Table of Contents
THE SYDNEY BUSHWALKER
Established June 1931
A monthly bulletin of matters of interest to The Sydney Bush Walkers Incorporated, Box 4476 GPO, Sydney 2001. Club meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7.45 pm at the Ella Community Centre, 58a Dalhousie Street, Haberfield (next to the Post Office). Prospective members and visitors are invited to visit the Club on any Wednesday. To advertise in this magazine please contact the Business Manager.
|EDITOR:||Patrick James, PO Box 170, Kogarah 2217. Telephone 588 2814|
|BUSINESS MANAGER:||Anita Doherty, 2 Marine Cres, Hornsby Heights 2077 Telephone 476 6531|
|PRODUCTION MANAGER:||Helen Gray - Telephone 86 6263|
|PRINTERS:||Kenn Clacher & Morag Ryder|
|Editorial - No Middle Ground||2|
|The Helsham Inquiry||by Alex Colley||3|
|Forbes River Traverse||Oliver Crawford||4|
|What's in a Name? - Of “K” and of “G”||Jim Brown||7|
|Just a Dot on the Map||Bill Gamble||8|
|Mount Dot||Dot Butler||9|
|Christopher's Walk in the Bush||Errol Sheedy||11|
|Conservation: re Roadway at Narrow Neck||Alex Colley||12|
|The June General Meeting||Barry Wallace||12|
|Letter to the Editor||Ray Franklin||14|
|Federation BW Clubs NSW, June meeting||Spiro Hajinakitas||14|
|Postscript to Volley Foot||Dr Finley||15|
(Deadline for August issue - Articles 27 July, Notes 3 August)
No Middle Ground
As Editor I have adopted the policy of leaving matters of conservation to the Club's Conservation Secretary. A sensible approach to what can be a complex subject. The recent events in Tasmania however have prompted me to take up my pen and offer a few comments of my own.
In Tasmania we have two groups with diametrically opposed views each with a fervent desire to win. It does not matter what the groups are called, wet, dry, green, non-green, loggers, anti-loggers, just that there are the two groups looking for a “we win, you lose” result to their conflict. I believe that neither group has considered a win win result.
Have either group tried to consider the position of the other group? Are there alternatives to wood chips? Have both groups considered alternative work for the timber workers if the trees are not logged? Have both groups considered what happens if the forests are decimated.
Both groups suffer from poor public relations. The loggers talk about jobs and economic benefit but nowhere do they show land where the forest has been regenerated and where studies indicate that the fauna from before has returned. The anti-loggers get themselves arrested or lie in the path of mobile plant as a way of publicity. Have they shown how forests can be logged correctly or other rural work for the loggers?
And the Helsham Inquiry. The need for an inquiry suggests that the topic is sensitive and in the balance, ie 50/50 or so. The Helsham Inquiry concluded 92/8. If only 8% was worth saving it did not need an Inquiry. Blind Freddy could have seen that only one tree in 12 was worth keeping or one hectare in 12 had some value.
What do we do now, where do we go from here? We'll probably follow the usual way of things and have a stand-up fight, one group will “win” and the other will not and with the next change of government the decision will be reversed. And in the long run future generations will say, as we say of past generations, why did they do it? NOTE: The above and in fact all items in this magazine are open to response by members, and such response is welcome. Letters to the Editor are published subject to editorial license, the laws of libel and if their length is less than 250 words.
THE HELSHAM INQUIRY
by Alex Colley
The Helsham Inquiry into the World Heritage value of the Lemonthyme and Southern Forests in Tasmania has, as expected, recommended that only a small percentage (8%) of the forests has heritage value.
In all respects but one the Tasmanian Forests campaign closely resembles the NSW rainforest campaign. The rainforests were the last remnants of once-extensive forests. Ninety per cent of Tasmania's bigger trees have already gone. It was proved that rainforest trees took centuries to mature. The same is probably true of the Tasmanian giants. Nobody knew whether a regenerated rainforest would be like existing forests. Nor do we know how, or when, the Tasmanian forests would recover, if ever allowed to do so. There were five inquiries into rainforest preservation all of which favoured logging. This was because the opinion of the forest industries, supported by the Forestry Commission and the lawyers, economists etc was accepted rather than that of the many ecologists and scientists who gave evidence. The Helsham Inquiry consisted of a lawyer, an economist and an ecologist. Only the ecologist Peter Hitchcock, from the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service, wanted the Tasmanian forests preserved.
The difference between the two campaigns is that the Tasmanian Government is sure to accept the findings of the inquiry, whereas the NSW Government, at the end of a 10 year campaign by conservationists, decided to preserve the rainforests. Its judgement was vindicated by the World Heritage listing of the forests.
Conservationists reject the widely accepted belief that only money matters (exemplified by 'cost-benefit analysis'), an approach which means that forests are merely a collection of logs. Mr. F. G. Short made this point very clearly when, in a letter published in “The Sydney Morning Herald” on 25th May, he challenged the editorial statement that environmental decisions were going to be “made on a rational basis”. He wrote:-
“This would nullify the basic tenet that wilderness is worth preserving for its own sake. When the US Congress made Yellowstone America's (and the World's) first national park, it was not a rational decision, but an act of human decency by men who felt that a pristine portion of their country should be preserved for all time. Aesthetic and emotional values do have a rightful place in human affairs If the Lemonthyme and Southern Forests are exploited, as the Helsham Inquiry recommends, a small section of the community will be enriched but the Australian people as a whole, and their Government, will stand condemned of great poverty of spirit.”
FORBES RIVER TRAVERSE
by Oliver Crawford
Werikimbe National Park (near Wauchope)
Leader: Carol Bruce
Members: Carol Lubbers, John Porter, Jim Oxley, MOrie Ward, Oliver Crawford
Prospective Member: Paul Tancred
1. Who ridicules a fellow walker's footwear as being inadequate on wet rocks, and promptly upends himself in the 'dead fly' position?
2. Who kneels and faces Mecca when lighting a fire that obviously just won't light?
3. Who prefers to eat his carefully cooked Italian gourmet dish off the rain forest floor?
4. Who sights rare mice at dusk running up and down liana vines in the rain forest?
5. Who finds all the deadly reptiles in the woods?
6. Who doesn't believe in cooking on camping trips, if anywhere at all?
If your curiosity to these stimulating teasers is aroused, read on. The answers will be revealed to you.
Cockerawombeeba Creek Flat was the meeting place for the two vehicles on Boxing Day of 1987. The second car arrived about 6 pm and despite the welcoming cacophony of sound from the local insect population (see article on cicadas) we all settled in, had a swim, cooked tea and bedded down for the night.
Next morning was warm, sunny and, yes, noisy.
We discovered that simply putting on our hats reduced the noise level considerably, and, further, it was less noisy in the tents. The obvious conclusion to escape the noise then was either to leave the site, or go into your tent and put your hat on! We chose the former procedure.
Having tired of being deafened, we hastened into John Porter's car and set off for our starting point where the trail crosses the upper reaches of the Forbes and shortly thereafter reaches the 'Racecourse'. We ceremoniously weighed our packs, which varied from 27 to 42 lb (guess who took that honour) and started off.
At first the going was es we sighted trout in a large pool, open, and more or less level, the stream gentle. Shortly we sighted trout in a large pool. Soon Soon it became more scrubby and we took to the river bed. After two hours we rounded a corner and there we were, looking down the throat of a small canyon, quite unexpectedly, at a beautiful pool beyond, with the water crashing into it in about a 10 metre waterfall. Negotiating our way down to the pool, we made an obvious lunch spot, swam, and fed the skinks peanut butter and squashed flies. One thought my finger tasted better!
After lunch the rock hopping started and remained for most of the rest of the trip. One spot worthy of note, not long before camp, a fascinating rock formation featuring parallel rounded ribs of rock between which ran the several shallow channels of the river. On one side was a huge overhanging wall of black rock and around everything the rain forest.
We found a good spot to camp but it was already occupied by six members of SPAN, one of who had been a prospective with SBW. Problem - to find another spot in the area of limited camping sites. We found a not so bad one a little way up a ridge which was not exactly level but good enough and we settled in for the night.
When darkness came down and we settled into our beds the bush seemed to come alive. There were scrapings and rustling everywhere around us. By torch I examined two visitors at close range - a huge cockroach which found us straddled across its usual hunting ground, and later an equally large beetle which tried to hide under my 'pillow' upon being illuminated. This character was startlingly beautiful, having large bright orange stripes alternating with black across its body. These two creatures of the night were redirected on their way and scurried off into the night, presumably in search of either a mate or food.
Next morning we carried on our merry way and the remainder of the trip was rather similar. Our next campsite was a pebbly beach, where it started raining and remained so for the next three days.
About twice each day we needed to take a high sidle up one side or the other to negotiate an obstacle (e.g. waterfall) always in the rainforest. The ensuing nights camps were on dripping rainforest flats above the river. Fire starters were employed since by this time everything was getting pretty wet. On one wet evening almost in the final few minutes of daylight a small mouse was observed in silhouette climbing a liana. This was observed by three of us, the other three thought we had finally snapped. We all agreed that the fireflies were a wonderful sight - they actually flew in between and around us.
At one camp, about the fourth night on the river, Jim Oxley demonstrated a new way of eating dinner. He had cooked his pasta away from the main fire, brought it over to eat in front of us, ceremoniously tipped it on the forest floor and sat down to consume his meal direct off the ground. Do you always eat like that out in the bush, Jim?
New Year's Eve was meant to be a fairly relaxed day of more level walking culminating in a nice camp site. Well, firstly we were amazed to find ourselves negotiating another canyon, one of us on all fours, secondly this writer damaged an eye negotiating a scrubby patch, and thirdly our fearless leader Carol attempted to continue her love affair with the reptile world by nearly stepping on a Death Adder. Even when examining the snake from a safe distance of two metres and having it pointed out repeatedly I found it difficult to see, so well camouflaged it was. Perhaps I should have put my glasses on!
New Year's Eve was celebrated at a level camp site formed in the junction of the river and a major, unnamed side creek. This was only about 500 metres further on from the Death Adder siting - they don't travel that far, do they? Anyway, we consumed a lot of lemon barley (with rum of course), port, biscuits, cheese, etc and then we had dinner! At this point the rain had gone also, so our spirits were considerably lighter.
My damaged eye caused a slight change of planning. It was decided to get me to Wauchope hospital that day, which we achieved about midday. On returning to camp we decided to spend our final night high in the hills to escape the cicadas and the heat. This we did and a pleasant night was enjoyed by all.
The amazing discovery of the trip was that there were no leeches in the rainforest, nor for that matter any other beasties such as ants, apart from the snake already mentioned, which totally ignored us anyhow.
Thank you, Carol, for a stimulating walk in a new and little explored area (by SBW at any rate). Let there be many more in similar vein.
Answers to questions:
1. Jim Oxley
2. Morie Ward
3. Jim Oxley
4. At least three of us did
5. Carol Bruce
6. Paul Tancred
WHAT'S IN A NAME? - OF "K" AND OF "G"
by Jim Brown
Not only the Australian Aborigines, who advanced Australia Fair for perhaps 40,000 years, but also the Poms who came along about 200 years ago to show them how to do it properly, seem to have had trouble with words including (and particularly words commencing with) “k” and “g” - or, to be strictly correct, the sounds those letters are intended to convey.
One may fairly ask “What's the problem about 'k' and ‘g'?” Well, apparently there is quite an affinity. Any writer of Isaac Pitman's shorthand will know that. His method is based on sounds rather than the printed letters. He focusses on the way lips, tongue and teeth go about producing the sounds and in the cases of “k” and “g” points out that we speak them in exactly the same way, with the proviso that “g” is slightly more emphatic, more forcibly uttered. Thus in shorthand the sound “k” is represented by a light stroke, and “g” by the same symbol but written heavily. Several other consonants can be paired in the same way - for example “t” and “d” or “p” and “b”.
Here it is important to bear in mind two things. The sound “k” is often spelt and written as “c” (as in “cake”, “cold”): while “g” may be “hard g” (“gain” or “gold”) or “soft g” (“general”, “agitate”) - usually where the “g” is followed by the vowels “e” or “i”. In these cases it really isn't a “g” at all, but has the sound “j”, and in shorthand is written as a “j”.
Anyway, accepting that “k” and “g” come from the same stable, it is not surprising that their usage in place names may have become confused. Perhaps in first writing down names that included these sounds, it depended on the hearing of the early European settlers, or how much the aboringine's teeth had been worn by his gritty diet.
Back in the 1830s, William Romaine Govett - an eminently respectable citizen and NOT a bushranger who jumped his horse over a waterfall as some legends would have it - was engaged in surveying in the Blue Mountains. He reported to his superior (Major Mitchell, I think) that the area near Tyra Saxe Point (Three Sisters) was known to the local aboriginal tribe as “Godomba” and the big valley to the west of the Narrow Necks Peninsula was called by them “Gandingbla”. Of course, Govett, whose own name began with a “hard g” may have been prejudiced, and he certainly was a “G-man” as we know those places now at “Katoomba” (and don't try to tell me “Kedumba” isn't the same) and the valley as “Kanimbla”.
Let's travel further south and surmount “Jenolan Trig”. The bushwalker name is GUOUOGANG, and one of Myles Dunphy's maps suggests this should be pronounced something like “K00-0H-WOH-GANG” (initial sound “k” not “g” as spelt). Not far away is Mount Queahgong (KWEE-AH-GONG) which just goes to show that “q” with its satellite “u” can sometimes stand in for “kw”. As for that name Jenolan, we find it again up in the Capertee Valley, this time spelt “Genowlan”, which simply confirms that a “soft g” is really a “j”.
I dare say no one will argue about the “k” in “Kanangra”, and I'll lay a shade of odds that the name of the clearing where the Kanangra River joins the Cox is exactly the same word, with a couple of extra letters tossed in to make it “Konangaroo”. But what about the name of the aboriginal tribe that inhabited the area - sometimes rendered as “Gundungura”? Well, if you use a “k” instead of the initial “g” dear, oh dear, it's very like “Kanangra” again, isn't it?
So there we are. Seward of aboriginal names with “k” or “g” in them. We may have them right. We may not. Perhaps “Gangerangs” should be “Kangerangs” - but no matter. Either is lots better than, say “Randals Range” or “Halliday Heights”.
(EDITOR: Another wealth of information from our own encyclopaedic Ghym Brown - many thanks.)
JUST A DOT ON THE MAP
by Bill Gamble
John Hall-Jones was sheltering from a rather chilly mist blowing up from the Hollyford Valley in New Zealand's Fiordland National Park, on Friday 18th March 1988. The forecast was for clearing conditions and before I arrived he had been sitting patiently for an hour or so on Key Summit waiting to view the panorama of peaks and valleys as the mist lifted.
The conversation drifted along like the mist, revealing a little here and there to maintain interest as we waited. I found out that John is the brother of Gerard Hall-Jones, editor of the southern section of heir's Guide Book, that invaluable gathering of information on the tramping tracks and routes of the great southern lakes and fiords of Otago and Southland; while John, himself, is the author of a book on the place names of fiordland. When I referred in passing to bushwalking back in Sydney, the whole drift of our conversation altered. It suddenly had a purpose.
John pointed away to the solid wall of grey mist to north-west, in the direction of the Darran Mountains and said that there was a peak named after a bushwalker from Australia (he found the term bushwalkery a most curious one and quite unfamiliar to him apart from the reference in his book). Out of my pack came a copy of NZMS 1 5113 - Tutoko, in the inch to the mile series, and a sure knowledge of the area soon had John pointing to Mount Dot, 5680', north-east of the great Tutoko itself, in a straight line with the head of Lake McKerrow.
Lake Agnes lay on its southern flank. (Note: The grid reference is 006248. The peak is also marked on the map of Fiordland National Park, NZMS 273, at 1731 m, but there is no grid reference available.)
John knew little about this lady from Australia when compiling the place names book, apart from the comments of a friend, a former President of the NZ Alpine Club, who had recalled her as quite a character.
Little as I know about fellow Club member, Dot Butler, I suggested that it might be the same lady, given age and something I had heard about alpine activities in New Zealand in her younger days. No, the name did not sound right to John, so I tried Dorothy English and he confirmed that that was the correct name. I told him the little I knew about one of the living legends of the club called Sydney Bush Walkers. A gap in his background knowledge to a place name in his book had been closed.
As the mist seemed no closer to lifting, John reluctantly gave up his waiting to return to Invercargill by evening. With time in hand, I remained and was rewarded, as forecast, with rising mist and a memorable late afternoon of scenery.
So, next time you are down the Hollyford Track and the day is clear, look for a vantage point to view Mount Dot - it looks to be an impressively placed mountain and a demanding climb judging by the contour lines on the map and a photograph in Moir's Guide Book. I wonder how long it has been since a SBW member has climbed the peak. Perhaps climbers in the Club's ranks should make its ascent a periodic event on the calendar as a continuing tribute to one of our enduring members.
[Our New Zealand friends should invest in a copy of “The Sydney Bush Walkers - The First Sixty Years”, Appendix 3 is a list of place names, named after SBW members and includes the said Mount Dot. EDITOR.]
By Dot Butler
Some of you may have seen Gillian Coote's documentary film “A Singular Woman” about one of our very early members, Marie Byles. Marie was Australia's first practising woman lawyer and was the Club's honorary legal representative. She was also a mountaineer, again one of the first in Australia. She was always looking for peaks that were “real” peaks, not just bumps on a ridge like we have in the Blue Mountains, so when she heard of the Warrumbungles, part of a station property out the back of Gilgandra, she couldn't rest till she had contacted the owner and got permission for a party of us from the SBW to go there in 1935 and attempt to climb some of the exciting 4,000' high peaks that rose out of the Western Plains.
One of the party was Dr. Eric Dark of Katoomba, member of a rock-climbing club known as The Blue Mountaineers, but facetiously called “The Katoomba Suicide Club” (people were not yet used to seeing rock-climbers pitting themselves against the decayed sandstone faces of our precipices).
Eric Dark and I made the first ascent of Crater Bluff, watched from below by an ecstatic Marie and the other three of our party. Next day Eric went off to phone his wife Eleanor to tell her the good news. While he was away I took Marie and Susan Reichhardt and “Pan” Paszak to the top of Crater Bluff, surmounting some difficult pitches by means of a fixed rope I set up here and there on one of the shorter sides of the mountain. On our return to Sydney Marie sent an article to a women's magazine describing the amazing climbing feats of one Dot English and saying that she was now going to start a Rock Climbing Section of the SBW, which we forthwith did, and Marie donated our first climbing rope. So you see she was one of my “fans”, if one may give such an appellation to someone as serious minded as Marie.
On one of her annual holidays, climbing and exploring in the little known fjordland area of New Zealand, she spied a bright little lake to which she gave the name Lake Dot, appropriately enough as it was small and circular like a full stop. She told me this was named after me, although I can't claim ever to have paddled my feet in it. So there we have Lake Dot.
After a generation of years had passed someone told me that there was now no longer a Lake Dot - maybe it had disappeared, as small lakes have a habit of doing in the “shaky isles” due to earthquake activity and the breaking down of enclosing moraine walls. The name had now been applied to a small mountain nearby. So now Mount Dot, 5,880' (or 1,713 m), is there on the map for people like Bill Gamble to wonder about. Whether this mountain was one of the unnamed heaps of rock I used to race up barefoot in the frisky days of my youth I don't know - it might be difficult to check after the passing of half a century. But anyhow, there it is.
While we're in the vicinity of Mount Tutoko I must tell you this. Tutoko is the highest climb in New Zealand as it rises from sea level to something over 8,000 ft. (Although Mount Cook is 12,349 ft, climbers start from high huts five or six thousand feet up its flanks.)
My son Norman, with three companions, had been for days bivvi-ing under a rock overhang at the base of Tutoko, waiting for the weather to clear (33 ft annual rainfall in that region!) but still the rain poured down. At length Doone Wyborn had to leave as work called, and the other two went with him. Norman decided, hopefully, to wait one more day, after which his food would run out.
Luckily next day the weather cleared and he made his solo climb to the top. When he returned to the base he encountered a Japanese “Expedition to Mount Tutoko”, complete with flags, coloured tents, climbing ropes, ironmongery - all the trappings. They listened in amazement to Norman's story and then asked if he would lead them to the top. “I've got no food left,” said Norman. They offered to feed him, so on their rice biscuits and alien food he went up again and led them to the summit. He thought so little of this achievement that it wasn't till I read his Diary years later that I knew of it. We Butlers would be a sore disappointment to Marie Byles - we don't go in much for publicity.
CHRISTOPHER'S WALK IN THE BUSH
by Errol Sheedy
The forest has no horrors, as the sea:
And those who walk throughout the bush well know There are no baddies out there in the dark Behind all those angopheras - good grief. But there are certain things to be careful About, such as just where you put your foot Down, and fall. The very act is so yuck! Especially when one finds that a slight Precipitation has bestowed forthwith A broken wrist, a fractured leg, or both.
The forest has 'no horrors, as the sea: And if you avoid falling and tumbling, Then you could well be spared in order to Confront the dreaded bull dog ants, and friends.
Friends! what a misnomer; as if any Such universally reviled insects Could have apologists beyond the ranks Of entomologists and nesting queens. (And leeches are fun to encounter too, Along rainforest trails from time to time.)
The forest has no horrors, as the sea: And snakes are not really a problem now That we know they are more afraid of us Than we of them - I wonder do they know? And just when we think we are perfectly Safe and at ease around the campfire at Night, there are still the dangers of tripping Over a billy of boiling water - And in bare feet at the edge of the fire Those treacherous grey ashes hide great heat.
The forest has no horrors, as the sea: The land is such a benign place, really, That we'll say no more about the falling Rocks, and bushfires horrendous to behold; And giant stinging trees and nettles on A quiet stretch along the Cox where floods And hypothermia conspire to spoil
A spring walk in the bush, which would be worth The risk, the foregoing notwithstanding, Were it not for the Club's betrothal rate!
The forest has no horrors, as the sea.
Extract from Alex Colley's letter to the National Parks & Wildlife Service, dated 3rd June, 1988. * RE: ROADWAY AT NARROW NECK *
For over 50 years this Club has opposed the roading of the Narrow Neck Peninsula, south of Katoomba. The Peninsula is not only a remarkable geological feature, but provides the most scenic walking access to our most scenic wilderness area. Before the vehicular track was constructed it was the most favoured route to the wilderness. It is not shown as an important management track on the Blue Mountains National Park Draft Plan of Management map, and we believe that the plan should provide for its closure and revegetation.
Closure of the road and revegetation would be wholly in accord with management priority 1 of the Plan - protection and restoration of the scenic quality of the park. Plan priority point 14 provides that “Tracks roads and other disturbances not required for visitor use or management purposes will be rehabilitated”. Public vehicle access is to be restricted to public and park roads and all other unwanted tracks to be progressively closed and rehabilitated. Although park management policy is to restrict vehicular use to public and park roads, this restriction is impossible to enforce with present staffing levels.
The only justification for the road is access to the Water Board's fire tower on Clear Hill. We understand that identification of fire location is difficult from Clear Hill and has to be checked by aircraft and that in general fire towers now serve a limited purpose.
The preparation of the Blue Mountains National Park Management Plan affords a very reasonable opportunity for the NPWS to approach the Water Board with a request for removal of the fire tower. No doubt the existence of the vehicular track causes as much concern to the Service as it does to us, and the Board may well be sympathetic to such a request.
Closure of the track would be an important step towards the restoration of the Narrow Neck Peninsula and Jamison and Kedumba Valleys to wilderness.
THE JUNE GENERAL MEETING
by Barry Wallace
As meeting time approached one could be forgiven for some checking of numbers to see if we would make the required quorum. However, there were at least 16 members in the hall and three out in the kitchen when the President called the meeting to order at around 2010, and the number in the hall grew to some 24 or so as the evening went on.
There were numerous apologies; Alex Colley with his broken arm, Jeff Niven, Alan Doherty, Centralia inc., Uncle Tom Cobbley New members George Gamble and Bert Carter were called for welcome but only Bert was present.
The Minutes of last month's meeting were read and received, the only business arising being mention that the printing instructional day will be further rescheduled to August/ September. The Committee has decided to apportion Coolana funds and the Secretary will write advising Dot Butler.
There was no correspondence. The Secretary is away in Central Australia and had not passed on the key to the box.
At this stage the call for the Treasurer's Report brought news that Anita Doherty has resigned, but that fortunately we have found a volunteer in Jim Oxley. Anita delivered her swan song, however, and it went like this:- We began the month with $3562.75, received income of $2480.08, spent $367.95, and closed with a balance of $5674.88.
Yes, Virginia, there was a Walks Report, but there is this holiday, see, and a deadline, strictly enforced if the Editor ever gets his way.
General Business brought display of a slasher, the ticks are possibly amused but we shall see. We are advised that a motion that the Club purchase such a machine will be moved at the next General Meeting.
A procedural motion relating to our incorporation will also be moved at the next G.M. to the effect that in the event of the winding up or un-incorporation of the body incorporate, surplus property shall be vested in the Environment Centre of NSW.
A motion was passed unopposed that we write to the Federal Minister for Conservation expressing our concern at the majority report of the Helsham Inquiry and urging acceptance of the minority report.
So then it was a matter of the announcements, and the meeting closed at around 2104.
Please include the following names in your List of Members:-
CARTER, Bert, 4/4 Tuckwell Place, North Ryde, 2113 909 5599 (8) 888 1513 (H)
GAMBLE, George, 25/8 Milner Crescent, Wollstonecraft, 2065 922 8141 (8) 439 4328 (H)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
by Ray Franklin.
Members should be advised that PADDY PALLIN's appear to have made a radical change to their policy on discounts. The 10% cash discount for members of the Sydney Bushwalkers (of which we were reminded at a club meeting a few months ago) is now 8% according to staff at the Kent Street store.
More importantly, it would now seem to apply only to old stock, as I discovered today when I requested the discount on some $300 worth of bush gear - for the record, a Gore-tex parka and a chlorofibre-type shirt, of P.P.'s own design, called a “tech-top”. I was informed that there could be no discount on either garment, because they were “new lines”. a fairly lengthy explanation followed, which seemed to be along the lines that P.P.s are now operating on low profit margins, because of the high cost of making quality products, and discounting was therefore inappropriate to said products, though still applicable to items which were not “new lines” - which, by implication, would therefore appear to be of a lesser quality (no, it didn't make a great deal of sense to me either!).
I suspect that what they really mean is that their profit margins have been forced down by increased competition in the Sussex Street area; you've probably noticed that they are now surrounded by other firms selling similar gear, often at much lower prices (compare the costs of things that aren't offered under the P.P. label, like billies and dehydrated food, for instance).
ALSO members should note that Paddy Pallin's have now taken to asking for club membership cards that we don't have, in response to requests for the SBW discount which they effectively don't give. When informed that we never have had membership cards, the assistant concerned was most insistent that I must have some proof of membership, and most disbelieving when I said I did not - which seems illogical to me, since anyone who was not a member of our very small fellowship would almost certainly not know about the SBW discount, and therefore not be in a position to ask for it.
Be that as it may, the above does suggest that perhaps recent moves to introduce SSW membership cards should be accelerated: if only so that members can claim cash discounts at stores which have a more liberal policy in this regard than seems to be operated by Paddy Pallin's at present. What do other members think?
[NOTE: Paddy's have been invited to reply to Ray's letter and a response is expected to be published next month. I have spoken with Paddy's management and generally a discount is offered on general items, but alon “specials”, “sale” or “introduction price” goods. The exact details are expected in Paddy's response. Any other comments? ED.]
FEDERATION OF BUSHWALKING CLUBS NSW - Report of June Meeting.
by Spiro Hajinakitas
Conservation: 1. Tony Parr to investigate what appears to be a new hut at Era RNP.
2. Re-routing of Mt. Piper-Marulan Transmission Line. Federation is concerned at the suggestion that this line may be re-routed to cross the western corner of the Kanangra-Boyd N.P. through Morong Deep. The present route, accepted by ELCOM as the most economical and environmentally sound, was the product of detailed investigation by ELCOM including a comprehensive EIS. Further review of the route is unnecessary and totally undermines the environment planning process. Letters MUST BE WRITTEN BY INDIVIDUALS, at once, opposing any action that would damage this valuable asset. Write to the Hon. T. PICKERING MP, Minister for Energy, Parliament House, Macquarie Street, Sydney 2000.
3. A motion was carried that Federation write to NPWS drawing their attention to the gross overuse of areas in the Snowy Mountains, i.e. the area around Mawson's Hut is completely d enuded of firewood.
Newsletter: Two half page advertisements have been accepted. Articles arid Club news are required by the Editors.
Search & Rescue: 1. A motion was carried that Federation buy three ex-police car radios for $70 each.
2. Federation has been offered a free stand at the Sport & Leisure Show-at the showground sometime in September. A committee has been formed to prepare a stand.
3. Thirty people attended last First Aid Course. Next course to be held in October.
4. S. & R. to supply 12 people to man checkpoints next August in Paddy Pallin Skiing Classic.
5. Clubs participating in S & R practice 23/24 July are asked to ring Bob Cavill on (02) 520 5634 stating anticipated numbers.
6. It has been reported that the standard for awarding various awards in the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme has slipped badly. It is clear that map-reading, bush leadership etc is not being taught. Their next training weekend is in August. Federation will try to supply instructors, using our Bush Leadership Course guideline as a basis.
POSTSCRIPT TO VOLLEY FOOT
BY Dr. Finley
I would like members to be the first to know about the recent break-through I have had in medical science in combating that dreadful scourge of the bushwalking community - smelly innersoles.
I can well understand the reluctance of Dr Macir not using his real name - even allowing for medical etiquette and the AMA - as it would give his age away. He obviously comes from an era that used spit instead of silicon to make boots shine and had only just discovered the antiseptic qualities of soap. His cure however only gives temporary relief. It would appear that he has done little to update himself in the marvels of modern medicine and has not done post-graduate studies in this serious social problem.
Recently in my surgery I was consulted by a tearful walker patient who recounted that on a dry summer camp she had been told to keep not only her KTs outside of the tent, but her feet as well. This problem was new to me and researching through my case books of fifty years ago I found that I had prescribed Dettol to a walker who in a dry camp had a serious BO problem. In the 1930s, BO was the most dreadful social disease known to mankind, even worse than AIDS is today. It was not until Lifebuoy soap was discovered to be an effective antidote that normal relationships for most of the population was resumed.
Dettol had been newly promoted as an antiseptic and a small phial was regularly carried by walkers. Hence in the absence of other scented lures, Dettol was a ready remedy. It only needed a light dab of Dettol behind the ears and on other offending parts of the bodyto dispel any suggestions of offence.
I decided to try Dettol and found that by sloshing enough over the inner soles to become absorbed, the cure was permanent. Since than my lady patient has reported back that she is the most sort after and popular member of a party and has received endless invitations to attend walks.
Perhaps there are many other antiseptic solutions which would be just as effective against the smelly bacteria proliferating in the humid warmth of an inner sole and walkers may care to experiment.
In the interests of good social walking, in this instance I will waive my fee.
[NOTE: Dr Finley's assumption that Dr Mac is male cannot be confirmed or denied. Professional ethics must be maintained. Readers may be assured that there is no doubt about Dr Mac's gender. ED.]
* A PRINTING INSTRUCTIONAL evening will be held on Thursday 1st September at 6 pm at Alex Colley'.s. The intention is to instruct all those would-be members of the black ink brigade in the wondrous workings of our printer. Seriously, only two people print the magazine and walks programs, there are no allowances for one or both of the two being sick or on holidays or having to work back or just simply having a break. Please rush in an orderly manner forward.
* We now have a new TREASURER. Anita Doherty resigned as she has too much normal work and not enough spare time to devote to the Treasurer's job. As quick as a flash the Committee found Jim Oxley to fill this vacancy. As usual, an audit at the change of financial managers will square the books for Jim to take over. Anita will retain the less demanding position of Magazine Business Manager.
* Mad dogs and easterners go out in the noon day sun. Three groups from SEW went off last month to Central Australia, all have returned. And one group has returned with a dingo story - hold your breath and watch these pages for it. Could we form an Alice Springs branch of the SBW? Do they have bush walking clubs there?
* Trout. Section 53/1 of the Fisheries and Oyster Farms Act 1935 prohibits the taking of trout by any means other than a hand-held rod and line, so save your tickling for warm-blooded creatures!
* On cars being stolen. Dot Butler put her car to bed in its garage and then went to bed herself. The next morning she discovered the car was missing. It was recovered the same day minus all the good bits.
* Colley's Colley Fracture. Alex Colley fell while playing tennis and broke his arm. This particular fracture is described as a “Colley Fracture” by the medical profession and no doubt by other words by Alex.
* Boots, boots, boots, or more correctly sandshoes. For those who know and for those who don't know yet:- Wayne Steel up to now has been the organiser/supplier/purveyor of sandshoes, Volleys of course, both OC and Internation types. Wayne has changed things a little – instead of ordering through him, he has arranged that we can order directly from the supplier. So if you want a new pair of Volleys, these are seconds which are first class for wandering through the bush, at about $15 a pair, contact Glen or Steven at Sterns Trading, 76 Mitchell Road, Alexandria, te1.699 1711, tell them you're from SBW and want the Wayne Steel special. If in doubt (and I thought this note was straight forward) then ring Wayne on 699 3388 (B) or 709 7050 (H). In this way Wayne can go overseas knowing that the Club won't go barefoot in his absence.
* Writing to Canberra. At the June General Meeting one Club member handed out some pro- forma letters addressed to the Prime Minister expressing concern about logging in Tasmania. The Editor has received a similar pro-forma letter addressed to the Federal Minister for the Environment. Should members wish they can get copies of these letter from the Editor. Since it is not so much the quality of the letter but the number of letters received, members could compose their own letters. Personally a thousand different letter I think would have more impact than multiple copies of a few pro-formas. If you require inspiration or the correct addresses then contact our Conservation Secretary, Alex Colley on 44 2707.
* Harry Hill, President of Talbingo & District Bushwalkers Club is writing a book on the Hume & Hovell Walking track. Harry asks any members with information of interest to contact him at 121 Dalhunty Street, Tumut 2720.
* As at the closing date of this magazine 62% of the subscriptions have been received. Remember Clause 14(d) of the Constitution - do you still wish to be a member?
* Don't forget the Club Auction on 27th July. Charlie Brown is the auctioneer. Come along for a fun evening but bring lots of goodies and your cash!