President’s End of Tour remarks
by Taber Tompkins
PENSACOLA, Fla. — The Panhandle British Car Association is quickly coming to the close of another successful year of British motoring fun. Thanks to our enthusiastic volunteers, energetic officers and willing members, we are completing another year filled with a wide variety of events both automotive and social. While the list is far too long to include here, and most of these events have already been mentioned in the Marque, I would be remiss if I did not recap the highlights.
One of our newest events, but most successful, has been the Historic Tour of Bagdad put on by Dr. Richard Lewis, our long-serving British Marque contributor. The driving and the historical information are only surpassed by the food enjoyed at the Bagdad terminus of the drive, where we have held dinner and a baking competition.
Another great event again this year was the British Car Club’s Pig Roast, where long-time members and constant volunteers Tom and Jeanne Schmitz open their beautiful waterfront home to all British car enthusiasts and owners from several clubs. The outstanding food, the environment and the company cannot be surpassed.
Of course, our greatest achievement for the past year has to have been our annual “Brits on the Bay” car show. The 2016 event brought out the largest collection of cars so far, with registrations coming from as far as western Louisiana and northern Georgia. The welcome party held at the Commerce Museum was a tremendous success, with a wide variety of local dishes available in a fantastic setting.
As mentioned above, our club’s success is directly attributable to the amount of effort put in by our officers and other volunteers. Each of the officers deserves kudos for their hard work:
Already mentioned, our Secretary and Past President, Dr. Lewis, consistently records our meetings, plans and executes historical tours, and opens his house to the Executive Board each year.
Our long-serving Treasurer, Tom Schmitz, is key to our show as Show Committee Chairman, and he also organizes tours and rallies, opens his house to the membership, and does so many functions that I can’t recount all of them.
Our Vice President Paul Salm organizes monthly programs for our meetings, and will get even more opportunities to serve next year.
Marc Cherry, also Vice President, arranged volunteers to fill over 70 positions required to put on our welcome party and show.
And I should mention Bob Manske, who as past President serves on our Executive committee and does a host of jobs involving tours, meetings and food preparation at several events each year.
Another Board member, Bill Weeks, has done an outstanding job all year of arranging door prizes and conducting a raffle at each of our monthly meetings. I know I cannot mention the many, many other volunteers but my personal thanks to all of them.
There were two somber events this past year that should be mentioned. First, our longtime supporter and host of the annual British Car Clubs Ice Cream Social, Richard Cunningham, passed away suddenly. His friendship will be missed and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. Second, several of our show attendees from the British Motoring Club of New Orleans in the Baton Rouge area suffered from the Louisiana flooding. Again, our thoughts and prayers are with these drivers as they recover their cars and property from the damage.
Most importantly, our club is heading into 2017 with very great prospects. Our Nominating Committee, chaired by Bob Manske, has selected an outstanding slate of officers for next year, and they should have been elected and installed by the time this reaches print. The planning is well under way for another year of many varied events including driving tours and rallyes, shows in several states, and lots of eating events. Planning for our 2017 Brits on the Bay British Car Show has been going on for about six months. This 25th anniversary show will be held in Historic Seville Square, Pensacola, Fla., on 22 April 2017. Since this will be our 25th show we have planned a number of “Silver Jubilee” special touches, including goody bags, T-shirts, and awards. We have begun handing out flyers and the first mailing will be dispatched before the December Marque is published.
November 12 — Drive-in Movies at the home of Henry Hensel.
November 18 — Fancy Friday Dinner at Grand Marlin.
December 3 — Holiday Bake Contest and Historic Tour of Milton.
December 6 — First Tuesday Breakfast and Show Committee Meeting.
December 10 — Lillian (Ala.) Christmas Parade.
December 17 — PBCA Christmas Party and Installation of New Officers at Heritage Hall in Seville Quarter.