Year Inducted: 2006
George's interest in clay target shooting began right after World War II in 1945 when he was invited to join the old Coburg Gun Club situated on the bank of the Merri Creek behind Pentridge Prison at North Coburg. This club was the forerunner of what is now the Metropolitan Gun Club. Prior to this time George had been involved with rifle and pistol shooting.
In 1947 he accepted a position with the old established Melbourne sporting goods firm of Hartley Ltd, as manager of their firearms, archery and camping departments, wholesale and retail. During ten years with Hartleys he became greatly involved in shotgunning and clay target shooting Australia wide. He learnt a great deal about guns and ammunition and how to use them, and was also responsible for the buying and marketing activities of the company throughout Australia.
From 1957 to 1959, George worked with the firm of Donald Mackintosh, one of Australia's oldest gunsmithing companies. It was here that he absorbed a great deal more knowledge about the art of gun fitting and gun smithing from Mr Horace James, Australia's leading authority on both subjects.
During 1960, George set up his own business as a firearms and ammunitions dealer and shooting consultant. George's administration involvement in the sport goes back to almost the beginning of his first shot at clays, which was at the old Coburg Gun Club where he was hijacked into the committee after three months of membership. A year later he found himself elected to the ACTA Executive Committee, where he served a term of 25 years under six presidents, finally retiring from the position at Launceston in 1975. Apart from serving on several gun club committee's, George was also president of the Australian Gun Club at Burwood for a period of eight years. Several national championships were held on this ground before they were rotated around the states.
George became involved in the instruction and coaching side of the sport and found his work very rewarding as it allowed him to put to work the vast amount of experience and knowledge he had acquired over the years. George published the first Australian book on the subject of shotgunning, entitled "Trap and Skeet Shooting". From time to time he wrote articles for sporting magazines on shotgun shooting.
In 1977, George put together with Arthur 'Pud' Bugess a plan to instigate a national coaching system. This was later approved by the ACTA and put into action with the appointment of Jenkin Newton Thomas as Director.
During his forty six years of continuous registration as an ACTA shooter he has maintained an unbroken record of service in officail capacity within the Association, including the following:
* Victorian State Coaching Director 1977 to 1983
* First official ACTA Referee Examiner appointed October 1948, retiring from the position in 1983
* Rules Supervisor for approx. twelve years|
* In 1955, appointed together with Luke Doyle with secretary co-opted, as a handicapping board for the Association. This position continued for several years until the current card system was introduced.
* Hunter safety accredited firearms instructor and examiner for the Firearms consultative Committee, Victoria.
* Australian National Coaching Council accredited Level 2 Coach
* Coach/Manager of the first International Olympic training squad for Trap and Skeet
* ACTA official Historian
* ACTA Presidential Medal recipient 1987 for services to the development of clay target shooting
Major shooting achievements include the following:
National Double Barrel Champion
National Champion of Champions
National Skeet Champion
12 Commonwealth titles
Approx. 450 titles including State, District and club championships
He became the first Australian shooter in 1976 to shoot 200 straight in a skeet competition. He also held the skeet straight record on 215 for 4.5 years before it was broken by Ian Hale, who has gained fame as an Olympic Skeet shooter.
George was the first veteran to win a national championship in open competition and the first to reach the 27 yard mark. He is also one of only five shooters to win a national championship in Skeet and Trap. He has been a member of the Mackintosh International Shooting team twelve times. Has been a member of the Australian International Skeet team four times, the Victorian interstate Skeet team 14 times and has shot in the Grand American Handicap. He gained experience in the youth trap shooting instruction system and training methods used at Fort Benning, USA. He competed in the New Zealand nationals on several occasions. His longest trap break is 356 and longest skeet break is 216.
Courtesy of Glenn Woodhatch
'ACTA History and Records 1936-1992' by George Biggs (1994)