Hobbyists showcase activities

FLYING HIGH: Blue Lake Areo Modellers treasurer Paul O'Connor showcases one of the larger models.

Charlotte Varcoe

HOBBY enthusiasts gathered at the Saint Paul Church over the long weekend as part of the Mount Gambier Train and Hobby Show – the first within the region since the 1990’s.

The event was introduced by the South Australian and Gauge Society to further entice others into different hobby activities and clubs before continuing tours across regional areas.

Society secretary Peter Cawthorne said the club decided to begin their regional tour in Mount Gambier due to the long wait between model exhibition events.

“When we decided to up take these events throughout regional communities we knew the starting point had to be Mount Gambier,” Mr Cawthorne said.

“We also decided to include a number of other hobbies to exhibit as well as give local hobby clubs and businesses a chance to promote their whereabouts to the community.

He said across the long weekend activity, exhibitors had welcomed a number of children to the event, with Mr Cawthorne stating it was the “lighting up” of their faces which made the work worth it.

Blue Lake Tabletop Club member John MacGregor said throughout the weekend, many had stopped by the exhibition and examined a number of hand painted figures on display while also inquiring about the club’s ongoing activities.

“We as a club have been in the community for three years now and being able to be a part of an event like this really allows us to showcase what we can do within the community,” Mr MacGregor said.

“It is also about getting the idea of model making into other people’s minds and allowing them to realise they are able to get out and about and interact with others, not just on a computer screen or on social media.”

He said the tabletop games, such as Dungeons and Dragons and other role playing games, were very community and social based with people of all ages interested in the activities hosted throughout each month.

The Blue Lake Aero Modellers, also attended the event showcasing decades of different model airplanes across its 30-year active time period.

Club treasurer Paul O’Connor, suggested those interested in building objects should begin with model airplanes due to the variety in sizes and detail available.

“Many of these models have a wide range of detail and they can be as intricate as people want to make them,” Mr O’Connor said.

“There are different models, such as those which require detailed building and there are also those which can just be put together and ready to fly later in the week.”

Mr O’Connor said a major benefit of having the club within the district allowed for support within the model community with members assisting one another throughout the year.

“If there are those who are just starting out, those who have been doing it for a long time are able to guide them and help them along the way,” he said.

“Throughout the years of model airplanes there has been a significant change in regards to how they are built and although at first the models can be scary to fly, if they are flown alongside the club members we are able to guide them.”