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History of WMAA

 

History of WMAA by Ken Burt

We started out as a few mates getting together on a farm property near the corner of Hogan's and Tarneit Rd, (now developed and full of housing).  John Viney share farmed the property with his brother Robert. From memory John Viney, Frank Humphrys, Terry O'Brien, John Kelly, Max and Greg Wright, Brian Hodge, Peter MacAvaney, Bob Steiner, myself and a few others, about ten in all, flew there on a regular basis, late 1960s - early 1970s. Others that became involved were Peter Reibling, Tony Bereshnyi, Darren Hodge, and maybe some others. It was decided to form a club under the VMAA banner, and we affiliated ourselves as Werribee Radio Control Society. Our badge was designed in Malaysia and we became the 'weary bees'; Our newsletter at the time was 'Beelines'. Our membership increased to about 30 members. We held our first fly-in/fun festival on Sunday 9th February 1977.

 

Eventually the runway got bigger and the crop (oats or barley) got smaller. As a result of the resulting unrest with the owners (or lessees) of the land, we found ourselves looking for another site for our runway. Our membership dropped dramatically as we negotiated with the RAAF to fly with their club. So our new flying site became the RAAF aerial farm (way out west of the Werribee river, half way to Bacchus Marsh). Six members persevered as we sounded out the Werribee shire council for a suitable site. We were offered Greens road, (complete with rock walls each side - but no mowing needed. Wind direction notwithstanding); Laverton park at the end of the North/South runway of the then Laverton airbase, (now Williams Landing). or McGraths road (our present site.) It was at that time we met up with Ian Browning,

 

and some others who were trying to form a club, so we invited them to join us. Council offered us the use of the site if we could demonstrate that we were viable. Conditions were that we had to provide a 12ft gate to be fitted in the fence; a septic tank toilet facility etc. We cadged some sand and bricks from the council, left over from their building of the community complex in Ballan road. Someone came up with a seppo, someone else provided a gate, another came up with gate posts, and someone got a digging machine to bury the seppo, and so on. There was much activity slashing the field, bricking up the toilet, filling cow pods on the runway, cementing the gateposts in place etc. The name Werribee Radio Control Society it was mooted, did not well describe our activities and so it was changed to Werribee Model Aircraft Association and we were off and running.