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Longerenong, Vic

S 36°40'46" E 142°18'06"

Mon 11 - Sun 17 Apr 2005

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CMCA 19th Anniversary Rally

Monday 11th

After breakfast we went into town to shop and to connect to the internet.

In the afternoon I had an appointment with a local GP to get a medical report for my new Victorian driver's licence. I took the form back to the RTA office and they told me that they would submit it for medical review.

We drove out to the rally site and after we had set up, I went to the office to meet Phil Berry. We spent some time chatting and he gave me a set of documents including a draft Bush Camping Code.

The Rally Co-ordinator had arranged two Self-containment seminars, one on Friday and the other at eleven o'clock today. I wasn't able to do the first seminar as I didn't get into the rally until after three o'clock. This created a considerable problem given that we need to launch the scheme and get people trained, licenced, and certifying vehicles while we are still at the rally. Phil Berry stood in for me and encouraged the fifty or so people who did attend the seminar to participate.

Tuesday 12th

Because the next seminar will be close to the end of the rally, I decided to advertise on the rally radio broadcast at 8am that I would be available for private consultation on the Self-containment Scheme at my motorhome. The response was amazing with a dozen or so people coming to talk to me and several of them volunteering to be trained as Self-containment Inspectors.

I spent the best part of the day talking to interested people about the scheme, stopping only to set up the chapter flag for happy hour.

Wednesday 13th

I continued the morning broadcast advertisement and the response continued to be very encouraging.

I spent the day talking about the scheme. I had a meeting with the Chairman of the Board who promised full support for the scheme.

In the evening we went to the Trivia Night, playing with the Highway Wanderers team. We won in a tie with another team.

Thursday 14th

I was busy all day talking to folk about the scheme and training Inspectors. I finished the day with 22 volunteers, 6 of them already trained and licenced and with 44 requests for certification of vehicles. This response was far greater than any of us had expected and Ross and I felt fully vindicated in our desire to launch the scheme.

In the evening we had a chapter pizza supper and raffle. Sadly the weather turned very cold and we all went home to our motorhomes as soon as the raffle was over.

In the evening, we participated in the Trivia Night again, this time competing in a scratch team and winning outright.

Friday 15th

Another day filled with work.

Saturday 16th

I spent another day training and testing Inspectors. I am amazed at the enormous response we have had to the scheme. I though we would get a fair bit of interest but, given that the pre-publicity was virtually nil, I had hoped that we would leave the rally with a few Inspectors in place and that we would have to wait for the next rally to make significant progress. That we have a third of the chapters already covered by Inspectors means that the speed with which the scheme will develop will be much faster than we had expected or hoped.

It was Skit night and Jean had been "volunteered" while I was part of the audience. The first skit went on for thirty or forty minutes. I was a presentation of Annie Get Your Gun with the cast decked in all manner of wild west costumes but simply miming to the CD. I suggested that they didn't know how to stop the music which was why it had to go on so long. When one of the songs was repeated I went out for a cup of coffee.

The other skits I saw were all very laboured, dragging on to a final punch line which turned out to be more of a tap line. Our skit was snappy, funny, involved the audience and was very well received.

Sunday 17th

Just after breakfast, the house water pump failed so I had to do an emergency repair. When I got into the space under the dining room seat where the pump and the hot water system are housed, I found the source of the leak which had been evident for some time as the pump would go tick-tick-tick even though there was no tap dripping. The leak was from the water pump which was corroded and was leaking. There was a fair amount of water sloshing around in the space. Happily, the silastic seals I had put in years ago had kept the water from leaking under the carpet but it had leaked into the locker underneath.

I carry a spare pump so I quickly fitted the new one, also mending the broken connection which was the source of the initial failure and which was caused by a broken snap connector that had become corroded.

I wondered why I had let the situation develop to such an extent. I thought I had checked this space for the leak when I first noticed the ticking noise. I guess the water had not accumulated then and I missed the leak because it was hidden from view. I was a good thing that the failure had occurred to make me investigate otherwise we might have had a much more serious situation. I was glad that the day was sunny and I wasn't busy when I finally had to do the repair.

In the evening, I addressed the rally closing ceremony to announce the successful launch of the Self-containment Scheme and to thank all those who have volunteered to be Inspectors. The response from the thousand or so people there was very rewarding.

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Created: 06.04.2005 and last revised 19.04.2005
Author: Robin Chalmers Copyright in all the material on this site is asserted by the author
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