Words by Paul Hollingworth.
This is the story of a President’s dinner party that wasn’t, then was, then wasn’t again, and the President who was essentially the same.
The Motafrenz Car Club’s Thirtieth Anniversary President’s Dinner was to be held in the winter of 2020 but, like everything else in 2020, Cinderella’s Ball was cancelled. The only Balls held in 2020 were mine when I was bored on another work Zoom meeting… Instead, the event was moved to 2021 before finally settling on July 2022!
So, the anniversary year was gone and the event was rebranded due to the anniversary President also being gone (just from the role, not from life or anything too drastic). The event that was two years in the making and planning was finally here! The event organisers thought it would be nice to keep with the thirtieth theme and retain our anniversary President as the night’s host (his successor wasn’t too interested in all that work haha). But my word, what a night!
Entering into the carpark of the Burwood District Bowls Club in Glen Iris we were greeted by an amazing array of beautiful cars – old and new! Unfortunately, the cold weather and the early twilight made the pre-dinner Garage Talk a little difficult, but a hardy band of devotees stuck it through – brava belle mia! Upon entering the Club Rooms, we were all greeted by the youthful Matt, and perpetually youthful Gordon, who supplied us with name tags – some of which were actually correct – and directed us to our meeting/dining area. A good thing the bar was right by the entrance too – an old chook like I gets a little dry you know.
Anywho, I go and find myself a seat. I chose a front table as I was to present a speech later on, and the front tables were closer to the toilets – fossilised prostate, you know.
The speeches started with Chris talking about the foundation of the Club, and David talking about our first interstate trips. It was all thoroughly entertaining. Then came the first of several shows. The incomparable Jessica Jessica, a longtime friend of Motafrenz, was first up. This was the first time I have seen Jessica Jessica perform. It was so delightfully old-school, professional, and inclusive that I was longing for the olden days. A special surprise for me was the second entertainer, Salza Dip! I was on holiday in Vilnius, or possibly Helsinki, in 2001 when a young man contacted me through my website to seek my assistance in making him a drag sensation. In those days I was a semi-professional, semi-regular, semi-famous drag-about-town, and I was always more than happy to promote those with more talent. Young Salza (I won’t drag dead-name her) was that very teen! I painted her up, gave her some tips, and helped her find a gig or two. I then lost contact when I moved to Sydney, but saw her and her bf nearby on Grindr after I moved to Deer Park. I had no idea she was still doing the drag; the scene being changed so much since my heyday. But her performance too was top-notch. I know many people deride drag, but it takes guts to get up in front of a crowd of 80+ people and try to make them happy. As I mentioned earlier, I have enough trouble just trying to bring pleasure to myself – or some such…
I think I drifted off again…
What else can I say about the night? I mentioned the crowd of over 80 members past and present, I mentioned the two entertainers, and the two speeches from the early years of the Club. We also had a lovely roast dinner (with finger food upon arrival). A wonderful gaily decorated cake by What Froggy Bakes, and two more speeches – one from Alan, the anniversary President, and the other from me, representing the dreams of the future.
It was lovely catching up with so many people I hadn’t seen for so long, and making connections with others for the first time. You really must come along to an event soon, our current President is amazing, you must meet him! 😉
And at the very end, those members who have been with the Club for 10, 20, or 30 years were presented with a special grille badge for their car. If you have been a member for over 10 consecutive years and haven’t picked up your badge yet, please let me know and we can work something out.
See you soon! xx