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Lardner Park, Vic

S38 °12' E145°52'

Mon 24 Apr - Fri 5 May 2000

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14th Anniversary Rally

Monday 24 Apr

We travelled the 70 kilometres (45 miles) to Lardner Park in a Highway Wanderers convoy of big rigs and we were all settled in at the rally site before lunch.

This is a great place for a motorhome rally with lots of space and grass and power for everybody.

We spent the afternoon strolling around the site catching up with people we had met before and spending time with any first timers we came across.

Tue 25 Apr

There was a meeting of all interested parties to form a new chapter for full timers apparently in competition with the Highway Wanderers. Despite the efforts of a few die hards, the new chapter is, like the Highway Wanderers, open to all CMCA members. Most of us are happy with the formation of the new chapter as it gives those of us without a home base a choice of chapters and it will double our representation at club level. The new chapter was formed with an initial membership of 22 and is to be called the Road Runners.

Wed 26 Apr

I spent the better part of the day in meetings. It has to be done but one does wonder if the results justify the effort.

Fri 28 Apr

The trade displays were a bit disappointing. We're used to quite an extensive range of companies with a deal of competition. There was one new exhibitor that attracted my attention. A truck suspension specialist from Maitland was showing air helper springs fitted to his new Winnebago Alpine. We'll go and see him when we get back to NSW.

Sat 29 Apr

Barry Scheppsey, a singer-songwriter and professional photographer from Alice Springs, put on a wonderful ninety minute act about The Centre with lots of stunning photographs, some songs he wrote himself, some by John Williamson and others and a very witty commentary. We all enjoyed it very much and it certainly increased our eagerness to go to the next rally in Alice Springs in October. If the rally is as good as his act, we'll all have a wonderful time.

Sun 30 Apr

Sunday was open day with visitors from the town coming to see motorhomers doing their thing. The weather here has been absolutely beautiful but today was miserably wet. Most people had their motorhomes locked up to avoid the mess of dozens of muddy feet. Some were brave showed off and some had to be open as they were for sale. The rest of us wandered around the pavilion not buying anything.

Sunday Night was Chapter Skit Night.

We put on a quite ambitious act with a cast of thirty three called "And the Winner is Sid-er-nee". Yours truly as Bacchus dressed in a toga and laurel-leaf crown introduced teams of athletes from all corners of the globe, superb physical specimens, trained to within an inch of their lives We had five Ring Bearers, a Torchbearer, from Ireland the Murphy Brothers Fencing Team, Cliff Young complete with a sack of potatoes, a Synchronised Swimming Team, from Greece Cupid the Archer with a Nymph, The Highway Globetrotters Basketball team who tossed a wicker basket to one another, discus throwers Merv and Betty Wheelerova (Betty in her wheelchair) tossing paper plates into the crowd, four big hairy men dressed in ladies swimmers and carrying Drug Free placards as the Chinese Ladies Swimming Team, two boxers with cardboard boxes on their hands, a very big and a very small weightlifter with very small and very big weights, and Dancing Dougie as a decorative gymnast complete with a ribbon on a stick. All this set to the music of Chariots of Fire.

The Solos Network put on another spectacular "Robin Hood" with King Richard, Prince John, the Sherif of Nottingham, Robin, Little John, Maid Marion and lots of camp followers with a poetic narrator and a singer. Even though they had to start from scratch on Monday, it was well dressed and quite complex. It was a great success.

The rest of the evening was something of a letdown. Only four of the eight promised acts fronted up. Our contribution and the one from the Solos Network dominated the night and were appreciated by the audience. It was remarked that the chapters who have all year to develop their acts don't achieve as much as the two groups who only get together at rally time.

Mon 1 May

Into town to get away from the rally for a bit and do the laundry and the shopping. Warragul is a busy town with none of the signs of failure seen in some country towns. It's only 120 km (80 miles) from Melbourne and there's obviously money in the rural properties outside the town. Nevertheless, it's refreshing to see a bit of success in the country.

Tue 2 May

The Highway Wanderers General Meeting went off very well. All the necessary business was accomplished quickly and no-one raised anything contentious. As a sign of good will, the Chapter voted by acclamation to send a formal congratulatory message to the new Road Runners Chapter together with a donation of $100 to help them get going. This was much appreciated by the President of the new chapter.

Wed 3 May

Philip and Helene invited us out for a drive round of the Gourmet Deli Country Trail.

We had a very pleasant day even though most of the attractions were closed.

The first place we stopped was closed from 30 April but we followed a tour bus in and got to see the berry farm, bought the last jar of the lady's lime pickle, and had a game with the dog.

The Cheese Factory was closed indefinitely for renovations.

The winery was closed for the winter.

We did buy some smoked pastrami and ham from a very unhappy lady who has her Smokehouse business up for sale

We watched a grandfather and grandson catch several trout at the trout farm, but as we hadn't thought to bring a chilly bin we decided not to put trout on the evening barbecue menu.

When it came time to get some lunch we had to search high and low for anywhere to eat. We ended up in the empty dining room of Ye Kings Head in Neerim South. It seems strange that an official Gourmet Deli Trail could be so lacking in gourmet deli items or even a decent lunch.

Thu 4 May - Fri 5 May

The bulk of the people at the rally have left but some of us a staying on for a few more days and the feel of the place has settled back to be very comfortable, friendly, and relaxed.

It rained for two days so we caught up on some reading and so on.

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Created by Robin Chalmers on 25.04.2000 and last revised 05.05.2000