WONTHAGGI Pony Club has finished off the 2021 year on a high with a Christmas-themed December rally and the awarding of a well-deserved life membership to Carol Chalmers, who was recognised for her many hours of service to the club over the last 15-and-a-half years.

President Geoff McInnes, together with life members Robyn Bolding, Shannon Burns and former club DC Lisa Britt, recounted the contribution that Carol has made to Wonthaggi Pony Club over this time.

Robyn recollected “having the pleasure of working beside Carol for the 15-plus years after the Chalmers family joined in 2006, that she soon learned that if Carol decided to take on a task for the club, you would always know that it would be done very well and every detail would always be covered”.

Robyn reminisced about “the fun times that were had, working in the canteen, with lots of banter about the way I liked the coleslaw to be made”.

“Our members proudly wear the WPC uniform,” she said.

“This was another of the tasks that Carol took on when we decided it was time to upgrade in 2011,” she said, with the aqua colour not an easy colour to find for uniforms and after much research she finally found a company to produce the uniforms that are still worn today.

Shannon recollected “soon after joining WPC, Carol joined the general committee and held this position for many years”.

She was also a club delegate to the PCV-West Gippsland Zone that required her to attend meetings around Gippsland, this ensured that WPC was always up to date with current pony club information, rules and regulations.

“Carol’s work is not always seen,” Shannon said.

“The hours she has put in behind the scenes for the running of the club are endless.

“This includes reintroducing the running of a Combined Training Day event which has since become an annual event, along with many other events that she has been involved with over the years, by creating entry forms, draws, organising prizes, sashes, judges, gear checking, scoring and everything else that was needed.

“Her local post office even thought that she was opening up a horse shop due to the large volume of horse-themed parcels that would arrive to be collected for upcoming competitions.

“Carol prepared, submitted and successfully obtained many grants for improvements and the development of the facilities at the club.

“She attended many working bees and fulfilled her promise of painting the tyre jumps if Richmond won the grand final in 2017.

“She updated and lodged the club’s current constitution.

“She developed a new website which involved countless hours of work, transferring the old information onto the new and including as much information about WPC as she could, making the new website a fantastic source of information for those who needed to find out about everything and anything that involved WPC.

She was an instigator and an integral part of the Wonthaggi Pony Club hosting the 2015 Pony Club of Victoria State Dressage and Show Jumping championships on behalf of the West Gippsland zone, where she took on many of the administrative duties at both club and zone level.

She is a registered PCA NCAS coach and represented Wonthaggi PC as a WGZ zone assistant and a WGZ vice-president.

Geoff McInnes, Robyn Bolding and Shannon Burns all spoke about one of her biggest and latest contributions to the Wonthaggi Pony Club, which was being involved and helping with the organising of the 50th birthday celebrations.

Carol also undertook the massive task of researching and writing the Wonthaggi Pony Club’s history for its 50-year celebration.

The book started out to what she thought was going to be maybe 50 pages and ended up being 205 pages, not the A5 thrown together piece everyone thought, this book not only typifies, but sums up the dedication, effort and work she has done for the club.

Wonthaggi Pony club is extremely grateful to Carol for her outstanding contribution and this was recognised by being awarded a life membership of the Wonthaggi Pony club.