A little bit of History
In late 2010 Ian Dorrington (QCOBA President at the time) and Tony Frost sat in the incumbent Queen’s College Headmaster Chris Harker’s office. Ian asked what the Old boys and specifically the Class 1965 could do for the school. Harker’s reply was, “Raise money for boys to come to Queen’s as boarders”.
In the drive between Queenstown and Aliwal North, Ian and Tony decided that they would organise something. The something was conceived between then and January 2011. In early January 2011 we undertook a reconnoitre to choose an appropriate route and find places to stay.
On the 20th January the decision was made: “Screw it, let’s do it!” Then It was the 1965Ride.
We were so naïve then. The first to sign up was Tony himself, then Ashley Truscott, then Leon Jacobs. And then no-one until about two weeks before departure. In the mean time we figured we better have some sort of support and Trevor Stopforth stepped into the breach. But no vehicle. Old Queenian Mike Dovey Ford Dealer Principal for McCarthyFord put up his hand and arranged to lend us a Ford Ranger Wildcat. We had Support King Trevor, vehicle, no medic, no accommodation, no sponsorship, no response from Gauteng Traffic but plenty of excitement and focus. Then sponsors started to come on board – first was the DAWN Group, Life Hospital Queenstown, Alderson Ambulance and others. Then Mike Dovey said we needed insurance for the vehicle. Long story but at the last minute Rhett Barker of Barker Insurance Brokers covered the Ford for us.
Then Kieran Frost, a student at UCT, joined the fray followed shortly afterwards by John Ralph. Now we were 6. Then Jen Wilson said she would ride from halfway – 7. Then Ken Clark volunteered to meet us in Jamestown (he must have known that we would ride in the rain most of the way before that!) – 8.
Accommodations were reserved, we bought a First Aid kit. We were almost ready to go.
It was the Thursday before the event and Gauteng Traffic had still not replied. We drove to Heidelberg and spoke to the responsible person. He had not read our application and for some reason thought we were starting in Vereeniging. We put him straight, chatted with the head of Traffic in Heidelberg and we were good to go.
We met in miserable weather five days later with a handful of faithful supporters at the Heidelberg Airfield. We huddled drank coffee, mounted our bikes and off we went. We were not sure of the way through the town but we made it and headed to Villiers in the drizzle.
The adventure was underway.
So why do we do what we do?
The original concept was a ride by Old Queenians for Queen’s College.
At the end of that first tour in 2011 we had a request from Girl’s High School for them to be included in the initiative. In addition to this, standing at the gate of Hazelmere farm where the pioneering and intrepid first group had stayed was a skinny young man and his bicycle. When asked what he was doing there he said, “My Boss said that I should come and ride with you!”
“Who is your Boss?”
“My goodness! He is of the 1965 vintage of Old Queenians. So what is your name?”
“So what year did you leave Queen’s?”
“I wasn’t at Queen’s I was at Hangklip!”
This conversation started a whole new train of thinking which tied in with what was happening amongst the Top Town schools in Queenstown – to create a collaborative initiative to transform education in the town together.
And so from 2012 onwards there have been cyclists representing a spread of the members of what is now known as the Queenstown Education Foundation. It has been an amazing journey and we have learnt so much about each other and the needs and pressures of the different schools. Not least of the benefits has been the fact that the tour group since then has been increasingly diverse; this diversity has certainly added to the interest and fun that the cyclists experience during their 9 days on the road between Jozi (Johannesburg) and Komani (Queenstown)!
We undertake this 850 kilometre journey to make the journey of talented learners a little smoother and to give them a decent start in life. Our cycle tour is in their honour!
On the surface this seems like a simple question. And I suppose it is. The question that is!
But it is a bit more complex than it appears on the surface.
Firstly it is not only the actual bursars who benefit. This is a very important point to internalise.
Of course they benefit. Just watch one of our star Bursar Ambassadors Jojisam Luzipo-Adu on the 2015 Documentary for verification of this:
So who else benefits from the 1965Ride?
Obviously the school which the bursar attends as it contributes to the fees asked of the parents of talented but disadvantaged students. Therefore it relieves some of the funding pressure on the schools.
It benefits the family of the student as it relieves the burden on them of finding all the fees required by the top schools that they wish their child to attend.
It gives them and the community of which they are part a sense of hope.
It demonstrates to the community that, if the community works together, wonders can be achieved.
It also spreads the message of caring at the centre of nation building and that you do not have to be a celebrity or important or rich or a politician to make a difference. You can just be you.
Finally, all of you that have participated in any way at all benefit because you know that what you have done has to helped to build a better nation for yourself and for all around you!
So that you know………..you that have ridden, or supported, or sponsored have made 48 bursary years possible for some deserving and talented young people in just 7 years!
Which Schools are Involved?
In 2011 only Queen’s College was involved with the 1965Ride – the tour was started by the Queen’s College Matriculation Class of 1965 in an effort to provide funding for the support of Boarders at the school. However from 2012 onwards the net has widened and now it involves all the member schools of the Queenstown Education Foundation whose aim it is to transform education in Queenstown to become one of the leading educational centres in the country.
The 1965Ride completely supports this dream!
In its 7 years of existence so far 1965Ride funds have funded about 50 bursary years. This does not mean 50 bursars because most of the bursars have been funded for multiple years; some as many as 5 years.
This is a significant achievement for an organisation which is actually still in its infancy.
This year cyclists and their sponsors can choose between 7 schools or opt for supporting the QEF Bursary Committee which provides the widest flexibility to the Bursary Committee enabling it to award bursaries from across the spectrum of the 7 schools without being forced to support applications from a particular school.
Naturally where a cyclist and his/her sponsor want to support a particular school that remains their prerogative and the Bursary Committee will be guided accordingly.
For the record these Queenstown schools are currently eligible to nominate learners for 1965Ride bursaries:
Balmoral Girls Primary School
Girls High School
Hangklip Junior School
Hangklip High School
Queen’s College Boys Junior School
Queen’s College Boys High School
Southbourne Primary School
We look forward to more schools joining this fun and meaningful way of raising funds for their schools!
Who is doing the tour in 2018?
These intrepid and socially conscious people have signed to do the 2018 tour Jozi to Queenstown for Education:
Our Support Crew:
Chief of Support: Ian Dorrington
Chief of Discipline: Pam Dorrington
Chief of Love and Co-Ordination: Morongoa Mogashoa
Chief of Medical Emergencies: Mark Berger
Chief of Logistics: Rodger Webb
Chief of Admin and Support: Jen Wilson
Chief of IT and IT Media: Julian Levitt
John Koller’s mostly Harley Team