Re­mem­ber­ing the old Mel­bourne Gun Club

Field and Game - - NORM LAWLER’S TALES FROM THE SWAMP -

This club was founded in 1882 as a club for the shoot­ing of live tar­gets, namely spar­rows, star­lings, pi­geons and gal­lahs, and was known as the Gun Club As­so­ci­a­tion of Vic­to­ria.

Dur­ing this time, a mag­nif­i­cent two­s­torey brick build­ing was erected along with some out­build­ings, pat­tern plates, bird aviaries, trap houses, a pullers hut and ev­ery­thing else that was needed.

It was built and estab­lished in Tot­ten­ham, being on the bound­ary of Footscray and Sun­shine and only 10 miles from the city. The club went from strength to strength and sur­vived for 80-odd years un­til live bird shoot­ing was banned in 1959. It con­tin­ued for a few more years shoot­ing clay tar­gets but it wasn’t a suc­cess and even­tu­ally closed down and was sold up in the 1960s.

Many mem­o­ries still live with me, such as my first visit in 1950. Ev­ery shooter was wear­ing a suit and tie and all rules re­lat­ing to the shoot­ing and the club had to be strictly ad­hered to. It sure was a plea­sure to see such a club in op­er­a­tion.

I re­mem­ber one day Fred Burns turned up to shoot with a Brown­ing auto with a Cutts Com­pen­sator at­tached. The noise was deaf­en­ing so (de­spite his cham­pion sta­tus) he was quickly told never to come again with one of his au­toload­ing shot­guns.

Now, as mod­ern day shoot­ers, we should pay homage and thank the many mem­bers of the old Mel­bourne Gun Club for leav­ing us with such great mem­o­ries.

… Ev­ery shooter was wear­ing a suit and tie and all rules re­lat­ing to the shoot­ing and the club had to be strictly ad­hered to. It sure was a plea­sure to see such a club in op­er­a­tion.

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