The other day I was browsing the Ottawa MG Club website and under “Quick Info” I came across the history of the club. As I was reading about how the club started, it suddenly occurred to me that I own the First MGB in the club, Jim Nunn’s red MGB. I think it is fitting that I obtained this car and put so much work into it so that it is in the same, if not better condition than it was in 1990. So my car started it all in Ottawa 🙂
Here is the article from the website for those who may be interested. Its a fine story!
The Ottawa MG Club History
By Len Fortin
In the summer of 1987 a couple of MG enthusiasts, Hugo Leech and Jim Nunn, met by chance in the Dows Lake area of Ottawa. They were driving their MGBs along the Driveway one sunny afternoon, not really aware that there was just a few cars separating them, and, as the story goes, each was doing a wee bit more than the posted limit allowed. As the story continues, each apparently saw a very zealous policeman some distance ahead at the side of the road and each decided to make a quick turn off the Driveway to avoid any confrontation with the law. A quick turn to the same side street and a quick park along the curb put the 2 MGBs side by side. Well, once the policeman saw two MGBs make a hurried turn from the Driveway, he had to check it out. And although he did not pursue any speeding issues, he did try to quiz the duo about the seat belts and other safety features of the vehicles. You see, Hugo’s “B” was an early model (a chrome bumper model) with old type lap belts. Jim’s “B” was a late model “B” (a rubber bumper model but converted to chrome bumpers) and the seat belt arrangement was significantly different. The policeman had a hard time understanding why the seat belts in the two vehicles were so different if they both looked like the same year and model. Someone had to be wrong! Someone had to get a ticket! Both enthusiasts kept their cool and supported each other in the explanations and were able to get off without consequence. Together they did confirm that a club for MGers might be a pretty handy thing to have in Ottawa.
During the next year or so a couple more introductions occurred at a local British Car repair shop where MGB driver Dennis Campbell became known to the Dow’s Lake duo.
Then in the summer of 1989, Andrew Moss was heading for the same British Car repair shop in his MGB on a Saturday morning. As he drove up the ramp to the Queensway at Carling Avenue, there was an MG Midget pulled over to the side with the hood up. Andrew stopped to help. The breakdown had been caused by a snapped fan belt. The owner had just purchased the car and didn’t know too much about it. Andrew informed him of his plan to go to a parts store where he could pick up a new fan belt and return to help install it. But before Andrew could get on his way, a red MGB stopped to see what was going on. It was Jim Nunn. And after a bit of a chat about MGBs and the like, Jim confirmed his plan to start an MG Club and would look forward to having both Andrew and the Midget owner onboard.
Some ads were posted at the local British Car parts shop. And in 1990 the Ottawa MG Club was officially underway with almost 20 members.
Over one hundred people are on the club membership list today. Some are very active members and others are not so active. At a typical monthly meeting, there are about 25 – 45 people. The cost for the first year is $35. A new member package includes a membership card and club logo window stickers for the inside of the vehicle windshield. A Roadside Restoration booklet is also part of the package as well as a club lapel pin. Newsletters are issued periodically throughout the year. The Events Calendar is full of fun things to do, for both drivers and navigators. As a member you can take advantage of discounts at local businesses (parts, services, storage). Membership renewals in subsequent years are $30.
From April thru November we meet monthly, on the third Thursday, at Louis’ Steakhouse on the Cyrville Road near Innes Road or at The Swan On The Rideau Pub, on River Road south of Manotick. And there are all kinds of activities during the summer months: rallies, outings, BBQs, Tech Sessions, fun sessions! During the winter we have a Christmas Party in December and indoor Tech Sessions and Videos in January thru March.
The club is proud to have many active members, drivers and navigators, both male and female. You can join by completing a membership form or you can come out to the next meeting and check us out first. Hope to see you at an event soon. It will be our pleasure to meet you.
Visit our web site www.omgc.info.