The heavens opened on Day 4 of our National Muster. However, despite the rain and an evening thunderstorm, spirits remained high. Members did not let the weather spoil their fun.
We had two very informative presentations in the morning. The first by Dragan Vasic from Lovells Springs informed members about the various towing upgrades on our tow vehicles available to us. Dragan also updated us on the topical issue surrounding GVM and GCM upgrades and where each of us currently stood, depending on the State in which we live. He also made himself available both during and after the presentation for members to approach him with various questions.
The second presentation was by Marjorie Pagani, the CEO of Angel Flight. Marjorie explained to us how Angel Flight functions, and how much it is dependent upon donations and the generosity of individual pilots.
Sadly, the rain caused the cancellation of our Barefoot Bowls afternoon. However, it did not prevent a huge attendance in the marquee for the Casserole evening where members interacted with each other, enjoying the entertainment, while the thunderstorm raged outside.
At the 2018 National Muster of the Australian Caravan Club (ACC), which is being held in Denmark in Western Australia, the Director for Membership Support, Graham Christie, informed members of the strong growth in membership over the past 12 months.
7 new branches were established in the last 12 months and the club now has 53 branches Australia wide, 19 in Queensland, 13 in New South wales, 9 in Victoria, 6 in Western Australia, 5 in South Australia and 1 in Tasmania. The average number of RV’s per branch is 27 with 3 branches having over 50 RV member units.
37% of the RV member units reside in Queensland, 28% in NSW and ACT, 17% in Victoria, 9% in Western Australia, 6% in South Australia and 3% in Tasmania.
The club expects the strong growth to remain steady as the club continues with its focus to “Promote the use of recreational vehicles and the RVing lifestyle throughout Australia”
The ACC was founded in September 2006 and is now the second largest multi brand RV club in Australia.
Day 3 of our National Muster was a bright, warm, sunny day with temperatures reaching 30 degrees Celsius or more.
A winery tour was the highlight of the day, with three busloads of members electing to sample the wines of the region. Many chose the optional lunch at Boston Brewery.
Other members toured Denmark and the region independently. Members (Lindsay and Kerry) were spotted swimming at Greens Pool, visiting Elephant Rocks and doing the Tree Top Walk at Valley of the Giants, while others drove to Albany and toured the Whaling Station.
The day finished with Happy Hour and the Board held an Information Session where members were informed about the work that the Board and Club Officials undertake on a daily basis.
Day Two of our 2018 National Muster started with gusto with an early morning walk for those who dared brave the cool morning temperatures.
Three buses departed for the National Anzac Centre at Albany during the morning. Here, members were very moved learning more about our ANZACS where so many Australians and New Zealanders lost their lives during World War 1. We learned about the importance that Albany and King George Sound had played in housing our convoy fleet and its place as a departure point for our armed forces during the Boer War and World War 1. Members enjoyed the interactive display in the Centre itself, roaming around the various remnants of the fort from days gone past on the adjacent hill, and taking a trip in the bus up to the top of Mount Clarence.
Later in the day, there was entertainment at Happy Hour in the marquee.
The Sundowner Evening where finger food was provided, was a great hit and well attended and enjoyed by all.
Day One at our Club's 2018 National Muster saw our muster officially opened by Terry Redman MLA who welcomed ACC members to the Denmark and Warren-Blackwood Region. Denmark Shire President Ceinwen Gearon also gave members a warm welcome, with both Mr Redman and Ms Gearon telling members about the many 'must see' attractions in the region.
Our ACC Chairman Craig thanked members for travelling to Western Australia from around the country, and emphasised how wonderful it was to have such a large contingency of our Western Australian members present for our very first National Muster to be held in Western Australia.
Muster organiser Brian Miller also addressed members at the opening ceremony and pointing out that his organising team are there if we have any issues, and paid tribute to the Big4 Denmark Ocean Beach owners Michael and Mandy who had been so very helpful and easy to work with to bring the event together at the park.
When formalities were complete, members enjoyed a delicious morning tea. Many joined in a tagalong to the Tree Top Walk, Valley of the Giants, Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks, while others chose to undertake their own sightseeing in the region.
By the time everyone returned back to camp late afternoon, Happy Hours were underway with our Chairman and Board hosting the First Timers' Happy Hour for members attending a National Muster for the very first time. Here, Chairman Craig mentioned that we had more 'First Timers' than at any other National Muster, partly due to the huge number of members from Western Australia who had supported the event. It was wonderful to see such a large number of 'First Timers'.
The day drew to a close with kangaroos grazing in the park, and a huge attendance at the Square Dancing Evening where members could be seen having a great time dancing the night away and learning new dance routines and moves.
While our Australian Caravan Club 2018 National Muster at Denmark in Western Australia does not officially start until today, there was plenty of activity at the muster site yesterday. Members are all in high spirits and looking forward to the coming week!
With more members rolling into camp, the muster campsite at Big4 Ocean Beach is beginning to fill up rapidly, with members excitedly comparing notes of their travels to the muster from all around Australia.
Market stalls from traders and members held at the marquee were a big hit, attracting a large number of members.
Despite the cold and rain showers, members happily queued for the complimentary Welcome Sausage Sizzle, with the compliments of the Hon Dr Steve Thomas MLC, Member for the South West…and the sausages were delicious!
In the evening, members attended a Poornarti Aboriginal Cultural presentation and received a welcome to country.
Australian Caravan Club introduces SMS member contact at the opening of the 12th National Muster in Denmark, Western Australia.
The ACC today - in a Club first – deployed SMS messaging technology to connect with members at the Clubs National Muster in Denmark ,Western Australia.
In a unique opening to the National Muster the Club Chairman Craig Humphrey used recently obtained SMS messaging capability to welcome members and advise of the first event on the Muster schedule.
“The ACC Board is excited at the capability of this new communication method to ensure continual contact with members.” said Mr Humphrey.
ACC Board member Graham Christie who has been responsible for introducing the technology noted that “SMS (or Short Message Service) is the messaging protocol used for sending and receiving text messages on mobile phones. It is supported by all mobile phones, from the most basic to the smartest, and offered by pretty much all mobile networks and carriers worldwide.”
“Depending on whom you ask, only about 20 to 30 percent of marketing emails get opened. Compare that to the 99 percent open-rate utilising SMS text messaging. It must be pointed out that the Club at this point will only use the SMS approach in certain circumstances including National and Chairman’s Musters for program updates and in the very rare situation of widespread emergency issues.” noted Mr Christie.
The Club is working through other uses for the SMS messaging technology with the view that the system can be used for reminders to members regarding upcoming events, new initiatives and membership issues.
“The Board encourages all with mobile phones to be included and I strongly advise members that the service won’t be used as a method of spamming. Members can also elect to opt out of the receiving messages if though so wish.” said Mr Humphrey