International Liaison report – Winter 2017

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Hello fellow Ulyssians,

It is pleasing to hear that a lot of the International Clubs are now out and about enjoying riding – for them, winter has finished!

I continue to be included in the International Club and Branch newsletter and magazine subscriptions - makes for great reading, and it does highlight that sometimes we see things differently.

Ulysses Club Thailand has planned its AGM for August, until that time, the Interim committee is being headed by the current President Mick Ditchburn. Mick has been very proactive in seeking advice on issues relating to their club, including ride protocols etc. The constitution of each overseas club is different and I can really only be a sounding board and relate with what works here. They are actively conducting rider training amongst members and I am sure this will continue to encourage riders of lower cc bikes to attend rides.

Mick has worked with me to answer queries from riders wanting to join with Thailand Ulysses and hopefully this growth of members will continue.

The Ulysses Club New Zealand AGM was held on the 15th of April in Masterton and attended by a small Australian contingent consisting of myself, Savaugn Pratt #20508, Des Fergusson #48614, Robyn Fergusson #57207 and Peter Baulch #27672.

 

We found all the New Zealand members very friendly and there was a lot of sharing of ideas and ride experiences. The AGM evening dinners were a riot of fun, filled with light-hearted silliness that ensured we thoroughly enjoyed our time,

V-Sport

Mike Dew maintained his role as the New Zealand Club President and the new Vice President Tim “Tiny” Stewart is now my International counterpart. Tiny had lots of questions and it was good to be able to share experiences and International contacts with him.

We found all the New Zealand members very friendly and there was a lot of sharing of ideas and ride experiences. The AGM evening dinners were a riot of fun, filled with light-hearted silliness that ensured we thoroughly enjoyed our time, talked a lot and even danced! I received a copy of their book – “Growing Old Disgracefully” – A history of the Ulysses Club in New Zealand, a very good read.

The Great Britain Club has answered an insurance query from an Australian Ulysses member intending to spend considerable time in Britain. They appear to be working together toward a solution, so hopefully I can give you all more information in the near future.

Ulysses Club Switzerland is talking about the 8th European Rally to be held in Saarland, Germany on the 2nd to the 5th of June 2017. This event is organised by Germany. This is another weekend that I would really enjoy going to, but work keeps getting in the way.

Pleasingly I have recently received replies from the Ulysses Clubs in Norway and Botswana – great to know they are still viable, even if the numbers are small. Norway is waiting for the snows to thaw to go for a ride and the new Botswana contact has provided future ride and event details so hopefully I will hear more from both these clubs in the future.

On the downside, I did receive communication from South Africa recently regarding the experience of a South African Ulyssian travelling to Australia. Apparently she made contact with an Australian Branch and, not having transport, she arranged to be picked up to attend a morning tea with them. No one came to get her, or contacted her again and when she queried why, was told “No one was available to get you”. The visitor was of course very unimpressed! This is not the way we want the Ulysses Club Inc Australia to be viewed. As with any visitor to our Branch or country, please ensure that you follow through with offers of mateship, make them feel welcome.

One thing I do notice in my communication with the overseas clubs is that the issues they face are the same as ours – declining numbers, retention of members and financial issues. On the other hand, the enjoyment they find in riding open roads and sharing stories with fellow riders is also the same as ours. The world is not such a big place after all!

MAOTY

On the 18th of April, I was very proud to be able to present the Motorcycle Apprentice Of The Year QLD/NT zone winner certificate and the Supercheap voucher to Leaston Farrawell. Leaston has just finished his final year as an apprentice with Team Moto Virginia, Brisbane. He is a very worthwhile recipient and a good bloke.

South East Queensland Expos and Shows

The 2nd Ipswich Bike night was very enjoyable and I believe the Gold Coast Bike night, The Ray Owens Classic at Canungra and the Ipswich Domestic Violence ride, all to be held very shortly will continue to increase awareness of the Ulysses Club as all events will have Ulysses Club stalls in place.

On the 18th of June South East Queensland Ulysses Branches will again hold the annual Cartwheel Ride. All South East Queensland Branches take part and funds raised are donated to both the South East Queensland Memorial Gardens and the Ulysses Club Arthritis Fund. All riders are welcome to join in – please contact me if you would like more information.

Please note the new date for Queensland’s largest bike expo; the Laverda Concours, held in Cleveland, is now the 15th of October.

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Allan Pratt #9186

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