My First Experience of a State Rally
By Sandy Harley, West Coast Jayco Caravan Club Inc
I had wondered… What is a State Rally? Is it very different to a regular club rally? I had heard many caravanners talk enthusiastically about State Rallies in recent years and now wanted to experience one myself so my husband and I made our way to this year’s State Rally at York (22-25 September).
Editor Note: State Rallies are organized by ACCWA every second year on the September long weekend for those who are members of an affiliated Caravan Club. This year, 114 caravans representing 15 clubs had registered for the rally though only 103 vans actually attended.
At 8.30am on the Friday morning we watched as the Marshalls began guiding caravans into their positions on the York oval at the Recreation Grounds.
Then, with a couple of other volunteers, I helped the members to check-in at the Registration table. Here we gave them their receipts, tickets and program plus a quick explanation of how to find their way around… for example:
- There would be free tea and coffee (and biscuits) all weekend… just bring your own mug!
- Happy Hour would be at 4.30pm each day.
- There were no compulsory activities, though some people had paid to do some activities when sending in the registration form earlier in the year (guided town walk, wildflower bus tour, Bush Dance and some meals at the Recreation Centre).
- There was no power or water to vans but generators were allowed on a mat to protect the oval.
Throughout the remainder of Friday, people were seen meeting up with ‘new’ friends and/or catching up with ‘old’ friends, sharing travel stories, rig details, ideas on caravan care and special features etc.
During the weekend we took part in:
- An Opening Ceremony during which we sang the National Anthem whilst raising the flags of Australia, Western Australia and each of the Caravan Clubs in attendance.
- A Bush Dance with music by The Southern Cross Bush Band.
- Market Stalls for Men’s Shed goods and many creative crafts.
- Self-drive tours.
- Group dinners (pre-paid).
- We also attended a concert with acts presented by some of the caravanners and also by the local, newly-formed ukulele group.
- A Monster Raffle with a huge variety of prizes.
We also could have taken part in:
- A Disc Bowls competition.
- Street breakfasts near our caravan (having breakfast with our caravan neighbours!).
- A non-denominational church service on Sunday morning.
- The Local York Fayre on Sunday.
There was always something to do and/or someone to talk to in a happy, friendly and positive atmosphere. There were smiles to greet us wherever we went.
Now I understand the enthusiasm of those who had been to previous rallies… the friendships and the friendliness of everyone present.
There were some similarities with our regular rallies, and some differences partly because of the larger number of people, cars and caravans than would be at a regular caravan club rally… a bigger crowd to make and share more fun!
Would I go to another State Rally? Yes!
Are we going to the National Rally in Amazing Albany in 2019? Yes!!
Editors Note: Many thanks Sandy. Your comments may inspire more clubs to get involved and plan for the big Albany event.