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18th AGM

En route to Denmark

While there may be only one letter difference between Renmark and Denmark it has in fact taken us twelve months to travel the distance and yet the conviviality and friendship are exactly the same.  Somewhere in an eastern state a traveller wondered how we were going to get our vans to Denmark.  Ian told him that A’vans were “very versatile”.   A few A’vanners even took in a “Murray River Cruise” in an attempt to gain their sea legs.  

On our way here we were on a section of the road that served as a “flying doctor airstrip” when something flew past us.  Was it a plane?  Was it a train?  Perhaps it was Superman!  But no! It was simply the “Flying Gerroan”. 

Many A’vanners attended the ANZAC Dawn Service at Albany.  

Unfortunately two of our A’vans met with mishaps as they travelled from east to west.  Fortunately none of our A’vanners was hurt but we can’t say the same for the wildlife.  Neil and Jenny James had a rather nasty incident when they came into contact with an emu and their car won’t be back on the road for at least 6 weeks.  Special thanks to Cliff and June Hicks who drove into Albany to tow the James’ van to Denmark.  Not content with one altercation, another A’vanner had a second confrontation with a kangaroo resulting in slight damage to his already repaired vehicle.      


Day 1 -  Saturday 29th April  2017

It was quite a misty morning when we awoke but once the fog lifted the weather was very pleasant.  Denmark is a lovely town with many local attractions, innumerable wineries and lots of necessities such as coffee shops and eateries. How long is it since you had personalised service when you refuelled your car?

The Ocean Beach Caravan Park is about 7 km out of town.  The park is beautifully maintained, the sites are very grassy, the amenity block is enormous and spotlessly clean.  I’d be very surprised to hear that anyone had to queue for a shower.  We reported a leaking tap and there was a response within the hour.    I’m told that the Rivermouth Park is also lovely. 

Photo 1 -  A’vans  in Ocean Beach Park

As per usual Registration was very well organised.  It was held at the Sea Rescue Hall which is only 1.5 km from the Ocean Beach Caravan Park so many people walked to the hall. A’vanners from Western Australia acted as car parking attendants and also manned the various tables.    It is great to see so many Western Australian A’vans  (47) in attendance. (ACT-6, NSW-42, QLD-18, SA-18, TAS-3, Vic-45 plus 2 visitors from USA).  


Photo 2 - Car Parking Attendants – Vince, Peter and Tom from WA

Photo 3 - Gary and Sue McDonald on the Wild Flower Table

Photo 4 - Lily Lawrenson (current First Lady), June (past First Lady) and Cliff Hicks (past President).

I’ve always thought that the First Timer’s (35) Happy Hour was an excellent innovation.  Once again it proved to be very popular with over 70 people in attendance.  

Photo 5 – First Timer’s Happy Hour. Thanks to Carole Brun

Photo 6 – American Visitors, Dave and Heather Michaels chatting to Australian A’vanners.  Thanks to Carole Brun

At the Welcome Happy Hour we were introduced to American A’vanners, Dave and Heather Michaels who reside in Bedford, New Hampshire, USA.  It will be interesting to learn how our club compares to the American club.  We’ll be hearing more from Dave at a later date.

Photo 7 – Welcome Happy Hour

Trivia, Crazy Whist and Board Games all attracted many people.  These informal evenings provide an opportunity for First Timers to meet other like-minded travellers along with yet another chance for veteran A’vanners to catch up with, and, renew old acquaintances.  

Photo 8 – Packing up after Crazy Whist

Herewith a photo of the “Flying Gerroan” “coming back down to earth” in the laundry.  In fact he is participating in the most popular activity of the entire week.   

Photo 9 – Flying Gerroan down to earth  (aka Malcolm Weir)

Photo 10 – The Most Popular Activity

A Brief History of Denmark

It is believed that Aborigines first arrived in the area of Denmark about 40,000 years ago.  Archaeological evidence such as fish traps and carbon from cooking fires has been identified in a cave near Ocean Beach. (1) www.jettycottage.com/The_History_of_Denmark_WA.htm

The land between King George Sound and Swan River was first called Leeuwin in 1622 and  the first European sighting of the Denmark area was in 1627 by the Dutchman François Thijssen who sailed as far east as Ceduna in South Australia. He charted about 1800 kilometres of coastline between Cape Leeuwin and Nuyts Archipelago  (2). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denmark,_Western_Australia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fran%C3%A7ois_Thijssen

When Europeans first explored the land around Denmark, the Aborigines called the river and the inlet Kwoorabup which means “place of the black wallaby”. (3) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denmark,_Western_Australia

A Brief History of Denmark continues on Day 2




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