Vale to a car lover, Christmas enthusiast: Vernon Graetz

Dedicated: Vernon Graetz is pictured with his wife Cecily enjoying an outing with their passion of classic cars. Photo - supplied.
Dedicated: Vernon Graetz is pictured with his wife Cecily enjoying an outing with their passion of classic cars. Photo - supplied.


January 24,1939 - September 4, 2020

Vernon Graetz was a well known local character, truly involved in all facets of community life in Murray Bridge and districts.

For much of his working life, he was a vehicle salesman for local businesses, and in his spare time was also involved the buying, selling and restoring of classic and vintage vehicles .

Vernon was involved in many charities and clubs, including Rotary, Legacy and was a life member of the Murray Bridge Pistol Club.

He was also a drummer and singer in "4 Ways" dance band and in later years, he used these talents at Resthaven, singing to residents right up to the week before his death.

Most people wouldn't know it but he was the most dedicated "Santa's helper" for 40 years.

Fanatic to founder

Vernon was a proud member of his beloved Auto Collectors Club of Murray Bridge Inc (ACCMB).

It was Vernon's dream - his enthusiasm and love for cars - that led him to call a series of public meetings in late 1971 and early 1972 of interested people who also had a passion for cars, trucks and motor cycles, in fact anything with four wheels and an engine, with the view to form a car club for Murray Bridge and districts.

The investigations regarding the formation of such a club "rolled on towards the end" and on Wednesday March 29, 1972, the inaugural meeting was held in one of Dutton's buildings, in a room previously used by the Murray Bridge Mayor, the late Eric Doecke, for his butcher shop and was attended by 12 men, three women and four children.

A club was born, but it wasn't until a competition was held to formalise its name, that on May 9, 1972, it was christened The Auto Collectors Club of Murray Bridge Inc.

A committee was formed, and Vernon was elected as the inaugural president and co-founder of the ACCMB Inc.

The new club, the pride of Vernon and his committee, boasted a founding membership of 53 members and it hast rolled along to the current membershipof 300, with as many vehicles being used, restored or unrestored.

In later years, Vernon and wife Cecily were awarded life membership of the ACCMB and remained members right up to Vernon's death.

Past presidents, life members and current ACCMB president Claude Minge, management committee and members wish to say thank you and pay tribute to Vernon's long standing commitment to the ACCMB over the past 48.5 years and extend their deepest sympathies to Cecily and her family.