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Part 1.

It all started in 1978 in a small South Australian Hills town called Lobethal.
To the South West was a little group of aeromodellers who were still getting a lot of fun from whirling models on the end of 60 foot lines.
Roger Kentish (Treasurer), Murray Thisleton and, Peter Wiadrowski formed the nucleus of the Onkaparinga Radio Aero Modellers, usually known as ORAM.

An excellent flying site was found on the outskirts of Lobethal, being a full-sized flying strip owned by a farmer. Under Roger's guidance, the club formed a very strong relationship with the farmer, who found that we were careful and reliable in venturing onto his land, and resulted in the farmer becoming the clubs patron. On any flying day the farmer would either be down in the pits with the members, taking off down the strip in his own plane with an admiring and envious guard of honour, or waving to us from the seat of his tractor.

Unfortunately this wonderful situation did not last, as one eventful day the farmer advised us that his property was on the market, and eventually it was sold.
The new owner was very considerate, but the club was now forced to pay a quarterly rent of $350, and we were advised that we should not get too comfortable on the field.

During this period club members had asked questions concerning ownership of land, but the amount required seemed to be impossible to reach. Some land was found for sale, but the problem of financing and borrowing money always seemed to be put into the too hard basket.

O.R.A.M. is affiliated with the South Australian Associated Aeromodellers Inc.(SAAA) or as they are known now, the South Australian Modeling Association (SAMA). In October 1989, the Association, in its continuing drive to do the best for aeromodellers in this state, purchased 20 acres of land at a very small township known as Sanderston, about 60 kilometers East of Adelaide.

The president of the SAAA approached Roger with an offer to ORAM that they become the tenants of the new field at Sanderston.

In a far-sighted and mutually beneficial decision, the SAAA offered to ORAM that they could remain rent-free on the land if the club gave an undertaking that they would agree to purchase the field from the SAAA over a period of four years for the same price that the SAAA had paid for it; $20,000.


Part 2.

This was the challenge for ORAM. We were led by new President, Arthur Walmer, and particularly assisted by Bruce Adams, determined that the funding could come only from the core membership of 25 members. What was decided was that the membership should contribute funds over a four year period, and in addition the club subscription, which was already set to provide the quarterly rent which had been payable to the farmer at Lobethal, would remain so that what had been paid as rent would continue, but that this money would be paid into a deposit account which would be set up to retain this money and on which a reasonable interest could be received.

Something else happened which was to have a significant bearing on our funding, and that was that we were able to prove to the Commonwealth Income Tax Authorities that we were a sporting body, which meant that any interest earned by ORAM would not be subject to income tax. This recognition required certain changes to ORAM's constitution, as follows:

With these changes effected, the membership of ORAM was asked to agree to a contribution programme by which every club member.
would agree to pay the club, on a monthly basis, such funds as they could afford.

In any programme such as this, it is essential that there is a stimulus to achieve a target. This was effected through several large donations of up to $1000 made by certain club members, but the essential element is that all the members must be enthusiastic and in favour of the project.
Steps must be taken which strengthen the resolve of the members to work harder and harder towards the target.

There is a story to be told which is evidence of this resolve. In each issue of the club newsletter the Sanderston Barometer slowly edged its way to the top. On Thursday 4th November 1993, Peter passed over a cheque for $20,572 to the President and Secretary of the SAAA in return for that beautiful piece of paper called the Certificate of Title.


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Conclusion

This piece of paper is symbolic of many things. It is a measure of the presidencies of Roger and Arthur, the support of our continuing patron, the far-sighted support of the SAAA, and lastly, and by far the most important, the members, who, given the opportunity, made it happen. There is a story to be told which is evidence of this resolve.

In each issue of the club newsletter the Sanderston Barometer slowly edged its way to the top.

There are other clubs like ORAM which have similar stories, so it is clear where the future of aeromodelling lies.

Your club members should know whether or not they can purchase their own field too. Don't wait till progress pushes you into a buy or die situation.


Published by Peter Wiadrowski.