President’s Ramble – March 2021

Ten years ago I began the Ramble with “Frankly anything I write, say, think or do is meaningless when I think about Christchurch.  My heartfelt sympathy goes out to all that have been impacted upon and especially to our members who have got personal connections to the area.”

Last December I visited Christchurch for the first time since the quake (though I had previously made it to Rangiora, Kaiapoi and the airport in the intervening years, I hadn’t made that extra step into the city itself), it was an eye opener to say the least, whilst the regeneration in places is obvious so is the lack of progress in others.  In some locations entire city blocks are still empty, and this isn’t including the vast areas in the red zone that were once thriving suburbs and is now parkland.  I observed a number of older buildings (often but not exclusively stone/concrete churches) still cordoned off scattered around the suburbs, their fate of restoration or demolition still not decided.  But amongst these signs of destruction and decay there was also the opposite.  Christchurch has a number of small and not so small memorials which show both the character of the cities occupants to grieve but move on.  My favourite was the chair decorated with smashed china that can be found in Hagley Park, they had made a thing of beauty out of the destruction.  Another of what I consider novel ideas is a mini-golf course that has all of its holes commemorating the past of Christchurch, most but not all have artefacts from buildings and structures that were destroyed in the quake.  The only thing wrong with the course is that when Jessica and I played I was winning almost to the end, then she shot the last four holes with low scores and grabbed victory from me. Still to decide whether to be bitter or be brave and demand a rematch with the risk of defeat again!

Personally I haven’t felt an earthquake during my just over 5 decades on earth. The closest I suspect I have experienced to it is being in a pole-house two stories above the ground in Matata in the Bay of Plenty, it swayed significantly every time a freight train passed on the logging run between Kawerau and the port in Tauranga.  After last week’s earthquakes and tsunami threats, which thankfully didn’t materialise, I overheard a 92 year old that I know being asked if he felt the quake.  This 92 year old is very quick of mind (and frankly pretty good physically as well) and retorted immediately

How would I know, I wobble and sway so much these days!”

 Our latest Covid Level 3 lockdown has resulted in a delay to the Brit and Euro, and thankfully occurred after the Gymkhana (see the report elsewhere) so it would appear we haven’t lost any events as somewhat miraculously the Brit and Euro show has been postponed to 11 April.  So put this in your diary, come along and support our club as well as have a look at the fantastic display put on by many others.  If you couldn’t display on the original date but think you can now, have a word to Don Howarth on 883 2123 or 021 0266 1953, we might be able to fit you in.

Another event we intend to go to as a club is the Caffeine and Classics show which is held on the last Sunday of each month. at Smales Farm. It is too much I think to do this every month as a club – and the committee want to give you some notice – so here it is.  Unfortunately not all will be able to display their cars and it has grown so much now that there is no spectator parking– but you can park on nearby streets and have a good wander – the criteria the organisers have is

Vehicles at least 30 years old are welcome, and newer vehicles that are scratch-built, obscure or exotic are really what we are looking for.”

  So if you have a car older than 30 years and want to go to a free event, possibly buy a coffee please start planning now to join us there.  At our next meeting the committee will decide where to meet beforehand and we could drive in convoy style so we can be set up together.

If you are interested email me or call me, my details are in the magazine.  It starts 9am but the first typically arrive a bit before that. We could meet at 8.30am to organize the convoy.



PS The 26th Annual General Meeting of the Federation of Motoring Clubs will be held at 10:30 AM on Sunday 16 May 2021 at the NZ Vintage Machinery Clubrooms, Keating Park, 723 McLeans Island Rd, McLeans Island, Canterbury. If anyone will be in the area and would like to attend, Jeanette has more details.

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President’s Ramble – December 2020