March 18-20 2011 in Blenheim
BY Bev Clifton-Mogg
(click on image for a full size picture)
Taken at Omaka in fron tof the Bristol freighter we see 11 of the 12 Leyland's to grace the district over the weekend.
Starting at Left to Right.
Dry Red Deluxe V8 (Waghorn), Am Eye Blue Deluxe 6 (Jones), Crystal White Super V8 (Tuffey), Peel me a Grape Executive V8 (Hatchard), Bold as Brass Super V8 (Reid), Home on the O’range Deluxe V8 (Bown), Bitter Apricot Super V8 (Mckenzie), Bitter Apricot Deluxe V8 (Buchanan), Persian Sand Super V8 (Heath), Peel me a Grape Executive V8 (Clifton-Mogg), Aspen Green Executive V8 (Alexander)
With a good number of people from the Southern Group including many of the Marlborough locals and lots from the Northern Groups we had about 42 in attendance with up to 12 Leyland's over the weekend.
We arrived at the Commodore Court motel to a warm welcome from the friendly proprietors and excellent room standards.
President, Murray Hatchard welcomed all members personally and distributed "goodie bags" to each unit. Leslie had made light shopping bags screen printed with a P76 logo; southern members provided cookies, shortbread, afghans, stationary, and water bottles to fill each bag. These gifts were well received by all, especially the cookies!
An early start for some on Saturday, 0800, and an enormous breakfast at the Argosy Restaurant. We really needed a large doggy bag for leftovers. What an amazing place to start our day. Beside the restaurant sat an Argosy air freighter parked as a static display open for all to visit. A detailed video explanation was given about this freighter, how it could be transformed partially to carry passengers and freight on the same flights, using a specially designed container type module to house passengers. This now static display aircraft was used on regular flights to deliver the usual, and many most unusual freight items to the Chatham Islands from Blenheim.
Queen Charlotte sound was the morning drive. Exquisite (is there a word adequate to describe this beautiful area of NZ). On to Picton to visit the Edwin J Fox sailing ship remains, now in dry dock next to the museum dedicated to the ship. A most interesting video showing how the ship was prepared for dry dock and placed in her present position was running to a packed auditorium. This display is just awesome and too much to take in when time was so limited.
Next stop the Marana Confectioners boutique chocolate factory. Handmade
chocolates and other natural ingredient confections were sampled by everyone and
most members were seen carrying packages when it was time to leave!
Blenheim's Heritage Centre display of wine making equipment through the ages held our interest until some male members found a yard with vintage farm machinery, tractors, steam engines, etc. Yes, that was the end to wine making exhibits or anything else at this venue. What an interesting and fun day for all.
The AGM was held in Clubs of Marlborough conference room. What a venue. Several service clubs had combined to build this truly magnificent and modern venue, the Bridge Club section rooms hosted our AGM.
Parliamentary procedure was followed with correct protocol. All reports were given and approved. Natcom officers were all returned unopposed. General business bought forward a suggestion for a review of the constitution. Natcom will present its recommendations at the next AGM. These recommendations must be approved by members before implementation. Finance was discussed; the meeting agreed that accrued finance should be invested in car parts opportunities as they arise. Several members spoke suggesting alternative distribution of funds. I have no doubt finance will be discussed next year.
Judy and Philip Meyer offered clothing donated by their friends and family, to be taken back to Christchurch and be given to the Red Cross for distribution to earthquake victims. Thanks to Judy & Philip for thinking of us in the south during these distressing times. Any who have visited Christchurch will recognise the deep need.
Presentations were made by Murray and Edward including the Dale Rawlings Memorial Trophy for the car of People's Choice. The Buchannan's, new members from Ashburton deserve congratulation on presenting their car in such pristine condition and winning the award at their very first National Rally.
Eric Connor was awarded the Piston Broke Trophy by the Past President's in attendance (there were three!) for continually failing to arrive at an event in a P76. Don Alexander was the one to do the Presidential honour's and give Eric his trophy.
Other spot prizes were given to various members as well.
But wait, there is more. Following the meeting we adjourned to an elaborate dinner- continuous feasting, beautiful food, and warm and convivial company- true P76 style. This AGM dinner lived up to all expectations.
Sunday dawned: sunny, a typical Blenheim day. Some went to the club rooms for breakfast while others refrained. Too full from previous the night!
After breakfast we all moved out to the Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre. What a visit! We were treated to a guided tour by truly passionate and knowledgeable guides who certainly knew their aircraft. Backdrops and displays were by Peter Jackson and his team. Several display aircraft are from Peter's personal collection.
A mind blowing display of WW1 vintage aircraft. If you are ever in Blenheim make this venue a "must", allowing at least 2 hours for your visit. It is world class.
Several photo opportunities arose while members were in the aviation museum as you will by now have seen. Next it was time for goodbyes for many, but not all
It's Rotorua next year so start organising your calendar around the next National Rally and AGM. Just by the way we were without breakdowns all weekend (of course). Oh I forgot one southern member was seen to have an aneurism in his back left hand tyre!
Murray Hatchard and team, congratulations on a great National Rally and such
enjoyable, entertaining visits. We all know that events like you presented don't
happen on their own, without hours of preparation and forethought.