Copeton Rally

Submitted: Thursday, Sep 22, 2005 at 22:05
ThreadID: 122246 Views:3055 Replies:4 FollowUps:3
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G'Day All.
Just a brief note on the rally, full details will be posted by your committee mambers later.
All events, spit roast, catered dinner, wine tasting and AGM were well attended and all voted them even better than last year.

We did have a half time adjournment to the AGM when a Willy-Willy, more of a mini cyclone, hit the marquee.
It occured during the reading of the past presidents report and has been named "Hurricane Angie".
The marquee was more like a giant parachute, all the pegs were ripped out, the papers, tables, chairs etc were scattered doun the paddock.
Some minor injuries were sustained by a few members, caused in the main by flying debris.
Fortunately no serious injuries.
The wind gust lasted for about 15 seconds only but destroyed the marquee.
The remainder of the meeting was held in the fresh air.

I opened the meeting and for the benifit of members who were unable to attend here are the notes that formed the basis of my talk.

Welcome to the third annual rally of the Bushtracker Owners Group.
For those new members that have not yet met me my name is Bob Pollock aka “Turist” on the forum.

As the founder of the Bushtracker Owners Group I have been given the privilege of formally opening the 2005 Annual General Meeting.

Many of you are new members and may not be familiar with the history of the group so here is a summary of our history.

I conceived the idea of an owners group during my touring and opened our first web page on the free MSN Internet facility in February of 2003.

Pete Spring, aka “Motley” joined up almost immediately and was very quickly seconded as the other full manager of the group.

Pete’s computer oriented background proved invaluable and I take this opportunity to publicly thank him for his invaluable assistance. (And his patience)

Pete and I managed the group for the first 18 months, we worked well together, and still do.

Although I stepped aside from the management team last year for personal reasons I am the site administrator so Pete and I are in constant contact.
In fact I think we were a pretty good team, I can be a bit abrupt and abrasive when things do not go as they should, Pete is more amenable and manages to temper my more blunt approach to different problems.

We held our first rally at the Cania Gorge Caravan Park in September 2003 and around 22 Bushtrackers attended.

Although I had always considered that Bushtracker people were in the main different to the average caravanner, usually displaying a greater love of the outback and a closer camaraderie with each other, I must admit that I was a little surprised at the immediate friendships that eventuated.
People accepted each other almost without question and many lasting friendships were made.
I am sure that those with the “Inaugural Rally” caps will always wear them with good memories of that rally.

At the conclusion of the Cania rally it was a unanimous decision to hold another rally at the same time the following year.

It very quickly became evident that we would require another venue to cater for the growing numbers so after discussing our requirements with the management of Copeton Waters I selected this site.

I am sure that all will agree that Copeton suits our purpose well, the staff are more than helpful, they go out of their way to assist us and ensure that our rally is as successful as possible.

I have made many new friendships through this group and as a result I have been invited to stay at a number of Bogger owned properties around the country.
On this trip alone we have stayed with BOG friends in Victoria, WA, NT and several in Qld.

I also have had the pleasure of entertaining several members at our house in Sydney.

I feel sure that many of you here share similar experiences that are a direct result of joining this group and attending the rallies.

Many have asked why we Incorporated and why we moved from the “Free” MSN web site.
There were a number of factors which led to these decisions.
Whilst the MSN Site was free, we found that as registered users increased and posting activity increased, a number of problems emerged:

• There was a lot of valuable information being posted, but MSN did not provide a search facility
• It required constant attention by managers to monitor for and to remove pornographic postings automatically generated by programs which focus on forums such as MSN and Yahoo
• MSN were gradually reducing the “free” facilities of the forum, making it difficult to provide the functionality we required. For example we had to pay MSN just to use a calendar facility.
• MSN were also increasing the level of advertising content on pages. This meant that forum users who were on the road were paying to download all this advertising just to read forum postings.

We investigated the feasibility of setting up our own website to remove these deficiencies, but soon realised that in order to fund such an exercise we would need to introduce a membership fee and also attract sponsorship to help fund initial set up costs and on going administrative costs.

We did canvass the membership on this issue and of those who responded, 100% were in favour of setting up our own site and all were in favour of a nominal membership fee.

There were two issues which emerged from this which prompted us to establish an Incorporated Association.

Pete and myself were becoming increasingly concerned about our exposure to litigation.

Should anything go wrong at one of our rallies, or if advice given on our web site was to inadvertently create a set of circumstances that could lead us to be defending ourselves in a court of law we had no protection.
Some members had asked the question that if we did charge a membership fee, how would members know that the monies had been properly accounted for and spent appropriately.

After a considerable amount of research we came to the conclusion that the only way to protect ourselves and future management from legal action and to be able to obtain the appropriate insurance was to form an Incorporated Association.

Quite frankly, we could not have continued without taking this step.

Incorporation was accomplished prior to the 2004 rally so that it could proceed.

At the same time we also decided that we needed to move away from the MSN Groups site.

Pete and I continued with the project and the present Internet site was opened in conjunction with the 2004 rally.

The downside of being incorporated and having your own web site is that it costs money.

Several thousand dollars a year in fact.

The best way to raise the necessary funds is to have a sponsor base and a small membership fee, both of which are supported in a small way with our BOG merchandise sales.

Bushtracker, Sound In Motion and Webasto stand as our best supporters and I commend you to support their products and refer them to your friends, even if they do not own a BT.

Well that is a synopsis of the history of the group, now to the future.

Let me remind you that I formed this association as a GROUP, not a club.

I perceive a difference in the two types of associations, club members normally attend, let a few officials (normally salaried) do the work and then enjoy the benefits that the club can offer with very little or no input from themselves.

The word GROUP carries a different connotation; I believe that it implies that everyone takes an active part in the running of the group.

To date the only fund raising has been done by myself, co-ercing sponsors for cash donations and gifts, organising raffles, profitable dinners etc.

As members of a group I ask that you also give consideration to assisting in our fund raising efforts.

Many of you are active in business or are recently retired from business.

What about a few phone calls to business contacts.

There are many that could benefit from a link to this group.

Finance brokers, insurance companies, mobile phone suppliers, tyre suppliers, and camping equipment suppliers to name a few.
Make a few phone calls and see if you can help our group.

Prior to closing I must take the opportunity to thank the management team for their efforts over the past year,

Brian, our secretary, always seems to be around when a job needs to be done,

Angie, well we had to send out a team of gypsies to kidnap her and make her the president but it worked, thanks Angie.

Keith, many thanks, not everyone wants to be treasurer of a group, your input really appreciated and I am pleased to see you standing again.

And of course Pete, good to see you on the mend, stay with us, we need you.

Thank you for your time, I now declare this second Annual General Meting open and hand the mike to the Chairman, David Ward.

More reports as time permits.

Best regards
Bob Pollock
(Your President for the next year.)

"Do It While You Can"
Nobody is getting any younger.

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Reply By: Bushtracker - Thursday, Sep 22, 2005 at 23:22

Thursday, Sep 22, 2005 at 23:22
CONGRATULATIONS....!
The BOG is in good hands.... Regards from the Ranger
AnswerID: 567161

Reply By: Fosssil - Thursday, Sep 22, 2005 at 23:48

Thursday, Sep 22, 2005 at 23:48
Hello Turist,

Thanks for the info...

I have read all posts that are publicly available (and viewed all photo's) and hence I have seen the group evolve since its inception ...and it has been a well managed process....congratulations to all involved.

I hope to soon become an owner and hence have full access to the forum, and then hopefully have access to a rally so that with a bit of luck I might be able to view other owners masterpieces before my plans are finalised...

Look forward to hearing more reports from Copeton,

Regards,

foss
AnswerID: 567162

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Friday, Sep 23, 2005 at 01:25

Friday, Sep 23, 2005 at 01:25
Hello Foss,
You are one of those few that I can put a face to, and am suitably impressed... It is always a pleasure to talk to someone that is switched on like you... So, don't feel left out in the cold as you are not, anything you would like to know, or get feedback on from other Boggers, just let me know..... OK? I will get it for you...

Kind Regards from da Ranger...

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FollowupID: 844972

Reply By: Fosssil - Friday, Sep 23, 2005 at 02:17

Friday, Sep 23, 2005 at 02:17
Thanks for that offer Steve!...

I have probably progressed as far as I can go to date except for someone to look at my semi-final floor plan, and don't want to bother anyone anymore until I am able to place an order...(I have already made 3 short visits to BTI...lol)

I am 100% positive that my wife and I want to own our dream Bushtracker, and as I mentioned we have pretty much finalized our floor plan (until I find out what can't be done).. which is not standard, but will allow comfortable long term living.. ..Its just that I need to be 100% sure that finances permit, and my retirement development goes fully ahead before I commit to the large step of placing an order for a Bushtracker....These developments keep growing hurdles as each month goes by.

I have to drop by to pick up my tape measure I left there in Paul's desk area, and will bring my plan to see what can and can't be done...lol

Thanks for your and Paul's advice so far and also in the future I am sure.

Regards

foss
AnswerID: 567163

Reply By: Fosssil - Friday, Sep 23, 2005 at 03:54

Friday, Sep 23, 2005 at 03:54
Hi...

Its so easy for a topic to wander off track, so I just discovered...lol...

Thanks for your thoughts and offer once again Steve ..... I enjoyed our chat the other day/week...and I will let this thread revert back to Copeton posts.

foss
AnswerID: 567164

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Friday, Sep 23, 2005 at 20:52

Friday, Sep 23, 2005 at 20:52
Hello Foss,
"Lone Ranger" here again, Happy Trails (yeah yeah, I know, Roy Rogers).... Ha!

Any way, look, post on all you want, you can wander off the track... Chances are a new Copeton bit will have a whole new Posting and new Thread anyway... You are free to wander off the track....

But one little thing to help you understand how this works... If you do a Follow-up to me, it only comes back to me.... If you do a Reply, it goes to the original Poster... Understand? In other words, look, I did this as a "Follow Up" to your Reply, and it went to you and your computer at home and the original Posting Person did not receive it... Understand? If I wanted to make a fun Jest at "Turist", I would have made my entry a "Reply".... Instead this goes only to you as I made it a "follow up" to your Reply.... And if you did another "follow up" it would come back to me... Now I probably have you totally confused, me too... Ha! Regards..... and, Hi Oh Silver!! Yeah, Roy Rogers too...
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FollowupID: 844973

Follow Up By: Fosssil - Friday, Sep 23, 2005 at 21:27

Friday, Sep 23, 2005 at 21:27
Yes Steve...

This followup option is great, and different to the many other forums I have been actively involved with....

It is in fact the only forum that I am active in that has follow up..(I may be a member of other forums with a followup option, but not post )

I have enjoyed all posts and photos in this forum and have every photo saved to my hard drive and run a slide show now and then.., especially those that showed the layouts and Ideas that folks had.... its just a pity that these photos of have practically come to a stop...

Anyway, I am not panicking yet......Although I wish it was next week that we were taking off, there will be plenty of time for me to get my plans and Ideas together.

One step at a time my wife tells me..

foss
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FollowupID: 844974

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