Friday Five Newsletter 2018.8.31

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Westprint Friday Five  Friday August 31st 2018

Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward.

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. Aboriginal Story of Burke and Wills (The) $49.95. This book is the first major study of Aboriginal associations with the Burke and Wills expedition of 1860-61…. cross-cultural exchanges with the expedition, as well as the various relief expeditions. The book offers a reinterpretation of the literature surrounding Burke and Wills…. and then complements this with references to Aboriginal oral histories and social memory. It highlights the interaction of expedition members with Aboriginal people and their subsequent contribution to Aboriginal studies. Generously illustrated with historical photographs and line drawings, The Aboriginal Story of Burke and Wills is a valuable resource for Indigenous people, Burke and Wills history enthusiasts and the wider community.
  2. Finding Burke and Wills. $35.00. Alfred Howitt. Many believe that Alfred Howitt, an experienced bushman who had already taken a small and successful expedition into South Australia’s outback, should have led the Burke and Wills Expedition. Instead, he was given the task of discovering what happened to the missing men.…. Finding Burke and Wills republishes a talk Howitt gave in Adelaide more than 40 years later in 1907, with the explorer looking back on the two expeditions. This volume is enlivened with many vibrant and intricate drawings from the 1858 expedition. Sketched by Babbage, and by David Herrgott, many of these are being published for the first time... Portraits of the protagonists, and a map especially drawn for the book, complete an unusual, fascinating and beautifully presented addition to the Friends’ Australiana publications. First published in 2010.
  3. To Be Heirs Forever - Mary Durack. $27.95 Dame Mary Durack DBE OBE was born to the heritage of a pioneering family. Long recognised as one of Australia's great literary figures, she wrote 15 books, short stories, poems, plays and film scripts. She died in 1994.  In 1829 Eliza Shaw exchanged her world of English drawing-rooms and embroidery for the brushwood huts and backbreaking labour of a pioneer settlement in Western Australia. Mary Durack first wrote the story of Eliza Shaw as a monologue for the 1972 Perth Festival.
  4. Keep Him My Country - Mary Durack $27.95. A powerful novel set in a man's world of mustering, horse-breaking and crocodile hunting. 19-year-old Stan Rolt moves to the Territory to manage a run-down cattle station for two years but ends up staying for fifteen. Try as he might he can't seem to escape its clutches, even though it killed his father and threatens to bring him down. He is held there by the dependence of the people, black and white and the memory of a tragic love affair that still haunts him. For anyone with Australia in their blood this book is compulsory reading. First published in 1955, this edition 1999.
  5. Rattlesnake. $29.95. Australia's spectacular Great Barrier Reef was a graveyard for shipping. HMS Rattlesnake, an ageing British warship, was commissioned in 1846 to survey this magnificent 'Coral Sea' and to produce the first detailed chart of the New Guinea coast. Every reef, every shoal, every rock hazard had to be located and mapped with extreme accuracy. At stake was the pre-eminence of British sea power - and the ambitions of those on board. If all went well Stanley, the ship's brilliant captain, could expect a top job in the Admiralty; MacGillivray, the gifted naturalist, would be the world's expert on the fauna of Australia and the unknown New Guinea; and Huxley, the ambitious young surgeon, could abandon the dreary routine of the naval service for the excitement of the new world of science. But a series of highly dramatic events and encounters ensures that by the time the Rattlesnake finally returns to England, the glorious dreams of at least some of her crew have met with tragedy .... First published in 2005, this edition 2006

Notes from the Office.

Jo, Graeme and DG are still away but should now be heading homewards. All going well they should be at Kalgoorlie, Western Australia today. Carolyn and John are holding the fort and as both work part-time there may be times when the office is closed. Please ring first if you are travelling any distance to call in. 0353911466. This week’s clue is the Overland Telegraph Line.

Friday Forum

Lake Eyre, South Australia.

By John Deckert

Lake Eyre; Australia’s largest lake, the world’s largest inland drainage basin and one of the driest regions on earth. Lake Eyre; popular tourist destination, unique wildlife habitat, a place of desolate beauty and unusual magic.

Years ago, I joined the many enthusiastic tourists flocking to Lake Eyre to see the magnificent phenomena of water and wildlife in what is normally a parched expanse of shimmering mirage.

Geologists say that Lake Eyre was once a great inland sea with lush vegetation, prolific wildlife and permanent water. It flowed into other lakes as excess water overflowed into the sea at the head of Spencer Gulf. As time passed so also the climate changed and the earth buckled. Lake Eyre became land locked in an increasingly arid region. Evaporation exceeded rainfall and salt began to form.

The first European explorers experienced appalling conditions as they tried to map the shores of this great lake. Lewis was near the northern shore during the summer of 1874 when the temperature was recorded at 141 Fahrenheit. Others described Lake Eyre as a great waterless waste. Dr C. T. Madigan travelled along the eastern shore during his major exploration of the Simpson Desert and Lake Eyre in 1939. His claim that there would never be anything more than casual water in the lake, formed after intensive study of the shore line and the dry bed of Cooper Creek. Unfortunately, Dr Madigan died two years before the first recorded major filling in 1950.

Heavy rains over the catchment area led to major flooding of all rivers emptying into Lake Eyre. The major local rivers including the Macumba, Neales, Margaret and Gregory all spilled a large quantity into the lake, but it was the big water courses – the Diamantina and Cooper Creek that provided the main volume of water that raised the level of the lake to 3.7 metres. It is almost certain that fillings of this magnitude would have occurred previously but due to the difficulty in accessing the area and the necessity of recording levels and areas during a prolonged period major floodings may well have gone unseen. Missionaries at Killalpannina between the Birdsville Track and Lake Eyre depended on regular fillings of Lake Killalpannina from the Cooper in the 1880s and 90s. It is quite possible that some of these flows would have resulted in a major filling.

The great flood of 1974 caused a great amount of disruption throughout much of Australia. Central Australia depends on the cyclonic rains of the northern wet season to occasionally stray south and dump a sizable amount of rain over the arid zone. January 1974 was the wettest month ever recorded in many parts of Central Australia.

Good general rains soaked much of the Lake Eyre Basin then a few days later the heaviest rains ever recorded fell over all of the catchment area. Recorded rainfalls of 10-13” were common. All watercourses were in flood within a few hours. The homestead at Alton Downs was washed away by the Diamantina floodwaters. Water in Strzelecki Creek rose by 3 metres overnight. Cooper Creek was a raging torrent within days. About ten weeks later it was pouring into Lake Eyre. No one had ever seen a flood like this. Rain continued to fall and the level of Lake Eyre continued to rise to a maximum recorded depth of 5.7 metres. Research by Dr John Dulhunty showed this flooding to be the largest for at least 500 years.

This huge dead heart of Australia comes alive on occasions such as this when flooding causes a massive sheet of water to suddenly appear in the centre of this arid region. Thousands of small waterholes in the rivers surrounding Lake Eyre are also pulsing with new life as the region frantically tries to procreate and regenerate itself during the short time that moisture is available.

Casual water similar to that in Lake Eyre at present occurs regularly at five to ten-year intervals. It is a wonderful opportunity to experience some of the vitality the water brings to this unique area. It is not a difficult drive and accommodation is available, as are scenic flights over the lake. Marree, William Creek and Coward Springs provide facilities to assist travellers to enjoy the spectacle of Lake Eyre.


First major recorded filling 1950 depth 3.7m

Largest recorded filling 1974 depth 5.7m

Lake Eyre 2590 km²

Drainage Basin 1,300,000 km²

Stock Routes – The Old Gulf Track, Qld.

The Old Gulf Track was the key to the development of the Northern Territory and the Kimberley. Although the track was well described by Leichhardt after his 1845 exploration it was not until 1872 that d’Arcy Uhr and Dillon Cox used the route when they were employed to take 400 head of cattle fromChartersTowersto the Overland Telegraph base at Roper Bar. After a particularly difficult trip, where Uhr is reported to have shot his way through tribes of Aborigines and quelled unrest among his men with a stockwhip, the party arrived at Roper Bar to find the Overland Telegraph Line workers leaving. Uhr and Cox then proceeded, with their cattle, along theRoperRiverand northwards to Katherine and Darwin.

Nathaniel ‘Bluey’ Buchanan was the first drover to blaze a proper trail when he set out in 1878 from Aramac Station inCentral Queenslandwith 1200 cattle bound for Glencoe Station in the Top End. His party of eight men needed three drays to carry provisions so that meant clearing a path along which the drays could pass. Buchanan was also responsible for finding suitable creek crossings, watering places and camping spots for cattle and men. His successful crossing marked the start of many other drives along the Gulf Track.

Buchanan was back on the track again by 1881, this time with 20,000 head under his control. The cattle were split into ten mobs, each with its own boss drover and droving plant and each mob travelling a day apart. This is certainly the largest combined movement of cattle ever to take place inAustralia, probably the World. For his effort Buchanan earned a reputation as one ofAustralia’s greatest drovers.

The Durack family passed through the Gulf with 7,250 cattle, 60 working bullocks and 200 horses. The Durack’s were among the first settlers in theKimberley. They were closely followed by the McDonalds who took three and a half years to move their cattle enterprise from the Goulburn River district of New South Wales to Fossil Downs on the Fitzroy River in the Kimberley, the longest droving trek in Australia’s and possibly World history.

Nat Buchanan and Sam Croker pioneered a more direct route fromQueenslandacross the Barkly Tablelands (Barkly Stock Route). However, surface water was unreliable, so drovers were often forced to take cattle a longer route via the Gulf Track. This route remained in use for more than 40 years.

By the turn of the century Sidney Kidman was making his mark on the cattle industry ofAustralia. Stocking the great stations of the north was completed and prime cattle were being driven to markets in the eastern states. Stock routes from the Gulf wended their way along rivers and waterholes to railheads at Kajabbi, Djarra, and Marree (via the Birdsville Track). Many of these stock routes developed into roads as wagons and later trucks continued to carry provisions for the droving teams.

In the early 1960s the droving era ended almost as quickly as it began. The development of road trains and improved maintenance of roads caused a rapid swing to road transport. Within a few years almost all cattle were moved by road trains.

What’s On?

The Ravensthorpe Wildflower Show and Spring Festival, Ravensthorpe, Western Australia. Thursday 13 September 2018 and Friday 21 September 2018. Four Wheel Drive Tag Along Tours and a Guided Nature Walks (as well as the wildflower show). To understand and appreciate the unique biodiversity of the Ravensthorpe Shire, take time out to book a place on one of the planned tours, four to five hours with tour guides appreciating wildflowers in the wild. The four-wheel drive tour guides are local enthusiast, John Tucker a Naturalist who know the best Wildflower locations and Nathan McQuiod, an Ecologist who has lived and worked in the region for several years. The Guided Nature Walk with a local, Andrew Chapman, Zoologist, is an easy to moderate bush walk. Ravensthorpe Progress run the four-wheel drive tours and provide a picnic served in a bush setting for participants. Volunteers from the Ravensthorpe State Emergency Service (SES) will assist with lead and tail vehicle escort and provide radio communication for all vehicles. This allows input from Tour Guides as the convoy travels and for chit chat from participants. Stopping to enjoy, learn and photograph is encouraged. Allow 4-5 hours for a relaxing, escorted tour of the abundant wildflowers in our south-eastern bushland. If you don't have your own 4WD, please still book your tickets and we'll find you a spare seat in another 4WD. All tours depart from the caravan rest area at the corner of Morgans and Queen Street, Ravensthorpe. Cost of 4WD tours $25.00

Lower Lakes Challenge. Strathalbyn, South Australia. September 14-16, 2018. This event brings together the top national competitors in Aussie bush heritage events. The Australian Bush Stockman would often be alone for weeks patrolling fencelines or droving with a handful of mates for hundreds of miles in almost uninhabited country. These were the bush pioneers whose proficiency was developed as a simple matter of survival in a harsh land; they gave us our heritage. The Lower Lakes Stockman’s Challenge and Bush Festival is a 3-day event held in Strathalbyn, South Australia with local and interstate competitors showcasing their skills.

The Lower Lakes Stockman’s Challenge is designed to emulate and preserve the skills and adventure of the famous pioneering Australian Bush Stockmen. Over three days we will challenge our competitors and their horses and celebrate the Legends of the Australian Bush who went before us.  The exciting finale on Sunday will see the crowning of a new “Legend of the Lower Lakes”. Tasks include: Stock Handling, Pack Horse, Whip Cracking, Bareback Obstacle, Horse Shoeing, Stockman’s jumping, Heritage Horse Catch, Poley Saddle Rough Ride

This year the Lower Lakes Stockman’s Challenge is introducing a new section to our competition and we are so excited to announce the Gunna-Be Challenge. We want to encourage everyone to give it a go, this is the warm up event. So, if you have your eyes set on one day being a Legend. First you have to be a GUNNA-BE.

Events include: Jump Challenge. Competitors are to negotiate a set course of jumps riding with a whip in hand and a drizabone. The course will include banks, rails, ditches and all set to be ridden at an optimum time. Riders will ride without a watch.

Competitors can choose to ride with or without a saddle to work their way through the obstacle course. This could include drags, side-pass, jumps and much more. A free-style at the end is their opportunity to show their unique talents, a sight not to be missed. A bridle MUST be worn at all time.

Cattle Handling. The competitor will start in the camp and cut one beast from the mob, taking it to the front of the camp to work the beast in a campdraft format. The rider will then call gate sending the beast into the large arena where the rider will have to maneuver the beast around a set obstacle course. This will all be done within a set time limit.

Whip Cracking. The traditional heritage skill of whip cracking to be done at a nominated speed (trot or canter). Rider must be accurate to cut the target. At the end they will also be asked to showcase a free-style that needs to include the Sydney Flash. A whip must be 5 ft or longer.

For more information:

Friday Funnies

A guy was invited to some old friends' home for dinner.

His buddy preceded every request to his wife by endearing terms, calling her Honey, My Love, Darling, Sweetheart, Pumpkin, etc.

He was impressed since the couple had been married almost 70 years, and while the wife was off in the kitchen he said to his buddy:

"I think it's wonderful that after all the years you've been married, you still call your wife those pet names."

His buddy hung his head. "To tell you the truth," he said, "I forgot her name about ten years ago." 

Inside some of us is a thin person struggling to get out, but they can usually be sedated with a few pieces of chocolate cake.

Everybody keeps saying that women are smarter than men, but did you ever see a man wearing a shirt that buttons down the back?

"Why is there so much month left at the end of the money?" - Unknown

Behind every successful man stands a surprised mother-in-law. - Hubert Humphrey

Some great advice from kids.

How do you decide who to marry?

No person really decides before they grow up who they're going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you're stuck with. - Kirsten, age 10

What is the right age to get married?

Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then. Camille, age 10

No age is good to get married at. You got to be a fool to get married. - Freddie, age 6 

How can a stranger tell if two people are married?

You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids. - Derrick, age 8 

What do you think your mom and dad have in common?

Both don't want any more kids. - Lori, age 8 

What do most people do on a date?

Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough. - Lynnette, age 8

On the first date, they just tell each other lies, and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date. - Martin, age10 

What would you do on a first date that was turning sour?

I'd run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns. - Craig, age 9 

When is it okay to kiss someone?

When they're rich. - Pam, age 7

The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn't want to mess with that. - Curt, age 7

The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It's the right thing to do. - Howard, age 8 

Is it better to be single or married?

It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them. - Anita, age 9

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 

Westprint Contact information:


Phone: 03 5391 1466

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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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