President's Report As presented to the Club at the AGM
in Port Macquarie 6 March 2010.
Ladies & Gentlemen, it is so very good to see a few
members at our AGM who would otherwise not be able to be present should we
have have had held this meeting at our usual location in Sydney & I
therefore thank you for your attendance this evening. And, I must
say what a great location it is to be in for our meeting this year!
This past club year has been the one year with the most vastly contrasting
aspects that I have encountered since I became involved with the
administration of this great organisation! We have had enormously
happy occasions such as our 40th Anniversary Dinner, so many of us
venturing to the American centenary HET National in Detroit & enjoying
each others companionship as well as that of our American
friends. Conversely, we saw the deaths of our friend &
former club stalwart, Keith Kellam, Janet Kale (formerly of K-Gap HET
parts in Los Angeles) & that of Bill Albright (of Vintage Coach in
California). Fortunately, those of us who were lucky enough to go to
Detroit, we got the chance to meet with both Janet & Bill one last
time. It certainly is a reality check knowing that we are losing
such Hudson stalwarts as these three fine friends & colleagues.
As I have previously said a number of times, I do miss Keith, his
friendship & his input on the committee. We certainly didn't
agree on everything but I am sure that there was mutual respect.
One of the highlights of last year must be the incredible expression of
friendship shown to Keith & Robyn Kellam over Easter last year.
Whilst the 'working bee' thrown together for Keith & Robyn to do a bit
of work on their dream home was not a club organised occasion, it was
amazing to see so many of their friends from within the club lending a
hand! Even if people could not make it to Ben Bullen over Easter,
some of them went up before so that they could do some preparation for the
main event! It really was amazing to arrive at the building site on
Good Friday seeing just a steel frame & leaving on Easter Monday
seeing a house almost finished on the outside - & it is a large
country house! And, the best thing was that Keith was still with us
to see that people thought enough of him & Robyn to do what they
Locally, it took a little time for us to start to come back on track with
the organisation of the club & our communication following the loss of
input from both Keith Kellam & that of Steve Fripp. Our recovery
which is certainly underway now is due, generally to our great team of
people here in Sydney who are willing to jump in & do things that need
to be done & specifically, due to 'Team Longbottom' (Dianne &
Glenn) who both, as new members, 'jumped into the deep end' to look after
our membership, our web site & most importantly, the writing,
publication & distribution of the Hudson Hub.
Yet again, the positive aspects of our past year have seen us continuing
to receive applications for membership including some from younger folk
which is a great bonus to the club. Without the younger people
coming on board, our club just will not survive as us 'oldies' fall off
our perches! Unfortunately though, we do seem to have lost a few
long term members for reasons such as them having sold their cars or -
moving on! On the positive side, we again see that our club is financially
sound. Our major cost is the printing & postage of our magazine
and we are fortunate in not having the cost of renting a meeting place or
having the need for Public Liability Insurance. Again, it really is
good that, when compared to what I see & hear about other similar car
clubs, our subscriptions are well below most & we function just as
well as they do!
We have once more seen an increase in the numbers of 'club cars' over the
past year - particularly Ramblers and as I have previously said, I guess
that this is due to some of us 'oldies' looking for a little more comfort
& drivability these days particularly for a weekend trip
The events calendar was pretty busy during the past year & this was in
no small way due to the celebration of the Centenary of Hudson & the
40th anniversary of our great club. The larger mixed car outings
such as the NRMA MotorFest, All American Day, Independents Day & the
Shannon's Eastern Creek Classic were all well attended with a good mix of
cars. Our normal monthly runs were well attended as well.
Unfortunately, we had to move the date of the Independents Day forward to
May due to so many of us being away in Detroit during July but it was
still a most successful event in anyone's language. That event seems
to be growing & gaining a good reputation due to the great
venue. Last year we managed to drag out a Franklin, a Graham & a
veteran Overland amongst all of the other Independent American makes of
vehicle. We have stuck our hand up to run the event again this year
but moved it back to its usual July timing & the caretakers of
Linnwood House, The Friends of Linnwood love having us there as much as we
all love being at the venue so hopefully this year the event will continue
its growth & reveal some more rare vehicles. I have been advised
that the Studebaker & Packard clubs are keen & looking forward to
the day already.
Due to the fact that we were celebrating the Centenary of Hudson & our
40th Anniversary, the committee agreed to rent a garage at the Shannon's
Eastern Creek Classic in August last year. We were fortunate enough
to have Kevin Hickling bring his Step Down Convertible down from Tinonee
so we had that car, along with Les & Helen's magnificent '42 in pride
of place in the garage along with a small display of memorabilia & an
area for members to sit out of the sun & wind. We also had Garry
Murphy with his magnificent '63 Rambler Classic & Mario Rok with his
beautiful black '53 Step Down come from Brisbane. Colin Main, the
Secretary & stalwart of the Rambler Car Club in Victoria came along
& drove one of Rohan & Sally Borrell's cars to the day.
Again, we had a great display of our marque & I can't thank enough
those members who support us as, without you, there would be no point in
having a club at all.
What can I say about the National Meet in Detroit? It certainly was
an experience of a lifetime & we were extremely well looked after on
the 'after tour' down into Indiana following the meet. It was just
great that there were so many Aussies at the meet & I must say, the
Kiwi's out did us! Their numbers were not far short of ours BUT one
of their members even shipped a car over to the States, drove it from Los
Angeles to Detroit & back & then had it shipped back home!
Now - that is dedication. All of the people in attendance at the
meet were just so friendly & interesting & where else would you
get the chance to see three 1909 Hudson's in a car park along with
Italia's, & a couple of other Hudson prototypes?
We also had a great 40th Anniversary Dinner for the club at Bankstown
Trotting Club which was well supported by members & a special thank
you goes to Spencer & Wendy Yarrow for making the effort to come down
from Queensland for the occasion along with Greg & Elizabeth Lynch who
traveled from their country abode in Central West NSW. A number of
members brought along memorabilia for display on the night & several
members spoke with affection about their memories of the club and/or just
what the club meant to them & I am sure that no one will ever forget
the great job that Elizabeth Lynch did telling us about
"tweaking" & "HUBing" [Heads Under Bonnet] (nor
will some of us forgive her for things she said).
Again my gratitude goes out to the great TEAM of people who make up our
committee. They have ALL put into the club, as much effort as they
possibly could & this involvement has really been significant. One
person alone cannot do anywhere near everything that needs to be done so
each team member is as important to the club as the next & I thank
each & every one of you for your effort. Furthermore, each &
every one of our club members is just as important as the team on the
committee as if it was not for them, what would be the point of the club?
Thank you everyone for again entrusting the governance of the club to our
team & we trust that we have not let you down.
On a personal basis, again I sincerely thank my lovely wife Wendy for all
of her love, help, understanding & support over the past year as
without her commitment, I would not be standing here now. I
sincerely thank the executive of the committee for all that they have done
during the club year. Les & George, I certainly could not have
done it without you guys & the other members of our TEAM. I won't
mention any other names in case I forget someone BUT you all certainly
know who you are & what help you have been to the club. I again
thank my employer GAMECO for the continuing use of the premises for our
meetings along with the use of any & all off the office equipment that
is at my disposal, their unsung involvement is invaluable to us.
I ask those of the outgoing committee who are present to stand so that
those present can join me in showing our appreciation for the part that
they played in the successful running of the club yet again. ( a hearty