2023-07-16 Ournie Hall Ride Report

Ournie Hall Ride Report

Mysterious Fog, Hidden Histories, and Unseen Paths: Ournie Hall Adventure

It was a morning veiled in a thick shroud of fog, an enigmatic mist that seemed to emerge from all corners of the world. Undeterred, we set off from Albury, hoping the fog would relent its grip on the landscape.

Intriguingly, 24 intrepid souls joined our foggy expedition, with a handful of club plated bikes (5) and cars (3), including the impressive 1944 Indian Chief owned by Leo. The journey along the Victorian River Road started with a stunning sunny morning, only to transform swiftly into a dense, pea-soup-like fog, forcing us to navigate around enormous potholes and a curious collection of roadkill.

Our first respite came at Walwa, where we sought solace in warm beverages and soup, gathering around a crackling wood fire. Energized and refueled, we ventured onward towards Jingillic, passing the Holbrook turnoff before making the right turn leading us towards Ournie.

As we traveled along the scenic Ourine Road, an unexpected encounter with fellow travelers, Glenn and John, left us puzzled. It turned out they had chosen an alternate route via a dirt track as they were headed to the Ournie Hall. However, finding the hall itself proved to be a challenge, as it hid away down a discreet dirt farm driveway. Nevertheless, we all reached the hall just in time to be warmly welcomed by our hosts, Michael and Kym, who also are esteemed members of our club.

The Ournie Hall is steeped in history, its walls adorned with captivating photos of times past and present. We were captivated by Michael’s tale of attending school within these very walls, where a stern teacher guided a small group of diverse students (13) through their formative years.

Over the years, the Ournie Hall has stood as a central point for the community—serving as a school, a hostel, a venue for social gatherings, and a meeting spot for friends enjoying their afternoon greets. The hall has truly been the heartbeat of this region, cherished by generations of Ournie families.

Tragedy struck four years ago when fires ravaged the area, reducing the hall to ashes. But against all odds, it has risen anew, a testament to the indomitable spirit of the Ournie community. Now, the hall stands as a magnificent structure, ready to embrace the next generations of Ournie residents. The gardens are about to commence planting, and the Tennis Courts, nearly complete, promise to add an extra dash of excitement to the community’s vibrant spirit.

For those with a penchant for tennis, the Ournie Community extends an intriguing invitation to partake in some social sets on their courts—a chance to connect with locals and indulge in a game filled with both competition and camaraderie.

Kym and Michael proved to be gracious hosts, treating us to a delectable selection of lasagna, chicken, and beef stew, along with beverages, tea, and coffee. It was a thoughtful touch to see Michael’s wooden plates, providing our motorcycles with a sturdy resting place for their kickstands.

As we bid farewell to Ournie Hall, we departed in three separate groups, each embarking on their own journey homeward. However, this adventure had kindled a sense of wonder within us—a desire to uncover more hidden gems, experience more mysterious foggy mornings, and embrace the stories that lie obscured along unseen paths.

Should you ever find yourself in these parts, perhaps consider a game of tennis or pay a visit to the resilient locals, where football screenings, chilled beers and camaraderie await.