Murray Bridge, Mallee, Riverland, Bordertown auto clubs celebrate 40 years together at 2019 Conrad Campout

On the weekend of April 26-28, the Bordertown Vehicle Restorers Club (BVRC), Murray Mallee Auto Club (MMAC), Riverland Vintage and Classic Car Club (RVCCC) and Auto Collectors Club of Murray Bridge (ACCMB) got together in Pinnaroo to celebrate the 40th year of the Conrod Trophy.

The Conrod Campout started its life at Blanchetown between the RVCCC and the ACCMB.

A few years later, after a meet with the BVRC, they indicated their willingness to join in, the beginning of the three clubs' gathering in the central Mallee town of Pinnaroo.

Then, in approximately 2009, the MMAC indicated their desire to join the other three clubs, and the rest is history.

One of the weekend's organizers, Steve Williams of Pinnaroo, proclaimed the weekend to be a great success, with 26 members and their vehicles coming from Bordertown, 12 from the Mallee, 15 from the Riverland and 28 from Murray Bridge, making for good numbers of members to compete for the annual trophy.

The weekend began with a few members, mainly from MMAC, RVCCC and ACCMB, meeting at Karoonda on Friday afternoon, camping at the caravan park and attending the Karoonda pub for tea.

On Saturday morning numbers were bolstered by members of the various clubs arriving for the weekend.

The next morning it was off to Karoonda's Pioneer Park to view many exhibits from yesteryear, including the old Wynarka Methodist Church, freshly painted and of interest to ACCMB member Graham Edwards, who, in 1942 as a baby, was christened and went to Sunday school in the quaint little building.

Thanks were given to Pioneer Park volunteers Dick Cheriton, an ACCMB member, and Denis Roberts for allowing the group to view the attraction.

Following midday lunch, members made their way to the Morgan farm to view their large and impressive collection of vintage aircraft, tractors, model aircraft and anything that makes a noise and goes fast, including a ride-on mower powered by a 454 V8 motor capable of pulling a Falcon ute, and a caravan bogged to the axles in the sand - how embarrassing for the member, called "Teddles".

Following the play in the sand exhibition, Geoff Morgan was introduced by BVRC's joint organiser, who thanked him for allowing the group to view his collection.

This was followed up by a magnificent demonstration of model aircraft aerobatics at its best by Mr Morgan junior.

With stomachs well and truly full after a scrumptious afternoon tea supplied by Mrs Morgan and family, it was off to Pinnaroo.

On arrival at the caravan park and motel, members set up, showered and set off for the BYO evening meal and entertainment in the cricket club hall.

Many members, still in their day's club dress, arrived, set up their tables and chairs, then settled in for refreshments and a barbecue tea.

During the evening, Alan Hagger (ACCMB) gave a brief and interesting history of the past 40 years and the meaning of the Conrod Trophy.

This was followed by the viewing of a special 40th-year cake, made and decorated by Marlene Hagger and cut by four foundation members.

Following a hard but memorable quiz, many members said their goodnights and headed for their respective accommodation to bunk down after a long day.

The next morning, following breakfast, it was off to the Pinnaroo wetlands for "the Games" to see which club would take home the much coveted Conrod Trophy.

The BVRC organised the games, including pulling a truck along without losing the ball bearings off its exhaust, pulling a model person along a rope, passing a balloon along via one's neck and walking with a coin between the knees.

After the judges tallied the scores, the 2019 winners of the Conrod Trophy were the RVCCC.

Alan Hagger, from 2018 winners ACCMB, presented the trophy to the RVCCC.

With all official duties performed, individual members said their thanks and goodbyes to the organisers for another great Pinnaroo camp-out before wishing each other a safe return to their respective home towns.