Two very deserving recipients were awarded Life Membership at Monday night’s Southland Sports Car Club AGM.
Both Barry Keen and York Wills were made Life Members after a long involvement with the club.
Both competed at the very first meeting at the club’s Teretonga Park circuit in Invercargill back in November 1957 and their contribution has spanned the years since.
Barry Keen has been a member of the Southland Sports Car Club since 1956 and is synonymous for being the works “Begg” driver from day one. From the Begg Special, right through to the McBegg Sports Car, Barry was Drummond race car constructor George Begg’s chosen driver. A very quiet achiever in George’s not so reliable cars, being a farmer was a help as some of these cars were quite agricultural in the early days.
Since retiring from the farm and moving to town, Barry has been a regular at club working bees and a great help around Teretonga Park before, during and after major race meetings.
Like Barry, York was one of the few club members that raced at Teretonga Park’s first meeting. He also competed at an event at Teretonga Park last November at the beginning of the club’s 60th year. York raced for decades in his trusty Triumph TR2 and then progressively raced every car he has owned including a Mazda, Morris 1100, Vauxhall Victor, Falcon GT and BMW. These were in the days before roll cages were mandatory.
He would drive his vehicles to the track and home again at the end of the meeting. York competed at a lot of standing and flying ¼’s in the early days and he had the canny ability to predict his exact times before he had done them.
York has been a regular at working bees over his many decades as a member of the Southland Sports Car Club.
Keen and Wills were present at the function and were very humbled to be accorded the honour and both remarked on the enjoyment they had derived from being a part of the club.