The President's Page

Armstrong Siddeley Car Club of Australia - President's Report

April 2015

This past year will possibly be seen as a time when the Armstrong Siddeley Car Club changed forever and by December caused me to say to the Board (and shortly after to Members) that I believed 2015 should be regarded as a year for planning, development and consolidation. The time of change would come to us later in 2014..

Early in May we enjoyed the Federal Rally at Maitland hosted by the New South Wales Branch. The Rally itself held many of the traditional features with Penn Bradly in good voice conducting the Auction.

We enhanced our objectives for preservation and education in the club and commenced our focus on the Federal Rally of 2015 to be hosted in Broken Hill by the South Australian Branch.

Many enjoyed worthy awards with Alan Purss recognised as Club Person of the Year. Alan of course is well known in motoring circles for his interest and participation in the Classic, Vintage and Veteran car movement. Athol Duncan received a President’s award for his outstanding service to the marque and the Club over more than seventy five years. Paul and Jenny Caro travelled furthest to the Rally in an Armstrong Siddeley in their 1929 20 HP Saloon. Peter Hills presented his beautifully restored Hurricane in all its glory to the Concours. John Graham’s Mendip chose to break down and was fixed by the versatile owner with relative ease. John Colebrook handed over the Treasurer’s role and we had Club business very much as usual.

As our year progressed our Branches continued to participate in a wide range of activities. Our membership growth continued on a steady path and reports of restorations indicated a healthy interest in our Armstrong Siddeley cars. Tom Smethurst, an early Queensland member advised me of the intended plan to restore the 1926 Short 18 Hp Chassis 40760 used by pioneer aviator Bert Hinkler. The car had been imported in chassis form by British Australia Motors during 1926 and was fitted with a body by Peels of Stanley Street, Brisbane. The restoration is to become an exhibit in the Museum at Bundaberg and this is a rare opportunity for our organisation to assist in such a project.

In October, Penn Bradly passed away, followed shortly after by Peter Mitchell and Nelson McMinn. For many of us the sense of loss intensified as it was rapid and unprecedented. The strength of their families in grief was a lesson to us all. Our family club being challenged in another different dimension.

However, our direction as an organisation was already changing. Two Ladies chose to make substantial contributions to the Armstrong Siddeley Car Club. Mrs Nadya Storch made the substantial contribution of her late husband’s car to us. This vehicle was able subsequently to be sold by the club. Mrs Miriam Bradly presented Penn’s vast records to the Club. Accordingly both ladies were acknowledged with Life Membership for their generosity and I take this opportunity to publicly recognise and thank them for the significant contributions they have made to this organisation.

At the end of the year Tina and I were able to attend the NSW and ACT Christmas Parties giving us the opportunity to catch up with members and friends. At the NSW Party we were able to see John Graham’s pet bird fly some distance and enjoy the recovery scene. Who said this bird didn’t know how to fly? It helped cap 2014 with a lighter note for the festive season.

Over the past four years I have had the privilege to serve as your President and during the past year as the ASCC’s Treasurer. Early this year I was extensively involved in the Review of this organisation along with other Club Officers. This time has reinforced my often stated view that we should recognise the ASCC for what it is - a Service Business serving a hobby market staffed by volunteers. I believe the volunteers of 2015 have great competition for their time and resources. The ASCC requires simple uniform systems for administrative purposes that are user friendly and contribute to us being a ’can do club’ for all our benefit.

This means in simple terms that our club should modernise the way we operate as a business so our Members can continue to enjoy the purpose for which we exist.

To achieve this result will mean:-

  1. Adopting a new Constitution that recognises current technology, the roles and responsibilities of our Branches and the ASCC itself to comply with modern legislation.

  2. Developing a simple and effective uniform Management Information System that is user-friendly for Club Officers.

Our present Constitution was created out of a model from the 1961 NSW Companies Legislation before much of our conventional technology existed. It is silent on the existence of Branches and legislation has changed. Our many records systems have grown like Topsy and are not uniform in their structure causing us additional expenditure in Audit fees and the time and resources of our volunteer Office Bearers. These are issues that our organisation must address for the future.

As this is to be my last column as you President, may I pay tribute to the Board Members, Club Officers and many Members and Non-members, here and overseas, who have contributed to this Club over the past year. Your contribution and the effort you individually make, no matter how large or small, make this organisation what it is today.

Unfortunately, Tina and I will miss the Broken Hill Rally; an event that we planned to attend for such a long time.

Happy Motoring,

Tony Carter
A.S.C.C. President.