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In all honesty had the set up not been as it now is I would have accepted the invitation to be nominated as your new Chairman. It is some six years since I was last on the board when the workload in the late eighties, in particular, for any director was considerable.
Today we have a Chief Executive, Robert Gammage, whose job it is to manage the ongoing affairs and correspondence and Robert's presence will be invaluable to me. The club office staff of Ian Rendle, Andy Knott, Gill Watson, Jean Bryce and Viky Muddiman provide the backbone behind Robert and often are the unsung heroes. Jean, in particular, as membership secretary has given the many years service doing an invaluable job.
An exciting new appointment is that of Peter Browning - a gentleman and a personality who has been around in motorsport and club life via Austin Healey, M.G. and VSCC since the sixties. No doubt more will be written about Peter's role shortly in Safety fast! but suffice it to say I see Peter's appointment as Competitions Secretary in Kimber House not only as a coup for the club but as stepping stone to enhancing the prestige of our sporting calendar through closer integration with the racing championships.
As for my own aspirations for the club as we enter the new millennium, these will doubtless become clearer in my own mind as I listen to, and take advice from, new and old members alike.
What is clear is that we are no longer in a situation where there is a finite number of M.G.s in existence. The future, with the unqualified success of the MGF, has never looked brighter and clearly the main task ahead is to reach out to those thousands of new owners who have never previously been aware of, or derived pleasure from, a car club and to provided activities both social and sporting which add new dimensions and real fun to their car ownership. If we succeed then I shall judge my time in office to have been successful.
For all of us who already know the M.G. Car Club has become a way of life giving us so many friendships which we would not otherwise have enjoyed. Our cars have charisma like no others and they are the catalysts that have provided this world-wide bond which is the club. Let us convience new MGF owners what added pleasure they can have by joining us!
Finally, may I close by wishing all club members and friends of the M.G.C.C. where ever they may live around the world a very happy Christmas and a prosperous enjoyable 1998.
Peter Best Chairman
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