Club Memorabilia Night “Thanks For The Memories”.
Most people call them ‘senior moments’, I think it’s more like losing the plot, which is what I did in the ‘Oh my God it’s Christmas’ newsletter when compiling the coming events and forgetting to include Andrew Read’s new club activity he’d called a ‘Memorabilia Night’. A small silver lining was at least picking up my deficiency about a month before the night’s due date enabling it to be given a good plug at the meeting beforehand and allowing Secretary Dave to get an email reminder out to everyone...phew!
It must have worked okay because an almost perfect – bordering on slightly too warm – February night found around 30 people at the clubrooms with Neil Smedley having as reliably as always delivered and set up the barbeque trailer, several cooks getting various meats sizzling while the ladies caused a couple of tables to sag under the weight of a variety of gourmet salads. Mustn’t make this a story about tucker but dessert consisted of Marlene’s cute and fancy decorated violet Valentines cup-cakes and Deidre’s still warm from its moments before removal from the oven lemon meringue pie. Gonna pick a winner Steve? All I can say is that after several cup-cakes and a huge piece of warm pie...the winner is.....an impossible to separate tie!
But enough on food and male fence-sitting diplomacy and the official part of the evening started inside the old school with Neil Smedley outlining in incredible detail the club’s history going way back to very first meeting of the South East Restoration Society at the Old Mill Museum in Naracoorte on 26th July 1973 and at which our current President Darrell Jenkin was in attendance (I think he must have been about 4 years old). The detail of Neil’s research was quite astonishing and Neil gave me his notes later which certainly deserved to be retained for the future and which showed Andrew Read attended his first meeting on 28th March 1974, Neil Smedley on 18th April ’74 and Ray Phelps on 26th September ’74 (with no record made about that last one as to whether or not Deidre took pie). From those early days it soon became clear that it wasn’t easy or convenient for Bordertown people to be a part of a club based in Naracoorte and so by mutual and amicable agreement in the early months of 1980 our club set itself up as its own entity.
As Neil gave his nostalgic presentation it was clear the bench-top in front of him was laden with all manner of artefacts and it eventuated these belonged to our next two speakers, Jennie and Pieter Jacobs. Hard to do justice to all the many and totally varied objects Pieter talked about, US memorabilia, American Civil War items, assorted objects of kitsch, mechanical gizmos...you had to be there. When it was Jennie’s turn we heard not just about the history of her antique dolls on show but of their providence too, where they had been discovered, and then Jennie moved on to numerous antique medical instruments; fascinating, if not a little scary.
John O’Brien was next up reminiscing about his 1927 (I think?) Buick commercial vehicle long gone interstate to a funeral director with no shortage of financial funding who has since spent squillions transforming the Buick into a jaw dropping multi award winning historic hearse.
Remember the TV show The Comedy Company? One segment was about Uncle Arthur and his slide show nights. Well, we had our own slide show next up when Jeff Creaser set up his rotary projector (remember them) and screen and man did the loud and excited nostalgic chatter begin to flow in earnest as we saw young men now grown old, once long dark hair now turned grey, happy playing children now with children of their own, cars that were old even back then now long moved on to new homes, old interesting and quirky historic Bordertown buildings long demolished and replaced with boring modern cubes: as newcomers to town these old slides were just as interesting to Helen and I as they were to the life-long locals who were having old memories jogged and rekindled.
As a closing statement and not as a criticism, toward the end of the night and with 30 or more of us crammed in a tight cluster watching the old fashioned picture show it did start to get uncomfortably warm and so, only as an observation and considering we have so much money in the bank...why aren’t the clubrooms air-conditioned? Our memorabilia night was a ripper, if we hold another make sure you get along to it and maybe even contribute, and that’s why I mention air-con once again, as I did in the last newsletter. Meanwhile, congratulations to Andrew Read for coming up with the great idea of a Memorabilia Night and to everyone who gave a presentation...well done.