What better way to attend a formal daytime meeting, by cycling using the O’Keefe Rail Trail! The Axedale Tavern was the venue for the Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail’s June General Meeting, with members and guests attending having options as to how they would get to the Axedale Tavern. With about 20 people attending the meeting, some choosing ‘active transport’ by riding the rail trail from Bendigo, some cycled from Heathcote, while others arrived by car.
Guest speaker at the meeting was the Axedale Tavern’s co-owner, Garry Van Wynen. Garry highlighted the benefits that the O’Keefe Rail Trail had brought to the Tavern’s business, most notably since the Friends group had become involved with the trail’s development. The specific increase in business was attributed to trail-related cyclists and walkers, who visited the Tavern either for coffee and cake, or stayed longer for lunch. In particular, it was noted that a significant number of visitors were coming from Metropolitan Melbourne, as well as interstate.
President of the Friends of the Great Victorian Rail Trail (GVRT), Ross Vaughan, was also a guest at the meeting. Ross mentioned the recent activities that had occurred on the GVRT such as athlete running events, which included a marathon, together with two separate fundraising cycling events. Challenges to improve and promote the trail were still being encountered by their community-based Friends group, in particular with regard to seeking specific support from the trail’s associated local government councils.
Members and guests enjoyed the conviviality of the Axedale Tavern, whilst at the same time being focused on General Meeting matters. It is expected that some future meetings of the Friends of the Bendigo-Kilmore Rail Trail will be scheduled at different locations linked to the O’Keefe Rail Trail, as well as the proposed Wallan to Heathcote Rail Trail.