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The Beginnings - H.C.V.C. by: Ross Taylor

My earliest recollections of the club go back to the three Historic Commercial Vehicle Rallies held by the Historic Fire Engine Association of Australia” (HFEAA). These were held at the following venues: 1982 Caravan City Croydon (now Cherry Tree Retirement Village), 1983, 1984 Lilydale Show Grounds.

Many individuals and established groups were invited to attend these rallies, one such group was the commercial vehicle group within the Vintage Drivers Club of which I was a member. Other members of that group were Michael Kerrigan, Graham Stokes, John Couacald & the late Jim Williams. These people have held a number of the committee positions of the HCVC since its inception.

In late 1984 I remember receiving a letter from the HFEAA inviting our members to a meeting to be held at the Boronia Fire Station on 21/11/84 to discuss the formation of a Commercial Vehicle Branch of the HFEAA. At this meeting a motion was moved by Rick Toseland to form the new branch and seconded by Graham Stokes, carried. I moved a second motion to review the position of the branch at the June 1985 meeting. This was seconded by Hilton Boxshall, and carried. The new branch progressed so well that the meeting to review its progress was held in March 1985. In February 1986 the club changed its name to the “Historic Commercial Vehicle and Fire Engine Association of Victoria Inc.
The fourth annual rally was held at the grounds of the Melbourne Steam and Traction Engine club in Wantirna. Members will remember this day as it had rained during the week leaving the ground very wet. Mac and Eddie Bedwell used their small crawler tractor to pull many of the bogged vehicles out of the mud. So started the search for a ground with hard standing, which resulted in a long lasting agreement with International Harvester (now Iveco). Our annual rally was held for the first time in 1986 in the car park of International trucks at Dandenong. Dulsa bury, my wife Jean and some of the other members wives did the catering for a couple of years. The club again changed it’s name in September 1991 to the Historic Commercial Vehicle Club Inc (HCVC).
In 1995 the annual rally moved to AFL Park Waverley with Ken Whitworth heading a new sub committee to organize our display day. This proved to be the beginning of a great partnership with Ken’s organizational skills and a fantastic site.
The club grew tremendously, not only in memberships, but also in many other ways. Over time, the annual rally was held at International Harvester and AFL Park Waverley. The joint partnership between HCVC and Puffing Billy to organize and run the Puffing Billy Old Time Festival also honed our skills at running major events as well as adding to our bank balance.
Our club meetings for many years were held at the Boronia CFA Fire Station as this was where the HFEAA had met. The club moved from there to the Bayswater Community Centre due to relocation of the fire station. During this time the club trialed some meetings at the VDC club rooms at Pascoe Vale to assist members in the western suburbs. We then moved to Frog Hollow Sporting Pavilion in Camberwell, and from there to our present home at Black Flat community Hall cnr of Springvale and Waverley roads Glen Waverley.

Ross Taylor   2007