Although I was not an entrant in the 2017 Ipswich AOA, as my A40 Countryman Van has not been out of the garage for over a year or more, I attended the Thursday and Friday Registration days, and the Sunday Display Day at the Bundamba Race Course. I had been on the Committee organising three previous AOAs, that the AMVCQ had hosted, in Tamworth, Warwick, and Toowoomba, but was not involved in the organizing of this one. However, I did help out where possible on the three days that I attended for AOA 2017.
I am sure that most of our members are aware that our Club decided to hold an initial event where members of all Austin Clubs in the eastern states of Australia could get together to meet up and get to know each other, so it was decided to hold it in Tamworth, over the Easter long weekend in 1991 and we called it 'Austins Over Australia'. At that event, Committee members of various Clubs got together and decided that it should be held every two years and hosted by different Austin Clubs, in different locations.
Our Foster daughter (Connie) and her husband live at Bundamba on the opposite side of the main Brisbane to Ipswich rail line, and they were able to attend on the Sunday Display Day. Connie was pleased to meet up with some of the earlier Club members, who she had not seen for over 20 years. Of course Margaret and myself were also pleased to see Austineers that we had not seen for sometime ourselves.
It was good to see such a good cross section of Austin Vehicles and the large number of Austin Sevens, most from South Australia, Victoria, and N.S.W. who had been at the Austin 7 Rally based in Toowoomba the week before. Some of the Austins at AOA had made the trip from Western Australia as well.
The Steam train trips out to Swanbank and return was something different, and I wonder how many people knew that an owner of a A40 Devon was involved in the locomotive and the shunting at Swanbank? I am talking about the present owner of my 1950 A40 Devon. Another young lad that I know was the Guardsman on the Steam train trips.
The next Austins Over Australia will be held in 2019 in Adelaide, but in September instead of the Easter long weekend as it will be about the same time as the 'Bay To Birdwood' run and both events can be attended if the Austineers wish to. When we held the first Austins Over Australia in 1991, we decided on the Easter weekend, but now that most members of all the Austin Clubs are retired from the workforce, maybe a non holiday period may be a better time, as accommodation is easier to book and is cheaper.
It was a great event, and I am sure that all who attended enjoyed the five days.