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 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||Morag Ryder, Box 347 PO, Gladesville 2111. Telephone 809 4241.|
|Business Manager||Anita Doherty, 2 Marine Crescent, Hornsby Heights, 2077. Telephone 476 6531.|
|Production Manager||Helen Gray. Telephone 86 8263.|
|Printers||Kenn Clacher, Barrie Murdoch, Les Powell, Morag Ryder.|
In This Issue:
|While the Billy Boils||The Editor||2|
|Remembered Days||Submitted by Dot Butler||2|
|South West Cape & Scotts Peak Dam - Tasmania||Ian Woolfe||3|
|Conservation News||Alex Colley||5|
|Mittagong to Katoomba - David Rostron's Way||John Redfern||7|
|Fedn. B.W.Clubs NSW - March Meeting||Spiro Hajinakitas||9|
|The Annual General Meeting||Barry Wallace||11|
|The Annual Re-Union||Helen Gray||13|
|Eastwood Camping Centre||6|
|Canoe & Camping - Gladesville & Kogarah Bay||10|
|Belvedere Taxis - Blackheath||12|
While The Billy Boils.
It is said that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Well, here is one old dog who is about to learn the trick of editing.
'The Sydney Bushwalker' has had many witty and erudite editors in the past. Jim Brown, Helen Gray and Alec Colley to name but a few. Patrick James has had to retire from this particular field of battle, so I'm picking up his pen, (reputed to be mightier than a sword,) and soldiering on.
Now, did any of you have a good trip over Easter? If you did, tell me about it, I'd love to hear the details.
I walked through part of Kanangra-Boyd at Easter, one of my favourite places. Glad it has been reprieved from the threatened transmission line. All thanks to our friends the Battling Greenies. Such intrusions in a National Park are to be fought at all costs, as even the smallest development sets a dangerous precedent for larger ones to follow. The old case of “give 'em an inch and they'll take an ell, and it may be the 'ell of a lot you will never recover”!
See you on the track …
Submitted by Dot Butler
Who walks with memories never feels alone,
His constant comrades are the moon and sun,
Shared bushland walks recalls the friends now gone,
Invisible hands restore the absent one.
Our camp still holds the footprints of the moon
That came and went a hushed and secret hour.
A glowing campfire yields the lasting boon
Remembered friendship's white immortal flower.
Who takes of beauty wine and daily bread
Will know no lack when empty years are lean.
The brimming cup is by, the feast is spread,
The sun, the moon, the stars his eyes have seen
Shall still his hunger, and his thirst he stays
With wine of friendship from remembered days.
South West Cape & Scotts Peak Dam - Tasmania.
by Ian Woolfe
29th January to 14th February l989.
The party: Ian Woolfe, Bob King, Paul McCann and four friends from the Nordic Ski Club.
We walked south to Freeney Lagoon after disembarking from a light plane at Melaleuca. A clear blue sky had allowed us to make a direct flight across the heart of South West Tasmania. With fantastic views of Mount Federation under one wing and Precipitous Bluff under the other, it was hard to know where to look.
For the next seven days we travelled the still-pristine tracks of the South West Cape circuit. New Harbour Range was our first vantage point, showing us the path we were to follow: Hidden Bay, Ketcham Bay, the Amy Range and finally, Wilsons Bight. It was from here we were to make a day trip to the Cape itself. The weather had been beautiful up to this point and we hoped for a similar day on the morrow. Alas, rain and low cloud enveloped us at our nominated departure time of 7.30 am. An hour's delay was decided on, and we were rewarded by clearing skies.
Indeed, the closer we came to the Cape, the better the weather became, until in the end we had extensive views north and east of this magnificent coastline. Massive ranges ending in towering cliffs, bay upon bay, glittering beaches, islands by the score, linked tenuously to the land by rock or reef.
Having attained our initial objective, we departed Wilsons Bight via the South West Cape Range to Window Pane Bay. This was a great day of extended ridge walking, with land and sea spread out before us. This culminated in a tremendous beach with good surfing and great views of the cape itself.
Next day was on to Noyhener Beach followed by a day trip to Stephens Beach, Going Hill and Spain Bay. We spent the day catching ocean perch, NOT catching rock lobsters, calculating the size of an aboriginal midden (100 people x 3,000 years of eating), admiring great views and practising the Tigersnake Tapdance.
The last day of the circuit back to Melaleuca was on and full of challenge. This section involved mostly trackless walking across a number of parallel ranges, through creeks, across great plains and avoiding numerous swamps. Everyone enjoyed the freedom of making our own route and it was a tired but satisfied group which collected the food parcels at Melaleuca. The night was spent in style in the Charles King Memorial Hut, chatting with the friendly and knowledgeable Ranger.
The second stage of our odyssey commenced - to Scotts Peak Dam via the Port Davey Track. The first day heralded what was to follow - blue skies, great views and steadily increasing heat. Having completed the boat crossing at Bathurst Narrows, we spent half a day ascending the great rock pyramid of Mount Rugby that dominates Bathurst Harbour. Then on to camp at Spring River after a well earned swim.
The next two days were spent walking the Port Davey Track in hot conditions - 34°C to 35°C by 10.00 am. This was more than compensated by very low humidity, frequent little streams, absence of mud and the extensive views.
We had hoped to cap the trip by spending two days on the Western Arthurs. However, this would have been quite a strenuous undertaking and the heat had sapped our energy. So Plan Two was adopted - two slack days in the Mount Anne area. After having made this decision, we all felt rather smug when, while walking into Junction Creek one hour later, within the space of 20 minutes the blue skies were replaced by driving rain, roaring wind and a 15° drop in temperature.
This poor weather continued for another three days, making our sojourn in the Mount Anne area very relaxed; two hours walking per day followed by six hours relaxing. Nevertheless, Lake Judd with its towering dolerite cliffs was spectacular and beautiful, but not conducive to swimming.
In all, a successful trip with the main objectives of South West Cape and Mount Rugby being achieved. We had above average weather - in fact sometimes too far above average, and a heightened appreciation of this uniquely beautiful and rugged wilderness area.
Annual Subscriptions 1989.
The Club's present constitution states that members who are unfinancial as at 30th June are no longer considered members. The new Treasurer would appreciate your cooperation in sending in your subscriptions as soon as possible.
by Alex Colley
It is nice to have some good news on the conservation front. We have just had the exciting news that the proposed additional wilderness areas in Ettrema, Mann and Genoa have been given official wilderness status. Ettrema offers tremendous scope for rugged walking, any additions are sure to be a bushwalker's delight. Mann has not been visited much and we have yet to explore Genoa. It will be interesting to see who puts on the first Club walk to Genoa.
Another 30,000 ha has been added to Apsley Wild River National Park. This is the old Kunderang Station; which sounds as though it will provide open going. But what of the 4WDs we wonder. Will this area suffer the same fate as the Deua - like Pitt Street on a weekend?
There seems to have been a distinct change in policy by the State Government regarding enlargement to our parks. When first elected they declared there would not be any major additions. This year we have already had an addition of 100,000 ha. Is it just possible that some (very vocal) public opinion has had something to do with this?
We are told that the logging in Mount Yengo National Park has (finally) been stopped. After a lot of angry protests from conservation groups, less-than-flattering publicity and denials that it was taking place at all. Walking in this park is pleasant, despite the lack of water, as it is mostly open country. There is a shelf-like camp site halfway up Yengo which gives splendid views - enough to compensate for the need to carry water.
Conservation groups are planning a submission to have the Blue Mountains National Park listed as a World Heritage area. Hopefully that should give it some safeguard against the rampant development which is currently taking place. The whole of the northern escarpment around Jamison Valley is now a mass of buildings. This is all too obvious when looking across the valley from Mount Solitary.
Business people in the Katoomba / Leura / Wentworth Falls megopolis vow they are trying to attract more tourists to view the 'unique' beauty of the Blue Mountains. There is nothing 'unique' or particularly beautiful about a solid mass of buildings. Unless some restraint is put on this “unplanned towning” it will destroy the very beauty which has always attracted tourists in the past.
Instead of hotels on the edge of the escarpment, a larger and more efficient sewage treatment works should be provided, giving better service to the towns. Anyone who has walked near the Leura Falls recently will have been strongly reminded of this need… pooh!
Note from Committee.
Carol Bruce, the elected Social Secretary, is not able to carry on with that job, and at the April Committee meeting another Social Secretary was appointed - Dot Butler. Other Committee members will help with the supper arrangements. The first time Dot became a committee member was 52 years ago!
Eastwood Camping Centre.
From every State, Australian Made is great!
- QBB Butter Concentrate
- Beef Jerkey
- Wilderness Equipment Backpacks
- Goretex Clothing
- Cycle Panniers
* National Maps
- Rossi Boots
- Flinders Baby Carriers
- Outgear Backpacks Accessories
- Feathertop Wool Shirts
- Giant Trees Dried meals
- Sleeping Bags - J & H, Mont, Romans
- Rainwear - Mont, J & H, Superior
- Day Packs - High Tops, Summit Gear
- Bonwick Caving Ladders
- Holeproof Undies 4 Socks
- Trailblazer Hats
- DB Canyon bags
- Blundstone Boots
3 Trelawney St (PO Box 131) Eastwood NSW 2122.
Phone us today & say “G'Day”.
Mittagong To Katoomba - David Rostron's Way.
(First published in July 1981) by John Redfern
Participants: David Rostron (Leader), John Redfern, Ray and Fussae Dargan.
I became interested in this walk when David told me how, when flying into Sydney once, he was attracted by Lacy's Tableland, Bimlow Tableland and Broken Rock Range as a route for a Mittagong to Katoomba walk. Flexi-time allowed me to take off the Tuesday following the Queen's Birthday weekend, as four days were required.
We caught the 5.23 pm Southern Highlands express to Mittagong on Friday evening. The cab driver David had contacted said he would like dinner before taking us to the start of the Burnt Flat Creek fire trail. So we all had dinner together at “Charlie's Place”.
We camped right on the fire trail, just down past the second creek crossing. The night, after threatening rain in Sydney, was perfectly clear and since we had dropped off the High Range area, not really cold.
We had just finished breakfast on Saturday morning when the rain, which remained around all day, started. We soon picked up the Water Board road and set off at a fast pace around the bottom of Bonnum Pic. I have never been right under it before and found it quite imposing. Fusae, who appears not much taller than the length of David's legs, had to jog frequently to stay in line. We waded across the Wollondilly at the junction of Bonnum Pic Creek at 9.25 am and followed a road downstream. After skirting around the Jooriland property, much of which looked deserted, we picked up the Sheepwalk Road and later crossed the Jooriland River. About 2 kilometres before the junction with the Yerranderie Road we dropped off to the left down to Byrnes Creek for lunch. It was raining, cold and the creek was dry. I figured it would be rather nice back at “Charlie's Place”! However, after some searching we found some water and, sheltered by a willow, soon had a fire going and some hot soup made.
After lunch we crossed the Yerranderie Road and started on a bearing for Lacy's Gap in the Tonalli Walls. We walked across one-time farming land and passed three lots of ruins. I imagine these places were cut off when Lake Burragorang was formed. It was pleasant walking through the long, soft, golden grass. There were many kangaroos in this area, including one mob of forty. After the Tonalli River which we reached at 2.45 pm, there were several deep gullies before the climb of 520 metres to the Tonalli Walls.
We reached Lacy's Gap at 4.10 pm. The wind up high was cold and the rain had returned. Phil Butt had told us of the possibilities of caves in the walls, and we quickly found one. Really it was an overhang, but well protected by scrub and black boys. With a fire going it made good shelter, we all slept for ten hours.
On Sunday there was a big improvement in the weather. We quickly climbed through Lacy's Gap and on to Lacy's Tableland. From the western rim we looked out on to the end of the Axehead Range. I think it is from this area that Jim Brown considers you get some of the best views in the Blue Mountains. The scrub was heavy around the walls, however towards the centre it was more open with some quite tall trees.
We crossed a low rock shelf on to the narrower and rougher Bimlow Tableland at 10.00 am. From here you can look through Green Wattle Saddle to Medlow Gap. About 11.00 am we came to the “Amphitheatre”, a way down to Green Wattle Creek. The north-west walls of Bimlow Tableland are broken, fragile and exposed - we were reminded of the Red Rocks. Behind the walls the scrub was thick with creeks in deep gullies. About mid-afternoon we checked out some gaps in the walls in order to descend to Green Wattle Creek, but we were beaten by lower cliff lines. We decided to camp high. Ray and I filled one wine skin from a lone pool in a creek and David filled one from rock pools. I noticed Ray scooped out quite a trough where his tent was going and I thought Fusee may have introduced some Japanese method of sleeping! We were all pleased finally that we had camped high as the sunset over Broken Rock Range was magnificent.
First light on Monday saw us away. Our purpose was to find a slot that Phil Butt had once used to descend to Green Wattle Creek after crossing Bimlow Tableland from Lacy's Creek. The sunrise highlighted the great fog coverage over the lake. Later it illuminated the vast Green Wattle valley and we could see the whole of the massive Broken Rock Range in isolation.
The going was slow, we reached a slot that exactly fitted the description given by Phil. It proved to be a good way down through the cliff lines and probably not used since Phil was there, as it was knee-deep in leaves. We had an early lunch on Green Wattle Creek, then climbed through a saddle underneath Black Coola on the end of Broken Rock Range. It was 4.30 pm when we reached Butcher's Creek. Of the twelve hours since we had risen, probably ten had been spent walking and we were ready to stop. We found a good flat camp spot. I noticed Ray seemed to be guarding the only ditch and I thought he was going to put his tent over it! Actually he was putting the fire there.
David and I were awakened on the Tuesday morning, before 5.00 am, by that terrible sound of breaking sticks. Ray, who had an alarm watch, and seemed to like getting up early, was busy with the fire. We thought we would let him get it well established, however our consciences soon forced us out as we had another long day ahead.
We climbed to the Scott's Main Range road and strode out for Mt. Cookem, diverging only to look at the view down the Kowmung to the Cox from Cookem Walls. Personally I find this one of the best views in the Blue Mountains. Mt. Cookem was reached at 10.00 am and we descended to the Cox. First we crossed the Kowmung then the Cox near the weir. Both rivers were high and flowing fast and we needed good poles to retain our footing.
After an early lunch we set out up White Dog and finally along Narrow Neck under a cold purple sky soon after sunset. We had time for dinner and a couple of bottles of wine at Young's before catching the 7.20 pm train for Sydney. All of us agreed it was one of our best walks.
Wildlife at Coolana.
Sighted on the hillside above the top camping area at Coolana on the Saturday of the Annual Reunion - an echidna!
Would you know what to do if you were trapped by a bushfire?.. what not to do?.. where to go.. where not to go? If you don't, come to the club on Wednesday 31 May and have all your questions answered. Ben Esgate has a swag of slides on bushfires and an even bigger swag of knowledge on the subject, gained from many years experience, fighting fires in the Blue Mountains. Learn what every walker ought to know - but hardly any do!
Federation Of Bushwalking Clubs NSW - Report of March Meeting.
Present indications are that a quote for Public Liability Insurance will work out at 50 cents per head per annum and $2 with accident cover. The meeting on 18th April will be held at the National Trust's Centre at Observatory Hill.
Dept of Sport & Recreation, Victoria
Are holding a conference in Adelaide to co-ordinate ideas and set guidelines relating to Outdoor Leadership qualifications. A motion was carried that:- “The Federation pays the return air fare of one FBW delegate to attend the Adelaide National Conference on Bushwalking Leadership - 22/23/24 May 1989”.
Dance at Lane Cove Town Hall
To be held on 12th May.
1. Diamond Creek - the struggle against woodchipping continues. It appears that economics may save the day, as it may be too expensive to woodchip area.
2. National Parks Advisory Committees - The NSW Government is disbanding all these committees and will appoint members to new ones. It was decided to write to Mr. Moore asking that bushwalkers be represented on the Advisory Committees.
Search & Rescue
1. Practice on 24/25th June - due to interest expressed by Dunlop Footwear it is felt that this practice will be a Rescue Services Rogain weekend. All rescue services will be invited with a shield being awarded to the winning team. It is hoped to make it an annual event.
2. Keith Maxwell and Peter Tresider will be talking to Duke of Edinburgh award students at Narrabeen Sports & Recreation camp.
3. Fund Raising. Westpac has donated $200. The Hercez family has once again donated $200. S & R has accumulated $200 interest on its savings account. Dunlop Footwear has indicated that they are willing to help us.
4. Equipment. If there is a problem in getting a 4WD then consideration should be given for a station waggon. A tent would be necessary as it would become base and a sheltered briefing area.
The months of printing are Feb, May, August & November. Closing dates for articles etc - month prior to printing month.
Summary Of The Meeting With National Parks & Wildlife Service.
Held on 25th February at NPWS office, Queanbeyan.
Present - Mike McGrath from NPWS and representatives from CBC, SAC and SBW.
Mike McGrath is the Regional Planner for the NPWS South Eastern Region. This region has five districts that include 16 National Parks and 13 Nature Reserves.
The meeting commenced at 10.30 am and proceeded in an informal manner allowing an exchange of information rather than by regulated agenda.
The NPWS is keen to establish a practical relationship with representative bodies of various 'park users' such as lessees, four-wheel drive clubs, ski clubs, commercial enterprises, bushwalking clubs, etc. The NPWS objective is for direct liaison to effectively deal with problems and other matters that are important to those involved with National Parks.
The presentation of 'Plan of Management' reports is to be drastically changed. Instead of the extensive, vague and costly publications previously available, a compact, implicit document will be presented. It is intended that the contained policy be comprehensive to ensure that future intrusions of major works (roads, dams, mines, etc) will not occur.
'Plan of Management' Reports now being prepared:-
- Kosciusko National Park
- Murramarang National Park
- Mimosa Rocks National Park
- Deua National Park
- Wadbilliga National Park
- Morton National Park
Bill Capon's Shoalhaven walk on 12/14th May according to Bill after a reconnaissance should be classified MEDIUM - HISTORICAL with occasional steep slopes and patches of scrub.
Canoe & Camping.
265 Victoria Road, Gladesville, 2111. Phone (02) 817 5590. Hours: Mon-Fri 9-6, Thurs 9-7, Sat 9-4. (Parking at rear off Pittwater Road).
226 Princes Highway, Kogarah Bay, 2217. Phone (02) 546 5455. Hours: Mon-Fri 9-5.30, Thurs 9-7, Sat - 9-4.
A large range of lightweight, quality, bushwalking & camping gear:
- Lightweight food for backpackers and canoeists
- Cold weather protection clothing and raingear
- Maps, books and leaflets
- Information service for canoeists and walkers
- Survival gear
We stock the largest range of canoeing gear in N.S.W.
Quality touring craft of all types. High quality, performance competition craft.
- A huge range of paddles for all types of canoeing
- Surf skis
- All types of spray covers
- Wide range of jackets & cags
- Face masks
- Many types of buoyancy & life vests
The Annual General Meeting.
by Barry Wallace
The meeting began at 2000 with around 40 members present and the President occupying the chair. There were apologies from Greta Davis, Bill and Fran Holland, Ainslie Morris, Jim Oxley, Alan Mewett, Ian Stephens, Wendy Allan and George Gray.
The call for new members brought forth Karen McFarlane for welcome in the usual way. Odd, isn't it, the way the President welcomes only the women with a kiss.
The Minutes of the previous A.G.M., having been ratified at the following General Meeting last year, were taken as read, and received. The Minutes of last month's General Meeting were read and received, with no matters arising.
Correspondence was comprised of letters from the Friends of the Kimberleys, from the A.C.F. thanking us for the donation of $1000 allocated to the South-East Forest Alliance, from N.P.W.S. regarding a proposed seminar on rock climbing and canyoning in National Parks, from an organisation involved in the restoration of Tin Mines Hut in the Snowies requesting copies of any photos of the hut from around 1936, and a letter from the Royal Australian Ornithological Society re their facility at Barren Grounds Floral Reserve.
The Annual Reports were taken as read and received. A statement in accordance with the requirements of section 6, subsection 26(6) of the Associations Incorporations Act was presented, taken as read, and received.
The Financial Accounts and statements were taken as read and accepted by the meeting.
The necessary motion was then passed to suspend such of the standing orders as necessary to permit the election of office bearers to proceed concurrently with the business of the general meeting. Spiro and Jim Percy were elected as scrutineers and the elections proceeded. You will have read the results in last month's magazine. Narelle Lovell wrote it all up on a blackboard as the meeting progressed.
On the Treasurer's recommendation, backed up as it was by a budget for the coming year, the meeting resolved to leave subscriptions at last year's levels.
The Treasurer's Report indicated that we spent $1497 and acquired income of $553 for the month. Closing balance was not available due to the requirement for the auditing of the books.
The Walks Report began with a report of John and Carol's extended walk in the South Island of New Zealand. It seems they ran into a spell of fine, sunny weather, quite unusual for that part of the world.
The weekend of 11,12,13 February saw David McIntosh leading a Gordon Lee trip down Danae Brook. Gordon had double booked, somehow. There were 7 intrepid starters, and in view of the high water levels down the canyon and the late arrival at camp that night, they needed to be. You should understand that water depth in Danae is often measured whilst holding the rule horizontal. Ian Debert reported 18 persons, 4 kayaks and 4 canoes on his Kangaroo River paddling trip. Bob Niven's cycling trip had 7 cyclists peddling it around Ku-Ring-Gai Chase. They all retired to Bob's place to cool off at the end of the trip.
The weekend of 17,18,19 February saw Bob Younger and a company of 19 discovering that the nettles and scrub are flourishing on Danjera Creek and Plateau respectively. Oliver Crawford's Colo swimming trip suffered a dearth of both people and cars and was turned into a day walk as a result. There were 8 people on the day walk. Errol Sheedy, who usually leads day walks, had a Saturday morning start for a two-day walk from Waterfall to Heathcote which only attracted 5 walkers. Two Club members, thinking it was a Sunday walk, turned up on Sunday morning and were puzzled that there was no party on the train. Margaret Reid had 10 adults and 2 kids on what turned out to be her Hazelbrook to Hazelbrook walk, rated by the participants as dead easy.
David McIntosh's Wollemi trip scheduled for 24,25,26 February did not go, but Jim Percy had 12 on his Shoalhaven via Badgery's Lookout trip. They reported hot conditions on the Saturday with milder conditions on the Sunday. Alan Mewett led 23 people through train problems and beautiful weather to a successful completion of his Little Wobby, Rocky Ponds trip.
The first walk on the new program, David (fair weather) Rostron's Morong Deep trip saw an hilarious report from a participant who had difficulty understanding why a cascading trip in Morong Deep should spend so much time in the caves around Mount Colboyd with a brief visit to Arabanoo Creek. It was one of those cases where you had to be there. Despite all that, we learned that there were 10 people on the walk. The day walk that weekend saw Maurie Bloom conducting a party of 30 on his Audley to Waterfall trip in good weather to end the Walks Reports for this month.
There was no Federation Report.
The Conservation Report dealt with the recent declaration of three new Wilderness Areas by the State Government, and the resumption of Kunderung Station. There was also news that the logging in Yengo National Park which hasn't really been taking place, has now stopped.
General Business brought news of the passing of Wally Roots, an early member of the Club, at the age of 84.
Announcements concerned the preparation of an Asset Register for the Club. Anyone in possession of, or knowing the whereabouts of, any items of Club property to the value of greater than $50, please advise the Treasurer. There were also votes of thanks to the Committee and Office Bearers, and to the magazine workers.
The President closed the meeting at around 2123 with the traditional “Let us re-une”.
Belvedere Taxis Blackheath.
10 seater mini bus taxi. 047-87 8366.
Kanangra Boyd. Upper Blue Mountains. Six Foot Track.
Pick up anywhere for start or finish of your walk - by prior arrangement.
Share the fare - competitive rates.
The Annual Re-Union.
by Helen Gray
“As we descended to the creek in happy anticipation, the bellbirds were ringing a welcome. Soon in view were the beautiful trees and grassy slopes, spread far and wide with the familiar small tents. They eventually housed 205 bods, whose ages ranged from 8 weeks plus to 80 plus. Is there any other recreation (except eating) which can give pleasure to such a wide age group? If so - name it!”
Regretfully, this was NOT the 1989 reunion, but that of 1960, as recorded by Val Gilroy when the Club's membership was about 260. That was my first reunion, and I still remember what a joyous occasion it was.
As usual, my chosen campsite was under the Davidson tree, and to my delight, this year it was a mowed campsite! The large mower, hired for the occasion, had a practice run among the trees of the 'high terrace' and provided cleared nooks for many tents. Not so lucky were the 'river flat' dwellers. After a few metres in the very long grass, the mower expired. Although an expert pronounced it dead, a team of keen amateurs tried their unsuccessful best to prove him wrong. Meanwhile, Carol Lubbers armed with her scythe and with Narelle Lovell to help, cleared a huge area of the river flat. A mechanic was heard to grumble - “Next time we'll hire women with scythes, they're better than this thing.”
George Gray wasn't there to get the water running and it was soon realised that he was the only one who accurately knew the pipeline's route from the far creek, and the pipe's potential trouble spots. After some frustrating hours Don Finch and John Redfern got the water running. On Sunday, Don led a party on a pipe-line walk, so now it is no longer George's or Don's exclusive secret/job.
First, the 'positives' of this year's reunion. A magnificent fire had been built on the flat below the hut; so well built that it burned all night with hardly any stoking needed. I'm not sure who was responsible. The campfire singing was led vigorously by Barbara Bruce, and despite a few raucous interruptions, there was a good deal of enthusiastic singing. The sketches were a delight thanks to some clever writing and the enthusiasm of the actors. In “The Dinosaur” Dot Butler and Jim Brown (with technical assistance from “Young Edison” Finch) revived the long-dead brains of the creature, who then answered a series of “loaded questions” asked by the audience. Despite the alleged brilliance of its dual brain, some of the Dinosaur's replies were of questionable logic.
Jim then presented an up-dated version of “My Fair Lady” with Jim taking the part of Professor Higgins supported by his Secretary (Barbara Bruce) as Eliza Doolittle, in interviews with two people requiring speech therapy. A budding actor, Wobert Wedford (Frank Rigby) couldn't pronounce the letter “R”, while Dr. Spooner (Mike Reynolds) had trouble with “licks and teeches” in the Australian bush. Songs using tunes from “My Fair Lady” were embodied in this sketch.
Mike Reynolds gave us a couple of solos and young Alistair Read (Fazeley's nephew) gave us a fine juggling act. To much applause, Sheila Binns was given her Honorary Member's Certificate. No fewer than nine past presidents were there for Don Finch's inauguration as our new President. Don (who doesn't want his age known) was President 20 years ago when a mere 20-year-old.
Although a wedding in the family kept Spiro from attending, he still made fruit cakes and thanks to him, Joy Hynes, Ian Debert and John Redfern for a fine supper served in the hut (with its new concrete floor).
Grog and singing don't mix. On Sunday morning, even the now sober and sheepish drunks had to agree with this statement.
Activities galore were offered the next day. An orienteering competition around Coolana's boundaries, the pipe-line tour, the damper competition (won by Master Aliano), a walk to Mount Scanzi, canoeing to Hampton Bridge, and swimming - the water was really warm.
Then there was the lawn mower to be towed back up hill. The beasts of burden who deserve thanks were Barrie Murdoch, Barry Wallace, Les Powell, John Porter, Carol Bruce, Mike, Ainslie, Ian, and again, our President.
The S.B.W. Reunion is one of the Club's longest standing traditions and the time when we officially inaugurate the incoming President. As those who attend will attest, it is still a most enjoyable way to spend a weekend, with Jim Brown's satirical and amusing plays. It is a time to plan new trips and re-live old ones, to meet new people and renew old friendships. And it is the time to enjoy our property - Coalana, which is more extensive and 'bushy' than can be imagined by people who haven't been there.
With so much to offer, why did the 1989 reunion have only 50 people in attendance when the Club has nearly 500 members? The 10% who went knew why we were there and enjoyed themselves, but let's hear from the 90% who were not.
Letters to the Editor are most welcome and needed on this subject. Tell us what's wrong with reunions, what changes could be made and if you think members still want a reunion?
FBW Bush Dance.
Lane Cove Town Hall - Friday 12th May - 8 pm to midnight.
The Hotfoot String Band - Theme “S & R” - Prize for best table or best party - BYO drink and supper - $8 single at door - SBW party to be arranged by Denise Shaw, phone 922 6093 until 26 April, then 525 4698 (H), 922 2677 (B).
We have had the strangest weather for the past 9 months. Last winter was a non-event and so was last summer. Warm winters and wet summers - could this be the greenhouse effect I keep reading about?
Talking of wet - were any of the Easter walks washed out? I'd like to know if they were, just for the record.
Talking of walking, I saw Jan Mohandas wizzing up Mount Solitary on the 12th March. Galloping after him were about 15 perspiring walkers, including several pretty young girls. Seeing their colourful blouses, jewellery and dazzling smiles I realised why Jan likes to lead day walks!
Anyone planning to visit Kosciusko Park should beware of drinking the water. A report recently tabled in Parliament stated that many creeks in the park were polluted with raw or poorly treated sewage. However, there is some good news for skiers. Another 60 km of poled ski trails have been added to the existing 30 km. In future the Service hopes to employ rangers to patrol the trails. Anyone want to be paid to go skiing?
Has anyone tried the new waterproofing solution TX-10? Supposed to proof wool, cotton, fibre pile, polycotton and down. Obtainable from Paddys, Eastwood, Alpsports and other stores can obtain it. Sounds too good to be true. I will try, and let you know.
Next in the world of waterproofing - Gortex socks. Don't laugh, they just might work. Called Seels, they are supposed to keep your tootsies bone dry. If you are a dry-foot fetishist, these might be just the thing.
Frank Woodgate has retired to Charlestown, near Newcastle, and would welcome visits from any SBW members who would like to walk with him in that area - phone (049) 43 7793. Judy and Lorraine have already visited him , then all did a trip to Barrington Tops.
It's a long time until next summer, but just in case you are thinking of visiting Tassie in the warm (warmer?) weather, there is now a company called Wilderness Air which has a small seaplane to take groups into the southwest. Can land you at such places as Bathurst Harbour. Might give you scope for planning 'something different'.