Tomorrow’s Echuca Racing Club Melbourne Cup day meet will be the last for chief executive officer Garry Armstrong.GEORDIE COWAN November 5, 2012 4:38am
Garry Armstrong has a long history with Echuca Racing Club, but his impending move to Rockhampton Jockey Club has him excited about the new chapter in his life.
First joining the ERC committee in 1988, Armstrong has been involved with the club for ‘‘20-odd years’’ and been its chief executive officer since March 2009.
But it is time for the 48-year-old to take the next step in his career.
Tomorrow’s meet at Echuca will be his last in charge before he becomes the chief executive officer of RJC at Callaghan Park in December.
Armstrong, who also spent a year as chief executive officer at Tatura and Shepparton Racing Club, said although the move would be hard, it was the right decision to make after a successful stint at Echuca.
‘‘The decision I took with my wife four years ago was that this would be my career move, to go into racing and racing administration,’’ he said.
‘‘The natural progression is to try and administer at a higher level or a bigger club.
‘‘I’ve had three really good years here. We’ve achieved a fair bit.’’
Armstrong said he was looking forward to the challenge of being responsible for one of the ‘‘top 10 clubs in Queensland’’ in terms of size and business and he expected it to be an expansion on his role at Echuca.
‘‘It’s part of the challenge and part of the progression,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a bigger role in there’s more race meetings, there’s bigger staff and they have a function centre that is very active.
‘‘They are also involved in a thoroughbred two-year-old sale and then have a feature race that comes up in their carnival in June.
‘‘It was probably that next step up in opportunity within the industry.’’
Tomorrow’s meet — the club’s biggest each year, with a crowd of between 6000 to 7000 expected — will cap off what has been a thriving time in the club’s history, combining industry awards with a slow and progressive changing of philosophies.
In Armstrong’s first full year in charge at Echuca, it was named the Country Racing Victoria club of the year and was nominated for the award the next two years.
‘‘We showed it wasn’t a fluke by being able to replicate that in the next two seasons,’’ he said.
Although the accolades were significant, it was the club’s increasing involvement with the district community which was a real highlight, Armstrong said.
‘‘I have been really, really happy with the way we have been able to re-engage with the local community,’’ he said.
‘‘Going back into town and dealing with local businesses.
‘‘I think we’ve really been able to increase the profile of the race club through the town and through the region.
‘‘I think we’ve got a pretty good base to continue to build.
‘‘I’m pretty comfortable that I’ve left the club in a far stronger position than what it was four years ago.’’
With the end of his time at ERC rapidly approaching, Armstrong said he had not had time to think about it as the club prepared for Melbourne Cup day, which was good in a way.
‘‘It’s bittersweet,’’ he said.
‘‘I’ve really, really enjoyed my role at the club.
‘‘I’ve had fantastic support from the committee and the people of Echuca-Moama and the sponsors have forged some pretty strong bonds there as well.
‘‘As far as I’m concerned they’re really good things for the club and the town and all those bonds have been strengthened down the line.’’
Coca-Cola Amatil has confirmed it will be pressing on with its $100 million redevelopment of SPC Ardmona.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
A snake was spotted this afternoon.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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