MGs revving into the new year

Visiting Belmont Research Station.

The Capricorn Chapter of the MG Car Club of Queensland wrapped up its year with a well-attended celebratory Christmas dinner at the Red Lion Hotel on Sunday, 4 December.

After some regrettable cancellations (Covid is still with us), 46 members enjoyed pre-dinner nibbles, alternate drop mains and a couple of shandies.

Chapter Coordinator Jim Armstrong acted as Master of Ceremonies. Some key components included a review of the year’s activities, both runs and monthly dinners.

Run highlights, along with some destinations we visit every year, included the South Sea Islander museum at Joskeleigh, the Belmont Beef Research Station (where a member worked previously) and a “mystery” overnight run to Theodore which incorporated Woorabinda, Biloela, Banana and a viewing of Dawson Mine.

Jim also welcomed the many new members who joined this year. Notably, none own MGs but their cars such as Triumphs, Jaguars, BMWs and a Valiant certainly exemplify the MG spirit, which is the criterion for membership. We are a very social club, with many spouses and partners joining in our various activities. But we also have deep reserves of technical prowess for the odd occasion when it is needed.

The Chapter makes an annual award, Club Member of the Year, in honour of a former member, Janelle Thomasson, a young woman who passed away with cancer after several years with the Chapter.

This year’s very deserving recipient was Sandra Armstrong, in recognition of the immense amount of work she did to make the All-Chapter meeting in September such a success. Indeed, the success of that event was such that Jim Armstrong has received several congratulatory letters from MG owners who came from around the State to participate and Sandra’s role was instrumental.

Another annual presentation is the Broken MG Award.

In the earlier days of the Chapter, there was often a long list of contenders from members who had experienced various levels of inconvenience – ranging all the way to terrible distress – because of breakdowns. Indeed, Rolls Royce used to guard its reliability reputation by terming such events “failure to proceed”. This year was marked by only one incident, with Jo Emmert noticing a problem with her MGB’s clutch just out of Theodore and therefore being named this year’s winner. However, it only took Gary Kunst a couple of minutes under the car to diagnose and reattach a displaced return spring and Jo was proceeding as intended.

Other highlights of the night were many lucky door prizes, Secret Santa, recognition of committee members Clare Lynam, Jo Emmert and Phil Henry and in return a bottle of spirits for Jim Armstrong.

All four committee members will continue into 2023.

Jim Armstrong also outlined the draft events calendar for 2023 which will also feature the Chapter’s biennial long run. This will take participants up the coast as far as Cairns and then back via inland roads.

This end of year is also an opportunity to remind owners of classic cars on the Special Interest Vehicle Concession Scheme that the distance allowed for testing is now a radius of 30km from the vehicle’s registered home.

Note that testing does not extend to getting the milk and newspaper on a Sunday morning.

With that, the Capricorn Chapter of the MG Car Club of Queensland wishes all local car enthusiasts, and readers, a merry Christmas and happy new year.