Rare Badges & Clubs 2.

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Northern Reliance Motorists Association Limited Queensland.

Following the demise of the Queensland Motorists Association in late 1927 (see Rare Badges & Clubs 1.), the founders of the QMA launched a new organisation rather cheekily named the Northern Reliance Motorists Association, or NRMA Limited Queensland. This would appear to have been a blatant attempt to capitalise on the reputation of a leading motoring organisation in New South Wales, the NRMA. The organisation was based in Brisane and is purported to have offered roadside and other services, but there is only scant knowledge of these activities. The NRMAQ failed in 1928 and was wound up, leaving little trace. Badge No. 31 is illustrated and only low numbers are known to exist. Examples of the badge are considered to be quite rare.

Motor and Transport League of Australia Ltd.

MATLA was formed in Sydney, New South Wales, probably shortly after WW2, although it may have existed prior to the war. It was a non-profit, co-operative organisation open to all road users and actively encouraged membership by motor cyclists as well as car and commercial vehicle owners. It offered services in direct competition with the NRMA, including 24 hour roadside service in the Sydney metropolitan area and through almost 100 affiliated country motor garages, mainly along the Pacific Highway as far north as the Queensland border, and south of Sydney to Wollongong. It was also represented in many regional centres such as Goulburn, Casino, Dorrigo, Guyra, Armidale and Tenterfield. Services included roadside assistance, towing, touring information, legal assistance, insurance and vehicle inspections. MATLA badges were made from heavy brass and enamelled in two tone blue. They are considered rare by collectors.

The League's official monthly journal "Through the Windscreen" was introduced in 1948 and publication continued at least until the mid 1950s. It contained general interest articles on motoring, price lists of new model cars and motor cycles, technical advice, a list of country agents and editorial comment on motoring issues of the day. Annual subscription to MATLA was 1/7/-  ($2.70) and subscription to "Through the Windscreen" an additional 5/-. No details of membership numbers are known, but must have been reasonably large to support a city headquarters with 24 hour road service and entice 100 or so country garages to become affiliated. MATLA is known to have been operating as late as 1955, but its ultimate fate is not known.

Downs Motor Service Club.

The Darling Downs is an agricultural and pastoral area west of Brisbane, in southern Queensland, and extending along the New South Wales border. Little is known of the the Downs Motor Service Club other than its badges have been found in Toowoomba and surrounding districts, Warwick and as far west as Roma. Its car badge is of cast brass and similar in workmanship to those of the Queensland Motorists Association and Northern Reliance Motorists Association Limited Queensland, suggesting that the club probably existed in the mid to late 1920s. Only low badge numbers are known; this collection includes badge No. 232. The choice of the fylfot (or swastika) design for the badge is as equally a mystery as the organisation itself. The author's enquiries to local historical societies and motoring clubs throughout the Darling Downs have failed to shed any light on the club's origins or activities.

Automobile Association of Queensland.

1939 saw a new challenge to the dominance of the RACQ in Queensland with the formation of the Automobile Association of Queensland in July of that year. This association arose in part from a bitter internal dispute within the RACQ, which resulted in the termination of the club's secretary, A.E.Jones and several other senior officers. Jones and others promptly formed the AAQ and this new association actively recruited members, produced a substantial monthly journal, The National Motorist, which by 1951 ran to 60 pages and covered many social and sporting activities as well as motoring items. The ACQ also produced road maps, provided insurance and claimed affiliation with 280 metropolitan motor garages. Further discord between RACQ Headquarters in Brisbane and country branches gave the AAQ opportunities to expand into rural Queensland, which it actively pursued, claiming affiliation with almost 1000 garages in rural Queensland and the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales. After the end of WW2 the RACQ had repaired its organisation and began vigorously recruiting new members to offset losses to the AAQ. Gradually the AAQ lost the battle and was eventually wound up in the late 1950s. AAQ car badges were issued on loan to members and were numbered until 1946, after which they were sold to members for 8 shillings each. They were similar in manufacture and overall appearance to British AA and NRMA badges of the era. Two similar types were issued, an early example, No.8, of the first numbered type is shown. Badges sold from 1946 were of inferior manufacture, un-numbered and were not required to be returned on cessation of membership.  My collection has examples of both. The AAQ was not affiliated with the London based Automobile Association in any way.  

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