Vale Neil Speed (1937 - 2018)


It is with great sadness we announce the death of Neil Speed. Neil passed away on the 8th of February after a long illness aged 80.

Neil with Henry Scott and Noel Hall founded the Antique & Historical Arms Collectors Guild of Victoria in 1963. He, and they, later negotiated with the Victorian Government the recognition of arms collecting as a legally established interest. The result of which saw the creation of the Antique Collectors Licence – a licence fondly remembered by all of us who began collecting back then.

Neil’s collecting interests were legendary and he was an internationally recognised Colt collector. Neil served as the Guild Secretary from its foundation, and for many years as editor of Caps & Flints until 2004 when he retired from both roles.


The President, Secretary and Committee extend sincere sympathy to his children Michele and Greg.

Unfortunately news of his death came too late for a proper tribute in this issue of Very Light, but we will present an extended tribute to him in the next issue.

Very Light Magazine is a magazine of The Antique & Historical Arms Collectors Guild of Victoria, Inc                                                                      No 92 February 2018


Committee Members Needed



The Guild has over 900 members but currently all the administrative work is being done by a handful of people. Your President has asked repeatedly for people to volunteer for the committee and there have been no volunteers – none! That really is pretty discouraging.


The current committee members, all volunteers, are aging and if the Guild, your club, is to survive then it needs people to manage and guide it into the future. If you become a committee member it means that you will be a part of ensuring that the Guild will survive to continue supporting the interests of collectors as we have done for over 50 years since our founding in 1963. Do not forget that without a functioning and innovative committee the Guild will cease to exist then what will happen to your collections.


It is impossible to believe that there are no people in our large membership who are willing to put in a few hours every month to be part of the committee. The tasks are not onerous, they aren’t difficult but they are things that need to be done to keep your club alive.


If you are willing to help your club, contact the Secretary at cupfire1@ozemail.com.au or on 9584 2907.



A Presentation to the Guild, by Brad Manera


At the beginning of each year we strive to bring Guild members a talk on a subject of interest.

In February 2018 we are proud to announce that we are flying down one of Australia’s most qualified and highly regarded historians, Brad Manera, Senior Historian/Curator at the Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park, Sydney.


Mr. Manera has enjoyed a long career as curator and historian in some of Australia’s pre-eminent museums, including the Australian War Memorial (1990s – 2007). Brad is a member of the editorial team writing the official history of NSW in the Great War. Just a few of the many projects he has been involved with are: As a historian for the award-winning documentary Gallipoli; The Front-Line Experience (2005), Brad Manera advised on events, weapons, uniforms and sets. He is also historian for Waler; the Great Australian War Horse and the International Gallipoli art exhibition Our Friend the Enemy; Gallipoli landscapes 1915 – 2015. For 30 years, Mr. Manera has also been leading tours to the places where Australian history was made. Since attending the 75th anniversary of the Anzac landing with the last surviving Anzacs he has been a frequent visitor to Gallipoli. His knowledge of Australia’s military history is extensive and profound.



Brad’s presentation to the Guild is at 7.00pm on February 26th and is as follows:


THE RUM REBELLION (a 210th Anniversary special presentation)


The Arrest of Governor Bligh, a Soldiers View


At school we learnt about the mutiny that became known as the Rum Rebellion. We looked at the colonial politics that triggered it and the social implications and consequences that followed in its wake. Two centuries and one decade later it is time for military historians to re-examine the evidence and propose a soldier’s view of the events of 26 January 1808. There can have been few more serious acts for a British soldier than to have participated in a mutiny in time of war. What was it like for an enlisted soldier or an NCO in the NSW Corps to march from the George Street barracks to Government House, Sydney, that humid summer’s evening to depose a governor? What can the subalterns and company commanders of the Corps have been imagining their actions were going to do for their careers and reputations at home? With hindsight we can see that one of Australia's most serious political uprisings ended with a whimper rather than a bang but the soldiers at the time were not to know that so let's ask ourselves - what can they have been thinking?




We request that Guild members make an extra effort to attend this unique evening and to bring and display relevant items from your collection; such as convict and early colonial and military arms and items: convict irons, muskets, small arms, edged weapons, duelers, miscellanea, the scope is vast. This is also an excellent opportunity to have an expert of Mr. Manera’s standing to comment on items that you have.


Following Brad’s talk and presentation and viewing of your display a light supper will be served.


Monday Night Themes for 2018


26 February- Talk, The Rum Rebellion – a soldiers’ view. Supper provided.


26 March – Accoutrements and Accessories, Noel Hall Award night


30 April – Australian Arms and Militaria, Colonial/WW1/WW2, Noel Hall Award night


28 May – “My Other Hobby”, we think our members also have other interests so here’s a chance to display them. Noel Hall Award night


25 June – “A Mystery Object”, something from your collection that will have everyone guessing. Noel Hall Award night


30 July – The earliest item you collected and still have. Noel Hall Award night


27 August – The Annual General Meeting, supper provided


24 September - Buy & Sell Night - Books, parts, odds & sods. (no registered firearms).


29 October - Show us your junk. Bring along a battered relic (that doesn’t include yourself).


26 November - Hunting & Foraging. Supper provided.



Quarterly Guild Lunches


Lunches are being enjoyed by a regular convivial group. The dates chosen are the second Wednesdays in the month – quarterly.


Venue is the Malvern East RSL, Stanley Grose Drive, Malvern East.


The dates for 2018 are – 14th of February; 9th of May; 8th of August and the 7th of November.


No need to book – just turn up 12.15 for 12.30 sit down.



Name Badges


Members are reminded that the Guild is taking orders for name badges for members. The cost is $15.00. The badge is depicted below



If you want one and haven’t ordered it please contact the Secretary by telephone on 9584 2907, or by email at – cupfire1@ozemail.com.au




Licensing & Registration Division - Phone Access.


We have been advised by Licensing & Registration Division that due to their increasing workload, which is causing delays in processing licence applications and PTAs, they will be introducing a pilot plan to turn off the 1300 number on Wednesdays.


It is proposed that this trial will last 3 months and at the end of it the results will be assessed. The remaining 4 days of the week will be business as usual.



© Copyright 2005 The Antique and Historical Arms Collectors Guild of Victoria. All rights reserved.