Monday, february 23, 2004
IT was a bittersweet weekend for the shooting fraternity in Orange and district.
Bitter owing to the devastating fire that damaged the Orange and District Pistol Club range on Saturday and sweet with the opening of the Orange Clay Target Club's new range at nearby Lewis Ponds.
Both facilities have been built by club members who have toiled tirelessly and without thanks for many years.
They are splendid facilities that not only serve the local sportspeople well but also attract others from throughout the region, NSW and even further afield.
Both clubs hosted regional events at the weekend and attracted many competitors.
Unfortunately the pistol club's regional championships had to be called off on Saturday afternoon when fire destroyed some facilities and damaged others.
The loss is hard for club members and the community to come to grips with but the same spirit and sense of community that has seen the club build up their range over many years, will ensure that the pistol club bounces back stronger than ever and that it rebuilds its facilities.
Yes, the club will be relying on the community to support its efforts and, just as it does for so many good causes, the community will, and must, rally behind members.
The same spirit has been shown by members of the clay target club which at the weekend opened its new range and clubhouse worth well in excess of $100,000.
Members are rightly proud of the facility and have been encouraged by the amount of support from businesses and the community at large.
The enthusiasm and dedication of members of both clubs is indicative of the spirit that results in this city and region being so strong and vibrant ... long may it exist.