Australian GoldWing Association

Members Personal Rides and Trips

Harry Ward Memorial Ride
Saturday 24th October 2015

First and foremost I would like to thank everybody for making the effort and attending the Harry ride and also thank you to those who couldn’t attend for your kind thoughts.

Well finally it’s here!!! Friday morning, bike and trailer are packed and we’re ready. Rolling out of Maccas penrith with 7 wings, grahams kwaka outfit and my mate Pete on his little CBR 600 I really still had no idea of how many people would show up in Gunnedah for the ride, the last tally I had was around 25 bikes with a total of 35 people.
First stop on our way was at the Grey Gum café were as usual we were greeted with a big hug from Kim, Bulga the next stop for a short stretch, meeting up with an old mate of mine from my school days on his GTR1400.
Heading now to Scone, Greg O had to make a slight detour to pick up a wallet someone had left at home in Muswellbrook?? Anyway, with the group now back together we headed off stopping for a quick pit stop at Quirindi, Passing the Harry Ward Bridge I couldn’t but not notice that the cross had been cleaned up and looked amazing, finally we rolled into Gunnedah and to my great delight found that Greg & Zoe had made the trip, wallet and owner were reunited!.

Friday night we had a great meal and get together at the Happy Valley Inn with about 30 people there. For me it was even more special, having two of my daughters, son in-law and three grand kids join us, also a very very big thank you to my best mate and Brother Jason Woodward and his wife Jules for making the trip to honor Harry.

Saturday morning after having breaky at my brothers shop we decided to take a ride up to the lookout as we still had a while until the ride, the obligatory scenic photos were taken, then it’s time to head down to the high school to meet the rest of the group, and now I’m thinking maybe we might have 30 bikes!!! But when I pulled up at the school and saw the line of bikes on both sides of the street I nearly fell off the wing, bloody hell, wings, trikes, Harleys, Honda’s, Kwaka’s,Suzuki’s you name it all there and still rolling up, we even had a reporter from the local newspaper there to do a story on the ride.

As planned the ride started bang on 0930 and thundered through the main street with people gawking, waving and a few even cheering, 38 bikes in total with 16 being Goldwings!!!!! WOW.
Riding over the Harry Ward Bridge was a very special moment and I know everybody felt that Harry was with us, the procession of bikes rolling into the Curlewis cemetery was just spectacular, they just kept coming.
A very big thank you to Gus (Gary) Turner who spoke at the cemetery on behalf of the Ward family and said a special prayer asking that we all be safe.

The Currabubulla pub was a great spot for smoko, and for those interested the pubs goat Igor actually featured in the super man movie that was filmed in the area.
Tamworth lookout was a great place for to regroup and get a few snap shots before heading into Manilla for lunch. Thankfully I had notified the pub weeks before, otherwise we’d still be waiting for lunch, but everybody took the wait in their stride and it was actually a pretty good feed. The only downer was my mate Deano suffering a flat tire on his Kwaka, but thanks to the Swanies he was back up and running in no time. After a long lunch it was back to Gunnedah to get ready for dinner.
Again a few thank you’s to the Swanies, Gus Turner, Skippy Ward and Jason Woodward in assisting Deano and getting him a new tire fitted.

The Saturday night dinner at the Gunnedah ex servicemen’s club was fantastic and I think everybody had a great time with 40 odd people attending.
Sadly Sunday morning it was all over, so it was time to say good bye to great friends and family and head home.

The whole weekend was amazing and the stars defiantly aligned to make the ride day perfect, I thank everyone for their comments on organizing the ride, but at the end of the day all I did was make a few phone call. It was YOU guys who made it amazing and for me having my daughter on the back of the wing, my oldest daughter riding in the group, my adopted family the Woodies, old school mates that I havnt seen for 40 years and my Goldwing Family made it the best day ever had on a bike.
And to the Swanies for going out of their way and cleaning up Harrys cross, thank you!
Thank you also to my brother Dale for looking after us with Breaky and for organizing flyers and getting the local radio station to plug the ride.
Family and Friends is what it’s all about

But the person I would like to thank the most for all of this is you Harry, after all these years to have people from all walks of life, riding a myriad of different bikes all come together shows how much love and respect we all have for you.

Wayne Irwin