The VRI Dimboola community has built from scratch over the past few years. Together they have created a local meeting place and attract members of all ages. They have been inventive in fundraising and support is given from all members to look after maintenance and restoration of the hall.
The VRI Dimboola won the centre of the year award in 2018!
Dimboola committee and members hope everyone is coping well with our current Covid-19 situation. We have had a restricted start to 2020 with the pandemic but managed to complete some works in progress and activities in 2019-2020.
We have sold 50 VRI Dimboola beanies, our third season (150 beanies in total), proving quite popular within the Dimboola and surrounding community, even making their way down to Melbourne. Very good quality beanies proving popular during the winter season.
The committee sourced an old-style pedestrian gate and retro fitted it with a laser cut sheet of metal with the Dimboola VRI logo. A working bee was planned and members helped with their welding skills and fitted up a very smart looking front entrance pedestrian gate. This fits in well with the new black chain mesh fence funded by fund raisers and donations from the local community.
In July 2019 we held the VRI annual novelty golf day in partnership with the local golf club on Sunday 7th July which was well attended and a lot of fun was had.
December 21st was the annual Christmas breakup where Santa arrived on a grey Ferguson tractor much to the delight of everyone. Santa certainly was popular with the children.
Our annual Barefoot bowls competition in conjunction with the Dimboola Bowls Club was a fun filled twilight weekly 6-man, 2 team, tournament. Unfortunately, this was cut short due to the onset of the Covid pandemic.
Before lockdown restriction a 'tins and tinnies' day was held early March which entailed a fishing and BBQ day on the beautiful Wimmera River in Dimboola.
An original Indian Pacific passenger carriage sign was refitted in the VRI Hall procured from the Adelaide passenger terminal. It was cleaned up and fitted to the underside of the VRI stage to go with the rest of our railway memorabilia.
We were pleased to see that memberships continue to grow, now up to 47, with the aim of reaching 50members.
Unfortunately, we lost VRI member, locomotive driver and friend, Brant Ellis in September 2020. Brant was an avid steam engine enthusiast and valued member of our VRI team. Again, due to the Covid pandemic, we could not farewell Brant but an event has been added to the VRI calendar in his honor (The Brant Ellis steamfest).
Dimboola VRI hall was nominated in the Victorian Tidy Towns, Heritage and Cultural Award for restoring fencing along the street but unfortunately unsuccessful this year.
We are looking forward to when restrictions are lifted in Victoria and a return to our usual activities and friendships at Dimboola VRI.
We would like to thank VRI head office for their support and encouragement throughout the year and look forward to our continuing partnership.
Paul Sanders, President, Dimboola VRI