Vale, Phil Reeves

17 Apr

Philippe (Phil) Reeves joined our Club in 1978, Member No 207, and held continual membership until his passing in March 2021.

It is fair to say that Phil inherited his interest in motor bikes from his father, Oliver Francis John Reeves, who was a fanatical collector and restorer of motor cycles. There was a period when Ollie and Phil were heavily involved in the collection and restoration of BSA Bantams. At the culmination of their collecting they possessed about 35 Bantams ranging from the first D1 to the B175 Bushman. Phil’s reputation as a restorer was so appreciated that he drew the attention of Jim Scaysbrook (editor of Old Bike Australasia) to the extent that one of Phil’s machines adorned the front cover of Issue No 17, along with a comprehensive 6 page text and photo compilation inside.

Phil’s interests were not confined to Bantams as he also constructed a 250cc Gold Star BSA. I know there are many who will not believe the authenticity of the previous statement ( and they are quite correct in not believing it) but Phil’s reasoning for creating this unique motor bike was that he could not afford the genuine article, and he wanted to create a talking point among other bike enthusiasts, a goal that he certainly achieved. One could be forgiven for believing that this home built “special” was nothing more than a bitsa, but nothing could be further from the truth. The quality of the project was of such a high degree that it also featured in Old Bike Australia (issue No 21, Sept/Oct 2010 ). [The two action shots at the top & bottom of this post are from that shoot].

Phil’s interests were not confined to British bikes, as he also developed an appreciation of Italian bikes, notably Moto-Guzzi, and of course Ducati, both marques of which Phil possessed. Phil was also employed as a mechanic for an Adelaide based Ducati dealership.

A personal anecdote I can relate about Phil’s expertise, and his willingness to assist a fellow Club member in trouble, occurred to me one day while out on a run in the Adelaide Hills on my ST4 Ducati. I am sure you have all heard about the dubious reliability of Italian electrics. This particular day after morning tea at the Lobethal Bakery, I attempted to resume my ride, however turning on the ignition key did not result in the customary fuel pump priming. After many futile attempts to start the bike, I hit on the rather inconsiderate decision to Phone Phil, and seek his advice. After explaining the situation to him, he was able to walk me through various tests that could be performed on the roadside, that proved to be successful, and saw me get home without needing a trailer. Needless to say my respect and admiration for Phil on that day knew no bounds.

This willingness of Phil’s to assist other Club members, saw him being recognised by  being awarded with Life Membership of our Club.

Phil will be sorely missed by Club Members, and all who knew him.

by Ken Hartland, former president.


REMEMBERING PHILIPPE REEVES

Red was Phil’s favourite colour by a mile. His Alfa Romeo cars were all crimson, bar one. During his Ducati-racing days he had red leathers and scarlet bike. His wind cheaters were red. His trademark baseball cap was red. Red drew Phil like a flower attracts a bee.

He was passionate about all aspects of motorcycles, whether racing, restoring, or collecting them. His specialty was Ducatis and he spent much of his working life employed as a mechanic for them.

As a young adult he battled non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a kind of blood cancer which is often fatal. Phil was rescued from a fatal outcome, but at the cost of permanent injury to his heart and lungs. He tragically lost his battle with longstanding complications on Sunday March 28th, at the relatively tender age of 62. Phil was a stalwart member of the Classic Owners Club. Only illness kept him away from meetings.

I first met Phil about 35 years ago through our mutual interest in motorcycles. At a Classic Owners’ display at the Birdwood Mill, we struck up a conversation about BSA Bantams and a lasting rapport was established. My friendship with Phil was long but my wife, Diana, met him 55 years ago, when he was a child of seven and her grandfather was teaching Phil’s sister, Ann, horse-riding skills. Diana’s father and Phil’s discovered their mutual interest in motorcycles and their respective sons became firm friends too. I had no idea, when I met my wife-to-be, that she was also a friend of Phil, but soon he and we were doing rides together and sharing pleasant meals.

Phil enjoyed competing, especially in motorcycle racing. He loved nothing more than speeding around a race-track. He was seriously successful in car and bike shows too. His cabinets groan under the weight of all his trophies, some for racing, most for his vehicles’ impressive presentation at shows.  

Phil was always ready to help out when that involved a vehicle. When I hit a road-block in my recent restoration of a Ducati 750GT, Phil was more than happy to spend days on end working with me in my shed to complete the project. On another occasion, Phil sold me an MV Agusta basket-case, then did the whole rebuild of its engine, for no charge, at my place.

Phil’s knowledge of Ducatis, and motorcycles generally, was awesome. It seemed limitless! A wealth of knowledge will have been lost with his passing. He will be greatly missed.

by Rob Elliott and Diana Waters

Vale, Ray Mann

10 Feb

Ray joined our Club in 1977 (member no.180). Ray was always active in the Club in one form or another. He served on the Committee as Vice President, 1993-1995, and 2007-2010. Machine Registrar. 1993-2001 and 2003-2004. He also welcomed new members to our Club from 1997-2001. Ray was also active in assisting in other facets of the Club’s activities, for which combined with his committee activities, he was awarded Life Membership. Ray was always an ideas man, and was largely responsible for the introduction of the Tuesday mid-week club ride. Ray was interested in all things motorcycling, but in particular he considered himself to be a motorcycle/sidecar aficionado. He will be remembered for giving sidecar rides to the children present at various Club functions, including a display at the Strathmont Centre. Ray also dabbled  in sidecar competition events, competing at Mac Park on his BMW R series outfit. He featured on the Classic Courier cover of the 1997 Jan-Feb  edition with fellow club member Julia Lake as passenger in the sidecar.

In his later Club life Ray would attend Club rides on his BMW K1100  outfit.

Ken Hartland.

Malcolm Gray

31 May

It is my sad duty to report that COMCC member, Malcolm Gray, has passed away. Malcolm has been a member since 2005. Malcolm was an enthusiastic member and participant in many of our events, he will be sadly missed. Our sincere condolences go to his family and friends.

 

Andrew ‘Macca’ McDonald AKA: Hagrid

19 Mar

Classic Owners member Andrew McDonald AKA Hagrid or Macca, has passed away. He attended Club meetings and a couple of weekend rides, but hasn’t been seen over the last few months.

He has been described as a gentle giant, anyone who met him or stood next to him can attest to this description. Over the past few years, he was active in the Sellicks Beach Races, riding his 1938 Harley Davidson W model at the event and at the Mill to Mill 2017. Many of the promotional posters for Sellicks featured a photo of him riding his Harley. I think this is what he’ll be remembered for, from those with a passing acquaintance with the man. Others may remember his Suzuki GT750, which he rode from his Yankalilla home to our club meetings.

Our sincere condolences go to his family and friends.

Joe (Graeme Murray) Frost RIP

21 Nov

It is with great sadness I advise that ex COMCC member Joe (Graeme Murray) Frost passed away yesterday the 18th November at Lyell McEwin Hospital aged 88yrs. Joe was a close colleague of mine for many years,

A keen motorcyclist and for a considerable period he was club photographer . That was back in the days where every club event was recorded in pictures which built up in piles of albums over the years. Initially Joe used his own camera and later on he was provided with both camera and film by the club. Joe was a true bushy, grew up on a property near Yongala, worked on KI, and returned to Adelaide to educate his  children.  He will be missed.

Warren Duncan.

Vale, Graeme Bradley

3 Jun

It gives me much sadness to announce the passing of another of our valuable members on Monday 3rd June at 5pm. Graeme has proved to be a considerate and knowledgeable member of our club and will be remembered as being the member who was most willing to lend a hand. Graeme attended our General Meetings regularly and his views were often sought in matters of club procedure. Most recently, along with his wife Dianne, he drew up the changes to our club’s constitution.

Our sincere condolences go to his wife Dianne and the family.

Funeral – Saturday 8th June @ 2.00pm, St. Oswalds Anglican Church,   5 St. Anne Place,  Parkside

Vale, Mike Brown

28 May

More sad news, I’m afraid, another one of our members, Mike Brown AKA. Whiskers, has passed away. Originally from England, Mike is remembered by many as the resident minstrel at our club functions. Although he hasn’t ridden for a few years, Mike made the effort to be at some of our recent club functions on four wheels. No details of funeral arrangements have been received.

Les Tapping, RIP

21 May

It gives me much sadness to report the passing of one of our life members and regular great bloke, Les Tapping, on Monday just after 8:00am. He will be sadly missed at the club and we offer our heartfelt condolences to his sister Mary and family.


The funeral will be held at 2pm on Friday 7th June at Harrison Funeral Chapel, 173 Port Rd, Queenstown.


Les Tapping (Member No. 135) joined our Club in 1974, and held continual membership for the next 45 years, during which time he was awarded Life Membership. He served on the Committee in various capacities, holding the positions of, Treasurer 1978/80,Club Captain 1991/97,Assistant Librarian 1988/2000, and Welcoming Officer 1983/87. Les could always be relied on to help the Club in any way he could, and it is fair to say that His efforts contributed to our Club prospering to enjoy the healthy position it finds itself in today. Les was noted for his input during the General Business part of our General Meetings, to pass on valued trivia comments, and his fertile mind ensured that the topics were of a general knowledge nature, and not always associated with motorcycles. During his active riding days Les was well recognised on his various Moto Guzzi models. He will be greatly missed around our Club. RIP old friend.

(Eulogy by Ken Hartland)

Rob Williams R.I.P.

6 Apr

Rob joined the Classic Owners Motorcycle Club in 1990, he was the classic clubman: he served as Secretary from 1993-2004, Membership Secretary 2002/3 and Welcoming Officer 2001/2.  In addition Rob was an assistant Registrar and Machine Examiner for our Southern … Read More »