Christmas Lunch and MOTY Presentation

17 December 2017 / Words by John Hansen, Photos by Wayne Lang

The Mid North Coast Chapter of the MX-5 Club of NSW met at the Rivermark Café for the start of the annual Christmas Mystery Run to be followed by lunch on the 9 December 2017.

The day was not looking all that auspicious with a couple of showers earlier on. The weather did not deter a small group of adventurers; Greg Cox run leader, Cathy and Wayne Lang, Jill McDonnell who drove the family MX-5 solo as her partner Peter was attending his Rural Bush Fire Services examination. Jill said that she was trying to keep the car clean of mud for the day. Stephen and Liwan Hansen (from the RPM Chapter), Stephen driving his ‘new’ MX-5 NB bought from John Hansen the previous night and your scribe John with Judith Hansen who was watching Greg Cox’s MX-5 NC closely as they were buying it later that afternoon, keeping it all in the family so to speak!

Run leader Greg took the small convoy on an interesting run where we first navigated the new roadworks of Hastings River Drive across the old Dennis Bridge up to the ‘Ricardo’s Roundabout’. This was a first for most of us as a new section of the Pacific Highway had only recently been open which bypassed the old Dennis Bridge over the Hastings River. It was interesting to see the new highway and the new bridge to our left.

We kept to the old Pacific Highway until Telegraph Point, passing the Tavern along an MX-5 road to Rollands Plains and then through to Pembroke. The weather was kind and the rain held off which enabled some spirited driving along the road Pembroke, all within the posted limits which are relatively high for such a winding road! It is one of the endearing features of the Mid-North coast that there is a myriad of back roads meandering through beautiful country side just made for the MX-5!

Lunch was calling so reluctantly we turned around at Beechwood and made our way through Wauchope to eventually join the new section of the Pacific Highway for a short time before turning into Sancrox Road. Once leaving the highway Greg took us through a complex series of roundabouts that eventually led to Fernbank Creek Road with the Cassegrain Winery to our left. A very picturesque stretch of road with many corners; however, the road was very narrow with a moderate amount of traffic coming the other way which tempered spirited driving in the interests of safety. At the end of the road we re-joined Hastings River Drive having completed a large circuit and arrived at the lunch spot within 5 minutes of our ETA which was due to Greg’s planning skills.

Lunch at the Rivermark Café is always enjoyable. We met up with other members of our club who had forgone the adventure ride! Robin and Robert Partridge, Sally and Warren Shipway, Jodie Carty and Mark Wilson with Graham Rochester who had all been keeping the tables warm for us.

After a magnificent lunch overlooking the river it was time to announce the various Member of the Year Awards. Cathy Lang was awarded the coveted Member of the Year Award amidst thunderous applause. Greg Cox received the honorary award for being Assistant Convenor for the years 2014 to 2017 giving years of sterling service. John Hansen received the New Member of the Year Award. Graham Rochester was thanked for all his organisational work being the Chapter Convenor and providing an interesting selection of club activities during the year to cater for the members interests. Wayne Lang took great photographs of the awards and the run which appear on the Chapter’s Facebook Group. Wayne has taken many photographs of the club’s activities over the years which provides a fascinating pictorial history which is well worth visiting.

The day was a fitting climax to a successful year for the Mid North Coast Chapter of the MX-5 Club of NSW, with many new members joining during the year and all that remained to do was to wish everyone a happy Christmas and safe MX-5 motoring in the new year.

Members: Graham Rochester (Convenor), Greg Cox (Assistant Convenor), Wayne & Cathy Lang, Jill McDonnell, Murray & Margaret Osborne, John & Judith Hansen, Mark Wilson, Jodie Carty, Robert Partridge, Warren & Sally Shipway, Steve & Liwan Hansen. Visitor: Rhonda Partridge.

Click here for Wayne's photo album