Theidea to form a Club occurred in the early months of 1990 when JOHN BENTLEY, very soon to retire, came upon
GEOFF TUCK, flying a radio controlled model aircraft on the wide area of the Hastings foreshore. JOHN expressing the
wish to learn how to fly one of these models, soon got GEOFF going and he put an advert in the local Hastings newspaper
Calling for a person interested in forming a model aircraft club, he convened a meeting to be held in the Pre SCHOOL
Centre in Hastings on the 9th. March 1990
Because of only 10 persons being at the meeting, only three Committee members were deemed necessary, they being
SECRETARY JOHN BENTLEY
TREASURER BRAD CROSSFIELD
The name of the new Club was decided on, it being WESTERN PORT M.A.R.C.S being under the guiding hand of the M.A.R.C.S. Committee until we got on our feet.
GEOFF TUCK made representation to the then HASTINGS SHIRE COUNCIL, actually speaking at a Council Meeting and asking for some Council land which we could use as a flying field. Council duly complied, and our first field was at paddocks on STONEY POINT RD. in CRIB POINT.
Due to problems with other occupants of our flying field area, we had to vacate and endeavored to set up another field on ROYAL AUSTRALIAN NAVY land in Somers Road. However this did not prove to he suitable, due to the dense amount of prickly gorse harming our aircraft, and at this stage, ED CROW came into the picture, with an offer of the use of some of his leased grazing land in the paddock where our Club now exists.
At the Clubs I3th Monthly meeting, on April 17. 1991, it was decided to change the Clubs name to WESTERN PORT MODEL AIRCRAFT CLUB, and from henceforth we would not be under the MARC S Club banner. Club members also decided on our current hat / coat badge at this meeting. The beginning of 1991 saw the first part of our Clubhouse constructed, the metal sheeting being supplied by LYSAGHTS in Hastings after a letter was sent by the Club requesting help in obtaining same at no cost. At that time , some six members of our Club were employees of LYSAGHTS so our chances were very good.
An outside brick BAR-B-QUE was also constructed from donated bricks and laid by Members under the gum tree.
In June 1991, ED CROW had the pleasure of receiving HONARY MEMBERSHIP for tireless efforts to his Club.
The end of 1991 saw the completion of our Clubhouse up to the size it is currently, verandah etc.
December 1991 saw our Club joining forces with FLINDERS LIONS CLUB to put on THE BIG SHOW. This was a huge display of all aspects of our hobby, mammoth models, aerobatics, on the HASTINGS FORESHORE it being open to the paying public, raised quite a large amount of money for Charity.
April 1994 was the highlight of our Clubs activities, when a small contingent of members took 3 identical model aircraft all the way to West. Australia, and flew one of the models back to the South Australian border, in one flight without landing for fuel, and achieving a new WORLD RECORD for single flight long distance of 493 kms. The successful pilot was PETER GARONI.
Later years saw little change to the FLYING FIELD. but we did see the demise of two well loved identities in our Club ALLAN RITCHIE, Or trader AL as he was affectionately known of as, friend to all, flogger of droves of good, bad or just plain crashed models at an agreed price, and in later days to be remembered by our ALLAN RITCHIE MEMORIAL SCALE FUN FLY day, complete with handsome trophies. Also at about this time our Club lost its Founder and first flying instructor, GEOFF TUCK, the man who started it all, and through whose untiring efforts, gave a very high percentage of our present Club members the gift of being a model aircraft pilot.
This Article by JOHN BENTLEY DEC 2000.