VERNON KEVIN GRAETZ
BORN – 24th January 1939
DIED – 4th September 2020
Vernon Graetz was a well known local character, truly involved in all facets of community life in Murray Bridge and districts.
Vernon for much of his working life, was a vehicle salesman for local businesses, and in his spare time was also involved the buying, selling and restoring of classic/vintage vehicles .
Vernon was involved in many charities and clubs, including Rotary, Legacy, Murray Bridge Pistol Club (Life Member), “4 Ways” dance band as a drummer/singer, including in later years, using these talents at Resthaven, singing to the residents, right up to the week before his death, a most dedicated “Santa’s Helper” for 40 yrs, and of course not forgetting his beloved Auto Collectors Club of Murray Bridge Inc (ACCMB).
It was Vernon’s dream, his enthusiasm and a love for cars, that led him to call a series of public meetings in late 1971 and early 1972, of interested people, also with a passion for cars, trucks and motor cycles, in fact anything with 4 wheels and an engine, along with the view of investigating the possibility of the formation of a car club for Murray Bridge and Districts.
The investigations by Vernon regarding the formation of such a club, “rolled on towards the end”, and on Wednesday 29th March 1972, the inaugural meeting was held in one of Dutton’s buildings, in a room previously used by the late Mr. Eric Doecke, ( former Mayor of Murray Bridge) for his butcher shop, and was attended by 12 men, 3 ladies and 4 children.
A club was born, but it wasn’t until a competition was held to formalize its name, that on the 9th May 1972, it was christened as “The Auto Collectors Club of Murray Bridge Inc.A committee was formed, and Vernon Graetz was elected as the Inaugural President and Co- founder of the ACCMB Inc.
This new club, the pride of Vernon and his committee, boasted a founding membership of 53 members in (1972), and like the waves of the ocean, the ACCMB Inc gained momentum as it rolled along, with current membership in 2020 being 300, with as many vehicles being used, restored and unrestored.
In later years, Vernon and wife Cecily were awarded Life Membership of the ACCMB Inc and have remained members, right up to Vernon’s death.
Past Presidents, Life Members and current ACCMB President Mr. Claude Minge, Management Committee and Members wish to say thank you for your foresight in 1971/72, and pay tribute to Vernon’s long standing commitment to the ACCMB Inc over the past 48 ½ years and extend their deepest sympathies to Cecily and Families.
By Graham Edwards. Publicity for ACCMB