MNC Xmas Lunch & Mystery Run

09 January 2022 / Words by John Hansen, Photos by Gayle Adamson

Club members were looking forward to meeting each other and sharing a Christmas lunch to cap off a very disjointed COVID filled year. This year’s lunch would also see the retirement of the current Convenors, Allen and Peter after steering the club successfully for the past years. Both had given plenty of warning that 2021 was going to be the year that they would retire to enjoy the club rides and that someone else should step up to take their place. The Mid North Coast Chapter owes the outgoing coordinators a really big thank you for all of their work in keeping the club going in these difficult times.

The meeting point for our Mystery Run was at the Port Macquarie Service Centre a.k.a the Donut and attracted more than 25 members in 18 cars. The cars represented a range of MX-5’s from a beautiful MX5 model NA on historic plates through the range of NB’s, NC’s, ND’s and new GT RF Limited editions with a variety of brilliant Mazda MX5 colours. Members included Pam, Allen, Jill, Peter, Jane, Greg, Judith, John, Chris, Mick, Rhonda, Robert, Gayle, Michael, Susan, John, Roby, Peter, and Oli. We welcomed new members Rosie, Ken, Jennifer, John, Jennene, Valerie and Gary.

Tops were lowered and off we swept for the first run stage down to Bonny Hills Beach Cafe for morning tea. Onto the Pacific Highway, southwards down to the extensive roadworks and the left hand turn onto Houston Mitchell Drive (The Ghost Road). This is an intersection with massive roadworks aimed to make this turn on and off the highway safer. The drive along the Ghost Road, whilst speed restricted to 80 kph, was interesting with silver gums and green regenerated bush lining the road, a far cry from the burn black of the previous bushfires. We turned right at the end of the road onto Ocean Drive down to Bonny Hills Beach cafe. Some of us followed Roby and Peter who knew a back way to Bonny Hills Beach others straight down to the cafe car park. We had a very pleasant walk along to the cafe watching the waves break onto the beach. The cafe was in full swing; fortunately we had booked in and tables had been set aside for us. The view from the deck of the beach and the inviting waters was really magnificent, so it was no wonder that people had flocked to the cafe and surrounds. The food and coffee was pretty good too. After morning tea and being mindful that lunch was less than an hour away, the convenors herded us up and off we set. Some members took the opportunity to play off some of the morning tea on the swings in the park and even had a go on the slippery dip! Much to the amusement of onlookers.

We retraced our drive to the Ghost Road and back to the Pacific Highway turning left down to the Bago Road Overpass. This used to be the site of a notorious intersection black spot now transformed into a series of roundabouts with several exits one of which led to Wauchope. The Bago Road to Wauchope is a very picturesque and bumpy road with several MX-5 corners that brought a smile to many of the drivers,  especially hearing the exhaust notes echo off the cliffs as the road twists, corners tighten up and invites playing with the gears! The road is bordered by state forests which were very green after the recent rain. All too soon we were at Wauchope heading out to the lunch stop on the Rawdon Island Road. Our destination was the Abundance Cafe which was just past a new tourist venture the Davis Farm where the owners are encouraging Live Local Music events on an old farmstead.

The luncheon dining area is next to large lake complete with water lillies and even some turtles which we could see swimming around. The venue had given us exclusive use of the indoor dining area and opened all the windows so we could appreciate the view. The tables were festively set complete with crackers by Pam and the staff. With cool breezes wafting through from the lake and tables scattered around the dining area. It was a most congenial lunch venue with an interesting and varied menu. We thank the MX-5 Club for providing a luncheon subsidy which was distributed to all members. Then members were free to order and drink what they wanted without the usual hassle of dividing up bills.

After a very enjoyable lunch the serious business of the day began; awards and the election of a new convenor. Member of the Year was Peter Rodgers, New Member of the year award went to Chris and Mick, 5 year membership badges were awarded to Judith and John, and Jennifer and Kevin. A 10 year membership badge was given to Peter who was also elected unopposed as the new 2022 convenor.

A big vote of thanks was given to the outgoing Convenors Allen and Peter MacDonald and their spouses , Pam and Jill for all their work during the year.

The whole event was photographed by Gayle, who took numerous photographs that may be seen on the Mid North Coast Chapter Facebook group which should be visited to get a great feel of the vibe of the day. Especially, as Gayle posted them on the site within the day and also found time to caption them. Thanks Gayle for providing the photographic record of the day.

All in all, it had been a marvellous day with good weather, good food, good driving and above all good companionship. What a way to finish a turbulent year and yet it wasn’t quite finished; as we meandered up through the garden centre to our cars, there was the sound of bagpipes being played by Rob to end the day!

Your scribe

John Hansen

Photos can be accessed by clicking this link