President's Report - December 2010

Greetings All,

Club members celebrated in traditional style, with a Christmas BBQ at Lake Ginninderra on Sunday 5 December. The event, which was held jointly with the Renault and Citroon clubs, attracted about 25 people who enjoyed the sunny but cool late afternoon weather. Considering the extraordinary amount of spring and early summer rain that we have had, the pleasant sunshine was welcome relief. The long-term average rainfall at Canberra airport is a bit over 600mm per year. This year the airport has received more than 900mm, and at our house in Jerrabomberra we have received more than 1,100mm, making 2010 the wettest year in Canberra since 1974.

I well remember 1974, because I managed to bog my 403 to the axles, twice, while doing fieldwork at Bredbo. On both occasions, I had to be towed out with a tractor, courtesy of the local landowner. Despite the above average rainfall, people are still not driving safely in wet weather. Only today, I was tail-gated by a bloke in a Commodore, in the rain, sounding his horn in a futile attempt to force me to speed up. Needless to say I continued to drive at a safe speed. He eventually cut into the other lane and roared off.

As usual, Sue and I will be spending Christmas with family here in Queanbeyan. Neither of us enjoy travelling on crowded roads to crowded places at this time of year, though we might slip up to Sydney for New Year's Eve celebrations. This year, we have lashed out and bought a real Aussie Christmas tree - a Wollemi pine, of course, which is in a pot and can be planted in our garden later on. Somehow the Radiata pines (originally a native of California), that are sold as Christmas trees, don't seem appropriate.

This is my last column for 2010, so I take this opportunity to wish you all a safe and happy Christmas. Club activities will recommence in February, with another outdoor activity and a regular club meeting at the Canberra Services Club.

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

Picture of Brad