Enniskillen Motor Club (EMC) gathered in the Manor House Country Hotel on Saturday last to celebrate Austin Frazer’s 52 years of volunteering with the Club.

Austin, the only current committee member who is also a founding member, has decided that now is the time to hang up his rally jacket and ‘allow the younger members to carry on organising the quality motorsport events which have become synonymous with Enniskillen Motor Club club over the last half century’.

Austin, who first competed back in 1959 helped establish the local motor club in 1964 and went on to organise and run a variety of events from Economy Runs, Autotests, Night Navigation Rallies, Stage Rallies, Sprints and even Karting.

On the night, Frazer expressed his heartfelt thanks for the cooperation and enthusiasm he received over the years whilst in the various positions he held from secretary, chairman and president of the committee to time-keeper, marshal and clerk of the course on the events run by the club.

Current Secretary, Brian D’Arcy stated in his speech, “what impresses about Austin is his humility, in that he was always prepared to do whatever job needed to be filled on an event run by the club whether that was car-park attendant or service park official and not just the top jobs.”

D’Arcy went on to say that Austin has become a ‘superstar’ within rallying circles throughout the island of Ireland due in part to his superb organising capabilities but also because of his own expertise as a top co-driver with Cathal Curley, the late great Bertie Fisher and other famous names like Billy Coleman.

Newly-elected President Drew Wilson emphasised that the night was about the club primarily paying tribute to and thanking Austin for his input to his local club while also at times driving the biggest rally in Ireland, the Donegal Rally, being a top-flight co-driver, working full time and being a family man to boot. In recognition of ‘behind every successful man there is a hard-working supportive woman,’ Austin thanked his wife and family for their support and enthusiasm in his motorsport endeavours.

Nigel, his son, spoke of how his early years were spent accompanying his Dad in the forests of Ballintempo, Lough Navar etc preparing for events. The club made a presentation of a trophy to Austin and flowers to Doreen his wife after a sumptuous meal.

MC for the evening, Wilson, emphasised that this was not the end and that Austin has now been made a lifelong member of EMC and we would be seeing him on events in the future.

The night ended with many stories of the ups and downs of organising motorsport both in Fermanagh and further afield.

Photos of the night can be found on EMC website and facebook page. Entries for the club’s upcoming Elite Tyres and Service Erne Safari on Friday 3rd March are now available on EMC’s website: www.enniskillenmotorclub.co.uk.