After The Beginning

Two more meetings followed in August 1957 — on the 5th and on the 12th — to generally arrange things for the first Annual General Meeting. At the first, six persons turned up (J. BOND, R. BUNGATE, M.G. BEALE, R. LEGGAT, A. DALBY and J. STANBRIDGE) and they agreed a draft constitution which had been prepared by a subcommittee of three (talk about taking in each other’s washing!). They also discussed advertising the Club and arranging press articles to obtain a bigger attendance at the pending A.G.M. and on arranging a suitable banking account. Suggestions were made that meetings be held at member’s houses “where a layout may be inspected to hold interest of members”.

At the second of these meetings, Arthur DALBY advised that he had arranged a room at the Railway Institute on 2nd September 1957 for the A.G.M. — the cost was five shillings (50 cents) and it was proposed that a “tarpaulin muster” be held to raise funds from members to cover this hire charge and portion of the advertising costs. Jack STANBRIDGE had the bright idea of seeing whether the “Daily News” might print a free notice regarding the A.G.M. The treasurer was authorised by a motion, duly proposed and seconded to purchase a receipt book “for collecting subscriptions at the A.G.M.” (really BIG finance!). The Treasurer also reported that he could get a Savings Bank account with cheque writing scope and it was suggested that the Club open a cheque account and pay the £1.00 fee ($2.00) plus cheque books (all this before the Club had any funds against which cheques could be written!). At the end of the meeting, Bob LEGGAT offered to open his layout to viewing and operation by members on 16th September 1957.

Came the 2nd September, the day dawned fine and people went about their work until the evening when some seventeen assembled at the Railway Institute in Wellington Street. At about 8.05 pm, the very first Annual General Meeting of the W.A.M.R.C. commenced with the agreeing of the minutes of the previous meeting (presumably the one on 12th August) and the Treasurer was given authority to open an account with the R & I Bank (Savings Bank section with a cheque book facility) — seems that he must have made a closer examination of what options were available to clubs. (Members will be interested to learn that we are still with the R & I [now BankWest], with the same account as was approved that night [this is no longer true]). Arthur DALBY asked Bob LEGGAT to explain his offer to loan his layout to the Club. This he did, mentioning the proposal to rebuild it at Max DALBY’s home (in the garage) at 225 Lawrence Street, Bedford Park “until the Club can obtain a permanent layout”. This offer was taken up on a motion, duly proposed and seconded and agreed with acclamation. Volunteers were called for dismantling Bob LEGGAT’s layout at East Fremantle and moving it to its new home at Bedford Park. These were Arthur DALBY (now deceased), Les SMITH (now C.M.E. of Australian National Railways) and Roy BUNGATE (who is still around but not still a member of the Club — more about Roy in later episodes of this history).

As the minutes say “Discussion then took place on ‘O’ gauge versus ‘OO’ gauge. Mr LEGGAT moved that the Western Australian Model Railway be an ‘OO’ gauge, 2 rail club as a start” This motion was agreed and then a Mr BECKER offered his Trix rails and points for use of the Club. This offer was accepted with acclamation (but wasn’t Trix a three rail system, with the capability to operate two trains independently on the same piece of track?). In the midst of all this “Mr KEAY requested (for the 3rd time) how to get to Mr M. DALBY’s home. Mr DALBY explained” !!!

Then Max DALBY threw in a ‘bombshell’ by pointing out that officially the Club did not have any members! The meeting was adjourned for ten minutes and was re-opened with seventeen members!! (Seems the Treasurer must have been busy writing out receipts from his brand new receipt book and taking subscriptions!)

After this ‘formality’, Max DALBY introduced the Committee to the assembly (as the Minutes say) and Mr BECKER was elected to the committee as a (in fact, the only) ‘committee member’. Mr BAPTIST volunteered to be the Club Auditor and was accepted (present day members of W.A.M.R.C. will note the very strong emphasis on formal procedures, something which the Club has done ever since!)

Arthur DALBY moved that the Club approach Mr STRICKLAND (who was the local M.L.A.) to become the Patron of the Club. This was agreed. Bob LEGGAT proposed monthly formal meetings at the Railway Institute and this too was agreed. Arrangements were made for the Club to meet outside the Railway Institute to be held at Bedford Park for working nights on the layout being loaned by Bob LEGGAT.

The appointment of a ‘track supervisor’ for planning tracks and layout, etc. was discussed but eventually it was suggested that a ‘layout committee’ be formed. Jack STANBRIDGE declined nomination to this committee and Arthur DALBY and Bob LEGGAT were nominated for this committee. Finally, Max DALBY discussed the possibility of getting more suitable premises for a permanent layout ‘at a later date’ (later episodes of this history of the Club will cover the various ‘permanent’ layouts that the Club has had over the years). Mike BEALE (the Treasurer) ‘requested permission to pay the rent for the room’ (all five bob! If it hadn’t been paid it would have been our first debt!). The meeting closed at 10:20 pm.

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