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Holden Retirees Club News


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Anzac day in Senegal, 2017

For those of you wondering what happened to the Louisa Gibbs inspired Anzac Day ceremony in Senegal, Roger Gibbs has provided this update:

"Yes, the 3rd ANZAC ceremony was successfully held this year, however, the central theme was updating the guests with a presentation on the visit to Stoker Campbell’s grave (which took place after the 2016 ceremony). So the essence of the ceremony had been well covered by the previous report in the HRC news of Stoker Campbell.

Interestingly, for the first ceremony in 2015 the Australian Ambassador in Ghana simply sent a message to be read out, this year she flew in especially for it!"

Well done, Louisa!


 Our June 1st Lunch

Our 151st meeting opened promptly at 12:30 with our President Bill Hooper in the Chair and 110 members present.

Bill welcomed all members and guests, and particularly our speaker, Norm Darwin.   Norm is well known to many of you from working in Engineering and Finance, and latterly, the author of many authoritive books on Holden and the cars.

Bill moved on to welcome some new members: 

Mike Cyrill, Quality Assurance, Fishermens Bend

Mark Vanin, Supply / IGM, Fishermens Bend

Robert Van Den Enden, Engineering, Fishermens Bend

Ian Smith, Finance, Fishermens Bend

A warm welcome was extended to these new members.

He then reported on the sad loss of some of our numbers:

Bill DeLong, Finance Director

Wally Mahoney, Experimental Engineering

Ed Orme, Manufacturing, Elizabeth

Members stood for the customary one minute’s silence for our departed friends.

Our excellent Lunch followed, all for just $22.50:

-  Zucchini and smoked bacon soup

Followed by

- Spiced pork cutlets/ whole grain mustard sauce/ garlic mashed potato / green vegetables, or

- Grilled Salmon/ Pumpkin risotto/ cream Fennel/lemon

  Tea and Coffee

After Lunch, Bill introduced our speaker, Norm Darwin to talk to us about "The early development of Australian car design 1895-1953".  

Norm DarwinIn 1969, Norm began at GM-H and worked there for 15 years in the engineering and finance departments. It was soon after leaving that he published his first book on Holden, "The History of Holden Since 1917" (1983). This was followed by "The History of Ford in Australia" (1986).

These studies, the first of their kind in Australia, were company histories that relied on archival research, company records and Norm’s own collection of automotive literature. In 2002 came "100 Years of GM in Australia" where Norm outlined a history of all GM products on sale in Australia between 1902-2002; and, in 2010, on a commission, he wrote "Eclipse Era", a history of Ford dealer, Eclipse Motors. In "Monaro Magic" and "Torana Tough", Norm’s last two books, he looked more closely at design origins, style and some of the people who were heading up the Holden Design studio, such as Leo Pruneau and Phil Zmood.

It was clear from this work that an understanding of Australian automotive design was limited, even though publications on the local industry run to hundreds of titles. Norm’s initial intention was to write a doctorate on GM-H design and the contribution to the first Holden; however, he soon realised that the car’s design origins could be traced back to 1923, and designers from this era were influenced by much earlier design practice. To clearly understand Australian automotive design history it was thus necessary to chart the development of the automobile in Australia from its beginnings in the mid-1890s. The result is a thesis, "The early development of Australian car design 1895-1953".

Norm will discuss some of his thesis findings as they relate to Holden Motor Body’s formation and the development of the 48-215 Holden.

We have now obtained a copy of Norm’s slide pack and it is available below, together with a voice recording of his presentation.  

         Presentation Slide pack                    Voice file mp3

(If you open two instances of the web page in your browser, it is possible to have the sound running on one while you watch the slides on the other.)

After a question and answer session, Norm was presented with a small token of our thanks and received a warm round of applause for his excellent presentation.


There were a number of items of general business:

As now advised to members with an email address, and on the web site, Holden has commissioned a commemorative book to be issued in October to coincide with the closure of Vehicle manufacture in Australia.

Brian Wilson of Iconic Treasurers, who are publishing the book (Holden Archival Collection), gave a talk describing the book and displayed a draft copy plus a number of the inclusions which come with it.

The usual price of the Archival Collection is $279, but Retirees can get a discount of $79 by using the code 1524 when ordering the book on the Iconic Treasures website

-  The above is yet another example why it is essential that if members have access to an email address, they should make sure that it is registered with the Club.  Maybe a relative or close friend will allow you to use theirs if you do not have one of your own.  Email is the fastest and easiest way to quickly disseminate information to all the members.  You can still receive your Newsletter by post if that is your preference.

-  Neil Pogson advised that there were no copies of the March issue of People magazine available this month, as we have now been told that there will only be two issues this year, in June and October.

 -  Neil mentioned the website now has a page devoted to the Motoring Club, with many photos and articles about the Club’s activities available there.

The President then drew the Lucky Door prizes, with prizes provided by Holden, for which we thank them. 

Holden was kind enough to provide a newly updated Trax for your inspection. It was parked at the foot of the steps as usual, so members could take a few minutes to look it over as they left.

Bill thanked all for attending and closed the meeting at 3:15 PM.

 The next meeting will be on Thursday, 7th September 2017. We look forward to seeing you there.

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The "Holden Archives Collection"

To mark the end of Holden vehicle manufacture in Australia, Holden has commissioned a commemorative book to be produced as a lasting memorial to this great enterprise.

Iconic Treasures has been chosen by Holden to produce the official "Holden Archives Collection". The Collection features 400 pages chronicling the Holden story. The “Holden Archives Collection” features world-class photography, rare artworks and lift out memorabilia.  There are some examples and more information about the inclusions on their website .

For a limited time, members and friends have the opportunity of being in the official Holden Archives Collection. By following the instructions below, you can reserve your copy and also have own photo inducted into the Fans Album section of the Collection.

Members and friends can receive a $79 discount on the purchase of the collection by including the Voucher Code number 1524 when placing their order on the official Holden Archives Collection website .  This reduces the price to $200 plus $20 postage.

Please feel free to forward this offer to your friends.

Note that the Retirees Club has no direct involvement in this offer, apart from verifying its authenticity with Holden, and is posting this information as a service to members.  Any inquiries should be addressed to Iconic Treasures, via their website .


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NSW Group.

Photos from our June 6 luncheon at the Randwick Bowling Club:

Jun6 2017- 1 red

Around the table from centre front left, Craig Mumby, Peter Pike, Rick Tozer sales, Lloyd Sharland, Michael Fittler, Ron Gailey, Adrian Buckley, John Geber, Michael Minatti, Peter Smith (sales). 

Jun6 2017- 2 red

Centre front left Tony Bataille, Manufacturing, Ron Hastings, Manufacturing, Wayne Broun sales, Steven Crouch sales, Stan Kennedy, sales, Malcolm Kerry, sales, John Arthur service/truck sales, Frank Nelson, Lindsay Doherty, Peter Cohen, sales, Tony Connolly sales.

Jun6 2017- 3 red

Left to right, Alan Moran, Dan Barnes, Marcus McInnes Public Relations/Engineering, Tom Southwood, Greg Lynch service/truck sales and convenor.  


Gold Coast Group.

The September Gold Coast Retiree’s Lunch was held as usual at Carmody’s restaurant at the Sharks Club in Southport.

L-R David Abel, Steve Markwell,Graeme Coverdale, John Ashmore, Lee Broomhall, Ted Bryant, Garry Newsome , Rod Alford.


Gold Coast group Sep 17


Thanks to Ted Bryant for the information.  For the benefit of his many friends, we advise that Ted has now relocated to the Runway Bay area in Queensland! Ted is available on 0428 123 206 if anyone from that area needs a ride to the Lunch.  All welcome!