Ri­fle range names sub­urb

Geraldton Guardian - - News - Neville Thompson

Tar­get ri­fle shoot­ing has been a pop­u­lar sport in Ger­ald­ton for at least 140 years, prob­a­bly even well be­fore a ri­fle range was con­structed at the south­ern end of Fitzger­ald Street in 1876 for the Ger­ald­ton Vol­un­teer Ri­fles to use their black-pow­der muz­zle-load­ing mus­kets.

At that time the small town was slowly ex­pand­ing and hous­ing be­gan to en­croach on this range, which had its 500 yard fir­ing mound very close to Au­gus­tus Street and the Ger­ald­ton Pri­mary School.

In 1887 a new range was sur­veyed and built on crown land to the west of Crowther Street, again al­low­ing a max­i­mum shoot over 500 yards.

With more mod­ern ri­fles com­ing into use there was a need for a much longer range which even­tu­ated in 1914, us­ing the Sep­a­ra­tion Point hill as the tar­get area and shoot­ing mounds at 200, 300, 500, 600 and 1000 yard dis­tances — the lat­ter along­side the Shell Oil de­pot off Cream Street.

This range was reg­u­larly used un­til once again lo­cal hous­ing de­vel­op­ment at Beach­lands caused safety con­cerns and Ger­ald­ton’s fourth range was con­structed in what is now the sub­urb of Range­way.

This range op­er­ated from the late-1940s to Au­gust 18, 1974, con­clud­ing with a tro­phy shoot which at­tracted 88 com­peti­tors from around the State.

Now lit­tle re­mains of that range ex­cept the sub­urb’s name and ri­fle club shoots are con­ducted at the Gree­nough range. Over many years sev­eral top marks­men honed their skills with the Ger­ald­ton Ri­fle Club, some go­ing on to rep­re­sent Aus­tralia in com­pe­ti­tions at the leg­endary Bis­ley ri­fle range in the UK.

One of those was Bill Mel­lows, pic­tured stand­ing on the left with tro­phy win­ners at a Sep­a­ra­tion Point shoot in the early 1930s.

Pic­ture: Norm Mar­getic

Tro­phy win­ners at a Sep­a­ra­tion Point shoot in the early 1930s. Back: Bill Mel­lows, Os­car Nel­son, and an uniden­ti­fied man. Front: Tom Stokes, Leo Vec­chia and an­other man who is un­known.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.