By Walter Murray, Past President, 2013, 2014 (from Provinz February 2016 page 40)
July 21, 1976: Porsche Club of America grants a Charter to create “PCA, UPPER CANADA REGION”
Who, 40 years ago, would have thought that Upper Canada Region might one day have 3,816 members—or that it might ever become the largest Region in all of PCA? Or that PCA itself might grow to 144 Regions, have 116,000 plus members, and be recognized as the largest private car club in the World?
To celebrate this great 40th anniversary milestone, we are asking past presidents to share their stories of their time in Upper Canada Region. As immediate Past President, I have the honor of leading of the parade. So, where should I start?
I retired from Bay Street in 2005 and moved full-time to Bracebridge in Muskoka. I was on two Corporate Boards and was a typical ClubLink member. My wife Sheila was into dressage riding. Life was good but as the Greek philosopher Heraclitus said, “There is nothing permanent except change.”
And change arrived in the form of me wanting to buy a convertible sports car. So in 2008, after much research, I selected a Boxster. As my salesman said, there is a Porsche car club you can research online…
Now I had discovered a new activity in life—PCA UCR offered all sorts of interesting programs from Fun Runs, Rallies, Autocross, Socials, Concours (how do they get their cars so clean?) and Driver Education. Having always enjoyed high-speed driving, this became my key focus. Our program has great instructors and with the benefit of their expertise, I improved my track skills and moved up the levels. In 2013, I had the honour of being selected as an instructor and it has been very rewarding giving back to others. I set the objective to drive every major track in North America and am now up to 16 including Laguna Seca in California, Sebring in Florida, Watkins Glen in New York, and many in between. And of course, the best one around – Canadian Tire Motorsports Park – our home track and fastest in North America.
Sheila and I became more involved in UCR. We attended Socials, participated in Fun Runs, organized Targa Muskokas, and went to our first Parade in Traverse City, Michigan, and to last year’s in French Lick, Indiana. While there, we took the opportunity to drive to the Blue Ridge Mountains and go run the famous “Tail of the Dragon”. It has 318 turns in 11 miles. My 2012 Turbo S ate it up! The road is built for Porsches and motorbikes.
Yes, we embraced UCR with open arms and loved all activities. The people are great and as they say, “It’s not just the cars, it’s the people”. In 2010, I was asked to join the board as a director and another journey began. As you might expect, a large club has many activities and history and it took time to learn its inner workings. After three years as a director, I was elected president in 2013 and 2014—we are restricted to a max of two years. I was surrounded by a first-class team of directors, event chairs, Provinz editors, webmasters and volunteers. We have won many awards over the years—Absolute Growth several times, Betty Joe Turner Award for Provinz, Magazine of the Year and best website a number of times, and Region of the Year three times. A tremendous history and tradition! So when we won Region of the Year for the third time (for 2014), I felt so very proud of the great team that had worked tirelessly every day to make UCR what it has become today.
I could good go and regale you with many other experiences but you would be correct in concluding the past eight years as member of Upper Canada Region has been a wonderful experience. Thank you to all who make it happen. I have been honoured to work with you.
As they say, “Life begins at 40”!