Fiday Five Newsletter 2018.5.18

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Westprint Friday Five Friday May 18th 2018

You are never too old to play outside.

Click here to view Westprint Newsletter Archives from 24th April 2015 to 24th December 2015

Click here to view Westprint Newsletter Archives from 1st January 2016 to 23rd December 2016

Click here to view Westprint Newsletter Archives from 1st January 2017 to 29th December 2017

Click here to view Newsletter Archives from 5th January 2018 to current


FREE postage on ALL folded paper maps. Laminated maps rolled in mailing tubes still have postage added as below.

FREE postage on ALL orders over $100.

Otherwise there is a flat rate postage rate of $9.50 on all books, DVDs and talking books, regardless of the number of items ordered.

To order any of the books listed blow, click on the title to open a web browser, then use the Add to Cart button and proceed to the checkout. (or continue shopping for any additional titles you want.)

Visitors are welcome to call in at 6 Park St, Nhill, Monday to Friday. Please phone/email beforehand as we are not always open. Phone. 0353911466.

Friday Five Books

  1. Maralinga - Judy Nunn. $21.95. During the darkest days of the Cold War, in the remote wilderness of a South Australian desert, the future of an infant nation is being decided ... without its people's knowledge. A British airbase in the middle of nowhere; an atomic weapons testing ground; an army of raw youth led by powerful, ambitious men - a cocktail for disaster. Such is Maralinga in the spring of 1956 when it brought heartbreak to the innocent First Australians who had walked their land unhindered for 40,000 years. Maralinga ... a desolate place where history demands an emerging nation choose between hell and reason.
  2. Native Trees And Shrubs South East Australia. $44.95. Leon Costermans. A comprehensive coverage of 900 species stretching from the Flinders and Mt Lofty Ranges in South Australia, across Victoria and southern New South Wales to the NSW South Coast. It records the land and its vegetation in a scientifically accurate, but accessible, style. In a systematic sequence, every species is illustrated and accompanied by a distribution map. Descriptive information is concise, and carefully researched. There are more than 300 colour plates and over 160 black and white photographs. 440pp. First published in 1981, this edition 2011.
  3. BACK IN STOCK! Photographic Field Guide - Birds of Australia - Second Edition Jim Flegg. $34.95. This is a bird identification guide with a difference. Instead of using colour plates of paintings, Photographic Field Guide: Birds of Australia features photographs. Photographs of living birds can often provide detail not available in paintings, such as typical poses, real habitat and often more realistic colouring. A map shows each species' distribution in and around Australia and the text gives details of size, colour, shape, behaviour, calls and habitat. The at-a-glance symbols at the end of each entry indicate major habitat types. This second edition has updated maps, general text information and common Latin names.
  4. Miniature Lives. $40.00. Miniature Lives provides a range of simple strategies that people can use to identify and learn more about the insects in their homes and gardens. Featuring a step-by-step, illustrated identification key and colour photographs, the book guides the reader through the basics of entomology (the study of insects). Simple explanations, amusing analogies and quirky facts convey information on diet, lifecycle, habitat and risks in a way that is both interesting and easy to understand. Identifying an insect using field guides or internet searches can be daunting Miniature Lives allows the reader to identify an insect without having to capture or touch it.
  5. Outback Alphabet. $17.95. This is a book that will help children to read and at the same time learn more about the Australian outback. A great children's book for ages 1 to 6 years. Brilliantly illustrated book that shows young children and adults what the Australian outback is like. "...These are some of the images which many thousands of outback children associate with their first understanding of and writing of actual words and sentences..." 

Friday Forum

Mt Toombullup mystery objects – Victoria.


Prayer stones?

The truth about the stone cairns nestled deep in the bush in the Toombullup State Forest is that no one alive today really knows for sure why they were placed there. The cairns are placed high on a hill with the largest stone estimated to weigh at least 500kg. The most logical theory is that they were made by the Buddhist Chinese community who mined for gold in the region during the 1800s. It is unlikely that they were placed there by explorers, there are too many in a small area to be marker stones. 

Cairns for navigating.

Some cairns are common in the outback and you can usually see them from a long way off. Some were put there by early explorers and others have been erected by later explorers to mark survey points. Probably the most famous of Australian cairns is at Mt Poole, built by the men of Sturt’s 1845 expedition when they were stranded at Depot Glen. 

depot glen


Markers or graffiti?

The stones at Toombullup have obviously been placed there for a very good reason – even if we don’t know what that was. But what about stone cairns in general?

Cairns are a common sight in other parts of the world. Cairns provide a marker for navigation. In some parts of the world a cairn is meant to identify an energy vortex. In Peru they are meant to signify that you have passed this way and will return.

peru  Cairns at Colca Canyon, Peru.

In the USA the number of cairns is becoming both an environmental problem and a safety hazard. Cairns are used to mark trails, but so many people have taken to adding their own cairns that rangers have to walk the trails and dismantle the misleading ones.

colorado   National park in Colorado.

Rocks for habitat.

Last year I saw signs south of Coolgardie, asking people not to build cairns as small animals need rocks for shelter. Fortunately, the rock-stacking craze hasn’t hit Australia like it appears to have in USA but even so it is worth noting that the biggest concern for outback Australia would be the loss of habitat. Good hiding rocks are hard to come by in parts of the bush. Snakes, lizards, insects, spiders, rodents and even some small mammals make their homes under rocks. While some animals would be happy to share, most of these animals would be a food source for the rest.

Jo Ussing 

More information on the Toomballup cairns can be found here.

Track Notes – Oodnadatta, SA. 

I noticed there was a topic this week on Oodnadatta track info. I have been up and down it 3 times in the past 2 weeks. Over this time, it became noticeably rougher as the weather cooled and the tourist traffic started its Northern Migration. There were quite a few bulldust patches between William Creek and Oodnadatta, and south of William Creek, one in particular the width of the road and over a rise. These are all flagged. There are roadworks just south of Algebuckina. About 1 in 6 - 8 cars actually slowed down when passing. Also, a big increase in traffic late afternoon as everyone is charging to William Creek and Oodnadatta. Birdsville Track is like a dirt Hume Highway. Ian 

Bundey River Crossing – NT. 

The only Bundey River crossing on the Binns Track is just south of Derry Downs. This crossing consisted of three very short sandy sections. Our group of 4 four-wheel drives with 3 towing camper trailers did not have any problems at all. Nigel

Carolyn’s Specials

chef The Complete Caravan Chef. One copy. Slightly damaged on plastic spiral binding. (Does not affect book). Normally $29.95, this copy $19. Normal postage rates apply.

Crocodiles and Other People.  We have six copies that are creased at the top of the spine (looks like someone dropped a boxful). The marks do not affect the book. Normally $34.95, these copies $22.00. Normal postage rates apply.

Email to order any of these copies.

Map Bundles

As you can imagine, we accumulate a large number of maps. Some are research maps, some are old stock, some are used, and some are vintage or rare. We have bundled some up for sale. Bundles are chosen at random and won’t be split. Price is $12 per bundle inc. post. To order please send an email to  If more than one person requests any bundle a ballot will be held on Monday.

Note: We have catalogued all the maps available. Send us an email if you would like to check out the list and we will send it out to you. 

Bundle 9

Sunmap: Gulf Savannah c1990, Qld 1859 (reproduction)1983

Australian Geographic: Shark Bay 1989.

Natmap 1:100,000 Nowingi Vic, 1978. Lindsay, Vic 1977.

StreetSmart: Bunbury – Albany 1999.

Westprint: Canning Stock Route 2001, Outback Victoria 2000.

Royal Aust Survey Corps: 1:250,000 Geraldton WA 1984, Mount Evelyn NT 1964. 1:50,000 Jackawarra NT 1987. 

Bundle 10

National Mapping: 1:100,000 Pajingo Qld 1974, Sunset Vic 1978, Santo 1978

Royal Aust Survey Corps 1:250,000 Yarrie WA 1967.

Govt of Qld: North Qld Stock Routes 1976.

Westprint: DP Outback 2015, Canning Stock Route 2001.

Mapco: Western Australia c1990.

CMA: Euston NSW  1980.

StreetSmart Batavia Coast 1997. 

Bundle 11

Rex Ellis: Australian Deserts 1997.

UBD: Northern Australia 1994.

Hema: Fiji 1995, GDTracks NC Sheet 2009

Algona: Simpson Desert SA 1987.

National Mapping: 1:250,000 Napperby NT 1964, Hamilton, Victoria 1999, 1:100,000 Sunset Vic 1978.

Queensland Transport: 1:25,000  Gold Coast to Jacobs Well Boating Chart 1986. 

Bundle 12

Hema: Tasmania 2009.

CMA: Broken Hill & Dist 1995.

Shell: Tasmania, c1970.

Westprint: Gunbarrel Highway 2002, Birdsville Qld 2011.

Dept of Marine: Swan & Canning Rivers 1986.

Travellers' Notes: Great Ocean Road 1992.

Dept of Lands: South Aust - Road Network 1993.

Royal Aust Survey Corps: 1:250,000 Nyngan NSW 1968.

NatMap: 1:100,000 Indarra WA 2000, Sunset Vic 1978.



By Jo Ussing

I wrote this originally as a Westprint Facebook post and was encouraged by to expand it here. It is a bit late for Anzac Day but here goes.

My Great grandfather Ted (Gustav Theodore Deckert), was a second generation Australian from German stock. At the outbreak of war, he arranged 'Allegiance to Australia' meetings for the large German population who farmed in the local area. Nhill did not have the extreme anti-German sentiments expressed in other towns across Australia and maybe this is partly why.

When I asked him many years later why he signed up to fight against what I thought could potentially be his relatives, he told me that his family had been persecuted and forced to leave their home once and he wasn’t going to do it again. (Our forebears are from a part of Silesia that had been a religious and political football).

He was opposed to violence but felt that he had to go and ‘do his bit’ despite being a lay preacher and married with a young family. He was pleased to find himself in the medical corps but a little disconcerted to find he would be going to war completely unarmed. He first worked as a stretcher bearer on the Western Front but when he told an officer that a prisoner wanted a drink of water, the army discovered his fluency in German and he became an interpreter.

After the armistice, given his experience as a farmer he was tasked with looking after the horses and was responsible for many of them being distributed to French and English farmers.

Below are some extracts from Ted’s book. 

As far as the farm was concerned every preparation possible had been completed. The young man, Walter who came to manage it was a person of high integrity, an excellent, honest worker, to whom I am still grateful.

The consent of my wife was not by any means easy to obtain. It required some effort on my part to communicate to her the nature of the conflict going on in my deeper self, and my strong convictions as to why I should go. Eventually I managed to persuade her that I had perfect faith in her ability to carry on, and she gave her consent. I recognize that this was a brave action on her part, and when she finally agreed I was greatly relieved.

The first aeroplane I saw was out of control and landed in an unorthodox manner right near where we were training. All military discipline vanished as we ran to the spot. None of us had ever seen a plane. We were so excited that we just forgot the rules. Fortunately, the officer who was lecturing us, had himself rushed to the plane, and was therefore unable to rebuke or report us. But we were soon marched back to the spot we had vacated, grinning because the officer and the men were in the same boat.

One morning as we lined up on parade, an officer announced that he wanted 15 volunteers for the A.M.C. I did not know that the A.M.C. was the Army Medical Corps, but I did have some idea that it related to medicine, so I was the first to respond.  I was chosen to report for duty at the Caulfield Military Hospital, as an orderly. Never having seen a casualty ward, that was an experience I have remembered for the rest of my life. Many of these men were Anzacs, and shockingly incapacitated, as a result of man’s inhumanity to man. This sight immediately aroused in me an intense hatred of war, with all its ugliness and cruelty, and yet I knew that I was deliberately going into it, and doing so because I saw no other way of bringing this war to a speedy end.

Our Field Ambulance sheltered in this fine trench at night in comparative safety, but one morning our gas alarm sounded, so we had to pack up and get out in a hurry. Looking at my watch I noticed that the metal band was an alarming green colour. This was a sure sign that the German trench had been gassed after they had vacated it. As we moved out I noticed a motorized four-wheeled vehicle that had been left behind. It bore a very long German word which took me a few moments to untangle: Entlausungsanstalt - delousing equipment. How efficient the German Command was. They knew that if their soldiers were robbed of sleep by these malicious blood-sucking pests, they would be unfit for battle.

As I was able to read German I was amused and perhaps a little shocked at the awful things the soldiers had written on the walls of the trenches about their Kaiser, and the sketches of him that the comments accompanied. Their faith in him had vanished and these disillusioned victims of the Kaiser’s war had given way to extreme vulgarity on his account. I could not record any of this filth here.

About this time, I chanced to meet an interesting fellow from Western Australia, who was a member of the Field Ambulance like myself. He had become cut off from his mates, and like many others in a similar predicament, had attached himself to our unit. We became very friendly. I had lost several of my close friends and was glad of his companionship. One day we came across some Aussies playing football behind the lines. We had with us a German prisoner, who had surrendered. He said to me, “Why in the world do you Australians play football when there is a war on?” I told him, “We live that way in Australia. After work we are free to enjoy ourselves. That is why we are in the war - to keep that freedom. You people think of nothing but war.”

Our next assignment we did not appreciate. We were put in charge of a train-load of horses that were being sent to England. We began right where the war ended - and what a war-wrecked area it was! What a ghastly way war is to settle human differences - nothing but destruction and chaos on every side. Once we camped innocently in a large stable. When the armistice became a fact, the Germans were compelled to place a small red flag near every land-mine. When we awoke after our night in the stable we were surrounded by more than thirty red flags which we had not seen in the dark!

Our train journey with the horses was a horror trip, owing to the line having been blown up in so many places. We were handling our horses 12 at a time, having the horses face each other. There was no room for a horse to lie down, consequently they became leg-weary and were pitiful to see. If a horse had fallen, we would have been done for. We fed them light meals of pure oats, but we could not give them much water because of the danger of poisoning. Our late enemies had poisoned every underground water storage and drinking facility. After the armistice, the military personnel thought only of going home. The poisoned water was just left for the general public to deal with as best it could. It must have taken years to rectify it.

One of the items of our discipline was physical training. I enjoyed this immensely. If people knew the value of physical culture and practised it, we would all be more healthy. The human body is wonderfully made and is worthy of care and exercise. Deep breathing costs little and adds years to one’s life.


Ted returned to the farm south of Nhill where my brother now lives. He and Martha had 6 daughters and 1 son (my grandfather Harold) and he was hale and hearty until he got cancer at the age of 96. One of our family treasures is a letter from Harold, aged 9 to Ted.

Dear Dad,

I am going to write you a little letter. We have 11 lambs, and they are getting big now. Walter trimmed the fruit trees to make them grow.

Auntie says that she has got so much to do that she soon will be thin enough to get through the bars of a prison window.

Walter has oats in, but has not got the wheat in, it has been raining, so he could not get it finished. Walter got the leveller and took the mud out of the stable and cleaned it out. Then he went out on the road and took the dirt from it and put it along the road nice and smooth.

We all send dear Dad kisses, and loves.

I remain, Your loving son, Harold Deckert. 

Below is a picture of Harold age 85, at the original playground at Monash, SA. I keep it on my desk to remind me that we do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.


What’s On?

Marree Gymkhana and Motorkhana.

Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th June. Marree Racecourse. A great weekend of bush entertainment. Daily entry Adults $10, Children U16 $5. Regular courtesy bus. 

Wireless Institute of Australia – weekend convention.

Just a note from Austravel Safety Net to highlight that the Wireless Institute of Australia is running a full weekend convention on the Gold Coast (Seaworld Nara Resort) on 18th May - 20th May 2018.

The link to the program is: -

The event would be of interest to land mobile HF radio users or those considering land mobile HF radio, as several HF clubs associated with 4WD and grey nomad touring, including Austravel of course, will be presenting 30-minute sessions on the Saturday at Sea World Nara Resort

Austravel is also presenting a session on the Saturday " HF radio meets 4G in the bush"

From 9am on the Sunday (20th May) within the parklands foreshore area at the end of Smith Street (Mitchell Park); there will be a range of demonstrations and stands manned by the various radio clubs, with Austravel present demonstrating the Telcall+ HF radio platform and how the Out-n- About app interrelates.

If any Friday at Five readers who are out and about the Gold Coast area on this weekend and considering HF radio for their remote area travels, this would be a good opportunity to see several land mobile HF radio networks in the one place.

You can contact Geoff Peck from Austravel on 0403 309 020 if you like to know more. 

Friday Funnies 

Ferrari F1 Team Hires Local Pit Crew For GP

The Ferrari F1 Team recently fired the whole Pit-Crew to employ some young unemployed youths from the ** Area (Insert your own area of high unemployment here). The decision to hire them was brought on by a documentary on how unemployed youths in the area can remove a set of car wheels in less than 6 seconds without proper equipment.

This was thought to be a good move as most races are won & lost in the pits these days & Ferrari would have an advantage. However, Ferrari soon encountered a major problem not only were "da boyz" changing the tyres in under 6 seconds but within 60 sec they had resprayed, renumbered and sold the vehicle to the McLaren Team.


A guy walks into an empty bar and says, "Hey, Bartender, give me a drink." So, the guy sits down, sipping his drink, when he hears a small voice, "I like your tie."

The man turns to the bartender and says, "Did you say something?"

"No, I didn't say anything," says the bartender.

The man shrugs it off. And again, he hears the small voice call out, "Your hair looks really nice."

The man turns to the bartender and asks. "There it goes again; didn't you hear that?"

"No, replied the bartender, "I didn't hear anything."

Once again, the man returns to his drink when he hears, "Gee, that suit looks great on you."

"Bartender!" exclaimed the man, "I am absolutely sure I heard something. What's going on here?"

"Oh", said the bartender. "That must be our peanuts. They're complimentary."


BEAUTY PARLOR: A place where women curl up and dye.


What goes tick-tick-tick-tick-woof? A watchdog.

If you can't beat your computer at chess, try kick boxing.

She was only the whisky maker's daughter, but he loved her still.

I'm looking for a perfume to overpower men - I'm sick of karate. - Phyllis Diller


On our 25th anniversary, my husband took me out to dinner. Our teenage daughters said they'd have dessert waiting for us when we returned. After we got home, we saw that the dining room table was beautifully set with china, crystal and candles, and there was a note that read: "Your dessert is in the refrigerator. We are staying with friends, so go ahead and do something we wouldn't do!"

My husband turned to me and said, "I suppose we could vacuum."


Cleaning out the aviary at a run-down zoo, the keeper finds two finches that have died of old age. He picks them up and places them in a sack. After cleaning the cage, he puts the sack in his wheelbarrow and moves on to the next cage.

When he reaches the primate cage he finds two chimps who have also died of natural causes. "Waste not, want not," he says as puts them in the sack with the finches.

Later at feeding time, he flips the dead animals from the sack, into the lions' cage.

"Oh, Come On!" roars the lion. "Not finch and chimps again!"


A guy is driving around the back woods of Idaho and he sees a sign in front of a broken-down shanty-style house: 'Talking Dog for Sale ' He rings the bell and the owner appears and tells him the dog is in the backyard. The guy goes into the backyard and sees a nice-looking Labrador retriever sitting there.

'You talk?' he asks.

'Yep,' the Lab replies.

After the guy recovers from the shock of hearing a dog talk, he says 'So, what's your story?'

The Lab looks up and says, 'Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young.

I wanted to help the government, so... I told the CIA.

In no time at all they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping.'

'I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years running. But the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn't getting any younger, so I decided to settle down. I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security, wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded a batch of medals. '

'I got married, had a mess of puppies, and now I'm just retired.'

The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog.

'Ten dollars,' the guy says.

'Ten dollars? This dog is amazing! Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?'

'Because he's a liar.  He's never been out of the yard'.

The Fine Print

About the Friday Five

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To all of our faithful Friday Five readers 

Westprint Contact information:


Phone: 03 5391 1466

Fax: 03 5391 1473

Snail Mail: 6 Park Street, Nhill, Vic, 3418.


Please note that the opinions and articles expressed in the Friday Five are not necessarily those of the Westprint mob. Also we do not endorse any products (other than our own) or tours listed in any contributed articles.


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