Recently, my husband Russell Prouse and I took a trip to his native New Zealand and Australia. Among the highlights of our month-long trip was a day's outing near Sydney with members of the RROC of Australia's New South Wales (NSW) Branch.
We're both members of and enjoy our involvement with the RROC So Cal, so Russell contacted the RROC-A NSW group regarding a possible golf game with one of their members. Instead, we joined the club for their annual Commemoration Run celebrating the anniversary of Sir Henry Royce's first car's 15- mile reliability run on April 1, 1904. This year it coincided with the Diamond 60th anniversary of the RROC-A NSW Club.
President Brian Clump and his partner Steve Berveling picked us up in Brian's gorgeous 1993 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit II and delivered us back to The Grace Hotel in downtown Sydney where we were staying. Now that's the way to travel!! We had a great time. Brian was the Master of Ceremonies during the luncheon and Steve was in charge of the Drone that provided aerial footage of the event for the club's video presentations.
The group met for tea at the Military Return Services League Club in Mittagong then travelled on for 15 miles through the rolling green countryside (horse, sheep and cattle farms, vineyards, estates, etc.) for lunch at Pepper's Craigieburn Hickory Restaurant and Bar in the Southern Highlands.
About 100 members and guests attended along with 33 Rolls-Royces and Bentleys. The vintage cars led the run to Craigieburn and parked in the circular driveway in front of the main entrance. Many took advantage of the invitation to dress in the era that their PMC represented - so there were costumes from the 1920s through the present, including Elvis and Sonny and Cher.
We were introduced at the luncheon, and everyone went out of their way to make us welcome. They are a bunch of characters who love their Rolls-Royce and Bentley cars, just like the RROC SoCal members do. They made us most welcome. Russell especially enjoyed talking with Barrie Gillings, who with his wife Margaret, is one of the club's founding members, and also Bruce Duncan (senior vice president), Vince Thompson and Greg May, who we sat with during lunch.
During the luncheon, the RROC NSW raised nearly $1,600 for the Royal Life Saving Society. A 1935 3.5 Litre Bentley won the Bill Cutts Award to People's Choice. It was a deserving winner, yet all cars on the run were beautiful.
What a fun time. Thanks to them all!!
(To see a video, go to www.YouTube.com Rolls Royce Owners' Club 60th Anniversary Commemoration Run.)