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Auto Club of The Bahamas
The Club started as a result of a fund-raising project of The Kiwanis Club of Cable Beach, an Antique Car Show proposed by Don Aranha, Kiwanis President at the time, that was held at R. M. Bailey Park in August, 1986.
Kiwanians searched the island for owners of vintage vehicles and approximately 10-12 cars made up the show, which brought together Don Aranha, Charles Johnson (both Kiwanians) and Murray Forde (a Rotarian), not previously known to either of them. The three began talking about forming a vintage club.
On July 26, 1987 (almost a year later) the first meeting was held at the home of Don Aranha with the initial six members (pictured above); Richard Chestnut, Lenny Brozozog, Don Aranha, Alonzo Rolle, Murray Forde and Charles Johnson. At that initial meeting a number of things were decided:
Immediate Past Pres.
1. The Club name was agreed
2. The purpose of the club was defined as “to provide a venue for sharing common interests in Vintage and Special Interest Automobiles”
3. Don Aranha was elected President, Murray Forde, Secretary-Treasurer and the other four founding members directors
4. New members may be admitted upon application or invitation and approval of the board.
5. Meetings would be held on the second Sunday of each month and rotate among members homes.
second meeting was held at the home of Charles
Johnson on August 9, 1987 and some further decisions
1. Definition of “Antique” would be “1969 or Older”. This definition was changed two years later to “20 years or older” and remains.
2. “Special Interest” vehicle is one of low or custom production
that we design a logo
In November, 1987, a logo designed by Dwight Aranha (Don’s brother) was adopted. By that time, membership had increased to nine.
The decisions made at those first few meetings remain to this day, although there have been some refinements, including the addition of a Vice President/President-Elect position and the holding of elections every two years. A separate Treasurer position was also added. Officers serving to date have been:
Don Aranha 1987 - 1994 (Secretary Murray Forde)
Murray Forde 1995 – 1996 (Secretary Robin Hardy)
Peter Grist 1996 - 1997 (Secretary Robin Hardy)
Don Aranha 1998 – 2000 (Secretary Sparkman Ferguson)
Sparkman Ferguson 2000 – 2004 (Secretary Murray Forde and VP Peter Armstrong)
Peter Armstrong 2005 - 2006 (Secretary Murray Forde and VP Tony Burrows)
Peter Armstrong 2007-2009 (Secretary Murray Forde and VP Richard Blake)
Richard Blake 2010-2011 (Secretary Murray Forde and VP Brendan Foulkes)
Brendan Folkes 2012-2013 (Secretary Murray Forde and VP Don Pinder)
The Club’s First Antique Car Show was held in Feb, 1988 at Tyreflex on Wulff Rd. A $30 entry fee was charged and a $1 admission fee to the public. The Kiwanis Club of Cable Beach and the Rotary Club of East Nassau helped. Over 1,000 people attended and the net profit was $1,317, most of which was donated to the two Service Clubs.
The Antique Auto Show has been held annually, at various locations with the second Saturday in March now adopted as the date. For the past few years they have been held at Arawak Cay, which has proven to be a very good location. Several improvements have been made to the shows. In addition to the competition for trophies in eight classes now, a steakout has been added, through which funds are raised. Donations and Sponsorships from Corporate Sponsors cover expenses, primarily for trophies. Net proceeds each year are donated to a local Charity or Organization involving children.
The Club also holds a quarterly “Fun Run” (like a Cruise Night, but on a Sunday afternoon) driving various routes around the island, concluding at either one of the member’s homes or a local restaurant for refreshments and fellowship.
Membership has grown steadily over the years and presently stands at 63, including five honorary members, including world famous Race Car Driver, Sir Stirling Moss. The Club meets at the Cricket Club on West Bay Street, Nassau on the first Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM.