- Headlines as reported in the Port Macquarie News - Monday 11 October 1971
Southern Cross Motor Rally
The 1971 Sun-Caltex Southern Cross motor rally was won outright in Port Macquarie yesterday by a Holden dealer team's Holden Torana XUI driven by Colin Shepheard. Second outright winner was also a Holden Torana XUI entered by City State racing team.
Third and fourth places were taken by Mitsubishi Motor Corporation's Valiant Galant and fifth place went to a Datsun 1600. History was made when the rally finished. It was the first motor trial to be held in Australia according to international rules in which the placings were provided within four hours of the final leg.
The official finish to the rally was greeted by thousands of Port Macquarie people who travelled from all over the town to watch cars arrive at the finishing area in front of the Travelodge Motel.
The most hair-raising epic throughout the 2,500 miles travelled by the 56 competitors out of a start of 79 cars was that experienced by Tom Barr-Smith and his navigator on the Port Macquarie - Wauchope Road. Driving a Renault 16TS, Tom Barr-Smith came to a junction of the road near Wauchope travelling at 70 m.p.h. Realising at the last minute that it was a T-junction he slammed on his brakes to find that they had failed. Within seconds he had crossed the joining road, hurtled over an adjacent railway line and crashed through a fence to travel a further 50 yards before coming to a stop in a deep, muddy bog. It is estimated 12 cars were rolled across the four days of motoring.
Girl students studying for secretarial qualifications at Wauchope Technical College last week visited various organisations and businesses in Port Macquarie, including Port Macquarie Municipal Council, to learn at first-hand what it was really like to be a secretary.
Ham Assists Mercy Call
An urgent radio appeal for help from an ill-fated expedition party holidaying in the Capertree Valley which was picked up by a Port Macquarie radio ham during the holiday weekend enabled medical help to be rushed to the scene.
The radio ham is Mr. Peter Alexander. Immediately he heard the distress signal he telephoned Lithgow ambulance depot and a wagon was sent speeding on a 70-mile round trip to get an injured member of the expedition party to hospital.
A convoy of more than 12 four-wheel-drive vehicles and motorcycles set out at the start of the holidays to attempt to travel through an unchartered maze of fire trails and virgin bush from Capetree to Colo River and on to Putty.
During the trip, a member of the party of adventure seekers suddenly became seriously ill. Concerned at the condition of Brian Fitzgerald, 26, of Wallerawang, another member of the party, an amateur radio enthusiast broadcast for help. Fitzgerald made a recovery after being admitted to hospital in good time due to Mr. Alexander's fortitude.
Methodist Flower Show
The Methodist Flower was held last Thursday in the Methodist Hall. The show was open from 1 p.m. until 9 p.m. to enable more people to see the many floral displays. Champion Bloom of the Show was a rose entered by Mrs. L Waldron.