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Russell Ramsden

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About Our Club

Christchurch Radio Fliers Club was started around 1972 by 5 members of Christchurch Model Aero Club who wanted to fly only Radio Controlled planes. The site found was in the Greenpark area, some 29km south of Christchurch City centre.
A club was formed in mid 1973, which affiliated to the National Model Ass as well.
In 1974 when I joined there were 15 members and it was normal practice for at least 3 members to get to the field early Sunday morning with their rotocut lawnmowers and cut the runway.
In 1975 Russell Ramsden donated 3 trophies to the club. They were the Most Helpful member, the Most Improved Flier, and the Club Champion Trophy. All to be presented at the AGM yearly.
In 1976 we bought a second hand ride on mower, which was the first major capital expense for the club and Brian Frew a very generous and supportive member of the club supplied a lockup container for the mower as well as a toilet for the field.
In 1981 Brian Frew arranged a get together of our club members with some radio control fliers from Greymouth and Hokitika to meet and fly in the Hokitika area on the Queens birthday weekend. This event snowballed every year getting bigger with members of other clubs around the south island getting involved as well.
In 1986 the Monthly General meeting at members home moved to a rented meeting room, giving us a more room to bring goods to sell etc.
In 1987, 5 days before the Queens Birthday fun fly-in Brian Frew died of cancer. At the young age of 48, a devastating loss to the club. He had been President of the club for the 4 years up to his death. His manner in dealing with issues and people helped the club to blossom.
In 1987 a trophy in the form of a large wooden prop was made by members George Franklin and Bert Franklin (not related) to be given to a worthy flier at the Queens birthday fun fly-in each year. Also a badge was struck for that event, and named the Frews Few badge.
In 1988 the regular get together of the club in late January at Springfield for a days flying turned into a Camp and fun fly-in at the Springfield domain on the weekend nearest to Waitangi weekend. This is usually a small gathering of West Coasters and our members having fun for 2 days, also going to the Springfield Hotel on the Sat night for a meal. Many a tall yarn was told around the tilley lamp late at night down at the campsite.
In 1994 the President Rod Bird died suddenly at the young age of 50. He was a very humorous and understanding person leaving many of us bewildered at his death.
In 1995 we moved 2km east from Greenpark to Motukarara to a new field and landlord. This was done mainly to give us 7 day a week access and a landowner more interested in our activities. A 20ft caravan was given to the club by Jeff Dermott painting contractors to be used for storing our greatly increasing assets on the field etc.
In 1996 was the start of our annual Float and Field Fly-in at Crichton Lake. Attracting flyers from all over New Zealand.
In 1999 we moved from the Motukarara site another 2 km east to our present field with the same land owner, to improve our flying in the north east wind conditions.
In 2000 we bought a shipping storage container so as to clear the caravan of all the assets and junk. The caravan was then taken away to Roger Atkinsons property where it was completely gutted and refitted with a new floor shelving and bench unit. A large glass sliding door and large window was fitted to one side and it was painted inside and out. This is now out at our field as a gathering place out of the sun wind and rain. A large wooden decking has been built outside the sliding door with wheelchair ramp access to the caravan, completing a dream of a couple of members. Membership is 46.
2001 the club decided to stop the Springfield event due to a falling interest and the wind, fire and tree hazzards involed in the site.
Written by Russell Ramsden

Those that have flown to the great meeting place in the sky

Brian Frew......... Rod Bird....... Bill Cairns .......
Mike Ensor ....... Bob Inder....... Bert Franklin
Mel Blokhuis