Clarence Valley Ulysses Branch 20th Anniversary


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Clarence Valley Ulysses Branch 20th Anniversary AND a Birthday surprise for our oldest member

Around 70 previous and current Ulysses members celebrated the 20th Anniversary of Clarence Valley Ulysses Branch on Friday 27 October.

It was commemorated with a special dinner and photo slideshow held at the South Grafton Bowling Club, organised by Lynne Cairns.

After dinner, Lynne gave a lovely speech recalling the very fond memories we all shared of some great fun times together over the years.  I am sure none of us will ever forget the wonderful experiences, camaraderie and plain old good times. Often it was not the arriving at a destination it was the ride, the fun along the way and just being together.

It would be very difficult to repeat those times, they just happened.  We are a group of people from different walks of life with a common interest in riding bikes and just having fun, and it was just good clean fun. – it’s just what we did and some are still doing it. And I know some would still like to be doing it.

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Unfortunately, a few of our members have ridden on which is really very sad. But we should always remember and be happy for the times we had with them and the contribution they made towards our enjoyment.  There are also some of our previous and current members who are not doing so well at the moment either and were unable to attend the dinner due to ill health. In total there were about fifty people who sent their apologies.

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In 1997 Clarrie Cullen, Sam Darke and Bob Lovell were the main instigators in forming the Clarence Valley Branch as a separate branch breaking away from the Coffs Harbour Branch. Unfortunately Clarrie and Sam were unable to attend however Bob Lovell attended on the night. A copy of a letter sent to Clarrie in December 1997 from the then Honorary Secretary of Ulysses Club Inc evidences the forming of our group.

On the night a memorabilia table displayed various items from over the years. A number of previous and current members contributed to the table with items such as badges from AGMs and places visited, vests, caps and hats, photos, stories of members’ travels over the years, letters and minutes,

Minutes from the first meeting of Clarence Valley Ulysses in 1997 listed 29 people attended. Ten of those people attended the 20th anniversary dinner. Fantastic for 20 years later.

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After dinner all those present raised their glasses as a toast was proposed to the  founding members of the Ulysses Club, to the 20th Anniversary of the Clarence Valley Ulysses Branch, to our ride coordinators and contacts along the way, also to past and present members wishing them all the very best.

Another occasion was being celebrated. Eric Eckert the oldest member of our branch, turns 85 on 1st November. A surprise birthday cake was sprung on Eric, who is such an active member of the club and has only just given up riding his beloved Ural side car bike. Eric wrote a story of every major Ulysses event he attended, all these stories were on the memorabilia table.

Thanks to all those who helped make this such a great anniversary night, for contacting people, for helping set up tables and decorations, for providing decorations, photos and memorabilia, collecting dinner money, making donations etc. Particular thanks to Reg Hampson our branch contact and also to Jim Summers for putting together a fantastic photo slide show movie of our branch events, AGM s and rides from over the years.

Also I wish to give thanks to the South Grafton Bowling Club ladies for providing a lovely meal. It is certainly a great venue to hold such an event overlooking the mighty Clarence River.

The anniversary night was really just like a walk down memory lane. It was a great night and a blast from the past.

Thanks to all those attending.

Cheers to the good years together and may there be many many more.

Bob Cairns


Photos by Lynne Mowbray, Photographer/Journalist, Clarence Valley Independent Newspaper.

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