BINOOMEA The Newsletter of the Jenolan Caves Historical & Preservation Society. Issue 132 November 2007 ISSN 0310-7248. CHANGES DIPROTODON BONES FOUND AT JENOLAN Presidents Column November 2007 Binoomea I think I can safely say (Im going to anyway), that a great time was had by all at our 35 th Anniversary Dinner in August. The hospitality provided by Dennis Winchester, Caves House Manager, was superb and the speeches were well supported by the members present. The cutti ng and distribution of the 35 th Birthday Cake was also much appreciated by everyone. It was wonderful to have John Dunkleys book, Jenolan Caves Guides, Guests and Grottoes launched by John Callaghan, and sales were brisk on the night. Dont forget to buy your copy, either through JCH&PS direct or from Things Jenolan at The diprotodon jaw bone in situ. Caves House. Image supplied by Te d Matthews. Photo by Alan Pryke. It was also a time to renew acquaintances with former members Jenolan guide Jeff Keith (pictured) made a huge discovery at Jenolan in early July 2007. A group of guides were conducting a routine training exercise whic h involved a wander through the caves and to look around at areas off the track. This is invaluable for answering visitors questions like where does that go? or where would the creek have flowed beyond here. Whilst looking around off the track in one of the show caves, Jeff happened to notice something which wasnt quite rock-like and on closer examination revealed it to be a bone. of JCH&PS and their partners. Some have renewed their association with the Society and we are glad to have them on board again. Even the singing of Happy Birthday on my account failed to dampen my enthusia sm. My thanks to all those to worked to make the night a success, the organisers, publicists, the raffle ticket sellers and draw organisers to name a few. Our next meeting is on Saturday 10 th November. We will be planning events for the February meeting, held together with events provided in partnership with caves House and the Trust. Consultation occurred with the Australian Museum to confirm the bone as a jaw from a diprotodon. Unfortunately its location means it won't be possible to inspect the site on a tour. A few weeks later, a press announcement was made, which was reported worldwide. As an exam ple, the following was posted on the Sydney Morning Herald online (27/7/07): So please come along on 10 th to give your views. Scientists finds ancient marsupial jaw bone in Blue Mountains. Scientists have confirmed the discovery of a jaw bone belonging to one of the largest known extinct marsupials. It is believed to be up to 40,000 years old and was discovered at the Jenolan Caves in the NSW Blue Mountains. The discovery of the jaw bone was made on a routine tour inside the caves. Scientists from the Australian Museum have now confirmed it belongs to a diprotodon, the largest marsupial that ever lived, and is between 20,000 and 40,000 years old. Jenolan Caves spokesmanGrantCommins says the bone is larger than usual. [It's] about nine inches long to a foot long, thats just a jaw bone [and] thats a pretty big jaw bone when you think of it, he said. This is the first known discovery of an Australian mega fauna fossil at Jenolan and is the closest yet found near Sydney. Arthur Gray 2007 President Jenolan Caves Historical and Preservation Society WHAT DID YOU MISS ????? Article courtesy of ACKMA journal A great weekend in August See following pages.
SOCIETY SPOTLIGHT. CONTACT DETAILS: JCH&PS Locked Bag Jenolan Caves 2790 Membership Secretary Scott Melton, can be contacted at JCH&PS address or by phone 02 63593911 (Jenolan Caves) or by email. firstname.lastname@example.org DIPROTODON INTERVIEW If you would like to hear Grant Commins, Cave Operations Manager, talk about the recent diprotodon find at Jenolan you can use this web link to access an MP3 file he has done with Rural Press. Its actually a good interview its been edited with the interviewer dropped out and is much more than a sound grab Rob Whyte. Go to http://www.mediafire.com/?4xd3yb521xy RAFFLE DRAWN. After some last minute ticket selling at the anniversary weekend, the Jimmy Lim Pool of Cerebus Poster raffle was finally drawn. The winner is Mr G Jesson from Sandy Bay Tasmania. He bought some tickets from the PO Museum on a recent trip to the caves. Ticket sa les alone at the dinner raised an additional $228. Also raffled at the dinner was a sign ed copy of the new book Jenolan Caves Guides, Guests and Grottoes autographed by John Dunkley (author) Tickets were sold on the night only and totalled $252. The book was won by member Noel May. Thanks to Tina Benson-Inglis & Stephen Kennedy for their assistance in selling tickets on the night. This month we have a descendant of the discoverer of Jenolan Caves as our spotlight member. John Flint is the great great grandson of Charles Whalan Jnr. John has been a member of JCH& PS since 1983 and is a retired public librarian who lives in Sydney. He joined Sydney University Speleological Society in about 1954. He has written an account of his first visit to Jenolan Caves in 1952 which you can read further on. Needless to say, the August weekend he recently attended with his partner Nora Hinchen was much more luxurious and comfortable than his first trip. When asked about what makes Jenolan special to him his response was The physical environment and the approach down the 5 mile have always been exciting to me John as a retired librarian, is pleased to hear that the exhibits and publications of the Society are being currently being catalogued. He also donated a number of items to the Society including some Kerry Postcards, Jenolan brochures, JCH&PS publications, and a complete set of newsletters which the editor is currently scanning so we can keep electronic archives as well. John Flint and his special book. DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA FOR AN ARTICLE FOR THE BINOOMEA? You dont necessarily have to write the article; just tell me what you would like to read about. Articles, suggestions, letters to the editor, complaints, and stories are welcome, and can be forwarded to the editor. Please contact: Jenny Whitby at: 48 Park Street Charlestown 2290 Ph (02) 49432265 or send your email to: email@example.com
35 th Anniversary weekend August 2007 By Jenny Whitby th The JCHPS 35 anniversary dinner/weekend was held 11/12 August 2007. It was attended by 50 people. Jenolan enthusiast a ttended from all over the place, the furthest travelled from Tasmania. Many travelled to Jenolan for the first time in ages to come join in the celebrations of this special occasion. John Callaghan officially launched the new book Jenolan Caves Guides Guests and Grottoes book written by John Dunkley. The book was literally hot off the press, with John Dunkley collecting them from the printers on his way to Jenolan. We raffled the first signed copy at the dinner, and raised $252 for the Society! The author was kept busy autographing many copies that evening. On the night 41 books were sold. The book was printed by Northwood Printing Marrickville, owned by caving legend Bruce Welsh, who also attended the dinner with his partner Paula Gard. John Dunkley author. Bruce, a former past member of the So ciety has now rejoined. He is also the discoverer of Spider Cave, and as a cave r, it was personally an honour to meet him. Several inaugural committee me mbers who were at the very first meeting in 1972, were present 35 years later. They were John Callaghan, John Callaghan launching the book. Ian Sefton, John Dunkley. Membership Secretary Scott Melton has been kept busy with a surge of new memberships, and a lot of these people attended the weekend. We welcome to JCH&PS Tony Spira, Gordon Mills, Carolyn & Geoff Melbourne, Michael Collins. John & Elizabeth Brotchie, Jo-ann Benson-Inglis, Bruce Welsh, & Paula Gard. All enjoyed a wonderful meal and evening in the Chislhoms restaurant, Caves House. Special thanks to Dennis Winchester and his staff at Caves House for supporting JCH&PS and putting on a great evening, and accommodation package for us. A special JCHPS birthday cake was cut and JCH&PS birthday also coincided with two members birthdays. After a quick word with the pianist playin g at Caves House that evening, (JCH&PS member and Jenolan Caves guide Dan Cove) a rendition of Happy Birthday was sung to birthday boys Arthur Gray (president) and to Robert Benson-Inglis who celebrated their birthdays on Saturday & Sunday respectively. Chocolate cake..yum! Two members bought along special items to the event. Cathie Plowman borrowed a carving done by James Wiburd from the Queens Victoria Museum in Launceston. Read more about it in the following pages. John Flint (great great grandson of Charles Whalan Jnr) bought along a book from his private collection titled A Description of the Fish River Caves, believed to be the only one in existence, and dated around 1888. Hopefully we can bring you some extracts from this book in future newsletters. Above: Tina Benson-Inglis singing along with pianist Dan Cove. Right: Cathie Plowman and the Wiburd carving
Although no specific activities were organised and planned for members during the day, (due to several committee members all being on holidays prior to the event) everybody seemed to be kept busy. Some members participated in a special Photography tour (tripods allowed!) led by Rob Whyte in the Temple Of Ball. Many members took the opportunity to see the self guided Nettle Cave for the first time. People entertained themselves with revisiting favourite caves/places at Jenolan, and many caught up with old acquaintances, and simply just enjoyed a weekend away at Jenolan. Quite a few members also went on the historical themed tours of the Diamond & Imperial Cave, led by Jeremiah Wilson. (aka David Hay) I personally attended one of these tours, and found it very interesting, and I learned things about the cave that I previously didnt know. Baal Photography tour in action. Jeremirah Wilson (aka David Hay) Here is a list of members who attended the dinner and the signed m enu. Fiona Asplin, Erle & Bartlett, Kath Bellamy, Robert & Tina Be nson-Inglis, John & Elizabeth Brotchie, John Callaghan, Phyllis Calvert, Michael Collins, Grant Commins, David Cook, Robert Cook, Charles Degotardi, John & Jeanette Dunkley, Sandra Fisher, John Flint, Paula Gard, Arthur Gray, Alan & Margaret Griffin, Nora Hinchen, Jo-anne Inglis, Sasa & Stephen Kennedy, Robert & June Lindsay, Ted Matthews, Noel & Barbara May, Ge off & Carolyn Melbourne, Scott Melton, Gordon Mills, Cathie Plowman, Helen Plowman, Diane Rose, Ian & Ann Sefton, Doug & Amanda Short, Tony Spira, Bruce Welsh, Gary & Jenny Whitby, Rob Whyte,Dennis & Louise Winchester. A members survey was handed out to the anniversary weekend attendees and thanks to those who completed theirs. Dont forget if you still have yours, to post or email it to me (see page 2 for my deta ils) or you can fax it to my workplace mark it atten tion to Jenny Whitby on (02) 49296833. A copy has been enclosed for those who did not attend, and I would appreciate everyone taking a few minutes to complete it for me. The information is only for our records, so we have a better understanding of your members
James Wiburds Wooden Legacyby Cathie Plowman th When visiting Jenolan Caves for the 35 anniversary of JCHAPS I brought a carefully wrapped piece of luggage with me. Its a piece Ive had an association with for a few years now an d which I know affectionately as the Wiburd Carving. In 1993 when I was working as a ranger at Mole Creek, Chester Shaw, who had been a ranger there for several decades, pointed out the importance of the seemingly inconspicuous wooden carving hanging on the office wall. The carving depicted the Palm Tree, an elaborate speleothem in Marako opa Cave. Chester explained that the piece was the handiwork of James Wiburd, the former superintendent of Jenolan Caves, who had visited Marakoopa Cave several times to advise on electric lighting. Wiburd gave the carving to ET Emmett, the first director of the Tasmanian Government Tourist Bureau and a champion of the Mole Creek caves. The entrance chamber in King Solomons Cave is named Emme tts Chamber to celebrate his efforts. In 2002 when I was managing Marakoopa Cave and King Solomons Cave, Elery Hamilton-Smith had a quiet word to me during a Tasmanian visit. He expressed his concern re the on-going protection of two historic items located at the Parks and Wildlife Service office at Mole Creek. These were the wooden carving and a magnesium ribbon lamp. Elery implored me to take some action as he feared that these pieces could easily be lost and that they held significant stories about Australias cave herita ge. After Elery had raised his concerns, I rea lised how vulnerable the carving was; it would be easy for someone, ignorant of the history of the piece, to move it or thro w it out in a clean-up. Unfortunately the ma gnesium ribbon lamp had already disappeared from the office and has still not been located. This in itself was a lesson gaining better security for the carving. After consultation with senior colleagues and the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG), it was decided that the safest place for the carving was in the QVMAG. The carving is no w the centre-piece of a growing caves heritage collection held at the museum, which can be borrowed for display at other locations. The carving is on a piece of dressed-hardwood timber measuring 36cm high by 28cm acro ss. It is finely done with considerable detail, particularly in the shawl sections. The reverse side has ink inscriptions that kept a history as the carving changed ha nds over the years 1917 1942. These read as follows: The Palm Tree. Marakoopa Cave, Mole Creek Carved by J.C. Wiburd, Supt Jenolan Caves; in 1917 For Mr ET Emmett (Director Tasmanian Govt. Tourist Bureau) Passed on to Mr A.F. Holmes ETE 16/3/1942 Received with Thanks A.F.H. Passed on to W.H. Simpson Guide King Solomon Cave October 1942 Reverse of the top portion of the car ving. Cave history researcher Nic Haygarth report s that Wiburd came to Tasmania several times, the first time probably being 1901, the carving records the 1917 visit and Wiburd is recorded as visiting Ida Bay caves and Mole Creek caves again in 1925. The humble carving is a memoir of the li nks from an earlier era of people getting together to share their enthusiasm and knowledge, so as to make th e joys of caves more accessibl e to the general population.
Wiburd Carving photos courtesy of & copyright by: Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery Tasman ia, & Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania. Editor: Special thanks to Cathie for bringing this carving to Je nolan for us to all see, and also we sincerely thank the museu m for allowing Cathie to borrow it to bring to the 35 th anniversary weekend.
More anniversary weekend photos. Left to right:Arthur Gray,Alan & Margaret Griffin, Elizabteh & John Brotchie,Phyliss Calvert& John Callaghan, Bruce Welch & Paula Gard,Kathbellany, Diane Rose John & Jeanette Dunkley, Sa ndra Fisher & Gordon Mills, Sa ndra Bartlett, Dianne Rose & Erle Bartlett, Fiona Asplin & Phyliss Calvert, Michae; Collins.
Left to right: Louise & Dennis Winchester,Carolyn & Geoff Melbourne, June & Robert Lindsay, Scott Melton, Gary& Jenny Whitby, Sasa& Stephen Kennedy, ian & Ann Sefton, Amanda & Doug Short, Noel & Barbara May, Tony Spira, Cathie & Helen Plowman, Ted Matthews, Jo-ann & Tine Benson-Inglis, John Flint. Those who escaped the photographer were Nora Hinchen, Charles Degotardi, Robert Benson-Inglis,Grant Commins, David & Robert Cook.
WHATS BEEN HAPPENING AT JENOLAN? There has been a lot of activity at Jenolan of late. More historical tours have been run by David Hay, and now some other guide s have got in on the act. The Concerts in the Caves series celebrated its 10 th anniversary this year. The Cathedral Chamber has arguably the best acoustics of any performan ce space in the world. There have been Op eras, Cello, Gypsy Music, and even a Harp concerts. A Taiko Drums Concert is on in the Grand Arch on 3 November. It is aptly being named Jenolan Thunder for good reason! There are still more musical events scheduled till the end of the year, so for details of whats on when, go to the Jen olan Caves website for further information. www.jenolancaves.org.au th Lastly, Carols is on again 15 December, but this year they are planning something much bigger than just carols an event for the whole weekend much more than we've ev er attempted before. This year they hope to raise in excess of $20,000 for research into the causes and treatments of childhood cancer. There will be a big marke t/bazaar, buskers, raffles, Christmas tree decorat ing competition, buffet style 3-course dinner at Caves House, lucky door prizes, traditional Carols in the Caves Concert, band, dan ce until midnight. Next morning, there will be an underground church service. Your family will love it! Benita Collings from ABC s Playschool is again the comp ere. For bookings phone 1300 76 33 11 Rob Whyte has done a series of short videos and s lideshows about Jenolan, and these are posted on Youtube for all the world to see. If you havent been able to make it to Jenolan for a while, you can catch up on some of the recent events, and take a virtual cave tour. The postings currently available for viewing are: Jenolan Harp Concert 2.18mins, How to carry a harp into a cave 2.25mins, Naming of the Lady Carrington Cave 3.41mins Guide to the Nettle Cave 3.47mins, Cerberus Cave1.21mins, Temple of Baal 2.14mins & Lighting of the Chifley Cave 2.03mins Simply go to www.youtube.com and type jenolanrob into the search to locate his work. Some have commentary, others have music to accompany the files. $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ Just a reminder to everybody that the member ship year comes to an end on 31/12/2007. So it is time for most of us to pay fees, unless you took a 5 year membership within the last 5 years. As we are still trying to establish the membership records, we wo uld appreciate you all completing the membership survey attached. We would appreci ate if all members could advise when they thought they last joined so we can update our records. Also to forward membership fees for the upcoming year if necessary. Send your completed forms & cheques to Membership Se cretary, JCH&PS, Locked Bag Jenolan Caves 2790. The survey information will be collected and passed onto the editor as a resource for this newsletter. $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ Now for a posting from the yahoo Jenolan list on 25 October 2007 by guide Cory Camilleri. To view more postings about Jenolan go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jenolan/ This change of season has been bringing the snakes out to enjoy the warmth and it has been lot of fun with visitors walking around. A lot are from the city or overseas and are not used to dealing with such poisonous wildlif e. There have been a lot of sightings of red-belly black as well as brown snakes. Now we all know the reputation of the brown snake and there was one lurking in the gents toilets. The visitors thought it was some so rt Crocodile Hunter-like show wh en our electrician was sent to deal with it wearing khaki trousers. Snake meets snake. At the end of the day in the office I gathered my backpack from under the counter, set it down so I could get my coat. When I peered down to the bag again about to sling on the shoulder strap I noticed a snake curled in the front pocket. My thought was immediate that it was another one of our ex real estate agents tricks of putting a plastic sn ake somewhere for a reaction. How else could it get there? The bag was inside all day. The plastic snake moved and there was no denying that it was a real one. We got a photo of it poking its head out of the pocket, looking quite relaxed I must say. You may be disappointed to hear that there was no screami ng and running away. True to my snake personality (Chinese horoscope) it was all cool, calm and collected. Well it wasn't going to stay in my bag. It was extracted by other guides and an encouraging stick. But it was quite comfortable and took quite a lot of encouraging. I was looking around for a lizard or native mouse to dangle in front of it. We discovered it was a golden crown snake, and even if it was a young one it is still not something to take home in a backpack. Glad I discovered it when I did! Never a dull moment at Jenolan.
AFTER SOME STOCKING STUFFERS? With Christmas just around the corner, heres some great cave related ideas. Bright wishes Glow-worm cards Two beautiful designs (ten cards and envelopes per pack). Five each of two designs. Great for Christmas gifts an d Christmas cards. Cost: $10.00 per pack plus p&p. Mention this advertisement and $5.00 per pack will be donated to JCHAPS. Short informative text on glow-worms printed on the back of each card. Illustrations by Janet Fenton, published by Cathie Plowman (JCHPS member) For enquiries and orders, please email Cathie at: firstname.lastname@example.org Actual card size 15cm x 10.5cm. Oh course, if you havent got it already, there is the recently published Jenolan Caves Guides, Guests and Grottoes book by John Dunkley. Why not share Jenolans history amongst your friends, and get them one for Christmas. A bargain at $19-95. ( + postage) Available through the shop Things Jenolan at Jenolan of course, or write to JCH&PS to order one. And lastly if you are into caves, grab a copy of: CavesMysterious Underground World through Water and Time By Kyung Sik Woo. Book review by Cathie Plowman. The 64 page soft-cover book CavesMysterious Underground World through Water and Time was originally published, in the Korean language, for the 2002 Cave Expo in Samcheok City, Korea. The book has dozens of photos of karst, cave and lava features from around the world. A close-up of exquisite cave pear ls is closely followed by a double-page spread of tower karst. There are photos of bats, glow-worms, crickets and other cave creatures as well as descriptive illustrations of karst and lava processes. The final chapter features human connections with caves. The book is pictorial rather than text based, but extensive captions support the photos to make a great introduction to the underground world. Considered too good a publication on caves not ha ve available in Australia, Andy Spate, Steve Bourne (Naracoorte Caves) and I worked with the author and the publisher to get an English version printed. This book would be a great addition to your cave library or to give as a gift. Copies can be purchased from Naracoorte Caves for $20.00 per copy plus post and packaging. To order please email: email@example.com THE NEXT MEETING IWILL BE HELD ON SATURDAY 10 TH NOVEMBER 2007 Check with the guides office as to the venue, most probably the JCH&PS cottage, Five Mile Jenolan. Meeting starts at 7pm. The following meeting is the AGM on 9 February 2008. Stay tuned for further details, planning for this weekend will be discussed at the November meeting. On behalf of JCH&PS we wish all our members and their families a Merry Christmas and a Safe and Happy New Year!
Bones Found at Jenolan --
Society Spotlight John Flint --
35th Anniversary Weekend --
James Wiburd's Wooden Legacy.