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President’s Ramble – September 2019

Not many of us turned up to the Quiz Night, four in fact, all from the committee. It was almost a mini committee meeting – I think one short of a Quorum though I would have to check our constitution to be certain! The Horse and Trap isn’t the cheapest establishment in the country, but it does what it does very well. The food was delicious, though as I write this I have now forgotten what I ordered, just that it was delicious, and me being me, I washed it down with some cider. As already stated the Horse and Trap does what it does well, that includes the actual Quiz Night itself and despite the small attendance from us (not the crowd in general – it was a sell-out – punters being turned away that hadn’t booked) I would recommend that we go again, perhaps you will join me next time?

I am also going to use this forum to state with an element of disappointment that Jeanette Grant was voted in Secretary at the AGM, and not because I think Jeanette isn’t/won’t be a good Secretary. It is more that I feel she already does enough! Should there be anyone that wants to step into the role as “Acting Secretary” while Jeanette is the official one, the committee will gladly accept you until next year’s AGM when we can make it official. I will also use this forum to thank Peter Hagglund for joining the committee. At the last AGM we lost three members and gained one, so there is still room for others to come give us a hand and share ideas, again we can accept you as honorary members and make it official at next year’s AGM.

NOW, I am putting this in highlighted format to catch the eye of Nick Watson. Nick has kindly accepted the role of organising/hosting the Interclub with Wellington Peugeot club for the first weekend in November. But Nick being Nick, he is often a last minute man, so details, which are also always detailed and well thought out, other than the first weekend in November are lacking. So Nick this is your call to arms, let us know more so that we have time to publish something in next month’s magazine which will be the last one before the weekend-away with you. Nick has organised more than one of these weekends in the past and they have been a great success. Please put aside that first weekend in November, come join us and the Wellington Club. If you have read these Rambles in the past, which I know many of you have, you like me will leave in such a time to conveniently pass through Kihikihi and have one of Viands Bakeries delicious pies. I am already salivating at the thought of their Oxtail and Red Wine pie, but may have something else on a whim on the day.

I have had a bit of a ramble – airline based – to the other end of the country, with the New Zealand Archaeological Association having just held their Conference in Stewart Island. I went a day early and met up with an old friend who shifted with her family to Southland a few years ago. Because of work she couldn’t pick me up from the airport at the time I landed so I headed into town with the intention of visiting the art gallery. Mandy and I visited it late last century and I remember at the time we were both very impressed with both its collection and that it was free! Unfortunately, it is currently shut (a new gallery is being constructed) with only a few items available for viewing in the public library, which I duly went into and enjoyed. I also had a good chat to the gallery staff who had an office there and offered to take me behind the scenes to the storage area to view any particular piece of art if there was something special I wanted to see. I thought that was a mighty decent offer, but was unable to take them up on it. (There was one – a particular painting had taken my fancy on my last visit – but unfortunately I can no longer remember the artist or the title and to say that it was a lower South Island scene doesn’t really

distinguish it!).
After the Art Gallery/Public Library visit I trundled my suitcase a little further up the road to E Hayes & Sons. For those of you who aren’t aware of this establishment/institution (shop isn’t a good enough word) you should visit for two reasons;

a] it is the largest Hammer Hardware in the country – think traditional department store style but aimed at hardware and homewares in stock – a remnant of the way shops used to be and

b] it has a fine collection of Automotive and Engineering memorabilia on display within the store and they actively encourage you to visit and take photos.

Many of these relate to successful Southland motorsports characters including but not limited to many of Burt Munroe’s items and bikes (think ‘Worlds’ Fastest Indian’ fame including the ability to compare some of the films props to the real things – they have both!). There are also speedway bikes, circuit racers, off roaders, cars of various vintage ranging from a huge Ford Thunderbird to somewhat smaller British autos. All on the shop floor with paints, rollers, tapes, socks and beanies for farmers and all things hardware surrounding them.

Not long later Nicky picked me up and we travelled to Riverton, there I had a walk on Riverton Beach and around the neighbourhood – there are a lot of horses! That night we had a good catch up over dinner at The Aparima Restaurant and Bar (once the Aparima Tavern, but renamed after a fire and rebuild – the old building is still viewable on Google Streetview). The Restaurant is built behind a hill adjacent on SH 99, tucked in out of the wind with wonderful views overlooking the harbour at Riverton, it would be an absolutely magic spot to be during those long Southland Summer nights, sitting out on the deck having a good chat, food and drink. Whilst there I partook in their Icecream Sundae as an entrée (because I felt like it!) and followed it up with what would have to be one of the nicest seafood chowders I have ever had. Nicky meanwhile had the Blue Cod, it was a very good size and looked and smelt great too. This restaurant comes highly recommended by me and I would love to return on a lovely summers evening.

The next morning we shot off to Bluff for Breakfast but failed to find anything that took our fancy, though the scenery comes recommended, I understand why Marcus Lush took up residence there. After abandoning Bluff we headed into Invercargill and had breakfast at Classic Motorcycle Mecca, which is New Zealand’s largest motorcycle collection. This and its sister museum – Transport World – have a reputation among the locals for the quality of their cafes.

I had their vegetarian big breakfast whilst my Southland guide had the eggs benedict, both of us having repeat coffees too. I am no expert on Eggs benedict, not usually my first choice on a menu, but I can say they looked the part. My breakfast was superb, the mushrooms cooked to perfection, and I can say without a word of lie that the hash browns/potato croquettes where by far the best I have ever had, and that as any repeat readers will know is not faint praise coming from me.

The Restaurant itself is full of motorcycle themed memorabilia and has a couple of motorcycles on display. Nicky informed me they even have a motorcycle in the Ladies Rest Room; the Men’s doesn’t! As well as having an excellent café, the museum has a couple of Peugeot motorcycles, unfortunately I had my next flight to catch and didn’t have time to view them or the museum, however their receptionist did give me the number of Juliana Baxter who is the Visitor Experience Manager for Transport World, she sent information on both of their Peugeot motorcycles as well as photos for use in the magazine, one of which is on the cover of this edition. As well as being good enough to supply the photos and info she has also offered a group discount should we ever travel there as a club – any takers for another South Island run anyone?

From Invercargill I then flew to Stewart Island, first time. I flew rather than ferried, another new experience, ten seater aircraft (including the pilot), little noise insulation and definitely buffeted by the winds more than the larger aircraft of my past experiences. I am going to write little here about Stewart Island, at least this month; will save some for next month. What I will say is that it is special, very special, has a higher percentage of utes as daily transport than I have seen elsewhere and kaka are very much a daily experience.

Had enough of Rambling about my rambles now; need to address upcoming events. Coming up and dependent on NZ Post you will receive this immediately before or after our next event. September 15 we are to meet at the Autobahn on the Southern Motorway at 10.45 to Kaiaua for a Fish and Chip lunch (subject to weather – September 22 is the rain date).

This is going to act as an Economy Run, so fill up at the BP there and remember there are trophies for both diesel and petrol run cars. The winner/s will not be the driver who gets the lowest economy, but the one who does the best compared to the original manufacturers specifications for the vehicle they are driving. That way nobody is advantaged or disadvantaged by the age of the car they drive, transmission type or engine size.

In October we will have the pride of Ownership. Come join us and cast your critical or admiring eye over other members’ cars. This year it is to be held on Sunday 6th October at Cornwall Park; further details in this magazine.

Remember there are a number of trophies available to win in this event, all based around the last two digits of your vehicles model number. Please come and show your car.

Have a good month,

Brent




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