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The chronology below of the history of the NSWRA has been compiled by compiled by Jim Richardson Cessnock Rifle Club Inc. A “BULLET - POINT” HISTORY 1860 - 2010 - 150th ANNIVERSARY.
The NSWRA Inc as we know it today has had an illustrious past. It has come through times of difficulty and danger, times of triumph and adversity.
The Association was formed in 1860. Since the formation of the association, it has seen great changes and the very fact that the Association still exists, albeit it in much smaller dimensions as far as membership numbers, affiliated clubs and District Rifle Associations, it is a testimony to the vision and enthusiasm of the founding members and shows the resilience of the organisation and the dedication of its members.
May the riflemen and women and our junior shooters continue to support this wonderful sport and ensure that the Association continues to exist for a further 150 years and beyond.
1860 - On 5th October,1860 a meeting was held at the Chamber of Commerce, Sydney and it was proposed that a rifle association of New South Wales be formed. A further meeting was held on 15th October,1860 for the appointment of office bearers and committee and rules drawn up and approved. The Hon Sir William Manning KCMG was elected President of the Committee and so the Rifle Association was formed.
1861 - First prize meeting held on ranges set up on Australian Jockey Club racecourse at Randwick.
1862 - First Inter-Colonial Match arranged between NSW and Victoria. Winner NSW 1495 Victoria 1431/2800 Second prize meeting held – again at AJC Randwick. Prizes given for “second class shots”
1863 “Small-Bore Rifle Club” formed. Circular bullseyes were changed to squares. Prizes extended to “Third Class Shots” at Annual Prize meeting.
1864 - Association’s financial resources diminish due to falling off in subscriptions and entrance money to range. To overcome, entry fees charged for all matches. Target dimensions reduced for 1864 Prize meeting.
1865 - Association solicited aid in furtherance of its objects ie: Permanence of the Volunteer Forces. With this in view the Association felt it was deserving of special support from those who desired the volunteer forces to take a high position in the Colony as it had in England.
1866 - Annual prize meeting held at Paddington Rifle Range for first time. Objections raised by country volunteers that it would give the Sydney Rifle Companies an undue advantage.
1867 - Inter-Colonial matches temporarily brought to a halt after NSW winning the match for a third time. (Trophy Shield still in NSW possession 2010).
1868 - Simultaneous (postal) matches arranged throughout the British Empire, Match A at 500/600 yards and Match B at 900/1000 yards. Both won by NSW members. The NSW Team finished a few points behind the British Team.
1869 - Paddington Range again the venue for annual prize meeting.
1870 - International Match first placed on programme – five colonists, each from England, Scotland and Ireland met in competition with like members of Australians.
1871 - At the annual prizemeeting November 1871 competitors first allowed to adopt any position beyond 200 yards where standing position was enforced. Previously they stood at 200 & 300 yards, kneeling at the remaining ranges. In small bore matches (calibre to .50”) any position was allowed, on the back (supine) generally preferred.
1872 - Annual prizemeeting held December – “Henry” rifle used in all matches open to volunteers.
1873 - Mantlets constructed at Paddington range so that position of shot on target could be indicated. The Government grant of 180 pounds ($360) was insufficient. Hon Secretary Lieutenant John Cooper installed 28 mantlets at his own expense. Sliding wind gauge bars allowed on Henry Rifles. Colonial Secretary cabled London to purchase twelve Rigby Match Rifles.
1874 - Name of the “Committee” changed to “Council” and an Executive Committee of seven members appointed. The Association was unable to pay all prizes won at annual prize meeting due to their Bankers, The Oriental Banking Corporation refusing to approve additional overdraft. Prizes later paid when funds became available.
1875 - Sir William Manning continues on as President following appointment of a Chairman of Council the following year.
1876 - Combined team from NSW & Victoria travelled to the United States to compete in the International Teams Match (Palma Match) at Creedmoor. Australia 4th behind America, Ireland and Scotland. Chairman of Council elected for first time, Lieutenant Colonel Jacques and a paid secretary employed.
1877 - 17th Prize meeting held at “Paddington Butts” in October. Squads still had to “fall in” and march to respective firing points.
1878 - International Match with Victoria again held. Victorian team used “Martini-Henry” Rifles which were considered better than the NSW “Henrys”. Compromise reached by firing the match twice – first day all using Martini-Henry rifle, the second day “Henrys”.
1879 - Whilst there has been a “Queen’s Match” since 1862 and winner awarded the NRA (England) silver medal the year 1879 saw the Queen’s become the principal event and the first winner was Sgt Sherring of Goulburn Score 174 / 210.
1880 - Skirmishing match introduced, entirely of a service nature. Queen’s again on program. NSW defeated Queensland in teams match held in Brisbane.
1881 - International Match held during annual prize meeting resulting in a win for NSW followed by Victoria and Queensland. Difference over rifles and shooting positions resolved amicably. Grand Aggregate introduced for the first time (Queens, Ladies and Members matches)
1882 - Entries in the Queens reached 178 and “double targets” used.
1883 - The Government, after repeated applications by the Council, lent the Association fifty Henry rifles, for the use of members who were not at the same time members of the Defence Forces, thus enabling many civilians to join the Association, and compete in prize meetings.
1884 - Communication by telephone (or other means ) between firing point and butts. Challenge fee – two shillings and six pence (2/6d .25c). Scoring carried out by each squad obviating the need for paid register keepers. Four colonies represented for the first time in the Inter-Colonial Teams Match – NSW, Vic, Qld and Tasmania.
1885 - The twenty Rifle Association of NSW members who embarked with the Soudan Contingent were made Honorary Members for the ensuing year. The Commanding Officer was Colonel John S Richardson the Colonial Commandant. District Unions were formed on the advice of Supervisor of Rifle Councils: Metropolitan, Hunter River, Central Western, Blue Mountain, Southern, South Coast, New England, Mudgee and Riverina.
1886 - First Australian Military Rifle Team sent to Wimbledon to compete in the Kolapore Cup. Won by the Mother Country, Australia fourth.
1887 - Paddington Range under threat of closure (used until 1889).
1888 - Centennial Year (NSW). Special prize meeting held in February and open to the whole of the British Dominions. 700 competed with more than half visitors from outside of NSW. Two thousand two hundred- and fifty-pounds prizemoney ($4500 a large sum indeed in 1888). Meeting held to form Federal Council of the Rifle Associations of Australasia.
1889 - Keating targets –made from canvas and developed by Lieutenant M J Keating NAV (four times winner of the NSW Queens Prize) used for first time. Some complaints from competitors who preferred to hear to hear their shots ring on iron targets.
1890 - Paddington Range closed following wounding of a quarryman in Centennial Park. New range under construction at Randwick. No prize meeting held in 1890
1891 - First prize meeting at Randwick with assistance of a government grant of two thousand pounds ($4000) and permitted Council to offer three thousand pounds ($6000) in prizemoney which attracted the largest entry to that time with 611 competitors.
1892 - Matches were open to competitors from the British Empire for the first time with 761 entries in the Queens Prize.
1893 - The Association suffered the loss by death of the first chairman Lieutenant Colonel Jacques. Banking crash of 1893 also adversely affected the Association’s operations. “Reserve Rifle Companies” were disbanded by the Government. Price of ammunition increased to twelve shillings (12/- $1.20) per 100 rounds.
1894 - Financial depression continued. Thirty-nine clubs were affiliated with the Association. Prize list reduced to seven hundred pounds ($1400) Team members in Inter-Colonial Match must be “Sworn in” members of their club.
1895 - Death of Sir William Manning KCMG, Foundation member and first president. Improvements in ammunition (.577/.450) First one hundred men in Queens Aggregate averaged 348.84 against 316.6 in 1894. The HPS was 450
1896 - Prizemoney at Annual Meeting increased to 2647 pounds ($5294). Competitors still paid for sighting shots at sixpence (.05c) per shot and 345/5/- ($690.50) was received. By resolution the name of the Association was changed to “The National Rifle Association of New South Wales”. The first definite decision was made that riflemen were no longer obliged to wear uniform when practising or taking part in competition.
1897 - An unhappy year for the Association. Lack of implementation of decision to send Australian Rifle team to Bisley resulted in NSW withdrawing from the Federal Council.
1898 - Severe criticism from the President Major General French claiming insufficient attention being given to service shooting and as a result a separate Defence Force Rifle Association was formed. NRA of NSW activities came under some restriction by Government.
1899 - Association continued to suffer from the attacks of 1897/1898. Entries declined due to the inadequacy of only 150 loan rifles from the Defence Department. Rifles used in the annual prizemeeting the Martini Henry and the Lee Enfield, the Martini Henry users’ being allowed a handicap of one point at 600 & 700 yards, two points at 800 yards and 3 points at 900 yards with no score to exceed the possible at any range. NRA of NSW accepted invitation to rejoin the Federal Council.
1900 – Fortieth anniversary of formation. Death of Commander Keating – four times winner of the Queens Prize. Tramway extension to Randwick Rifle Range was completed. Association using the School of Musketry building during annual prize meeting.
1901 - The Australian Colonies federated into The Commonwealth of Australia on the first day of the Twentieth Century 1st January,1901 with a grand ceremony in Centennial Park Sydney. A special “Commonwealth Prizemeeting” was held in January at Randwick Rifle Range. Her Majesty Queen Victoria died 22nd January,1901.
1902 - Previous strained relations with the Defence Department disappeared with the appointment of
Brigadier General Harry Finn as president. Service matches returned to the programme. NSW was not represented in the Australian Team to Bisley. Australia won the Kolapore Cup.
1903 - Teams match between NRA of NSW and visiting Japanese Naval Squadron fired at Randwick with NSW being victorious. NSW was represented in Australian Rifle Team to Bisley, Australia again won the Kolapore. Rifle Clubs across the Nation came under the Defence Act 1903 and its Regulations.
1904 - After a lapse of ten years use of sliding wind gauge sights permitted on Lee-Enfield and Lee- Metford rifles.
1905 - NRA of NSW became the “State Rifle Association” as per Military Regulations with the District Commandant being president ex-officio and representatives from the naval and military forces taking places on the Council. Constitutions were amended to reflect this change. District Rifle Clubs Unions’ came under NRA of NSW control.
1906 - “B” Series matches having been successful since 1897 Council decided to introduce “C” Series. District Union Grade Matches handed over to the Metropolitan District Rifle Clubs Union and matches against Newcastle (Hunter River DRCU) and Katoomba (Blue Mountains DRCU) held at Randwick.
1907- Prosperous year for the association. NSW represented in the Australian Team to Bisley. Team tied with England for Kolapore and counted out to second place. Visits to Sydney by Great Britain Rifle team and New Zealand Rifle Team. “Empire” Match fired at Randwick Australia 2104, New Zealand 2056 and Great Britain 2053.
1908 - Redistribution of clubs into thirteen district unions instead of four. Visiting Atlantic fleet of US Navy fired a match with NRA of NSW – USN Team used the 1903 Springfield rifle with NSW using the Magazine Lee Enfield. USN 1884 NSW 1775.
1909 - Jubilee year and due to the numbers putting pressure on Randwick Range the State Government agreed to hand over the Long Bay Rifle Range but not in time for the annual prize meeting.
1910 - Aperture sights approved, must be self contained and fold alongside body of rifle when not in use. NSW accepted invitation from NRA New Zealand to visit. Teams match resulted NZ 2043 NSW 1932 and fired over 200,500,600,800,900 and 1000 yards. Commonwealth Match fired Melbourne NSW 5th after Tasmania, South Aust.,Victoria and Western Australia. Australian Team 3rd after England and Canada at Bisley. 92 affiliated clubs up from 77 in 1909.
1911 - NSW State Team won the Commonwealth Match in Western Australia and also the Northcote, the latter for the fourth time in succession. Director of Rifle Clubs announced that 50% of government grant must be allotted to service matches and match entry fees limited to one shilling and sixpence (1/6d 0.15c) Government grant was 1911 pounds 12 shillings (1911/12/- $3823.20). A deputation was successful in having the matter deferred for one year. 768 entries in the Kings.
1912 - Kings Aggregate entries 821 was more than the range (Randwick) could accommodate. Boundaries of the NSW Military District resulting in the whole of the Richmond Tweed District Union being transferred to No. 1 Military District Queensland and the Barrier DRCU (Broken Hill) to No.3 Military District South Australia.
1913 - Australian Rifle Team to Bisley won the Mackinnon, 3rd in Empire Match and 2nd in the Kolapore. NSW won the Commonwealth Match in Brisbane. It is interesting to note that as at 31st December, 1913 the strength of the Australian Army had risen from 19880 in 1904 to 48383. In addition, 1133 rifle clubs throughout Australia had a membership of 47500. The clubs were encouraged by the issue of government rifles on loan and 230 rounds of ammunition for each club member annually. Some 8044 schools were training a total of 55850 junior cadets – source “Army Australia’” An Illustrated History – George Odgers 1988 edition.
1914 - NRA of NSW annual prize meeting was cancelled due to the outbreak of war in Europe. Earlier in 1914 the Australian Team had gone to Bisley and won both the Kolapore and Mackinnon. The NRA of NSW provided instructors to the Military authorities for duty at Long Bay Rifle Range.
1914 – 1918 - Rifle clubs remained active during the war years, new clubs formed in city and country – in 1915 membership soared from approximately 18000 to 34000 in NSW alone. Enlistments from Australian Rifle Clubs during the great War totalled 26,178 with 6486 from New South Wales Clubs.
1917 - NRA of NSW sent 150 men to “the front” as reinforcements. General Holmes, a council member since 1901 was killed in France. New rifle range constructed at Liverpool with 110 targets and railway to the gates!
1918 - A & B blocks closed at Randwick leaving only 56 targets, quite inadequate for NRA purposes. The Great War ended on 11th November,1918.
1919- Normal association activities resumed. A team selected from the Australian Imperial Force competed at Bisley – second in the Kolapore, Mackinnon and Empire matches to England and Great Britain. Commandant was NRA of NSW Council member Lieutenant Colonel R H Beardsmore DSO VD. Council inspected “Anzac Rifle Range” Liverpool and listed alterations and additions to enable annual prizemeetings to be held there. Last meeting held at Randwick.
1920 A very difficult time for rifle clubs – Army Headquarters openly declared rifle clubs of no military value and proposed abolition. The move was eventually defeated and the movement transferred to the Civilian Branch of Defence. First annual prizemeeting held at Anzac Rifle Range, Liverpool in primitive conditions. Record entry and Kings was won by J E Face of Wunderlich Rifle Club with a score of 327/355. Teams from Britain and New Zealand visited Australia and Empire Match held in Melbourne was won by Australia.
1921 - Complete changeover of rifle clubs to Civilian Branch of Defence Department. 1331 entries in second annual prize meeting at Anzac Rifle Range, Liverpool. Some grass on range, 700 yards aiming mark reviewed and increased. NRA of NSW hosted Commonwealth Matches – won by Victoria with NSW second.
1922 - Dedication ceremony held at Anzac Range – McAlister Avenue dedicated to the memory of Dave McAlister 1913 Kings winner who was killed in action in France and to all the Fallen Riflemen in the 1914-1918 War who were members of NSW Rifle Clubs. Memorial plaques were placed along each side of the Avenue – 125 plaques bearing 599 names.
1923 - NSW Councillors increased visits to country areas. Ammunition price reduced to sixpence per packet (6d 0.05c) .303 Mk VI. NSW won Commonwealth Match and the Northcote at Williamstown Victoria.
1924 - Enquiry on matter of possible “telescopic effect” resulting from a glass in the aperture backsight. Working model produced showed the effect. Glass in rearsight not permitted. Australia won the Empire Match at Bisley with a record score, second in the Mackinnon. NSW Team won the Commonwealth Match in Hobart Tasmania, also the Gordon Highlanders and the Northcote. The use of Randwick Rifle Range having been long withdrawn, the Clubs using Long Bay Range found it most exposed, inhospitable and rough with insufficient conveniences. Many clubs eventually transferred to Liverpool.
1925 - Special train arranged by Defence Department to transport riflemen to Anzac Range, clubs erecting small club huts and others planning them. Regulation made previous year banning glass in rear aperture amended to permit “one glass” only to be used either in aperture or spectacles but not both. NSW won Commonwealth Match in Brisbane 2nd in Northcote.
1926 - Code system adopted for phone messages from firing point to target gallery. Flagging improvements made and cost sharing arrangement entered into with Metropolitan DRCU. 384 entries in the Kings. NSW won the Northcote and Gordon Highlanders in Adelaide, 4th in the Commonwealth Match.
1927 - Teams from NSW and Victoria travelled to Trentham New Zealand. Mk VII ammunition used in NZ was not compatible with our rifles (Long Magazine Lee Enfield). Commonwealth Match won by NSW at Liverpool.
1928 - Australian Team to Bisley – 1st in the Mackinnon, 2nd Empire and 3rd Kolapore. There were 281 NSW rifle clubs with membership 11650
1929 - Retirement of E J Brown OBE Chairman of Council 1904 – 1929. This year marked the commencement of the great Depression with very severe economic conditions and financial problems causing great increase in unemployment. Government funding for rifle clubs greatly reduced.
1930 - Rifle club organisations placed under control of a Military Board and functioned generally as reserves to the Citizens Military Forces. Service shooting and “tiles” matches restored to all state rifle associations and Dsitrict Union meetings, entry fee not to exceed two shillings and six pence ( 2/6d 0.25c) per man – entry compulsory.
1931 - Uniformity of types of targets in both military forces and rifle clubs resulted in adoption of “tin-hat” aiming mark at 300 yards and full circular aiming mark at 500 & 600 yards.
1932 - Short Magazine Lee Enfield MkIII (SMLE) .303 inch with HV heavy barrel made available by Defence Department – price four pounds (4/0/0 $8.00) or on termsfour pounds fifteen shillings ( 4/15/- $9.50)
1933 - .303 inch Mk VII ammunition made available by Defence Department from 1st July, 1933. New Zealand Team competed at annual prizemeeting. Entries improved but no Commonwealth teams due to continuing financial depression. Bullseye at 500/600 yards reduced to sixteen inches. Use of SMLE rifle for first time at annual championships.
1934 - It was noted that higher scores at annual prize meeting were due to improvement in arms and ammunition.
1935 - Controversy continued regarding use of “double-arm” sling and the “Converted” rifle namely the Long Lee Enfield shortened.
1936 - Single arm sling mad compulsory and converted rifle approved until 1st July, 1937. Reduction in ammunition supplies caused concerns.
1937 - NSW won the Commonwealth Match and Gordon Highlanders in Adelaide. Australian Team at Bisley won the Empire Match.
1938 - Australia’s (NSW) Sesqui-Centenary 1788-1938. Prize meeting held Anzac Rifle Range, Liverpool February,1938 to celebrate the occasion. 1265 entries in “The Kings”. Empire Match won by Great Britain from Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. NSW won the Commonwealth Match in Melbourne (16th win). 1938 NRA of NSW annual prize meeting held October,1938. “Jamieson House” officially opened at Liverpool.
1939 - Outbreak of war in Europe brought about cancellation of annual prize meeting set for October.NRA of NSW offers to add machine gun practice and train troops in rifle shooting. Offer turned down by military authorities.
1940 Military occupation of all association and club buildings at Anzac Range, Liverpool from midnight of 10th February,1940.
1941 - Orders issued that all rifles whether privately owned or not were to be handed in to the authorities immediately. This was followed by the demand that rifle club activities must cease temporarily, and rifle ranges were closed. These actions proved to be the greatest blow that the rifle clubs had received.
1942 – 1946 - Rifle Club movement in recess. Some clubs formed “Miniature Rifle Clubs” - .22 rimfire for the duration. VAD and VDC units gave useful service. Many thousands from the Australian Rifle Clubs enlisted in the services. It is not possible to arrive at an exact figure but it is believed somewhere between 33000 and 38000.
1947 - REACTIVATION! The Department of Defence allowed for 244 clubs and 10000 members in NSW – the number of clubs increased to 268. Delays in restoration of Anzac Range and acute shortages of rifles, sights and equipment led to a very slow start. Name of the Commonwealth Council changed to “Australian Council of State Rifle Associations (ACSRA)
1948 - First post-war prize meeting held October,1948. Jamieson Aggregate won by James Sweet Gosford and the Kings won by Colin Campbell Mudgee Rifle Club. NSW won the Merrett (Commonwealth) Match in Brisbane Queensland. Australian Team at Bisley – NSW members were Leo Dove, Claude Platt and Neville Holt. Charlie O’Neill was one of the coaches. Australia won the Mackinnon and Empire matches and were third in the Kolapore behind England and Canada. Percy Pavey, Victoria won the 1948 Bisley Kings Prize. Bronze memorial plaques to CPL J H Edmondson VC – Liverpool-Cabra Vale Rifle Club and Pilot Officer R H Middleton VC RAAF - Rocky Dam Rifle Club unveiled at Jamieson House Liverpool.
1949 - First NSW Goodwill Team to New Zealand. Stan Kanaar, Parramatta Rifle Club won the NZ Kings Prize. Commonwealth Matches held Hobart Tasmania NSW won the Merrett & Northcote. 1950 Association’s 90th Anniversary. Contribution for “Food for Britain” continued until 30th June, 1950 – 707 food parcels dispatched to clubs in England and Scotland by NRA of NSW alone. Commonwealth Teams held in Sydney with an official team from New Zealand competing in the Northcote and Gordon Highlanders. Formation of rifle clubs and increase in members continued.
1951 - Annual prize meeting held October – Kings won by H G James Parramatta Rifle Club. Commonwealth Teams held in Perth WA with NSW second in the Merrett.
1952 - Appointment of Mr E H Cornish as Secretary. P A Pavey, Victoria won the Queens, Jamieson and Grand Aggregates. Commonwealth Teams Matches held Adelaide with NSW again second in the Merrett, won the Gordon Highlanders. NSW placed five shots on the wrong target in the Northcote and were penalised 25 points.
1953 - Metropolitan District Rifle Clubs Union (MDRCU) publication, “The Marksman” after five years of issue came under joint NRA of NSW & MDRCU control. Queens won by K F Lee, Mosman Neutral Bay Rifle Club after a three way tie shoot-off with C E Woollett and W L Hogarth. Erection of a new concert hall at Anzac range under the superintendence of G O Dehn and a band of volunteers. Australian Team to Bisley – NSW members were D F Shepherd Coach, R R Clarke, N W Irving and N S Holt.. Australia won the Kolapore Cup.
1954 Memorial Gates at entrance to Anzac Rifle Range, Liverpool opened and dedicated, commemorating the Fallen of the two World Wars and the Campaign in Korea. It was believed to be the first Australian memorial dedicated to the Korean War ( 1950 -1953). J R Feltham, Goulburn NSW won the “grand slam”, Queens, Jamieson and Grand Aggregates. NSW was unsuccessful in the 1954/55 Commonwealth Teams in Hobart.
1955 - NSW won the Merrett and Gordon Highlanders held Enoggera Qld. Devastating floods in eastern NSW early in the year. 264 open range rifle clubs in NSW with membership of 11440. 182 rifle ranges in use.
1956 - Australian Rifle Team to Bisley. NSW representatives were Lieutenant Colonel R O Wynne DSO & Bar, Commandant, R R Clarke Coach and shooting members G A Dehn, Leo Dove and Ken Lee. The team was second in the Mackinnon, 3rd in Kolapore and 4th in the Empire Match. Olympic Games, Melbourne, Victoria. Peter Wrigley, NSW and Norrie Goff, Victoria represented Australia in 300 metres free rifle.
1957 - NSW Clubs compete for the first time in British Commonwealth Rifle Club (BCRC) Postal Match. Retirement of Lieutenant Colonel R O Wynne DSO & Bar as Chairman. Stan Kanaar elected as Chairman of the Council with G O Dehn as Deputy Chairman. 16 District Unions, 261 clubs with 11345 members. The adoption of the FN .30 Rifle (SLR 7.62mm) by Britain and Australia had far reaching future affects to the rifle club movement throughout the British Commonwealth.
1958 - Great Britain Rifle Team visited New Zealand and Australia. Empire Match won by Australia at Williamstown Vic. NSW team members were Leo Dove, Alex E James and Noel Irving. John C Holt and Don Tolhurst were Australian representatives at the World Shooting Championships in Moscow USSR.
1959 - Service match conditions changed for annual championships changed to “Trainfire” practices over 300, 200 and 100 yards. Federal Government decisions announced the withdrawal of financial assistance, reduction of ammunition issues over a five-year term. A five-year plan commencing 1st July,1960 was implemented to make the rifle club movement self-supporting by end of term.
1960 - The Association’s Centenary year! Membership on 31st May,1960 stood at 12948 in 256 effective clubs. Special “Anzac Range Train” ceased running after 37 years. Introduction of No.4 Lee Enfield and Pattern 14 Enfield rifles approved for use. 696 competitors in the Queens Aggregate which was won by Jim Kirkwood of Rockdale Rifle Club using a No.4 rifle – score 343/355 and a clear win by four points.
1961 Second year of NRA of NSW being responsible for administration of rifle clubs. 612 competitors in Queen’s Prize with “Final Thirty” competing in last match separately from other competitors and televised. Winner A D (Don) Watson Randwick Rifle Club. NSW State Team won the Merrett at Enoggera Qld.
1962 - NSW Goodwill Team to Canterbury NZ with Jim McIntosh as Captain. Introduction of “A’, ‘B’ and “C” Uniform Grading System. New “Tyro” qualifications came into being. Identification membership/grading card introduced. NSW won the Merrett in Perth WA
1963 - Dissolution of partnership between joint owners of “The Marksman” - NRA of NSW and Metropolitan DRCU resulting in ownership and control to NRA of NSW. Commonwealth matches held in NSW resulted in Merrett win for Queensland, three points ahead of NSW.
1964 - Australian Rifle team to Bisley. Major General Sir Denzil MacArthur-Onslow CBE DSO ED appointed President of NRA of NSW. Debate on metric (decimal) targets commenced. All targets now black and white. Annual prizemeeting saw 750 competitors in Jamieson Aggregate and 970 in the Queens – won by Noel Irving Rockdale Rifle Club 333/355 in very difficult conditions.
1965 - End of Department of Army “5 year plan” with NRA of NSW now “standing on its own feet”. Notice from Army that Anzac Rifle Range, Liverpool would be closed to all shooting 31st December,1967. Planning commenced immediately to transfer rifle clubs to Long Bay Rifle Range Malabar NSW from January,1968.
1966 - Members at the 1966 annual general meeting were given details of progress in the development of facilities at Long Bay Rifle Range to receive the transfer of Anzac Range Clubs in January,1968. There was much interest and discussion on pricing and eventual changeover to 7.62mm Nato ammunition and rifles. Entries in annual championships were 484 in Jamieson Aggregate and 937 in the Queens Prize (479 A Grade, 285 B Grade and 173 C Grade). NSW won the Merrett, Gordon Highlanders and the Sweet Aggregate at the Commonwealth Matches at Pontville Tasmania.
1967 - VALE ANZAC RANGE – Final NRA of NSW Meeting at Anzac Rifle Range, Liverpool. 768 enties in the Colonel Wynne Aggregate and 1260 entries in the Queens prize plus 44 in first stage only, total entries 1340. Commonwealth teams preceded the meeting with NSW fittingly winning the Merrett and Dewar Aggregates and the Sweet Aggregate. The final Anzac Queens was won by Fred Duncan of Rutherglen Vic (1962 NSW Queens winner) after a tie shoot with Jack Carman Goulburn NSW (1966 NSW Queens winner) Shoot off 24/23 So after a very “Spartan” start in 1920 the NRA of NSW’s residency at Liverpool came to end after 47 years and possibly the best rifle range in the Southern Hemisphere and certainly the best in Australasia closed at the end of 1967.
1968 - Name change from National Rifle Association of New South Wales to New South Wales Rifle Association (NSWRA) became effective 1st January,1968 to conform with the future name change of the Australian Council of State Rifle Associations (ACSRA) to National Rifle Association (NRAA). District Rifle Club Unions eventuallybecame District Rifle Associations. NSWRA and its affiliated clubs formerly domiciled at Anzac Rifle Range Liverpool transferred to Long Bay Rifle Range some 25 miles to the east on an exposed coastal headland. The Association moved into the new “Jamieson House’ an impressive edifice and the clubs into their respective “motel” type units. New Jamieson House officially opened on 15th June, 1968 by Association president, Major General Sir Denzil MacArthur-Onslow CBE DSO ED. Annual prize meeting re-named Annual Open Championships. 1968 championships at Malabar attracted 353 entries in the Colonel Wynne Aggregate and 743 in the Queens. NSW Ladies Sate Teams introduced with Medlands trophy competed for in Victoria.
1969 - Introduction of 7.62mm target rifles from 1st July,1969. Both .303” and 7.62mm rifles permitted in NSW Open Championships this year. 276 entries in Colonel Wynne and 598 in the Queens. Commonwealth Teams matches in Perth WA – last competition with .303” Lee Enfield rifles. NSW 2nd in the Merrett 1880 one point behind Victoria 1881.
1970 - Grand Aggregate title commemorated the “Captain Cook Bi-Centenary” 1770-1970. 623 entries in the Queens. Shoot for honour series introduced – shoot for trophies only. Announcement made “It has been decided, that the name “ANZAC” should be perpetuated and that its close association with rifle club shooting should be preserved, and it is proposed that, with effect from 25th April,1970, the Long Bay Rifle Range at Malabar be re-named ANZAC Rifle Range.” M F Brogan, C.B., C.B.E., Major-General, General Officer Commanding, Eastern Command.
1971 - Review of targets with reduction of scoring with reduction in scoring dimensions due to high scoring with the 7.62mm rifles. Alternate targets approved by NRA of Australia March, 1971. Preparations for a “National Queen’s Prize” by NRAA in Canberra ACT. NSW Championships held with 694 entries in the Queens. Gale force winds damaged over 100 targets. Official NSW State Team departed for New Zealand December,1971.
1972 - NSW State Team successful in New Zealand. After bad weather in 1971 Council changed the date for the Annual Open Championship to January with the next meeting scheduled for January,1973. First National Championships (NRAA) held McIntosh Rifle Range, Canberra ACT. Empire Match held Melbourne with Australia taking the honours 1529, New Zealand 1514 and Canada 1491. Death of Council Chairman Lieutenant Colonel Ernest A Green RL.
1973 - New (reduced) target dimensions came into official use 1st July,1973 (approved Nov.,1972) Annual open championships held January not without some competitors suffering from heat exhaustion. Central bullseyes having been used for many years to count out match scores now used for aggregates including the Queens. N S Holt elected Chairman of Council.
1974 - Great Britain Rifle Team visited NSW. John Killian of the GB Team won NSW Queens Prize. Caravan Park completed and well received by shooters.
1975 - NSWRA conducts its 100th Championships with teams from Canada and Papua-New Guinea taking part. Jack Percival, Wondai Rifle Club won the Queens 346.23/355. Pan Pacific Teams Match won by Australia.
1976 - Two days of heavy rain damaged 50 targets at Open Championships. Queens won by B F Doohan, Lithgow Small Arms Rifle Club 340.31/355. Australian Team won the Empire Match at Trentham NZ. Australian Team at Bisley won Empire, Kolapore and Mackinnon Teams matches. G W Berman elected Chairman of Council. Mrs Jean Brain who had been Assistant to the Secretary since the move from Liverpool to Malabar appointed Secretary. Mrs Joy Golinski appointed Assistant to the Secretary.
1977 - BF (Bernie) Doohan won the Queen’s for the second year in succession ( the last time this occurred was 1901-1902 J T Lake South Australia). Very hot January weather conditions affected many competitors. NSW State Team won six of the eight teams matches at Anzac Rifle Range. NRAA approves Under 25 Years State Teams competition rules.
1978 - Memorial gates originally dedicated in 1954 at Anzac Rifle Range, Liverpool relocated to Anzac Rifle Range, Malabar. After completion of the “lead-up” MacArthur-Onslow Aggregate the Queen’s was abandoned due to very severe overnight storm in January. Queens Aggregate fired in May 1978 with 408 competitors. Australian team to Bisley accompanied by a NSW Goodwill Team captained by N S Holt. Memorial gates rededicated 4th May, 1978.
1979 - Annual Championships moved to May following January,1978 bad weather. Narrabri Rifle Club member Miss Helen M Griffiths won the Queensland Rifle Association’s Queen’s Prize at Belmont Qld. NSW State Team won the Merrett at Dean Range Adelaide SA. NSW Ladies Team won in Western Australia. The inaugural Under 25 Sate Teams matches held Perth WA. J S Richardson elected Chairman of Council.
1980 - First Australian Champion of Champions held Canberra and won by Stan Golinski NSW. Official NSW State Team to Bisley competed in the Kolapore (3rd) Mackinnon (3rd) and The Overseas Match (1st) G M Ayling 3rd in Bisley Queens, Bruce Corven 4th .. Geoff Ayling also won the Inaugural Royal Kalternberg World Target Rifle Championship at Bisley. NSW Ladies Team won in Brisbane.
1981 - NSW State Team to Mackay North Queensland for the first time – 2nd in the Merrett, 1st Northcote, Dewer, MacArthur-Onslow and Sweet Grand Aggregate. U/25 Team won the WA Match (Merrett), and the Tasmania Match. G M Ayling won the Queen Prize at Bisley UK.
1982 - NSW won the Merrett in Victoria in March and was second in Tasmania in December but won the
service matches. New safety rule introduced nationally – bolts removed from rifle for thorough examination that firearms is unloaded. Commonwealth Games held Brisbane – Australia won the Teams Medal. G W Berman, Reg Rowlands and Stan Golinski represented Australia in the ISU 300 metres World Championship in Caracas Venezuela. 1983 ISU 300 metres included in annual open championships. Trialling of “decimal” targets. NRAA approved NSWRA to host the 1988 Bi-Centenary Championships in Sydney. Dr John C Holt B.Vs.,elected Chairman.
1984 - “Any-sight” competition introduced in “lead-up” MacArthur-Onslow Aggregate. Four-way international teams match between Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia held January 28th at Anzac Rifle Range together with U/25 Teams from New Zealand, NSW and GPS Schools. Empire Match fired Brisbane in February. Further amendment to Standard Shooting Rules – Rifle bolts out always except on the firing point or trigger weight testing. NSWRA State Team won Merrett, Northcote, White, McGowan, Dewar and Sweet Aggregates in Brisbane.
1985 - NSW Team to Western Australia – won Merrett, Northcote, Dewar and Sweet Teams Aggregates. U/25 NSW Team won Tasmanian, Penwarn and Rush trophies. Junior shooter Miss Barbara Schwebel won the WARA Grand Championship. Australian Rifle Team to Bisley won the Kolapore with a then record score and were bronze medallists in the Palma International Teams Match after USA and Great Britain. 1986 NSW State Team visited New Zealand. Accredited coaching courses introduced by NRAA. Stan Golinski, Parramatta Rifle Club won Gold, Silver and Match medals at Commonwealth Games Edinburgh Scotland. In August the Australian Government sent shock waves throughout the rifle shooting movement when it announced that Anzac Rifle Range, Malabar and Merrett Rifle Range, Williamstown Vic were to be closed and sold off. NSWRA led by Chairman Dr John Holt immediately sprung into action to oppose the decision.
1987 - NSWRA Ladies State Team to New Zealand. Australian Rifle Team to Canada – Stan Golinski won the Governor General’s Prize (equivalent to our Queen’s) with score of 401/410 a record score. Australian veterans’ teams competition (over 60 years) formation and rules set down at a meeting held during the VRA meeting in Melbourne. NSWRA became an “incorporated” body.
1988 - Australia’s Bi-Centenary year (1788-1988). Over 900 competitors from around the world took part in the Championships held at Anzac Rifle Range, Malabar. The Queen’s prize was won by John Dobson New Zealand with a score of 472.40 and he received the No.1 Badge, the Bi-Centenary trophy and prizemoney of $25000. NSW won the Merrett, Northcote, Dewar and Sweets Matches with the U/25 team winning four of their six matches. The Australian Team won the Palma International teams Match. NSWRA was granted an injunction against the Commonwealth Government to stop the sale of Anzac Rifle Range.
1989 - NSW won the Merrett Teams in Canberra ACT. U/25 team also successful. Affiliated rifle clubs and district rifle associations encouraged to avail of “incorporation” under the Associations’ Incorporation Act 1984. Investigations commenced to establish a new range at Holsworthy NSW. Several meetings were held in conjunction with NRAA with the Australian Government’s planned repeal of the Australian Rifle Club Regulations. Retirement of Mrs Jean Brain, Joy Golinski appointed Executive Director.
1990 - NSWRA had four representatives at World Shooting Championships in Moscow – Ian Griffiths, Stan Golinski, David Hollister and Maris Taylor. Research commenced into 5.56mm (.223”) ammunition. Further meetings were held with the Australian Government regarding the future of Anzac Rifle Range. The Government had “won” the court case and were in a position to give notice to quit. Possibility of move to the Menai area with Government assistance.
1991 - Handloading of ammunition approval came into effect. Veterans Teams Matches held at Anzac Range for the first time. NRAA and others investigating “electronic targets”. NSWRA Inc received “Notice to Quit” Anzac Range from Australian Government effective 23rd August,1993. Approval of rules for rimfire class and field class target shooting.
1992 - Ongoing legal action NSWRA Inc v’s Commonwealth over Anzac Rifle Range. Threat of repeal of the Australian Rifle Club Regulations. Much advice and opinion on handloading of ammunition. 5.56mm adopted as second calibre for target rifle competition.
1993 - Planning team formed with a view to establishing a shooting range complex at Holsworthy NSW. U/25 years State Team Training Squad formed to enhance performance. NSW Ladies State Team won the Medlands Trophy in Kalgoorlie WA. Sydney chosen as host city for the Year 2000 Olympic Games.
1994 - 150th Anniversary of the formation of Sydney Rifle Club (1842) celebrated. Sydney Rifle Club was the first civilian rifle club in Australia. Maximum weight of rifles increased from 4.5kg to 5.0kg. Judgement handed down on 22nd July,1994 by NSW Supreme Court confirmed Commonwealth’s right to close Anzac Rifle Range.
1995 - Match Rifle Championships held Ungarie Rifle Range NSW. Australian Team 4th in Palma Teams Match held in New Zealand. Great Britain Lions Rifle team visited NSW for 1995 Annual Championships Team Captain John Killian.
1996 - NSWRA Inc files affidavits in reply to the Commonwealth’s recent attempt to resume Anzac Range. NRAA issues two trial issues of national magazine “The Australian Target Rifle”. Accreditation of range officers and butts officers commence ahead of government legislation requiring same. Sweeping changes to Australia’s gun laws following Tasmanian tragedy. Second Australian Service Rifle Championships held Anzac Rifle Range. Australian Target Rifle magazine published 1996.
1997 - Australian Rifle Club Regulations pursuant to the Defence Act repealed by Australian Government. All rifle clubs brought under their respective state/territory firearms laws. Final issue of “The Marksman” published February, 1997. NSWRA Inc launched “internet site”
1998 - Introduction of .155 grain projectiles for 7.62mm/.308” target rifles. Australian Government approved $9M to finance new world class shooting complex at Holsworthy NSW (proposed site later disallowed by Defence Department). NSW State Team 2nd in the Merrett in South Australia, won the other three matches and the Sweet Aggregate. Trial grading for Field & Rimfire Class. 1000 yards Benchrest introduced as a new discipline.
1999 - NSW Government develops Olympic Shooting Centre at Cecil Park (full-bore – service shooting disciplines not catered for). Serious disagreements with NRAA led NSWRA Inc to introduce two tiers of membership – full member including NRAA and “State only” member. NSWRA membership in 1998 was 2750 and in 1999 1031 availed of full membership. Death of Chairman John Roberts. Retirement of Mrs Joy Golinski after ten years dedicated service as Executive Director and 23 years service overall.
THE NEW MILLENIUM
2000 - NSWRA State Team to Bisley under Captaincy of new Chairman John Fitzgerald to celebrate NRA of Great Britain’s “Millennium” Meeting. NRAA approved of “eagle eye” lens in front sights. F Class (Free Class) competitions getting off the ground (as distinct from Field & Rimfire Class). Visit by Scottish Team to NSWRA’s 124th Championships. Scotland “Saltine” beat NSWRA by one point. Much debate ensued about further changes to target dimensions.
2001 - The commencement of the 21st Century! NRAA introduced as an interim measure “inside the line” marking pending revision of target dimensions.
2002 - Introduction by NRAA of new target dimensions from 1st July,2002 following successful trial of “inside the line” marking. New NRAA constitution implemented – National association now managed by a board of five members from the states and territories. Centennial of SMLE Rifle .303” celebrated by Military Rifle Association at Anzac Rifle Range Malabar. NSW Match Rifle Association Inc formed within the NSWRA Inc – the ranges for competition are 1000, 1100 and 1200 yards. Mrs Barbara Bell appointed Executive Director.
2003 - NSWRA hosted the Ladies State Teams Matches. NSW State Government eager to have NSWRA removed from Anzac Rifle Range and Commonwealth Government advised that it was unable to commit land at Holsworthy. Major power supply upgrade to caravan park carried out. 2003 Open Championships 149 in McIntosh Aggregate and 232 in Queens.
2004 - NSWRA hosted the National Teams Championships – Merrett won by NSW 1981.229 from South Australia 1980.222 NSW also won the Ferg Beattie Match and the Soldier Marksman Aggregate. Ken Cooke appointed Administrative Officer for NSWRA.
2005 - NSWRA Inc Executive continued to negotiate with Australian Government as to re-location with Holsworthy Area being unavailable due to military installations and occupancy restrictions as to civilian activities. NSWRA participated in “Shot Expo” arranged by Sporting Shooters Association (SSAA). U/25 Development squad formed. Mark Buchanan, Roseville Rifle Club equals Lieutenant Keating’s four Queens wins. Keating 1880,1883,1888,1896 Buchanan 1987, 1998, 2003, 2005, 2006 Full review of NSWRA Constitution dispensing with all reference to former Australian Rifle Club Regulations, reduction of council from 14 to 9 members and review of electoral boundaries was approved at the Annual general meeting. The Annual general Meeting also approved that all members of NSWRA return to NRAA membership – a landmark decision with benefits to all. Membership 2347. Individual councillorsallocated specific portfolio responsibilities.
2007 - Official NSW State team to Bisley under captaincy of John Fitzgerald. Team visited Blair Atholl, Scotland to compete against the Scottish team on their home ground. This resulted in a win for NSW. The team also won all but three of the teams matches at Bisley and all of the Junior Teams Matches at the Imperial Meeting. Team member Lt Col Angus Bell had an outstanding result winning 3rd Badge in Her Majesty’s The Queens Prize. Other badge winners were Ken Cooke 14th, Tony McGuigan 28th Barbara Bell 33rd Karen Berman 46th and Ron Whalen 68th. Team members featured prominently throughout the prize lists. Australian Government agreed to long term lease arrangement for NSWRA to remain at Anzac Rifle Range. Later in the year the Coalition Government defeated at the general election and previous decision negated by new government. Membership 2341. Disunity between service rifle clubs leads NSWRA Council withdrawing approval for Annual Service Queens Prize. Oceania Games held Sydney- Barbara Bell Gold Medal winner in fullbore rifle. U/25 State Team had an outstanding win in Canberra ACT. Ladies State Team won the Medlands Trophy in South Australia.
2008 - Death of Neville Holt 6th February,2008 aged 95 years, Past Chairman and Past President of NSWRA. Membership 2510. Again, much discussion, not only in NSW on target dimensions.
2009 - NSWRA hosted the Veterans Teams Matches. First F Class State Team competed in Bendigo Victoria. NSW Ladies State team wins in Victoria. Death of Walter (Tim) Lord, Spring Ridge Rifle Club, President of the NSWRA 1992-2008. Tim was greatly respected by all. U/25 Sate Team were winners at Belmont Queensland. NSW State Team won the Bruce White, Denzil MacArthur-Onslow and Neville Holt Matches in Queensland.
2010 NSWRA SESQUICENTENARY YEAR 1860-2010 - New ICFRA (International Confederation of Full Bore Rifle Associations) target dimensions came into use on 1st
January,2010. Two states do not adopt. National Teams Championships held Darwin, Northern Territory resulted in NSW winning the Merrett Trophy and Sweet Aggregate. Angus Bell and David Wright competed in the VIII Commonwealth Shooting Federation Championships in 300 metre ISSF on the new Kardarpur Range, New Delhi, India in preparation for the October, 2010 Commonwealth Games. Australian and U/25 Australian Teams to Bisley to commemorate NRA GB 150th Anniversary. Celebratory 150th Anniversary Championships scheduled for 11th – 19th September at Anzac Rifle Range, Malabar. The Scottish Rifle team is visiting at this time and NSWRA will also host the Ladies State Teams Matches. NSWRA membership has been static at average 2500 over the past 25 years. There are 96 affiliated clubs and 16 District Rifle Associations. There are nine shooting disciplines under NSWRA husbandry ranging from Fullbore Rifle, F Class Standard, F Class Open, Service Rifle, Field and Rimfire Class, Optical Class, 1000 Yards Benchrest, 300 metres ISSF and Black Powder. Sesquicentenary Championships 11th to 19th September, 2010 at ANZAC RIFLE RANGE MALABAR. To celebrate the 150th Anniversary the NSWRA the NSWRA were joined by visting members of the Scottish Rifle Team and John Killian from GB.
SEQUESCENTENARY TEAMS - The invitation teams match was held in fine balmy spring weather with the NSW Rifle Team Captained by John Fitzgerald winning the match over 3/6/7/800 metres from the Presidents Team Captained by Graeme Berman (Stan Golinski was the official captain but was unable to attend due to Joy becoming ill on the way to Sydney). The visiting Scottish Team put up a sterling performance to finish third. A notable problem during the match was the unusual poor performance of factory ammunition with many shots lost to elevation. This may have been exacerbated by team members having chambers cut to suit the newer better ballistic projectiles. The Australian projectile manufactured by Bob Dyer in the NT has proven to be effective in price and performance against the American imports.
THE 2010 QUEEN’s – After a tightly fought competition the 2010 Queens was won by Steve Negus (Mosman Neutral Bay) by two centres from Jim Jeffrey (Lyndhurst). The completion went down to the wire with Steve Negus gaining the victory after shooting a 75.8 at the final 800m range.