Survey Camp, Vegetable Garden, Home Brew, Drag Line

These pictures were taken near Moranbah at Peak Downs Central Queensland, Australia, where I was involved with an Electric Transmission Line easement survey in the early 1970s from Peak Downs to Saraji. The Survey camp of about 20 consisted of 2 Surveyors, chainmen, Grader and dozer drivers to clear lines, construct access tracks through the bush and Fencers to put up gates, where we crossed them, a mechanic to service the machinery and a cook.

This picture shows the over burden being removed by a dragline machine at the open cut mine Peak Downs site, to which we were supplying electricity.

Sundays was our day of leisure at a Survey Camp when we caught up with our washing, tended the veggie garden and fattened the wild pigs for the kitchen table.

We were in camp for a month at a time after which we flew back home to Townsville in a Cessna for a long weekend.At the Peak Downs Survey Camp one Sunday, a mechanic while doing his washing asked me, whether my shorts had got tangled up with his. He showed me the shorts which I did not recognise as mine and I asked him why he had asked me. He produced a receipt from the pocket and showed me, it was from Bunnings Timber Yard in Wynnum, Brisbane made out to Nick de Weger. I was aghast! The receipt was to my father Nick de Weger (same name) and the machanic said the shorts had came from the Vinnie’s (Saint Vincent de Paul) Rag Bag. I recognized them as Dad’s who was some 800 Kilometres away – unbelievable!

Another thing that kept us amused at the Survey Camp was long before brewing kits found their way into the shopping market, we had a Cocky’ s (slang for farmer) recipe for home brew which we guarded jealously from miss-use. We diligently set out to make our own as the “Sly Grog” ute (pickup for you Yanks) which came around on Sundays to very remote camps charged an arm and a leg for their wares. The recipe worked great BUT the only water we had available was from a “turkey nest” bore beside which we were camped. You might see it in the above photo behind the latrines and showers.  The alcohol in the brew was 15% proof and after the first stubby there was no need to hold your nose anymore as you soon grew accustomered to the bore water smell, anyway after 1 stubby you didn't care any longer – WOW!

Those were the days - No electronics, but used Curtas and Trig Log Tables; the cooks were temperamental and at times the marital problems of a chainee lead him to drink half a bottle of rum before breakfast.  It was a Surveyor's lot to keep control and he did as there was still an amount of professional chivalry in those days.

One of our visitors having a laugh.

Nick de Weger

You need to be a member of Land Surveyors United - Global Surveying Community to add thoughts!

Join Land Surveyors United - Global Surveying Community

Email me when people reply –

Replies

  • Land Surveyor

    Nick, this may very well be the best post I have ever seen.  Well done with wit, knowledge, and a keen sense of storytelling!

  • B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L ! ! ! ! ! !

This reply was deleted.

Hey there!
It looks like you are enjoying the community content.

That's nice! Please don't forget to mention us if you use what you just copied on your website. Help strenthen the community by linking back to us!


Thank you very much! Have a nice day! :)

Ok. Don't bother me again, for this session.