FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23: A total of 65 volunteer officials who have each provided 10 years of service to the Targa Tasmania motorsport tarmac rally will be honoured in Hobart tonight.
The officials will be presented with certificates and badges by the Premier of Tasmania, the Honourable Jim Bacon MHA, at a function at Wrest Point Casino.
Targa Tasmania Chairman Steve Frazer said the recognition of the officials was appropriate because it coincided with the10th anniversary of the rally since its inception in 1992, and the International Year of the Volunteer.
"These 65 dedicated volunteer officials have made an outstanding commitment and service to Targa over 10 years and we wish to publicly acknowledge that," said Frazer.
"Over 3,000 volunteers turn out at all times of day and night in all weathers to get Targa on the road each year, and their enthusiasm, professionalism, and expertise has delivered to Tasmania the biggest and best qualified group of motorsport officials available anywhere in Australia."
"With about 300 entries expected next year, and growing manufacturer involvement, Targa is now the biggest and best-known tarmac rally in the world and we couldn't have done it without our volunteer officials."
Those officials being honoured include 54-year-old Dennis Burgess, of West Moonah, who has served the event as the South area co-ordinator, a stage commander, course designer, marshal, and will be the Deputy Results Manager for a third successive year in the 2002 rally from April 17-21.
"The professionalism of Targa has been the main change over the 10 years," said Burgess.
"When we started it was a collection of different events connected by bits of road, but by the third or fourth year we had knocked it into shape and it's just kept getting bigger and better since then."
Burgess, who is the Tasmanian representative on the CAMS National Officials Panel, said Targa created different challenges to other major events he had been associated with, including the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Adelaide and later Melbourne.
"Targa is constantly moving so you need officials who can adapt quickly to different locations, whereas the grand prix is simpler with 750 officials in one spot around a closed track," he said.
Another being honoured is Evandale pensioner Marion Brooks, a start line record keeper in North area stages around Launceston whose family includes three generations of Targa volunteer officials.
Her daughter Penny Schmehl has also been a Targa starter since 1996, and grandchildren Jordie and Sammy-Jo Lewis have been road card runners.
Brooks said her favourite Targa memories included meeting rock star 'Angry' Anderson, lead vocalist for Rose Tattoo, when he was a Celebrity Starter before the 1999 rally, and Channel 9's 'Sale of the Century' television programme host Glenn Ridge, a regular Targa competitor.
"I was lucky enough to spend about half-an-hour with 'Angry' when he was in town for Targa, and Glenn (Ridge) is an absolutely wonderful person who always gives me a big smile and says 'Hello'," she said.
Officials from the North-West being honoured include 52-year-old Devonport business manager Nigel Anderson, who was stage commander of Cethana where Australia's five-times 500cc motorcycle world champion Michael Doohan crashed his Mercedes-Benz AMG CLK55 out of this year's rally.
"Fortunately no one was hurt, but it was a big accident and our officials were on the scene quickly to deal with the situation." he said.
"Like the other officials who've been involved with Targa since the beginning, I'm amazed at how it's grown in stature. It's good for promoting all of Tasmania, and for helping local business and the economy."
The officials being honoured for 10 years of service comprise 35 volunteers from the South, 15 from the North, 14 from the North-West, and one from the West, Joy Marshall of Queenstown.
During the function Premier Bacon will also present the ComputerLand Premiers Award to the highest placed Tasmanian entry in the Classic Competition, Geoff and Leon Duggan in a 1969 Datsun 2000 Sports.
Targa is owned and produced by Octagon Worldwide, the sports marketing and entertainment division of the Interpublic Group, one of the world's largest advertising and marketing communications groups.
NOTE: The full list of 65 officials honoured for 10 years of volunteer service with Targa Tasmania comprises -
Brett Kerr, Mark McGuire, Bob Adams, Stephen Bresnehan, David Watson, John Abbott, Steve Hyam, Margaret Hyam, Bronwyn Zuber, Dennis Burgess, Trevor Garrett, Jason McGuinness, Ken Roddam, Kevin Shaw, Patricia Curran, Peter Curran, Sidney Dorsett, Kevin Dowling, Ian Wade, Peter Doddridge, Kevin Neilsen, Phil Kalbfell, Paul Ingram, Tim Kingston, Syd McClymont, Jonathan Williams, Rod Barton-Johnson, Shane Curran, Kent Titmus, Jill Long, Robin Wilmot, Robert Crosswaite, Nancy Gear, Leon Glover, Ron Batchelor.
Bevis Perkins, Marion Brooks, Joan Gee, Rex McCarthy, Peter Marshall, Graeme Sharp, Malcolm Cairns, Gaynor Kerrison, Geoffrey Kerrison, Kathleen Cairns, Geoff McFarlane, John Richards, Allen Hutton, Peggy Boatwright, Peter Boatwright.
Barry Westwood, Veronica Jedyn, Barbara Wells, Barry Harding, Nigel Anderson, Ben Kerrison, Mark Smith, Walter Wrankmore, David Spicer, Norris Hayes, Dennis Millar, Chris Fagg, Bruce Duniam, Frank Lawes.