Event date: 1 May 2021
Although our club continued its activity throughout 2020 via Zoom along with heavily guideline and restricted physical events, on the afternoon of 1 May 2021 with the full Victorian restrictions of COVID almost behind us, the expectation of a formal dinner with a large number of guests was a pleasant change from the last 12 months of the state government non-social activity contact policy and restrictions.
The opportunity to break away outside from the norm of wearing relaxed casual home apparel or work-based clothes, to transform with a combination of personal grooming and present in formal attire to bestow in our regal transcendence to socialise with fellow members was an impressive experience met with enthusiasm and fellowship.
The Park Hyatt entrance and stairs leading down to grand foyer added to the atmosphere of the night, being formally presented with the social activity prior to entering the Fairmont room made for a relaxing environment. Beer, wine and water were consumed with great conversation, catching up with members we hadn't seen for a while, as well introducing ourselves to members we haven’t met yet. Once in the room and we found our allocated seating, we introduced ourselves to our table partners.
Once settled, with the new club logo being animated and projected in the background, we were addressed with a welcome to the evening by the Vice President, Jo Mawson and President, Graeme Bell.
As the photographer for the night, although I moved around the room, my personal social activities were brief as I was attempting to capture the social atmosphere of the night, in turn, the images being placed on the BMWDCM Facebook page.
The grandness of the Park Hyatt lower foyer and Fairmont room giving a perfect backdrop to these images. Capturing these images truly focussed on the members and guest for the night, including 24 World Cup gold and 5 World Cup Titles, Australian freestyle skier and motivational speaker Jacqui Cooper (whom I sat next to at my table).
Being the photographer, I also captured the moment that members were presented the 2020 BMWDCM annual awards. This year’s awards were presented by Jo and Graeme in his formal Scottish heritage attire.
The recipient of the 2020 ‘President Award’ was Tim Oh. Although not a BMW owner, he has been seen at most Zoom meetings, he has physically attended motorsport events participating as an official to assist with the meetings, so they are operated in a professional manner. Tim also claimed the ‘Drive a BMW for a weekend’ prize as donated by Mornington BMW (mazda’s are ok too Tim).
Mel Sedmak, who was awarded the ‘2020 New Member’ award. Mel has been a great member, helping out as a volunteer official and then becoming a Motorsport Australia General Official. He also attended as many events, as he could both sprints and social, winning best funny Christmas outfit in 2019. One of the most memorable events for Mel was the Bathurst 12 hour just before COVID shut us all down.
Then actually to my surprise, I heard my name being called for the ‘2020 Member of the year’ award. In a slight bewilderment, I handed my camera to my partner (the other Jo) and walked out in front to receive my award and bottle of wine.
To receive this award as an active member of the BMWDCM, I enjoy all aspects of being in this club as I appreciate that I can contribute to the activities and life of the camaraderie of being a member. Although not having an automotive mechanical background, just a passion for cars, especially the BMW Marque, my other passion, photography, gives me an exciting opportunity to produce images of classic to modern automotive storytelling, that I feel contribute to members enjoy seeing their pride and joys being placed both on our Facebook page and in the quality annual ‘idrive’.
To attend the variety of events, from static displays, daily and weekend drives to motorsport events, introduces me to other members who I may not meet in other previous mentioned events, giving me the opportunity to learn more about my BMW passion, as well as the opportunity to photograph other cars and members I may not see in a single style event.
I also feel my videos and animated presentations contribute to the entertainment and essence of the BMW Drivers Club Melbourne presence.
The night continued to be a successful elegant night that included a ticket barrel and giveaways from proud sponsors of the club.
I would like to thank our committee members, Graeme, Jo, Secretary Lawrence Glynn and Treasurer Shaaron Glynn for the continual efforts throughout 2020 and early 2021 that proves even a world pandemic can’t prevent a great club from expanding and giving us all something to look forward to each month and throughout the past year.
Thank you to everyone.
Paul Holliday | Member #296
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
After an excellent start to the night out with some great company and conversation around our table, delicious dinner and inspirational life story from Jackie Cooper - five time olympian and champion, awards were being announced. Well, what a surprise I got hearing my name, 'Mel Sedmak', called out!
This club has been a big salve and social outlet for me after losing my wife to breast cancer three years ago. Thank you to the founding members, committee and all the members who are so welcoming (and helpful when the M3 strikes trouble - many thanks Lawrence).
In 2019 I immersed myself into all sorts of events, track days, drives around Vic and Great Ocean Road, Motorclassica, Maldon-Castlemaine train trip, Xmas in July, car shows, getting some experience as a cams official, watching and helping at the historic racing at Phillip Island and Sandown and the big one before COVID hit, The Bathurst 24hr GT race and four day stay! Incredible experiences with awesome people. Loved it and looking forward to doing more cool car stuff (whale watching in June) this year now we are free!
Mel Sedmak | Member #319
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
It was finally here - the BMWDCM third birthday and presentation night. I was looking forward to seeing everyone and eating some nice food.
We started the evening with pre-drinks in the foyer. On offer was champagne, red wine, white wine and beer, which was all complimentary.
Then it was like starting high school all over again with everyone checking the sheets of paper with the table seating arrangements on it. I was on table 6 with Andrew Bonaddio, Declan Woods - his partner Taylah and Tony and Alex from Mornington BMW along with their partners.
The welcome speeches by Graeme and Jo were very interesting, hearing about what BMWDCM has been up to and wow we've reached 584 members and that number is still growing!
Let the serving of food begin - mains was an alternate between roasted chicken breast with caramelised onion fondue and buttered carrots or angus beef together with mashed potato, red wine caramel mushrooms with tarragon mustard dressing. Followed by chocolate and almond tart with candied orange and vanilla cream. I had the roasted chicken, which was tender and succulent.
The business end of the night was next. I got a really nice surprise being awarded the President's Award. What a privilege this was been presented with the perpetual trophy and my own trophy to keep, in front of my fellow DCM members.
This was truly an amazing night, I had a great time. Receiving an award was something, but also winning a prize in the raffle- a drive of a BMW was an added bonus. Which I look forward to claiming! Thank You to Mornington BMW for donating this prize plus all the other generous prizes as well.
Tim Oh | Member #538
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne
The BMW Drivers Club Melbourne held their Presentation gala dinner and 3rd birthday celebration on Saturday, 1 May at the gorgeous Park Hyatt hotel.
On arrival, guests were greeted by a sparkling new M3 and M5 positioned on display at the front of the hotel, provided by one of their valued partners Mornington BMW.
This certainly set the tone of what was sure of be an elegant affair!
As we made our way down to the event spaces, you certainly start to feel part of high society as you descend the grand staircase. We were welcomed by the smiling faces and warm welcomes of Graeme (President), Jo (Vice President) and the amazing bunch of people who are our fellow club members.
I knew I was in for a great night!
The bubbles flowed as we caught up with other members, who have now become firm friends within our Motorsport community.
I stopped to reflect on that, as it shows what a great club it is to be a member of. The exceptional culture that Jo and Graeme have created for their members is why their club has seen such huge growth in the last three years.
For me in particular I think of these people as my extended family and I am sure I am not alone in that feeling.
We moved inside for dinner and were treated to a delicious three course meal, again with much laughter and jovial conversations with the great group of people we were seated with.
The guest speaker for the evening was Jacqui Copper and what a treat that was!!!
I’ve seen many a “motivational” speaker over the years, but Jacqui’s was truly inspirational, so much so that I personally thanked Jacqui for sharing her story with us!
The presentation ceremony was such a special part of the evening, with so much pride and gratitude shown by award winners. Again it made me feel great pride at being a part of a club with such dedicated and engaged members.
As a relatively new member to the club, I am so glad we made the decision to join and I actively promote the club to anyone I speak to interested in Motorsport, BMW’s or just cars in general, and speak to my personal experiences with only glowing reviews!
Thank you Jo and Graeme for such a wonderful evening. It is a credit to you and I am already counting down the days to the next one!
Meg Boers | Member #556
BMW Drivers Club Melbourne