What a beautiful winter’s morning greeted us as the majority of members met at Redbank Plaza Shopping Centre carpark. After catching up with everyone we headed off on the short twenty minute drive to Amberley where we were joined by other members from the Sunshine Coast. The Ipswich Motorway from Redbank to the Cunningham Highway has been finished and what a difference it makes with three lanes of smooth bitumen in each direction. I had the opportunity to welcome new member “Darls” Gard and presented her with her name badge and a copy of the 40th Anniversary book. This was her first run and she invited three friends to come along with her, hope they all had a good time. We also welcomed members Mark and Karen Edwards who have re-joined the club after an absence of twelve years. They were pleased to be remembered from their earlier membership and soon fitted back in with our friendly group.
Some members opted to have their morning tea first under the trees in the designated carpark before boarding the buses which ran a continuous shuttle service for the five minute trip to the Amberley Heritage Centre. On arrival each bus-load was allocated an informative volunteer for the guided tour of the museum and as we toured the centre the Air Force Band played almost continually which really added to the atmosphere. The F111’s probably attracted the most attention but the other aircraft and displays were also worth seeing. Many of our members enjoyed reliving their earlier encounters with the various aircraft they had flown or worked on and could be heard recounting their stories, whether they were of wartime or more recent peacetime operations.
At midday we headed off on the last 25 kilometres to the Royal Hotel in the little town of Harrisville. The hotel came to fame in 2003 as the Fat Cow Motel in the ABC series of the same name. The hotel has been closed for some time until in 2010 it was bought by locals, Steve and Monika Patrick who have done a great job of restoring the old pub to its former glory. The food is excellent and our members enjoyed roast turkey and ham with vegies, followed by a dessert of either sticky date pudding or lemon cheesecake. Very full…!
Darryl Daniell’s shining star, his immaculate black 220A took pride of place in the line-up of cars in front of the pub and all of the cars attracted a lot of attention from passers by.
We had 82 members and guests which stretched the pub’s capacity to a new limit but we were lucky that the weather stayed fine and sunny, although a bit cool by the afternoon, and the forecast showers did not eventuate. This was a very enjoyable outing combining a new display of Queensland’s proud military history, a drive in the country and time to relax and socialise over a country pub meal with our fellow members. Many thanks go to Greg Ahern for putting together this run.