A great night of celebration brought to an end the 2013 – 2014 Club year for Mildura MotorCycle Club at the Coomealla Golf Club last Saturday night.
Invited guests, Members and sponsors shared an excellent meal and enjoyed the fellowshipthat an Annual Dinner provides.
Member for Mallee, Andrew Broad, MHR and his wife Rachel, joined hard working Member for Mildura, Peter Crisp, MLA and Mayor of Mildura Rural City Council, Cr. Glenn Milne as well as Directors of Coomealla Memorial Sporting Club, the major season sponsor, headed an
impressive guest list which also included many of the Club’s valued sponsors and benefactors.
Club President, Gavin Sedgmen gave his President’s report, which included the Club’s gratitude for the endeavour of our local Member, Peter Crisp, who had worked so hard to secure the necessary funding for the major refurbishment, which had taken place from last June until the Track was re-licensed in mid October 2013. A funding grant of $200,000 was made available through the Victorian government via a Rural Development Victoria, “Putting locals first” program and innovative additional funding was received from Coomealla Memorial Sporting Club who contributed $50,000 in a three year sponsorship and grant deal, which allowed the Club to install and commission a Public Address system which is environmentally sensitive and ideal for Olympic Park. Mildura Rural City Council also contributed with a $10,000 grant and a promise of assistance for the Club to secure more funding on a project by project basis.
Sedgmen praised the work of Club members and friends of Olympic Park, who had gone way beyond their duty in committing to more than 50 Working Bees where some 1375 members and friends had contributed more than 7000 hours of work. The constant contribution to the work by some regulars was made later in the night by way of a commemorative plaque placed on a piece of the old “Red Gum” fence, which was replaced as part of the work.
Sedgmen congratulated some workers and businesses, who had taken on specific parts of the refurbishment project and he said “that without all of the contributions, the Club’s goal could not have been achieved”. “We now have the safest speedway track in the World and we should be able to attract International meetings to Mildura in the future ” Sedgmen added.
Sedgmen also thanked the many contractors who contributed with valued and unpaid work and with the provision of both equipment, product and labour for the project.
The Trophy presentation saw the Competition Clubman, “Rigby Trophy” go to new Sidecar combination of Chris Dess and Emily Seymour, while the Motorcross aggregate, “Stevenson Trophy” go to sensational Ouyen motorcrosser, Nathan Trigg, who had a great Easter “King of the Murray” meeting and who has also had recent success by winning the 2 stroke Light class in the tough Finke Desert Rally.
The speedway Trophies went to the current Solo and Sidecar Victorian Champions with Cameron Woodward taking the “Nemstas Trophy” for solos and Warren Monson and Matt Morgan taking the Sidecar “Teague Trophy” award.Speedway, Motorcross, Road Racing, MotoTrials, Enduro, Supercross – Key Official, Commentary and Event Management The newest group to join in competition at Olympic Park, the Sunraysia Dirt Karters, saw their aggregate award being won by youngster, Tyson Martin. The major Club awards were presented by the remaining two Club “Foundation and Life Members”, where Max Robinson presented the “Gaulke Trophy” for best Clubman and Jerry Cornell presented the “Winton Shield” which is awarded for Competition excellence. It was appropriate that the two most prestigious awards were presented by the Club’s longest serving members given the major works which had taken place in the previous year.
Joint winners of the “Gaulke” Clubman trophy were Club Vice President, Mick Pain and Life member, Mal Seymour, both of whom had made outstanding contributions to the work at the track.
International speedway rider, Cameron Woodward won the “Winton Shield” for his Victorian and SA Solo championships as well as his second consecutive British Grass Track title and his good showing with a fifth place in the World Long Track title for 2013.
Club President presented the “commemorative plaques, sat on a piece of Red Gum fence” as a momento of a individual great contribution to John “Spud” Wrate, Bob Crump, Jason Stewart, Sy Nunan, Kaisa and Jason Lyons, Wayne and Jason Bradshaw, Rita Manno and Tammy Wishart , Phil Sedgmen, Brendon Gledhill, Cameron Wrate, Rob and Chris Ferguson, Brock Gates and Lee Young.
As always, the highlight of the night is the individual introduction of all Life Members in attendance and the introduction and elevation of any new Life members who are elected to the position. Twenty Life members were in attendance. This year the Club was most pleased to introduce two stalwarts of racing and work in the Club
when Byren Gates and Jason Bradshaw were both awarded Life Membership. Both Gates and Bradshaw have had similar careers, having spent many hours racing and doing work at the Club over more than two decades. Each member had ridden as juniors and both progressed into senior ranks with both of them choosing to follow their family traditions by racing in the Sidecar side of the Club.
Again, both members have been past Victorian Champions and have competed against each other more than any other riders in the Club and yet have remained friends throughout.
Both men were elated and humbled by being made Life Members of the Club, saying ”that the Club provided a great atmosphere to ride, learn and contribute to the conduct of a great Club, where fellowship and decency were highly regarded.” Each member thanked the Club for the honour of Life Membership and they also paid tribute to their families, who had allowed them to follow their dream in racing at the famous Olympic Park, Mildura.