June 2001

Newsletter of the Shell Club of Sydney
NSW Branch, The Malacological Society of Australasia Limited ACN 067 894 848

Lyria Grangei First photos of live animals from New Caledonia
Courtesy Caledonian Shells Web Pages http://caledonia.8m.com/ 

2000-2001 President's Report 

Dr. Patty Jansen

Another year has passed and it's time for another report. Our club has continued successful monthly meetings. The attendance has been steady, with about 15-20 people at each meeting. The Ryde-Eastwood Leagues club has continued to provide the satisfactory room for free.

The August meeting was very quiet and informal, with many members away on Doug Thorn's boat and others on holidays. Michael Keats gave an extended field trip report of his collecting activities in Broome.

In September, everyone was back with their finds and as well, Michael gave a talk about the Epitoniidae.

I missed the club's annual October Shell Show because I went to New Zealand for the NZ annual shell show. Ron and Marina Moylan were in NZ as well.

In November we had an informal meeting, with everybody talking about their trips and new acquisitions.

The Christmas Party was actually held prior to the November meeting, and was a field trip to Callala Bay. Unfortunately, the weather turned foul on the attendants and not much was found.

In January, traditionally a month when many members are on holidays, we had Member's talks, and Michael talked about his finds in Sydney Harbour, and Peter Pienaar showed a Monty Python video with humorous reference to

In February, Ron Moylan showed his tremendous talents for video editing and presented a report from the New Zealand Shell Show, complete with background music. This was very much enjoyed by members.

In March guest speaker Jack Hannan from NSW fisheries talked about marine habitats, showing many underwater slides. Jack is also a shell collector.

In April member Ashley Miskelly gave a wonderful talk about shell photography, and especially the trickery involved in taking great pictures of shells and sea urchins.

In May we were treated to a great talk by member Adrian Browne about fossil Shark's teeth. Not at all molluscs, but the talk was well-prepared and many of us marvelled over his wonderful fossils and good presentation.

Apart from the washed-out Christmas party, we had another trip to Hawk's Nest, north of Newcastle, in April. It looked like it was going to be another wash-out, but when we got there, the weather turned beautiful, and remained like that all day. We found some shell grit, but not all that many exciting things, but a good time was had by all.

Also, a number of members went on interesting excursions. I already mentioned Michael Keats' trip to Broome. Ron Moylan went out to the reef again. Chris and Karen visit Little Bay very frequently and keep finding amazing things. Michael Keats, Steve Dean and John Franklin have rekindled their interest in small shells, and are collecting quantities of shell grit off local beaches. 

In the club, our committee has again worked to keep things running. We must all realise that without volunteers to take positions, there will be no club. So we must thank Chris and Karen Barnes for their role as secretaries and Karen's great cakes, Steve Dean for continuing to produce an excellent newsletter, Peter Pienaar for his good job as our treasurer and Maureen Anderson the Raffle Lady. Our present team has agreed to stay on for another year, with the exception of Peter Pienaar. Thanks must also go to those who simply turn up at meetings, who bring their shells, and other things to share. Let the next year also be a good one.

Club Minutes 26/05/2001.

Meeting opened by P. Jansen 2:04pm.

Field Trip Reports 
Michael Keats reported on a recent field trip to Kurnell. Michael mentioned that the weather was not the best with rain stopping and starting continually. A number of species were collected, including Cypraea humphreysii Gray, 1825 and Semicassis labiata (Perry, 1811)

Michael also reported phoning David and Elizabeth Woodhouse, who are currently in Esperance.

John Dunkerley reported finding a thirty four centimetre cuttle bone on Newport beach.

New Books 
M. Keats distributed copies of "Waves" and "Ripples" to the group (thank you Michael).
Michael also reported NSW Fisheries are currently reviewing "No Take" zones throughout the state.

Steve Dean showed attendees the 19th edition 2001 of Tom Rice's catalogue, priced approximately $35.00
Steve also reported, the group newsletter, "The Sydney Sheller" was being sent to eight other shell groups across Australia.

General Business 
M. Keats reported that the term deposit (SNSS balance) had been rolled over, and presented the certificate of reinvestment to the secretary as the treasurer was not present

M. Keats. reported on a proposal by a research group to join the MSA on an international level.

On a national level Dr Bill Rudman has resigned as president. A meeting is being held on the 30/05/2001 at which it is believed a replacement will be elected by a group decision. 

Kathleen Mc Camley reported that Jules Leroy was getting married in Brisbane and having a quiet wedding.

Ron Moylan circulated an annual shell show categories suggestion list for the up coming show on the 27th October, 2001. Ron requested that everybody consider what categories would best fit their special interest, so as everyone would be able to participate in the event.

Ron read a note from Peter Pienaar requesting membership fees at or before the June meeting, as it has been over twelve moths since fees were collected. Peter also declined to stand as treasurer for the next term. 

Chris Barnes handed around the information bulletin #2a Re- 4thNSS Brisbane (23rd and 24th March 2002), in case anyone had not yet received a copy from the Queensland branch of the MSA.

Adrian Brown gave an interesting presentation on one of his other collecting passions, prehistoric shark teeth. Adrian displayed and handed around an array of fossil shark teeth, some with cusps at each side for extra grabbing power. 

Adrian discussed the evolution of these cartilaginous predators from 450 million years ago to the present. It is believed there are approximately one thousand fossil species recorded internationally and three hundred and seventy known living species.

As a footnote, Adrian reported the first Megalodon teeth were discovered from Malta in 1637 but were believed to be the tongues of giant lizards. 

Adrian answered the many questions from the group very well and received a large round of applause for his efforts.

Meeting closed at 3.50pm
C. & K. Barnes, Secretary

Caledonian Shells

The Caledonian shells web page is undergoing change and is currently displaying a number of new items dredged in deep water.

Below are examples of recently collected unnamed species of Marginellidae ranging in size from 5mm to 12mm dredged at depths ranging between 420m and 450m


Kev's Trip North

Kevin Lamprell

In October 2000 my wife Jean and I enjoyed a months holiday in the "not so wet tropics" of north Queensland, the first week confined to the shelter of Palm Island in Phil Spoor's boat 'Caper' due to the heavy winds which prevented our planned trip out to the reef. 

However Phil and brother Doug carried out some diving activities which resulted in some excellent bivalve specimens going back to Townsville ('Capers' home port) with us.

Continuing on to Cairns we met up with Barb Collins and Tas Weinreich enjoying their hospitality and viewing Tas's excellent collection and fish tanks with his different types of Stone fish pets.

The highlight of our trip to Cairns was the train journey to Kuranda, which was filled to capacity with people all sporting Sydney 2000 caps or shirts, obviously overseas visitors completing their Australian visit with the Tableland experience.

Our way back to Cairns from Kuranda was by way of the Aerial Skyrail, a cable car route which extends from Cairns (Freshwater) to Kuranda and what an experience! If possible I would recommend that everyone who gets the opportunity, take this trip, and travel in a comfortable gondola over the tops of the magnificent rain forest. There are two stations on the way up (or down) which contain much interesting material about the rain forest animal and plant life. These stations are staffed by Forestry personnel staff who go to an extraordinary amount of trouble assisting and advising visitors. 

On the way back to Townsville from Cairns by hire car we stopped for the first time at our friend Nancy Marcilio's home at Euroma and received the shock of our life. Nancy's collection must be given the title of QUEENSLANDS BEST KEPT SECRET. Nancy who is a grandmother but who's age I will not reveal, has been collecting since she was a small child, not only sea-shells but every conceivable collectable item. There must be hundreds of salt-shakers of every shape, dolls, crosscut saws, tools, you name it, Nancy has collected it. Her sons recently built her a two-story building on their farm property as large as a small sized house to house the collection and to keep it clear of the floods which often occur in this part of north Queensland. The upper floor contains her magnificent shell collection, dolls, aboriginal art and artefacts, many collected off her property and other collectables which could be damaged by water, while downstairs is the most comprehensive collection of tools, household appliances dating back to the year dot that you can imagine.

Back in Townsville we stayed with Phil and Doug Spoor and visited with well known retired shell identity Blanche Boorman. Blanche with her late husband Arthur were well known to the Brisbane MSA and Keppel Bay Club both as members and shell judges of renown. Blanche is living in a nice retirement village and doing a lot of interstate travel/. She enjoys talking shells but no longer has an active interest. Blanche and Arthur's extensive collection finished up in Vigo, Spain where it is housed in the new Museum there.

In Townsville we visited the new Museum of Tropical Queensland and what an impressive building it is. The highlight of the Museum is a replica of the Pandora with restored items dived off the wreck and featured along with wax images of personnel and prisoners that were on board at the time of it's sinking. Truly incredible and well worth a visit where at least a day is required to absorb it all. Also in the museum is a wonderful display of some hundreds of different species of corals. The Museum's Director, Dr Cardin Wallace has devoted her life to the study of corals and recorded them in several publications.

Also in Townsville with Phil Spoor we visited with the President of the Townsville Shell Club Eddie Brown and Bev Swan at Keith and Glenda Rowse's home examining the beautiful Rowse collection which is so large it is not possible to view it all in such a short time.

Jean and Blanche outside Blanches unit.

Nancy with part of her collection.

www.sydneyshellclub.net | Copyright Sydney Shell Collectors Club Inc | secretary@sydneyshellclub.net