Father’s Day, Sunday 6th September, 1987 at the International Sports Centre saw a true MG marque car club form and beginning to grow. Incidentally on September 6th, 1930 was a letter by Roy Marsh in the magazine “Light Car and Cycle Club” asking “What about forming an MG car club?” On October 12th that year, over 30 MGs congregated at the Roebuck Hotel at Stevenage in the UK, this was the beginning.
John Thornley, a past patron who has sadly passed on, was secretary and approached Cecil Kimber of the MG Car Co. to ask if they could use the MG trade mark. To quote John Thornley: “If I am to be remembered at all, I would like it to be the as the chap who nailed Rule 2(a) to the mast!” this rule declares; the object of the club was to further the interests of the owners and drivers of MG cars. John Thornley clung to that doctrine, believed it, observed it and passed it on. (Extract from Jeff Redman’s first Editorial, “The Marque” Sept/ Oct 1987.)
In the first four months of our club’s formation, an enthusiastic group managed to attain affiliation with MGCC UK, Club Vintage Registration from Department of Motor Transport, MGCC Hunter Region Corporation and finally CAMS affiliation.
In the early years following the formation of our club, members met at the Sulphide Club (now Club Macquarie). This was where they met each month to discuss everything MG and to start fundraising, to enable to print and post our “On The Marque” magazine to members. We promoted our club selling raffle tickets in major shopping centres, giving away a donated surf-ski and tyres, our MG cars were proudly displayed in their forecourts.
Numbered foundation badges were struck and sold to members, and are proudly displayed on owners MGs today. Noggin “N” Natter nights at Julia’s Restaurant at the Bel-Air Hotel Kotara, breakfast runs fully catered for and at parks with octagonal bandstands, our first Motorkhana at Tighes Hill Tech, and Stephen Jones’s hilarious cartoons (mainly featuring club members).
One memorable task was the J Van. September 10th, 1988 the J-Van was found in a small forest at Annangrove, surrounded by trees and saplings. The forest was cleared just enough in order to retrieve it and bring it back to Newcastle for the monumental task of restoration. There was a great sense of camaraderie from all who participated over the following years. The J Van is still running and making appearances at many major club events.
The early committee laid strong foundations for the present and future committees.
“The Good Old Days” refers to the excitement and enthusiasm of conquering the challenges placed before us and the fun times had by all. Our present committee will no doubt look back 30 years from now and quote these days as being “The Good Old Days”.
Our club has monthly Clubman Runs to many and varied locations as well as Tuning Runs and social gatherings, including our monthly Club Night held on the second Tuesday of each month.
‘Team Hunter’ has become the sporting arm of the club with members competing in speed events and regularity trials at many racing circuits around Australia. National Meeting are also a very important event on the club calendar, being held over the Easter weekend each year. Over the last 30 years our members have been awarded many trophies for competition in Concours, Motorkhana and Speed events, including outright in all three categories.
As our club continues on its journey we hope to encourage and inspire both our members and the general public by sharing the history of and enjoying the cars produced by MG.