Thirtieth Birthday Celebrations

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1988 was a busy time for The Ulysses Club Inc, new branches of the five year old Club were being established around Australia.

That means quite a few thirtieth anniversary celebrations this year, we’ve picked two on opposite sides of the country.

LAKE Macquarie Branch celebrated 30 years on June 17.

It began with a small group of local Ulysseans organising rides in the Hunter area, independent from the Sydney Group. (Riding On June 1988). Over the years it morphed into various branches in the region, and the Lac Mac boys and girls have claimed May 1, 1988 as the establishment of Lake Macquarie Branch.

A planned Anniversary Ride clashed with the final AGM Event, so an invitation was extended to all Branches in the area, and 67 members and friends of the original few gathered at Lake St Clair on June 17.

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They included John Lydiard, who led the original ride 30 years ago and who led this ride as well, which followed the original route as close as possible.

One of the best routes in the Hunter to take in the sights of the valley, from the Bell Bird forests of Mount Sugar Loaf and then onto old mine workings and the small towns of the Cessnock Coalfields which established our coal mining industry.

It also took in the Hunter Valley wine region, the most visited area in NSW, to enjoy the views across vineyards over the rolling hills and the valley.

The ride highlighted the camaraderie of members from all branches and a chance for us all to get together.  From the inaugural ride some 30 years ago the Branches of the area have travelled well and are still reflecting the strong ideals of the Ulysses Club.

Ulysses Club arrives in WA
Perth Branch owes its existence to Alf Bridle, who in July 1988 wrote a letter to  Natcom, requesting the names of members who lived in WA. NatCom replied with a list of 23 people from Roebourne to Perth, from Denmark to Kalgoorlie.

Alf wrote to them all suggesting that they get together once a month for a social evening. That initial evening was Wednesday the 29th September 1988, at the Pine creek Tavern in Forrestfield (being his local watering hole!).

Three members attended, accompanied by four non-members, who are believed to have become members by the end of the evening.

Over a meal and a few ales it was decided that they would continue this event on the last Wednesday of each month. Membership steadily increased from that time and Perth Branch became the logical springboard as Branches began to be established in regional centres across the vastness of Western Australia.

Perth Branch’s official newsletter, The IthacaTimes, was first printed in March 1989 as a single page. It has been in print ever since with 11 issues each year and has grown to 10 pages of information for members.

For the first few years, the indefatigable Alf Bridle was The Ithaca Times editor, treasurer, membership officer and meeting chairperson.

14 Branches now active in WA are all descended from Perth Branch, which invites past and present members to attend the Birthday Celebration dinner and drinks on 6 October 2018, 6pm at Paddy’s Bush Bar, 1360 Brookton Hwy, Karragullen.

Cost is $30 per person, for further details contact Branch President, John Gliddon on 0417 945 789.

As Alf Bridle was once heard to say, “I never imagined it would get this big.”

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