North West Star is beyond excited for the 60th Mount Isa Rodeo this week.
To celebrate the rodeo’s diamond jubilee, we had a dig through our archives.
Each night we will share a gallery of photos that will give you a glimpse into the past.
Tonight is all about the Rockdrill Club.
In the 80s a small band of miners formed the Mount Isa Hardrock Mining – Rockdrill Club with the objective to promote, encourage and compete in rock drilling competitions.
Thirty-seven years on, they are remembered with an exclusive Rockdrill Club reunion to be held during the 60th Mount Isa Rotary Rodeo week and a ‘Meet and Greet’ at the Outback at Isa on Thursday August 9 –Saturday August 11 from 9am to 3pm
The Club members will have a display with memorabilia, photos, trophies and plenty of old yarns to tell interested folk about the competitions.
Foundation Member of the Rockdrill Club Abby Kirwin said the first ever rock drill competition was held on the grounds where the Outback at Isa stands now.
“The competitions were run by the Restored Car Club with help from M.I.M,” Mr Kirwin said.
The first championship contest was in 1982.
Not long after the Mount Isa Rockdrill Club was formed and competitions were held all over Australia including Tasmania.
“We had drillers come from Cobar, Gympie, Herbertson, Kalgoorlie, Cairns, Tennant Creek and Roseberry and we travelled to throughout Australia too.”
“I remember one time we had to charter a plane to Cairns when usually we drove everywhere,” he said.
It wasn’t just a men’s sport though, women also competed in the competitions.
Mr Kirwin said there were a lot of women who competed at most of the drill competitions they competed in.
Trophies, sashes and prize money were up for grabs, however most of the drillers weren’t lured by the cash but rather the desire to be the best at each event.
“We can't not mention the people behind the scenes.”
“ The judges, timekeepers and other helpers, and the sponsors – they all helped to make it happen,” he said.