I've been a member of the Club for a number of years now and would
like to take this opportunity to tell you about myself and my association
with the mighty Moke.
Our ex-secretary Kate Hall lives not far from where I was in General Practice
when I lived in the U.K. i.e. Newark, Notts. She is a drug
company rep. and has been visiting my old practice. Small world!!
In the seventies I got a bit cheesed off with General Practice in England
and the English weather. I looked at a map of the world and decided on
Darwin, it seemed warm and different. And a decent education system
was essential for our four growing boys.
Why a Moke? Well I had one before and after Cyclone 'Tracy' in
Darwin in 1975. Yes, we survived 'Tracy'. The Moke was used to drive
to Howard Springs, Humpty Doo and Berry Springs from Darwin
carrying four boys, Jane and the ubiquitous eski. A bit crowded but real
fun. Owning a Moke in Darwin in those days was not considered as
We retired to Cairns after 16 years practicing in Papua New Guinea and
West Papua. And after all the years of tropical living it would be way
too cold for us to live any further South than Edmonton which is just
10km South of Cairns!
Soon after we had finished the renovations of our house a friend
phoned to ask would I look after the Navy personnel at Cairns Naval
Base. He said he wanted to go to China to work. I said I would do it for
a couple of months until they found someone ...... 4 years later!!!
Anyway because I was working most days of the week I needed
transport. I found the Moke languishing in Mark Brewer's yard at
Aardvark Autos and bought it.
It is a Sky Blue 1974 export model with fuel tank at the back and
an 850cc engine, drum brakes etc. I bought it in 2002 and
since then it has been slowly rusting away but has
managed to hold together good enough to drive around in.
A couple of years ago I became quite sick and decided that the Moke
would outlast me. To my surprise I'm still here and so reversed the
decision and perhaps now I might outlast the Moke!
So I decided to get rid of the rust, have a new floor put in and who
better to do this job than Mark. He has rejuvenated the suspension and
brakes, replaced the fuel pump and a heap of other things to bring the
beast up to speed. Looks good doesn't it?
A couple of Christmases ago the whole family came to Cairns i.e. four
boys and their wives plus grandchildren. One of the older grandsons
had his P plates and was real keen to ferry everyone around in the
Moke. He even made it up our very steep drive in Freshwater with four
passengers - much cheering after a good run up!
A few hairy things have happened over the years e.g. brake failure,
unable to get it into gear, sudden engine cut out whilst doing 80 k.p.h.
in the right hand lane on the main road, being stuck in our driveway
and having to be manually lifted out etc., etc. But I wouldn't change my
Moke for all the tea in China - it's part of the family!