Queenie’s car a highlight of Gaslight Parade

gaslight parade
Chris Sorensen's De Dion Bouton, which once belonged to Bert Hinkler’s sister Queenie, will feature in the Gaslight Parade.

The Gaslight Parade will recreate a moment in history next week as 140 veteran vehicles take to Bourbong Street and it will feature a very unique Bundaberg car.

Chris Sorensen is one of the Bundaberg Veteran Vehicle Club members that will take part in the parade on Thursday 19 September as part of the National Veteran Vehicles Rally.

He will have three cars featured in the parade, one of which is a De Dion Bouton which once belonged to Queenie, Bert Hinkler’s sister.

“It’s a lovely little car,” Chris said.

“It has a one cylinder little eight horsepower engine. Every time I go to start it it always starts, it never misses

“It’s had one coat of paint and it’s had its upholstery redone somewhere in its life.

“Everything else, all the timber, all the floorboards, everything is the old car. The engine, everything.

“It’s just one of those things it’s just survived time.”

Chris still has the car’s original papers which show it was the second car to ever be registered in Bundaberg.

“In those days the cities had their own registration before the state bought in the registration that was statewide for vehicles,” he said.

“The records show it was car number two.

“It is a Bundaberg car and this is where it belongs.”

Gaslight Parade recreates historical moment

Chris’ two steam engine vehicles will also feature in the parade which he says is an event not to be missed.

“We’ve got visitors coming from England, we’ve got visitors coming from the USA,” he said.

“We’re expecting three to four hundred people here, 140 cars and they’ll all be out and about.

“We’d just encourage everyone to come out and see them.”

The Gaslight Parade, to be held on Thursday evening, celebrates the repeal of the Red Flag Act.

Chris raised the suggestion with rally organisers after being inspired by the London to Brighton, an historical event which he has featured all three cars in, winning two prestigious awards.

“It’s a very famous event, it goes back to the turn of last century and we think it was mostly in England that they had this act called the Red Flag Act.

“The reason for it was the people were complaining about the new modern motor cars … driving on the street frightening the horses.

“British Parliament introduced a law that said if you had a motor car someone had to walk in front with a red flag and warn people that the motor car was coming.”

When it was repealed in the early 1900s the London to Brighton run was formed in celebration.

“I said to Terry, my friend who’s organising the rally, let’s try and recreate a bit of that here for Bundaberg and we’re hoping people come out next Thursday night for the parade.

“The Mayor’s going to tear the flag up.”

Range of activities on offer as part of national rally

The parade is the start of a range of activities on offer as part of the National Veteran Vehicle Rally.

Chris said a picnic event in the Botanic Gardens on Sunday 22 September would also be a special day out for all the family.

“Which is all about the celebration of the old cars and we’re hoping people come along all dressed up and there’ll be judging.

“So, it’s all about going back in time with these old cars and that’s the rally.”

The movie Gennavieve will also be featured at the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre on the Sunday evening.

“We’re recreating the release of that movie.

“The movie was made in 1953 and there was much hoo-ha at that time.

“So the people that come to the park if they can spare the time and come along to the Moncrieff, I know that there is still tickets for sale there.

“The cars will be out the front and people will be dressed.

“I think it’s going to be a wonderful week and exciting for the town.

“We have many exciting things in Bundaberg but how exciting is 140 old veteran cars!

“Come along!”

Read more about Chris’ passion for veteran cars and more information on his three Gaslight Parade cars in our Sunday read this week.

National Veteran Vehicle Rally events:

Gaslight Parade on Bourbong Street
Thursday, 19 September from 6.30pm

Moore Park Beach Festival
Saturday, 21 September from noon

Picnic with the Cars in the Botanic Gardens
Sunday, 22 September, 10am to 3pm
Costumes welcome, prizes for best dressed

Charity Film Gala at the Moncrieff Entertainment Centre
Sunday, 22 September from 4pm