LAND ROVER'S 60TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS IN AUSTRALIA
Arrangements are starting to fall into place for the Australian celebrations to mark the 60th birthday of Land Rover, to be held at Cooma over the 2008 Easter weekend, March 21st to the 23rd, being organised by the Land Rover Clubs of Victoria, Sydney and the ACT, and the Range Rover Club of Sydney and sponsored by Land Rover Australia. To see some of what happened at the 50th Birthday celebrations in 1998 look here.
People are now able to register for the Event through the website - www.landrover60.com.au. The registration procedure includes ordering memorabilia, as well as booking for camping and evening functions. For people who do not have access to the internet, forms can be mailed to them for completion by contacting either Graeme Walsh on (03) 9884 4101 (AH) or Patrick Sutcliffe on (02) 9489 3756.
Most of the accommodation in Cooma has already been booked out, including the only caravan park, Snowtels. However, extra camping has been arranged at Polo Flat, a private airfield on the outskirts of Cooma, and the Organisers will be providing portable showers and toilets. Bookings for an area at Polo Flat to be reserved for Clubs can also be made by contacting the organisers through the website or by phone. Some accommodation is also available in nearby towns such as Jindabyne.
The highlight of the weekend will undoubtedly be the Grand Parade of registered Land Rovers of every type through the streets of Cooma from Polo Flat to the Showgrounds on Easter Sunday morning. For the 50th birthday in 1998, over 350 took part and it is expected that this number will be significantly increased for the 60th. At the Showgrounds, judging will take place in various classes with Awards to be presented at a dinner in Cooma's Multi Function Centre that evening. Entry to these events will only be available to those people who have registered.
The Awards Night Dinner will also include a number of interesting speakers. John Ayre, Principal of ULR Motors in Melbourne will be talking about his experiences over many years with the Camel Trophy. Richard Asquith, recently-retired Principal of Asquith and Johnstone in Sydney, will talk about his experiences in the early days of Range Rovers in Australia. And finally, Bill Baker will talk about his time working for Land Rover in Solihull and North America. Bill was Director of Special Projects for Land Rover North America when he recently retired. He was one of the eight original executives who founded the Company that brought the Range Rover to America in 1986 before moving to Solihull in 1997. There he was responsible for the global celebrations for Land Rover for the 50th as well as the launch of the Freelander and Discovery Series II. Seating for the Awards Night is limited, so it is essential to register early.
On the Saturday, a Motorkhana will be held on a property just outside Cooma and in the evening there will be a family BBQ at the Multi Function Centre, complete with Bush Band. Trips to the surrounding country will also be carried out on Friday and Saturday.
People who have registered will also be able to take part in a Trivia Quiz and an Observation Trial, with prizes for both. A Swap Meet will also be held in the Showgrounds for all those people desperate to get that elusive part for their restoration.
The weekend promises to be one of those occasions to remember, with interest being shown already from all over Australia, as well as New Zealand and the UK. Those interested are encouraged to register early to avoid disappointment. Non-Land Rover owners are also welcome, but they will unfortunately not be able to take part in the Grand Parade and a number of other Land Rover-specific events.