President's Report - May 2006

Greetings All,

Winter must be just around the corner - I have just replaced the batteries in my 404 and 505. Nothing like cold nights to drain the power from ailing car batteries. The 505 battery demise was a sorry saga that took place in my garage and driveway. I was about to leave for work, about 8.30 am, but the car would not start. Living at the top of a hill brought no joy, either, because the 505 is an automatic, so I decided to ring the NRMA and avail myself of their battery service. "No problem." said the person on the phone, "it's not a busy morning, and someone should be there within the hour." So, I pushed the car out of the garage, and did a few things in the front garden to pass the time.

Two hours later, I was getting annoyed, so I rang the NRMA again, only to be told that they had come but no-one was with the car. "Unbelievable," I said, "I have been with the car the whole time. "Well," said the person on the phone, "all we can do is put in another request to get you attended to as soon as possible. Are you on call?" "What do you mean, on call?" I replied. "You're a doctor," said the voice, "are you on call?" "No" I said, "I'm not that kind of doctor." Half an hour later an NRMA van cruised up my driveway, the new battery was fitted, paid for by credit card, and the van disappeared. 

I did question the driver about the alleged earlier visit but was told it must have been another driver. Since I was actually in my front garden, in sight of my car the whole time, I can absolutely rule out the possibility of an NRMA van arriving and leaving unseen. The only thing I can think is that a van may have come up my street, not seen the car (it was not visible from the street) and driven off to another call. However, the NRMA had been given my street address and also my mobile phone number, so there could be no excuse for leaving me stranded. The experience has left me very disillusioned with the NRMA - perhaps next time I will say that I am on call!

Well, the dust has settled on the Easter Pageant, but two more big events are coming up - the Battle of Waterloo (in June) and the Bastille Dinner (July). Will Napoleon make further appearances? Further details will follow. In the meantime, our next club night will be at the Italo-Australian Club on Tuesday 23 May at 8 pm. Rick Phillips will entertain us with videos of Peugeots in action in France.

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

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