The year in (the President’s) review
by Taber Tompkins
When I was asked to give our club’s “President’s View” for this month’s issue of the Marque, to provide a recap of our extremely successful and very fun year of British Motoring activities, I said I would certainly do that. However, as I write this we are approaching Thanksgiving, and I have mentioned throughout the year how much we have to be thankful for, and how many people help us who do not get thanked enough. Therefore I will add some thanks also.
Our year’s success can be measured in several ways. Our treasury continues to grow and our membership roster is steadily increasing. We currently have approximately 200 members on the rolls, with a greater percentage of active participants than in the recent past. The PBCA has enjoyed more events, of a wider variety and with growing participation.
Our Fancy Friday dinners and First Tuesday breakfasts continue to draw a crowd of British car enthusiasts with strong food addictions. We have continued to hold regular rallies successfully, such as the Dog Days, Derailed Diner, Pensacola Historic, Wentworth Museum and tour events.
Our “keynote” events have included the very successful “Brits on the Bay” Car Show, which was weather-challenged this year but still very well attended. This year our Friday Night Welcome Party exceeded even our expectations in number of attendees, quality of food and outstanding camaraderie.
Our annual All-British Car Clubs Pig Roast and Picnic continues to highlight the summer months, when in Florida driving your LBC can be a sweltering proposition.
Our year generally wraps up with the Christmas Party, but last year we managed to add in another event: the Holiday Bake Contest and Historic Bagdad Tour #1. Both events were well received and will be repeated for this year.
Our club has expanded the show events attended by the addition of some non-traditionally British “Cars & Coffee”-type events in Pensacola and Crestview, as well as some shows that also haven’t been oriented towards our LBCs. Our second-ever club cruise (February 2015 on Norwegian Dawn from New Orleans to the western Caribbean) was so successful that our third cruise is already planned and booked.
Now all of this growth, these events and this much fun could not have happened without a lot of effort that should be recognized. First, our officers deserve thanks for their time, work and leadership. The volunteers who do so much of the work, as our regular Contributing Editor outlined in the last issue of the Marque, are essential to any club event. We had 114 volunteer slots that were filled for our Brits on the Bay show. We have individuals like Tom Schmitz, who spearheads our annual show with the skill of a circus ringmaster. Most recently, Marc Cherry, Bill Weeks and Bob Manske completed one of our most successful events, our Drive-in Movie showing of The Italian Job.
We owe another thank you to our fellow area British car clubs. Not only do these groups support our activities, especially our show, but they give us the opportunity to participate in their shows, and always we benefit from the experience. For example, the excellent food in years past at the New Orleans British Motoring Club’s welcome party motivated the PBCA to improve our own welcome party. The South Alabama British Car Club put on an excellent show this year on 24 October, and allowed PBCA to attend with 26 cars — and earn 26 awards. There were several areas where PBCA was able to learn from the experience, in terms of food, class organization and facility availability.
Finally, we can never thank our show sponsors enough for their support (we had 91 for Brits on the Bay 2015).
We are already deep into planning and sponsorship recruiting for the 2016 Brits on the Bay, which will be at our Pensacola site on 16 April 2016. If possible, please join us.
PBCA officers for 2016
Club officers for the coming year include President Taber Tompkins, VP Marc Cherry, VP Paul Salm, Secretary Richard Lewis, Treasurer Tom Schmitz, and Past President Bob Manske.
Members-at-large include Therese Hemmert, North; Bill Weeks, South; Franz Bachmann, East, and Bob Henson, West.