The Iluka-Woombah Men’s Shed has really shouldered arms when it comes to assisting the Iluka’s history group latest item for display in their museum in Charles Street.
One of the long-term members of the Shed, Norm Whitford kindly donated this magnificent aiming telescope and tripod belonging to his father-in-law Bert Oxenford who was a famous shooter and early president of the Grafton Rifle Club.
Bert once used this very telescope to hit twenty consecutive bullseyes from 700 yards. The local paper of the time ‘Daily Examiner’ often recalls him winning the weekend shoots and in 1948 he went to Sydney for the National Championships and won 15 pounds which would have been the equivalent of a few months’ wages.
Rifle shooting (303’s) and rowing were very significant sports in the early days of the Clarence. Bert actually won his first club championship in1919 and was still active till his retirement to Iluka in 1954.
The display box was made by Sno Necker from some lovely red cedar. The item itself was originally made in London at the time of WW1 for use by snipers on the Western front and Gallipoli. The brass barrels were polished up by museum members as was the leather caps, straps and cladding.