What I do know is that the event was started to have a weekend camp to have fun, get drunk and give some of the money made to the save the NUMBAT fund, alternative years to the Black Duck at Lake Dumbleyung.
The rally started at a farm in Balkuling owned by a gentleman named Possum (I never new his real name).
When he retired and sold the farm it went to the Veitch farm (just down the road still in Balkuling) which was run by brothers Graham and Norm Vietch.
When it moved there the Quairading Sports club ran the soup kitchen for many years for fund raising with the first year they did it was to resurface the tennis courts but made enough too that and put in light towers as well.
They ran the soup kitchen for many rallies until the committee that ran it all got too old (into their 80’s for some of them including the Veitch brothers mother) and the younger generation didn’t want to take over the responsibility.
It was all home made with the best soups ever and the toasted egg and bacon burgers for breakfast and the food was always so good that most people bought their meals at the rally instead of bringing it.
For many years we had a St Johns tent for first aid all run by volunteers. Kim training for the cadets out of York and we would give the York St John Ambulance a really good donation to help with the training of the cadets. Roger, myself and a guy called Steve from the Green Ginger Guzzlers would help to as well. When someone needed to go to hospital someone would drive his vehicle and someone in the back with the injured person.
Over the years there has been lots of injuries from mild to very serious including broken bones, burns and so on.
There was always good crowds getting up to 600 people on a couple of the rallies there remembering that everything had to be brought in including the toilets, water, food and so on. By the soup kitchen (which by the way was originally brought over from Possum’;s farm and rebuilt there) a large water truck was parked for everyone at the rally and the kitchen.
We had a tent set up at the entrance manned by volunteers to talk to everyone coming in. You could prepay or pay at the gate and that included a badge.
Every rally had screen printing of the NUMBAT design of that year and over the years we printed on the usual shirts and jumpers but also tent flys, great coats and even on bare backs.
There was always a shop to sell the usual MRA merchandise and the NUMBAT merchandise which included stubbie holders and Beanies with the NUMBAT logo which was a great seller.
We also sold things like batteries, toothbrushes and toothpaste, painkillers for the killer hangovers and so on.
For many years only motorcycles were allowed but with numbers dwindling we let the younger ones bringing their trail and quad bikes on trailers (other rallies wouldn’t allow this but the rally was our main fundraiser), but the vehicles had to be parked up the hill out of the way. Allowing the other bikes in wasn’t particularly popular but most rallies don’t get the bigger crowds anymore. Most of the people that attended these rallies are getting older and in general the younger generation don’t like basic camping like that.
To top off the weekend there was the gymkhana which was a myriad of games on bikes and a tug of war and more. there was also the trophies given out for the best bike, oldest bike and rider and longest distance for men and women.
The NUMBAT was great fun, hard work, at times stressful and very little sleep, with lots of friends made and some drunkenness along the way.
For many years Bikes Unlimited would set up a complete sound system and the music played day and night for the whole of the rally.
It was only the the last couple of rallies that it stopped at a reasonable time, ( I guess that means I’m not the only one getting older).
They also ran the gymkhana for years, then Bruce took over and always went well.
Lyn Simpson (Jutte)
Lyn has been a loyal MRA advocate for decades, serving as secretary for many years, tirelessly giving of herself in so many ways for the betterment of the MRA and it’s core purpose, improve safety for bike riders in WA.