The 2016 Jenny Cole Memorial Shoot went down well at the SSAA Victoria Eagle Park Range on Saturday, October 15. This event began as an interclub shoot between the Little River Raiders and the Big Game Rifle Club (BGRC) to allow members from both establishments to try out each other’s disciplines and firearms, while boosting the interaction between the two clubs. As the occasion became more popular, shooters from other disciplines started joining in. The day was then transformed into a Memorial Shoot to remember Jenny, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2010. Funds raised go to the McGrath Foundation in its continuing efforts to combat the struggle faced by people diagnosed with this disease.
The winner of the 2016 Jenny Cole Memorial Trophy - an engraved belt buckle - was Molly Dooka (aka Ross Bowden) from Bendigo. Geelong McGrath Foundation breast care nurse Sue Bowles presented the award to Molly Dooka as he was the shooter deemed to have had the most fun on the day.
The gathering was a huge success with a band of spectators and an excited group of shooters from BGRC and Little River Raiders coming along. Among the cluster of shooters were SSAA Victoria Board members. There was a clash of dates with the Big Game Rifle Club Silver Trophy Shoot, so numbers were down a bit on past years.
After a safety briefing and some instruction on Single Action shooting, the day’s shoot was based upon the Tom Selleck movie Quigley Down Under (thank you to Sambucca Kid), which began with the participants heading off to Main Range 2 where they tested their aim with Sharps and other period rifles against a bucket at 400 yards. Other targets were placed at various ranges and shot with different rifles from normal hunting rifles to lever- or pump-action rifles down to .22 rimfires as well as some long-range pistol shooting.
After lunch, we started three stages of Single Action shooting at Ranges 15, 16 and 17. The use of single-action revolvers and lever-action rifles and shotguns all in the same event was a pleasant change for the shooters. And the chance to try some use large-calibre single-shot rifles was an experience not to be missed.
Rattlesnake (aka Adam Simbert) was the overall top scorer of the day, with Shaft Shot Squaw the winner of the long-range bucket shoot events. Top scorer of the Single Action disciplines was Rattlesnake. The Little River Raiders came out the overall winners of the competition and will be the custodians of the Jenny Cole Memorial Combined Shoot Shield until next year. Thanks to Sambucca Kid and Dallas Roarke for taking care of the scoring.
The raffle, run over the preceding weeks to raise funds for the McGrath Foundation, was a great success. Sincere thanks go to the Geelong and Victorian businesses who donated prizes, including Adrian, from Norlane Tyre Service; David, from Associated Cold Treads; Simon, from Middleton’s Heating and Cooling; Rod, from The Outdoor Sportsman; Dale, from QAH Auto Spare Parts; Steve, from Silver Shadow Projectiles; Andrew, from Precision Engine Reconditioners; Winchester Australia CEO Clive Pugh; SSAA Victoria President Denis Moroney; the SSAA Eagle Park Range Consultative Committee; Eagle Park Range staff Andrew, Andrea and Sue; SSAA Victoria CEO Jack Wegman; the staff at SSAA Victoria State Office; and the SSAA sub-clubs and members who donated prizes. Several businesses are proud to support us, so please back them when you can. Congratulations to all those who won raffle prizes. The total handed over to the McGrath Foundation was $3100.
The great success of this affair is thanks to the hard work and dedication of the few people who always stand in to assist with the smooth running of the schedule. This includes cooking the barbecue and making sure that everyone is safe and has a good time. Participants are grateful to the generosity of the organisations and individuals who donated prizes. Thanks to Jackie, my family Jo and Wally Bumpstead, plus Laurie and Blake Colville for all their help in flitting about taking happy snaps with the camera and putting up with me. It would be remiss of me not to thank Sue Bowles, from the McGrath Foundation, for giving her support and time.
The next Jenny Cole Memorial Shoot will be held on Saturday, October 21, 2017 (Breast Cancer Month). The event is open to anyone interested in having fun while trying different disciplines. After the great feedback from this year’s get-together, next year’s will be organised along the same lines.