President's Report - April 2016
The highlight of the month was undoubtedly the annual Peugeot Pageant, in Oberon, organised by the Peugeot Car Club of NSW. The event, held over the weekend 10/11 April, attracted just over 60 registrants, including several from the ACT club.
Sue and I made the leisurely drive to Oberon, via Goulburn and Taralga, in a bit under 3 hours, arriving about 5.30pm on the Friday afternoon. The road between Taralga and Oberon is above 1200m in many places and regular snow signs are a reminder of how cold it can be in winter – Oberon itself is about 1100m above sea level, making it one of Australia’s highest towns.
Like most Pageant participants, we stayed at the Big Trout Motel in Oberon, where the Pageant officially kicked off with an Asian style dinner on Friday night. Guest of honour was Stephen Mockford, National Customer Experience Manager at Peugeot Australia. Stephen stressed the desire of Peugeot to develop stronger links with the car clubs and we can expect to hear from him when he is next in Canberra. He also brought a new 308 GTi to display at the Pageant.
On Saturday morning, the concours was held in bright sunlight at the Oberon Common, a pleasant park near the centre of town. With more than 30 cars on display, ranging from 203s through to 508s, the judges had a difficult task in choosing a winner. In the end, they chose the immaculate 504 of Andrew Park and Lorraine Mordue (NSW), while Oberon mayor, Kathy Sajowitz, chose the welltravelled silver and maroon 203 owned by Dave Rowell (ACT) as her favourite. Sam Mechkaroff (Vic) won the popular vote by a wide margin for his red 404 cabriolet.
After a picnic lunch in the park, the action switched to motorsports in a nearby paddock. Activities were split into motorkhana events for the go-fast brigade and rather more sedate motorskills events for those interested in precision rather than speed. Ross Berghofer (NSW) won the motorskills events in his 505 wagon, while Phil Torode (Vic) won the motorkhana in a 205 GTi (on loan from Donna and Laurie Kerr). I also competed in the 205 GTi and managed a distant second placing to Phil, having decided that the 508 was nowhere near agile enough for the twists and turns of a motorkhana. Stephen Mockford also tried the 308 GTi in a couple of events, to the great pleasure of onlookers. At the end of a busy day, an enjoyable dinner was held at the Titania Motel.
On Sunday there was a testing observation run over a distance of some 130km, ending with lunch at Mayfield Gardens – a huge private garden with a function centre and water features beside meandering pathways. The run took us through some historic villages, including Rydal, Tarana, Hampton and O’Connell. This is the area where the first road over the Blue Mountains was completed in 1815. The presentation dinner was held at the
Oberon RSL club, with the mayor once again in attendance. All participants were provided with dinner ties, which were variously worn as neck ties and head scarves. Raffle prizes included three $300 service vouchers, courtesy of Peugeot Australia. The champion club was NSW (who also won the coveted motorkhana shield), with Qld second and the ACT third. Donna Kerr (NSW) was the top female competitor and I turned out to be the top male competitor.
I thank the NSW club for hosting a thoroughly enjoyable and well-planned pageant, The 2017 Pageant will be hosted by the Victorian Club in Merimbula on the NSW south coast. Meanwhile back in Canberra, our next club meeting will be held at 8pm on Tuesday 26 April at the Raiders Club in Weston, with dinner and drinks from 7pm. Our special guest will be Tony Watson, who will tell us about his superbly restored 203.
Keep on Pugging,