TLCC Established 1969
The TLCC held its first meeting, with an attendance of 13 people and 7 cars on the 24th October 1969, due to the inspiration, determination and enthusiasm of Alex King. With unending support from Thiess Toyota, the Club grew each meeting at a rate of 5 to 8 new members each month.
The present Club logo was designed in early 1970 and Thiess Toyota donated the first 300 stickers. A 4WD Convenor was added to the Committee and one and two day trips as well as social gatherings became regular activities. By December the first driver training, salvage and recovery exercise was held at Jackeroo Ranch and the first gymkhana was held at Kenthurst. From this beginning, the Club grew from strength to strength. In the 70’s much of the Club’s efforts were channelled into assisting various projects.
At Kurnell on 21st March, 120 vehicles participated in the clean-up of the area surrounding Boat Harbour for the Save Kurnell Committee . Since that time the Club continues to assist in clean-up activities at Kurnell, Camperdown Cemetery, Joadja, Stockton Beach, Lucas Heights, Woronora Weir, Wombeyan Caves Road, to mention just a few.
The TLCC was one of the prime movers in the establishment of the Recreational Four Wheel Drive Clubs’ Association in June. Since its inception, the Association has grown and been active with land issues, such as N.P. and W.S. Draft Plans of Management, Wilderness Proposals, Crown Lands and Forest Land Usage, Coastal Policies, track access and closures etc. Some TLCC members worked tirelessly in the promotion of the Association.
The leasing of land at TARKOOLA saw the beginning of working bees. For years Club members mowed grass, built and maintained Club buildings and equipment, built an access bridge and maintained the access track.
In October the Club was incorporated as a company - a process that took four years!
Commencing the Bicentennial Year Celebrations, in 1988, the Club took 50 cadets from the ‘Tall Ships’ on a day trip into the Australian Bush. Easter 1988 saw the culmination of two years' work when over 1000 people participated in the Bicentennial 4WD Clubs Jamboree held at Coolendel near Nowra.
The Club took the significant step of purchasing Koolandilly, 23 hectares on the banks of the Wollondilly River and accessed from the Wombeyan Caves Road. As with Tarkoola, many members worked to build facilities, clear land for camping and planted trees. Under the direction of Land Managers and Land Committees, working bees have maintained and added to the facilities of this beautiful property for the enjoyment of all members.
The FOXTROT PAPA tour in 1994, taking 10 wheelchair people, along with a medical back-up team, on a trip to Central Australia, Kakadu and Central Queensland was a major event and most successful. As Len Beadell said, “Glad to hear of people giving up their time into organising such a trip and the organisers will be rewarded by the experiences of the trip even if it be a flat tyre. The trip may take four weeks but the memories will last forever.”
A decision was made to purchase a property which would be suitable for conducting driver-training and holding Funkhana events.
After years of hard work by our Education Officers and others, the NSW Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Board approved the Club’s driver training course, Modules 1, 2 and 3 but it took another three years before VETAB gave the approval for the Club to be listed as a Registered Training Organisation.
The Club members voted to resign from the Recreational Four Wheel Drive Clubs’ Association when considerable concerns on important issues could not be resolved. The TLCC Liaison Committee was then formed to continue to strive for access and interaction with other Clubs and the issues involving the 4WD movement.
The search for an affordable, suitable property commenced in 1996 was eventually achieved when adjacent portions of land (total 130 ha) in the Willowglen Estate at Tarago were found. When the Mulwarree Shire Council approved the Club’s Development Approval, the membership voted in favour of the acquisition. Since the purchase in October 1999, considerable development has occurred due to the efforts and enthusiasm of many Club members assisting in a myriad of ways. This large property, Willowglen, has now been used for many Funkhanas and Willowglen 4X4 Challenge events and is the venue for Modules 2 and 3 of the driver-training program plus many of our other popular education courses.
The Reunion 2000 Bush Muster was a social highlight of the year. Col Buchanan entertained a large gathering of members at Koolandilly for a night that will be remembered.
The Swiss Paralympic Team Australian Experience occurred late in October. This consisted of three days when 38 members of the Swiss Paralympic Team were hosted by the Club and transported in members’ vehicles for a day in the bush.
Purchasing another property in 2000 was not planned. The Club was given first offer on a property (77 ha), adjacent to Koolandilly, by the Club member owner. The possibility of having uncooperative neighbours and losing the all-weather access, convinced the membership to vote overwhelmingly in favour of its purchase. The membership chose to finance the purchase by the introduction of a land levy (ended now as the property is fully paid for). The addition of this property (now called K2) adjacent to our original property (K1), both nestled on the banks of the Wollondilly River, has provided all members with the most excellent passive recreational facilities for 365 days of the year.
In the July/August edition of the Club magazine, members were advised of the passing of Club founder, Alex King.
Alex had served for approximately 20 years on the Club committee. Positions he held were: President, Vice President, Driver Education Officer and 10th Committee Member (now Special Projects and Land). His last term of office was in 1990 as President. One of Alex King’s greatest contributions to this club was the Driver Training program which he started in the early 1970’s. His Driver Training program was based on his driving and teaching skills that he learned during 12 years in the Army.
After years of hard work by our Education Officers and others, the NSW Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Board approved the Club’s driver training course, Modules 1, 2 and 3 in November.
The very first of the now, very popular New Members Trips came into being in 2004. Led by Driver Trainers, this trip not only introduced new members to club trips but to our property at Koolandilly. This trip is held roughly three to four times a year.
Through the years the Club has seen a great variety of social events. The Social Directors have had a busy job coming up with a multitude of functions suitable for the membership. Every five years current and previous members are invited to attend the Club’s 5 year Anniversary Dinners held at the Bankstown Sports Club. The 40th Anniversary was held in 2009 and by then, Elaine and Charlie Cattell had outlasted all others to become the longest serving Club members, having originally joined in 1971.
The Club continues to go from strength to strength because of the time and effort contributed by members and continues to grow, now having over eight hundred vehicle members. We continue to foster the 4WD movement, strive for access and to provide for the recreational needs of our members whilst looking after our environment for future generations.