Sid Armstrong's BLOG - October 19th 2013

Sid Armstrong, a proud member of the Armstrong Siddeley Car Club of Australia

Athol Duncan's 90thBirthday Celebration

Club stalwart and Queensland Branch member Athol Duncan achieved a significant life milestone last October, and local members Paul & Jenny Caro made some phone calls to ensure that Sid Armstrong was on hand to report on the event for the interest of the wider membership, most of who have met Athol in his travels all over Australia.

Athol comes from a large and supportive family who arranged a large “gathering of the clan” on Saturday October 19th at the Lake Kawana Community Centre on the Sunshine Coast of the vast state of Queensland. The vastness of the family was illustrated on a whiteboard showing the various branches, and in the process of being drawn created a good deal of discussion amongst many family members as memories prompted by the layout began to further illuminate
Paul Caro speaking on behalf of all ASCC Membes at Athol's 90th Birthday celebration The day was fine and warm (Queenslanders will tell you it is like this all the time!) and the Duncan family were well represented with family members in attendance from the southern states as well as a strong contingent from New South Wales and Queensland. The organizers had prepared a slide show of Athol’s life which was running throughout the afternoon, and it was one of the most comprehensive life overviews that I had seen, with no less than nine different Armstrong Siddeleys appearing in the pictures displayed, as well as a Whitley featured on the Family Invitation to the celebration.

Over his 90 years, the major automotive marque that has stood out in Atholís life is Armstrong Siddeley. He learned to drive in a 1923 model 14 H.P, a car that his father had purchased when Athol was one year old. This particullar car was finished in royal blue with the body made by Brisbane Body Works. As well as learning to drive in this car, he often drove his father (when he was purchasing timber, in his role as a sawmill manager) and mother around backblocks areas comlpete with steep gullies and uneven terrain.

He owned a succession of pre and post war Armstrong Siddeleys culminating in a Mark II Sapphire 346 and a Sapphire 234.

12 Members of the Queensland Branch of the ASCC were in attendance and as you would expect from a supportive and adoring family, his regard for motor cars, in particular Armstrong Siddeleys was highlighted in the recounting of his lifeís achievements by son-in-law Alan. With wife Reiko by his side, Athol recounted the significant milestones in his life, his first job, meeting and marrying the late Coral, the arrival of their children and the unfolding of his career, filled with many innovative adventures and experiences.

The ASCC members who attended Athol Duncan's 90th birthda party

From left-to-right: Paul Edgeworth (S.A.), Ralph Hickling (QLD), Jenny Caro (QLD), Jenny Mc Adam(QLD), Dana Nordqvist(QLD), Athol Duncan, Sandy Cameron(VIC) Reiko Duncan, Bob Mc Adam(QLD), Hans Nordqvist(QLD), Paul Caro (QLD). [Sid Armstrong photographer].

Athol and Reiko cut the cake

The large cake was jointly cut by Reiko and Athol and a delicious afternoon tea was served. For Club members a lot of catching up took place, as we waited “in line” for a few words with the very popular guest of honour.

A great event and a significant milestone in anybody’s life.

I am grateful to Paul & Jenny Caro for meeting me at the Brisbane Airport in their magnificent 20HP Saloon and for taking me to Athol’s party, around 100 kilometres distant on the north side of Brisbane.

........Keep watching my Blog for more reports.