As of the April meeting we had 270 members. The number just keeps on growing. 33 scanned in on the night and we had several family and friends along as well. Thanks to all for coming. Bevan Slater was one of the members present. He came from Queensland to be with us ... and also to pick up a 'truck load' of parts for his Moke project.
Click on any photo to start a slide show.
What a great party! Saturday March 23rd, 2019, over 120 Mokees and friends from our past, present and future gathered at Akoonah Park Centre, Berwick, to kick off a night of tall tales and true from the legendary past of the Moke Owners' Association of Victoria.
That's Ross Brooks in the foreground of the second photo, the original Member 15 (joined May 1969) and from July 1969 the club's first elected secretary. He can also lay fame to christening the club newsletter 'Tracks' from the February 1970 edition.
There's a short video of the party getting started on VIC MOKE, the club's YouTube channel at:
There were a couple of speeches and presentations early on (while Rod's Roasts magnificent spread was being laid out). One was Doug Williams who co-founded the club with Peter Gilbert. He was introduced by Rhonda Flynn, lead organiser of the evening. For what was probably the first time in his life, Doug had very little to say, but at least he knew how to dress for the occasion.
Later in the evening President Glenn Golds, invited three Mokees to talk about what the Club meant to them: Ross Brooks, Gordon Paterson and Ron Dickson.
Ross told us about the early months of the club, which sounded just a bit cavalier. Gordon talked about his experiences in the club during the past decade and emphasised how much more he got from the club because he had not only come to events, but had organised some. He encouraged us all to both come and contribute.
Ron told about the 80s and beyond, which sounded pretty crazy with sometimes as many as three events in a week. He claimed he had grown up in the club. That can't be right, can it? Is it possible to drive a Moke and leave childhood behind? Perhaps he meant he had grown older in the club : )
Whichever, he has certainly learnt a lot of skills in his time. He made this Moke letterbox for Paul Eaves (he's 'made' real Mokes too). Trouble is, it's too good to stick outside on a gate post! Paul is chatting with Trevor Ollive, another one who has been around the club for decades.
Of course there had to be a birthday cake. That's Rhonda lighting the candles. The candles were moulded by Andrew Pugsley ... Now if only they could be made of icing sugar.
Seems Rhonda wants to cut the cake too. Who would dare argue with that!
Microphone in hand, knife at the ready, or tea towel in her hair (what!)...
...this party simply would not have been the same without Rhonda. Sure she had an amazing team behind her - all of the Committee plus more - and Axel and Bec were part of it, but ... she just did so much before and during and edited Tracks for the month at the same time. There would have been a party without Rhonda, but not like this. As Glenn said afterwards, "Loved it!"
Now for the next 50 years.
At the March 2019 meeting Doug. Williams took us on a journey to places we hadn't expected. He had been researching microfilm copies of The Sun in the State Library looking for references to the first meetings of the Club. Some years ago he had found this one: [Click an image to enlarge it.]
which appeared in Peter Gavaghan's column 'At The Wheel' in the Young Sun section on March 13th 1969, page 39. He had a vague memory that there had been further notices in the same column later in the same year. In searching through to December (fortunately this column was always in the Thursday paper) he found two more snapshots of history from May 8th (page 45) and June 5th (page 23) respectively:
Communication in these days was either face to face, by telephones connected entirely by wires, or what has come to be called snail mail. Doug communicated with Peter by telephone and claimed that was the reason for a couple of mis-information items in these notices.
In the May one, Doug claims he told the story of, not himself, but his mother chasing down a Moke in the street to tell the driver about the Club. Picture it. Middle aged mum in Ford Consul Mk 1 chasing young hunk in Moke down Wattletree Road and into his driveway.
In the June one, the name of the club still isn't correct. From the first newsletter, May 1969, the club was called Moke Owners' Association of Victoria. Doug's memory is of that being agreed at the inaugural gathering in March. Also, the weekend away was at Bellfield Dam (not Dellfield Dam).
1969 was a big year for the world. The first club for Moke Owners in the world and the first landing of Man on the moon.
Scanning through The Sun, Doug couldn't help noticing the front pages from July 21st and 22nd. Australian papers had a problem with this event. Everyone knows that the lunar landing was on July 20th, 20:17 with the first man on the moon six hours later on July 21st, 02:56. But that was Greenwich Mean Time so The Sun had gone to press on the 21st before the big event and didn't go to press the next day until after the boys had packed up and gone back to the module. The front page on the 21st had photos of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Mike Colins and told us what they had for breakfast. The front page photo on the 22nd was of the two astronauts working on the surface. Something on the right side, in the background behind Armstrong, caught Doug's eye.
There was a familiarity to it.
So he made a copy...
...and with the help of a photo resolution expert (Cameron Bendix)...
...was able to enhance a photo sent 384,000 kilometres 50 years ago without wires...
...to reveal a truth that all Moke owners should know...
YOU CAN TAKE A MOKE ANYWHERE!
And now you know why Elon Musk is so anxious to make the first commercial lunar landing.
Fifty years ungaraged and no rust!
Just imagine the kudos in bringing back this abandoned lunar support vehicle and developing it into the world's first self-driving electric Moke!
What a story!
The finale though was surely this birthday card the club received as a result.
[Editor's Note: Readers are reminded that in the promo for this meeting Doug wrote "You won't believe some of the things I have to show and tell!". Another truth perhaps.]
Max Moke Month
It was a good plan, but the weather didn't co-operate.
One has a right to expect that an early February summer evening should have a warm, top down feel to it. Not the case. The forecast was for an Armageddon-like storm to hit just at the start of the meeting. It was a half an hour late and it wasn't a war zone but it was very wet.
The result was 6 Mokes were parked outside the clubhouse. We had Min Moke Month instead!
It begs the question Which month will be Max Moke Month? in this 50th year of our club.
When Is Our Birthday?
The inaugural meeting of what became (on the day) the Moke Owners' Association of Victoria was 2pm Saturday March 15th 1969 at 65 Whitworth Avenue, Springvale. Eight Moke owners attended, including the co-Founder, Peter Gilbert and they were the first 8 members of the club.
While we are speaking historically, your club also believes it is the first club for Mokes in the world.
As of the meeting night we had 260 members. If 'H', who was visiting to 'check us out' likes what he saw then we might soon be 261. There's always room for one more.
How Will We Celebrate?
We're gonna party! First up is a 60s Beach Party in West Rosebud on Sunday February 17th. That will be followed on Saturday March 23rd with the Big Birthday Bash at Akoonah Park Hall Berwick from 17:00. Ring Rhonda (0419 580 924) for both these events and find more details in Tracks for these and other events as the year progresses.
What's Happened to Tracks?
It's gone full colour from February! You might not have noticed if you get it electronically because you are used to seeing colour on screen. But those who still receive a hard copy version will see the difference. And it's cost the club less to give you this much more.
How can that be?
The answer is that Scott Williams is manager of Le Pine Funerals, Box Hill, and the company asked each manager to nominate a community organisation they were passionate about with a view to it receiving sponsorship. Scott asked if his organisation could be the MOAV and whether the sponsorship could be in the form of printing the club magazine using the company's facilities. As you can see the answer was yes and the club only has to supply the paper. That will make a significant difference to our monthly balance sheet. Thanks Scott and Le Pine Funerals.
Dale, Livia and Andrew show us how to do it. One space, two Mokes. It's environmentally friendly.
(Click photos to enlarge.)
Step inside the clubhouse and meet ... our 50 year celebration banner. Designed by Cameron Bendix and presented by proud parents Axel and Helen.
Through the door you will find the first release of T-Shirts, mugs, stubby holders and more ... all decorated with the 50 year logo. Just ask Rhonda - but first let her have a bite of her barbequed burger.
Ho ho ho. Look who's made a special visit for Christmas.
Now let's see who this one is for.
A Little Doubt
I don't really know who you are, but are you sure this is for me?
I'm a Believer
Thanks Red Man. I thought it would be a Moke, but I reckon this will do.
Mokin' Christmas Better
Thanks Santa. You really are a magical, good bloke. Have a great Christmas yourself.
John (Pop) Almond turned 90 recently and it was wonderful to have him on board with us at the Annual Presentation Dinner.
At the dinner Pop was presented with his 35 year membership award and he won a bottle of wine in the raffle! The perfect partner to the cheese board and knife set won by his son Lee. We believe Lee was the nominated driver so Pop could have a drink. That all worked out pretty well then didn't it (wink, wink).
Pop is an absolute card and a true Mokee! More power to ya' Pop.
(Photo taken at Pop's 90th which several Mokees attended at the invitation of the family. Click to enlarge.)