Over the many years that I have been a member of the "Nissan Club", I had made many good friends, and many MANY memories...... in fact I got engaged on one of Vaughns Lesotho trips !!!!!!
I have also learnt a lot of new things on driving and getting the optimum usage out of my Patrol, and also my SANI at the time. As time progressed I developed a love for overlanding, and enjoy the outdoors with friends and family.
Do I enjoy belonging to the "Nissan Club" ?? Yeah, we as a family do enjoy being part of the club. Show me another club that behaves like "we" do, "we" don't do the whole ego trip of "my balls are bigger than yours" ( take that any way you want to...
). Its also nice to go to Hennops or De Wildt or Bosvark or Bass Lake on the odd occasion to stretch the legs of the Iron Maiden as using it as my daily drive just doesn't cut it.
I also believe that every single one of us actually enjoys the Patrol Forum and what it offers us, which is basically the same as what the " Nissan Club " gave us gave us years back and still can give us in the future. The "Club" gave a LOT to various charities and institutions that need help from all and any community, and I have a sense of pride that I was part of that.
I think the 'Nissan Club" moved forward over the years, but somehow landed up on a slightly different path than the path it probably should have been on. The "Nissan Club" was trying to be a pal of Nissan SA, and naturally so, I mean after all, we all drive Nissans. Unfortunately/fortunately, Nissan is not Toyota, and although Nissan has invested a lot of money into the Nissan Club over the years, to which we are grateful for, they are such a HUGE entity, that a small Club of even 100 members, which was more or less what the numbers were a few years back, are like a pimple on a horses ass to Nissan SA. However..... this "little club" actually did some good for Nissan SA. Our voices were heard, sometimes only as a whisper, but the were heard. Glyn Demmer, whom is always there in the background, has played a pivotal role as the link between us the owners of Patrols, hardbody's, Navara's, Pathfinders and the likes, and Nissan SA. There is so much information that is fed back to Nissan from us, and we don't even know it. Does it all get heard?? Yes, well ....ummm... yeah I think a lot of it does get heard, but I'm sure many of you know how a huge international CORPORATE company works..... things go from this department to that department to the next department then back to the beginning, until absolutely stuff all gets done.....
Having just said that, I want to fill you in on a few things. When my motor burnt a hole in the piston many years back, I managed to make a contact ( by lots of hardcore internet detective work ) and I got fantastic results from Nissan SA. Due to the Nissan Club now also known to Nissan SA, I have read quite a few times on this forum, how some guys have just had crap service from various dealerships. I can understand that a huge company like Nissan will have problems, I mean which company doesn't. But, I decided to forward the complaints that I saw on this forum and even the old Nissan 4x4 website through to my contact at Nissan SA to let them sort the problem out and get the dealerships to perform properly. I do believe that positive things came out of this, and often read on the same threads on the forums that they were now happy as they got the service that they wanted/expected/deserved. Again I believe that the "Nissan Club" played a very important roll behind the scene, without the backing and the hard work that ALL the people on the committee do behind the scene too, Nissan SA would probably not have taken me/us seriously enough to know that we as a tiny club actually have a bloody big kick that we can deliver to Nissan's crotch area.
With out the "Nissan Club" we almost become speechless, faceless and voiceless. What i learnt during my time on the committee, whilst seeing how some other clubs behave, and how well balanced the "Nissan Club" is, was, and I hope always will be, is genuinely heart warming. I know many guys have pulled back from the "Club" and I can understand why. This is why WE as a group of Nissan friends need to maybe take a step back and do absolutely nothing
...... yeah, nothing
different than what we are doing here on the Patrol forum already !!!!! On the forum we are organizing trips away, arranging day outings. Isn't that what the Nissan Club was doing, but just a little more on a formal way?
We have made some great trips here on the forum too, much like the Nissan Club did a few years back. With the Nissan Club I did some great trips to as mentioned earlier, Lesotho ( a few times ) and Witsand.... by die pink spookhuis....hahaha.
All I'm saying is that if we can align the Nissan Club with the trips that gets arranged here, the Nissan club can be of assistance in various ways. We have gotten various bits of support from the club on various events over the years so the tiny annual membership fee, which wouldn't even buy you a half decent one night out at a restaurant !!
I really hope to see ALL of you Gautengers at this meeting, even guys that weren't/aren't members at this get together.
Oh and by the way I typed Nissan Club in " " , cause thanks to Nissan ( head office not SA ) corporate bull sheeeeet causeing us to change our name a few times over the years. But it will in my mind still be the Nissan Club !!