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Black Douglas


A simple story really

When I was a teenager I fell in love with a type of car called a Moke - girls came later. Eventually a mate and I started the Moke Owners' Association of Victoria which was the first club in the world for this marque.

Many years and three Mokes later I was frustrated by the fact that lots of folk in the club had really creative names for their cars and I didn't. All the good names like SMOKEY and RE-MOKE-ABLE seemed to be gone. Then one day we started an outing in a pub car park where there was a huge sign advertising a certain whisky. That was it! My car was black. My name is Douglas. So the car became Black Douglas.

Not many years after this naming ceremony I had to tootle off to London for a year to study. Packing was a nightmare until I realised that if I packed as much black stuff as possible, it would be easy to match everything and I wouldn't have to cart so much. So Black Douglas became associated with the person Doug. Williams as well.

When I returned from England, the new Victorian 'liberal' government encouraged me to begin my consultant business. What would I name it? Easy - I would be using the car to travel to my various jobs, so Black Douglas Professional Education Services it became.

Over the years the business has expanded in many directions and I now have to take aeroplanes to some jobs, but the name stays. I guess if the business ever expands sufficiently to require me to have my own plane, then it will be black too.

The irony of the name however is that I am a non-drinker!

Black Douglas in Mooroolbark. What a Moke!
Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Photograph by Craig Watson.
NB: This photograph is automatically protected under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 and may not be reproduced in any media, physical or electronic, without the written permission of Watson Photography.

If you are interested in Mokes:

  • KG Engineering, unfortunately now closed, was responsible for the complete rebuild which produced the shiny, overcapitalised go-kart illustrated. After decades of Moke ownership, the finale being the Oodnadatta trip illustrated in Travel Writing & Photos, I joyfully gave this glorious creature to my son who intends to keep it until he can pass it on to his son.

    Well it was willed to him anyway. This way I didn't have to fear for my life!

  • A feature article on Black Douglas, the Moke, which was written and photographed by the talented automotive journalist Craig Watson to recognise the 30th anniversary of the Moke Owners' Association of Victoria, can be found in the August 1999 edition of Mini Magazine, page 72.
    Mini Magazine (ISSN 1362-7252) is published by A&S Publishing Co Ltd, Messenger House, 35 St. Michael's Square, Gloucester, GL1 1HX, UK.

  • A great place to start finding out about Mokes on the web is the site of the Moke Owners' Association of Victoria.


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