Our History

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Our History

Koo-Wee-Rup Motorcycle Club History

1927 > 1939 Period 

The KooWeeRup MCC was first established in 1927 as a result of few keen motorcycle enthusiasts. The 1st KooWeeRup Motorcycle Club member’s event was held at the Diggers Carnival – On Australia Day 1928. The RSL offered 10 Pounds in prize money for two handicap races, 9 riders competed on a pony racecourse very near the current KooWeeRup Recreation Reserve.

The club was disrupted by the uncertainty around the buildup of the Second World War in 1939 and wasn’t kick started post war..

Note: It was around the mid 1980’s when Life Member Lindsay Hansen was handed the only known surviving KWRMCC badge from this era. It was given to him buy a local farmer Loche Walker and has number 13 stamped on the back.  It was at this point that the discovery of the first club was made. Investigations followed and information became available with some historic documents going back to that time. Also another coincidence, the colours of the badge being Black, Red and White which were exactly the same colour chosen for the reformed club in the 70’s.

Note: In 2021 Lindsay Hansen kindly passed this historic badge to KWRMCC President John Spencer to store with other club memorabilia


1973 to Current – Celebrating 50 Great Years In 2023 !!

With the Japanese motorcycle boom well underway it was the trail bike that gained popularity around the swamp districts.  In late 1972 there were many young men on new trail bikes getting around the KooWeeRup swamp area and around this time suggestions of forming a motorcycle club started. It wasn’t until mid 1973 that the Club was officially formed.

Japanese motorcycles from the boom era of the early 1970’s, they were very popular in the early days of KWRMCC

KWRMCC – Reborn Early 1973


The Clubs 14 Foundation Members:

Lindsay Hansen, Noel Harvey, Gary Willis, John Spencer, Kim Woodward, Craig Donnelly, Neil Willis, Barry Cochrane, Kevin Huxtable, Robert Stewart, Brian Drysdale, Brian Hunt, Dennis Wilson and Pixy Wilson (All Founding Members were from KWR with the exception of Robert Stewart from Lang Lang)

The following 4 members have remained Club Members throughout its 50th Year History  – Lindsay Hansen, Gary Willis, John Spencer, Kim Woodward


The first meeting to form the club was held at the Koo Wee Rup RSL and meetings moved to the better equipped Memorial Hall as numbers grew. The first AGM was held in October 1973 and entered affiliation with the Gippsland Centre Motorcycle Body around this time. As the age of members increased, meetings moved again to an even better equipped Royal Hotel KooWeeRup, meetings remained for there for many years to come. It was around this time in the warmer months that rides would take place after meetings along the drain banks of the Bunyip Riverwell, these would continue well into the darkness of the night.

The club organised trail rides in many locations including: Bunyip State Forest, Sheep Yard Flats, Corinella, Toolangi, Kingswill Bridge, Suggan Buggan, WoodsPoint, Erica, Tom Groggin Station, Jeparit, Dargo High Plains, Wonnangatta, Walhalla, Big Desert, Little Desert and Kilcunda Sand Hills. The initial plan for a club track was on a farm owned by the Clark family on the south side of Monomeith Road and bordering Bass Highway. A couple of club events were held, but without council approval, it soon came to a grinding halt.

Our first female member was Cheryl Rutter (Dec) who joined in 1975 along with her father Reg and rode in various forms of motorcycle competitions. Cheryl was an active member at the time, her day to day motorcycle was a DT360 Yamaha.

Membership fees were senior $4.50 and junior $2.00 if paid 01/01/1974. Members partook in Blue light rallies being awarded with best team many times. in one year over 80 riders were entered under KWRMCC. Gymkhana type events were also popular at the time where riders moved through obstacles at low speeds trying not to put their feet on ground!

Over the years members have competed in a wide range of motorcycle events including organised trail rides, enduro, hare scramble, cross country, road racing and motard. Members take part in these events on a regular basis, at a variety of locations around Victoria & Australia. Club days for Junior/Senior riders and come and try days are held during the year with end of year family weekend. Family weekends are also organised for Junior riding development. Social outings are also organised throughout the year.

The KWRMCC celebrated it’s 40th anniversary in 2013. The following is a summary of the Club’s history

It was around the time of the early 70’s Japanese trail bike boom, and the local lads were not immune. They purchased bikes from local motorbike dealerships including the Hansen brother’s KooWeeRup Motors Suzuki; Don Ellis’s Kawasaki and Wally Webster’s Nar Nar Goon Honda. Meetings were held (and still are) on a fortnightly basis. Initially meetings were at the KooWeeRup RSL hall, however after a short period, were relocated to a better equipped Memorial Hall KooWeeRup. As the club membership aged its meeting place moved to the KooWeeRup Royal Hotel. After meetings in the summer months there might be 20 plus bikes riding in line along the drain banks towards KooWeeRup North, or south towards the Bass highway late into the night.

In the 80s, the Club changed its name to the KooWeeRup and District Motorcycle Club to incorporate the rest of the district, as the club continued to grow. (Today, the majority of members reside outside KWR)

Around this time a motion was moved/passed to rotate meetings between KooWeeRup, NarNarGoon and Pakenham. It was a great idea in theory but poor in practice as members became confused and started turning up for meetings at the wrong location, consequently meeting attendances fell away.  After an ‘ arm wrestle and a flip of a coin it was decided that Pakenham was to be the best location for all future meetings. Initially meetings were held in the ‘Social Club’ rooms at the old Pakenham Football Ground in Henry Street, where they remained for several years until moving to Purvies Hotel Main St Pakenham.  Meetings remained at Purvies until the hotel could no longer accommodate us due to major renovation works.  In 2005 the Pakenham Bowling Club became the Club’s new home and remains so today. This has developed into a wonderful relationship, if not an unusual one, with the Bowls Club allowing the KWRMCC’s history and honours to be displayed in amongst the Bowling Club’s own history.

Meeting Location History:


A large part of the KWRMCC’s history has been its relationship with the old gold mining town of Woods Point, located between Warburton and Jamieson. In 1974, the then leaders of the Club booked the Woods Point Pub for the Queen’s Birthday weekend trail ride. A $10 deposit was handed over to book the pub for the weekend. That $10 deposit continued on for 42 years , our unbroken run finished at our last Queens Birthday weekend of 2016. 

Club members have been very active since 1973 in scrambles, now called motocross, endure and desert racing. We have had more than a fair share of success at state, national and international levels. There is also a growing popularity in vintage motorcross with a number of vintage members and bikes competing.

Back ‘in the day’ , there were more members in the motorbike club than in the local footy club, and it was typically the domain of young men. This was reflected in the boom years of trail bike riding in the 70s. In the early years, it was primarily a group of people who enjoyed dirt bike riding both socially and competitively. However, as time moved on, the club has grown into a family orientated club, with growing numbers of full family memberships, with both genders, young and old getting involved in the joy of motorcycle riding. The club has awarded 15 life memberships over the years, to help celebrate the contribution and longevity of its members. There are still a few of the 1973 founding members capable of ‘throwing a leg over’ a bike, which gives our younger members something to aim for in their approaching old age 🙂

To date (2019) the club has around has many single and family riding members and growing. The club has now diversified to include not only dirt bike riding, but adventure and road bike riding as well. Club members have frequent road/adventure and trail rides organised.  Today’s club is very active with Motorcycling Victoria’s Gippsland Region and have earned significant respect in the organising, running and assisting in high quality events such as the Golden Beach 6Hr. 

The KooweerupMCC currently has a number of natural terrain tracks on McGregor Rd Pakenham and has been operating since 2010.  Its been developed over many years, thanks to the hard work and dedication of many KWRMCC members who have given their time and energy to make this a great track for club members and visitors alike. The track is operated by qualified club officials and first aiders and the overall aim is to have fun.


2008: McGregor Road Track Opened

New sign lookin great thanks to a Club memberAfter many many years of trying to secure land to establish a motorcycle track for our members a parcel of land (over 300 Acres) was rezoned for Motorsport along McGregor Rd Pakenham. The rezoning was largely responsible to the efforts of the KooWeeRup Motor Cycle Club, Pakenham Auto Club and to a lesser degree the Berwick GoKart Club.

 

 


2018: Daniel Milner – An Historic Day

Our club has had many champions but KWRMCC Member and Captain of the 2018 Australian ISDE Team Daniel Milner has taken it to a new level.  Daniel lead the Australian Team to victory in the 2018 Chile 6 Day ISDE while also taking 1st Individual in the event, an absolute stunning performance from a very special and talented young man.

 

 


2019: KWRMCC Memorial Stone

The memorial stone was laid on Sunday 24/03/2019 to bring together and honour passed members who have been a large part of our club’s long history. The isolated location was selected by Terry Corkery and John Spencer (Club President and Vice President at the time..) to honor the clubs early love of trail riding in and around this area.  The Memorial Stone is located off SouthFace Rd in the Caringal Area north of Erica, if you would like to pay a visit please contact Club Committee for final directions.

The Inaugural Club Memorial Ride and BBQ was held on this day and is now one of the key days on the club’s annual calendar.  Many members old and new came along for the occasion to help lay the stone and pay their respects.

Members honoured on the day the stone was laid where:

  • John Maskell         1986 – Vehicle accident
  • Ralph Salzwedel    1987 – Vehicle accident
  • Christian Spencer  2010 – Motorcycle accident  (Life Member)
  • Noel Harvey            2016 – Natural cause  (Life & Founding Member)
  • Andrew Brown        2016 – Illness
  • Tony Hilton              2017 – Motorcycle accident
  • Stu Joiner                 2017 – Illness
  • Wally Webster         2017 – Natural cause  (Life Member)
  • Wayne Binding        2018 – Illness

Members added post laying of the stone:

  • Frank Camp              2017 – Illness
  • Cheryl Rutter            2018 – Illness
  • Craig Donelly            2020 – Illness (Founding Member)
  • Garth Rushton          2010 – Illness

2022: Moni Simioni – Victorian 4 Day Enduro Trophy Team Historic Selection

Current Victorian Women’s Off Road Champion Monique Simioni was selected in the Victorian Trophy Team for the 2022 National 4 Day Enduro held at Erica. Moni’s selection broke new boundaries being the first woman ever selected for the Trophy Team. A selection of this nature doesn’t come easy but Moni’s determination and riding abilities paved the way for her historic selection.

 

 


2022: Club Memorial Day

The Club was approached by members of Life Member Wally Webster’s family regarding Wally’s ashes. His wish was to have them spread in an area he loved and spent time in his many years of riding. It was decided that the Clubs Memorial Stone would be an ideal location. On the Club’s Memorial Ride Day held on June 19th 2022 lovely stories were told and finished with Wally’s ashes being spread at the stone by his son’s Stephen, Murray, Darren and Brian. A special occasion..

 


2022: Club Permit Scheme Started

After a number of club members showed interest in getting their vintage motorcycles registered under the VicRoads Club Permit Scheme, the club applied for and was granted registration with the VicRoads Club Permit Scheme. The first Club Registration was issued to Dave Mylius and his trusty BMW GS1150 in November 2022.

 

 


2023: Our Club Celebrates 50 Great Years – 1973 to 2023, 

Who would of thought when 14 young fellows kicked off the KooWeeRup MCC way back in 1973 that 50 years on it would be still going strong. Over that time there’s been approximately 2,700 members joining the club and with that brings so many great memories. Membership has seen highs and lows over this period however at our 2022 AGM membership was at a record high of 376 financial members with the majority being Family Memberships associated with our McGregor Road Track facility. Counting family members nominated on membership forms there were close to 1,000 names on the books, an amazing statistic !!

Originally starting out as a trail riding club that soon evolved with participation in the competitive side of the sport. These days our activities are very broad, trail and competitive riding still continues along with road, adventure and the McGregor Rd Track attracting riders of all ages. At this point our youngest and oldest active bike riding members are 3 and 82 years old respectively, not many sports support that kind of age range. The highlight of the year will be our 50th Year Anniversary Celebration/Reunion to be held at the KooWeeRup Community Centre on the 18th November 2023.

We honour and respect our Life Members, Honorary Members, Office Bearers along with so many members and characters that helped shape this wonderful club over the last 50 years. May there be many many more to come…


Our Future Vision

The future vision is to grow membership and offer Community, Individuals, Families and Juniors a club that enables members to excel in future events, activities and provide a long term riding facility that provides for a safe environment for young and older riders alike.


History of Club Emblems, Badges & Stickers


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