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Frankie Fox celebrates his 100th birthday

It has been a groundbreaking landmark year for the Temple Motorcycle and Athletic Club, celebrating their centenary year, releasing their full colour hardback centenary book and kicking off the Trials bike and Superbike seasons with enthusiasm, vigour and success.

On Monday April 25th the Temple Motorcycle Club had reason to celebrate yet another milestone for the history books when its oldest and longest serving member and club president Mr Frank (Frankie) Fox celebrated his 100th birthday.

It was Tuesday July 27th when the Fox brothers Albert and Frank joined the Temple Motorcycle & Athletic Club. The war had ended, George V was King and the year was 1948. Four days later the brothers would find themselves involved in their first Temple 100 road race on the Drumalig anti-clockwise circuit, bearing witness to Cromie McCandless on his Norton Motorbike take the win.

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Born and bred at The Temple, the Foxes had grown up with the Temple Road Races on their doorstep. It was apparent from the day they joined the local club and took part in their first race that they were to be instrumental members for a lifetime to come. Frankie Fox was appointed chief marshall in 1956 on the Temple 100 Saintfield Circuit, by 1959 he had been promoted to club secretary and Temple 100 race secretary, maintaining the position of club secretary for five more years to come. Aside from Frankie’s involvement behind the scenes at races and events, he was responsible for the election of club officials each year at the AGM. A task which he carried out up until 2018 and the grand age of 96. Mr Frank Fox was appointed president of the Temple Motorcycle & Athletic Club in 1983 and remains Club President to this day!

Mr Frankie Fox on his 100th birthday receiving the Temple Motorcycle & Athletic Club Centenary

Imprints of Frankie’s presence within the club echo throughout us all. Memories of a cloth capped Frankie officially opening and closing the roads in his Sunbeam convertible sports car before and after the Temple 100 Road Races, remain fresh in the minds of his companions and friends at the club.

A family man, a Justice of the Peace and a well known and well liked local farmer, Frankie’s values and simple pleasures in life resonate with so many of us. Few of us however will have the opportunity to live to one hundred years old and for those who do, I hope like Frankie they can look back upon the past century and smile.

The club salute Mr Frank Fox on this his 100th year of a life well lived, we wish him a very happy birthday and thank him for his companionship and guidance within the club, accompanying the Temple club members through life, friendship and a shared love of the sport of motorcycle racing.

The members of the club who went before us, started something important, to be carried on as their legacy and that of the riders who risked it all on the roads at the Temple.

Frankie may no longer be available to attend club meetings in person but we are all too aware of his presence throughout the past seventy plus years and the result of all the hard work and effort of the Temple club members over the past 100 years, keeping the club very much alive to this day.

Approaching its one hundred and first year in a time so far removed from a century ago.

The Temple Club continues to embrace the changes that accompany this new era and endeavour to run races of the highest quality and class as did our predecessors. With the same ultimate goal as a century ago, to run motorcycling events that are safe and enjoyable for all.