before racing.
So ended the organised (for want of a better word) events of the reunion. It was now lunchtime and we still had a few more hours of talking, or swimming, or walking, or canoeing, or eating, to enjoy.
And yes, we all agreed: we didn't know why, but it was the best reunion in years.
The Heaphy Track - 77km Of Magnificent New Zealand Scenery.
by Dot Butler.
I fronted up to the Departure counter at Mascot, en route to Christchurch, two hours early due to the kind assistance of a neighbour who took pity on me and my voluminous luggage (walking gear, climbing gear, camp mattress and portable typewriter), only to discover that I had omitted to bring my passport, without which I would not be able to re-enter Australia. A panic call to Jane Putt resulted in her driving down to my house, breaking in, finding said passport and bringing it out to me at Mascot, just as the final call came over the loudspeaker to get aboard my plane. You can always depend on bushwalker friends to get you out of difficulties.
At the Christchurch disembarkation centre there appeared to be several hundred people all waiting to get through Customs, and I was about last on the queue. In two hours time my bus was to depart for the 5-hour journey north to Blenheim - plenty of time, thought I. However the minutes crept by as the seemingly endless queue of people in front of me crept up to the Customs counter. 5 o'clock arrived and I was beginning to get a bit anxious. When I finally reached the Customs first line of defence, the kindly man said, “Just get your luggage and go straight through the Green Gate”. This is the gate reserved for those who book harmless and beyond reproach - like me - they don't have to open up their baggage for inspection.
I got a taxi out to Newman's bus depot with minutes to spare, then came the long trip up the coast, first through farming country, then after Aoro and Goose Bay we followed along the sea, with the moon shining on a bright gleaming ocean and the seaward Kaikouras as a dark mountain backdrop inland.
A night at the Blenheim motor camp, then off early next day in beautiful sunshine, through farming country to Pelorus Bridge for another night's camp, then on to Moutere through the orchards around Nelson to the Moutere nudist camp. This is beautifully situated on what appeared to be a secluded spit of land planted out with pines reminiscent of the Sierras of California. Great swimming and sunbaking - plenty of sunburnt bottoms, nice looking young people, lobster-like older gents, but all enjoying the sun and fresh air. A pity to leave, but our next destination is Golden Bay, so off we go.
Cape Farewell is the northernmost point of the South Island. A spit of sand extends in an arc for 35 km across the entrance to Golden Bay. The Spit is 800 m wide and is made up of shifting sand dunes, quicksands, patches of low scrub, marram grass and sand and mud flats. It is one of New Zealand's most important wading-bird habitats - over 100 species have been recorded. Towards the end of March great flocks begin their long journey to their northern summer breeding grounds in the Arctic tundra of Siberia and Alaska. The Spit is a Nature Reserve and has been designated a Wetland of International Importance.
There is a lighthouse at Cape Farewell, erected in 1870 after numerous ships had been wrecked on the sand spit, invisible when covered at high tide. The first keeper, Mr. Harwood, brought back two saddle-bags of soil on each of his trips out for supplies, and in this he planted two macrocarpa pines which are very conspicuous seaward and almost as valuable as the light itself.
We camped on the grass by the seashore, lulled to sleep by the constantly moving water. In the morning a weka, or Maori hen, came pecking around the tent, and we heard the raucous cries of gulls seeking pickings from our breakfast. Then off to Collingwood and the beginning of the Heaphy Track. Charles Heaphy gave his name to the track. He was a draughtsman artist and early explorer of the region, but it was J. B. Saxon of the Collingwood County Council who surveyed and graded the track in 1888, to make it suitable for pack horses. The track now lies within the N.W. Nelson State Forest Park and since 1930 has been used only as a walking track. The foresters have built eight huts along the route for the use of trampers.
At 11 am we left the car at Brown Hut at the start of the track, 122 m above sea level, and set out on the 16 km walk to the Perry Saddle Hut at 868 m. Although we had been having hot sunny days, now the typical weather of that area set in (5080 mm or about 15 feet annual rainfall), so we put on our parkas and entered into the magic of the beech forest.
There is a wide range of scenery, dense native forest, home of innumerable birds from the big black and white pigeons down to the smallest of New Zealand forest denisons, the tiny rifle bird. Calls of bellbirds and tuis came from inside the forest, and as we got higher up kea calls in the air awoke nostalgia for past mountaineering days. A dense cover of fallen beech leaves made a soft track, up past waterfalls cascading down ferny mossy gullies, groves of Nikau Palms and secluded river valleys. There are lovely arched wooden bridges over the streams, which can rise a matter of two metres suddenly after heavy rain, and fall just as quickly.
The dense blue black rainclouds had disappeared as quickly as they had come, and in bright sunshine we stopped for lunch, then on again to Perry Saddle Hut. But first a side track to a lookout which gave a panorama of all the surrounding mountains, and a view of the hut on a sheltered grassed plateau below. We reached the hut at 4 o'clock, to find only four other occupants, one of them an American girl with the typical American pack about a metre and a half high. She was heading for Australia, so I warned her that that pack would not do for our type of bushwalking. She was a great walker, though.
The hut had all the comforts that N.Z. trampers hope for in their bad weather trips - a slow-combustion stove and firewood provided, gas cookers and billies, benches and sinks and running water, table and seats, and bunks - 25 of them fitted with mattresses! So all we carried was sleeping bag, parka and food. I found a small day pack adequate.
We had dinner, then tied our bag of food up to the rafters, much to the astonishment of the American girl who apparently was not educated in respect to bush rats. The hut had its avian humorist, the kea, who tramped around on the tin roof and rattled on its claws down the corrugations and squawked for food scraps.
A night of deep sleep, then off early next morning with just our lunch, as the idea was to walk 8 km to the Gouland Downs Hut and then on 5 km to the next hut (Saxon) where we would have lunch, then return the way we had come in order to get back to the car. Walkers wishing to do the whole track can arrange for an Air Taxi to pick them up at the far end of the track and return them to their starting point, but this costs money.
The track led over grassy downs rather like the button grass plains of Tasmania and in places just as muddy. Two swing walkways span Sheep Creek and Cave Stream and would provide a bit of excitement to a heavily laden walker - a couple of wire cables with slats and a nice muddy fall if you missed your footing.
We met up with other trampers who had come in from the opposite end to ours, all heading for Perry Saddle Hut, so that when we got back there after our 26 km round trip it was to find about 20 people in occupation. There were Germans and Swiss, Americans and Poles, a couple of Australians as well as New Zealanders, and a pleasant young Norwegian boy, a civil engineering student, heading for our Snowy Mountains to have a look at our marvellous hydro-electric and irrigation scheme. Many of his countrymen had helped build it. It becomes as good as a world trip when they are all swopping experiences.
Next morning we left early for the 16 km return to Brown Hut. The scenery naturally looked different seeing it in reverse, so we were not sad that we had to return the way we had come. One of the Polish men sang a Hymn of Praise at the top of his voice and when we met up he told me of his experiences as a little boy in a German Internment Camp during World War II. There was a great number of Polish orphans, many of whom died. Those who survived lived by stealing food and anything else they could sell. This went on for years. When he was 8 years old the British were able to ship out many of the young Polish children to New Zealand, where he has lived for the past 42 years, and wouldn't swop this country for any other.
It sometimes takes overseas visitors and immigrants to bring home to us in Australia and New Zealand that we are living in the best countries in the world.
Walks Program Correction.
Test Walk on May 31st from Heathcote to Waterfall led by Errol Sheedy was not marked correctly; it is a test walk. Please inform any interested Prospective Members, as they do not get the magazine.
The Wondabyne Sandstones.
by Jim Brown.
Why fly to London to see the Elgin Marbles (which probably ought to be in Greece anyway) when you can see the Wondabyne Sandstones for a song?
Early in January this year there was a surprise article in the Sydney Morning Herald headed “The World's Greatest Team of Chisellers”. It told of the creation of a sculpture area at Wondabyne, 67 km from Sydney on the Northern Railway, half-way between Hawkesbury River (sometimes called Brooklyn) and Woy Woy. There a group of rather eminent sculptors assembled from all over the world, including France, Nepal, Papua and Bulgaria, were carving images out of a batch of large sandstone blocks donated by the adjacent quarry.
Curious about it, I went to have a look-see in mid-January. And there it was, about 200 metres north of the little “whistle-stop” that is Wondabyne Station, right beside the line, and on a small headland jutting out into Mullet Creek. Some of the carvings were already taking recognisable shapes, whilst the sculptors in shady hats, old slacks or shorts or shapeless dresses hammered away in the sultry mid-morning heat.
The Rail Authority is co-operating by building a kind of walk-way from the platform. Since you have no chance of going there by car, but must travel either by rail or private boat, no doubt it hopes to build up the very slender patronage to Wondabyne, which is presently limited to a few quarry workers, fishermen and the horde of day-walkers who descend on the place in the wildflower season.
Should it prove a popular attraction… who knows?… they may even have to extend the existing rail platform, which is barely 25 metres long - about one carriage length. In fact, if you do go there, make sure to travel in the last coach on the train, and let the guard know you're proposing to alight at Wondabyne.
I must go back and have another look when the carvings are more advanced.
Wondabyne Re-visited (12th March).
It proved to be a good time to return. The work has been finished, and the artists were departing. At the top of the hill behind the quarry and station I saw a large truck with a small jib crane mounted behind its cab removing the last of two or three marquee tents which evidently had provided shelter for the workers. And let me here admit I had thought that, with a camp for a fair-sized colony for several months, there may be some despoliation of the surrounding bushland.
Well, be of good heart. There are evidences of the big camp-site, but if anything it is somewhat cleaner than it has been in the past when sundry untidy campers have made large fires on the hill-top and managed to leave more than their share of tins and bottles and plastic. Clearly the sculptors have “done the right thing”. Even the rough road coming in from the Kariong area, and with a locked gate at the rifle range, has not undergone much in the way of up-grading to supply the sculptors' camp.
Someone has taken a mattock to the old track that walkers used to climb the hill, and cut out some steps in places where the slope is steep and used to be slippery after rain. There is also one place where a length of wire rope has been installed as a sort of hand-rail, but be careful if you use it - there are bits of broken wire protruding.
As to the sculptures themselves - they are mostly “modern”, although most have some intimation of human faces or bodies, and only three or four are, to my unpractised eye, totally abstract in concept. But I found them interesting and fairly pleasing to look at, and when grasses and shrubs grow back on the much-trampled headland jutting into Mullet Creek, I feel that the overall effect will be agreeable. There are nine or ten blocks of carved sandstone, standing from about 1.5 metres to 2.5 metres tall, and appearing pale against the backdrop of quiet waters and wooded hills. At least the notion of a little park with some artistic items sitting in a narrow strip between the busy Northern railway and part of the Hawkesbury estuary is a novel one.
On the way down the hill I passed two of the toilers, a young Australian women and a middle-aged Bulgarian, and had a brief conversation. They appeared to be pleasant folk and quite enthusiastic about what they had wrought, and in the course of our discussion I remarked, with a question in my voice, “Why, this may put Wondabyne on the map?” The girl replied, “I think it has already”. Well, yes, the rail people may have to lengthen Wondabyne station.
Club Day Walks to Wondabyne:
22nd March, 12th April, 24th May.
Emmagen Creek, North Queensland, December 1986.
by Col Gibson.
Walkers: Col Gibson & Paul Bentley. (Neither walkers are members of S.B.W.)
We set off from The Blockade (Greater Daintree Action Centre)at Cape Tribulation at 11.00 am after some hesitation over the weather, but the morning had cleared and this was likely to be one of the few chances left to do the Mt. Sorrow Knife-Edge before the onset of “the wet”.
A couple of hundred yards down the road we turned into Rykers Creek which is a very pretty tropical rill. We crossed over and made our way up the northern flank of the Knife-Edge ridge. Gradually the going steepened and not before long we hit a dense belt of lawyer cane. We tried in several places to break through, having always to retreat when the spiny canes and their “wait-a-while” threads closed right to the ground. On our third or fourth attempt we came across a gravity feed pipeline and followed it horizontally before making a final successful break through.
From then on we quickly gained the height of the ridge and picked up a small pad marked with occasional red tape placed there a couple of years ago by a botanical survey team to Mt. Pieter Botte. The next hour or so was a push to the top of Vicki's Tit (650 m), a high knoll cairned by a scrub turkey nest.
Before us now lay the Knife-Edge - a kilometre long causeway between Vicki's and Mt. Sorrow, almost vertical on both sides and in several places not more than a few feet wide. We spent most of three hours on the Knife-Edge traversing it and admiring the view from a granite tor which was uplifted above the wind-pruned vegetation. Here we drank the three litres of water we had carried up.
Mt. Sorrow, another one hundred metres above us, was continually swamped by a roll of cloud flowing off the Pieter Botte Massif. Six hundred and fifty metres below we could see figures moving in and out of the Cape Tribulation Store, and much clearing on the Masons' property. We could distinguish the crowns of very big trees in the deep waterfall gully below us and we surveyed more direct routes onto Mt. Sorrow.
By the time we had traversed to the western extremity of the Knife-Edge we had reached the very edge of the Pieter Botte Massif and we stopped at two closely grown trees and could only look at where the track led on and say to ourselves - “That way the Wilderness, next time, perhaps?” By now it was late afternoon and we had to retrace our steps with the intention of returning to The Blockade Site via Rykers Creek.
We moved quickly down a moist slope covered in Helmholtzia bushes and soon came to a saddle that we did not recognise. We could not consult map or compass as we had neither, but we concluded that we had reached the head of Rykers Amphitheatre. We turned left and down, paralleling a steep side gully.
The going was steep all the way and sometimes we were in the gully and sometimes beside it wending our way through thickening vines and tall timber. Here and there the ground was covered in loose stones and we came upon one level bench which contained the tallest and straightest trees we had seen in the area. There were a couple of trees with enormous plank buttresses.
We were both very impressed with this side of the valley, and were expecting soon to arrive at Rykers Creek itself. However, the valley was proving to be much deeper than we had expected. We eventually reached the creek at a most enchantingly beautiful locality where the water flowed over a granite intrusion to cut white water cascades and smooth natural baths; the valley sides steep, the watercourse itself canopied by the forest and draped with vines that overhung crystal clear pools teeming with jungle perch.
This was something of a surprise to find as a local authority had assured me there was no granite to be found in any creek north of Masads Creek. The walking here was so easy we took off our shoes and walked barefoot along the granite pathway. After a distance the granite petered out but the creek was such a delight in its every aspect we agreed that it was the best creek that either of us had been in, in the area.
Soon the sun had set but the night was one of full moon and we were able to use the long twilight to negotiate the creek. We continued rock-hopping or walking through tall forest on creekside flats, getting snagged occasionally by unseen wait-a-whiles. We passed broad flats so ravaged by wet season flood levels and the forest so damaged that they were inextricably smothered with the lawyer cane.
It was proving to be a surprisingly long creek, the darkness deepening, our stomachs empty and Paul's feet rather blistered. Rykers was more of a rill than a creek. We persevered; now staggering over stones and getting caught on the blind sides of deep pools wherever directional changes occurred in the creek.
By mid-evening we came to the road - but not the road we were expecting to meet. We stood there realising the fact that we had just followed Emmagen Creek from near its highest source down to the infamous Cape Tribulation to Bloomfield Road. We still had 4 kms of the road to walk back to The Blockade Site.
We were dumbfounded to think that this creek had been proposed as a road base quarry by the controversial Douglas Shire Council. (The gazettal was actually approved mid-December, 1986}. Our experience with Emmagen had left us with a feeling of wonderment in much the same way as had the old Cape Trib-Bloomfield walking track. The purity of the Daintree is being steadily and carelessly eroded.
As we trudged back along the new road in the moonlight the horrific nature of the damage to this rare coastal rainforest wilderness became apparent. Above the road is a succession of tremendous red earth washaways, huge slipping boulders, uprooted tree stumps and precariously perched forest embankments. Below the road is a mad invasion of the broad-leafed vine Maremia peltata, rows of wind-damaged and dead standing trees, splits in the canopy down to the beach and fifty-foot deep screes of red mullock. There are dumped car bodies that have been pushed over the side and the roadside is strewn with beer bottles and the usual complex of consumer packet rubbish.
This used to be a walking track in total harmony with its surroundings!
(Note. This report does demonstrate the wisdom of “essential equipment on all walks”. See Special Instructions in your Walks Program. Ed.)
The Incident At Howling Dingo camp.
When Myles Dunphy started bushwalking there were no hiking tents, only the big heavy cottage tents that one would have seen in timber camps or that the army might use. So Myles decided to design his own.
Basically he chose the pattern of today's “A” shaped wall tent, roughly 6' x 6' x 7'. A vent three inches long was made in the apex at both ends through which a rope was passed to tie onto trees or poles. Thus suspended the corner guys were pegged out - all pegs being cut on the site. Instead of the 2'9“ wall being pegged down, the lowest 9 to 12 inches was turned in along the ground and weighed down with stones, logs or bedding material. This was to stop the invasion of insects and spiders. A doorway was located at one end only and over-lapped 18” to 24“ and could be tied together with two sets (inner and outer) of tapes.
His first tent was of fair quality calico which admitted the rain as a fine mist. A discussion with a salesman led to the suggestion that “balloon silk” might be suitable. Japara (or japira) was first known as balloon silk for it was used in making foresails of 14 and 18 footers, and was a lightweight, very tightly woven special quality Egyptian cotton.
In October 1914 Myles set off with Bert Gallop for a long walk in the upper Kowmung Region. The rugged terrain slowed progress which was helped by continual bad weather. From Trailers Mountain they descended to the Kowmung, then attempted to reach the Boyd Range. Heavy mist and rain saw the mates wandering round the aptly named Lost Rock beside the Uni Rover Trail.
They eventually returned to the Kowmung River and made camp at the foot of Misery Ridge. Sorely tired after their wet exertions they had a meal and then fell into a heavy sleep. Myles awoke in the middle of the night with a start and an uneasy feeling. Suddenly “a banshee-like howling, now loud and strong, now quavering and lowering to an eerie moaning as of some sepulchral, wild lost spirit, now blending with the rolling sounds of the gale, carried away in the wind and tumult of the Dante-like wet hell”. A dingo was prowling round their campsite.
But Myles also realised “he was choking and that his heart was racing”. Struggling into awareness he realised that there was an oxygen deficiency - the balloon silk tent had become hermetically sealed. The flapping of the wind and the moisture had adhered the doors together, and the air vents had drawn together depriving the inhabitants of sufficient air.
Discussing the brush with death next morning with Bert, whom Myles could not awaken during the night's events, they made plans to alter the pitching of the tent. “Thus the points of bushwalking craft or mountain trailing as they knew it, were worked out by two who unwittingly pioneered a new kind of nature-loving recreation, in their search for wild scenery of unspoiled places”.
60th Anniversary Diner.
Tickets for admission to the Club's 60th Anniversary Dinner at Holiday Inn Menzies, 14 Carrington Street on Friday, 23rd October are now available.
They may be obtained in the Club Room from Ian Debert at $30 per person. In addition a limited supply will be available from each Club Committee Officer if you live near one of them.
Tickets may be obtained by post if a cheque/money order payable to The Sydney Bush Walkers and accompanied by a stamped self-addressed envelope is sent to S.B.W. Box 4476 G.P.O., Sydney, 2001.
The Menzies require a firm booking, indicating numbers likely to attend, by 1st July next, so please ensure your booking is made before that date.
60th Anniversary T-shirts, with the Club name and badge, will be available after Easter at the Club Room at a cost of approx. $8 each.
The Annual General Meeting.
by Barry Wallace.
It was all reminiscent of a gathering of the clans, with more than 80 members present and the President in the chair when the meeting began at around 1950 hours.
New members Christina Douglass, Elaine Walton, Michele Miller, Ruth Hesselyn, Peter Grove and Christine Floyd were called for welcome into membership and most of them were present too.
There were apologies from Beverley Foulds, Denise Shaw and Elaine Walton and the Minutes of the previous meeting were read and received with no matters arising.
Correspondence brought letters from Doreen Berry, regarding Maurie Berry's long association with the Club and forwarding a contribution to the 60th Anniversary celebrations; from North Sydney Council regarding storage of material in the old hall. There were no matters arising, so we passed to the election of officers with the traditional suspension of such of the standing orders as was necessary to permit the election of officers to be conducted concurrently with the other business of the meeting. We also resolved that in the case of a single position the voting should be first past the post and for multiple positions the voting should be preferential.
The results of the election have appeared in the March issue of the magazine. The good news is that subs remain the same as last year.
The Annual Report for year ended 31/1/87 and the Financial Statements and Accounts for the same period were taken as read and received with no comments.
There was no Treasurer's Report for the month as the accounts had been in for audit, so we passed on to the Walks Report.
Over the weekend 13,14,15 February Jim Percy led a party of 4 on his Bungonia Gorge trip and David Rostron reported his party of 12 being bailed-up by a large wedgetailed eagle on the way out of Davies Canyon. Jan Mohandas reported a party of 35 under warm and humid conditions on his Bundeena to Audley walk, and Errol Sheedy had 12 on his Cronulla to Bundeena walk.
The following weekend 20,21,22 Feb saw 8 under-35-at-heart starters on Carol Bruce's Wollongambe lilo trip. They were troubled by marsupial mice and Don Finch managed to break a rib. Bill Holland's walk in Eloura bushland attracted 20 starters who found ready sanctuary at the leader's house when heavy rain ruined their bushland lunch. Ian Debert's Macarthur's Flat day trip was conducted over two days with a party of 10.
On Wednesday 25th Feb Bill Hall had a party of 6 enjoying mild, dry conditions on his Waterfall to Loftus walk.
Of the two walks scheduled for the weekend of 28-29 Feb both were cancelled with Gordon Lee reporting no starters and Alan Doherty pleading rain. Bill Hall reported 10 people on his March 1st Glenbrook walk in the rain.
The weekend of 6,7,8 March saw Bill Holland with 22 people on his Yalwal trip, and Bill Capon reported 4 starters on his Shoalhaven River, Rotten Creek exploratory trip. Oliver Crawford's Wollongambe walk is reported to have gone, but there are no details. Ralph Pengliss had 10 plus what was described as a “stray girl” on his Cremorne to Manly harbourside walk, and Derek Wilson had 17 starters enjoying scratchy scrub on a pleasant day's map-reading instructional. Greta Davis reported 8 people on a perfect day for her Grand Canyon walk to bring the Walks Report to a close.
The constitutional amendment was carried.
General Business saw some debate on a proposal to construct a national horse trail from Cooktown to Melbourne. Peter Stitt will seek to obtain more information from the organisation which appears to have access to bicentenary funds for the purpose.
Federation Report brought advice that F.B.W. will enquire further from the N.S.W. Minister for Police regarding a floated proposal to charge rescued parties the cost of rescue. A press release from Ms. Crozier seems to indicate that fishing and car tours will be permitted in some areas of the Warragamba foreshores. The N.C.C. is to write to ask the State Government to provide insurance schemes for incorporated clubs. The N.P.W.S. has advised that it will repair the road to the Glow Worms Tunnel. N.P.W.S. says that access along the Narrow Necks fire trail is limited to emergency use. There is a Bush Dance scheduled for 1st May.
In matters arising, we resolved to instruct our F.B.W. delegates that we do not object to fishing in M.W.S.& D. Board catchments as long as equal facilities are extended to bushwalkers.
Then there were various votes of thanks to retiring office bearers and workers. The meeting also agreed that the new committee should consider installing a gate at the road entrance to Coolana.
Tickets are now available for the 60th Anniversary dinner to be held Friday, 23rd October, and the T-shirts are on the way… so don't give up hope.
The meeting closed at 2154 with the President's call - “Let us reune”, and we did, but that's another story. (See page 2)
What Ain't We Got?
According to the musical Play “South Pacific” - “We ain't got dames”.
S.B.W. archives are different. We ain't got any Club Annual Reports or Lists of Members.
Probably we won't have much trouble in collecting these documents for the period 1980 - to date. Earlier records are rare as hens' teeth.
Please, oh please, let us know if you have any old Annual Reports/Membership Lists, and are willing to donate them to a decent collection of our archives.
Jim Brown - Phone 81 2675. Ainslie Morris - 428 3178.
Social Notes For May.
by Wendy Aliano.
After the great success of our last-minute substitute Kanangra Slide Night, I think that Budawangs is a good follow-up theme for the May 27th Slide Night. Bring along Budawangs slides, old ones are of as much interest as recent trips. If you haven't been to the Budawangs come and see what you have been missing.
The other May Club nights need little comment. Please don't call me if you want to eat out, though, as my phone is often far too busy on Mon.-Tues. with walks calls. Just come and eat if you want to.
The new clubrooms are great, so all of you out there who haven't been yet make the effort and come along.
Annual Subscriptions 1987.
For application form see reverse of this notice.
Theatre Party Dates.
'The Gingerbread Lady' by Neil Simon. Ensemble Theatre. Tuesday, May 3rd. $14.30.
'Away' by Michael Gow. Drama Theatre, Opera House. Tuesday, June 2nd. $20.30.
'Biloxi blues' by Neil Simon. Drama Theatre, Opera House. Tuesday, 16th June. $24.30.
'Emerald City' by David Williamson. Tuesday, 1st December. $22.30. Stu/Pen. $17.
These prices represent a saving of up to $5 on each ticket through group booking. Student/pensioner prices for the first three plays are not known at present.
Fazeley Read - Phone 909 3671
Federation Of Bushwalking Clubs - Bush Dance.
Friday, 1st May. Lane Cove Town Hall. 7.30 pm. $8 per person.
Free Selectors Band. Lucky door Prizes, also a Raffle. B.Y.O.Food & drink.
Proceeds in aid of Search & Rescue.
The Sydney Bushwalkers - Annual Subscription 1987.
Please send this notice with your cheque/money order to:-
The Hon. Treasurer, The Sydney Bush Walkers, Box 4476 G.P.O., Sydney, 2001.
Name/s: (For ALL members in household) ………
If a receipt is required please send a stamped addressed envelope.
Type: Single - Household - Non-active with magazine - Non-active - Active over 70 years of age.
(Cross out those not applicable)
Amount enclosed: $…..
[Single $20 - Household $20 plus $10 for each extra person, $30 for two, $40 for three, $50 for four - Non-active with magazine $10 - Non-active $5 - Active over 70 years of age $10 - Prospective (6 months only)$15 - Magazine subscription only $10.]