President's Report - April 2003

Greetings All,

Trust me to be in Toronto when the first SARS cases were reported there last month. Not to mention the start of the war in Iraq. Sitting next to a bloke with a terrible cough on the flight home made me wonder, too. However, here I am, still alive and kicking. Oh, and by the way, despite Quebec being very French, there was not a single Pug to be seen anywhere.

Come to think of it, I've been in the wrong place at the wrong time on a number of occasions over the years: For example, in February 1975 Mt Ngauruhoe erupted in the first week of my first ever visit to NZ. On subsequent visits in 1979 and 1996, its next door neighbour, Mt Ruapehu, erupted, and in 2001 the massive north Indian earthquake occurred when (you guessed it) I was in northern India. I also seem to recall flying back from Asia when the Gulf War started in 1991.

Speaking of the wrong place at the wrong time - I tried to occupy the same piece of road as another car the other day, running into the back of a Fairlane at the Kings Avenue/Parkes Way roundabout at 8.30 am. Destroyed the front bumper and lights on the 505; however, a quick trip out to Bill's allowed me to replace the broken bits and be back on the road by lunchtime - the bumper is not quite right (off a STI, rather than a GTI), and the replacement lights are a bit tired, but perfectly serviceable. My first traffic accident in 30 years of driving!

And all this only 3 days after Sue did something rather similar on our 405 - suffering a crumpled front-end and necessitating a tow-away. I am told by my insurance company (AAMI) that it will be repaired by the end of April, and despite two claims in one week, it seems I will still retain my lifetime no-claim bonus.

At our last club meeting, we had a very informative talk from a very tired Peter MacPerson from Complete Leathercare - very tired because he is so busy, but very informative because he gave us the low-down on caring for leather upholstery. This month's meeting will feature the club's own gardening guru, Cedric Bryant, who will entertain us at the Italo-Australian Club on Tuesday the 29th. Cedric has titled his presentation (to be illustrated with slides): "Garden Design: Good, Bad and Indifferent". As resident gardening writer for the Canberra Times each Sunday, Cedric's fame extends well beyond we Peugeophiles. Doubtless Cedric has suggestions for incorporating Peugeots into garden design, but I will let him tell the stories!

On a sadder note, on behalf of the club I'd like to extend condolences to Bill and Geraldine following the death of Bill's mother, Iris, on March 31. Iris, who was 84, lived the greater part of her life at 56 Miller Street, O'Connor, from where Bill began repairing Peugeots for club members in the late 1970s. For nearly 20 years Iris played the role of hostess for visiting Pug owners, offering cups of tea and providing a chat while Bill worked his magic. She will be sadly missed.

Finally, it's disappointing to hear that the Peugeot Car Club of South Australia has been forced to stop publication of their magazine, Vis a Vis, due to dwindling club coffers. At a Special Meeting to be held on May 27 a Notice of Motion will be tabled to wind up the Peugeot Car Club of SA, and distribute any remaining assets as per the constitution.

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

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