South Gippsland car dealership, Edneys Leongatha today celebrates its one-hundredth year of membership with the Chamber – the milestone a testament to the passion and perseverance of regional small business.
“If you were to go anywhere in the world, this event would be highly unusual, if not unique,” said VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym.
“There has to be a truly special bond for a business to retain an unbroken membership with an association for 100 years. There clearly is a special bond between Edneys Leongatha and VACC.”
The business marked the occasion with an onsite presentation from VACC President, Fury Bortolotto. A pair of 1920s Panhard et Levassor cars – the same vintage that Edneys would have sold and serviced back in 1920 – were on hand for the special occasion.
“VACC has been a great support to us over the years. We rely on them for a lot of things,” said Edneys Leongatha proprietor, Darryl McGannon.
“Leongatha and the wider community of South Gippsland has been very good to us. We have customers today from third and fourth generation families. The people in the area have been very loyal to us and I think we have provided a good, reliable service to the community in return,” said Mr McGannon.
The business’ membership milestone is a reminder that VACC, although its headquarters are now based in Melbourne, has strong regional roots – having been founded in Bendigo on 20 September 1918.
“Regional members have always been important to VACC. Around 50 percent of VACC members are from regional Victoria. These businesses have been very loyal over the years,” said Mr Gwilym.
Edneys Leongatha is VACC member number 3, having joined on 27 November 1920. Member number 1 is Wilson Bolton & Co of Horsham, which joined VACC in early 1919. The Chamber has many more long-standing members, with several over 75 years and numerous over 50 years.
“We thank VACC for 100 years of great service and friendship,” said Mr McGannon.