Great Southern Ride to Newman W.A.


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Ulyssians from the Great Southern Ride to Newman W.A. to attend the Bloody Slow Cup

On the 17th of October a small group of Ulyssians from the Great Southern area of Western Australia and other riders departed Albany on the to ride to the Bloody Slow Cup.

A W.A. Police legacy event to remember the officers killed in the Newman air crash and to raise funds for the children of fallen Western Australian police officers..

Why ?

Well a brief history lesson, there have only been two fatal air crashes involving the Western Australian police force and there is another link.

On the 13 Mar 1996 Civilian pilot John Bell Detective Senior Constable Charles A Scott (Western Australia Police) Stephen Richard Hill (Australia Federal Police) and Peter Siep (Customs Officer) were killed in a plane crash at Mt Manypeaks near Albany during a combined operation.

One of the Pilots who took part in the search for the overdue plane was Senior Constable Donald Everett.

On 26 Jan 2001 that Pilot, Senior Const. Donald Everett, Senior Const. Phillip Ruland, First Class Const. David Dewar, and Const. Gavin Capes were killed when their plane crashed at Newman.

Out of this second tragedy grew a Newman community and Police Legacy event, a Rugby game between the local New Zealanders and Australians the Bloody Slow cup

Those of us who rode to Newman from Albany knew someone in the air crashes.

On a lighter note The ride.

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Day 1 Albany to Merredin 579Km

Assembled at the Albany memorial and farewelled by some of the local Police command.

And off up Chester Pass road through the scenic Porongurup’s and Stirling ranges into the farming areas beyond.

Sunny weather and good roads what more could a rider ask for. Good company and fellowship.

Arriving at Merredin for our first overnight stop fellowship was the order of the day.

Sitting in the car park of the motel outside our rooms surrounded by our bikes and good humour.

Note to local youths, things not to do involving people riding motor cycles. DO NOT approach them and ask to buy drugs and leave when you are asked politely.

Do not insist that you should get what you want or wait until one those present approaches you. Asks you which of the 5 police officers present you would like to arrest you, then introduce you to the 2 prison officers likely to look after you later in life. ( He cycled off in a hurry for some reason )

Day 2 Merredin to Mt Magnet via Bencubbin and Wongan hills 630km

Plus a side trip to The Nungarin Heritage Machinery and Army Museum

Where a group of volunteers restore some of our military and farming history, housed in an original massive Army Vehicle Workshop building constructed in Nungarin in 1942-43 as part of Australia’s defence in WWII.

The huge building was part of the No.5 Base Ordnance Depot (5BOD) which was considered to be the largest storage facility for Army Ordnance in Western Australia at that time.

More good roads but the weather gods cannot decide if they want to rain on us or not then the long straights of the Great northern highway.

Arriving at Mt Magnet which of course means more fellowship.

This time we are approached by the Emergency Services Motorcycle Association police chapter President Ivan Bennison.

To buy poker hands in their Bloody Long Poker run to raise funds for the Cup. They are one of several groups riding to the event.

We take a great deal of pleasure telling Ivan that his 1150 Km poker run is about 700Km  too short for us and ask does it really deserve the title they have given it. We buy some poker hands anyway (more later).

Day 3 Mount Magnet to Newman 619km

Nice weather long straights what more can I say what could make the day perfect. Well you know that poker run, it was won by one of our group with a flush of clubs.

The whole Newman community gets behind the Bloody Slow Cup and are friendly helpful and engaging

Day 4

The remembrance ceremony is a moving occasion.

Followed by the tourist thing, you do need access to a 4wd and the locals will tell you where to go, but in a nice way.

Later that evening the Rugby game followed by Murphy’s Law playing and a guest spot for the Police Pipers in the only two rock songs I know involving Bagpipes.

Day 5 the return journey. Newman to Mt Magnet 619km

Our ranks swell by one for that part of the journey as we pick up Craig Keals a Ulyssian from Geraldton for the ride to Mt Magnet.

Returning to stay with Jim another fellow Ulyssian at his miners rest accommodation we are everywhere it seems.

Day 6 Mt Magnet to Greenhill’s inn Greenhill’s 541 Km

The rocking gets more vigorous and the hazard lights start and stop every couple of seconds. There is a muffled cry of exasperation  and a call for help.

Say good by to Craig who turns off to ride back to Geraldton.

Travelling down the highway, nice weather taking our time we decide to pull into a truck bay with some trees, for shade and to stretch our legs. Seeing the large white van parked under the first tree we move further into the bay to the next group of trees.

After a couple of minutes the rhythmic rocking of the van attracts our attention.  it stops only to start again a few moments later with increased intensity.

The hazard lights flash  the rocking and flash continues for a few minutes.

The rocking gets more vigorous and the hazard lights start and stop every couple of seconds.

There is a muffled cry of exasperation  and a call for help.

Its not a couple in a camper van as we thought when we rode in but a delivery van.

The driver has gotten into the back and shut the door becoming stuck in the caged area of the load space when the internal door release failed.

A mumbled thanks and the embarrassed driver leaves

More  good roads and we finally arrive at the Bike rider friendly Greenhill’s inn.

Did I mention there was fellowship and beer around the fire pit later that evening

Day 7 Greenhill’s to Albany 410 km

Travel on the Great southern Highway nice ride and surprise surprise we make it home without being rained on in the last 100km for a change,

Stopping at our start point we are welcomed back by Great Southern Police Superintendent Ian Clarke (M/cycle rider we will try to recruit him)who had also travelled to Newman with yet another group of motor cycle riding police officers from Perth and had welcomed us on our arrival in Newman.

For those of you who are interested:

Police Legacy reached their target of $100,000 in Donations

Total kilometres travelled 3579.

Injuries nil, Break downs nil, Youths diverted from drugs one, Motorists saved one, Enjoyment lots.

New Zealand won the rugby game.

Bagpipes are in AC/DC and John Farnham songs that’s as much help as I am giving you.

On the ride

Ray Prior club member, Keith Robinson club member, Brett Jeffrey club member, John Carberry club member, Greg Webb former club member and son of club member. Grant Pollard and Andy Smith WAPOL  and for a short time Craig Keals Geraldton club member


Member 056226

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