If You Could Only Attend One CAC Event This Year… Kingston was it!
by John McCulloch
Kingston, as its name implies, is derived from the abbreviation of King’s Town, for King George lll. From 1841 to 1843 Kingston was the capital of the Province of Canada before the capital was relocated to Montreal. I mention these facts to underline the significance of the Citroën Autoclub Canada’s Fall excursion.
This was the first time Citroën owners from Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal had ever met in the city once the capital of Canada. Our weekend started on Friday when twenty members met at the Ambassador Hotel to convoy downtown to the Kingston Brewery to sample the beer. A good time was had by all! Enough said!
Saturday morning, 12 cars left Kingston for the 40 kilometre run to Rockport east of the city. Somehow, three of the cars were left behind at the hotel and around 10 o’clock, we began our race to reach Rockport for the departure of the tour boat of the Thousand Islands. When I say race, I mean race! Although we went slowly through Gananoque, we flew along the two lane highway going east. Every time the road past an open stretch exposed to the lake, my 2CV jumped into the left lane. At one point in the trip, as I struggled to keep the car in the right lane, I looked in my rearview mirror to see a silver grey D roaring up behind me in the left lane. (That was the Dyke entourage that had set-out from Toronto Saturday morning. They too had gone to the Ambassador to meet but missed the convoy. However they did find John Long and his family there and then set out the catch-up.) Our pack of Citroëns was up to five.
We arrived in Rockport with moments to spare, only to discover that the boat was unable to leave port because of the high winds. The camaraderie of the group more than made our visit worthwhile. More Cits converged and we fi nally had a chance to meet all the different club members from Ontario and Quebec. When it was determined that the boat was not going to brave the St Lawrence, we went back to Kingston. In town, there was a car show on the main street so in the spirit of the show, we drove around an imposing fire truck blocking the way and made our way down the pedestrian zone between the cars.
The highlight of the Saturday was our visit to Wolfe Island and a wine and cheese reception at the home of Neil and Ruth Bryson. The Brysons were sporting their freshly imported, totally original 2CV truckette, a real beauty! The setting, the warm welcome and the gorgeous array of vintage cars, including three other classics belonging to the Brysons, a Ferrari Dino, a MG-TC and a Renault Alpine racer, made a most memorable evening for everyone.
Just as the party wound down and we departed for dinner at the General Wolfe Hotel, the heavens opened in a downpour that just about floated us off the road! Nothing like the ultimate water test the appreciate Citroën engineering!! The dinner celebration had more than fifty members enjoying food and sharing Citroën stories. Most of us caught the 10:40 PM ferry back to mainland.
On Sunday we converged again at Kingston’s Fort Henry. A delicious brunch was served and after a bit of mechanical work drying out the plugs in Real Forest’s Traction, folks bid au revoir to take their designated routes back home in the lovely Sunday sun. The entire weekend was a grand occasion for speaking with old friends and making new ones. It has most heartening to hear people discussing next year and referring to it as the “annual Kingston meet”. Could it be? Let’s hope so! We thank club members Greg Lamb and Fred Kossecki for the enormous effort that went into the making of this wonderful weekend.