Pizza Night 19/1/2024

The Auto Collectors Club of Murray Bridge (ACCMB) held their first social evening of the New Year last Friday night at the home of Past President Claude and Liz Minge. Over 40 members, partners and friends joined together on a balmy night around the comfort of the indoor swimming pool and its spacious surroundings, to enjoy the Club’s annual “pizza evening”. 

ACCMB member Gary Haebich left his prized Falcon at home in the shed and instead, because of the summery evening, decided to travel on his Merits Explorer Mobility scooter-complete with its Ford flag flying in the wind, replica 2 inch chrome twin exhausts, a Holden “fan muncher” on the roof, Sports air cleaner and even a “parachute” on the rear, just in case he was to exceed the 12km/h speed limit of the “gopher” if it got away from him! “Well thought out, Gary” and very different. (see photo)

Among those present were first time “Pizza night” attendees, Steven and Ruth Bubb, along with Brian and Rosaria Rainey’s grandson, Archie who enjoyed the evening chatting away to all and sundry on his table, while enjoying the many varieties of pizza on offer.

Not only was the sharing of fun, fellowship and delicious food enjoyed, but an introduction to Claude’s “man cave” was also quite an eye-opener to many of those in attendance.

Whilst most man-caves might be decorated with all things related to a particular sport, hobby or collection, Claude has spent most of his life gathering memorabilia, articles, books, vehicles, and anything else related to the funeral industry in the Murray lands region.

Having been involved in the Murray Bridge Funeral industry since 1933, the Minge name has been synonymous with this service throughout the Murray Bridge, metropolitan and regional areas. But time, as we know, stands still for no man and change is inevitable…  

It was just 3 months ago and with some gentle “persuasion and encouragement” from Liz, that Claude decided to amalgamate his vast collection into what can only be described as a very informative and interesting historical exhibit. And so began the mammoth task of sorting, repairing, cleaning, polishing, cataloguing, labelling, and displaying this part of Murray Bridge history.

With assistance from the Murray Bridge Historical Society, Claude has been able to identify and collate information about all of the local undertakers in Murray Bridge, dating back as far as 1880-right up to the present day-nine different proprietors in total (including one of the Murray Cods Olympic rowers of 1924, Wally Pfeiffer).

In the absence of President Harry Howitt and on behalf of all members, Past President John Courtney thanked Claude and Liz for an enjoyable and educational evening. “We thought you might be the last to let us all down, Claude”, John quipped…….

 Footnote: (If anyone is able to supply any photos of a horse-drawn hearse used in Murray Bridge, it would be greatly appreciated by Claude).