February 2013 Presidents Report

February 2013 Presidents Report

francismoca logoAs you know, after many years of talking about my retirement, the talk and the planning finally caught up with me and I walked out of the Villeroy & Boch organisation for the last time just prior to Christmas. I left behind the things that the job provided-car, computer, printers, and mobile phone. We also moved out of Sydney and into what for many years was our weekend house at Gwandalan. It has been quite an adjustment, and it has taken a while to fill in the gaps and get organised so as to be back into communication. So, this is my first Report written from my new computer, sitting at my desk up at Lake Macquarie and my apologies to those of you who have found it difficult to contact me.

Well, the Mustang year was started with a bang as usual at Castle Towers with the All American Day on Sunday, 20th January. On the morning the members on the gate handed out 500 Attendance Plaques to the folk rolling into the show. Ken Benson did a car count, and Doreen and I also attempted to put numbers to the individual makes of car - that was a challenge with different marques spread around the Castle Towers roof top as well as an ongoing flow of early departures and late arrivals to keep us confused. We agreed that there was around 180 Mustangs present - thank you and well done for supporting your Club with such good turnout. We were proud to present Ann McFadden, the Fund Raiser from the Westmead Children’s Hospital Oncology Unit with a cheque of $6,500. This amount was the result of gate takings, plus the sponsorship from the 2012 All American Day, plus $500 added to it from our Club funds. To clarify it again, this event is specifically run as a fund raising event each year for the Oncology work done at the Westmead Children’s Hospital. Congratulations to the 3 man team who organise this day-year in and year out - David Livian, Bruce Sinclair, and Ken Buckland. It is a big day, with a huge number of trophies on offer which requires months of preparation work. Sincere thanks to the Castle Towers marketing folk, who went out of their way to assist with the day with good publicity in the lead up and a huge amount of assistance on the day itself as well as help from their security people. To be able to stage a car show that takes almost the entire roof of a major Australian shopping centre is a unique privilege.

Before moving on from the All American Day, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Keith Speer and his mate Mario. These 2 gentlemen have looked after the Club Merchandise for years, and they then retired graciously at the AGM last August. With nobody stepping forward to take on the job, they came out of retirement for the day and sold $2,000 of product and signed up 3 new members. Thank you both!

I am sure it was of interest to most of us car people, that we were able to give Alan Hay the microphone prior to the presentation at the All American Day, Castle Hill. Who is Alan Hay? Alan is the Patron of the Combined Car Club, an organisation set up by our friend Tony O’Donnell from Shannons. It gives one loud voice to Government from all of us car enthusiasts who belong to the multitude of vehicle clubs around Australia. There has been considerable success achieved already and the organisation has had a major say in the formation of legislation at NSW level working together with the Roads Minister Duncan Gaye. Alan has taken his mission a step forward - with a Motorists’ Platform. He will be standing for the Senate on a Nationals’ ticket at this year’s Federal Election. We are all encouraged by Alan to attend the Motor Enthusiast Conference at Sydney Motorsport Park on Sunday 17th February.

Our Editor, Peter Dunlop has taken off on an around Australia adventure, and he was planning to continue with his job of editing the Pony Express as he travelled. Unfortunately, this has proved to be an impossible task, and fortunate for us, Treasurer Phil has once again stepped up to the task and will hold the magazine together for the duration of Peter’s travels. Thanks Phil and happy and safe travels Peter! Peter’s January Pony Express caused him a great deal of problems. He had monumental technology failure and it was a big effort to pull it all back together. Unfortunately, there was some date errors in the Coming Events List.

I was fortunate, along with 6 other Club Members, to get an invitation to the Australia Day CARnival in the City. This event replaced the long running NRMA Motorfest. This replacement event was put together under the banner of the Australia Day Council by John Flower, who had for many years organised the NRMA day. This initial event involved a lot less vehicles than Motorfest, but the people of Sydney and dozens of Korean tourists turned out to admire the 600 plus vehicles displayed along Macquarie Street, Prince Albert Street and Marys Street. The difference this year was that the event incorporated a professionally organised Concours D’Elegance, plus a large display of magnificent exotic vehicles. One of our Mustang Club Members proudly presented his fabulous yellow Ferrari alongside his sensational blue Shelby Super Snake! I have always enjoyed this day in the City surrounded by numerous Australia Day activities. I talked Mustang talk to countless people, and became more than a little annoyed at the boldness of tourists with their hands all over our newly restored K code fastback. Meanwhile, our Events Team organised an Australia Day Mustang get together at Fagan Park, Galston and I hear it was an enjoyable day.

Please support the Club by doing your best to attend our Canberra Groups’ Centenary Mustang Car Show on Sunday 24th February on the West Lawn near the Treasury Building in Canberra. Join me at Uncle Leo’s for the cruise to Canberra on Saturday at 9.00AM, or make your own way there, but please come for the day or the weekend. The phone number for Rydges on Capital Hill is 6295 3144. We will be doing a small drive on Saturday afternoon- up to the Mt Stromlo Observatory, returning to the hotel via the new Cotter Dam project.
The big trip to the March 2013 Nationals in Perth has only 3 couples taking up the challenge of the adventure and driving Mustangs across Australia from NSW/ACT. Actually, only 2 Mustangs will be driven (the Elliot’s and the Francis’), while Joe and Bronwyn’s Concours Modified vehicle will be secured within its trailer behind Joe’s Ford Ute. I am aware that a number of Members are flying to Perth, including Head Judge Eddie, so we will look forward to all meeting up in Joondalup.

We have decided to do something interesting and different for our March Meeting. For once, the Monthly Meeting will NOT be at the Merrylands RSL. We will head out in our Mustangs to Hills Mustangs and Classics, and they, together with their neighbours, Covercraft-Pacific, will have a sausage sizzle for us and a tour of both of their business premises. This will be followed by a brief formal Meeting.

Recently, Secretary Pam and husband, Licence Captain Peter Cooke are being pro-active in their support for the Events Team with ideas for Mustang outings this year. Firstly, it was the suggestion to join in the casual Breakfast Meeting at Kellyville and now it is our new weekday run - the Tuesday Traffic Dodger! Excellent-and many thanks folks!

Finally, a special welcome to the New Members! The Committee joins me in welcoming you to the Club, now in its successful 32nd year. We hope that you take every opportunity to use and enjoy your Mustang.

David Francis