Last year was hard on many, as we came out of the long pandemic and began to move and breathe freely again. Some have lost family or friends to the virus, some suffered personal impacts and had to rethink plans, we all lost valuable time and opportunities but now WE ARE BACK!
Our Christmas Party was a relaxed Saturday barbecue in our front yard. It was time to enjoy our home at Sydney Motorsport Park. We hosted the growing family of Volunteers and our fantastic supporters. Enthusiasts spent time with our collections and discussed the plans we have. Some superb cars were brought out for the day, all beautiful in front of the newly painted building.
The AMHF has kept up its momentum and 2023 has started well. Here is the news on the unique initiatives we already have under way for you this year.
Firstly, our independent expert study on the economic value (or impact) of the classic and heritage motor sector in Australia is now funded and the rubber hits the road this month. As I see it, the surveys and outcomes will be available within six months. Some very generous donations have been made, these will be acknowledged soon, and our expert contractor Ivo Favotto at Mercurius Group has the brief from us to proceed with the job.
Director Tom Wheelwright has fronted the series of excellent presentations to our many supporters, leading to a wide acceptance of the AMHF’s proposal that it can and should conduct this unique independent exercise. Tom’s background in economics, politics and business makes him the ideal chair of the sub-committee of Volunteers that is overseeing this job for our Foundation. Tom is a Lancia owner, maybe that helps.
Then we have the big, hard-slog job of the digitisation of our library resources and making the whole thing available to all, in the Microsoft Cloud. The first or pilot stage has just been completed using a large sum donated specifically for this purpose. This initial tester has involved the scanning of about three percent of our collections, in a variety of categories …. books, media reports, magazines, brochures, workshop manuals and some very special one-off items of great significance.
Our Library Committee has the task in hand, led in this instance by Pete Eppel, our Head Curator. Maybe it helps that Pete owns at least three classics including a Rolls-Royce, a Lotus and a big Ducati. His sub-committee now includes our long-time Ambassador, Dr Ian Debenham OAM whose background includes senior administration roles at the Powerhouse and the Historic Aircraft Restoration Society or HARS, and an MGTC under restoration. You will hear a lot about this one, it is a major project that will consume a lot of time and energy. And money, too. We need more Volunteers, the work is vital and very interesting to boot.
Happy New Year to all enthusiasts!
Hugh King, Chairman AMHF