At the March Committee meeting of your club a letter was received with regret and provoked a discussion on the membership as it used to be.
The letter was from Joe Burns and reads as follows:
Dear Brian [Hood],
Just a note to let you know I shall not be renewing my membership. You are aware that I have sold the 1956 220S that I had for some 32 years, and from which I had much joy, a very few frustrations, and much fellowship with the many wonderful club people I met over the years. Of course, when I say “I” I include my late wife Carmel in all those memories. She very much enjoyed the fellowship of club activity. Currently Bonnie, the new love of my life, has also enjoyed the activities we have shared in the club.
Joe Burns’ 220S
I think, subject to correction, that next to Ken Williams, I would have the longest continual membership of the Auckland Club. I enjoyed my years on the committee and a year as President. So the decision has not been lightly made.
At this time of my life, now 78 years, I do not contemplate buying another Mercedes. Now that the factory has discontinued support for all but a few classic models, parts will become an increasing problem and priced accordingly. So I cannot justify the purchase of a new or late model, nor the headaches of maintaining a classic.
Wishing the club all the very best for the future
This letter was received by the committee and I was requested to write a suitable reply and ask Joe & Bonnie to join the members at our annual mid-winter dinner in August.
Joe is accurate in his memory of dates. Some research shows that Jim Hetherington, the club’s Patron, joined the ranks in 1975, the same year as Ken Williams also came on board, and then Brian Hood and Joe Burns both joined up in 1978. Brian Fleming comes in at fifth place having joined in 1985 with Michael Clark and Andrew McGregor joining the ranks in 1986. Other early birds are Eoin Burns 1987, Harald Decker 1988 and Lloyd Marx 1989.
Looking through the membership list it is quite surprising to note that the majority of current members have joined quite recently whilst (presumably) a lot of Old Soldiers have just faded away.