The first meetings to establish the Toowoomba Chapter FX FJ Holden Club of Queensland were held at the Norville Hotel, Toowoomba, in late 1978 although the date of first official recorded meeting was on 10/01/1979.
It is noted that the instigators and founding members of the Toowoomba Chapter FX FJ Holden Club of Queensland were Larry Dawson, Eddie Hansford and Dave Coleborn. Consequently, these gentlemen formed the first executive of the Club – Larry as President, Eddie as Treasurer and Dave as Secretary.
At that first recorded meeting, it was noted that there were 12 members and 3 visitors. By the second meeting there were 14 members and 4 visitors. By the third meeting, membership had grown to twenty members and by July 1980, the Club had a membership of 39. In the early days of the Club, meetings were held in the upstairs lounge at the Norville Hotel. In January 1980, the venue for meetings was shifted to the Newtown Hotel and it was at about this time that women began attending meetings.
In January 1979, a very young Harry Kunkel joined the Club followed by Frank Kenneally in February 1980, Marshall Jones in March 1980 and Ray Chicken in January 1982. All four, together with their wives, continue to be active members of the Toowoomba FX FJ Holdens Inc. some 30 years later.
When first established, the Club was known as the Toowoomba Chapter FX-FJ Holden Club of Queensland. The name was changed to its current name of the Toowoomba FX-FJ Holdens Incorporated on the 29th May 1986 (Incorporation Number – 1574). This was done for a number of reasons but was primarily because becoming an incorporated club provided a constitution to guide Club decisions. It also became necessary for insurance purposes.
Much debate has occurred over the years regarding another change of name to more accurately reflect the vehicle ownership of current members. The current membership has voted overwhelmingly to retain the Club name of Toowoomba FX-FJ Holdens Incorporated.
The first recorded Club event was an Australia Day Rally which was held in January 1979. It was a one day Show and Shine at East Creek, Kitchener Street, Toowoomba. This event was again held in 1980 and 1981, but then changed to an Easter event in 1982.
The Easter Rally was a 3-day event beginning with registrations on the Friday evening. A Show and Shine was held on the Saturday morning followed by gymkhana events on a Saturday afternoon. These gymkhana events included Go to Whoa using electronic timing lights over a ¼ mile, Slalom Racing and Tug of War. Iron Man events were also held on the Saturday afternoon. A social dinner was held on the Saturday night and it is interesting to note that, at the first Easter rally, the social dinner was attended by 150 people at a cost of $1.50/head! An observation run occurred on the Sunday morning followed by more social events on Sunday afternoon which included a cross-cut saw race for men and a throw-the-rolling pin event for women. Sunday night was Presentation night.
These events were held at various venues including the old and new Toowoomba showgrounds, Oakey showgrounds, Echo Valley and Willow Springs and continued until the early 1990s.
In the mid 1980s, the Club included the Swap Meet and All Holden Day to its annual calendar of events. These events became the major focus for the year and eventually replaced the Easter Rally. The Swap Meet and All Holden Day are held in October at South’s Rugby League grounds (Toara Park) in Baker Street, Toowoomba.
The Club hosted the State Titles in 1988 at the Toowoomba Showgrounds.
Over the years, the Club has attended several national rallies which have included events in Tumut and Narrandra. Closer to home, the Club attended an annual Australia Day rally hosted by the Brisbane Northside Club, rallies held on the June long weekend hosted by the Brisbane Club, rallies held in Warwick on a weekend in October and the Cooroy Club events. In the very early years, the Club also attended a weekend event in Maryborough and had a social weekend in Byron Bay. Club interaction was very important with all clubs supporting each others’ functions. These events were all family orientated.
As the name suggests, the Toowoomba FX-FJ Holdens Inc. Club was originally established for members who owned FX and FJ model Holdens only. In the late 1980s, to increase membership numbers, owners of later model cars were encouraged to join. It was then that the Club extended its membership invitation to include all model Holden cars to HR. This invitation was extended to WB in the 1990s. The Club now has members who have Toranas and early model Commodores as Club cars.
The clubhouse situated in Water Street (South), was purchased in the early 1990s from the Darling Downs Vintage and Veteran Car Club. Harry Kunkel and Robert Vettiger negotiated the purchase. The clubhouse was required to provide the Club with a permanent venue to hold meetings and facilities for club events.
The funds for the purchase of the clubhouse were raised primarily by holding a “200 club” raffle at the Norville Hotel each Saturday morning in the early 1980s. Other funds were raised by “chook” raffles at Newtown Hotel, pie and lamington drives, tickets at youth club and excess All Holden Day and rally funds.
The clubhouse is situated on land leased to the Club by the Toowoomba Regional Council. Unfortunately, this lease expires in March 2012 and the Club has no option to extend the lease. (This is the case for all clubhouses along Water Street). The fate of the clubhouse is yet to be decided!
The Toowoomba FX-FJ Holdens Inc. Club has an active membership. The club endeavours to provide for its members one event every month. These include runs to organised car shows, places of interest (car and non-car related) and observation runs. The current membership is approximately 35 and members’ families are still very welcome at all club events. Please go to future run link on this page or our facebook page for more information.