President's Report - July 2007

Greetings All,

We have had a busy schedule of club activities over the past month, including the Battle of Waterloo, June club night, the Mogo Zoo trip and Bastille Day celebrations. The Battle of Waterloo event was held, as usual, on the lawns of Old Parliament house on Sunday 24 June, in glorious sunny weather. In fact, having only returned from northern WA the night before, it was a rather gentle re-introduction to Canberra winter.

Picture of 403 panel van

This year, the French and British cars were evenly matched, with about 30 cars on each side, and after some mid-field negotiations between Napoleon Pillans and the British troops, an honourable draw was declared. A report of the days proceedings will appear in the August edition of Australian Classic Car Magazine.

On Saturday 30 June, a loose convoy of six Pugs and one Citroen headed to the coast, stopping for morning tea at the Braidwood Bakery. We arrived at Mogo Zoo just before lunch and immediately headed for the white lions which are sponsored by Peugeot. No doubt about it, the white lions are gorgeous looking animals, and the cubs are particularly cute, so not surprisingly we spent much more time watching them than the other animals. However, while Mogo Zoo is only small, it has quite an interesting collection of animals and we all enjoyed the other exhibits including a range of unusual primates, meercats, snow leopards, bears, tapirs, giraffes, zebras, red pandas etc. Once again, we were lucky with the weather, which was sunny and cool. After lunch at Mogo Zoo we headed to Moruya, with most people staying overnight at the caravan park at Moruya Heads.

Sue and I opted to stay in town because we wanted to be able to walk to and from one of our favourite eateries - the River Restaurant (on the banks of the Moruya River just near the bridge) where, true to form, we had a fabulous dinner that night. Sadly, the next morning, the battery in our 306 chose to die, so we had to ring the NRMA to get us mobile. I replaced the battery the next day and discovered that it had been in the car since new - 6 years!

I grew up in Moruya in the 1950s and early 1960s, while Sue lived there in the 1980s, so it's always great to go back for both of us. Fortunately, unlike Batemans Bay, Moruya has not suffered from being overrun by holidaying Canberrans, so it still has a familiar feel about it, even more than 40 years later.

On Saturday 14 July, Bastille Day was celebrated in traditional style with a club dinner at the Hotel Kurrajong which turned out to be a terrific outing. We had our own private room, with the food, wine and table service all being excellent.

As usual our singing of La Marseillaise left much to be desired. French-style dress had been recommended, and Rick Phillips certainly cut a dashing figure as D'Artagnon. Earlier in the day, some of us had attended the Bastille Day luncheon at the French Embassy, which this year featured a small display of French cars courtesy of some smooth talking by Barry McAdie, from the Renault Owners' Club. Our 1949 black 203 took pride of place at the head of the lineup, next to a gorgeous 1948 Citroen owned by Rob Howell (owner of Jeir Creek Wines).

Given the busy schedule of events in July, there will be no monthly club meeting at the Canberra Services Club. The next club meeting will be Tuesday 24 August.

Keep on Pugging,

Brad Pillans

Picture of Brad