FREEZIN’ for a REASON

TROOPCARRIERS OF AUSTRALIA GATHER FOR THE ANNUAL WINTER RAMBLE, TO RAISE VALUABLE FUNDS.

WORDS MARK ALLEN

TROOPCARRIERS of Australia (TOA) recently held its annual Winter Ramble – this year called Freezin’ for a Reason – in the remarkably picturesque Coorongooba Campground, near Glen Davis in NSW The annual event raises money for men’s health via the Black Dog Institute, but it also provides the opportunity to form and rekindle friendships, as well as share stories of all things Troopy, travels and adventure. A few members within the group were lost to depression, so this year’s dedicated to those fine men.

THERE ARE NO FEES, NO INSURANCE IMPLIED, AND THE ONLY RULE IS TO PLAY NICELY WITH ONE ANOTHER

A few years ago, a few mates had the idea of starting an group specifically catering for Troopcarriers, and thus Troopcarriers of Australia was born thanks to Michael Shaw (yep, it’s from his missing finger that the ‘Shawry Salute’ is derived), Cal Tomlinson and Dan Smith.

The 2014 Ramble saw just a handful of Troopies (17), but participation numbers have rapidly increased since – 76 in 2015, 150 in 2016, and just shy of 200 in 2017. While this year’s event didn’t crack the 200 mark (it was down to 165), the event managed to raise a massive $18,500 for charity.

Many members donated goods for raffles and the auction on the Saturday night, and the bidding was feverish: $250 for designer cushions that retail for less than 50 bucks; $1250 for a hand-made guitar; and… wait for it… a bag of spinach for $50. There were also barbecues held at CMS 4x4 and All Four x 4 Spares, plus entry donations for camping helped fill the bucket. Well done to everyone for helping to raise muchneeded money for such a worthy charity – especially the organisers, of whom there are many.

We all knew it was going to be cold this particular weekend – it was the middle of winter, after all – but no-one expected temperatures of -7°C and -8°C. This saw the communal campfire, as well as the many individual fires at each campsite, surrounded by Troopies, with punters camped in swags, rooftop tents, ground tents, camper-trailers and caravans.

AND THE WINNER IS

THERE were many awards and prizes given out during the event, including the farthest travelled which went to three TOA members from Japan. Well done to Takeshi, Masakatsu and Ayako, and thanks for the beaut flags you brought with you.

Best 40 Series

Dave Coventry

Best 70 Series

Brett Goldie

Best Pop-Top

Dan Smith

People’s Choice

Ivan Biscan

Along with the general meeting and greeting, there were cricket matches, merchant tents, sumo bubble-suit crashes and a ladies’ high tea; although, I heard mention that the tea and scones were swapped for beer and bacon. All up, a pearler of a time was had by all who attended.

Troopcarriers of Australia isn’t really a ‘club’; it’s more a group of like-minded people who are always ready to help each other out. There are no fees, no insurance implied, and the only rule is to play nicely with one another. And, if you need to know something Troopy-related, there is no better mob to throw your question at.

There are other Rambles throughout the year during spring and summer, in various locations around Australia. If you’re keen and own a Troopy check out the Troopcarriers of Australia on Facebook and join in the fun. You could do a lot worse if you’re looking for a laid-back community to belong to.