MOUNT BARKER RIFLE CLUB STARTS BUSINESS
This was the newspaper heading recorded in The Courier and River Murray Advocate on Friday May 2nd 1913.
The official opening of the new range which is understood to have been just east of the township of Mount Barker was celebrated with a closely contested match between teams picked by Lieutenant Laurie and Captain Ferry.
Twenty four shootists and some onlookers were present to see Mr L. VonDoussa officially open the range. He suggested that he was asked to formally declare the range open due to the fact that he was Captain of the local club when it became non-existent in 1895.
To stimulate the sport and the marksmen alike he had pleasure in offering the club a trophy, conditions of which had to be won twice before it became the property of any member.
There was good reason to expect that the club would be one of the best in the state and he wished the members every success in future competitions.
Following the official ceremony the match began over the distance of 200 yards using 2 sighting and seven counting shots.
Not surprisingly, Mr VonDoussa was top off-rifle with a score of 31/35 followed by Mr A. Kavanagh with 28/35.
The end result being a win to Lieut. Laurie''s team over Captain Ferry''s team by the solitary point.
In 1940 the club moved from this location east of the township to a property on the west side of Mount Barker where it still is to this day, and enjoying the success which Mr VonDoussa predicted.
February 16th, 1983 (Ash Wednesday) nearly saw the demise of the Club, as the range and Club House were completely destroyed by fire. However due to the stern resolution once again from members at that time and some financial assistance from the South Australian Fullbore Rifle Association and some of the affiliated clubs, the range and facilities were completely rebuilt.
Below: Mount Barker Rifle Club members honoured for their persistance and hard work in rebuilding the range after the 1983 " Ash Wednesday " bush fires.
Below: Over 5,500 man hours and $26,000 later Mount Barker Rifle Club was reserected from the ashes.
The Mount Barker Rifle Club was having problems trying to employ people to mark targets. Some lasted for a few weeks, some a little longer, but none turned up on a regular basis.
The Club would be then back in a simular situation of " Self Marking ". Due to the number of older members in the club, it seemed that the same members were volunteering week after week.
A committee was formed to look into costs and viability of Electronic Targets and what systems were available to us.
A period of approximately 9 years went by and some serious "Fund Raising " took place with all our efforts channelled towards these Electronic Targets.
Auctions were held after some members donated all their spare bits & pieces and then some raffles were the norm each Saturday and we even started our own Club Lotto. Funds began swelling and steadily increased.
The Target Committee that had been formed began to search and compile some information as to what systems were around.
The Hex System was researched thoroughly and seemed to tick all the boxes. It is a wireless system, exactly what we required.
Meanwhile we still kept on fund raising.
On the 9th November 2012 the Club purchased, and with the help of the Hex Systems installed two Electronic Targets.
The results were better than we expected. Everything went as planned after some fruitfull working bees and quite a few jobs completed behind the scenes. Some money managed to be saved and we were able to purchase target number 3.
At the present moment, the Club is very proud owners of three Electronic Targets.
We are at present the only club in SA to acquire ET Targets.
Pictured below is the arrival of the first 2 Electronic Targets all the way by car from N.S.W.