We regret to advise that he St. Margaret’s Travel Club, which had undertaken over 50 tours since its quiet beginning in 1993, was discontinued in May 2017.
Some of the tours undertaken previously were modest one day visits to places of interest locally, but the vast majority were to areas much further afield. Think of The Great Ocean Road & the Grampians, the Kimberley, the Flinders Ranges, Western Australia in the wild flower season, the NSW North Coast, the Central West, Norfolk Island, the wine regions of Corowa and Rutherglen, Tasmania, a Murray River Cruise, Lord Howe Island, and even New Zealand – twice. They’d been to them all, and many more. Some trips were over two weeks in duration but the most popular ones in later times had been those of 4 or 5 days, staying in the same motel each night and doing day trips each day.
The club always was conscious of the need to keep costs within the reach of most people. Accommodation was usually 3.5 star and most, if not all, meals were included. It operated on a not-for-profit basis. An initial joining fee of $2.50 or $5 per couple was charged and that got you onto the mailing list. Usually 3 or 4 Newsletters were circulated (either by post or email) each year to keep members up to date with arrangements for forthcoming tours.
There is no doubt that the most outstanding aspect of the club was the fellowship, the goodwill and the friendliness of all the travellers. Many new friendships have been forged, even one marriage! They had many wonderfully happy and enjoyable trips. It was a friendship club as much as a travel club. There were no age barriers to membership but seniors clearly predominated. Most members had some connection with a church, but not all. It was a very ecumenical club; usually 3 or 4 and sometimes 5 denominations were represented on a tour.
The Club held an Annual Report & Planning Meeting, usually in November, and members were encouraged to attend and have an input into the planning process. It was managed by a small Management Committee appointed by, and responsible to, the church council. Day to day administration was carried out from St Margaret’s Church Office.