The Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club of Australia, South Australian Branch Inc. is a group of enthusiasts who consider themselves the current custodians of one of the most enduring and celebrated motor car marques in the world. Our State has a rich history of ownership of these vehicles beginning from the earliest days of motoring commencing before the introduction of the Silver Ghost, arguably the most famous model produced by the Company. We delight in driving our cars, meeting regularly, sharing information about maintenance and improving our cars and most importantly we have a lot of fun as we go about this!
We are a branch of the Rolls-Royce Owners’ Club of Australia and actively participate in all the events at the National level.
Early in 1957 the idea of forming a club for people interested in the preservation, restoration and maintenance of Rolls-Royce motor cars was discussed by Rev. Lionel Renfrey and Mr Gavin Sandford-Morgan. NSW had just formed a Club with similar aims and the Victorian Branch was also formed about this time. The South Australian Branch is somewhat unique however in that it was conceived and planned in the study of St. James’ Church of England Rectory, Mile End where the Rev. Renfrey was Parish priest!
Gavin Sandford-Morgan called an Initial meeting at his house inviting Laurie Vinall, Len Vigar, Jack Odgers and Lionel Renfrey. All men were owners of a veteran or vintage Rolls-Royce and a list was drawn up of other owners and interested persons in South Australia who it was hoped would join. At that meeting, Gavin was elected President, Len as Secretary and Jack as Treasurer. The infant Club then arranged a gathering for members, wives and friends in May 1958 at St. Helen’s Prospect. This meeting subsequently became known as the Foundation Meeting of the Club. Those who paid their subscription on that day were, in alphabetical order, J. Brook, W.H. Burgess, W.F.Harrison, W.J.Odgers, H.H. Pope, L.E.W.Renfrey, G.Sandford-Morgan, C.C. Taplin, L.W. Vigar, L.E.Vinall and C. Wright.
One of the early events hosted by the young SA Branch was a Federal Rally at Mildura in June 1962. The other State Branches were invited and it was a great success setting a high standard for subsequent SA hosted Rallies which has been consistently maintained. The SA Club has steadily grown and is a supportive and welcoming group of enthusiasts always happy to assist with technical knowledge and share fun times.
SA Members since our foundation who have been awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Federal body are Lionel Renfrey, Gavin Sandford-Morgan, Jack Odgers, Charles Wright, Eric Rainsford and Rory Poland.