Today we raise a glass and share a yarn in memory of our great mate, and unforgettable member of the Ramsey Bros family, Bob Rehn.
Sales guru in Cleve for 30 years before retiring in Arno Bay in 2006, Bob’s name comes up in many of our yarns, and today, Eddy Ward shares one of his favourites.
Let’s rewind to the eighties — a time for big hair, outlandish fashion and cassette players — Ramsey Bros had just been named Mercedes Benz South Australian Dealer of the Year. With the taste of a Mercedes Benz celebration front of mind, Director Eddy Ward and Bob Rehn threw their hats in the ring to head along to the Mercedes Benz dinner in Melbourne that coincidentally happened to be the night before the annual Class Dealer conference in Albury.
Sound like a productive trip? If only it had gone to plan. As Eddy recalls, things unraveled fairly soon after touching down in Melbourne.
“When we landed, we had a few hours up our sleeves so we tried to hire a car from Budget but they were out of cars. So, we figured it wouldn’t hurt to throw around Bob Ansett’s name so that the staff could hear us and low and behold, a brand-new Celica was suddenly available.
“Well, that was a win, but as it turns out, we only drove into the city hotel. In hindsight, a taxi would’ve been a more cost-effective option and a little less mucking around.”
From there, things continued to unravel. “We had an afternoon to spare so tried to check into the hotel, only to find our room wasn’t ready for check-in. While we left the hotel staff to sort that out, we gave ourselves a little head start for the dinner that night, which escalated into balloons of liquor later in the night at the dinner.
“When we got back to the hotel to find there was only one bed in the room, it was clear the night was never going to go to plan. By the time the staff got another bed to us, it was time to leave again for the airport, so a few words were exchanged with Reception about the value of having one bed for the night at a cost of $400, and then, we were on our merry way to catch an early flight to Albury.”
“Our decisions from the previous night came back to haunt us… feeling fairly under the weather, we missed our turn off to the airport and ended up in countryside considerably past the airport.
“As most country boys would, we deducted that we must’ve missed the plane, so we decided to drive to Albury. As it turns out, there were actually another three flights that day, but none-the-wiser, we headed off on an epic drive that was over 300kms including deviations back onto the main road.
“When we arrived, we tried to blend into the program for the conference, but a slow-paced group visit to a fish farm brought us both undone. Needless to say, Mercedes Benz dinners were struck off the list and new rules were drawn up regarding expected standards when attending business events,” chuckles Eddy.
A turbulent adventure that’s now a treasured memory – it’s just one of many tales that will be shared about our mate Bob after his passing. Today, we’ll be raising our glasses high in his memory.
Photographs kindly provided by The Eyre Peninsula Tribune