HARD WORKER: Southern Downs Rifle Club president David Norman has constructed five new hoists and frames at Risdon Range.
HARD WORKER: Southern Downs Rifle Club president David Norman has constructed five new hoists and frames at Risdon Range. Gerard Walsh

Risdon Rifle Range upgrade after 70 years

SHOOTING: David Norman wouldn't be the oldest volunteer in Australian sport but few at age 85 would put 200 hours of engineering work into a sports facility.

Norman had 50 employees when he ran an engineering business in Western Australia but 15 years ago he and wife Mary headed east to buy a strawberry farm.

They ended up on a lifestyle block at Dalveen and later joined the Southern Downs Rifle Club.

"I started shooting in 1947 but then had a long break and started shooting here eight years ago,” he said.

This year, he took on the club presidency, and shoots every Sunday morning except Christmas Day at Risdon Range.

The hoists and frames which lift the targets above the mound were built by the Americans when Risdon was a training base during the Second World War.

There are 10 hoists and frames on the rifle range and five have just been replaced at a cost of $12,000 for the materials.

"A lot of the cost is in the rollers and bearings, we used club money as we applied for a grant and missed out,” he said.

"We replaced the worst five but don't have the money for the materials for the rest.”

The club uses three hoists most Sundays but all 10 are in play when the club hosts a major shoot.

At the club Christmas Shoot on Sunday, club members surprised their president when he was presented with a sign recognising his work to design, manufacture and install the new hoists and frames which took 200 hours of volunteer time.

"We are all friendly and like to get new members,” he said. Information from secretary Margaret Taylor on 46661018.



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