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Whitsunday Chapter (South Region) Report - 11 October 2020
“Covered in Chrome” at Mackay Marina, rally and lunch at Eungella Chalet, and celebration of 90th Anniversary of the MGCC UK. Report by Richard Collier.
90-year anniversary celebrations by the MGCC (UK) is a milestone which very few motoring organisations worldwide can match, made even more significant given the turmoil which has been recorded during the last century. COVID 19 pandemic remains a part of our daily lives, creating changes in our daily interaction with others. Despite the changes there was a good roll up of classics cars on display, some of which appeared to be first timers. Attendees included Roger & Lesley Green (MGRV8); Jim Forest MGF); John & Sue Evetts (MGBGT); Ian & Eileen Hall (Cobra); Paul & Dianne Octrin (MGBGT Turbo) and Richard & Lynn Collier (MGAMKII/MGAF).
Planned activities on such an auspicious day post “Covered in Chrome” included a rally to Eungella Chalet, some 80kms west of Mackay, with the group being joined midway in Mirani by John Vickery (MGB). The run up the valley was uneventful, the group making good time and encountering only light traffic. Our hosts had requested the cars be parked and displayed on the front lawn of the Chalet. The offer was readily accepted, and this privileged display location was our small contribution to the worldwide celebrations on the day.
Prior to ascending the range, Chalet personnel notified to ensure no delays securing access through the locked gates onto the front lawn.
With a final “are you good to go?” at the scheduled stop at the base of the range, the cars made the ascent without any major issues, minor matters dealt with, as necessary upon arrival. Eungella is a township perched on the edge of the Clarke Range at the top of the Pioneer Valley west of Mackay and surrounded by National Park. It is claimed to be the longest continual stretch of sub-tropical rainforest in Australia and the area is also well known for its platypuses.
The Eungella Chalet was built in 1933 as a guest house for people requiring clear mountain air. The Chalet has seen its fair share of cyclones and bush fires, bouncing back each time following repairs and refurbishments. Access to the chalet and National Park is via a steep winding road, sections of which are subject to landslides during high rainfall events. Once the cars had been seen too, attendees retreated to the Chalet to formally “sign in” as per the COVID19 Management Plan.
A wide selection of food coupled with timely and friendly table service and liquid to lubricate the throats meant small group discussions were soon struck up. Two hours passed quickly; group members started to disperse with some taking the opportunity to visit local attractions while others turned their attention to the return journey home.
A big thank you to all involved, your enthusiasm and involvement on the day made for a successful day.
WHITSUNDAY CHAPTER (SOUTH) 16 Nov RUN
Mid-month Chapter run 15th November to Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal (DBCT) followed by brunch at Hay Point Hotel, report by Richard Collier.
Our scheduled Chapter run for early November was cancelled due to inclement weather, to be re-scheduled. On the allotted day, there were northerly winds which roughly translates into hotter than normal temperatures. Overcast skies would bring some relief.
Our run was planned to include the use of the new Mackay By-Pass Road. Following a couple of late withdrawals, five cars lined up for the hour-long trip which was so designed to remain clear of the major arterial roads where possible. Attendees included Roger & Lesley Green (MGRV8); Jim & Lorna Forest (MGF); John & Sue Evetts (MGBGT); Richard Collier (MGF) with the group welcoming new Chapter member Jim Robb (MGB).
No mechanical gremlins were identified during the run making for a pleasant drive through the cultivated cane fields. Upon arrival at DBCT the group made their way to the lookout viewing area which gives an excellent view of both the DBCT and BHP Coal Loading Operations.
DBCT is part of the “Port of Hay Point” in Central Queensland. The terminal operates 24/7, exporting thermal and metallurgical coal from Central Queensland’s Bowen Basin mines to ports around the world. On the day it was estimated there was some twenty-six ships waiting to be berthed and loaded.
Upon arrival at the Hay Point Hotel, the group set about placing orders for morning tea/brunch only to discover that the establishment had run out of coffee beans.
Once the mortified had overcome their initial reaction and acceptance, food orders were placed, and an enjoyable brunch was had by all minus coffees.
A coolish sea breeze combined with overhead shade and small group numbers created an atmosphere which encouraged interaction and building on relationships which ensured a successful group outing.
Whitsunday Chapter (South Region) Report 4October 2020
Impromptu coffee run to Mirani. Report by Richard Collier
A phone call can change everything and so it was when I took a call from a Chapter member who indicated that “John was good for a Mirani coffee run in the morning and was I interested?”
A quick round of phone calls and we had ourselves a convoy. Morning dawned and the sky gave every indication that rain showers were most likely, the consensus being to go as planned.
Attendees included Roger & Lesley Green (MGRV8); Jim Forest (MGF); John Evetts (MGBGT); Ian & Eileen Hall (Cobra) and Richard Collier (MGF).
The hastily prepared run sheet had the group meeting at The Good Guys Carpark North Mackay with a planned departure for Mirani of 0900hrs. With a run leader appointed, the group departed with the route taking the cars via Glenella, the newly opened Mackay Bi-Pass ring road, west to Walkerston, joining the Mackay Eungella road east of Pleystowe for the run west to Marian and onto Mirani. Upon arrival coffees and takeaways were ordered from the local store and consumed in the local park opposite.