Where did it all begin?
Back in the early 1990’s there was no specialised event in Brisbane for the Scale Modelling Community. A number of clubs, would regularly attend and display at the annual Pet and Hobby Show, held within the confines of the Brisbane Exhibition Grounds. Regrettably those attending were usually treated as ‘second class citizens’ and more often than not pushed off to one end of a pavilion.
So it was that at one of their local club meetings, respected modellers Mr’s John King and David Charles found themselves discussing the idea of developing such a model show. To do so would need the involvement of all the surrounding clubs and obviously a number of local and ‘hopefully’ interstate vendors. So canvassing of the clubs to sell the idea commenced. After some initial trepidation, largely in respect to the cost and work involved to get such a show up and running, most became extremely keen to undertake the venture. At the time there were only a couple of “State” modelling shows; these being ‘Model Expo’ in Melbourne, and the ‘S.A. Model Show’, in Adelaide.
A number of smaller ones were being run, but these two were regarded as the pinnacle. A venue, sponsors, and vendors all needed to be found. A huge job indeed. Not fazed by the daunting task at hand, the project was commenced. A major naming sponsor was discovered and the Brisbane Table Tennis Centre, at Downey Park, was located and acquired for the first show; planned for the 12th and 13th October 1996. At one of the many meetings held to organise the event, fellow club member Mr David de Ryck suggested the possibility of running a competition in conjunction with the show; as had previously been conducted at the Pet Shows. David (No 2) volunteered to undertake the task and the Queensland Scale Modelling Championship was born. Categories were finalised, rules raised, and entry forms printed and distributed.
Then only weeks before the doors opened for the first time, the naming sponsor advised they would no longer be able to sponsor the event. What to do? In what would become a stroke of genius, all the founding clubs were approached and asked for assistance. Every club jumped at the chance to help by putting up cash donations, from their own funds, to cover the hall hire, etc. Such was the faith they all had in the event being a success.
Finally Friday 11th October arrived; set up day! The organisers along with a hoard of volunteers arrived early to mark out the hall for all the displays, competition and vendors; and they waited with much anticipation to see what would eventuate. Clubs arrived, as they still do today, later in the day and started set up; along with a few excited vendors. The competition area was laid out, this being about a third of the size of what it is now. A total of 119 models were entered in that first competition in 15 categories, with the standard of entries laying the platform for what would come in the many years to follow. Since then the competition has varied in entry numbers, with new records being set, but numbers consistently figuring around the 400 mark.
The QSMC is now the second largest competition in Australia, with over 60 categories, and is only beaten in size by Model Expo in Melbourne; with visitors attending from all over Australia and even New Zealand.
Life Members of QMHE
Keith Carrington (Deceased)
* John passed away suddenly late last month.