Friday Five Newsletter 2018.7.20

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Westprint Friday Five  Friday July 20th 2018

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.

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


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Friday Five Books

  1. The Best Australian Trucking Stories - Jim Haynes. $33.00. The trucker's job - so vital to our nation's everyday life-makes for a diverse treasure trove of stories. This first-ever collection of stories about Aussie truckers captures the humour, tragedy and fascinating history of their world, proving once again that truth is often stranger, funnier and more inspiring than fiction. The unlikely yarns and tales, collected by Jim Haynes, quickly transport the reader into the intriguing but often hard and lonely world of the long-distance truck driver. There are stories of endurance while crossing the Nullarbor in the early 1950s, of rescuing mates stranded in the desert and dumping wheat in protest at Parliament House, of repossessing vehicles in suburban Adelaide, and of men imprisoned during the long political battle to make the roads of Australia free to carry freight. Steeped in larrikinism, these are salt-of-the-earth Aussie voices from the most genuine characters to ever spin a yarn. Whether you're interested in one of the most significant social revolutions to have shaped our nation, or in these never-say-die modern pioneers who astound with their resourcefulness, or whether you're just after a laugh and a bloody good story, this book is for you. 269pp. First published in 2011.
  2. Outback NSW. $22.00. Outback New South Wales is a doorway to the Australian Outback. It's diversity from red sand dunes along the dog fence to the opal mines of White Cliffs, rugged Jump-up country and sculptured weathering of Lake Mungo, offer the traveller many unique landscapes. Broken Hill is the major metropolis of this region, inspiring in history and artistic endeavours and a gateway to all aspects of Outback NSW including several National Parks. Outback New South Wales is sectioned into 7 parts. All Regional Roads and Public Access Routes. Full colour throughout. 28 pages including cover. 16 comprehensive map pages. Photographic views. Geographic locations, towns and services. Published in 2008.
  3. Field Guide to Birds of Australia - Simpson & Day. $39.95. Since it was first published in 1984, Simpson & Day's Field Guide to the Birds of Australia has been one of the most - if not the most - respected bird guide in the country. It has sold over 500,000 copies. The guide contains 132 superb full-colour plates showing all Australian bird species; key points of identification using the latest classification system; distribution maps for all species; over 900 black and white line illustrations; breeding information; a vagrant bird bulletin; a core library list; and easy-to-use indexes. This eighth edition has been revised and updated, including some beautiful new plates. 381pp. First published in 1984, this edition 2010, reprinted 2018.
  4. Australian Bird Guide (The). $49.95. From CSIRO Publishing. Text by Peter Menkhorst, Danny Rogers & Rohan Clark Illustrations contributed by Jeff Davies, Peter Marsack & Kim Franklin. Australia’s avifauna is large, diverse, and spectacular, reflecting the continent’s impressive range of habitats and evolutionary history. With specially commissioned paintings of over 900 species. The Australian Bird Guide is the most comprehensive field guide to Australian birds ever seen. The guide features close to 250 stunning colour plates, with particular emphasis on providing the fine detail required to identify difficult groups and distinctive plumages. Comprehensive species accounts have been written by a dedicated team of ornithologists to ensure identification details, distribution, and status are current and accurate. The Australian Bird Guide sets a new standard in field guides, providing an indispensable reference for all birders and naturalists looking to explore Australia’s magnificent and unique birdlife.
  5. Fragile Balance (A) - 2nd Edition. $59.95. The Extraordinary Story of Australian Marsupials. Text by Christopher Dickman - Illustrations by Rosemary Woodford Ganf. Hardcover 246 pages. This edition published 2015 by Australian Geographic. The fine text distinguishes the diverse marsupial group from other mammals and places it in its geographic context. It covers all species in Australia and draws together many unique biological traits that characterise these marsupials. We see how marsupials interact with each other and with other living things, and how they survive in the adverse conditions of the Australian continent; they often modify their environment to make it more suitable for themselves, and their impacts can be startling. The tangled interactions of marsupials and people are also examined. Marsupials are integral components of the natural environment and of human endeavour in Australia and this book makes a compelling case for a new, more inclusive attitude towards them. Six notable species are highlighted in feature pages, and the text is completed with thumbnail accounts of all species of Australian marsupials, outlining size, distinguishing features, distribution and key aspects of their biology. This edition has been updated to include new species and changes in conservation status that have been recognised since the first edition, and the new text reflects all relevant research in the interim. One copy on hand but should be able to get more.

Friday Forum

Old Andado Station

Re: the query last week about Old Andado. I don’t know what is happening at the station, but I have heard that Molly’s Bash has been postponed indefinitely. Sonya.

Purni Bore

Good news from SA Arid Lands.

Earlier this year persons unknown turned off the water at Purni Bore on the western side of the Simpson Desert. The bore has run for many years and is an important wetland shelter for local and migratory birds. Crews from Dept of Environment & Water, SA have now been out to the bore and completed maintenance and restoration work and the bore is now flowing again.

Bibbulmun Track, Western Australia.

Sandpatch Campsite Destroyed. In late May, a bushfire from an escaped prescribed burn tore through the Torndirrup National Park near Albany and destroyed the most southern campsite on the Track. Sandpatch campsite was built in May 2012, along with Mutton Bird Campsite to replace Hidden Valley Campsite to the west because of the expansion of the wind farm.

The fire burnt 620 hectares and the Track in this area will remain closed for many months. A diversion is in place. Earlier this year Helena Campsite, near Mundaring was lost in a deliberately lit fire.

Information Wanted – Birdsville Track.

My wife & I are considering a trip up the Birdsville track sometime next year (2019) and are wondering what time of the year is the best for going up there. We do not wish to be there when the races are on as we are not into the crowd scene. I am 75 years young and don’t handle hot weather all that well these days (anything above 30c). We have a Ford F250 4WD and will be towing either a camper trailer or Jayco type fold out van, either a Hawk or an Eagle. Tim.

Gills Pinnacle

Regarding the article last week relating to Gills Pinnacle, the Warakurna Traditional Owners are particularly sensitive about visitors leaving the Great Central Road. Permission must be obtained by contacting the Warakurna Community Office and Ngaanyatjarra Land Council. Don’t want any of your readers to cop a hefty fine. Andrew

McPhersons Pillar – Western Australia.

David Carnegie named this striking feature in 1896 after Gilles McPherson a respected Western Australian explorer and prospector. McPherson arrived in Queensland in 1873 working on the North Queensland goldfields before heading to Western Australian Kimberley goldfields in 1884. He prospected in various goldfields such as the Murchison, Eastern and Dundas, apparently with much success.

With increasing prosperity, he adopted Macpherson as the spelling of his surname. He married Elizabeth Wisbey, daughter of the then Mayor of Bunbury WA in 1892. A son was born in 1893 however both Elizabeth and their infant son died in a smallpox epidemic soon after.

After the death of his wife and son, he led a party to explore the interior of W.A. through to Alice Springs. On two occasions Macpherson almost died from thirst as he explored areas north-east of Southern Cross, prospecting for gold. In 1898 he joined the Klondyke goldrush to the Yukon in Canada. A persistent rumour in Western Australia was that he had died in a blizzard on the Klondyke, however he died of bronchitis and myocarditis in 1928 in Vancouver, Canada and is buried in an unmarked grave in the Masonic Cemetery there.

Information from

McPhersons Pillar is this week’s clue.

Secondhand Selection

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. This week we have a selection of books by Eileen Finlay. They are all hardcover and in fair to poor condition. Normally these books are priced between $12-$20. This week’s special is $6 per title. Please add $9.50 for postage regardless of the number ordered.

Titles by Eileen Finlay are:

The Hills of Home

The Caravan Passes

Crying in the Wilderness


Journey of Freedom

Galleon – Proudly Sailing

Eileen Finlay

Eileen Finlay, Australian author (B? Died 1950). Eileen Finlay (nee Moroney) was born in Maffra, North Gippsland and felt a strong identity with that part of Victoria all her life. She and her family resided in Colac, Victoria, where her father was the shire engineer, prior to his death in 1887.

After her marriage in 1899 to Alexander Finlay, an architect, they lived in Melbourne, but they had frequent holidays in Gippsland, where most of her novels are set. Her husband died in 1921.

Steep Point, WA – Closed

Please note that Edel Land (proposed) National Park, including Steep Point and False Entrance, will be closed for road works from 1 to 30 August.

Innamincka – Roads Closed

Majority of Innamincka is now open again to 4WD with caution at pooled water, corrugations and washouts. But Walkers Crossing, Malkumba-Coongie Lakes & Kudriemitchie remain closed due to flooding.

Surveyor Generals Corner.

Replying to Heather who asked about visiting the Surveyor Generals Corner. My information is current as at 2012, however I don’t think the process has changed.

The only road you will get a permit for (easily) is the Great Central Rd, turning off 25km SE of Giles onto the Giles-Mulga Park Rd (formerly Gunbarrel Hwy) traveling south to Wingellina.

The track east from Warburton to Wingellina via Jamieson and Blackstone are aboriginal business roads and are no-go. The permit must be sourced from the WA Dept of Aboriginal Affairs

The permit I had for it didn’t mention access requirements past Wingellina, but the following is what I did:

I would plan your trip to arrive at Giles the day before and spend the night there; traveling to the SGC the next morning.

Before you leave home (and possibly BEFORE you apply for your permit) call ahead to Wingellina (either 08 8956 7998 or 08 8956 7566) and discuss the specifics of when you wish to visit and your arrival time, noting it will take 2 hours to drive from Giles to Wingellina (160 km, good, wide, well-maintained dirt road). They will advise of actual requirements (it cost us $100/vehicle and usually requires an escort out there. We were given a mud-map and unescorted access as there was a community meeting about to start, and nobody could be spared to come with us). In 2012 the two administrators there were Shane and Karen, though it’s likely they have moved on by now.

The obvious downside of all this (apart from the $100/vehicle thing) is that you will have to travel to an itinerary in order to achieve a meeting at a specific time in the middle of Australia. But it is well worth it, and I would encourage you to go. More people have visited Antarctica than have been to the Surveyor Generals Corner. Alan.

VKS-737 Fundraiser

Want a New Codan Envoy HF Radio?

Here is your chance to be the proud owner of a brand new Codan Envoy HF Radio. Tickets are now available and can be purchased by going to this link:

This raffle comprises 5,000 numbered tickets at $5.00 each, to be drawn at 17:30 Hours (Central Standard Time) on Friday 14th September 2018 at VKS-737 Head Office.

NOTE: This is open to Australian Residents only. You do not have to be a subscriber to the VKS-737 Radio Network to enter.

First Prize: Codan Explorer Package comprising an Envoy X1 Radio and 3040 or 9350 Auto Tune Antenna. Valued at $4306.00

Generously donated by Codan Radio Communications.

Second Prize: Minelab GO-FIND 66 Treasure Detector. Valued at $399.00

Generously donated by Minelab Electronics Pty Ltd.

Third Prize: Minelab GO-FIND 44 Treasure Detector. Valued at $299.00

Generously donated by Minelab Electronics Pty Ltd.

Proceeds are to be applied to the VKS-737 Radio Network to provide better communications services for our subscribers, and in times of emergencies by all outback and remote area travellers.

The VKS-737 Radio Network is a division of the Australian National 4WD Radio Network Inc. a national registered Public Benevolent Institution established "for the relief of sickness, suffering, helplessness, destitution and misfortune to a disadvantaged section of the community, being all 'outback’ travellers who are in distress by providing them with emergency assistance and support in co-operation with other organisations".

What’s On?

Mars in the Night Sky. Everywhere. July 27 to July 31. 2018. Closest orbit will be July 31. Opposition is where the Earth sits between the Sun and a planet, in this case Mars. With the sunlight reflecting straight back at Earth, this makes it particularly bright. But due to Mars’ oblique orbit each opposition isn’t equal and its apparent size to us changes from year to year. If Earth and Mars had perfectly circular orbits, their minimum distance would always be the same. However, they have elliptical (egg-shaped) paths. In addition, gravitational tugging by planets constantly changes the shape of their orbits a little bit. Giant Jupiter especially influences the orbit of Mars. The orbits of Mars and Earth are also slightly tilted with respect to each other.

All of these factors mean that not all close encounters are equal. In 2003, Mars made its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years! It won't be that close again until the year 2287.

When Mars and Earth are close to each other, Mars appears very bright in our sky. It also makes it easier to see with telescopes or the naked eye. The Red Planet comes close enough for exceptional viewing only once or twice every 15 or 17 years. That is the point in Mars' orbit when it comes closest to Earth. Mars will be at a distance of 35.8 million miles (57.6 million kilometers). By mid-August, Mars will become fainter as Mars and Earth travel farther away from each other in their orbits around the Sun.

Social media often reports that Mars will look as big as the Moon. If that were true, we'd all be spinning off into the universe due to the gravitational pull. But it will be more visible than usual.

Astronomical Societies in cities and towns all around Australia will be hosting telescope viewings. Search the internet for a viewing near you.

Friday Funnies

"My son has taken up meditation... at least it's better than sitting around doing nothing."

- Max Kauffmann 

What did the sign in the Egyptian funeral home say?

"Satisfaction guaranteed or your mummy back!" 

My uncle spent days looking for his new hat. Finally, he decided that he'd go to church on Sunday and sit at the back. During the service he would sneak out and grab a hat from the rack at the front door.

On Sunday, he went to church and sat at the back. The sermon was about the 10 Commandments. He sat through the whole sermon and instead of sneaking out he went to talk to the minister.

He said to the minister, "Father, I came here today to steal a hat to replace the one I lost. But after hearing your sermon on the 10 Commandments, I changed my mind."

The minister said, "Bless you my son. Was it when I started to preach thou shall not steal, that changed your heart?"

My uncle responded, "No, it was the one on adultery. When you started to preach on that, I remembered where I left my hat." 

"The trouble with being punctual is that there's nobody there to appreciate it."

- Harold Rome 

My inferiority complex is not as good as yours.

"I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said I was being ridiculous - everyone hasn't met me yet."

- Rodney Dangerfield.

Heaven vs. Hell

In Heaven:

the cooks are French,

the policemen are English,

the mechanics are German,

the lovers are Italian

and the bankers are Swiss. 

In Hell:

the cooks are English,

the policemen are German,

the mechanics are French,

the lovers are Swiss

and the bankers are Italian. 

"When I finished school, I took one of those career aptitude tests, and based on my verbal ability score, they suggested I become a mime."

- Tim Cavanagh

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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