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President’s Report – June 2024

Thursday, June 27th, 2024

Most members have now paid their subscriptions, and we ask that all get their payments into our account by 30th June. It really makes our treasurer, Lisa’s job so much easier if she does not have to chase late payers. Remember that all logbooks need to be stamped or replaced if 3 years old by 30th June, or else vehicles are not legally registered. If you have not got your logbook stamped by then, you should not drive your vehicle until this has been completed.

Natalie Farrell organised another great run through the Adelaide Hills to Beach Road Winery at McLaren Vale on Sunday 19th. We were blessed with good weather and had a strong turnout of members and Triumphs for what was a most successful and enjoyable day.

I am organising the next run, being Christmas in July, and we will cover some of the same ground as last month. Now that the countryside has had rain and is green again, I am sure no one will begrudge seeing some of it again. If you would like to get in to the spirit of things, please decorate your vehicle and/or yourself in traditional Christmas decorations or clothing. There will be Christmas gifts for all at lunch at the Old Noarlunga Hotel.

We are also having a mid-week run to the Green Man Inn, Ashbourne on 10th July. The drive to Ashbourne is great, this time of year, so please let Lawrie and Kaye Placing know if you can attend.

We had another well attended club meeting this month, which is, no doubt due in part to members bringing their logbooks for stamping. Our Registrar, Ian Rigby had a very busy time last Tuesday, and I know he was very pleased to see assistant registrars Kevin Foster and Graham Dean arrive to take some of the load off him on the night. For those who are not regular attendees, I trust that you enjoyed the night and hope to see you again soon at a club meeting or other event.

We once again two member’s cars on stage at our June meeting. Steve Hickingbotham had his TR7, which looked great after he and son Hunter polished it for the night. Steve has only owned the car for 10 months, but he and Hunter are greatly enjoying it. Dan George then showed us his Dolomite Sprint, which he has taken over from his father David, after a nasty prang at Mallala some years ago.  Dan has repaired this damage and has also just about rebuilt the car from end to end, and it is now looking like new, and probably driving much better than new. Dan plans to get the car back on the track, which is great news as our competition group is currently quite small.

Finally, the Annual General Meeting is now only 2 months away, after August general meeting. All positions in the club will be declared vacant. Please call me (ph 0412 823789) or email me (alex.m.smithson@outlook.com) if you wish to stand for any position in the club or are prepared to help. We have numerous jobs within the club and would welcome new faces.

Regards

Alex Smithson

President

President’s Report – May 2024

Monday, May 27th, 2024

Now that subscription notices are out (you should have received a generic notice by email dated 10th May 2024) and payments are being received, updating logbooks is in full swing. Our Concessional Registrar, Ian Rigby was away on an overseas holiday for our May meeting, but other committee members Duane Kaak and Graham Dean did a great job in his absence. We had a very high turnout of members at the May meeting, and although logbook updating may have been one of the reasons for the strong attendance, I hope that all those members who attended enjoyed the meeting and hope to see more of all of you at other meetings during the year.
Geoff Ellis has advised me that he is resigning from All British Day committee. He has been our club representative for 11 years, and although he has greatly enjoyed his involvement with the ABD committee, he now thinks it is time to have someone else take on this role. Thankyou Geoff for your great service to the ABD committee as the TSOA representative. Stephen Wade is still on the committee but he is also a member of two other car clubs. It would be great to have another TSOA member on this committee, and I would be happy to help any potential applicant with his/her nomination.

Stuart Ghent is resigning from TSOA as from 1st July. Stuart has been a member of our club for many years and has been on the Conditional Registration team for over 20 years. Thanks, Stuart for your efforts over such a long period.

We had two cars on stage at our May meeting. Steve Farrar, who is a reasonably new member to TSOA, but has owned his car for around 30 years, had his very attractive GT6 Mark 1 on display. He has had it on periodic registration up until now, but with retirement approaching, wants to use the car more. The Mark 1 is like hen’s teeth, and it is great to see another one in our club.

Vin Anderson was a last-minute call up and had his lovely TR3A with him on the night, and graciously agreed to put it on stage. Vin told us the history of him acquiring the car more than 50 years ago, in his characteristically entertaining style, as well as his and brother Bob’s foray into importing an E Type from Britain. Vin clearly has a great love of the TR3A and it was nice to see it on stage, along with Steve’s GT6.

There have been some great club events since our last meeting. The MSCA 6-Hour relay was run on Sunday 5th May. The driver team of Neil Martin and Duane Kaak from TSOASA were supplemented by a TSOA Victoria contingent of Ian Cowie, Ed Ferguson, Brian Watson and Michael Kip. Our team placed 8th outright, and as always, Team Manager, Roger Lange, and Team Caterer Cherri Lange made sure we were well organised and well fed. Thanks to members who came out to help with time keeping and pit crew support. As always, this day is a highlight of the club year.

We had a mid-week lunch organised once again by Lawrie and Kaye Placing at The Rex Hotel, Marleston on the 9th May, and of course, the annual Club Weekender was held from Friday 17th May to Sunday 19th May, based at the Goolwa Motel. This was, as always, a most enjoyable weekend for all those who attended, and Bill and Margie Berlemon have continued to excel at providing an interesting and varied program at a very reasonable cost. Dean and Lisa, as well as Kate Berlemon provided great support, and it was also pleasing to see some local members including Ian Burman, Bill Galler and Phyllis Rutter join us for some of the events.
Our next social run is on 16th June, when we are going to the Beach Road Winery at McLaren Vale for lunch – Pizzas and/or salads will be on the menu. See the TSOA Calendar for more details.

Due to concerns about winter weather, we have postponed the Observation Run to November and there will be an Adelaide Hills run on the 21st July with lunch at Old Noalunga Hotel. Details are included in FasTRak.
Finally, the Annual General Meeting is now only 3 months away, after August general meeting. All positions in the club will be declared vacant. We have a large membership of some 250 people, and yet only a small handful of members make the club work by volunteering for positions or assisting to organise club events. I ask members to consider helping spread the workload beyond that small group of volunteers. Please call me (ph 0412 823789) or email me (alex.m.smithson@outlook.com) if you are prepared to help. We have numerous jobs within the club and would welcome new faces.
Regards
Alex Smithson
President

President’s Report – April 2024

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2024

Our busy year is continuing with attendance numbers being very good at club meetings and events.

There was a good representation of members of TSOA and TR Register at the McLaren Vale Vintage and Classic 2024 on Sunday 14th April. This is a great event, and we will think about incorporating it as a club event next year, as all who attended had a great time.

We welcomed our secretary, Duane Kaak back at our April meeting, and had two more cars on stage. Errol Murray told us about his TR4 which he purchased last year from Collectible Classics at Strathalbyn. Errol is new to the Triumph world, although wanting one for many years, and we are very pleased he finally took the plunge. His Four is a particularly nice car and I am sure he will get great pleasure in owning it.
Rob Hanna has a great looking 2500TC Saloon which he purchased reasonably recently to add to his fleet of two other Triumph saloons. Rob lives at Greenock, so he had quite a distance to drive to and from the Sporting Car Club at Unley.

We had a committee meeting prior to the April club meeting, where we accepted our treasurer, Lisa Macleod’s recommendation to maintain subscriptions at $50 for full members, and $25 for social members for 2024/25. The club is in a strong financial position, and the committee believes that it would be appropriate to use some of these funds to subsidise subscriptions for another year. Subscriptions in 2017/18 were $75 for full members, and were reduced at the time of COVID, due to normal club activities being suspended. We have reduced some operating costs such as mailing out hard copy newsletters, and have operated at around break even since the end of COVID. We are budgeting operating losses over the next two years, and therefore, next year, subscriptions may to have to increase.

Thanks Lisa for her careful management of club finances, which has allowed us to keep subsriptions at such a low level for another year. Lisa will be sending out renewal notices shortly. Please pay these promptly, and by 30th June at the latest. All club committee positions are voluntary, and following up slow payers is a time-consuming exercise for an already very busy person. As we have to report non-financial members on the concessional registration scheme to DIT, and they then have registrations cancelled, there is significant responsibility and high workload that Lisa, Ian Rigby have, and late payers make their task that much harder.

Our most recent social event was a run from Burnside Town Hall to Riverbend Park at Clarendon on Sunday 21st April. This was a most enjoyable day, being a scenic run through the Adelaide Hills, and ending at what really is one of Adelaide’s hidden gems, a lovely park at Clarendon. We had excellent attendance, most in their Triumphs, and enjoyed a gourmet BBQ by Bill and Margie Berlemon, and icecreams provided by Lawrie and Kay Placing. Lawrie and Kay helped social secretary Natalie Farrell organise the run, and Natalie also excelled in arranging perfect weather. I know all who attended had a great day.

There is still a room left for the Weekender on the 17th to 19th May, based at the Goolwa Motel. This promises to be one of the highlights of the club year, and for anyone (particularly any new members who may not have thought about it until now) who would like to attend, please contact the Berlemons (Bill ph 0409 894 314 or Margie ph 0438 836 837) to secure this last room.

Our next social run is on 16th June, when we are going to the Beach Road Winery at McLaren Vale for lunch – Pizzas and/or salads will be on the menu. See the TSOA Calendar for more details.
Finally, congratulations to Tim and Carolyn Wachtel who’s lovely GT6 won “Best British Car” at the Swan Reach Classic Auto River Run 2024, against stiff competition from a range of Britain’s finest.

Regards
Alex Smithson
President

President’s Report – March 2024

Tuesday, April 16th, 2024

We have had a busy and successful start to the year with two significant events, being the MSCA picnic (reported in the last Fastrak) and the All British Day at Echunga Oval of Sunday 3rd March. Both events had a great turnout of Triumphs, and again thanks to Roger Lange for his work with “Triumphs in the Pits” at MSCA, and our ABD committee members, Geoff Ellis and Stephen Wade, for helping organise such a great ABD event.
We had great weather, and no repeat of the 2023 gazebo disaster, albeit that this year, everything was tied down to vehicles, just in case. Stephen put a lot of work into arranging our display in model order, and we had an impressive row of TR2 to TR7 inclusive in the front row. The TR Register and the Stag Club were adjacent, so there was a very strong and visually impressive Triumph presence. Special thanks also to all those who assisted with marshalling, to make sure we were one of the most organised groups at the event.

A small but jovial group joined Lawrie and Kay Placing at The Junction Bar and Bistro, Camden Park, for a mid-week lunch on Tuesday 12th March. There was great food and company, and thanks Lawrie and Kay for arranging these get togethers.

Our March meeting was well attended, although Secretary Duane was missed. Vice President Richard Sellars did a great job deputising for Duane. Due to various mechanical issues with the two scheduled cars on stage, I organised for Bob Kretschmer and new member, Hayden Burge to bring their cars along when I was at the mid-week lunch. Due to having a senior’s moment, I had forgotten that I had also asked Dino Vettese to bring one of his fleet along whilst we were both at the ABD. As a result, we had three vehicles on stage.

We heard about Bob’s long association with his TR4A, from when he first owned in in the 1960’s, to repurchasing it after restoration by Richard Sutherland around 2015. Hayden has recently purchased his immaculate Stag from NSW, having been a Stag owner in his younger days, and had only got it though Regency Park a few days prior to having it on stage. Dino’s magnificent TR6 was also on show, and Dino retold the tale of purchasing it from the owner of Classic and Sports Car Boutique, Geoff Mockford. Thanks to Bob, Hayden and Dino for bringing their cars along, and sharing their stories with club members.
The Weekender is being held on the 17th to 19th May, based at the Goolwa Motel. Bill and Margie have an exciting program organised, and it is now close to being fully subscribed. I urge anyone who has not booked their spot already, to contact the Berlemons (Bill ph 0409 894 314 or Margie ph 0438 836 837) to get your name on the list. By the time you read this, all places may have been taken, however it would still be worth being on the waiting list, as the Weekender is always one of the highlights of the club year.

Natalie Farrell has got two excellent social runs planned. We will be heading to Riverbend Park at Clarendon on Sunday 21st April, for a club-sponsored BBQ. We meet at 9.45am for a 10.00am departure at the Burnside Town Hall car park. Bring out your Triumph for a great Adelaide Hills drive to a most picturesque destination and enjoy a great BBQ on us. Phone Natalie on 0455 250 990 for more details and to confirm you are coming, as we need this for catering purposes. On 16th June, we are going to the Beach Road Winery at McLaren Vale for lunch – Pizzas and/or salads will be on the menu. See the TSOA Calendar for more details.

The Sporting Car Club of SA has its 90th Anniversary “Old Crocks’ Run”, starting at Victoria Park Grandstand and proceeding down to Wigley Reserve, Glenelg, on Sunday 5th May 2024. A display of vehicles along with food and drink stalls and other entertainment for the whole family and car enthusiast is planned at Glenelg. There may be an opportunity for TSOA to be involved in this event. More to come shortly.

Regards
Alex Smithson
President

President’s Report – February 2024

Thursday, March 7th, 2024

We are back into the swing of things with normal club meetings resuming for 2024. We had a good turnout of members to our February meeting, and we had two cars on stage, both of which had been winners at last year’s Day of Triumph.

Firstly, Chris Marshall displayed and told us about his lovely “French blue” 1974 Stag. He purchased it from NSW about 5 years ago, and we heard about it being impounded upon delivery by the police, because it did not have an engine number stamped on the block. It did seem a bit of an overreaction by Motor Registration, but I suppose “rules are rules”. Luckily, this is now a distant memory for Chris, who is enjoying driving this very nice car whenever possible.

We then heard from Life Member Roger Lange about his TR7V8 which he also had on display. Roger purchased the car from another club member, Dino Vettese, and after lots of work previously by Dino, and then by Roger, this is now a really great Wedge, of which Roger is justifiably, very proud.

Bill Berlemon also gave us details of an exciting Weekender program for the weekend of 17th to 19th May, based at the Goolwa Motel. The club executive has increased the subsidy for the event to make its cost within the reach of all members, at only $260 per head (twin share) all inclusive. Bill and Margie have already put in a huge amount of time developing and fine tuning the program, and with only 15 rooms available, these will fill very quickly. If you have not booked in with Bill and Margie yet, I strongly suggest you do so as soon as you read this report.

The MSCA 50th Anniversary picnic was held at the Mount Barker Oval on Sunday 25th February. We had a record number of club members and well over 20 Triumph vehicles attend, and it was a most enjoyable day. Thanks to Roger Lange’s efforts to establish the theme of “Triumphs in the Pits” with lots of props, race numbers on cars etc, TSOA were runaway winners of the “best display” of any car club at the picnic. MSCA also made various presentations to drivers who had completed through the year, and as well as winning his class, our own Neil Martin won the prestigious “Sprint Driver of the Year” award. This is a great achievement, considering the amount of competition in MSCA, and it is the second time Neil has been awarded this trophy. Congratulations Neil, for doing our club proud on the racetrack.

Lastly, a final reminder that the All British Day is at Echunga Oval of Sunday 3rd March. If you have not registered, please still think about coming along as a spectator. It is always a great day, and this year, we plan to have our gazebos firmly tied down to heavy objects (e.g. Triumphs) to avoid a repeat of last year’s debacle. Stephen Wade has allocated specific parking for each TSOA entrant, so please look at Stephen’s email to know which spot you have been allocated.

Regards
Alex Smithson – President

President’s Report – January 2024

Friday, January 26th, 2024

I trust all TSOA members had a great Christmas and New Year and are looking forward to getting out in their Triumphs in 2024. We have not had formal club meetings in December and January, and so we will be getting back to business in earnest at our February meeting.

We had a great run to Gumeracha at the beginning of December, with a good turnout of members, and coffee enjoyed at a new café in Gumeracha. Members could then choose to go to either Torrens Valley Orchard or Kenton Valley Cherries. After the heavy rains a week or two earlier, we thought that supply of cherries might be limited, but at Kenton Valley Cherries at least, there were plenty available, and these were very reasonably priced. Thanks to Bill and Margie Berlemon for organising another great day.

The “Apres Run” was on the 28th December. I was unable to attend this run, but I understand that it was well attended with over 30 members and partners present. It was, as I understand, great weather, and the Macclesfield Hotel put on good quality and generous sized meals. Thanks to Roger and Cherri Lange for organising this ever-popular event.

I was also unable to attend the January informal meeting, and thanks to Duane Kaak for standing in for me. I understand that there was only a reasonably small number in attendance, however they were entertained and informed about model yacht racing by our multi-skilled racer, Neil Martin. Neil retired from work at Christmas and is now an even more dedicated competitor in classic car racing and his new passion with model yachts.
A small group of members had a very enjoyable picnic lunch at Lawrie and Kaye Placing’s house for Australia Day. The Placings provided ice-creams for all those there, in lieu of the traditional January ice-cream run to Noonies. Weather was good, and those of us who attended had a great time and an overload of ice-creams. Thanks Lawrie and Kaye for your ongoing hospitality.

The MSCA 50th Anniversary picnic is being held at the Mount Barker Oval on Sunday 25th February. We are making this an official club event, and hope that there will be a strong turnout. Roger Lange is organising a club display, and we have been successful in the past in winning the award for best club display. The venue is the shady western end of the Mount Barker Oval complex. Assembly of cars in club display groups are to be in place by 11.00 am. BYO everything for a picnic lunch. Talk to Neil Martin, Duane Kaak or Roger Lange if you would like more information or encouragement. Lots of us are going, so please, come along and enjoy the camaraderie.

Lastly, the All British Day is at Echunga Oval of Sunday 3rd March. There are 800+ people who have entered for this year event. Registrations closed some time ago, however if you have not registered, please still think about coming along as a spectator. It is always a great day, and this year, we plan to have our gazebos firmly tied down to heavy objects (e.g. Triumphs) to avoid a repeat of last year’s debacle.

I look forward to seeing as many members as possible at our February meeting. I believe supper may even include ice-creams for a lucky few.

Regards
Alex Smithson

President

President’s Report – November 2023

Sunday, November 26th, 2023

The 42nd TSOA Nationals were held in the last week of October, and were very successful, despite the less than perfect weather. The week-long event was at Lady Bay Resort, Warrnambool. The “Shipwreck Coast” as this locale is known, is one of the most stunning parts of Australia. TSOA Victoria organised a great week which was thoroughly enjoyed by all those attending.

I have done a full report of the event, and this is available on the TSOASA website. Some noticeable highlights were, however as follows:

Show and Shine winners: 1st– Trevor Norris (Dolomite Sprint) Vic; 2nd – Ron Farrugia (TR5) Vic; 3rd  -Dino Vettese (TR6) SA; 4th – Lisa Vettese (Stag) SA;  5th – Geoff Byrne (TR6) NSW; 6th – Alex Smithson (TR5) SA.

Movie watched at Port Fairy’s historic Reardon Picture Theatre – early 1970’s Australian cult classic, “The Cars that Ate Paris”. Reviews mixed.

Ironman Trophy winner – Western Australia. (Controversial as team only comprised two people, Ron and Leigh Marian).

It was a fabulous week of great food, great company, great events, and of course, great Triumphs. There were attendees from all mainland states, with a South Australian contingent of 17 attending. We are now looking forward to Albany next year.

I understand from the WA organisers, that Albany is already fully subscribed, however TSOA members can still place their names on the waiting list. We know, from previous experience, that as the event gets closer, there will be inevitable cancellations and I strongly recommend anyone interested to get their names on the waiting list post-haste, as offers will be made when cancellations occur on a strict order of initial application. Register at: https://tsoa-wa.com/triumph-tsoa-nationals-2024/.

Our Christmas dinner and trophy presentation night was on Saturday at Royal Adelaide Golf Club. Sue Gibson has yet again, done a great job organising this event and the club is greatly indebted to her for her ongoing hard work in making this dinner a real highlight of our club year. Special congratulations to Larie and Kaye Placing for winning the Clubman trophy.

At our November meeting, we also had three cars on stage. Firstly, Peter Bogatec had his TR7V8 displayed.  This car is in great condition, and Peter recently ran it is the Adelaide Rally.  This was not planned, as he had a race car entered, but was not able to use it due to mechanical problems.

Don Richards had his TR250 on display. Don is in the process of restoring two TR6’s and came across this car when sourcing parts for the TR6. Roger Lange commented that Don got it from under his nose, and that he was next in line if the sale to Don had fallen through.

Finally, our secretary, Duane Kaak had his TR7V8 race car on display. This car has had a new motor relatively recently (out of a Range Rover). Duane has had this car for quite a few years, and it has great sentimental value to him. A spur of the moment decision to advertise for a travelling companion to accompany him and share the costs of driving it back from Melbourne to Adelaide all those years ago resulted in him meeting Meranie, who fell in love with the man and his car.

We do not have a meeting in December, and the January meeting will be an informal gathering at the Sporting Car Club. Trevor Hawkins has suggested that we make this a “swap meet” where members bring any relatively small and easily carried parts along to find potential new homes. I will send out an email to all members before the January meeting as a reminder and confirm more details.

Regards

Alex Smithson

President’s Report – October 2023

Tuesday, October 31st, 2023

The Day of Triumph (DOT) on Sunday 15th October was a great success, despite the rather ordinary weather forecast. We were threatened with showers through the day, and although it rained first thing, we had a reasonably dry day, and unlike the All British Day, also no serious wind issues. We had, however, tied down our new gazebos to vehicles and trees, so we were ready for any weather event.

We had 33 vehicles on display and around 25 submitted for judging. Congratulations to all winners, and in particular, the overall Concours winner, Trevor Hawkins and his magnificently restored TR4A. Roger Lange was second with his TR7V8, and Dino and Lisa Vitesse came third with their Stag. Our new DOT convenor, Dean Berlemon did a great job in organising the day, although as Dean said, he relied heavily on Ian Rigby, our previous DOT convenor who provided great on-the-job training to Dean and also worked extra hard on the day. Dean was also ably supported by his wife Lisa on the gate, Dean and Marg Bogisch who tallied the results and a plethora of others who helped with judging.

Quite a few of our members took advantage of the $10 breakfast/lunch at Café Primo Tea Tree Plaza. Thanks again to Dino and Lisa Vettese for their ongoing generous support of our club.

We looked resplendent in our new hi-vis vests with TSOA logos which we have purchased as part of the SA Car Club Program (SACCP) government grant received in June.

At our October meeting, we also had two cars on stage. Firstly, Steve Ferguson had his TR7V8 hardtop. Steve also has a TR7V8 convertible, and both cars are in mint condition. Steve was previously a member of TSOA SA until about 10 years ago when he moved to Queensland and joined TSOA Qld. He has returned to Adelaide recently and rejoined us. Steve has restored the cars over 15 or so years.

We also had Trevor Hawkins show us his TR4A, fresh from his win at the Day of Triumph. Trevor told us that he bought the car essentially as a “wreck” and took on the restoration as a retirement project. He had previously restored his TR6 and had learned a lot with this first project. Trevor did most of the work on the car himself, and his skills were very much on display at the Day of Triumph.

Social secretary Natalie has a lot of great events planned in the next few months, and we really hope club members take full advantage of their club membership and attend these upcoming functions. The Christmas Dinner is on Saturday 25th November at Royal Adelaide Golf Club, Seaton. This is a club sponsored event with the cost being only $50 per head for members and $70/head for non-members. We keep going back to the RAG because there is always excellent quality food and great surroundings. Pre-dinner drinks are provided by our club, and DOT trophies will be presented on the night. I urge all members to attend if they can, and contact Sue Gibson on 0428 735 960 as soon as possible to book in.

A group of 17 members and partners are about to head off to the TSOA National Meeting in Warrnambool, and I will report on this event at the next club meeting.

Regards

Alex Smithson

President’s Report – September 2023

Tuesday, October 31st, 2023

Firstly, I am very pleased to welcome Natalie Farrell to the Committee as Social Secretary. Natalie is a Life Member of the club and has held numerous positions in the past during her long membership. Natalie has always been super-efficient and dedicated in everything she does, and I know she will be very successful as Social Secretary.

We have had a great start to the Club year with two very successful Sunday events. The run to Bethany on 27th August was reported on in the last edition of Fastrak, and was well attended, with a gourmet lunch supplied by the tireless team of Bill and Margie Berlemon.

The Berlemon team was again at the fore with the All-Triumph Observation Run on Sunday 17th September, this time with Dean and Lisa organising a very enjoyable run along the metropolitan coast with stops at Henley Square and Semaphore Road, Exeter for a series of challenging questions, before having another great BBQ lunch (supplied and prepared by Bill and Margie) at Osborne Foreshore Reserve, North Haven. The weather was near perfect, and we had a great turnout of members, with lots of them in their Triumphs.

We have also had a mid-week run to the Aussie Inn Hotel at Hackham, once again organised by Laurie and Kaye Placing.  There are a group of regulars to these lunches, and there is always a convivial atmosphere. All club members are welcome to attend, and I am sure you will enjoy yourselves.

Ian Rigby explained at our September club meeting, the problems he has had in following up members to have their logbooks updated for this year. Ian puts in countless hours in ensuring that TSOA is “Gold Standard” in the Conditional Registration Scheme, and that members do not get in trouble with DIT, the Police or their insurer by being non-compliant and driving a technically unregistered vehicle. We are a club of over 250 members, and the amount of work Ian does to follow up those who do not comply with our procedures is immense. I ask all members to do all they can to make Ian’s job as easy as possible and get logbooks to him next year in a timely manner.

We had two new members, John Watts and David Marlow have their vehicles, a TR7 and a TR6 on stage at the September meeting. Both cars looked great, and John and David were able to tell us about their ownerships. Members’ cars on stage is something I would like to get back to on a regular basis, and I will be asking new and recent members to get involved by presenting their cars to club meetings.

Our next big event is the Day of Triumph on Sunday October 15th at Civic Park. Modbury. Dean Berlemon is convening this event for the first time, although I am sure that previous convenor, Ian Rigby will still be a key part of Dean’s team. It would be great to see a record number of cars there, and I ask all members to make a special effort to have their cars on display. You definitely don’t need to have a Concours standard car, and do not need to enter it into the judging. Please come along however and add to the spectacle of the day. Club members Dino and Lisa Vettese, who own Café Primo at Tea Tree Plaza are offering a super cut-price breakfast at only $10.00 to all club members.  Thanks Dino and Lisa, and please, take advantage of this great offer.

You don’t need to book or advise anyone in advance of your attendance at the Day of Triumph. Just turn up to Civic Park, Modbury prior to 10.00am on Sunday 15th October.

Dean also asked for judges to volunteer to help on the day. This is a great way to have a close look at a lot of cars and be involved. Judging is not hard, as we are not looking for originality, and is great fun. We need more members to help out, so please contact Dean ASAP.

Lastly the Christmas Dinner is coming up on Saturday 25th November. This is a great night and super value at $50.00 per head, with sponsorship by the club, including drinks before the meal. Please contact Sue Gibson to register your attendance.

Regards

Alex Smithson

TSOA NATIONALS REPORT – VICTORIA 2023

Tuesday, October 31st, 2023

The 42nd Nationals (the 2nd after resumption from COVID) which ran from 21st to 28th October 2023 are over and it was once again a great success. There was a drop-off in final numbers close to the event with, in the end, 79 registered participants, with SA being the third largest contingent with 17.  We travelled to Victoria as two convoy groups, all meeting at Tailem Bend, and then with 5 couples travelling via Keith and Naracoorte and staying overnight in Penola, and the others travelling along Highway 1 via Meningie, Kingston and Millicent and staying in Mount Gambier on Friday night.

The week-long event was in Warrnambool, and we stayed at the Lady Bay Resort which provided first-class accommodation. The “Shipwreck Coast” as this locale is known, is one of the most stunning parts of Australia, and includes the Great Ocean Road, twelve apostles and the like, and TSOA Victoria organised a great week which was thoroughly enjoyed by all those attending.

The centenary of Triumph and 70 years of the TR were celebrated, and these twin celebrations formed the theme for the Nationals. Our first event was the welcome dinner at the resort on Saturday which was a great night, with a “blue and white” dress theme bringing out the best of the creativity of the rally delegates.

We were not blessed with great weather, and Sunday’s show and shine at the nearby Lake Pertobe events area was nearly cancelled due to rain and wind. We persevered however, albeit that not many people washed their cars beforehand, and several umbrellas ended up being blown out and put in the rubbish bins. We all survived, and the adjacent coffee shop did a thriving business as it was a lot warmer and dryer there than at the S&S.

South Australia was not able to repeat its successes of the last few Nationals, however we did take out three of the six places in the S&S awards being 3rd – Dino Vettese (TR6), 4th – Lisa Vettese (Stag) and 6th – Alex Smithson (TR5). In case anyone is wondering how the Vettese’s had two cars on display, they drove the Stag, and had Steve Moule and Geoff Mockford trailer over the TR6 for the event. The winner was Trevor Norris from Victoria in a Dolomite Sprint.

That night, we had dinner at the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village and watched the light show afterwards. Weather still wet and cold.

Monday was a much better day weather-wise, and we set out in and easterly direction on an inland and coastal tour of some 200 km round trip, to view the Great Ocean Road, Twelve Apostles and Port Campbell, with a coffee stop at the Dairylicious Fudge Farm between Timboon and Colac. Dinner was at The Pavilion Cafe and Bar overlooking Warrnambool Harbour.

On Tuesday we headed north and west to Tower Hill and Port Fairy. Weather had deteriorated, and we had lunch and watched a film at Port Fairy’s historic Reardon Picture Theatre. The film was the early 1970’s Australian cult classic, “The Cars that Ate Paris”. It is reasonable to say that the film was not universally acclaimed by the TSOA audience, with the bad weather probably stopping most of the audience from walking out earlier than they did. Those of us with a dark sense of humour enjoyed it thoroughly.

In the evening, we had a “Barefoot Bowls” night at the Warrnambool City Bowling Club and a BBQ dinner. This venue is fully under cover with heaters, so was perfect for us. As well as having great fun bowling in teams, this counted to the first “Ironman” event for the week. For the uninitiated, this is a novelty competition between states, with a very large and impressive perpetual trophy awarded to the overall winner. Everyone wants to win it, carry it home in their generally already overloaded Triumph, and then proudly store it for 12 months, prior to then carrying it to the next Nationals.

The rules of the bowling component seemed a little haphazard, and somehow WA won this event despite having only two competitors.

On Wednesday we drove some 60km to Cobden, where we had go-karting, mini-golf and mini-train rides. Unfortunately, this was the worst day weather-wise, with cold wind, numerous rain showers and two quite heavy hailstorms. Those on the mini train or on the go-kart track during the hailstorms really did cop a beating. Both the mini golf and the go-karts counted to the Ironman competition. There were only three karts, and the competition was a regularity event over three laps, and separate heats for each state. The rain and hail made the track very slippery, and there were numerous spinouts and karts ending up in the grass.

Our team of Neil Martin, Ian Rigby and Lisa Vettese put on a good performance, however did not win the competition, which was uneven due to rain showers coming and going during each state’s runs.  Somehow, WA with only two drivers (plus one additional ring-in from NSW) also won this event.

The mini-golf was also marred by ongoing rain and very slow greens with numerous unexpected water hazards. This was however won by Team South Australia, highlighted by Dean Bogisch having two holes in one, and Alex Smithson with one.  It is of note that WA did not field a team in the mini golf as their two delegated (Ron and Leigh Marian) were competing in the go karts at this time.

We had a roast lunch at the go-kart track and a free afternoon and night on Wednesday.

Weather improved on Thursday, and we headed west again for another 200km day to Portland, where we did tours of the Maritime Museum, Powerhouse Motor and Car Museum and Cable Trams Depot and Museum. Some of us also ventured out to the Cape Nelson lighthouse. At night, we had dinner at Pippies by the Bay Restaurant in Warrnambool.

Our last full day on Friday saw us drive to Suffoir Winery, Brewery and Distillery in Macarthur, around 80km north of Warrnambool. We learned about this most diverse business from proprietor, Pieter Badenhorst and enjoyed great platters for lunch.

There was a delegates’ meeting where the future of Nationals generally was discussed, and then we had our final presentation dinner at Lady Bay Resort.  The theme for this dinner was “Gold” and almost everyone was dressed for the event. Various prizes were awarded, with our own Lawrie Placing being adjudged the “most creative male”.

Numerous serious and less serious awards were given, the most controversial being that of the winner of the “Ironman” trophy. Team WA (solely represented by Ron and Leigh Marian) won this trophy, despite not having a full team number for any event and forfeiting one of the three events which counted for points. They also did not have room in their Stag to take the trophy back to WA, and so it goes back to NSW yet again (it has resided there since 2019). Whilst the rest of us were perplexed about how this win was possible, in the end, we were all pleased that we did not have the responsibility of transport and storage of this sizable trophy.

We also heard from John Stokes who talked about ongoing planning for 2025 in Port Stephens, NSW (picking up the cancelled 2020 rally) and from Ron Marian who gave us a full run-down on the 2024 Nationals in Albany Western Australia. As always, WA has organised a great program, and many of the attendees at Warrnambool plan to make the trip over the Nullarbor next year to attend this event.

Unfortunately, due to the cold weather for the whole week, we did not have a time where everyone was just wearing shirts, to show off our “Team SA” red polo shirts and get a team photo as a group. We did however get some photos of Team SA in their gold finery (thanks particularly to two avid photographers, Marg Bogisch and Raeleen Rigby).

Victoria had their initial problems in organisation at Warrnambool, including delaying the initially planned event last year due to South Australia running 2022 after we had to cancel 2021 due to COVID. Unlike last year, there were no cases during the week, which was a great relief to all.

Roger Jeary, immediate past president of TSOA Victoria took on the role of Rally Convenor and did a great job, along with his hard-working committee. Trevor Norris was the liaison person with participants, and Barrie O’Shea was the MC. They, along with the rest of the team that put the week together were outstanding. We had a “Have You Been Paying Attention” quiz on the last night, and one question was “which was Barrie’s funniest joke?”. Quite unfairly, I thought, the correct answer was “none of them”. Barrie’s wife, Rose ran the quiz, and could potentially be forgiven as she may have been the long-suffering sounding board for his practice as being MC, before the event.

After a fabulous week of great food, great company, great events, and of course, great Triumphs, we are now looking forward to Albany next year. Thanks in particular to all the South Australians who attended and help make it such a great week.

Alex Smithson