Words by Chris & Michael. Images from Robert, Chris and the Motafrenz Archives.
Early Motafrenz stalwart Alex Reid passed away at the start of this month.
Founding & Life Member Chris reflected: Alex was instrumental in helping establish the foundations of Motafrenz. He organised and hosted many early events, even generously underwriting the catering costs on occasion. He was heavily involved in founding the Victorian Historic Racing Register, the organisation that has allowed their club rooms to be used for Motafrenz AGMs in recent years.
A successful car wrecking business put Alex in a position to enjoy his passion for cars and motor racing. He was passionate about Austin Healeys and one of his greatest achievements in his retirement years was the ground-up restoration of the historic MacHealey special, which is still raced today by one of his friends. He was a friendly, unassuming and generous person and will be sorely missed.
He won an automotive knowledge contest that was held during that year. A Darwin based Motafrenz member organised for the trophy to be sculptured, in the form of a backside!
Another sad loss during the month was long-time Motafrenz member Peter Robinson.
Motafrenz Life Member Michael wrote the following comments: I can only describe Peter as a true gentleman. The first time I met him at a Motafrenz event he had a loud voice and a great laugh, you certainly knew he was around. He stood on the Committee from time to time and always contributed in anyway he could, helping with setting up our stands and manning the tent at various public events that Motafrenz attended. He would always make himself available to help out at our AGM’s and Christmas party events.
Peter had other loves apart from cars he also loved fishing and had two boats. He would go out on to Port Phillip Bay and fish all day. He also had a varied career, he work for many years at Qantas in the cargo and maintenance section. He also was heavily involved in Aquarium Fish both working in many aquarium shops and even running his own shop. He was also involved in the breeding of aquarium fish, which gave him great pleasure.
Peter came across as a very private person, almost reclusive, however he wasn’t like this at all during his life, he was very outgoing and loved being involved with 3 car clubs and a fish breeding club.
It was March 28th 2016 at Pride March when peter came along in his blue convertible Austin to take part in the Motafrenz Group. He decorated his car with white ribbons and participated in Pride March theme which was our fight for marriage equality. At the end of the march Peter had a coughing fit and an ambulance was called the ambulance took him to the Alfred Hospital and I volunteered to drive his car home for him. His little Austin drove really well for a car of its age I managed to put the roof up and secure his car at his home in Chadstone. I then went back to the Alfred to give him his keys and check in on him, he didn’t let me know much he said he would be ok. It was at this point he started to reduce his connections with his car clubs and other associations.
I went around a few times to mow his grass for him as it had gotten out of control, his neighbours took over the role as gardeners for him and I know he apricated their help.
His health declined and it was at this point his family stepped in to help him. I know he appreciated his family assistance and they were instrumental in his improved health this led to a renewed interest in his hobbies. He re-joined the car clubs and planned to get back involved with his fish, sadly however his plans got put on hold due to Covid 19, but he was able to celebrate his 80th Birthday during the brief easing of restrictions in Melbourne and celebrated in a park with a big cake and his family around him. He said it had been years since he had celebrated his Birthday.
Peter will be missed we know this from the amount of tributes that flowed in after his passing.
His family shared the link to his Memorial: vimeo.com/457566011/b8f376d501