Gordansvale-Rumours

Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion.
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Gordansvale-Rumours

Postby Whos_asking99 » Tue 25 Nov, 2008 4:39 pm

I think this is in the right section, if not, SOAB, feel free to move this topic

But what do you folks know about Gordansvale? (the marshy camping spot on the way to Rhona)
On the walk there, our teacher mentioned that there was an old guy who used to live there and would carry peoples packs for them.

After wards when I was telling dad about it all, he mentioned that "apparently" the man who lived there (Ive forgotten his name) was an illegitimate member of the royal family, and they paid him hush money and he settled there. He used to have his mail and supplies taken into him, so he wasn't just an old bush hick who didn't fit in in the towns.

I heard about it again last night, and now i'm curious about it. :roll:

I'm not saying that the rumors are true....but has anyone else here heard the same story? or have you come across other versions? or are there any other bits and pieces you know?
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Re: Gordansvale-Rumours

Postby lexharris » Tue 25 Nov, 2008 6:37 pm

Whos_asking99 wrote:he mentioned that "apparently" the man who lived there (Ive forgotten his name) was an illegitimate member of the royal family, and they paid him hush money and he settled there. He used to have his mail and supplies taken into him, so he wasn't just an old bush hick who didn't fit in in the towns.


Hmm, sounds like a somewhat colourful description of Ernie Bond, the "Prince of Rasselas"! Not sure there's much truth in it though! Ernie Bond was one of 4 sons of the Hon. Frank Bond, a well known Hobart merchant. Back in the late 1920s he established a farm called Gordon Vale in the Vale of Rasselas at the foot of the Denison Range. He lived there for the remainder of his life and was well known amongst bushwalkers for his hospitality. He died in 1962 and made Gordon Vale, in his will, a gift to the bushwalkers of Tasmania. I'm not sure how much of Gordon Vale survives today but there was once a substantial homestead there. Ernie Bond's life is described in various accounts, for example "Trampled Wilderness" by R&K Gowlland and "The South West Book" by Helen Gee et al. There is some wonderful history in SW Tasmania. I would also recommend "King of the Wilderness" by Christobel Mattingly as an excellent account of the life of Deny King, another icon of the SW.
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Re: Gordansvale-Rumours

Postby Whos_asking99 » Tue 25 Nov, 2008 7:29 pm

Ah thanks for the info Lex, fascinates me those characters out there and how they helped people

lexharris wrote:I'm not sure how much of Gordon Vale survives today but there was once a substantial homestead there.


From what I saw, there is a fence nearby, and at the little camping area there is a spade and a saw. I am positive that there would be more there though.
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Re: Gordansvale-Rumours

Postby wello » Tue 25 Nov, 2008 8:02 pm

There are some excellent accounts of "the hermit of gordonvalle" aka Erine Bond on the Keith Lancaster website.

http://users.bigpond.net.au/dveltkamp/K ... /index.htm

There was a substantial homestead on the property and there's some evidence there today. Rusting machinery, a small concrete slab, broken bottles and a few introduced plants. The post and rail fence is probably the best preserved.

The hermit was apparantly very hospitable to bushwalkers, providing accommodation and food often when he had little left for himslef.

The stories on the website above are well worth a read.

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Re: Gordansvale-Rumours

Postby tas-man » Wed 26 Nov, 2008 1:13 pm

There is a snippet of history and a photo of Gordonvale and Ernie Bond in the Launceston Walking Club's "60 Years of Bushwalking" video on YouTube here http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=SCEi3QWyTw4 The photos and story of Gordonvale occur between 2:59 and 3:18 of the video. I remember reading in old LWC "Skyline" magazine articles about the history of Gordonvale and about the many trips the club had through his property, and if I can find more detail, will add it to this thread.

Keith Lancasters Diaries would also cover his own trips there. Two references with photos are here -
http://users.bigpond.net.au/dveltkamp/K ... sselas.htm
http://users.bigpond.net.au/dveltkamp/K ... onVale.htm

A photo (bit dark) and brief history is here on the Kosciusko Huts website -
http://www.kosciuszkohuts.org.au/Hut%20 ... nvale.html

Here is a photo I found on the Tas Parks website with a quick Google.

Gordonvale.png
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Re: Gordansvale-Rumours

Postby olblackbilly » Wed 03 Dec, 2008 3:27 pm

I remember meeting Ernie when he had a fruit stall at Austins Ferry, early 1960s , i was only a young kid at the time, amazing bloke,salt of the earth.
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Re: Gordansvale-Rumours

Postby Whos_asking99 » Mon 08 Dec, 2008 2:32 pm

Thanks Tas-man...interesting read that.
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Re: Gordansvale-Rumours

Postby tas-man » Tue 09 Dec, 2008 4:23 pm

Found this reprint in the LWC's LANGANA magazine from a few years back. It was originally published in "Wild Life" Magazine in 1953. Enjoy :D

Gordon Vale P1.jpg

Gordon Vale P2.jpg
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Re: Gordansvale-Rumours

Postby tas-man » Tue 09 Dec, 2008 8:58 pm

Have had no luck loading up Page 3 to the previous post so here it is on its own.

Gordon Vale P3.jpg
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Re: Gordansvale-Rumours

Postby BarryJ » Tue 09 Dec, 2008 10:41 pm

olblackbilly wrote:I remember meeting Ernie when he had a fruit stall at Austins Ferry, early 1960s , i was only a young kid at the time, amazing bloke,salt of the earth.

I knew the name rang a bell (just took a bit of prompting). I also remember him from those days (also as a young kid). Pretty sure there was an article on him in "The Mercury" back then as well.
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