A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BURILDA PISTOL CLUB.
In April, 1964, a group of people, some of whom were members of the Blacktown Pistol Club, which was still in its early stages of development decided to form a Club for the purpose of Night Shooting.
A place to shoot was found at 300 Victoria Street, Wetherill Park.
The property known as "Burilda", belonged to Mr. Alick Bryen and was a reasonably large poultry farm.
When the time came to select a name for the Club, there was only one put forward, this was of course, Burilda. On investigation, it was found that the word "Burilda", means a black swan and this is the centre motif of our Club badge.
We constructed a 25 meter Range in a large feed storage shed and in August 1964, applied for affiliation to the N .S .W.A .P.S.A., as it was then known, and were accepted.
The local police had a look at the Range and we commenced shooting.
With the advent of the new Regulations (1965), we again applied for Range approval and this was granted in December, 1966.
During the early years of the Club, we gained as a member, the then President of the Association, John Chiarotto, he has since left the shooting movement.
We also acquired a name as stirrers, particularly In relation to photos on Membership Cards
After a number of motions to the Association, which got "no-where”, we pulled our horns in and have tried to refrain from stirring wherever possible. (You will notice that we have not got photos on our NSWAPA Cards)
The Club was growing slowly, with one or two of us representing the Club in various Shoots, when in July, 1967, we were informed by Mr. Bryen, whom we had elected as our Patron, that he had put the property up for sale. Early in 1968, we were given twelve months to find a new Range.
Several suggestions were put forward, but our Patron again came to our aid with an offer to move to his newly acquired property at Cecil Park and an offer to sell us a larger brooder house with which to build the new Range.
Our first thoughts were to build a Range from the bricks in this brooder house, but our now President, (Perce Thomas) who is a builder by trade, pointed out the problems and expense in such a project.
Still, we decided to go ahead with demolishing the brooder house.
I am sure that no one realised the scope of the project, we had let ourselves in for. The building was 200 ft. long by 18 ft. wide with 8 ft. high walls approximately 17,500 bricks which had to be knocked down and cleaned.
The floor was tongue and groove flooring and the roof galvanised iron which was in very good condition, considering the number of years it had been up.
On March 22nd, 1969, we closed the Range and on 29th March, 1969, started demolition. During the first weeks of demolition, we decided to construct the new range from precast concrete panels (Banbury Garage Panels made by Monier), we sold the bricks in thousand lots as we cleaned them.
During the brick cleaning, we found time to prepare drawings and submit them to Council and by June, 1969, we had transferred the remaining bricks and materials to the site at Cecil Park, where we started in on the earth works in June, 1969.
After a bulldozer levelled the site, taking care not to remove anymore trees than necessary, we prepared and poured ready-mixed concrete in July, 1969.
We had decided to build a Club Room first, so that we would have shelter when we started on the Range.( and to give us an idea on hold to build the main range) Luckily, we finished the Club Room before the weather turned bad.
It was not until September, 1969, that the weather allowed us to pour the foundations for the Range and with our hopes high, we set a date for Christmas 1969 for Range inspection.
It was not through lack of trying on our part, nor the efforts of our foreman, Perce Thomas , "The Whip" , as he became known, that we did not keep this date.
We owe a great deal of appreciation to all of our Members that we did complete the Range by the end of December, particularly to Mr. Thomas , "The Whip" , Mr. Jack Brightwell, who donated the steel for our baffles and bullet stop and to our new co-Patron, Mr. Vernon Veitch, who loaned the Club $500 to finish the Range and others would constitute a roll call of the Club.(Vernon Veitch and Les Spurrier spent many Saturdays and Sundays ankle deep in dry mortar busily cleaning the bricks that other members knocked down for us.)
With help from the police and the Range Inspection Committee, we were given permission to use the Range on January 8th, 1970, which, as you would expect after ten months of solid work, was the date of our first Shoot on the Range.
A notable thing that came from this work, was the close companionship which now abounds in the Club. It is a recognised thing to bring the family out to the range on Saturday afternoons and enjoy a bar-b-que with the Members, amid what we believe, to be the most pleasant surroundings of any Club in N.S.W.
Even our monthly working bees are more like a picnic, even though considerable work gets done.
The enclosed photograph was taken at the Official Opening of the Club, which was held on February 6th, 1971. The twelve months between opening the Range and the Official Opening, was to give our green-thumbed ladies and their helpers, time to make the area into the picture it was at the Opening Day.
Mr. Stan Coffey and Mr. Mick Gray, represented the Association and representatives from our two adjoining Clubs , Blacktown and Liverpool were represented. After the opening ceremony, a bar-b-que was enjoyed by all.
It must be noted, that the first shot fired on the Range after the Official Opening, was a 10, I will not say what the second shoot was.
Since the Opening, we have added a glass partition behind the shooters and now we can boast that we are probably the only Club in N.S W., if not in Australia, that has completely enclosed shooting bays, that have carpet on the floor and acoustic tiles on the ceiling, with an exhaust system to remove gun smoke.
When the Club embarked on the project, of the new Range, it had, including monies received from the sale of bricks, $1,148 in the Bank.
To date, we have spent $2,500 approximately and are proud to say, free of debt. Whilst our Range may never hold a State Shoot or for that matter, a Zone Shoot, we will I hope, hold many Team Shoots against individual Clubs and for distant Clubs , a Postal Shoot is only a letter away.
Until recently, only a few of our Members have been representing our Club in competitions throughout N.S .W., however, now that we have had an influx of keen young shooters, I hope that groups of our Members will be making themselves known all over, not necessarily as "Pot-Hunters", though it is nice to win one now and again, but as a friendly group of keen pistol shooters willing to make new friends everywhere.
This not too brief, brief history and comments has been compiled from Club records on behalf of the Burl Ida Pistol Club.
Document was originally produced in 1970