Welcome to the Holden Retirees Club website.
Vale Vin McDonald
The Materials Control community was saddened last week to hear of the death of Vin McDonald, one of their most popular and respected people. Vin had worked with both Fishermens Bend and Elizabeth groups with equal effect.
He passed away peacefully on Christmas Day.
There have been many spontaneous emails from some of those who knew Vin, expressing personal loss at his passing. There is frequent mention of his legendary encyclopaedic memory for part numbers. “Give Vin a part number you got the description and Supersession. Give him the Description and he gave the Part number and outlook dates.” But mostly he was known for his swift action to bring delinquent suppliers to heel.
Tony Curtis has contributed the following tales:
Vin was a confirmed bachelor with a love of VB, Marlboro cigs, and loved the races. He was also a great mate of Sid Fisher owner of Sphinx, our Wiring Harness supplier. Sid had a mansion at Hunter's Hill with a private jetty where he kept a luxury motor launch as well as several racing yachts including "Ragamuffin" a regular Sydney/Hobart competitor for many years. Vin often stayed with Sid who eschewed the Sydney social set and was just as happy with steak and chips at the local pub rather than dining at the upmarket restaurants at Double bay etc. (all those snotty-nosed ponces." he once told Vin).
He was a real one-off ocker with a sound business head which surprised and astounded his manager. One story I would like to relate is typical of his acumen.
In the late 70's, Vin was a 2?? year old materials controller with the then Supply Department at F/Bend and had a number of Sydney suppliers under his control. These included Sphinx and Camelec who provided all Holden's Wiring Harnesses, and Lawrenson Diecastings who were sole suppliers of the cast aluminium manifolds for the newly released and very popular locally built V8 engine. One Friday the newspapers reported there was union trouble at Lawrenson and the stop-work meeting planned for the following Monday would probably result in strike action. Vin made a few phone calls late Friday and Saturday morning took himself to the Airport and bought a ticket to Sydney. Early Monday morning he arrived at Lawrenson followed by a Semitrailer, talked himself into their warehouse and loaded the semi with all the manifolds they could find plus as much other Holden product they could fit on board; this was then trucked to a warehouse in Sydney. The union meanwhile voted for immediate strike which lasted for two weeks.
On Monday morning in Melbourne when the strike news was known, Vin's Supervisor Gordon Phillips (John Phillips of Engineering’s father) was almost having a heart attack trying to figure out why he hadn't reported in and was astounded when Vin rang later from Sydney to bring him up to date; as were Management when the story broke. F/Bend engine production continued as scheduled unaffected by the strike.
The sequel to the story was some weeks later Gordon Phillips was still chasing Vin to submit his airfare and motel bills for reimbursement!
Vale Vin - they don't make them like that anymore.
More Details of the New Generation Commodore released
Holden has released more details about the 2018 New Generation Commodore, including the first images of an undisguised vehicle. Click on the links below to access the release documents:
Holden News Page refresh
Regular users will have noticed that the Holden News page has not been updating lately. This page was setup and maintained by Holden, but due to reduced head counts and revised responsibilities, the news updates have somewhat been neglected.
So, the page has now undergone a change of direction, where the individual news items have been replaced with a link which will let you directly access the Holden Media website. This site is where many of the media access the latest news about Holden People, Projects and Products, so now you too are able to see news as it is posted, often at the same time as the media. Plus you can access Press Kits, product photos and videos, and more.
There is also a link to the new Holden 2.0 website.
Look for the links on the Holden News page.
The People Magazine archive is now considered to be complete, with all known issues available on the People Magazine page. There is still a possiblility of an issue in August 1965 and in December 1987 but so far, there is no evidence of that.
The Memories/Photographs page has gained a number of new photos, prime amongst them is a copy of Laurance Hartnett's own album of Fishermens Bend in 1938, plus on the GM Australia page, an album of the opening of the Sydney Branch of GMA in 1926.
If you have any contributions to our collection, please contact Neil Pogson at or 03 9589 3196 to arrange for them to be scanned.
Members' Memories Pages!!
The Members' Memories area is listed on the Main menu bar.
The page is intended to be "A repository for privately held photographs of Holden people and things, personal recollections and untold history". We want to copy those photos you have in the back of a draw somewhere, or your reminiscences of all things Holden, funny or sad or just plain history.
Some of our regular contributors have set the ball rolling, with interesting things such as “The Great Kangaroo Hunt”, “The Saga of the Saab Turbo Commodore”, photos of the construction of the Proving Ground and much more. But we still need your help to make this a meaningful collection. We do not intend to put the Libraries or the Newspapers out of action, so we do not really want things published elsewhere unless they are particularly rare or otherwise unavailable.
So browse through the items already loaded and you will get a taste for what we want, and I hope, be inspired to dig out your stuff and send it to us. Any originals will be scanned and returned to you (we will bear reasonable costs incurred) although items already scanned are welcomed.
Please send items to Neil Pogson at , or by mail to
1 Glenwood Ave
03 9589 3196
Change to the HRC joining guidelines.
As foreshadowed at the December Meeting, your Committee has now decided to reduce the Years of Service guideline for HRC Membership from ten years to five years. This is in response to some current Holden employees who are being retrenched through no fault of their own, and who wish to maintain a connection with Holden.
This change is effective immediately, and the application form on our web site "www.hrc.org.au/the-club/membership" has been updated accordingly.
"People" magazine no longer mailed to home.
"People Magazine" is no longer mailed to homes, but is still produced in both hard copy and a PDF version. Copies will in future be distributed by email to those for whom the Retirees Club has an email address, while a limited number of hard copies will be available at the quarterly HRC Lunches for those without email.
If you have an email address but have not advised HRC of it, please do so now at so you can continue to regularly receive this interesting magazine.
Calling old Newsletters and Holden magazines!!
The Newsletter Archive page has all issues back to and including mid-1998, plus one issue from 1996. But we have run out of sources for earlier newsletters!
If you have a copy of any of the earlier newsletters or magazines, please contact Neil Pogson at .
We would like to borrow them for scanning, and will return them in the same condition as we receive them. Don't worry if they are not in pristine condition, any copy is better than no copy! We will reimburse any cost incurred.
To read the newsletters, go to the link "Newsletters" in the Memories drop down menu, or click here.
Holden Magazines are listed under the 'Holden' menu.
This site is intended to bring together in one convenient place, information of interest to our Holden Retirees. Here you will find links to help keep you informed about the Club, ease the purchase of new and used vehicles directly from Holden Company Vehicle Operations (CVO), and read Bulletins of interest from Holden Corporate Affairs.
The Holden Retirees Club (HRC) is an informal group, primarily aimed at providing a venue where old friends can meet for a drink, have a meal and a chat in pleasant surroundings. We are a not-for-profit club, run by volunteers, with the proceeds from the small annual subscription fee being used to provide the venue, organise interesting speakers, and support Club activities.
Surplus funds are donated annually to Charities which are appropriate to our time of life.
Retirees only need at least five years' service with Holden. Just fill in the application form (available from the Membership page) and send to the Treasurer with your subscription. The Membership page contains all necessary details, including clarification of eligible 'Holden service'.
There is also a Retiree's News page for you to read news of interest to our members. So please use the link on the News page, and send us news of interest to your mates.
If you have any feedback about the site or the content, please send your comments to: Send Your Feedback