The long weekend in June was set aside as an Association event with the purpose of not only getting as large a collection of affiliated clubs as possible but also to provide the Albany 4WD Club with a working example of how the Association functions. The attendance of over 160 people from a wide range of clubs was a clear indication of the enthusiasm generated by the Association Committee. The venue was the Albany Rifle Club down by the south side of the harbour.
Our club supported the event with 22 members attending. With a range of accommodation from swags, tents, camper trailers and caravans we had Bruce, Judith, George, Linda,Chris, Guy, Wendy, Peter, Lyn, Rob, Julie, Richard, Helen,Tony, Stella, Ivan, Marie, Harvey, Janet,Gary, Nikki and Jarrod and Blake. With George and Linda arriving on Wednesday we were well set up with our own corner of the site and plenty of room for later arrivals.
With most of us well established by Friday lunchtime, it was time for a bit of sight seeing in the cool but fine winter sunshine.
The other event being the annual Albany Classic and Hillclimb put on by the Vintage Sports Car Club of WA. Certainly a lot of extra people in Albany on this long weekend.
While the daytime weather was fine, it cooled down quite quickly and it was easy to head for an early night after so much fresh air. The night passed with much excitement when about 3.00am a cold front roared in and threatened to rip awnings and tents away into the harbour. Definitely added to the entertainment to see lots of guys outside in sleepwear rolling awnings away in the drenching rain !!!
Saturday was a blustery winters day with more sightseeing , café and brewery lunches and long afternoon teas under caravan awnings. It got so cool at one stage that when the conversation swung around to caravan heating and Guy mentioned he had a diesel heater everyone called for a demonstration. With almost everyone packed inside the temperature in the Lehmann van was soon raised, even though Guy was disappointed that we did not beat his record of having 22 people inside his previous caravan on a club trip with bad weather.
The Association held a Delegates meeting during the afternoon, with the Albany Club able to attend and participate in discussions.
For the evening entertainment, the Albany 4WD Club had organised a Dance Night with live music in the clubrooms. While the music was first class, it appears there are not a lot of talented dancers in our Association, Strictly Ballroom or Saturday Night Fever it was not !!!
The Albany club had organised four day trips for the Sunday and they had even arranged for fine weather after the previous stormy day. Several of our members joined two of the day trips to Cheynes Beach and Dingo Beach and were greatly appreciative of the awesome scenery and excellent 4WD tracks as shown to us by the local trip leaders. This was also one of the aims of the Association weekend, to introduce the possibilities for member clubs to liase with 4WD clubs in regional areas and benefit from the experience and knowledge of local people.
After a fantastic day out it was a bit of a rush to get back to the campsite and get dinner cooked and eaten before assembling in the Rifle Club Rooms for a very competitive Quiz Night. Considering the boisterousness and exuberance of the packed room it must have proven very difficult for the quizmaster to attempt some control in conducting a quiz which really tested one’ s general knowledge, particularly those without an adherence to Game of Thrones ! .
I actually could not tell you who (which club) was the eventual winner but I can tell you this. Out of the three tables formed up by the Mitsubishi club the most sensible, intelligent and well informed one contained Rob, Julie, Richard, Helen, George, Linda and was headed by President Peter. Yes, we beat the other two Mitsubishi tables and that was enough to make our night a great success. !!!
After what had already been a cool weekend, we awoke on Monday morning to ice and frost so the wood fires around the Rifle Club were soon ablaze to warm everyone as we enjoyed bacon and egg rolls for breakfast. With departures spread from early morning to late afternoon it was homeward bound for most, although some were going to take extra time to enjoy more of the southern regions beautiful winter scenery.
Many thanks to the Association and the Albany 4WD Club for a memorable and enjoyable weekend and as announced at the Delegates meeting – roll on next June and a gathering in Geraldton.
Notes by Peter Cole.