OUR HISTORY...So Far
THE ORIGIN OF THE GRAFTON MODEL AIRCRAFT CLUB GOES AS FAR BACK BACK AS THE LATE 1940's
John Smith remembers flying control line models in Lower Fisher Park in 1948.
The club was formed about then because John remembers moving to Hollaway’s paddock from Fisher Park as a club soon after this because of the noise factor.
Mufflers were not compulsory then, you can’t imagine the noise echoing from the trees in Plane Tree Avenue.
Of course Radio Control was not here until late 50’s when we moved to the South Grafton airfield where we flew control line and single channel radio models.
John BUILT his own 10 channel gear based on Phil Kraft’s design in 1961 and later purchased an Orbit 10 channel rig on 27 Mhz (ugh) and he built a couple of 10 channel models for Russ Hammond in Coffs.
At Fisher Park and at Hollaway’s the club had a segment on 2GF’s sporting session on Sat mornings.
In late 50’s a couple of members flew control line models at one of the Grafton Shows.
So armed with these dates and activities we might be able to narrow down the actual date of the formation of the club from other sources around town.
John Smith tried to salvage the club’s records from Charlie Harrison’s clearing out auction after he died but they had been sent to the bin with heaps of other rubbish by the time I asked about them.
Although flying on Dougherty’s Tea Tree Farm for many years prior to 1982, it was on May 22nd 1982, that the Club was formed as “Clarence Valley Radio Flyers”, with a membership of 20 members.
Of those original members, four are still members of the club, John Smith, Pat Crowe, Scott Short and Bryson Daniels.
In May 1989 the club was renamed “Clarence Valley Model Aircraft Cub Inc”, and as the name suggests the club became incorporated.
Membership fluctuated between 10 and 44 during this period, in 2000 MADMAC (Maclean and District Model Aircraft Club) was formed, and we lost between 12 and 15 members to this club.
Jonn Windred thinks that after MADMAC members left our club membership further declined with higher fees being part of the reason. The club struggled on.
Then in 2010 with 24 members, the club again changed it’s name to reflect the fact that we were now really a Grafton based club.
So our name was changed again, this time to “Grafton Model Aircraft Club Inc” and the club updated it’s Constitution at the same time.
Last year the club had 45 members.
It was in 1988 that John Windred became Secretary and in 2000 took on Treasurer as well.
In August 2010 John Windred was awarded Life Membership.
John relinquished Secretary in 2012 but carries on as Treasurer.
In 2016,Pat Crowe, another one of our foundation members was also awarded life membership.
Note from Webmaster:
This history so far has come from John Smith and John Windred. There will be more to come. If any of the other members can help flesh out this history more fully please email me the details and I will include them. The loss of early records when Charlie Harrison died was really bad news. Hopefully this website will help preserve our history. Bob T