Khaki Vehicle Enthusiast (KVE) Ian Grieve from the Sunshine Gold Coast had a chat with good friend Alan Newton in Adelaide in 1978 who suggested they look at a General Purpose Amphibian (GPA) Swim-In.
“Get all the boys together and let’s make it 1980,” the pair agreed, as conveyed last week by Ian to The Free Press.
“You contact those down south and I’ll contact those up north,” Ian continued.
“Corowa was chosen as a fairly central location; it’s been the perfect site.
“That first year we had five amphibious jeeps and about 20 other vehicles including trucks and jeeps.
“I never thought it would grow from about 25 to 280 last year, for example, and being the biggest ex-military vehicle gathering in the Southern Hemisphere.”
A recently retired water engineering technician, 69-year-old Ian housed 29 ex-military vehicles at one stage. That’s been downgraded to eight vehicles today which includes four jeeps.
He has attended seven swim-ins at Corowa and was so pleased to be at the 40th annual visit last week, which he described as “absolutely tremendous”.
“It’s just great to see people coming together,” he said. “And the tales they tell! The town benefits, everyone benefits and we have a ball. The town people are very supportive.”
Unfortunately Alan Newton isn’t enjoying the best of health and couldn’t be in Corowa last week. His co-founder mate and all KVE members wish Alan good health.