Notes for 100 Year Anniversary Presentation.
Welcome to 100th Anniversary of Roseville Rifle Club. Welcome to special guests:
Councillor Robert Browne of Hornsby City Council
Mister Gary Bryant of the Firearms Safety Council
Senator David Leyonhjelm
Former Captains Bill Roger and Phil Rocks
100th anniversary celebrations are rare events. However, since June 2013, and counting tonight’s occasion, I have attended 3 such events. They have all been celebrating the Centenaries of rifle clubs: Lyndhurst Rifle Club, Canberra Rifle Club and Roseville Rifle Club. Canberra Rifle Club is the city’s oldest surviving sporting body.
I have some Questions:
- Why were these rifle clubs formed?
- Why have they lasted so long?
- Are they still relevant today?
A Brief History.
Most rifle clubs were formed either immediately before or during World War I. Rifle clubs operated as an adjunct to the reserve military forces and were generally under military control. They were intended to provide basic military training and develop marksmanship. Roseville Rifle club was formed in or about October 1914. At the end of December 1914, the club had 83 members and by the end of January 1915 it had grown to 200. Members undertook drills twice a week at Lindfield public school and at other locations in the area. One of Roseville’s founding members Ernest Tebbutt, lived in Shirley Road, Roseville, and was instrumental in setting up a 300 yard range at the bottom of Shirley Road. Access was by way of a track known as the Rifle Way running between what is now the Pacific Highway and Shirley Road. It is still there today. In about January 1915, John Jenkins, a well-known Roseville resident, offered his land at Fullers Road, Chatswood for use as a 600 yard rifle range. UTS Kuring-gai campus now sits above the area where the stop butt would have been. On Thursday, 29 April 1915, just days after the Gallipoli landings, the Sydney Morning Herald noted that the Roseville club had about 350 members divided into Roseville and Chatswood companies. On 14 October 1918, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that on 9 October 1918 Roseville Rifle Club’s Roll of Honour was unveiled at the club room and that the roll contained the names of 43 members of whom 11 did not survive the wall. That Honour Roll is over there.
Given the horrific nature of World War I, it is understandable that interest in shooting dropped at the end of the war. Minutes from the AGM of 1924 suggest that membership dropped to less than 20. Nevertheless, efforts were made to build up the club and at its meeting on 13 January 1925 the committee agreed to build club hut on Chatswood Rifle Range. In 1928 it was agreed to hold quarterly social meeting to distribute prizes, discuss general business and “propositions for the welfare of the club and spending a social evening together in harmony”. Faulty ammunition was a problem in 1930 as the club was still being issued with 1916 ammunition and competitors were allowed another shot for every shot that failed to go off! They were called “double bungers”. During World War II the shortage of .303 ammunition led to the club to form a miniature or small bore club which shot at 25, 50 and 100 yards.
By 1946, the use of 303’s had stopped and the club had gone into recess. Nevertheless, a meeting agreed to reform the club and visit Victoria Barracks with a view to obtaining rifles and ammunition.
It seems that 4 members of the club were killed during the war. At least 3 of these were members of RAF Bomber Command and the prevalence of our RAAF membership may be explained by the proximity of the RAAF base at Bradfield Park, west of Lindfield. Bradfield Park was once a suburb which has since been absorbed into West Lindfield. After the war. It served as a refugee hostel, and immigrant hostel. As a boy who grew up in Lindfield, I remember we never liked to play soccer against the tough English boys from Bradfield Park! I remember that some wore rings in their ears! That was pretty far out in 1957! In 1957, the supervisor arrived ranges directed that all club huts on Chatswood range were to be removed by the end of March that year as the Chatswood range was to be closed. After considering the cost of removing Roseville’s hut to Hornsby Rifle Range, it was decided to advertise it for sale, but as it was not sold by the end of March it had to be abandoned. During the 1960’s membership was limited as ammunition was hard to come by and in addition a number of members resigned to move to clubs located at Anzac Rifle Range, Liverpool.
Major changes to the rifle movement took place in 1966 when it was announced that the Anzac Rifle Range at Liverpool would close in 1967, and due to shortage of.303 ammunition, there would be a change in calibre to 7. 62 millimetres. These were years of uncertainty for the rifle movement as the availability of.303 ammunition had become critical and confusion existed regarding what type of rifle would be approved for use with the new ammunition. In addition, Anzac Rifle Range at Liverpool, one of the finest ranges in the world, was to close. Fortunately, a strong committee of Gordon Marquette, Roger Le Moy and Alf and Dennis Rae had taken shape within Roseville Rifle Club. Money was raised for a new clubhouse. Gordon was also president of the North Shore District Rifle Association and a modern toilet block was built on the range. By 1969, the use of rifles that could be used with 7.62mm ammunition was becoming clearer and the approval of the Omark 7.62 target rifle, which sold for about $70, was to breathe new life into the rifle shooting movement. It was at the end of 1969 that I purchased an Omark rifle for $69 and a Central site for $28. I commenced shooting in January 1970 with Mosman-Neutral Bay Rifle Club.
On 15 August 1970, the new club hut was opened by Lieutenant-Colonel Ernie Green. Throughout the seventies and eighties, it seems that the club membership was around 40 to 50 members with regular attendance by 15 to 20 members. Significantly, Mark Buchanan joined Roseville in 1987. Mark already had 2 Queen’s prizes under his belt at that stage and was to go on to become one of most of Australia’s most successful target rifle shooters. Mark’s influence and example was to lead to a change of culture in Roseville Rifle Club. In those days, shooters on Hornsby range were content with club shooting and rarely travelled to prize meetings or Queen’s prizes. Roseville members were the same then.
Mark’s Dad, Jack Buchanan, had transferred to Roseville some years earlier, and Mark and Jack travelled all the Queens and prize meetings. In time, they were joined by Barry O’Donnell, Mike and Phill Hodder, Ian Palmer, Dennis and Keirin McCamley and myself. This trend has grown and our new shooters, such as, Dmitri, the Martins, Fernando, Gary Faulkner and Rob Trodden regularly attend prize meetings. Even Michael Cuda has attended a prize meeting at Mudgee! The club has made meetings such as Mudgee, Wingham and Lithgow, regular features of their annual calendar. Only last week, at least 6 shooters attended the Wingham shoot, Mark coming fifth and Gary fading at the last range, to just lose the championship.
Roseville is now the strongest club on Hornsby range. Only yesterday, Mark won the target rifle Champion of Champions shoot and Graham Coote won F Standard. Last season, our Number 1 TR team won the Arn Hammond, by a huge margin, with the Number 2 team just missing out on second place. Our F Standard Team also won their event. Last month, Mark won the Lead Up and Grand Championship at Townsville, whilst in April, our former member, Kieren McCamley, won the lead up and Grand Championship at Bendigo. A remarkable achievement.
In 2011, Roseville was the first club to start using the Hexta electronic target on Hornsby range. The Hexta target was developed by Roseville member Dmitri Kazakov and it has since been installed on Hornsby range, West Broken Hill range, Gosford range, Narromine – Dubbo range, Mount Barker range, Orange range, and Wingham range. Currently, the Hexta system is being trialled by the QRA in Queensland and is generally acknowledged to be the finest electronic target system in the world.
Why have they lasted so long?
The role of rifle clubs has evolved from being a part of the Defence Forces to become simply the facilitator of competitive and recreational target rifle shooting over a number of disciplines. Survival of Roseville Rifle Club and every other rifle club has only taken place due to the abiding interest of community members to partake in shooting competitions and the willingness of club members to voluntarily participate in the management and administration of both the individual clubs and State and National Rifle Associations. It takes many people making many contributions over many years to keep a club like Roseville running. Looking back at just the last 50 or so years, Alf and Dennis Rae, Gordon Marquette, Roger Le Moy, Ed Strom, Ian Palmer, Barry O’Donnell, Jan Wikstrom have all made major contributions. Two years ago, we celebrated at Andrew and Anne Martin’s house, over 50 years of service by Roger Le Moy. Although he no longer holds any office officially, Roger still works tirelessly for the club.
In my view people two people have been mainly responsible for the survival and success of Roseville rifle club over the last 60 years. Roger Le Moy and Gordon Marquette. Without their untiring efforts over that period, the club would not be where it is today. Would you please join me in a round of applause for Gordon Marquette and Roger Le Moy
Are they still relevant today?
The participation in competitive sporting pursuits and membership of a social group is, in my view, healthy for both the individuals involved and the community in general. Rifle shooting is unique in that it is a sport in which old and young, male and female, can compete on equal terms. The sport of rifle shooting is also unique in that as it is possible to compete from a very young age to a more mature age, lifelong friendships are made and enjoyed. We look forward to seeing more young people as members of the club. I would like to propose a toast to Roseville Rifle Club and all its members, past, present and future.
Club Captain 15 June 2014
You are probably getting bored hearing this (we’re not getting bored telling you), but both the Roseville TR #1 and F Class Teams were victorious again in the 2013-2014 Arn Hammond teams event.
Team #1 had a large buffer going into the last range, 800m, and in the end secured victory over Hornsby #1 by a whopping 51 points!! Conditions seemed mild before the shoot but all coaches found the wind very tricky and hard to keep in check. Roseville TR #2 shot well during the year but unfortunately had some hiccups along the way, they were unlucky not to get 2nd place in the Handicap competition by one point!
Members for the Team #1 consisted of Mark, Phill, James, Mr. T, Dmitri and Hutcho. Team #2 were Tim, Jon, Alex, Fernando, Paul and Andrew.
Roseville F Class were coming in first place before the final stage from HRSL Blue. They showed tremendous strength and ability to not only take the day by 15 points but also win the year by a massive 35 points from HRSL Blue!! Congratulations to all the team for another great win. The F Class team consisted of Allan, Mike, Don, Graham, Gary and Matt.
Final results for 2013-2014 years
Mark and Tim traveled up to Townsville to attend the NQRA Championships from 14 to 18 May 2014.
This was the first time the NQRA Championships had been held at Townsville since 1969, as it was held at Mackay until 2013.
Bruce Scott, Bob Kennedy and their team had worked long and hard to establish the new rifle range at Townsville and have it in tip top order for the shoot, 14 targets going back to 900m.
In the lead up Wilson Aggregate Mark won the second range at 600m with 50.8 and took out the First Stage Aggregate with 150.21.
The next day, Mark again won the second range at 800m with 50.7, the third range at 900m with 50.4 and the Second Stage Aggregate with 150.17. This of course gave Mark the Wilson Aggregate with a perfect score of 300.38, three points ahead of Trevor Deed in second place.
Tim somehow found the easy conditions difficult and had difficulty getting on target at the final 900m staring with a 1 to ruin an otherwise reasonable score at that range and to finish last in A Grade!
Mark started the Queens with a 49.7 at 500m with Tim scoring a nightmare 43.1. Mark was back in the 50.4 at the next range at 600m, and Tim with 47.2. The final range at 600m saw Mark shoot a 50.1, perhaps showing that conditions were often not perfect, with Tim scoring 45.4, taking some heart in shooting 4 V’s in a row, but otherwise thinking of retirement!
The arrival of Lindsay Mawbey, Jim Bailey and Tim Berry for the Queens, had an immediate impact, with those shooters taking the first three place in the First Stage Aggregate with 150.19, 150.18 and 150.16 respectively, followed by the redoubtable Bruce Scott in 4th place with 150.14 and Mark in 5th place with 149.12. Tim posted a record low start to a Queens with 135.7!
Stage 2 saw Mark and Tim miscalculating the time from breakfast to the range arriving 3 minutes before the start at 700m (despite hitting 190k in an attempt to catch up!) and with Tim second down. Fortunately, Tim scored a 50.4, but Mark dropped a shot to score a 49.6.
At the next range, 800m, Tim dropped a shot which he challenged unsuccessfully to score 49.3 while Mark dropped a couple to finish with 48.4. At 900m, Tim shot in a beautiful patch to shoot a 50.5, just missing the V with his last shot. This was unfortunate, as both Mawbey and Bailey also shot 50.5, both counting Tim out for him to finish in third place for the range. But Tim was happy with that and with 6th place in the Second Stage Aggregate with 149.12. Mark finished 900 with a 46.5 with two strange “birds” included, to finish the second stage with 143.15.
Stage 3 saw Mark return to the possible with a 50.6 at 800m followed by a 48.3 at 900m to finish the day with 98.9. Tim could not find his Day 2 form in the misty and wet conditions and fired a 47.4 and a 46.0 respectively.
Jim Bailey shot 100.9 to win the Queens with 399.45. Mark finished 9th on 390.36 and Tim 28th with 377.23.
Mark thought he had blown his chances of winning the Grand Aggregate, but at the end of the day he finished with 690.74, with Trevor Deed second with 690.59.
Congratulations Jim Bailey on a fine win for your 7th Queens Prize!
Congratulations Mark in winning the Wilson lead Up and the Grand Aggregate!
Tim Walter, Captain
Nine Roseville members contested the Annual Mudgee OPM over the Easter Long Weekend 19-20th April. Allan, Fernando, Dmitri, Gary, Mark, Michael, Mike, Phill and Rob. Most stayed at the Courthouse Hotel again as we did last year. Practice started after lunch on Friday with most members taking the opportunity to zero their sights and try to understand the flags and different range conditions. This was the first time Michael had shot outside Hornsby Rifle Range and Rob had only shot at one other venue.
Dmitri started on fire at the first 500y with a great50.6 to get third for that range. He gained third for each of the other two ranges to finish clean and winning the day with a total of 150.19! while Kathryn Kent was the only other to finish the day on 150.12. Rob finished third with a 49.4. Allan was second in F B Grade with 57.2.
Allan was second in the 2nd 500y with 58.1 and he gained first for the day on 174.6. Rob was third in the last 500y with a solid 49.3, and finished in second place for the day on 144.12. Allan and Michael finished first and third in the last with 59.3 and 58.2 respectively.
After the shoot most retired back to the Hotel for a cool cleansing ale and a feed from the Bistro.
The second day found the weather fine and sunny with no hint of rain. Dmitri started where he had finished, scoring two more possibles, 50.7 and 50.2 to continue his lead. Michael scored a great 58.3 for first position at the initial 600y, and followed it with another first with 59.5!
Dmitri fought hard in the last 600y to keep his lead, the wind was hard to read and many were having trouble. He managed a valiant 49.6 which unfortunately cost him first position in the end to State and National team member Angus Bell, who finished with 299.36 to Dmitri’s 299.34! Very close, and well done to Dmitri!
Gary shot 59.7 in the last 600 to get second place. And Allan recorded a 56.3 for first place. Michael shot 171.11 for the second days aggregate to win first place, well dome Michael!
Mark finished 10th with 295.28, Phill 12th with 293.24, Fernando 18th with 288.17, Rob 4th in B Grade on 279.17, Gary’s father John finished 1st in F A Grade with 350.29 and Gary 4th 347.24, Michael and Allan finished 2nd and 3rd respectively with scores of 339.18 and 338.12.
Much fun and mateship was had by all Roseville members and I think we will all be back next year, and hope other club mates will join us too.
All results can be found at: http://www.nraa.com.au/mudgee-dra-92nd-annual-prize-meeting-results/
Early Friday morning, 21st February around 6am, Mark Buchanan, Dmitri Kazakov (Roseville RC) and Ted Boreham (Gosford RC) departed from Sydney for the long 1400km drive to Mt. Barker Rifle Club for their No2 DRA Open Prize Meeting which was not incident free.
Ted was “unsuccessfully” breathalysed by our “Friends in blue” just north of the Vic border. Following that everything went smoothly until we pulled into Tooleybuc Pub for dinner at about 8pm. We had another 400km to go.
After dinner we decided to leave, however somebody entered the pub and joyfully, looking forward to the entertainment, announced that the trailer in front of the pub had a flat tyre and that all the service stations had already closed as it was Friday afternoon, and everyone from the service and petrol stations were already in the pubs!
Someone made a call to the “nearest” service station (10km away), and we slowly start rolling in that direction. On the way one truck overtook us. When we stopped in his driveway we asked the driver if he had some air. We were lucky and he pumped up our tyre (it was a valve problem) and we continued the trip.
However our adventure was not finished yet. We called our pre-booked lodging in Murray Bridge to inform them about our problem and that we would be late. We asked them to leave the keys somewhere but they refused to do so. The fact that we were going to stay on the street did not bother them much!
While we were looking for a place to stay overnight, we received a call from the hotel.
They offered the accommodation if we will pay an extra $94. This sounded OK and so we agreed. Only after we checked out they sent us the invoice, and we realized that it was $94 per day. This brought total cost to $700!
The next day we enjoyed the Club working bee in preparation for the OPM. At the end of the day we were shooting 600y to check the targets functionality. The weather was excellent but the wind was patchy and unpredictable, therefore the shooting was a bit tricky.
The OPM starts with very nice weather with little wind.
Dmitri & Mark shot a practice’s at 600 yards on the Sat afternoon. Five targets were configured for accuracy testing of the HEX Systems which had all concerned very interested in the outcome.
The special stable paper was attached to each target following a single stage on each face.
Each shot hole on each target was measured for the x & y co-ordinates and compared to the Log file generated with the electronically generated coordinates. The results were then tabulated and taken to the range the next morning for all to see. The results speak for themselves! Approximately a 1mm variance !!!!
Sunday morning and 61 shooters prepared for the first of 3 x 600 yards matches. The targets were shaded by large gum trees to the right which the sunlight randomly scattered light across the target faces making the sighting somewhat difficult. Dmitri stood out from the crowd posting a fine 49.6 followed by 50.6 which put him in the lead by one central. The wind conditions were light but variable with changes across the zero regularly occurring causing many scope shooters grief on the small ring. Mark had a few problems with hold & sighting, picking the changes OK but firing a bad shot on each stage. He finished with 3 x 49’s & out of the running as several shooters had finished with 148’s.
Dmitri was last to shoot on target No.3 & the conditions remained challenging. Drawing a crowd to watch, Dmitri showed excellent control with his first 5 shots near perfect waterline. Then a quick breeze from the right caused a wide inner. Not perturbed by this, he soldiered on finishing with a 49.4 (see HERE), taking out the day by several centres with the highest aggregate score of 148.16. I believe that the electronic V’s mechanical measurements results made Dmitri a very happy boy and added to his confidence in a great result.
The next morning at 5am we took off from Murray Bridge, where we had stayed 3 days, and returned to Sydney safely at 11pm
Tim Walter, Captain; Mark Buchanan, President
Following on from topping Hornsby Range last Saturday at 500m with 100.12, Fernando Gregorio finished top TR male at the Blue Mountains DRA shoot at Lithgow on Sunday 2 February 2014.
Fernando shot 50.5, 50.7 and 50.3 at 500y, 500y and 600y, to come second at the second 500y range, second at the final 600y range and second in the A Grade TR Aggregate, with 150.15, 2 centres behind the winner, Queen, Kathryn Kent on 150.17.
Only Kathryn and Fernando posted 50’s at the difficult 600y range and they were the only shooters on the day who posted 150 in the Aggregate.
This was quite an achievement, given the presence in the field of such top shooters as Jim Jeffries, Rob Sweegers, Les Fraser, Tony McGuigan, Steve Williams and our own Mark Buchanan.
Allan Humbert topped F Class (B) to take out the FB Grade Aggregate with a fine 171.8 (59.3, 58.3 and 54.2) which was impressive given the strong entry and tricky wind conditions which prevailed all day.
Allan seems to come to the fore when he travels away!
Well done Fernando and Allan!
Tim Walter, Captain
The NSDRA conducted the annual Christmas shoot on Saturday 7 December 2013.
In target rifle, the top 5 places were as follows; Stephen Tofler, Mark Buchanan, Dmitri Kazakov, Fernando Gregorio and Tim Walter.
There could be a question as to whether Stephen Tofler is eligible to win anything in a Christmas shoot! Well done Stephen on a welcome return to form. Angus Martin also was a winner.
In F Class Standard, Allan Humbert had a return to form to finish in top place. Well done Allan!
Many turkeys and hams found their way into the hampers of Roseville members.
Robert Kozminski was delighted to win his first ever trophy in F class.
Tim Walter. Captain
On Sunday 1 December 2013, Fernando, Mark and Tim (AKA The Three Muscatears) attended the Lithgow Prize Meeting on a clear, mild, sunny, Sunday.
The course of fire was 500y, 500y and 600y.
Fernando started with a 49.3 at the first 500y and followed it with a fine 50.3 at the second 500y
Mark started off in winning form with a 50.3 at the first 500y, followed by 50.8 at the next 500y.
Tim started with a 48.4 at both the 500y ranges and continued with the same score at 600y!
Unfortunately, Mark struck tricky conditions at the final 600y and finished with an uncharacteristic 46.3.
Fernando had a high first sighter, but was in the centre for the next 3 shots and finished with 49.6.
Fernando won 500, 500 and 600 yards in B Grade and of course, blitzed the B Grade Aggregate with a total of 148,12, which would have placed him 8th in A Grade.
The top three places in A Grade all fell to Lyndhurst shooters, namely, Ben Emms, Rob Sweegers and Les Frazer.
TGJB (The Great Jim Bailey) came 4th!
So, as they say Fernando, “Congratulations and welcome to A grade”.
I am sure you will soon be making your mark there, even using that bloody bloop tube!
Well done mate!
Tim Walter, Captain.