Wellington Smallbore Rifle Association

"100 Years" (1917 - 2017)

In 2017 the Wellington Smallbore Rifle Association celebrated it's 100th anniversary.  Unfortunately over the years some records have been lost.

In the last 72 years the Association has had:
15 presidents, 11 secretaries, 9 treasurers and 7 life members.

Our longest serving president, Neil Kinsey served 15 years.

Patricia Hastings served 38 years to be our longest serving secretary.

Dave Rew, our longest serving treasurer, held this position for 32 years.

Timeline   (researched by: Jess Fair)

1912 - Wellington Working Men's Club Rifle Section formed.  The club's oldest trophy dates back to 1912.  The club had two breaks in the 20s and 30s and again from 1964-1972.  WWMC shot in Cuba Mall with the 1980s the high point with 60 members.The club folded in 2002 and became South Wellington Smallbore Rifle Club.

1915 – Brooklyn Smallbore Rifle Club.  The club formed during WW1 to give the home guard somewhere to practice. The club's range was in Bruce Ave until the building was sold in 2014 when the club moved to the Royal Tiger Range with the hope of having their own range up and running in the next couple of years.

1916 – Osmond Shield. First presented in 1916 when it was shot for several times per year.  Teams are comprised of 8 shooters with 4 shooters being Master or A grade and 4 shooters being B Grade or below.

1917 – Wellington Smallbore Rifle Association founded.

1919 – First Open Championship held.

1921 – Open Grade Interclub shot for the first time.

1921 – B Grade Interclub shot for the first time.

1923 – Aotea Miniature Rifle Club formed. Current membership on the low side but has been one of the strongest clubs in numbers and ability.  Almost every Association trophy has Aotea MRC's name on it somewhere.

1926 – C Grade interclub shot for the first time.

1929 – Onslow Miniature Rifle Club formed.  Onslow MRC began shooting beside the Khandallah railway station in 1929. Onslow MRC shot on the three mound Khandallah range using 7 bull targets. In later years the range was shared by Ngaio Home Guard Reserve Rifle Club once they began shooting indoors. Aotea MRC used the range when the Royal Tiger Range burnt down. In 1970 Onslow absorbed another club but in later years membership dwindled and had to be built back up.  Unfortunately Onslow MRC had folded by the turn of the century.

1932 – Wright Cup first competed for.  This trophy comprises of teams of 6 members who are C Grade and below with the best 5 scores counting towards the team total.

1941 – Ngaio Home Guard Reserve Rifle Club formed. Ngaio HGRRC shot outdoors beside the railway line on Fox St and shot there until they began using the Khandallah Range, which they still use today.

1943  - Melrose Smallbore Rifle Club formed.  Melrose Battalion Home Guard decided to form a rifle club in 1943. WWMC allowed Melrose to use the range but no other facilities. The club moved to a few different ranges in their time.  

1945 – The Hutt Valley Clubs left the Wellington SRA to form the Hutt Valley Smallbore Rifle Association.

1946 – Victoria University of Wellington Smallbore Rifle Club formed.  It was common for universities to have shooting teams. The club shot in the Winter Show Building, Brooklyn Rifle Range and Royal Tiger Range and at VUW until the university revamped the "long room" (gym).

1954 – WSRA almost voted to disband due to not enough volunteers to stand on the Executive.

1958 – Wellington Closed Championship competition began for A Grade, B Grade, C Grade and Junior Grade.

1958 – Wellington Closed Championship competition began for Master Grade.

​​​​​​​1959 - Closed Championship Final 10 first shot.

1962 – WSRA first competed for the Rees Scroll.  It is competed for by North Island Associations.

1965 – Whitcombe and Caldwell Trophy first competed for.   Part of the original trophy was destroyed in the fire in 1979 but the base and engraving plate was at the engravers so it survived. This trophy is won by the clubs accumulating points that are awarded for winning Assn events during the year, Osmond Shield, Wright Cup, Interclub competitions, Closed Championships and Champion of Champions matches. 

1970 – The WSRA purchased the Royal Tiger Tavern building and it was moved to its current site on Russell Terrace and was added to to become the Royal Tiger Range.

1970 - Municipal Club goes into recess.

1970 - Wellington Pistol Club started shooting at the Royal Tiger Range on Friday evenings.

1970 - Wellington Closed Championship competition began for Women.

1971 - Ron Bowie became a life member of WSRA.

1972 – Wellington Closed Championship competition began for D Grade.

1972 - David Rew & Sally Porter became life members of WSRA.

1975 – Wgtn vs Waikato D Grade match competed for the first time. 

1977 – Open Grade interclub aggregate competed for the first time.

1979 Wellington Central Smallbore Rifle Club formed.  

1979 – FIRE at the Royal Tiger Range.  The fire completely distroyed the building in the early hours of 15 October.  It was 18 months before the range was rebuilt and operational.  Fortunately most of the Assn trophies were at the engravers as the annual presentations were due to be held later that month which meant they weren't at the Royal Tiger Range at the time of the fire.

1981 WSRA won the InterAssociation D Grade Match for the first time.

1981 - Royal Tiger Range re-opens in May.

1982 - Outward gauging targets introduced. 

1982 - Ken MacDowall became a life member of WSRA.

1982 - Rees Scroll Representative Badges presented for the first time.

1982Titiponamu A Grade won for first time.  

1984 - Patricia Hastings became a life member of WSRA.

1988 B Grade Teams of 5 shot for first time.   

1988 - Interclub teams reduced to 4 person teams.

1990 – B Grade and C Grade interclub Aggregate Trophies competed for the first time.

1992 – Association 75th anniversary held at Royal Tiger Range

1993 – Wellington Closed Championship competition began for Veteran Grade

1994 – Open interassociation won for the first time.  

1998 - Bill and Ada Kinsey became life members of WSRA.

1998 – Junior interassociation won for the first time.   

1998 - Won B Grade Teams of 5 for first time.

1999 – Onslow MRC ceased affiliating to WSRA.

2001 – Champion of Champions match introduced.

2002 – Wellington first competed in National District Championship.  NDC representative badges and bars presented for first time.

2002 - WWMC Rifle Section ceased to exist.

2003 South Wellington Smallbore Rifle Club formed.  Now shoot for WWMC trophies.

2003 - Wgtn #1 team 1st in Rees Scroll.

2006 – Victoria University Wellington Club folded.

2009 – Womens Inter Association won for the first time. 

​​​​​​​2009 - Wgtn #2 team 1st Jim Hart Trophy

2011 – Wgtn #2 team 1st Jim Hart Trophy

2012 – New targets introduced

2016 – Marking course introduced.

2017 Won division 2 for NDC, moved to div 1 for 2018
Brooklyn, Aotea, Melrose, Wgtn Central and South Wellington are still active clubs of WSRA.

2017 – Association 100th anniversary held at the Pines function centre, Wellington.

2018 - Association's first woman president elected - Sue Bowen

2020 - Covid_19 lockdowns disrupted competitions & clubs.

2021 - Further lockdowns and disruptions with Covid.

2021 - Won division 1 for NDC.

2021 - Beverley Newton became a life member of WSRA.

2022 - Wgtn #1 team Won Rees Scroll 

2022 - New Firearms legislation introduced, requiring Ranges and Clubs be certified