The Season of Goodwill is here, and my thanks go to all readers who have taken the journey with us this year. May you all enjoy a relaxing break. We do have a busy time coming.
During a tough year the Foundation has moved ahead in many obvious ways. You can see our base at Sydney Motorsport Park is looking very smart now, painted inside and out, cleaned up and better furnished, plumbing all done, the collections are in great shape. We have attracted more supporters and Volunteers now, and it shows. The website and the Facebook sites are functioning as they ought, visitors enjoy the experience, and the content is up-to-date. Our Partner Karen at Hubsite Builder has done a full revamp for us and it is great to have that help. We are looking after our home and its online ‘front door’. It is a familiar and welcoming place.
Amongst recent acquisitions to the AMHF, we are pleased to announce that the family of Herbert Thomson has donated all the personal records, photos, and files relating to his career. As the builder of the first motor car in Australia (1896), these archives are more than significant and illustrate the importance of what the Foundation is all about. This is now a major resource of the era with its previously unpublished information.
There have been several other donations including a remarkable lifetime library of press clippings and hard copy records from Brian Lear, preserved and well-organised by him which is being worked on by our Volunteer Colin Piper. Another very busy volunteer Rod Chivas is, working with Brian Goulding in the Spencer Martin Room on our rapidly growing collection of early race programs and results. Our Library Committee and Head Curator Peter Eppel are working up the resources with great care.
We have been progressing also in less obvious ways. Our core crew of special Volunteers, mostly from our clubs, is keen and growing. Most of us are being trained up to operate the new custom-built research database housed in the Microsoft cloud, which is our special tool for the future. Our tremendous Partner Bill Fatouros of First Software Solutions has worked so well on this, and we are now trialling the scanning and digitisation of our resources, with ZircoData as our external contractor. We are into the first stages of a much-needed study of the economic impact of the classic and heritage motoring movement in Australia, sponsored by several supporters and working with another external contractor, the Mercurius Group. They will soon carry out an online survey of club members and supporting bodies across Australia. We are putting out the word to the clubs, so please respond promptly to the survey when it comes to your inbox. Privacy is safeguarded and we need the input.
After our short holiday break over the festive season, we get back into it. We need Volunteers and supporters, please come forward. And we can always use good donations, of money and treasured heritage literature. Regardless of the weather and the other troubles, 2022 has been a reasonable year for your Heritage Foundation.
On behalf of all the Foundation’s Members and Volunteers I wish you happy holidays and a bright New Year.
Hugh King, Chairman AMHF