Mike Manning Award
Octagon Newsletter … September 1991
By Alan Fraser
Our most prestigious and meaningful trophy awarded annually to a club member is the Mike Manning Memorial Award. This beautiful black walnut plaque was established by the club to be awarded annually to the member who best epitomizes the spirit of MG which Mike quietly displayed throughout his association with the marque.
Mike Manning was a Victoria businessman who drove his MG as daily transportation, preferring to make his daily driving exciting rather than comfortably boring. In 1962, when he saw the first pictures of the all-new MGB, Mike was so disappointed that he raced his five year old MGA down to Plimley's and immediately traded it in on an MGA Mk II roadster, possibly the last of that model sold in Victoria. A decade and a half later, when I came to know Mike, he was still driving this beautifully maintained silver-grey car, almost always with the top down. At this time he had the car completely restored by Roger Trudeau. The MGA was in such good condition that it was difficult to believe that it was driven almost daily. Mike contended that if relatives visited and he needed larger transportation, he could always rent something with a back seat.
Mike was one of the original members of the Victoria MG Club. He was a quiet contemplative gentleman who brought logical, well thought out suggestions to help the club through it's infancy, and through all this he continued to simply enjoy his MG and delight in being with others who shared his love of the marque.
Mike Manning fell victim to cancer in 1982 and the following year, the club established the memorial award to be given annually to the member who displays the greatest authenticity and originality in MG ownership and, more importantly, who exhibits the enthusiasm and spirit that Mike enjoyed. Had history unfolded differently, Mike would have surely been the first recipient of this type of award.
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