Friday Five Newsletter 2018.6.8

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Westprint Friday Five Friday June 8th 2018

When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way you will command the attention of the world.

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

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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. Australian Crocodiles. Grahame Webb & Charlie Manolis $35.00. Crocodiles are abundant in most rivers, creeks and swamps in northern Australia and are a major tourist attraction. They are part of the great 'northern adventure' that domestic and international visitors travel so far to experience. The book includes comprehensive studies on reproduction, growth, movement, behaviour, habitats and food. It also examines attacks on humans, the history of crocodile hunting, surveying, catching and handling. First published in 1989, this ed. 2007.
  1. Australian Snakes. Richard Shine. $36.95. This book is an insight into the biology and life history of snakes in and around Australia. It opens the door on an exciting and relatively new area of research. Although the foundations of this book are truly scientific, it has a light and easy style, peppered with amusing and occasionally alarming anecdotes. It is a book for the curious general reader and for zoologists and ecologists everywhere. First published in 1991, this edition 2016.
  1. The Saga of Sweetheart. $15.95. The frightening but true story of a giant rogue crocodile that attacked over 15 boats on a Northern Territory river during the 1970s. First published 1986, this edition 2006.
  1. Blood on the Wattle. Bruce Elder. $30.00. Blood on the Wattle draws together, in a single volume, most of the information about the massacres of Aboriginal people which has been recorded in books and journals. It also creates a broad-based level of awareness of the scale of the massacres of Aboriginal people so that this dimension of Australian history can become part of the Australian consciousness. First published in 1988, this edition 2009
  1. Cattle King. Ion Idriess. $17.95. At the age of thirteen Sidney Kidman ran away from home with only five shillings in his pocket. He went on to become a horse dealer, drover, cattle buyer and jockey. He also ran a successful coach business. Above all, Kidman created a mighty cattle empire of more than one hundred stations, fighting droughts, bushfires, floods and plagues of vermin to do so. His enterprise and courage won him a huge fortune and made him a legend. First published in 1936, this edition 2013.

Notes from the office.

We have all been working hard lately with a few new and exciting projects on the go. As mentioned last week, we are at the stage of going to print with the reprint of Madigan’s book Crossing The Dead Heart. It is not too late to put your name on the list if you would like us to send you a notice when the book becomes available. Just put hardcover or softcover in the email subject line.

There is another project on the go and I am not sure that Graeme is ready to make any announcements just yet, so I won’t ruin his surprise. There has been a lot of information checking to be done which means reading a lot of books both old and new. Rather than let all that research go to waste I am going to write a series of stories for the Friday Five that will be hints and clues to what we are working on. Feel free to have a guess. If you guess correctly I will let you know by email. This week’s clues are King Brown Country and Schwerin Mural Crescent.

We are a bit short of stories at the moment. If you have any trip notes or stories along the lines of The Long Drop (see below) that you are willing to share, please send them to me at

Until next week, happy travelling. Jo

Friday Forum

Editor’s comments in green.

Information wanted

Can any Friday Five readers can help with some travel information?

I’m looking for an interesting route avoiding bitumen between Renmark and Yunta SA.

Also has anyone visited Witchelina Nature Reserve recently? Chris

The Long Drop

Long Drop dunnies are quite a luxury when you've been camping remotely. So it was with appreciation that we camped not too far from, and upwind, of the solitary Long Drop outside Coen.

Coen is near the top of the bitumen that's marching further up the gravel road to Cape York each dry season. It was mid-season for those Sue calls the Cape Invaders, people making their pilgrimage to Cape York. The free-range camp was scattered with travellers in all sorts of 4WD rigs. Those southbound, dust-covered and weary, exchanging stories of dirt roads, and breakdowns. The more adventurous sharing stories of river crossings on the Old Telegraph Track. Those northbound are excited and alive with anticipation, not yet wearied by the incessant corrugations to come.

We set up camp on the bank of the Archer River and spent the evening with a bottle or two of red around a campfire with travel companions, John and Christine.

A plaintive cry of distress woke me the next morning. I was alone. Sue had gone, driven to the long drop by the urging of last night's wine. Sue had not cried out. She'd not been the first there and had waited for someone to vacate. That someone was the man who'd let out the cry of distress.

'My phone' had been the cry! He'd dropped it in. A long drop.

Sue's urges took a backseat to this emergency and John was quickly there to lend his shovel. The recovery was, as John tells it, tense, messy and smelly. Not the best of pre-breakfast activities. But John is a man of humour and quite a few puns were made at the victim's expense. I'll never know how Sue didn't wet herself laughing at it all. Phone recovered, the man headed for his car and family. John headed to the river to wash the shovel. We breakfasted, laughing about it all, and headed into Coen for coffee at the indigenous visitor's centre.

There was our unlucky friend…Phone in hand.

'Is it working?' I asked. 'Yes. But I keep getting a message that something is blocking the charging port' he said.

You've gotta love your phone to use it after a long drop. Especially when you know what's blocking the charging port!

long drop

The long drop at Coen.

Book Reviews

A couple of books I have been reading recently. Jo.

King Brown Country. Russell Skelton. As someone who worked in the area way back in the late 1980s I was all too familiar with this story. This book was a page turner for me as I kept hoping as I read on that things would have changed for the Papunya community. Here is the blurb from the back of the book that sums it up.

'Why don't you check out Papunya? It's the sniffing capital of Australia, it's a Bermuda triangle for taxpayer funds. Nobody in the NT government gives a rats. The council just tossed out World Vision. People are frightened to talk.' For award-winning journalist Russell Skelton, a five-year journey of inquiry that coincided with one of the biggest shifts in indigenous policy in Australian history began on the day he received this email. Set with the backdrop of Papunya, a Northern Territory Aboriginal community whose history showed so much promise but whose dysfunction is now more prominent than its famous artwork, this is a book that had to be written. Digging down into the core of indigenous issues today, Skelton exposes unmitigated misery, shocking levels of neglect and the devastating consequences of substance abuse. But above all, he reveals how systematic failure of indigenous policy betrayed a once secure community. He also introduces us to Alison Anderson, the woman whose presence has so dominated Papunya and the politics of the Northern Territory King Brown Country is a powerful and shaming portrait of a community in crisis. Papunya remains an emblem for the failure of all Australians to come to terms with the continent's oldest inhabitants.

After reading King Brown Country I needed something more heartwarming. We don't have this book in stock but if there is enough interest we should be able to order copies quickly.

Bush Doctors was perfect. Annabelle Brayley writes with knowledge and compassion. A great book. Here’s the blurb.

Imagine yourself critically injured or seriously ill in the middle of nowhere. You'd be hoping like hell there was a doctor nearby to take charge; someone resourceful, who'd think quickly and stay calm under pressure; or even someone who could, if necessary, take charge from a distance. You'd want to be in the safe and sure hands of one of these clever bush doctors.

Meet some of the extraordinary GPs, specialist medicos and Royal Flying Doctors who save lives every day beyond the great divide. They might work in some of the most spectacular locations in Australia - from the splendid isolation of the Kimberley and the wide-open spaces of outback Queensland to the glorious surfing beaches of eastern Victoria and the freezing icecaps of Antarctica - but their profession demands long hours, extensive medical knowledge and, sometimes, courage beyond their experience.

From the bestselling author of Nurses of the Outback and Our Vietnam Nurses, Bush Doctors is a powerful and captivating tribute to all rural and remote doctors - unsung Australian heroes who truly do care.


Following on discussions re cairns, we went to the top of Mt. Oxley NSW and this is what we found. Pauline 


Toyota Land Cruiser Club of Victoria celebrates 45th birthday

Back in 1973, in Victoria there existed the Cross-Country Jeep Club and the Land Rover Owners’ Club, but nothing specifically for the owners of Toyota 4WDs. The popularity of the Land Cruiser was just starting to take off. The four-speed gearbox had been released in 1972, the 155 motor was becoming well accepted, and Thiess Toyota was offering a 6000-mile warranty on new vehicles.

The idea of forming a Club for Toyota owners was hatched in three separate minds; Graeme Wilson, John Atkins and John Whitney who were all thinking about establishing a club but were unknown to each other. Through good fortune, these members soon crossed paths and they initiated the creation of the Club. The first meeting was held on Wednesday 18th July 1973 in East Melbourne and was also attended by the Club President of TLCC, Sydney and a representative from Toyota Motor Company. The three founders wondered if anyone would attend, having distributed many letters under windscreen wipers and placing ads in the Age newspaper and radio 3AK.

And come they did! Cruisers rolled in everywhere with 80+ attending. Of these 30 signed up on the night. The Club was on its way.  Since then the Club has experienced a membership high of up to 800 members and currently has around 500. Members experience one of the most comprehensive driver training programs as part of their membership as well as access to a 300+ acre club property where many Club activities take place. There are numerous member trips, social activities and special events. The Land Cruiser Club has plenty to offer, including a branch located in Geelong for country members that live to the west of Victoria. For details on the Club please visit,

To celebrate the Club’s birthday 125 members travelled to the tiny settlement of Rawson in East Gippsland for a weekend of fun, frivolity and 4WDing.

Six trips took members into the surrounding hills while Saturday night saw a monster dinner hosted at the local Stockyard Pub.


August 1980.




Atlas Query

Make Trax Atlas 1:1,000,000. I really like the size and page layout of the AFN Make Trax Australia Atlas for trip planning and dreaming! However, it frustrates me when I turn the page as one would read a book it moves from east to west not west to east as expected. The roads do not flow across the pages. Do you have an alternative publication that flows in the (right?) direction? Andrew

This is a question we are regularly asked. Westprint provided all the map data for the Australian Fishing Network Make Trax Atlas. This is a unique publication as, to our knowledge, it is the only Australian road atlas that works to a single scale throughout the entire publication. This makes it a great publication for planning and dreaming as the visual distances stay true no matter which page you are looking at, whereas in most conventional road atlases, map scales change depending on how many features/towns are to be included. Andrew’s query about the page numbering is one that we have queried with the publishers. Their reason for the page numbering, is that it best suits people travelling north and south through Victoria, NSW and Qld and these travellers make up much of the market.

Schwerin Mural Crescent.

This beautiful mountain range was named by Ernest Giles in 1874. “The crescent-shaped and wall-like range, I named on request of my friend Baron Von Mueller the ‘Schwerin Mural Crescent’, and a magnificent pass through it, ‘Vladimir Pass’, in honour of Prince Vladimir, son of the Emperor of Russia, lately married to the Princess of Schwerin”. Ernest Giles’ Geographic Travels in Central Australia.

Duchess Marie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (also known as Princess Marie) married Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich of Russia, August 1874. She took the Russian name of Maria Pavlovna of Russia. A prominent hostess in St Petersburg following her marriage she was known as the grandest of the grand duchesses. In Russia, she lived at the Vladimir Palace. Socially ambitious, an addiction to gambling, saw her defy a prohibition by Nicholas II on the playing of roulette and in private homes, resulted in her temporarily being banned from Court. The Grand Duchess held the distinction to be the last of the Romanovs to escape Revolutionary Russia. Maria spent fourteen months in Anapa, refusing to leave Russia. When an opportunity to escape via Constantinople came she refused to leave for fear she would be subjected to the indignity of delousing. She finally agreed to leave when the general of the White Army warned her that his side was losing the civil war.

One wonders what a society hostess whose main claim to fame seemed to be her spectacular and ostentatious collection of jewellery, thought about having an obscure and hard to find (albeit beautiful) mountain range named in her honour.

Some info from Wikipedia

Secondhand Selection

Price of the following books includes postage in Australia. These books are not available on our website. To order any of these second-hand books send an email to If more than one person requests any book a ballot will be held on Monday.

  1. Green Mountains and Cullenbenbong. Hardcover 1953. Bernard O’Reilly. Green Mountains recreates the events surrounding Bernard O'Reilly's heroic search for and discovery of the survivors of the Stinson wreck. Cullenbenbong covers the childhood of Bernard O'Reilly. Boyhood adventures, family joys and sadnesses are all told in his own inimitable style together with mountain legends heard around the firesides of the Blue Mountains' pioneer (less). $24.00 inc post.
  2. Cullenbenbong. Paperback in fair condition. $10.00 inc post. See description above.
  3. Bowyangs and Boomerangs. M.J O’Reilly ‘Mulga Mick’. 1944. Softcover in fragile condition. 40 years of prospecting in Australia. $14.00 inc post.
  4. Back to the Front. Stephen O’Shea. Paperback. 1996. An accidental historian walks the trenches of World War One. $14.00 inc post.
  5. A Valley of the Finest Description. Margaret Oulton. Soft cover in good condition. A comprehensive history of the Shire of Lexton (Victoria). $30.00 inc post.

Friday Funnies

My contribution to curl up & dye.

My Grandfather, a Congregationalist Minister, told me this in the 1950s":

What is the difference between a sculptor and a hairdresser?

A sculptor makes faces and busts, but a hairdresser curls up and dyes.

He never gave a sermon without a joke! Eleanor 

Bob went to a psychiatrist. "Doc," he said, "I've got trouble. Every time I get into bed, I think there's somebody under it. I get under the bed, I think there's somebody on top of it. Top, under, top, got to help me, I'm going crazy!"

"Come to me three times a week, and I'll cure your fears." Said the psychiatrist. “It’s $100 a visit”

"I'll sleep on it," said Bob.

Six months later the doctor met Bob on the street. "Why didn't you ever come to see me again?" asked the psychiatrist.

"For a hundred buck's a visit? A bartender cured me for ten dollars."

"Is that so! How?"

"He told me to cut the legs off the bed!" 

A man approached a local in a village he was visiting. "What's the quickest way to York?"

The local scratched his head.

"Are you walking or driving?" he asked the stranger. "I'm driving."

"That's the quickest way!" 

You can't have everything, where would you put it?

Latest survey shows that 3 out of 4 people make up 75% of the world's population.

If the shoe fits, get another one just like it.

Eat right. Stay fit. Die anyway.

The things that come to those that wait may be the things left by those who got there first.

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat drinking beer all day.

Flashlight: A case for holding dead batteries.

Shin: A device for finding furniture in the dark.

When you're swimming in the creek, and an eel bites your cheek, that's a moray!

A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.

It was recently discovered that research causes cancer in rats.

The only cure for insomnia is to get more sleep.

Everybody lies, but it doesn't matter since nobody listens.

I wished the buck stopped here, as I could use a few.

I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.

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.

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To all of our faithful Friday Five readers 

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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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