Guided Tour of Qld. Transport Museum & Visit to the Lights on the Hill Memorial, Gatton – Monday, 5 February 2024

We had another great roll up of thirty-eight (38) for this event which included one new member (Stan Carter). Total numbers for lunch were 39 which included our coach driver Di Haywood. Welcome to our group Stan.

Our first stop was the park adjacent to the “Lights on the Hill Memorial”, followed by a self-paced walk around the memorial, & then we loaded the coach & travelled the short distance back to the museum. We were met & welcomed at the museum entrance by our volunteer guide Nick, who then guided us through the transport museum.

I was surprised when we first walked into the museum, I was thinking that this is not how I remembered it from our last visit some ten years ago. Nick quickly cleared up this mystery when he stated that all of the exhibits were owned by companies or private collectors & were on loan to the museum for varying periods up to six months or so. Nick stated that these changes can be so dynamic that they can occur between his shifts as a volunteer guide, & he quickly has to upgrade his knowledge on the new exhibits.

The private collection of old army vehicles was extensive, well restored, & maintained – I would not even hazard a guess as to what the collection would cost – The private owner must be very passionate about his wonderful collection with very deep pockets. Western Transport had a good collection of vehicles, & an honour board on display. One of our member’s (David Robinson) name was on the honour board.

A photo of Dave pointing to his name on the board is included in the gallery.

A bit about Dave

Dave is ninety-two (92) years young, & one of the senior members of our group. Dave has been a member since our first trip to this museum & lights on the hill memorial on the 16th of December 2013 (six-months after our inaugural meeting on the 17th of June 2013).

Dave drove for Western Transport from 1957 though to 1962. During his long & illustrious career as a truck driver, Dave carted quarters of beef to Sydney (refrigerated van), along with general goods from Sydney, & wool from North of Julia Creek on the old Normanton Dirt Road in Scammell, Leyland, & later Mac B60 trucks.

If you are interested, ask Dave about it, & I am sure he will happily tell you all about his experiences over a beer or two, including getting bogged on some of the “Infamous Western Dirt Roads”.

Nick provided us with a very interesting & informative tour of the museum – He certainly is passionate about the museum & knows his subject – Russell thanked Nick on behalf of our group for his wonderful, guided tour.

We then moved onto the “Colonial Café – Licensed” for pre-lunch drinks & lunch.

Following lunch, we had our usual birthday cake etc., & a brief meeting to discuss a proposal put forward by one of our members to even out costs of transport for All Events i.e., that is between the longer & shorter trips. 

Birthdays

Birthdays of the following members in January & February were acknowledged & celebrated in our usual manner:

January

Robert Ball, Gary Batts, Tom Duff, Doug Gordon, John Herzig, Peter Mc Donald, Tony McKeon, Doug Meiklejohn, Patrick Morton, Lindsay Reis, David Robinson, Neville Sarquis, Noel Stenzel, Tim Sullivan, Mark Tranter, Alan Webb, Roy Hall & Peter Weinthal.

February

Allan Bagley, Roger Britton, Phil Cash, Errol Chase, Ken Dale, John Doherty, Kevin Flannagan, Sandy Fraser, Evan Fairley, Tom McMahon, Robert Moore, Bernie Moran, Mark Rowland, Ray Taylor, Greg Ticehurst, Peter Tierney, Tony Wind & Stan Carter.

Meeting Discussion

Dick provided a synopsis of the proposal & following a brief discussion the proposal was accepted.

In closing, special thanks to those who contributed to making this another safe & enjoyable event for all attendees, including:

Warwick Dingle – For organising this event; ensuring we were all accounted for before the coach departed again after each stop; ensuring our portable PA System was fully charged, set up & ready to go for our after-lunch sessions; &, along with Russell Mauch for their usual gig of assisting staff with the serving of lunch & our birthday cake.

Nick (guide) – For his very informative, interesting & at times educational guided tour.

Colonial Café Staff – For our great & plentiful lunch.

Michael Bourke & Russell Mauch – For looking after our finances & name badges including receipting & banking of surplus cash.

Russell Mauch – For assisting Warwick with the serving of lunch meals & birthday cake.

Kelsley Schelberg – For ensuring we all got on & off the coach safely at each stop.

Lindsay Reis & Eric Canning – For looking after our hydration needs, along with ensuring the coach was loaded & unloaded as required.

Bob Whittaker & Evan Fairley – For being on duty as our trusty & reliable First –Aid Officers.

Jan Neal – For making our much-appreciated birthday cake under the challenging conditions of the power being off for an extended length of time halfway through the baking period.

Peter Taylor, Evan Fairley & Bob Whittaker – For taking the collection of photos that I have sent to you attached to several emails.

Finally, our coach driver, Di Haywood (our first female coach-driver), for transporting us to & from Gatton safely.

Dick
13 February 2024