President Report September 2013.

Hi all,

You know there are not a lot of good things about growing old, however it does provide a few unique opportunities, one of which is the ability to provide a quick history lesson. So for our younger members and those that have not been shooting for too long.

Back in the late 60ís, early 70ís the Frankston rifle club was located in the military reserve at Langwarren. It was a 50 meter range stuck in the middle of the scrub adjacent to a shotgun club.

Due to one reason or another the range was going to be closed down. The secretary of the VSBRA (TRV) at the time was a lady named Barbara Stoneman. She put together a group of clubs that were in the Eastern half of the metro area and formed a consortium to keep the club going.

From memory I believe those clubs were -

  • Sandringham Rifle Club,
  • Mentone Rifle Club,
  • Carram Anglers Rifle Club,
  • Caulfield Rifle Club and
  • Oakleigh Rifle Club.

The name of the Frankston club was changed to Frankston International Smallbore Rifle Club. The term international was not referring to a range of international standard, but rather implying the collective joining of clubs coming together.

Initially Oakleigh were the stewards followed by Sandringham who carried on the mantle for quite a long time. Frankston now 40 odd years on is one of the strongest clubs within TRV, They have around 100 members and have in place a continuing policy of maintenance and upgrades for its members. It now stands in its own right and looks after its own affairs.

Interesting bit of history, but there is some parallel with a similar situation happening today.

In the Eltham area we have the possibility to get on board with the development of a new 50m range. The area is already used for shooting and is currently having its lease renewed for a further 21 years. The distance from Eltham to the CBD is very similar to Frankston to the CBD.

A consortium of clubs has been formed to discuss and follow the proposal.

So if you live in the area, (Its about 40minutes from the airport) or are interested in getting involved please contact Mr John Hopkins of the Eltham Rifle Club. John is acting as co-ordinator at the moment.

Why should we be interested in doing anything about this offer, OK another history lesson. I have been target shooting for more than 40 years. In that time the following clubs have closed down.

  1. Collingwood Rifle Club
  2. Carrum Anglers Rifle Club
  3. Australian Glass Manufacturers Rifle Club (AGM)
  4. Caulfield Rifle Club
  5. Essendon Rifle club (Now joined with MISC)
  6. Lilydale rifle club - lost its range but still alive
  7. Brunswick rifle club, - lost its range now sharing the facilities with Northcote
  8. Melbourne Cricket Club - Lost its range but sharing facilities with Camberwell
  9. Melbourne University rifle club
  10. Beechworth rifle club
  11. Mentone rifle club
  12. Bacchus Marsh
  13. Broadford
  14. Myrtleford
  15. Kerang
  16. Swan Hill
  17. Camperdown
  18. Mooreland
  19. Estonian
  20. Commonwealth Ladies Rifle Range (50M range)
  21. Byaduk Rife Club
  22. Avoca
  23. Beaufort
  24. Dimboola
  25. Quambatook
  26. Castlemaine
  27. Latvian
  28. Kodak
  29. Yarrawonga
  30. Willaura
  31. Maldon
  32. William Angliss
  33. Blind institute rifle club (No thats not a joke they really did have a club, they used a system that used a tone generator that provided an audio feedback when they were on target, this was done 40 years ago, so a pretty clever bit of gear!)

I have probably missed a couple of clubs, but you get the idea. So what does the next 40 years hold, - probably more of the same!. And lets not forget the fact that there are at least 4 metropolitan clubs and one country club under threat of closing due to massive increases in rent, power, water, and now Local Councils are applying rates and fire levy for the first time as well.

So if the possibility comes up where we have the opportunity to create a new club, then personally I think we need to embrace it and give it the best chance we can to get off the ground. The formula for Frankston worked, applying the same formula to Eltham should also work. One thing we all need to be mindful of, and thats this - Try not to think short term for your own personal gain, try to think long term to the legacy you can leave to our sport for future generations of aspiring Olympians. Just like Frankston Anyway thats enough history lessons for a while, Good Shooting All, look forward to catching up at the next prize-meeting you attend.

Mike Jarrad.

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