President's Report - April 2012

Greetings All,

This years’ Easter Pageant, organised by the NSW club, was held in Young, less than 2 hours drive from Canberra. There were 63 registered participants (NSW 42, Vic 14, Qld 4, ACT 2 and WA 1). Disappointingly, Sue and I were the only ACT club members to participate. The weekend was organised along traditional lines, with three main events – concours (called a Lion Up), motorkhana/driving skills and a navigation trial – with points from each event counting towards the club championship. We decided to travel in comfort, so we drove up to Young in the 508 on Good Friday and settled into a pleasant, spacious apartment at the Colonial Hotel, just across the road from Pageant HQ which had been established in the Cherry Blossom Motel.

After picking up our pageant registration pack we had a short walk around town, made a quick visit to the car wash (in preparation for the concours), then we joined the other Pageanteers for dinner at the Services Club. The Lion Up was held on Saturday morning, at the Young Railway Station, with the mayor of Young choosing the 1954 203 sedan of Keith and Hilma Bridge (NSW) as his favourite car.

The people’s choice award went to Con Engel’s 505 V6 sedan (NSW) and the judges award went to Richard and Kay Marken’s 1996 605 sedan (Qld). After a sausage sizzle lunch, the action moved to the Young Turf Club just out of town, where motorkhana and driving skills events were keenly contested. In the motorkhana, Laurie Kerr (NSW) looked like he wasn’t even trying, but still managed to win in his 205 GTi. Geoff Boyd made a guest appearance in a bright blue 404 ute, but even Geoff’s skills weren’t enough to make the ute competitive against the 205.

I decided against driving the 508 so Boydie kindly allowed me to ‘khana his ute. Needless to say I was no quicker than Geoff and the Motorkhana team trophy (won by ACT last year) went to the Victorian club, spearheaded by Murray Knight who finished second in his 404 sedan. Ross Berghofer won the driving skills event for the NSW club.

On Sunday there was an observation run to Iandra Castle, an imposing country mansion built in the early 1900s, where we enjoyed a picnic lunch in the large gardens. The observation run was won by Simon Craig and team (NSW) with Sue and I finishing equal second. The rest of the afternoon was free, so we did a bit more looking around Young and surrounds before the presentation dinner at a local restaurant. To my surprise I won “Best Male of the weekend” and then was completely floored when the ACT was announced as the winning club. The scoring was based on an averaging system so that the club with the most participants (NSW) did not automatically win the championship.

Queensland finished 2nd in the championship and NSW was 3rd. On the Monday morning a farewell breakfast was held in the picturesque Chinese Tribute Gardens just outside town and all too soon it was time to head for home. Winning or not, I would like to congratulate the NSW Club for organising such a terrific Pageant – in particular, Ross Berghofer, Graeme and Anne Cosier, Allan Horsley, Wal Glading and others. The weather was perfect and the relaxed itinerary was just right.

Next year’s pageant is being organised by the Victorian Club and will be held in Wodonga. I hope that club members will participate in what should be another memorable Easter weekend. Meanwhile back In Canberra, our next club meeting will be held on Tuesday 24 April at the Weston Club, with dinner from 7 pm and the meeting at 8 pm. The Weston Club is a nice venue, so I encourage you to join us…

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

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