There are three major trophies/awards at Alfesta:
- The Harry and Joan Lewis Spirit of Alfesta Award:
Awarded for most involvement and “spirit” during an Alfesta.
- The Bob Gardiner Memorial Trophy:
Attends Alfesta in an Alfa Romeo who amasses the greatest number of points from all published events.
- The Ray Sharp Observation/Navigation Run Memorial Trophy:
Presented to the winner of the observation/navigation run at Alfesta.
Below is a brief summary of the history behind each award …
THE HARRY & JOAN LEWIS “SPIRIT OF ALFESTA” AWARD
At Alfesta 1991, Marysville Victoria, the inaugural Spirit of Alfesta Award was presented. This award was originally made by Peter and Lyn Heriot of Insurance Design Australia Pty Ltd, the then brokers for the Club’s Insurance scheme.
Following Harry Lewis’ untimely death in 1993, and in recognition of his contributions over many years to a united National Alfa Romeo Owners Club, and to Alfesta as an event, the award was named in his honor.
The purpose of the award is to recognise and reward the person (or couple/family) who best exemplifies the spirit of Alfesta. Unlike the Bob Gardner Trophy, it does not depend upon overall performance or success in all (or any) events, just on an overall level of participation and (what other word is there ?) Spirit, over the whole of Alfesta. The decision as to the winner of the award is made by the National Council members attending Alfesta.
THE BOB GARDINER MEMORIAL TROPHY
The Bob Gardiner Memorial Trophy was donated to the Alfa Romeo Owners Club of Australia by Alfa Romeo in 1981, in recognition of Bob’s contribution to the club. The trophy itself is one of the 1981 Alfa Romeo factory trophies, allocated to countries in which the company was represented, to be awarded for outstanding achievement in motor sport during the year.
The Bob Gardiner Profile by Ern Stock
Bob joined AROCA in Melbourne, in August with a 1970 white Giulia Sprint GT, Registration No JOK144 and was issued Membership Number 42.
After joining AROCA, Bob quickly became involved in the club and whilst President 1973-75, with a new committee, vigorously and professionally introduced new ideas to solve old problems. The result was, during his term, club membership increased from 80 to 180, mainly by introducing husband/wife membership, involving the girls in competition and social activities. Bob was a master of delegation to his committee for the execution of processes he would not do himself. In the workplace he was a Director at Crawford Productions, directing lighting and audio.
He believed that club competition was the backbone of the club and worked hard to become involved with the Marque Sports Car Association, with eventual membership granted. Bob later became President and later still, Competition Secretary of the MSCA. He also became a member of both CAMS Board of management and its State Council.
This involvement advanced the image of AROCA immensely. His personal and persistent lobbying to Alfa Romeo Australia Pty Ltd gained official recognition of AROCA by Alfa Romeo. Without Bob’s diligence, it may have been years before this could have been achieved. This single accomplishment definitely brought AROCA “of age”. This and the enthusiastic support of Alfa Romeo and its dealers has done much to perpetuate the Alfa Romeo Owners Club of Australia. Bob’s standing within not just our club (the Victorian Division) but in all Alfa clubs in all States was confirmed when he was chosen to represent the clubs in a factory-sponsored tour of Alfa Romeo Italy in May 1976. Bob joined 70 Alfa dealers and journalists for this visit to both major factories.
In the years 1973-75 Bob edited a series of Technical Supplements on Alfa Romeo’s which are, to this day, prized possessions. With his wife Lorraine, Bob also produced the Club magazine – “The Cross & Serpent” – for a considerable time.
Bob’s deep involvement with the club and its activities was rewarded with three successive Perpetual Trophies, the club’s most prestigious award, for the years 1972-73, 1973-74, and 1974-75. Bob established an enviable record when he again took this trophy in 1976-77. He also won two Terry Potter Competition Trophies in 1976-77.
His ability and experience took him to a class win in the 1977 Australian Motorkhana Championship and in that year he gained an open competition license, and by the end of the year he won his class in the CAMS Racing Series. Needless to say, he was seldom beaten by other club members in any form of competition, and yet he always had time to assist with organisation of an event, as well as advise inexperienced competitors, or effect a quick mechanical fix.
This willingness to become involved and to assist others resulted in him helping to prepare Alfas and manage pit crews for a number of Bathursts and other open events. During these few years, Bob rebuilt his Giulia Sprint GT, including a four valve engine and full racing running gear, which he raced very successfully.
On Sunday 12th April 1981 at Sandown, Bob met his untimely death whilst competing. Bob left a big gap in AROCA after eleven years of devoted, professional and willing involvement. In recognition of Bob, Alfa Romeo Australia donated a perpetual trophy to be presented at Alfesta each year, to be known as the Bob Gardiner Memorial Trophy.
Bob gained the respect of all who worked with him and it is generally accepted that he laid the foundation for the AROCA of today.
THE RAY SHARP OBSERVATION/NAVIGATION RUN MEMORIAL TROPHY
This is the most recent Alfesta trophy which was introduced to honour the memory of the late Ray Sharp – tragically amongst those who died at Port Arthur in 1996.
Ray loved life and the Club and the camaraderie it provided, developing friendships readily in all divisions. His generosity of time and interest and support to anyone seeking it was ever present – as was his ready smile and good humour.
Ray joined AROCA in 1981 serving on the Victorian committee in many capacities including President 1985/6. He was awarded Life Membership of the Club in 1991, an honour he valued immensely. He was a strong supporter of the National Body serving as National Vice President in 1990 and was a committed advocate and attendee at Alfesta, which together with his love of the Montreal are reflected in this perpetual trophy that is awarded to the winner of the event – irrespective of their attendee status.
For the full list of winners to date, visit the club national website: http://www.alfaclub.org.au/alfesta/alfesta-awards