Back to Index Page

October 2008 Club News

Squid | MotoTrials | Shelter | Around Oz | Bruce Rock | Calendar

Bike Ride for Shelter Box Australia

Story and pics Chester Powell

The Old Gaol - new ride
On the 23rd August, Albany Rotary clubs organised a bike ride commencing from the Old Gaol and following the usual course for the Christmas run finishing in Alison Hartman Gardens.

Des and R100LTThe ride was in support of a motorcycling Rotarian, Des Watts from Berri, SA. He is riding around Oz on his BMW R100LT raising money for the purchase of Shelter Boxes.

Shelter Box is a global Rotary humanitarian program that provides shelter, comfort and dignity to people affected by natural disasters. These boxes are like an oversize esky, weighing about 60kgs when full. The kit includes items like a 10 person tent, thermal blankets, liquid-fuelled stove, cooking utensils, a shovel, hammer and saw plus lots of other useful items. (Could be handy for our week away, eh - but who will carry it?) A sample of a Shelter Box was set up in a display on the lawn and a video of the scheme was running while people enjoyed a snag and drinks. 

Shelter box contents
It was incredible what actually came out and I wouldn’t like to be the one trying to put it all back. Since its inception in 2003, Shelter Box Australia has raised over $3.5 m and at a cost of $1,200 per box, equates to close to 3,000 boxes and 30,000 people sheltered.

Nearby countries where these boxes have been deployed, are New Guinea, the Solomon’s, Java, East Timor, and earlier his year Burma and China.

Before arriving in Albany, Des had already raised about $40,000 in donations and  thanks to the support of the people of Albany and Mt Barker, the local Rotary clubs and the biking fraternity, another 2 Shelter Boxes can now be purchased.

Des was very impressed by the turnout for the ride and reckons it is a good sign for the Ulysses conference in 2010. Due to time constraints in getting to Esperance, Des was unable to join the club on their Squid Shack ride.

Back to Index Page Back to Index Page