Murray Bridge auto collectors enjoy Christmas party in the park

The Auto Collectors Club of Murray Bridge (ACCMB) chose a new venue for its 2017 annual Christmas Party, by staging the event at their own Johnstone Park clubrooms.

Saturday afternoon saw a “merry band” of helpers setting up tables, chairs and tinsel along with the customary Christmas tree decorated by Tyler and Oakley Edwards in preparation for Sunday’s festive function.

At 10am, on Sunday morning it all started with members and friends beginning to arrive, choosing their decorated tables around the room before settling down to the club’s customary morning cuppa.

With 75 members and children present, vice president and emcee, John Courtney welcomed everyone, followed by one of John’s hilarious jokes, setting the mood for the day.

Instead of the usual pre-party drive to a venue, the ACCMB committee decided that for 2017 the  program would include a visit to Captain’s Cottage Museum next door to the ACCMB clubrooms.

Forty two members took advantage of the visit, enjoying every minute, while viewing the vast number of exhibits of yesteryear machinery, telephones, pumps, books, photos and in fact anything and everything that formed part of Murray Bridge and districts exciting history.

For many members it was their first visit, and by all accounts it won’t be their last.

On return to the clubrooms it was time for the midday lunch prepared by secretary Brenda Cowie and her small band of helpers.

With tables being called out one by one, members feasted on a delicious serving of cold meats, chicken and an abundance of homemade salads.

Then it was time to settle in for the afternoon’s entertainment by various members.

First to the microphone was the day’s “wild card”, Tom West, who with his trusty guitar  gave a rousing rendition of “This Old Car”, followed by wife Lyn’s version of a poem entitled, “The Club Run” inspired by Banjo Paterson’s ballad, the “Man from Snowy River”.

Vocalists, Vernon Graetz and Peter Geue on guitar, sang a bracket of three Christmas songs.

A Truth or Lies competition was held by Jill Matschoss, John Courtney, Terry Mabbitt, Denis Scarman and Jeff Martin, with the latter, being the winner.

The afternoon’s entertainment was rounded off by a presentation of Christmas songs by Elaine Bretag, Aileen Geue and Lyn West, accompanied by Jill Matschoss on keyboard.

The afternoon’s four raffle prize hampers were won by the Kittos, Hoffmanns, Rowleys and the Johns.

Then it was time for what all had been waiting for, afternoon tea made and supplied by the ladies, and what a feast was had.

Eventually with the day almost completed John Courtney summed it up as a total success, before thanking all for coming and all who had contributed in any way in staging the party.

He wished all present a very happy Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.

The first ACCMB function for 2018 will be the annual Pizza Night on January 19 where all members and intending members are invited to attend.

The first meeting for 2018 will be on Tuesday, February 6.

For more information contact the club secretary Brenda Cowie on 8531 0151 or email