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Murray Bridge car club makes odyssey to Port Pirie
Members of the Auto Collectors Club of Murray Bridge have spent an eventful weekend away.
This post was contributed by Graham Edwards.
After months of planning, Auto Collectors Club of Murray Bridge member Tony Brine’s big moment finally arrived on August 12.
Members met at their Johnstone Park clubrooms for last minute directions for a weekend away in a mixture of classic and modern vehicles.
Mr Brine, the run coordinator, flagged the convoy off on the first leg to Port Wakefield for morning tea, then on to the Port Pirie RSL sub-branch and military museum for lunch.
Members already at Port Pirie, who had arrived the day before, met the convoy before being welcomed by RSL members.
Much chit chat was exchanged between the 20 members and guests as they seated themselves for lunch provided by the lady volunteers of the RSL kitchen and bar staff.
Following lunch, members took a look at what was one of the best RSL museums they had viewed over the years.
Undoubtedly the highlight of the Museum was the RAAF Bell UH-1H Iroquois helicopter A2-489, named Huey, complete with M60 machine gun.
The early Hueys in Vietnam only carried six soldiers, so they developed the UH-1H model, which could carry 14 soldiers.
They were called Hueys because of the UH1 in the model number, and because Iroquois was too hard for many to say or spell.
Most helicopters made by Bell bear American Indian tribal names.
Prior to members departing to their various forms of accommodation in Port Pirie, a photo shoot of all present took place on and around the Huey.
For some, the afternoon took the form of either a tour of the city or just a quiet nap before dinner at the Risdon Hotel in the evening.
An interesting evening was had by all, including watching the Matildas win in a long, drawn-out shootout, and also including the distribution of economy run paperwork for members to estimate the amount of fuel Mr Brine’s EJ Holden had used to travel from Murray Bridge to Port Pirie.
The winner will be announced at the 2024 trophy presentation dinner.
On day two, with breakfast over, it was off to visit the newly established Port Pirie Road Transport Museum, opened just prior to COVID.
Wow – what an experience.
The museum is run by a truly dedicated team of volunteers, some even coming from interstate, bringing their caravans over and staying in while they spend weeks volunteering – true dedication.
The author and his wife Maureen had seen countless museums while touring Australia over the past 60 years, but this display was voted by themselves and the ACCMB group as truly the best museum of almost every conceivable piece of memorabilia and vehicles on display that they had experienced, and getting better by the day.
It was also widely discussed by museum volunteers and ACCMB members that it would be even more popular and greater attended by the public, if the government and city council would cut some of the red tape and let museum management erect suitable signage adjacent to the highway into Port Pirie to advertise the magnificent tourist attraction to all who passed by.
The group spent some five hours viewing a massive and impressive collection of the past, and enjoying a delicious barbecue lunch and salads, coffee and cake, courtesy of the volunteers.
At the conclusion of the day, past president Claude Minge expressed on behalf of all members a huge thank you to Mr Brine for organizing the Port Pirie run, and also to the dedicated museum volunteers present.
Members applauded with great enthusiasm.
The Port Pirie tour concluded with some members returning to the Risdon Hotel for Sunday night dinner, prior to their return to Murray Bridge on the Monday morning.
What’s next for the Auto Collectors Club
The ninth biennial Twin Bridges Rally will be held from October 13-15.
Get your entries in, come, catch up and enjoy like-minded vehicle enthusiasts for the weekend.
Entry forms are available at autocollectorsmurraybridge.com.
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