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History of the Austin-Healey Owners Association of British Columbia
From the Original History by Jim Morrison
The Austin Healey Owners Association of British Columbia (AHOABC) had it’s start back in 1975 with the placement of an ad in a Vancouver newspaper. The ad simply stated “Austin Healey owner’s - parts problems”. The respondents to this ad met in Rick Regan’s (still a current member) apartment on Dec. 4th 1975. This was the first unofficial meeting of the AHOABC.
More ads were placed in 1975 resulting in larger turnouts. An executive was elected and a yearlong process of frustration and bureaucracy followed culminating in the club finally being registered as a society under the Societies Act of British Columbia.
The first official outing was held on the Victoria Day weekend of 1975 with 8 Austin-Healeys attending the Knox Mountain Hillclimb in the Okanogan.
A long standing close relationship was started with other Austin Healey clubs on the West Coast of the U.S. This relationship has flourished and is very strong to this day resulting in many cross border tours and events.
In 1975 a contest was held within the club resulting in the name “Wings” for the clubs official newsletter.
A Vancouver Island Chapter of the AHOABC was formed in 1977.
In 1978 the Club Logo, designed by Dan Doucette, was officially established and remains to this day. It and contains both the Austin-Healey logo as well as the coat of arms of the province of British Columbia.
In this time period, the tradition of having the official club Christmas party and combining it with the Club Annual General Meeting was begun.
By now, club members were participating in many national as well as international events. As well, a great many local, provincial and U.S. tours were participated in. A large contingent of 28 AHOABC members attended the 1982 Snowmass International meet in Colorado with the club organizing and managing the Gymkhana. As a result of the excitement and participation of being involved in the organization of a large meet, the club executive voted to hold a North West Meet in B.C.in the coming years.
It was decided that, as Vancouver was to be the site of the 1986 World Transposition of Transportation (Expo 86), it would be the appropriate year for the clubs first venture into organizing and hosting a large meet. This was a very large undertaking. Whistler, a ski resort, was chosen as the site of the event. Don Manning undertook the task of overseeing the organization and Jim Morrison began the production of a promotional video for the event. Neither of these tasks was small but planning forged ahead. This resulted in two years of intense planning and organization.
In 1986, “Whistler 86” was held. The event was successful beyond everyone’s expectations. Donald Healey was in attendance and participated as best as he could. A well, approximately 200 Austin Healeys made the trek. A club Austin Healey was on proud display at the British Pavilion at Expo replacing the Psychedelic Rolls Royce of John Lennon. In addition, on August 5th 1986, 64 Healeys were displayed at Expo.
The remainder of that year and following year saw much tour and event activity for the club. The club put on the 3rd Annual West Coast Meet in Victoria which was a great success.
In 1989 the club pitched in and helped the Oregon club put on the West Coast meet by taking responsibility for and organizing the Concours judging, and the Funkhana.
In 1990 and again in 1991 the club organized and ran a Swap meet at the VanDusen ABFM donating all profits to the St Paulís Hospital Foundation. 1991 also saw the club put on the 1991 North West Meet in Kelowna B.C.
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