Our History

After a number of years of flying as the group at Glenelg, Geoff Barron convened a meeting of the 14 people on the 10th August 1956 to form the Holdfast Model Aero Club.

PresidentW F Stephenson
Vice PresidentP L Cocking
Secretary/TreasureE M Potter
CommitteeMr. Grist (sen), Lindsay Grist, Trevor Potter, Robert Sheehan
SAAA DelegatesE M Potter, Robert Sheehan, Geoff W Barron

A constitution was adopted and election of the first office bearers and the results as follows:

Fees were set at:   Seniors $2.25,   Juniors $1.50,  and Social $0.50. The following became financial members on the same day:  P L Cocking, P E Hall, W F & Don W Stephenson, Lindsay R Grist, J D Ingram, Douglas Godfrey, E M & T F Potter, G B Hall, Robert D Sheehan, and A L Schumacher. The club accepted the offer by Potter to continue to host meetings in his garage. At this time the club consisted of mainly junior flyers with the average age less than 20.

The now legendary BEE was designed in 1951 by Geoff Barron and at about 1962-63 was adopted as the Club Logo following changes made by a professional artist.

Photo of the original Bee logo that hangs in our clubhouse

The Club bought Ether, Methanol, Castor Oil and manufactured fuel for sale to members and several other popular consumable items with the view to saving money for the members. This practice has continued over the years, but has been discontinued recently (2021).

Many contests were flown, and trophies presented for Chuck Glider and Control Line events. Radio Control started to appear in the early sixties.

Flying sites were many with most eventually being lost due to noise. They include Brighton Primary School, West Beach, Colley Reserve & Morphettville Race Course. Over the years the club has moved many times for various reasons, but since the late 1970’s has been at the current site at the corner of Majors Rd & Lonsdale Rd, O’Halloran Hill. This land is leased from the State Government and has been the most permanent in the history of the Club.

The Club has continued to foster new flyers over the years to current times where we have a very professional team of instructors to teach Radio Control. Radio Control has taken over from Control Line, but we still have enthusiasts who continue Control Line and Free Flight flying.

Holdfast MAC flying field in the mid seventies located at Noarlunga. Photo courtesy David Whitten

Why our Club is named Holdfast

In mid 1836, Colonel William Light, having been appointed South Australian surveyor general, arrived in the middle of a storm, on the survey brig “Rapid”.  When the ship dropped anchor, he was worried whether it would hold.  It did hold fast, and so he named the place “Holdfast Bay.” On 31 December 1836 the Holdfast Bay settlement was renamed Glenelg, and became the first seat of government of South Australia.

In the mid 1950’s, when most model aircraft were Control Liners, fliers from all over the Adelaide suburbs would converge on Colley Reserve at Glenelg on the first Sunday each month, set up three flying circles, and take over the area for the afternoon.

A group of them got together, and on the 10th August 1956, Geoff Barron convened a meeting of 14  in Trevor Potter’s garage and formed a club which they named Holdfast Model Aero Club because it started at Glenelg, on Holdfast Bay.

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