Our first meeting for the year gave members an opportunity to evaluate the move to a new venue. About 85 members and friends filled the Alfresco Room at the Warragul Country Club for our meeting and although it is not possible to bring a display car into the restaurant, having it directly outside seemed to work well ? especially as we are still enjoying daylight savings and fine weather. The extensive a la carte menu offered a variety of meals at a range of prices and the service was very good. Unfortunately, our PA system was not quite up to the job, so hearing our speakers above the background noise was at times difficult.
John Hogbin and Bob Russell provided our display cars this month.
John?s recently purchased 2000 Volvo C70 convertible has replaced his white Ford Capri. This rag-topped 4-seater has the 2.5 litre, 5-cylinder turbo engine and a plush leather-trimmed interior. With 200,000 km on the clock and a refreshed engine John picked it up in Melbourne for a steal at only $500. It needed new tyres and a few other things for a roadworthy totaling about $1250, but everything now functions as it should, including the electric/hydraulic roof and with 4 seats there?s room for the grandchildren in the back.
Bob?s 1980 CM Regal Sedan was rescued from his brother who had it sitting in a shed doing nothing. This fully equipped luxury sedan was one of 4000 Regals produced before CM range was superseded. As a demonstrator at a Ballarat Chrysler dealer it was packed full of factory options including the 265ci hemi straight six, air conditioning, tape player, sports wheels and a tow pack. It would have retailed for around $10,400 in 1980, putting it well into the Luxury Car Tax bracket in today?s currency. The car is in excellent original condition having covered only 94,000km in 38 years. Bob will soon be loaning the car to the Maffra Vehicle Collection where it be on display until the end of July.
Comment from Ian Maud:
G’day Ray & Steve (and whoever else this is relevant to),
You invited comment about the Warragul Country Club (WCC) as a venue for our monthly meetings.
I’m afraid that after one meeting, I’m not a big fan, for the following considerations:
The meals were fairly expensive, keeping in mind that many members are present as couples or families. Yes, I know Drouin Golf Club was raising its prices, but $30+ for two courses is a bit of an ask (or maybe I just don’t get out often enough!): a couple would spend the best part of a thousand dollars a year just coming to the meetings.
Parking was okay, but doesn’t have the same attraction when our cars are scattered amongst others’ road cars ? not much incentive to drive an interesting car to the venue. This feature echoed through other aspects ? it seemed to me we were just there as a number of people who happened to sit in the one area at the WCC, rather than having our own distinct club meeting.
The display car(s) sitting outside on the lawn was fine for February, but what happens in Winter? It will be dark for one, as well as damn cold…and could be raining, etc ? not much incentive to get out and have a look at them.
The section we had was crowded: there is more room to move around and talk to people at Drouin (or elsewhere). I also doubt everyone could see the person addressing the audience.
My main concern was the noise level: the venue was noisy, echoing and needed people to shout to be heard -none of which is conducive to conversation. How would we go when we had a guest speaker who may not be used to speaking out loud? Already the other night there were instances when people would start their own conversations while someone was on the microphone, and this made hearing what was being said even more difficult. Given the average age and hearing ability of our membership, I think this is a valid concern!
Getting back to guest speakers: if we had someone who wanted to project images ? how and where could this work? Vision for everyone would be a problem; the noise from other guests would be distracting, and again, I doubt if everyone would be able to hear adequately.
The positives? Good exposure of the club to members of the public, and the waiting staff did a great job getting meals/drinks organised quickly.
I appreciate that finding a suitable venue for our club is not an easy task, but I don’t think the WCC was a great success. One member’s opinion, anyway ? others may have seen things differently.