Our Rich History
In 1961 a meeting took place at Marconi Club in Bossley Park where Argo Benedetti, Paolo Gei, Anthony Romanelle, George Calderan, Tony Dotto, Zaferino (Zed) Del Ben and Celeste Bortolin and it was then when Marconi Clay Target Club was formed.
The idea for the club came from Argo Benedetti who enjoyed shooting with friends to give field shooters and hunters a safe environment to shoot at their leisure on the weekends. Argo instantly became president after affiliating with the ACTA.
Originally 15 – 20 members would shoot at what is now the SSAA range at Silverdale using hand traps during shoots that took place monthly where their wives and children would come and watch like a traditional Italian family would.
After a few years Marconi moved to Hawkesbury Gun Club in Windsor where shoots continued to take place once a month. The Hawkesbury Gun Club was different because they had their own machines so Marconi hired the grounds for the day and purchased their targets there as well.
It was now the early 70’s and Marconi shooting was happening at Royal Aero Club based in Bankstown but the club burnt down after having all their takings stolen. Royal Aero never came back and rose from the ashes.
Marconi Clay Target Club and Sydney Clay Target Club joined forces on the grounds at Heathcote Road, Lucas Heights in the mid 1970’s and continues to grow in success and members which brings so much joy to Paolo and Fulvia Gei.
The Early Days of Marconi Clay Target Club at Heathcote Road
In 1976 Sydney Clay Target Club had moved to Heathcote Road, Lucas Heights from Waterfall and cleared an area of land to accommodate a small clubhouse and generator room with three down the line traps.
The first ever shoot that was run by the new Sydney and Marconi shooting force was a section of the 1976/1977 Winchester Cup Tournament which was held on Saturday 26 th and Sunday 27 th of March in 1977. Nine months before this tournament took place an extensive amount of work had been carried out.
Voluntary, Barry Casey and Ray Lucre purchased and installed generators to the grounds and handled the construction and installation of the steel security door to the generator room.
Johnny Nascimben and Angelo Lucchese did the concrete slab in front of the original clubhouse.
Leni Crema hired an eight ton tipper and a backhoe with the help of an operator, dug the foundations to the slab area and moved the soil to fill the hole between the clubhouse and generator room. They also both started the dam which has since been enlarged several times.
Zeff Del Ben, his son Artie and Zeff’s business partner Angelo Lucchese took on the responsible task of moving the colourbind roof to cover the slab in front of the clubhouse and Zeff also supplied and installed three steel doors. Johnny Nascimben was involved in concrete pours and Tony Dotto supplied and operated the concrete pump.
Peter Santarossa, Celeste Bortolin and Mario Casetta carried our labouring work, form work and steel fixing duties. For a minimal fee Mario Galli carried out the electrical work needed and Joe Zadro did the plumbing, drainage and sceptic system.
They purchased second hand lights from the late Royal Aero Gun Club and the poles were obtained by Jim Miatt and transported to the grounds by Barry Kable.
Johnny Nascimben, Angelo Lucchese, Leni Crema and Barry Casey put up the poles with a borrowed backhoe from the plumber being used to lift them up. Barry Casey was assisted by Jim Miatt and Peter Rose in putting up the club clubs.
Some of these members still shoot at the range today and we want to personally thank them for all their hard work and dedication to the Marconi Clay Target Club. More history will be added soon so keep your eyes peeled for more Marconi historical information including the refurbishment of trap one and trap two.