A bit of Australian Club history…..!! by Lloyd Parsons.
Jim Rawlinson (one of Col Paye’s engine men at Scone, NSW) and I used to get together from time to time. He was completely rebuilding a C180. He suggested to me one day that we should have a go at rounding up some other 180’s and have a bit of a get together. Of course I agreed with him and suggested that we have it at Eulalia.
Any time I was in the Scone area I’d drop in and see how he was going with the 180 and we discussed the progress of the get-together. I can’t remember how long it took, but we probably kicked it around for a couple of years or so while the rebuilding of the 180 took place. One day I flew the C180 to a fly-in at Rutherford, near Newcastle and when I came back to the plane to return home, Rawlo was sitting on the wheel waiting for me.
He asked if I knew Ivan Blair and told me he had been speaking to Ivan about our idea and that Ivan would like to talk to me. I had met Ivan once at an airshow at Gunnedah when we were the only 180’s there. I ducked over to the hangar but by then Ivan had gone home, so I flew off myself and rang him from home some time later.
We decided on a date, and started chasing up any C180 owners we knew of or had heard about. At this time we didn’t know about the C180-185 Club in the States and I must give due credit to Ivan who found out all about it and got us affiliated with them, and that’s how it all started.
Sadly Rawlo didn’t make it to a fly-in; he died some time later with a tumour on the brain; hence the “Jim Rawlinson Air Crew of the Year Award”, which hangs on the wall at Eulalia, together with the “Mug Pilot Award”. It just seems that every year someone or some couple stand out a bit above the others – someone who shows the Club spirit, is easy to get along with or more than pull their weight (especially in the days when we used to do our own catering). In short someone that its good to have around and that keep the Club spirit alive.
Well, we finally got together here in late August 1984 and decided to make it an annual event, and to hold it in April, which suited most people, and the rest is history. I’m not sure about it, but I think we had 7 planes the first year; maybe Ivan remembers.
The “Mug Pilot” is a fun thing, and isn’t always easy to award, but we usually hear of a 180/185 owner who did something pretty stupid during the year, or otherwise it goes to the worst landing at the fly-in.