By W.Bro. Chris Oldfield (Fearnley 58)
“You cannie have a party without Punch”. Well on the recent South Africa Bike Ride, Bro Rod Dyer of Fearnley Mark 58 was certainly Punch. Whilst I concentrated on cycling my lardy behind up and down what the team leader described as undulations (mountains!), Rod was always at the back, helping with “mechanicals” and even at one point TOWING a hand bike rider whose electric assist had failed.
Rod and I have been fundraising for eighteen months to take part in a charity challenge. The South Africa Bike Ride 2013 to raise funds for REGAIN the UK Trust for Tetraplegics in Sport. Cycling 400km over five days down the Western Cape’s Route 62 we saw a small part of a vast and beautiful country. On the way we made some good friends from the group of 32 who started out as strangers. We raised a total of £8K between us including our travel money which we paid personally. The event raised a massive £50k profit for REGAIN.
Amongst the hand bike riders were two Paralympians from the 2012 games, Kylie Grimes and Jonathan Coggan but all of them impressed us with their grit and determination. Due to their condition, tetraplegics cannot control their body temperature as others do, so most took time out due to heat problems or breakdowns. Not so Kylie who cycled every mile and inspired us all.
In the evenings Rod took his DC duties seriously once again by giving Yorkshire dialect lessons to the “soft Southern Jessies”. Remarkably, by the end of the trip, they understood him! He gained one of the daily Tiger awards and got a special award at the end for all his efforts. Well deserved.
I have always had cause to be proud of Rod within Freemasonry and as his proposer into the Craft and Mark he continues to raise me up by throwing light on my good judgement. (cough)
During the whole trip he was an absolute credit to Mark Masonry and was loved by all for his helpful nature and generous, positive attitude.
He would never tell you how well he shined, so I thought someone else should.
We would both like to thank all our supporters which include many Mark Masons due to our shared enthusiasm for the degree.