In the early eighties, we saw the commencement of 4wd Jamborees where 4wd clubs would meet and partake in activities ranging from gymkhana events suited to 4wds, interclub members’ events, workshops and organized tours of the local area. With each passing year, the popularity of 4wd Jamborees grew and during their heyday they had in excess of 400 vehicles in attendance.
With more members attending, the more challenging the events became, vehicles followed suit with many modifications made just to compete at Jamborees. Many believe Jamborees were the precursor to the super modified competitions of today such as the Willowglen Challenge & Tuff Truck just to name a few.
Just give a thought to the early years for Jamborees organizers, no mobile phones, no social media, no email or messenger.... yes, this time did exist. All communication was sent through snail mail. Every year, around November, club members would start checking their letter boxes for details of the location and club that would be running the next Jamboree. Once you received your invitation to attend you simply filled in the application, wrote a cheque and posted it to the organizing clubs secretary and waited for your receipt to return in the mail with all the details of the upcoming Jamboree. Image if you can, someone typing on a typewriter, photocopying 400 plus times, handwriting envelopes and adding postage stamps and proudly arriving at the post office to have your letters stamped and sent.
Jamborees were like an annual reunion where people had the opportunity to catch up with members from other clubs, check out the modifications of their vehicles and get the opportunity to see the newest 4wd vehicles on the block perform.
Unfortunately, during the early 2000 years, insurance requirements and finding a suitable location became a major issue and saw the demise of Jamborees with the last one being held in 2007.
During the exile of the Jamboree many attempts were considered to bring this iconic event back from the brink of extinction. I never lost faith that the 4wd Jamboree would not be forgotten and fall into a history abyss. As time passed my anguish and passion for a return of a Jamboree grew, I planted the seed with my club, nurtured and cultivated this idea and in 2018, I was so pleased to see the return of the Jamboree with the unquestionable support of my club the Black Diamond Recreational 4wd Club and the financial and professional support from the members of the 4WD NSW ACT Association.
Even though most attending members of J18 had never been to a Jamboree before, the underpinning qualities and foundations of the past were rekindled.
My vision for the future is to have five Jamboree locations around the state of NSW and return to each location every 5 years on a rotation basis to embrace the 4wd Jamboree spirit and keep the legacy alive.
Lee Dunstan - President - Black Diamond