The Australian Model Railway Association’s 60th Birthday was on the 18th May 2011, that could not be so? After all it is not that many years ago we celebrated our 50th Anniversary here in NSW.
So, the Federal CoM decided that we would probably have it in Sydney. After some discussion with the Victorian Branch, as the AMRA was originally formed in Melbourne and we wished to have our last surviving foundation members, Tim and Margaret Dunlop in attendance, it was decided we hold celebrations in Melbourne.
Fortunately a volunteer, Tony Hough, was forthcoming to act as Chairman with the Diamond Anniversary committee consisting of Reg Monash, Rob Dall, Jack Treseder, Elizabeth Secker, Garreth Mann and Greg Atrill. They then set about the unenviable task of putting together the celebration programme.
The success of these endeavours was soon evident to those members who enthusiastically registered and were in attendance on Friday, Saturday, Sunday as well as those also able to visit DVR on Monday.
On Saturday, those members who did not attend the AMRA 60th Anniversary Celebrations missed the opportunity to visit and inspect some excellent, interesting and innovative model railway layouts, generously made available by
a number of our members.
On Saturday evening, the Celebration Dinner was held. Member No.1 Tim Dunlop presented the Federal CoM with a copy of the AMRA Standards, as originally printed with the latest updated version combined with copies to be sent to each of the State Branches.
Between courses came the cutting of the Diamond Anniversary cake by Member No.1 and yours truly, with a number of the 60th Anniversary awards presented to those members present, Tim and Margaret Dunlop, John Harry and William (Bill) Secker, plus a Meritorious Award to Anthony (Tony) Hough.
After an enjoyable dinner, we returned to the Vic. Branch Clubrooms for the drawing of the Raffle and Lucky Door prizes and presentation of Awards to Norman Rawlings, Queensland Branch and Brian Tyson, Federal Treasurer.
The following members were nominated by their respective State Branch; Barry Wilcockson, NSW; Dennis Ling, WA; Peter Dusha, Qld; Geoff Brown, Vic; also, Stuart Pattison, Journal Editor/Publisher; Stuart Westerman, VicPrint; and Stephen Chapman, Federal Registrar and Web Master; as Federal CoM nominees and would be presented to at some convenient time and location.
On Sunday, after a rather short night’s sleep, we boarded the train at Southern Cross station bound for Castlemaine. This included a visit to the still hand operated signal box, then, onto the Victorian Goldfields Railway steam hauled train to Maldon ‘Australias First Notable Town’ for lunch and inspection of the pioneer Museum containing some very interesting items reated to the past and gold mining.
The return journey was back to Castlemaine again by steam train and return to Southern Cross by VLine VeloCity train after a very enjoyable day.
Sunday’s alternate trip was to Puffing Billy and the Yarra Valley Tourist railway.
For those fortunate enough to have Monday free, it was off to the Diamond Valley Railway at Eltham Lower Park for a day of viewing and riding the wonderful trains with their beautifully constructed and impressive steam and diesel outline locomotives on the 7-1/4″ gauge track. This has to be one of the largest miniature railways in Australia and I am afraid I cannot find the descriptive words to do it justice. I do recommend that as a railway/
railroad enthusiast/modeller you must make a visit to DVR to really enjoy and appreciate the work involved in building and maintaining it.
To June and myself, one of the main enjoyments of the 50th and 60th celebrations was the opportunity to meet and enjoy the company and fellowship of our members with whom we do not have the opportunity to see or to renew acquaintances. To have ten years between these opportunities is far too long, maybe we should look at some form of interstate get together every two or three years, what do you think?
In conclusion, on behalf of the Federal CoM and myself, I sincerely thank Tony Hough and the Diamond Anniversary Committee, President Gary Danson, the Victorian Branch Committee and other members involved, for the Clubroom availability and operation of the Stonnington Valley Railway, for the successful implementation of the AMRA 60th Birthday celebrations.