Wahgunyah Speedway celebrates 60 years
The Wahgunyah Speedway was in celebration mode on Friday June 8 at the Wahgunyah Football Clubrooms, to mark 60 years since the track was officially opened.
The evening started with some old home movies from the earlier racing days being projected onto a wall, showcasing the track as it was some years ago – without the fully surrounding concrete wall and different categories of cars.
Also on display was a wall of memorabilia provided by the various club members, demonstrating the older-style twisty circuit, the published results of various feature meetings held back in the day, and the interesting cars presenting for the hectic racing.
A delicious roast was served up by the Phillip Scott crew for the 70-odd people in attendance, after which the official part of the evening began with the inimitable MC, Shaun Whitechurch introducing the first speaker, Mr Rob Jones.
Mr Jones entertained with stories of how the Motor Sports Club began, via the efforts of a small band of enthusiasts led by himself and Arthur Cornelius, whose off-duty school bus was employed for the very first general meeting.
At that time there was no permanent base for racing, until the Wahgunyah Recreation Reserve was “discovered”, and so began the enduring story of the Wahgunyah speedway.
With both founding & lifetime members, current and past presidents, committed volunteers and passionate long-time and new members in attendance, there were some interesting speeches discussing the ups and downs of the club and the track over the years, together with some impromptu stories – both amusing and intriguing memories of the many activities over the years.
To commemorate the event was the singing of “Happy Birthday” and of course the blowing out of the candles on the birthday cake.
The cutting of the cake was a group effort from a line-up of past and current presidents, a living representation of the commendable longevity of the club.
The nostalgia flowed on into Saturday’s events at the speedway, where a collection of old competition vehicles were on display, including two of the actual cars that raced at that first meeting on Easter Sunday in 1958.
The speedway has become the oldest purpose-built, still active speedway in Australia.
Booklets containing the history of the speedway were available both at the anniversary dinner and the following race meeting. These are still available for those wishing to purchase.
Past and present presidents of the Wahgunyah Speedway celebrate 60 magnificent years.