Rotary Community Park in Echuca was once again the setting for the 54th Steam Rally Echuca Moama.
This park is headquarters for local Rotarians and usually home to an adult horse group, a vintage car club, a men’s shed group, a miniature railway organisation and a small engines band of enthusiasts besides being safe refuge for RV caravanners, campers, Scouts and passive recreationists. It was magically transformed, almost overnight, into a carnival-like setting for that “one weekend in June”
The Rally program promised two full days packed with excitement and spectacular entertainment. A brave call perhaps, with a novice team headed by Director Cliff Downey and Event Co-Ordinator Sarah Hancock. In the event, the novice team pulled through with flying colours, ably assisted by Club members and an army of volunteers.
This year we had axemen, the Clan MacLeod Pipe Band, the Echuca Federal Band, freelance musicians, face painters, blade shearers, blacksmiths, hay balers and so much more. And of course, we had the perennial favourites – the Grand Parade each day and Burning of the Dunny on Sunday. Once again, they proved to be stand-out Rally events
There were Steam Traction Engines, Steam Rollers and Steam Wagons. Then we had portable and stationary steam engines and pumps, oil and petrol engines, vintage tractors, historic vehicles and horse drawn vehicles. Once we get past all those exhibits, we can enjoy the midget brigade of model steam engines and model locomotives so loved by rail gunzels
With the help of his lieutenant, Ian Salek, District Governor Neville John arranged for a contingent of D9800 Rotarians to descend upon Echuca and set up a massive “Rotary Showcase” exhibition displaying almost twenty different activities involving Rotary at local, regional and international level.
The exhibition was staged in the freshly minted Men’s Shed and proved to be a real showstopper. Excellent reports were received all weekend on the quality of the exhibition and the amenity of the venue. A pleasing result of the Rotary Showcase was the number of membership inquiries made – name and contact details included.
Rally Director Cliff thanked three special groups in his editorial printed in the official program: the more than 200 volunteers who make the Rally possible, the paying customers, and the resilient members of the Rotary Club of Echuca-Moama.
Steam Rally 54 was a community success. Now, we take a breather, install a new president and soon we begin the task of planning No. 55
“Rob’s Pictures” of the rally can be seen at http://robspictures.zenfolio.com/p917746126