With a jump into the Murray River at Loxton in SA, I immersed myself in the hospitality of the Rotary family of Australia. Nestled in a beautiful landscape, the river flows directly past the estate of Tony Moyle. He and his dear Julie not only gave me food and lodging, as Tony had informed all members of the IFMR (International Fellowship of Motorcycling Rotarians) in Australia, about my arrival to Down Under.
I am member of the IFMR-Chapters in Germany. With my BMW 800 GS, I’m on a round the world trip. I call my tour “Fellows Ride”, a journey that I want to inspire people and I hope to contribute to the fact that depression support and suicide prevention receives more attention worldwide.
On June 10, 2018 I started in Germany. On March 1, 2019, I arrived in Adelaide. After Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Iran, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia, Australia is the country where I want to spend the next few months. Tony Moyle is doing everything to make my start in the adventure Down Under as interesting and enjoyable as possible. And he succeeds; Australia is love at first sight. After my arrival in Adelaide I am invited by the Rotary friend David Dunstan to Clare. As soon as I arrive, we attend the meeting of his Rotary club.
I am warmly welcomed by the Fellows. Although almost 40,000 km away from my hometown of Würzburg, I feel at home amongst the Rotarians.
On his farm, David proudly shows me his shed and the treasures that are in it. These are old Velocette motorcycles, which he not only collects but also passionately cherishes and maintains.
For David, it goes without saying that he shows me his farm and his hometown. Unfortunately, after only two days in Australia I say farewell to my first friend and fellow, whom I hope to see again in the future.
From Clare I rode to Morgan and met Tony Moyle from Loxton on his Suzuki – Morgan is about half way between Clare and Loxton. Although we have never met, the friendship was alive at first sight. That’s Rotary and that’s IFMR Australia. After arriving at his home, we jumped into the Murray River, the lifeline of this region. It is harvest time in South Australia. Tony allows me to ride on a mechanical grape harvester and be part of the almond harvest. These experiences are in no tourism program. Tony is the initiator of the IFMR and currently holds the position of Historian in the Australian Chapter. Together we visit the Rotary meeting in Loxton and raise the glass for a toast: “Queen, Rotary, Australia” – I add “and Motorcycling Fellowship”.
Tony helps me to plan the next stages. He is on the phone with Don Perry, a Rotarian friend and member of the IFMR in Horsham. Again it is only a short time that I spend in Tony’s little paradise on the river, but it is enough to start a deep friendship.
Don Perry and his dear wife welcome me like an old friend and I spend two wonderful days with them. Don and his friend Neville show me their town and their sheds. Again I am overwhelmed by old, historic and valuable motorcycles. As ever, “the shed” seems to be an important, if not the most important, part of the home of an IFMR member. Never in my life I have seen so many beautiful and old motorcycles as in the short time in Australia. Never on my tour have I met such good friends in such a short time.
I am only a week in Australia and already overwhelmed by the hospitality. I’m looking forward to many more encounters with Motorcycling Rotarians down under. And I look forward to the sheds and the treasures hidden inside. After saying goodbye to Don’s wife and their schnauzer “Sir Winston”, Don accompanies me through the Grampian Mountains. We have an extraordinary tour in bright sunshine with great curves and fascinating views. Again it is time to say goodbye to a good friend. On my long journey, I learned that saying goodbye is the price I have to pay to meet new friends. I’m looking forward to more new fellows. And I’m looking forward to spending time in a great country with wonderful people.
Thanks David, Don and Tony. You and the Murray River made it easy and enjoyable for me to immerse myself in a big continent. I hope we see each other again in this life. I miss you already. Take care of yourself and take care of your treasures in the sheds. Toast: “Queen, Australia, IFMR”.