2022 MG Indaba in Gqeberha
19th to 22nd May – The Indaba was well supported by our Centre with 18 cars and 35 crew members (the biggest Centre entry) making the easy trip to Gqeberha as the road signs insisted en route although nowhere in the Indaba paper work did any name other than Port Elizabeth appear (possibly the organisers of the Indaba feared we would get confused if they updated the name.) Led by our Fair Chair, who had everything so well organised for stops en-route (Old Nick, Storms River and Crossways) that the trip was a breeze in spite of rain all along the way. Our welcome by the P.E. Centre organisers on arrival was exceptionally warm and friendly, possibly because we had brought rain to their drought-stricken metro, and their arrangements all weekend were smooth and professional. The 2022 Indaba with 80 cars entered was fully subscribed and the accommodation venue, called Pine Lodge and on the beach front, was ideal. There was plenty of parking, cosy chalets and generally large enough spaces to encourage social distancing during entertainment. The only exception was the venue for the welcoming braai which had to be moved indoors because of the rain into a crowded sports bar - a sure recipe for Covid transmission as it has turned out with 12 down at the last count!
The traditional runs in your MG cars, shifted to Friday, were rain affected and at least one of the lunch venues (the one for our group) seemed overwhelmed and took 1 ½ hours to rustle up a light lunch order for 35 customers. This gave plenty of time for chatting as the rain poured down outside. (Our group did have mechanical problems en route but these were speedily fixed by Mechanic Ricky with spares on board - a new coil and points were fitted to the Houseman MGA in record time. The kind P.E. Centre Shepherd for our group, riding sweep in his Plastic, admitted that all he had on him was a well charged cell phone.) The day could have been better but one cannot control the weather. However, that evening’s Jam Session soon had us warmed up with a pair of lady vocalists who certainly knew how to belt out a tune!
Fortunately the rain gradually eased on Saturday when a largely out-door venue at the SAAF Museum proved ideal for the traditional photos and the various competitions. Here S. Cape won the Tops Competition (Alan Waterston’s newly acquired TC), were prominent in the Driving Tests (Speedy Peter in his Midget and our two Lady Drivers, Heather Holt and Margie Smith in particular) and were winners of the Concours d’Comique with a totally disguised 1960’s Flower Power Pair of Peter & Jill Morse. Our Centre did O.K. in the Rocker Racing where the outstanding entry was from Cape Town with a remarkable set of balloon tyre wheels with ball bearings. Something for our Knysna Workshops to look into next time! All in all, a good day in the open air.