The SSAA Innisfail Branch in Queensland has honoured the enormous contributions made by long-time members Ian Williamson and Stan Perger with the presentation of certificates recognising the two men’s input.
Ian, the coordinating range officer, and Stan, the groundskeeper, have both been members of the Far North Queensland-based branch for more than 20 years. SSAA Innisfail President Roger Goebel paid tribute to the pair, saying they were invaluable members of the branch who did vital work that was the key to its success. “There’s more than 650 members up here, and because of the size of it the range gets used by other clubs - there’s a 500m range,” he said.
Ian’s work as head range officer at the range has been particularly helpful and he was always available to lend a hand and keep things running smoothly, Roger said, while Stan did a “phenomenal” job as groundskeeper.
“Ian will ring around to see who isn’t going away over Easter and find out who is available; he has a yearly planner so everyone knows what’s happening,” said Roger. “He does an introduction to reloading - he put his hand up and said if there’s a need there, I’m more than happy to do it.
“He’s run quite a few of those courses at a token cost - about $5 or so for the components.”
Stan said before he took on the mowing of the range, the grass growth was often uncomfortably high, seedy and even dangerous to walk through - with the occasional taipan lurking in the scrub. “Now with regular slashing the main range area is more lawn-like and looks good and the taipans seem to stay away,” he said. “A driving force for me is the pride I have in the facilities and branch generally. To come down to a neat range makes me feel good.” Roger is positive that Stan has set an example that had encouraged more members to employ the lawnmower, sprayer or chainsaw and to “keep the place looking smart”.
Ian said he enjoyed his work as range officer and liked meeting keen members, talking about firearms and helping new members and visitors. “Life at home can get quiet but at the range it is usually flat out,” he said.
Both men appreciated the certificates and badges but said they didn’t do the work to garner rewards - although in true country fashion, one larrikin asked if Roger would spring for a frame for each of the certificates.