Having attended the Moke Muster to celebrate 50 years of Mokes in Australia I would like to
take this opportunity to say many words with a personal perspective about this grand
After three and a half hours on a plane, a forty five minute taxi ride and finally a two and a half
hour train journeywe arrived at the country city of Shepparton's station none the worse for
our travels though the 3;45am rise had taken its toll somewhat.All told from Cairns 1555
miles (2502 km).
Sounds a bit gruelling?- No way!our endeavours were the equivalent of walking across the
street and completely insignificant compared with the ten Western Australian travellers who
had driven the 2094 miles (3370km)to Shepparton IN THEIR MINI MOKES!And second best,
(or first loser!) Darren Jones and his daughter who had a very adventurous drive down from
Cairns (1639 road miles - 2638km) in ‘Bugs’ their Turbo Diesel Moke. Amongst other things
they ran over a big Roo - FWOPP!!! But that's another story!
Greater Shepparton which includes the Goulburn Valley lies 100 miles (160m) north of
Melbourne and has a distinct title - ‘Australia's food bowl’. It produces 25 per cent of the total
value of Victoria's agricultural production. With the household names of SPC Ardmona,
Campbell's Soup and Unilever,these companies all have a presence within its location.
But the biggest, and at the heart of all this industrious manufacturing, is the dairy industry.
With total sales of milk,including UHT for China, in excess of $120mit is no wonder that a
bovine emblem has been chosen to represent Greater Shepparton.
And best of all Shepparton is the perfect place to hold a Muster. Not too busy, considerate
drivers, only two main roads,places where all our Mokes could gather, all accommodation and
venues within a short distance of each other and perfect weather - you'd be battling to find
MOKES IN WAITING
Back to our arrival at the railway station or in today's language train station. (fair enough - a
bus station has never been called a road station!) We were met by Club members, Colin
(Squizzy) Taylor and Tim Ainsworth a long-time resident and were then driven to Tim's house
to pick up my Moke (‘Mokio’). It had been transported from Cairns by car-carrier and as a
consequence had covered all those miles without hardly turning a wheel! Likewise Colin's Moke
had arrived a few days before by carrier from his residence in Townsville.Both Mokes had
been dropped off at Tim's place and he and his family had kept a careful watch over them-
many thanks Tim& Family.
We then climbed into ‘Mokio’ and drove to our magnificent hotel overlooking ‘Victoria Park
Lake’. And what a wonderful feeling to be actually Moking around in this ‘foreign’ State at last.
I had booked the car-carrier in December 2015! The ‘we/us’ on this trip were 3 - myself, Grace
my partner of 20 years and of 1921 vintage, my mother Elsie - a rare trio of intrepid travellers
The next day was Good Friday and Registration Dayand it was held in the ‘Shepparton
Community Centre’. Here we signed on and picked up our name tags, a number to stick on the
windscreen, our bag of pre-paid goodies;Caps, T-Shirts,Badges and suchlike. And a copy of the
A5 Muster Souvenir Booklet which contained general information and 146 photos, one for
each Moke registered for the Muster. (There were more Mokes which turned up just for
Under each photo was the name of the owner and a short description of the Moke. With this
booklet one only needed to match the number on the Moke's windscreen with the one in the
booklet to know who its owner wasand a fair amount of info on the Moke.Absolutely brilliant!
Our thanks to Jill Whatmore the Booklet's complier.
And big smiles and handshakes or hugs all round whenat the registration we met many of our
friends from the Moke Owner's Association of Victoria who we hadn't seen for years.
Friday arvo was a short local mystery-tour convoy and in the evening a BBQ/Welcome -
getting-to-know-you night at ‘Moke Central’ also known as ‘Gateway Lifestyle Shepparton East
Holiday Park’ the Muster folk's main accommodation place. Organiser, Rhonda thought just a
small BBQ maybe 50-80 people, but a hard-to-believe 250 plus were there! Lots of Moke talk
and good tucker under the stars.
COMPLEMENTS TO THE COMMITTEE OF THE MOKE OWNER'S ASSOCIATION OF VICTORIA
It would be appropriate here to acknowledge the Muster Committee and each played a vital
role in organising this outstanding accomplishment.
Everything went so smoothly it was just as if they'd done it all 100 times before -BUT THEY
HADN'T!Their professionalism completely beliedthe fact that the whole show was almost 2
years in the making! So a big WELL DONE and THANK YOU to the Muster Committee.
Glenn Golds, Co-ordinator ♦ Rhonda Flynn, Chairman & Master of Ceremonies ♦ Laura Piccari,
Promotion, Advertising & Purchasing ♦ Jill Whatmore, Registrations, Orders & Booklet ♦ Scott
Markby, Design & Graphics ♦ Clive Allan, Finance & Communications ♦ Bob Higgins, Purchasing
♦ Peter Shackleton, Web Site ♦ Also - Bruce, Tim, Dale, Helen and Axel.
We all had a really beaut time thanks to your tireless and uncompromising efforts.
SHOW AND SHINE
The Saturday morning saw the fabulous weather continuing with blue skies and sunshine up
above the huge circle of Mokes corralled two deep in places,on the northern shore of ‘Victoria
Park Lake’.It was the ‘Show and Shine’ display for the public and attendees.But the Mokes
didn't have to shine to join the show. Being in the attractive centre of Shepparton the Park
was a flocking place for locals and visitors alike and it could be said that this show
encapsulated captivated collective wonderment in the general public, some of whom had
never clapped eyes on even one Moke before now! I had a go at counting the Mokes - 154.
And it was here that sharp-eyed, sharp-pencilled judges scrutinised the mighty mob of Mokes
and weighed up the pros and cons decidingon the appropriate trophies to be disbursed
during Presentation Night.And the public too, with a gold coin donation, could voice their
unbiased opinion. Within the circle, coffee and food vans and Trade stands had been set up
and were well patronised.
And it was here I met Craig Watson alias ‘TJ Watto’. Craig is in total the ‘The BMC Experience’
guy and justifiably has the admiration of thousands of auto fans who relish his amazingly
sophisticated publications. How he manages to assemble such a superlative miscellany of
totally engrossing information and exquisite photos for each publication is mindboggling
magic!If you are not already a fervent follower of ‘The BMC Experience’, purchase and read
just one copy and you'll be hooked.www.bmcexperience.com.au
Saturday arvo was upon us already and our next assembly place was in the parking area of the
‘South Shepparton Football Club’ which had a very convenient high embankment. A BBQ/trivia
night was held at this club in the evening, sorry - back to Victoria Park. The drive from the Park
to the line-up photo-shoot was by regulated convoy.This avoided congestion and gave the
line-up officials enough time to carefully control the number of Mokes required in each line. It
was great to see that someone had the foresight to mark long straight white lines on the
Special mention here is given to Bob Higgins and his Moke ‘Jersey’. He was so concerned
about making sure the Park was left in its original pristine condition after we had all left that
they missed the line-up altogether! Bob, your sacrifice was greatly appreciated.
So the criteria for the number of Mokes in one line was what Peter Shackleton could see
through the lens of his digital SLR camera. Balanced somewhat precariously on the top of a
Ute he was the highest living soul at this great gathering and his constant vociferating gave
good guidance to the musterers in the paddock down below.
It took a fair while as you can imagine but then there it was -all lined up and smart as - an
awe inspiring vista of a collection of 157 Mokes previously unseen by humankind and WE'D
DONE IT!- Yippee!
Photos taken,Peterthen got us all to stand beside our Mokes,throw our arms up in the air
and Jump for Joy!
A proud moment indeed and only a jiffy in time but this sanctimonious sight will now grace
the annals of history and last for an eternity.
BUT really, it wasn't about the number of Mokes - it was all about getting together with
likeminded Moking enthusiasts and the camaraderie that ensued.
Very early Sunday morning saw a mass of Mokes meandering their way to the Port of Echuca
on the shores of the Murray River. And a Southwest Wander Tour was also organised.
Unfortunately I was outvoted and we weren't with either - so hopefully a participant will
submit the missing words with photos about these adventures?
And if all that wasn't enough the best for many was yet to come – a superlative Sunday social
evening at Shepparton's huge ‘Goulburn Valley Hotel’. This hotel pulled out all stops to ensure
the success of the occasion – they even allowed two Mokes to be driven into the foyer to greet
the guests and leave them in no doubt that they had come to the right venue!And a better
venue could not be wished for with a scrumptious a–la–carte 3–course meal perfectly prepared
and presented by the hotel's experts. Complementing the dinner were the wonderfully
decorated tables and surrounds set up by the hotel's staff and creating a perfect ambiance for
the 265 guests. In one corner of our classy dining room an extra–large T.V. was used for a
continuous Moke slide show. The 146 photos and more really came to life on the big screen.
Master of ceremonies for this occasion was the ever vivacious Rhonda Flynn who did a
tremendous job keeping the ‘vast amount’ of speeches and prize-giving moving along
splendidly – good onya Rhonda!
At auction time Geoff Sharman our august and authentic auctioneer was a hoot as he worked
wonders with a whole brigade of bright–eyed ‘binging’ bidders.
There were concerns to the length of time the auction was taking but I didn't think that this
was an issue at all. With so many delightful things to auction and so many wanting to put in
their bid, the time it took wasn't relevant at all because everyone was having a ball! And the
outcome was a terrific $2200 in sales. This included the Raffle and Peoples’ choices at ‘Show &
Shine’. The large sum was subsequentlydonated to‘Clown Doctors – Humour Foundation’,they
help children in hospital feel less traumatised by medical procedures. The local Shepparton
group ‘People Supporting People’ was also supported.
During the presentation ceremony I was allowed to blow the trumpet for the Mini Moke Club,
thanks Rhonda, and as a personal best ‘in one go’ rallied 08 new members. I would like to
thank them all for taking the time to submit their details and for having the insight to become
part of our world–wide Moking fraternity. HURRAH!
ALL FOR NOW FOLKS
Monday morning was for fond farewells with a cuppa and a chat and to read all about it in an
excellent full page report in the ‘Shepparton News’. GREAT!
And another muster 10 years from now? I heard it said that the New South Wales Mokers
were a bit huffy about the Victorians always pinching all the limelight. So who knows for some
maybe 10 years could be way too long to wait. LET'S HOPE SO!
And for the many merry Mokers who attended the Muster please don't be afraid to voice your
corrections to the above and also take a bit of time to submit any/all of your Moke
experiences and photos for this magazine.
My thanks to Jill Whatmore for her valued assistance in compiling this report.
Cheers, Down under Dave