History of the Vespa Club of Melbourne

The Vespa Club of Melbourne was originally conceived by Les Smith who was a Manager working with Malvern Star (Bruce Small Pty Ltd) in the 1950s. With the popularity of the film Roman Holiday and the sudden huge interest in scooters - Malvern Star through Les began importing Vespas into Australia. The idea of a Club came to fruition in May 1957.

Vespa House had also only recently opened in Collingwood in 1956, so Tony Tonon was soon onboard and became an active supporter for the rest of his life. Fittingly, Frank Tonon of Vespa House is the Patron of the current Club.

Joan Bourne was elected to the first Committee in 1957 and wrote this short history for a Club reunion in 1986.

 

"Inaugural meeting held 31 May 1957 with 22 members following the idea first put forward by Mr Les Smith. With Mr W.R.B (Kelly) Small as our Liaison Officer as the driving force behind it, the Club grew from a membership of 90 at the end of its first year to a peak of 290 in May 1960 (then the largest scooter club in the Southern Hemisphere). Membership was 75 in January 1964 and the Club apparently folded around 1970. Records show a well organised Club with high standards. Day trips and interstate trips were usually led by the Club Captain, guided by corner men, kept in order by patrol men, with stragglers tendered to by Tail End Charlie. Activities during the busy years included day trips, interstate rallies and camps with other Vespa Clubs, mystery runs, sports days, navigational trials, scavenger hunts, maintenance days, formation of a precision riding and display team, Moomba processions and other parades, theatre nights, rotating parties, social evenings, general meetings, formation of our own football team and table tennis team, production of revues, publication of our own magazine 'Vespaper' and the 'Camp Capers', voluntary work in aid of Yoorralla Childrens Appeal, and acquisition of Club Rooms. The club was run by a committee, with up to five sub committees."

 

Members of the original Club still get together to reminisce at an annual Christmas lunch, and many are still members of the modern club. In particular, we recognise John and Sandy Dynon for their work in carrying the club through the 1960s, and now into the modern era.

The modern Club was conceived by Frank Tonon in 2007, and was invigorated by a new group of enthusiasts in 2010 who have proudly grown the Club back to its former glory. The Club is once again the largest scooter club in Australia.

< Frank Tonon of Vespa House, with the first President of the modern Club, Julie Pond.

 

Archives

1. Newsletters

VCM Newsletter, May 1958

Vespaper Vol 1 No 1 July 1958

Vespaper Vol 1 No 2 Sept 1958

Vespaper Vol 1 No 3 Nov 1958

Vespaper Vol 1 No 4 Dec 1958

Vespaper Vol 2 No 1 Feb 1959

Vespaper Vol 2 No 2 Apr 1959

Vespaper Vol 2 No 3 June 1959

Vespaper Vol 4 No 2 Dec 1961

Vespaper Vol 5 No 2 Dec 1962

Vespaper No2 March 1964

Reunion Newsletter March 1986 (& historical notes by Joan Bourne)

2. Misc

Piaggio Magazine 1960. Featuring 1959 round up of Australian Clubs.

Vespa Club of Melbourne Letterhead

Vespa Club Australia Committee Badge - from Helen Turton 15.11.2015

Add a Comment

You need to be a Registered User of Vespa Club of Melbourne to add comments!

Join Vespa Club of Melbourne

Visit our supporters

Latest Activity

Profile IconRenee, Leonie Bowers-Taylor, Ross Amphlett and another member are attending Greg_'s event
Thumbnail

Carlton Italian Festa - Sun 22 Oct Updated at Argyle Square

October 22, 2017 from 10am to 4pm
2 hours ago
Profile IconPam Williams and Julie Pond are attending Allan Snashall's event

Breakfast at Cafe Moto - Carrum and Mornington Penninsula ride Sun 29 Oct at Cafe Moto and the Mornington Penninsula

October 29, 2017 from 8:30am to 3pm
We start our day with a meet up at our favourite bike themed hangout - Café Moto, in Carrum. Join…See More
11 hours ago
Allan Snashall is attending Vespa Club of Melbourne's event
Thumbnail

Annual Round the Bay Ride - Sun 10 Dec at Round Port Phillip Bay

December 10, 2017 from 7am to 5pm
Our annual celebration! A core group rides right around the Bay on a tight schedule. We meet &…See More
12 hours ago
Profile IconAllan Snashall and Ross Amphlett are attending Vespa Club of Melbourne's event
Thumbnail

Annual Christmas Celebration - Sun 3 Dec at Pertutti

December 3, 2017 from 11am to 3pm
Members!Come along and celebrate another great year of riding at our annual Christmas Party. Right…See More
12 hours ago
Allan Snashall posted an event

Breakfast at Cafe Moto - Carrum and Mornington Penninsula ride at Cafe Moto and the Mornington Penninsula

October 29, 2017 from 8:30am to 3pm
We start our day with a meet up at our favourite bike themed hangout - Café Moto, in Carrum. Join…See More
12 hours ago
Ross Amphlett is attending Vespa Club of Melbourne's event
Thumbnail

Monthly Melbourne Breakfast SUN 14 Jan - New riders welcome at Abbotsford Convent Bakery (park inside the gates)

January 14, 2018 from 8:30am to 10:30am
The second Sunday of every month is Melbourne's regular get together at the Convent Bakery for a…See More
13 hours ago
Ross Amphlett is attending Vespa Club of Melbourne's event
Thumbnail

Geelong Monthly Breakfast Sun 17 Dec - new riders welcome at The Edge

December 17, 2017 from 8:30am to 10:30am
The fourth Sunday of every month is Geelong's monthly brealfast on the beautiful Geelong…See More
13 hours ago
Julie Pond left a comment for Miguel Meirelles
"Hi Miguel Welcome to our site.  We look forward to meeting you sometime soon.  We have an…"
14 hours ago
Jo Hedt updated their profile
16 hours ago
Miguel Meirelles is a new Registered User of Vespa Club of Melbourne - welcome!
16 hours ago
Jo Hedt might attend Greg_'s event
Thumbnail

Carlton Italian Festa - Sun 22 Oct Updated at Argyle Square

October 22, 2017 from 10am to 4pm
16 hours ago
Ross Amphlett updated their profile
18 hours ago
2 photos by Greg_ were featured
yesterday
Greg_ posted a photo
yesterday
Vincent Stok replied to Vincent Stok's discussion 1973 Vespa Super_Body Repairs
"Hi Julie...just Vince is fine. I thought some pictorial tech may interest some of the VCM…"
yesterday
Julie Pond commented on Greg_'s event 'Carlton Italian Festa - Sun 22 Oct Updated'
"Hi everyone, next Sunday is the Carlton Festival.  If you would like to join us please mark…"
yesterday
Belinda Dalli is attending David Atkinson's event
Thumbnail

MILK RUN RIDE Gippsland - November 18-19 at Canterbury or Bunyip

November 18, 2017 at 8:30am to November 19, 2017 at 4:30pm
ThemeMooo! This is a repeat of a 2-day weekend ride we did two years ago. We'll learn about…See More
yesterday
Julie Pond replied to Vincent Stok's discussion 1973 Vespa Super_Body Repairs
"My goodness Vincent, that is some mighty fine work you have done on this vespa and thank you for…"
yesterday
Alessio replied to Vincent Stok's discussion 1973 Vespa Super_Body Repairs
"thanks, i didnt know how to display the photos like that"
Sunday
Kelly Joy Smith is attending Vespa Club of Melbourne's event
Thumbnail

Annual Christmas Celebration - Sun 3 Dec at Pertutti

December 3, 2017 from 11am to 3pm
Members!Come along and celebrate another great year of riding at our annual Christmas Party. Right…See More
Sunday

© 2017   Vespa Club of Melbourne Incorporated in Victoria A005069N   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service