THE MINI MAG. Volume 2 No.6
  June 2000

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The Mini 2000.
Day Run to Mooloolaba … Saturday June 10

by John Heselwood

The week before, it began to rain on cue. The man in charge of the weather seems to know when the club has a Mini event planned. The lead up to this event had a touch of sameness about it, the same as the lead up to last year’s Mini 40. Ah well I thought, Capt Bob did it last time, may be he could do it again! I gave him a quick call, one of the many hundreds, to see what the met boys were saying. What he relayed was not good, but being the eternal optimise that I am, I thought it will be right on the day.

After all, we had Paul Baker and his crew coming up from Melbourne, Owen Scott, George Welsh and his son Grant joining us from Sydney once again, the boys from the Hot Bricks Club of NSW already on the road with their convoy of Minis and Cars from Newcastle and Tamworth were also on the road, so the event was going ahead no mater what. I said, the only way I would call a committee meeting to discuss cancelling, was if it snowed!

I awoke Saturday morning to find a grey sky, but it was not raining, so I thought Capt Bob might have been wrong for the first time in his life! So off to McDonalds to head the southside group and was pleasantly surprised to find over 15 Minis in the car park. That number grew to 21. Along with our members enjoying breakfast were some folk who thought this weather was the norm. They were Victorian Mini Club members John and Jan Small and Peter Dunbabbin who drove his Minivan up for the event.

Over on the northside, Tony Formosa was also looking after interstate visitors. A large contingent from the Hot Bricks Club of NSW, Paul Baker and Russell Turner from the Vic club, Grant Welsh and Owen & Amy Scott from Sydney along with our own club members from all over the state.

Both groups were to meet at the Ettamogha Pub but we had hoped that we might catch up on the highway at some stage. Tony and I thought that if we kept in touch by mobile we might be able to merge at some stage such as where the Gateway Motorway merges with the Bruce Highway. We could not have timed it better. With more precision that the Olympic torch relay, as the group from the south which I was leading was going over the overpass, Tony’s group was going underneath. Both groups merged into one right on cue with me pulling in behind Tony. Our southern visitors were impressed and asked how many times we rehearsed the move, but I must say it was just good planning!! That my story anyway.

The convoy now had grown to 50 cars as we headed up the highway in still fine weather. I thought, not like Capt Bob to be wrong!! As we got closer to our first stop my wife Gayle commented that a lot of south bound cars had there headlights on. I replied that they must have forgot to turn them off as it looks fine to me up ahead. How wrong I was. You would think that after 30 years I would have learnt to listen to her. Ten minutes later I reached for the dreaded Mini wipers and they stayed on for the rest of the trip. And, I should have known that Capt Bob could not be wrong!!!!!!

The rain did not dampen the enthusiasm as the convoy filled the carpark at the Ettamogah Pub. We certainly made an impact on the locals and the local TV station. Some things a President just has to do, and that includes doing an interview on the opposition’s news service. Maybe Kerry does not watch Seven!! But we got good cover on the Monday night news.

Old acquaintances we renewed with Bob Holden arriving with his newly restored Mk1 Cooper S and Grant Welsh in his Mk2 Cooper S from Sydney. But, still the rain came down but no one seemed to mind and enjoyed the time meeting our interstate visitors and club members they had not meet before.

Time to go, and it was off to The Wharf at Mooloolaba and Underwater World. Under water world it certainly was on the short drive from the pub to the lunch spot. It bucketed down, great Mini weather, but again no one seemed to get upset, they just enjoyed the company of the new friends they had just meet. The lunch at Friday’s Restaurant was first class and the view looking over the river was just as great. Thanks Tony for your excellent choice.

While some went off to view the wonders at Underwater World, the workers headed off for Lakeside Raceway to start to set-up for the next day. On the trip down most of us thought we were at Underwater World with the rest as that is what it was like trying to see the car in front. But we got there and the rain had eased to just a drizzle so the set-up was done in post record time. Then it was home to clean the cars and get ready for the Mini 2000 dinner. Capt Bob Ward will continue the story in his article.

Thanks to all who helped and turned up to enjoy the day.
John Heselwood.