BULLSEYE: Dot Davison.
BULLSEYE: Dot Davison. Warren Lynam

Celebrating 100 years of shooting not possible without Dot

THE North Arm Rifle Club may not have celebrated 100 years of safe rifle shooting if not for the hard work of Dorothy (Dot) Davison.

The mother and grandmother - whose father-in-law George Davison founded the club in 1914 - was front and centre on Sunday at the centenary celebrations which drew social and competitive shooters from across the Coast.

Dot and her late husband Jim ran a dairy farm and lived on the property where the Australian Army had built a rifle range before the First World War as a training site for soldiers and to encourage civilians to improve their shooting.

Although some would find running a dairy and a rifle range on the same property a challenge, Dot described the experience as "really good".

"I milked cows and everything," she said.

"It became a rifle range right from the very start and we had to keep the cows away while they (the Army) shot."

While other rifle ranges in the region have closed over the years, the North Arm Rifle Club - renamed The Davison Range in 1980 - is still going strong 100 years on.

Dot raised three children on the property while she worked behind the scenes and quite literally in the firing line at the club.

"I did all my shooting when I was 90," Dot said.

"Before that, I marked the targets for about 50 years.

"My husband wanted me to shoot, but I said, 'No, I think I'd like to mark'.

"Even when Carol (her daughter) was a baby, I put her over with Grandma, and she was only two weeks old, and I went off marking. I kept going."

Although shooting is not her forte, 97-year-old Dot was quietly confident that she would hit a bulls-eye when she fired the last shot to wrap up last Sunday's celebrations.

"I'll be all right because I marked for 50-something years," she said.

"And I had a look through Carol's (sight on her rifle) the other day and I could spot the little bulls-eye really good, and I said 'I hope I get a bull'."

Of the range's many achievements, Dot is proudest of the big turnouts at the club's annual shoots and at functions such as weddings.

Commenting on the day's celebrations, Dot kept it short and sweet.

"They (the club members) have had a good time," she said.

"We have all had a good time.

"It's been lovely, really."


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