Hudson-AMC Car Club of Australia Annual General Meeting 2010

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 did.  
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 away.  
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 applause ensued!)

Tony Atkinson