Greetings from Maylands Meccano Club, Western Australia.
You may have seen recent headlines regarding the impact of Covid 19 in Australia, particularly in Victoria. It is important to realise that each state in Australia runs under its own state government, leading to significant variations, including the response to Covid 19, as well as the National Government. Therefore my comments relate only to WA.
In WA, Maylands Meccano Club is effectively operating back to normal. The only exception being that all our major exhibitions have been cancelled. With very few active cases of the virus, usually only from persons returning from overseas going into quarantine, restrictions have been relaxed considerably.
We are now meeting in the club premises each Saturday afternoon doing all the things we would normally be doing. We have adequate room for the varying square metre space requirements per person and social distancing. We are not required to wear masks or the like.
All our club members have survived the initial infectious wave without any health issues. Similarly, the initial strict limitations on movement and association have not been a problem. The only significant limitation we have now is that we are prevented from travelling to any other state without a special permit for a limited number of reasons.
Towards the end of 2019, the club obtained a grant for some maintenance works on the premises. When restrictions were eased enough, we were able to carry out the works which included some plumbing repairs and installing new light fittings in the main space. Not having to prepare for exhibitions meant we could use the time for these tasks without compromising our exhibitions.
We are benefiting from the lock down requirements where people apparently cleaned out their darkest cupboards. In recent weeks we have had three donations of parts and literature. Some parts in very good condition all the way through to rather poor with rust and lost paint. Just another job to do to restore them.
Members have used the time for varying degrees of model building. One such task has been the initial planning for two new mechanisms for Tricky Track. One is making good progress but the other is proving much more difficult and only progressing slowly. Due to a significant family issue, my Meccano activity has largely been confined to developing a model of another large earthmoving vehicle. It has all started from the wheels to get the scale correct.
While conscious that circumstances seem to change very quickly, we are doing OK at present. We are thankful for our good fortune when others have not been so lucky.
Best wishes all; and keep safe and well.
Ross Smith (ISM 18)