Friday Five Newsletter 2018.5.25

ff logo

Westprint Friday Five Friday May 25th 2018

Everything is funny, as long as it's happening to somebody else.

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. Whispering Death - Australian airmen in the Pacific War. Mark Johnston. $35.00. Johnston explains how more than 130,000 Australian airmen fought Japan from the Pacific War's first hours in 1941 to its last in 1945. They clashed over a vast area, from India to Noumea, Bass Strait to the Philippines. Merely flying over that region's boundless oceans and wild weather was dangerous enough for Australia's fliers, but their formidable enemies made it much more perilous. In their Zero fighters and Betty bombers they were initially too numerous, experienced and well-armed for the few Australians who opposed them in Malaya, the Northern Territory and New Guinea. February 1942 brought the RAAF its darkest hour: the bombing of Darwin, which no Australian fighter planes contested. But in the months following, Australian aircrew won or contributed to great aerial victories in the air over Port Moresby, Milne Bay, the Papuan beachheads and the Bismarck Sea. The American air force grew to dominate both the Japanese and their Australian ally, but until war's end Australian aircrew continued to battle in Pacific skies, and to die in flaming aircraft or at the hands of vindictive captors. Certain Australian aircraft caught the public imagination: the Kittyhawk, the Spitfire and the plane dubbed 'Whispering Death' for its firepower and deceptively quiet engines - the Beaufighter. Australia's flight to victory was never smooth, thanks to internal squabbling at the RAAF's highest levels and a difficult relationship with the allies on whom Australia depended for aircraft and leadership. So controversial were the RAAF's final operations that some of its most prominent pilots mutinied. Based on thousands of official and private documents, Whispering Death makes for compelling reading.
  2. Listening to Country. $25.00. Ros Moriarty. 'This big land, Australia. It's big enough for everyone!' calls Annie Rakrakan across the pre-dawn campfire to the other Law women stirring from the perfect quiet of a still, desert night. 'Strong Dreamin' ' she whispers. So begins the intimate diary of Ros Moriarty, a white woman married to an Aboriginal man, as she takes an emotional journey across country and culture to the Northern Territory's Tanami Desert with Annie and the other matriarchs of her husband's Aboriginal family to perform ceremony. Listening to Country opens a rare and vivid window to the voices, humour and strength of these remarkable Law women of the remote Gulf of Carpentaria. It reveals the human relationships and philosophical insights which enable them to transcend the heartbreaking material poverty, illness and increasing violence of their community, to live life with astonishing happiness and purpose. Listening to Country is an uplifting tribute to them and a celebration of love, family and belonging.
  3. Among the Islands: Adventures in the Pacific. $32.95. Twenty-five years ago, a young curator of mammals from the Australian Museum in Sydney set out to research the fauna of the Pacific Islands. Starting with a survey of one of the most inaccessible islands in Melanesia—Woodlark, in the Trobriands Group—that young scientist found himself ghost-whispering, snake wrestling, Quad hunting and plunged waist-deep into a sludge of maggot-infested faeces in search of a small bat that turned out not to be earth-shatteringly interesting. With accounts of discovering, naming and sometimes eating new mammal species; being thwarted or aided by local customs; and historic scientific expeditions, Tim Flannery takes us on an enthralling journey through some of the most diverse and spectacular environments on earth.
  4. Red Dust. Fleur McDonald. $28.00. Red Dust opens with Gemma Sinclair grieving the death of her husband, Adam, in a horrific plane crash and learning she's inherited the 10,000-hectare station his family has worked for generations. Despite huge scepticism from surrounding landowners, Gemma decides not to sell Billbinya, disregarding Adam's dying words that he's in trouble and she must sell the station. As if the job of keeping the station going isn't enough, a wave of innuendo sweeps through the local community about Adam's involvement in cattle and sheep duffing. There are even whispers the plane crash was no accident. A visit from the police confirms the rumours, with Gemma discovering that not only was Adam involved, but has indirectly implicated her by using Billbinya as a holding station for the stolen stock. Intent on clearing her name, Gemma determines to get to the bottom of what was going on.
  5. Our Father Who Wasn't There. $33.00. Can a memoir begin without memories? Can a father be invented? When David Carlin was only six months old, his father, Brian, died. It was the 1960s in isolated Western Australia, a place in which emotions were discreetly veiled, women did not attend funerals — and suicide was a sin. Brian became a mysteriously absent figure in David's family story, hardly spoken of again. As an adult, David yearns to conjure up his father, to uncover what led to his death at his own hand. Brian's story starts to fill out — up rise the hessian-walled house of his childhood on the edge of the wheat belt during the Depression, the outposts of heady undergraduate bohemia in late-1940s Perth, and Brian's happily married life and an equally brilliant career. But, in among it all, there also rises a darkness — a damaging undertow of electric-shock therapy, insulin comas, and whispered wartime events. 225pp. 

Friday Forum

Editor’s comments in green. 

Woomera – SA. 

Exclusion period cancellation. The Department of Defence has cancelled the exclusion period of 3 to 30 June 2018 for the Woomera Prohibited Area.  You do not need to evacuate the Defence Periodic Use Amber Zone 2 during this period.  A map of the Woomera Prohibited Area is below. 


Stone Cairns 

Some interesting discussions on the purpose of stone cairns in the last FF. In my more recent travels I am inclined to think that the occurrence of this form of marker is on the increase and seems to be popping up in all manner of places.

My initial reactions have been that they detract from the natural environmental scene for some of the reasons already stated.  One could also describe them as an eyesore or yet another form of graffiti.  They are generally not scenes I like to record and feel that something is lost from the landscape by their presence.

I have discussed this phenomenon with fellow bushies to try and understand what motivates people to leave their mark so to speak.  Amongst the reasons given are that it is about leaving a trace of your existence, that is a mark, that there is a spiritual connection involved in being part of the landscape, there is an artistic element in constructing them and or it is just plain vandalism.  Maybe there is a connection with this form of expression in the bush to that which is so often plastered over every spare wall by "spray painters" around the cities and suburbs.  This more or less indiscriminate form is balanced out in some locations by more constructive street art expressions often organized by local councils or art groups.

There is no doubt that indigenous people used stone formations and cairns for a whole variety of reasons from the practical, fish traps, to the symbolic or spiritual.  I am also reminded of that joke about the travelers who used stones to indicate their location.

That is:  Two mates were traveling in the outback and before they set off on the journey there was conference about how to mark locations if they became separated.

The arrangement was, the first thinking they had arrived at the agreed location first was to place a stone on top of a fence post when they got there.  The one thinking they were second to arrive seeing the stone was to remove it.   Simple really and another good use for stones. Denis. 

Following on is a series of pics:


1 Stone cairns on hill lookout east of Yowah Q

mt lewis

2 Stone cairns and words, Mt Lewis north of Birdsville Q 

mt poole

3   Mt Poole cairn plaque NSW


4 Contemporary stone art Betoota Q)

Opals from outer space.

Planetary scientists have discovered pieces of opal in a meteorite found in Antarctica, a result that demonstrates that meteorites delivered water ice to asteroids early in the history of the solar system.

Opal is made up of silica (the major component of sand) with up to 30% water in its structure and has not yet been identified on the surface of any asteroid. Before this meteor, opal had only once been found in a meteorite, as a handful of tiny crystals in a meteorite from Mars.

This new discovery is made up of thousands of broken pieces of rock and minerals, meaning that it originally came from the broken-up surface, or regolith, of an asteroid. It has fragments of many other kinds of meteorite embedded in it, showing that there were many impacts on the surface of the parent asteroid, bringing pieces of rock from elsewhere in the solar system. Evidence shows that the opal formed before the meteorite was blasted off from the surface of the parent asteroid and sent into space, eventually to land on Earth in Antarctica. The team used different techniques to analyse the opal and check its composition. They see convincing evidence that it is extra-terrestrial in origin and did not form while the meteorite was sitting in the Antarctic ice.

"This is more evidence that meteorites and asteroids can carry large amounts of water ice. Although we rightly worry about the consequences of the impact of large asteroid, billions of years ago they may have brought the water to the Earth and helped it become the world teeming with life that we live in today."

This story written from information in the link below.

One of our Friday Five readers has an extensive collection Len Cram books about opals for sale. If you would like to see the list, please send us an email.

What’s On?

Milparinka Gymkhana

The Milparinka Gymkhana is to be held on Saturday July 14, 2018. The day-long event takes place on the Milparinka Sports Grounds, just on the north side of Milparinka, alongside the Evelyn Creek. The gymkhana is a truly bush family day affair, with riders bringing their horses from local station properties as well as some distance away in Queensland and South Australia.

The riders, aged from about two years to, well, who knows, compete in a range of events including novelties such as the bending race, or flat races such as the Milparinka Cup.

All meals are available, and at night, after prize presentation, entertainment to get everyone up and dancing. Visitors are welcome to join locals at the Milparinka Gymkhana each July.

For more information:

Advance Notice. Grampians Wildflower Show, Vic.

The 80th Grampians Wildflower Show will be over the last weekend of September (29th & 30th), from 9.30 am to p.m. on Saturday and 9.30 to 4 pm on Sunday.  Please note the change to the last weekend in September (a long weekend) rather than the first weekend in October.  There will be regular guided walks through the Grampians Flora Botanic Garden, including an early morning bird walk on Sunday. We will also continue to sell our self-guided drive and walks guides and will run a couple of tag along “Orchids and other wildflowers” tours further afield. The entry charge will be $2, which covers the entry to the display and the garden walks. There is also a charge of $2 for the printed guides, and of $5 per head for the tag along tours. So, do come to our lovely village in springtime, enjoy the displays, join us on one of our walks or tours.  Information on all the above can be obtained at the Visitor Information Centre in Halls Gap. Our change of weekend means it is no longer the same weekend that nearby Pomonal will be holding its Native Flower Show, a colourful display of many Australian Natives from all over the country. We show off our local indigenous unimproved flora, they show and sell Australian plants bred for the home garden, making for a great week's break in the Grampians Gariwerd.

Book Review

We haven’t had any book reviews for a while. What have you been reading lately? Here are a couple out of my reading pile (and one from John).

I have just finished reading Girt by David Hunt. Up until now Bill Bryson has been my favourite ‘Weird Australia’ author but I may have a new one. If you can’t laugh at yourself and at your country this book is not for you. It is irreverant in the extreme with language to match – and very funny. From the blurb. “Girt. No word could better capture the essence of Australia. David Hunt reveals the truth of Australia's past, the cock-ups and curiosities, the forgotten eccentrics and Eureka moments that have made us who we are. Girt introduces heroes like Trim the cat, who beat a French monkey to become the first animal to circumnavigate Australia. It recounts the misfortunes of the escaped Irish convicts who set out to walk from Sydney to China, guided only by a hand-drawn paper compass, and explains the role of the coconut in Australia's only military coup. Our nation's beginnings are steeped in the strange, the ridiculous and the frankly bizarre”. Available from our website $30.00.

Second hand Selection. Flat Maps.

This week we have been through all the spare laminated and flat maps. Price of the following does NOT include postage in Australia. To order the following please send an email to If more than one person requests any map a ballot will be held on Monday.

Please add $8 to your order to cover the cost of postage in a mailing tube.

Algona: All laminated $5 each. Titles are: Innamincka. 1989, Little Desert 1989, Simpson Desert 1986, Wyperfeld 1989.

Australian Antarctic Division, Antarctica unlaminated $10.

AIATSIS: Aboriginal Australia. Laminated, small crease at top $20.

Australian Geographic: Birdsville Track laminated $5, Central Australia laminated $10, Exploration of Australia unlaminated $10.

D Hewitt: Replica of Canning's original Route Sheet 1 laminated $20, Sheet 2 laminated $20.

Dept of Interior: NT Pictorial replica of 1939 map unlaminated $10.

Hema: Queensland laminated $20 Australian Rail Journeys laminated $20.

b Parish of Ni Ni (Vic) laminated $10.

MapsNT: NT Parks and Reserves unlaminated $10.

National Geographic: Aust Continental Odyssey $5

NT Gov: NT Aboriginal Communities unlaminated. Some tracks have been highlighted on this map. $15.

NT Lands & Housing: J McDouall Stuart Exploration Sheet 1 laminated $10, Sheet 2 laminated $10. Unlaminated sheet 1 & 2, $7 each. NT Heritage. Exploration unlaminated $10.

Paoletti: Sunset Country (Vic) 1990 laminated $5.

Qld Gov: Queensland unlaminated $10

SA Gov: Riverland laminated $10, SA Pastoral Areas unlaminated $16

Victoria Railways: Victorian Railway Lines 1973 $15.

Westprint: All laminated $5 each. Titles are: Alice Springs - Finke Andado 1989 Birdsville Track 2002, Diamantina Lakes, East McDonnells 1995, Gunbarrel Highway 2005, Little Desert 1989, Plenty Highway 2005.

Westprint: Australia A Big Country (Shows other countries superimposed over a map of Australia). Laminated. Some have small creases. $10, Australia a Big Country RFDS laminated. (Shows Europe superimposed over a map of Australia and the RFDS bases) $15

Funny Photos

I found this school in Nan Thailand, tickled my fancy. John


We haven’t had any funny photos lately either. Please send any you have to

Friday Funnies

A Russian couple were walking down the street in Moscow one night, when the man felt a drop hit his nose. "I think it's raining", he said to his wife.

"No, that felt more like snow to me", she replied.

"No, I'm sure it was just rain", he said.

Well, as these things go, they were about to have a major argument about whether it was raining or snowing when they saw a communist party official walking toward them

"Let's not fight about it", the man said, "Let's ask Comrade Rudolph whether it's officially raining or snowing".

As the official approached, the man said, "Tell us, Comrade Rudolph, is it officially raining or snowing?"

"It's raining, of course", he replied, and walked on.

But the woman insisted: "I know that felt like snow!"

To which the man quietly replied: "Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear" 

When our second child was on the way, my wife and I attended a pre-birth class aimed at couples who had already had at least one child. The instructor raised the issue of breaking the news to the older child. It went like this: "Some parents," she said, "tell the older child, 'We love you so much we decided to bring another child into this family.' But think about that. Ladies, what would you say if your husband came home one day and said, 'Honey, I love you so much I decided to bring home another wife.'"

One of the women spoke up immediately. "Does she cook?" 

Two Irishmen were adrift in a life boat following a dramatic escape from a burning freighter. While rummaging through the boat's provisions, one of the men stumbled across an old lamp. Secretly hoping that a genie would appear, he rubbed the lamp vigorously. To the amazement of the castaways, a genie came forth. This genie, however, stated that he could only deliver one wish, not the standard three.

Without giving much thought to the matter the man blurted out, "Make the entire ocean into beer!" The genie clapped his hands with a deafening crash, and immediately the entire sea turned into the finest brew ever sampled by mortals. Simultaneously, the genie vanished. Only the gentle lapping of beer on the hull broke the stillness as the two men considered their circumstances. One man looked disgustedly at the other, whose wish had been granted. After a long, tension filled moment, he spoke: "Nice going moron! Now we're going to have to pee in the boat!" 

It is hard to understand how a cemetery raised its burial cost and blamed it on the cost of living.

Just remember, if the world didn't suck, we'd all fall off.

We are born naked, wet, and hungry. Then things get worse.

The 50-50-90 rule: Anytime you have a 50-50 chance of getting something right, there's a 90% probability you'll get it wrong.

It is said that if you line up all the cars in the world end to end, someone would be stupid enough to try and pass them.

Laughing stock - cattle with a sense of humor.

The Fine Print

About the Friday Five

This weekly newsletter is designed to be informative and entertaining. Wherever possible we try to acknowledge the source of all information contained in this newsletter. We also try to check for accuracy but being a weekly newsletter this is not always possible. We offer no guarantees for accuracy but we do our best.

Using information from this newsletter

You are welcome to use information from this newsletter but we request that you kindly acknowledge that the information is from the Friday Five newsletter, and that any contributors listed also be acknowledged. To use any information that has a copyright symbol please contact 

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.


On orders of $100.00 and over, for delivery within Australia. Free Shipping on folded paper maps. Flat rate shipping on most books @ $9.50 up to order value of $99.99


Email us to arrange a Gift voucher for hard to buy for friends or family. Just specify any amount you would like the Voucher for.



Crocodiles & Other People - Click here.


03 5391 1466
© 2018 Westprint Heritage Maps. All Rights Reserved.