Tuesday, 21 August 2012 14:46

Studebaker Made In Canada – A time to celebrate

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If you made it to Studebaker Made in Canada, congratulations as it proved to a highly successful event which saw us pay homage to eight guests of honour while proudly driving or displaying our Studebakers to all who came to the car show or admired our Studes while driving around in the Bay of Quinte area. The Ontario Chapter members support for this event was excellent whether coming for the car show or the whole weekend, helping to operate the registration desk or organize the car show, we did ourselves proud. In addition, the Hamilton Chapter SDC and the Canadian Avanti Owners Association had many of their members in attendance. Also visit the SMIC website with updated with photos from the event!

For the persons who attended Friday we had three road trips planned, one to the National Canadian Air Force Museum in Trenton, a full day tour of Prince Edward County and then in the afternoon a wine tour as the local area has many vineyards. The weather was excellent for all road trips and everyone enjoyed themselves whether it was looking over the one of a kind Halifax Bomber or having the best sandwiches in the world at Schroedters Café. The Saturday car show had 69 Studebakers & Avantis on display with afew in the adjoining parking lot. We had many made in Canada Studebakers on display which included Denton Wright’s 1933 President Coupe all the way up to some of the last 1966 cars that were made in Hamilton. Although we could have handled more Studebakers in the car show the ones that were on display were superb while being met with admiration and personal pride.

The awards banquet was well-attended with 106 guests, all with a good appetite. Our eight guests of honour were front and centre to include Roy Graham’s family who were there in large numbers to help him celebrate his night in the limelight. After a very nice dinner we handed out the 32 awards to their winners and then had Stu Chapman tell us about his Studebaker Experiences while working in Hamilton at Studebaker of Canada. Next we had Roy Graham tell us how his Haydon, Ontario Studebaker Dealership was truly a family business which had his two sons and one of his daughters involved in it’s operation.

To honour his dedication to the Ontario Chapter we announced that our annual Most Valuable Member(s) award would now be known as the Roy Graham Award and he will have the honour to present it at the AGM and many more to come. To honour all the Guests of Honour and others that worked so hard for Studebaker of Canada, the Ontario Chapter has presented the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend with the Studebaker of Canada Plaque along with a donation of $1000 which will honour them and others who built, sold, serviced, promoted Studebakers in Canada during it’s 56 years of operation. All eight Guests will have their name on a plate to thank them for their service and in lieu of Merry Grundy Tinsley we will have a plate mounted for her father, Gordon E Grundy who as the last President of the Studebaker Automotive Division tried to keep the business going through some tough times and challenges. Although the writing was on the wall back in March 1966, he proved to be a very able leader who to this day,on the 100th anniversary of his birth in the city of Toronto Ontario Canada, is remembered as a determined man who if given the proper resources could of maybe kept the Studebakers rolling off the assembly line for years to come.

To top off the night we had a very enjoyable dance while was met with great approval. After a farewell breakfast on Sunday morning we headed over for the local Canada Day celebrations at Zwicks Park. When the last vehicle was parked we had 17 Studebakers on display and were warmly greeted by all who attended. All in all, it proved to be a very successful event which enabled us to celebrate our 40th anniversary in style with family, friends and other SDC members and in addition pay tribute to the ones that enabled us to drive our Studebakers after the last one rolled out of the Hamilton Assembly Plant on March 16th, 1966. If you own a Made in Canada Studebaker take pride in the workmanship and if you are ever at the Studebaker National Museum take time to look over the names on the commemorative plaque. They were afew of the many that to this day remember their time with Studebaker of Canada with great pride and sense of achievement.

Many thanks to the following Chapter Members for volunteering their time & expertise in making Studebaker Made in Canada such a highly successful event:

Registration Desk

Cathy Foy

Joan Patterson

Peggy Cracknell

Mervis Lyn

Marilyn Simpson

Wilma Jordan

Lorna Norton

Marna Sant

Car Show

Bill Foy

Bill Patterson

Ralph Lemke

Verne Brinsmead

Bob Suszek

Other tasks

Walter Cracknell - Banners

Judy Muldoon – Wine Tour

Peter Sant – Air Force Musuem

Bill Rose – PEC Tour

Jackie Campbell – PEC Tour

Gerald Benn – PEC Tour

Eldon Kemp – Reporter

Jan Boyd - Photographer

In addition many thanks to our Awards Sponsors:

Canadian Studebaker

Lant Insurance

Hamilton Chapter SDC

Roy Graham & Family

Cdn Avanti Owners Assn

In regards to the Studebaker of Canada Plaque. We have been asked by the Studebaker National Museum to help administer the future honourees for this plaque. On a yearly basis we will arrange to have additional names added which will cost a nominal $50 each and any profits will go towards the Museum annual operating expenses. So if you know of a family member or friend that worked at the Studebaker Assembly Plant, an authorized Dealership or helped to promote Studebaker of Canada during it’s 56 years of Operation then plse contact me for more information.

Will Norton

613-777-5314

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