THE CLUB ORIGINS
THIS SECTION WAS PUT TOGETHER BY TOM BENTLEY ONE OF THE FOUNDERS OF TERC AND A LIFE MEMBER
The Club was first established in 1977 it all began with an advertisement being placed in the Advocate inviting anybody who was interested to come along and have a ride in the bush at Bakers Beach Forest at 9.00am start - Be There!! About a dozen guys turned up and had a ball! One guy turned up on a street bike with his girlfriend, as the pillion and kept up with us no problems! So the next weekend we did it again and more people turned up, so we decided to form a Club which became the Tasmanian Endurance Riders Motorcycle Club Inc. - TERC.
Membership was $2 per annum and $1 to ride, all the money going back into medallions and trophies. Tracks were cut in the bush from Bakers Beach, Railton, Pipers River, Launceston, Savage River, Rosebery, Mawbanna and a Beach run from the Arthur River down to the Pieman River and many more.
New tracks were constantly under construction by various groups as well as "Pony Express" events organised by anybody who could put one together! The events had to be hard and many obstacles were deliberately left in to test the riders skill. Sweepers were always used to "sweep" the track for casualties and broken bikes, and the tracks were always formed so that emergency 4-wd access was available. 2 way radios were in constant use to monitor the tough spots and cameras [8mm] were used at all the difficult spots. These films I would edit together each month and show them at our monthly meetings, usually at the Devonport Football Club where we awarded medals and certificates to winners in each grade, followed by a chocolate wheel spun several times for prizes donated by local business people, followed by announcements of where and when the next event would be held and lots of beer and comradeship! Usually anywhere from 90 to 150 would turn up, mainly to see themselves on the film I think!
When it really got off the ground we would have usually about 120 riders turn up to a race event. We had a caravan turned into a canteen for snacks and drinks. Usually the tracks were about 30km long and the riders would have to complete 3 to 4 laps depending on their grading. An "EXPERT" class was established for the top 20 riders in the Club, and they wore the distinctive "EXPERT" jackets provided by the Club to recognise the twenty best riders in the Club, and because they rode so hard and fast it was deemed polite and safer to give them right of way anywhere on the track. These black jackets you see on which my medallions are pinned, was available to anybody who wanted to buy one. I believe there would still be a few of these jackets around with older members.
A few founding members names I can recall would be Jon Holmes, John Holmes, John Humphries, Dave Lawson, Glen Spencer, Glen Douglas, David Brown, Barney Bean, Bobby Kay, Brian Hill, Bevis Taylor, David Ingram, Wally Lewis, Rex Bantick, David Bellinger, Rodney Harkness, Bruce & John Elliot from Railton who have a Memorial Trophy which is still being presented each year and of course many more. [Once you start naming names you always forget somebody. I suffered a heart attack in 1979, and had a few more until I had a really bad one in 1984, so I retired from Sport & Road which was a motorcycle importing and retailing company with branches in Burnie, Launceston, Hobart, and of course Head Quarters in Devonport.
Jon Holmes was my manager in Devonport and Bobby Kay was my manager in Burnie and these two guys were responsible for a great deal of the work that went into running the Club in those days, particularly Jon Holmes who spent countless hours doing results, being secretary and of course my right-hand man with all the Club activities.
(It is with sad regret that Tom Bentley passed away Sept 9 2005.)