UCARF REPORT – Winter Edition (June) Riding On
At the 2019 Mornington Peninsular Rally we were visited by Professor Eric Morand,
Director of Rheumatology, Monash University and Monash Health. Accompanying Professor Morand was Professor Michelle Leech, Medical Nursing and Health Science, Centre for Inflammatory Diseases, Monash University. The Ulysses Club is a strong supporter of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) research undertaken at the Monash centre.
When I first me Eric approximately 10 years ago, he was an active motorcyclist and a Ulysses Club member and, after visiting the rally, he has promised to renew his lapsed membership. Both Eric and Michelle expressed a strong interest in securing a pillion ride in the Saturday morning grand parade and we arranged this with the assistance of Hills branch to whom I am most grateful.
In the case of Michelle, the club sponsored some of her early studies many years ago and she has not forgotten this, nor her pillion ride in the parade at that time.
Both the researchers loved the ride and wished it could have been longer. Eric was an invited speaker at the AGM and gave an inspirational account of aspects of research development.
I may be biased, but this was truly a speech to remember, giving attending members a much better understanding of RA research and progressive improvements, with regard to which we have played a significant role. Prior to his rally attendance, Professor Morand asked the Monash University finance department to check their records and establish a monetary value of contributions the Ulysses Club has made to the research.
We have raised and contributed sponsorship funds over an approximate 10-year period to an amount of $370,000.00. I described this revelation as staggering; however, this goes to show what an cumulative effect we have had on RA research.
The Civic Welcome Ceremony is conducted at the conclusion of the Rally Grand Parade. This is where, amongst other formalities and presentations, we announce the winners of the prestigious Jo Dearnley Memorial Award and the Good Joint Award 2018.
I am pleased to announce that the winner of the Jo Dearnley Memorial Award is
Lockyer Branch and the winner of the Good Joint Award is the Wellington members of the Dubbo and Western Plains Branch. Alexa Brown, daughter of our founding member, the late Stephen Dearnley, presented the Jo Dearnley Memorial Award. This award is in honour of Stephen’s wife and Alexa’s mother, Jo, who lost a 20-year battle with this insidious disease. Professor Eric Morand presented the Good Joint Award.
Lockyer Branch raised and donated a very impressive $6,263.00 and the Wellington guys followed up with a very big sum of $5,000.00.
I cannot praise these generous efforts enough and plan to visit and thank the contributors in person, starting with Lockyer Branch in early April. A special thank you to all other donating branches during 2018, as it is the cumulative effort that enables us as a club to play our important role in this important scientific research.
The National Biennial UCARF Raffle was concluded at the 2019 Mornington Peninsula Rally. At the Ulysses Club formal dinner on the Saturday evening, we drew the three prize winners. The first-place winner (ticket # 01385) of the Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT is member, Craig Garden. The second-place winner (ticket # 01333) of the two general admission tickets to the 2019 Australian Moto GP is member, Keith Wellfare.
The third-place winner (ticket # 00910) of the Indian leather jacket is Steve Longworth. Congratulations to the winners and thank you to the sponsors, Suzuki Australia Pty Ltd, QBE Insurance, Transport Accident Commission, Victoria and Polaris Sales Australia. Additionally, I wish to thank former national treasurer and life member Mike Abberfield for administration of the raffle.
The raffle was very successful and raised approximately $27,000, from which the club has an expense of $5,500 for an upgrade of the motorcycle. Thank you to everyone who has had input for your support.
The following donation acknowledgements have been received since the last recognition in the Autumn 2019 edition of Riding On:
Sale and Districts Branch $1,000.00, Newcastle Lower Hunter Branch $2,000.00, Sydney Branch $1,500.00, Adelaide Branch $1,000.00, Shearwaters Branch $1.500 and $1,120.00, Coffs Coast Branch $116.15, Mandurah- Murray Branch $500.00, Orange Branch $850.00, Westgate Wanderers Branch $200.00, Suzuki test ride donations $110.00, MIA Branch $1.000.00, North West Coast Branch $500.00, Julie Rock $200.00, Port Stephens Branch $274.29, Noel Carney $64.00, Mallee Branch $250.00, Mornington Wanderers Branch $700.00, Central Highlands Branch $300.00,
Yarra Ranges Branch $1,000.00.
Apologies to the Lower Murray Branch for a $1,000.00 donation acknowledgement that should have appeared in the Summer 2018 edition of Riding On. Lower Murray is a small branch with a big heart that managed an impressive donation due to the efforts of a sausage sizzle at the local Bunnings store, as well as various raffles.
Bunbury branch have a very impressive history of supporting UCARF. The following list of award recognitions speaks for itself.
Jo Dearnley Memorial Award
Bunbury Branch 2010
Bunbury Branch 2012
Bunbury Branch 2014
Good Joint Award
Bunbury Branch 2011
Bunbury Branch 2015
Keep in mind that between this list of award-winning dates there have been other significant donations. The word ‘’Champions’’ comes to mind.
I have lived up to my promise of a visit to Lockyer Branch in Queensland to thank them in person for their generosity and continuing support for UCARF over a number of years. I also took an opportunity to speak about UCARF and its humble beginnings and history.
Not surprisingly, I found the branch and its members to be down to earth and a fun-loving bunch of people. The branch is true to Ulysses spirit and being led by a top-notch president in one Ian (Foggy) Winter.
To top off a great evening, I walked away with an unexpected gift of a customised cheese board to remember them by.
I will leave you with another rheumatoid arthritis quote for some thought –
“RA: you don’t get it, unless you’ve got it.” Andrew Gardiner.
#6929 LM 14