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2010 President's Report 08 August

Submitted by John_Cook on Sun, 15/08/2010 - 12:46am

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Belated congratulations - Perry Stephens

I have been very remiss in not doing this formally much sooner.   I would like to congratulate our secretary; Perry Stephens on being awarded the Dearnley Medal at the National AGM in March this year.   This award is in recognition of Perry’s outstanding service not only to Melbourne Branch but to all Victorian members of the Ulysses Club Inc.  Perry instigated the Victorian Memorial Ride at Mt Macedon, is actively and regularly involved running Very Special Kids Day and actively promotes the annual blood donation challenge in Victoria.  He also instigated a monthly newsletter which he distributes to a large number of Ulysses members well beyond Melbourne branch to keep members informed of current events.   Beyond this he is actively involved in road safety council matters in which he represents motorcyclists and disseminates information.  He is also very active in promoting Ulysses Club membership as evidenced by the information stands he erects and mans at events including The Toy Run, Motorcycle Expo and HART training events.  He also regularly attends social events run by metropolitan Ulysses Branches to promote fellowship and show that we are part of a club much wider than any particular branch.   This is just a brief summary of some of the many things he does.

Perry, congratulations – well done and keep up the good work.      


Motor Cycle Apprentice of the Year Award

On the 24th June Perry and I attended the Kangan TAFE Awards ceremony where Matthew Redgrove received the “Ulysses Club Inc Motor Cycle Apprentice of the Year Award – State of Victoria winner”.   Matthew also received a 176 Sidchrome tool kit which was donated by Supercheap Auto.   Mathew is a mature age apprentice, he turns 40 years young in February and Perry is already recruiting him as a new member next year.  We also extended an invitation to Mathew to join us on the president’s BBQ ride in December and he responded enthusiastically.

Welfare Report

I recently spoke with David Paxman who badly inured his shoulder whilst returning home after a branch ride earlier this year.  He is still undergoing rehabilitation and stated that mobility was much improved in his shoulder but muscle wastage means that many more months of rehabilitation are needed before he regains full strength and mobility.  I have also spoken with Harry Vlahakis who posted a message on the forum indicating that he had broken his thumb.  That injury occurred at work and he is hopeful of a full recovery soon.  Both are keen to get back on their bikes.  Mike McCann has been keeping in touch whilst he and Gerry are coping with a number of medical issues.  He appreciated receiving the Spare Tyre and enjoys hearing from fellow members.


Website Update

Kate Clarke, our Site Administrator has got our new website on line and has steadily been adding content and modifying tabs to make the site as friendly and useful as possible.

Raymond Herd has commented very favourably on the new site.

All members have had to re “register” to use the site and whilst this has caused the odd hiccup and a bit of angst to a few members the transition has been going smoothly with a steady number of previous users and additional Ulysses members registering.     

The new home page now features a number of rotating photos taken on actual Melbourne Branch rides and upcoming rides are easily visible to all.  Members’ photos are now clearer with a rotating assortment on the home page. Sponsors’ logos are now also prominent on a number of pages in addition to the Sponsors’ Page and those logos also provide instant links to the sponsors’ websites if they have their own sites. The final layout will continue to be polished to suit the requirements of the members.   As an example of this Kate recently loaded links to weather radar and forecasts after that absence was brought to my attention on a recent ride.     

Kate took on this whole task as a volunteer after I publicised the need.   It has been a monumental task involving designing and building a whole new site after backing up all the data from the old site, getting it on line, registering all users as they come on line, creating content and reinstalling archival material to name just a few of the tasks. 

I think she has done a great job and created a leading edge website which will serve the members well for many years to come.

All this whilst recovering from an operation, then incurring a broken foot and dealing with her full time employment.  Kate, I say, “Very well done and thank you.”



The sponsors who have paid to finance the web site and Spare Tyre this year are:

  • Bike Mart (Ringwood)
  • Jeffrey Motorcycle Centre (Ferntree Gully)
  • Metro Motorcycles - Honda and Ducati (Ringwood)
  • Treads and Things (Ringwood)

Please consider supporting these businesses when looking for apparel, a motor bike or tyres or accessories and you may well be pleasantly surprised with a discount if you mention your membership and their sponsorship.


The Melbourne Branch High Country Odyssey at Mansfield over Cup Weekend

 This event has now been booked in with dinner planned for the Golf Club venue.  Full details have now been well publicised and all committee members are encouraged to publicise the event at all opportunities to encourage registrations.  I encourage all members who intend to go to this event to register as soon as possible to assist with planning and catering needs as the cut off for registration is now only 2 months away.  I also encourage all members who intend to help out up at Mansfield to contact Margaret or me to specifically let us know how and when they can help.   


Ride Calendar

The only vacancies left for ride leaders in 2010 are 19/9, 26/9 and 21/11.

If anybody would like to lead a ride on any of these dates please contact Holly or me.

There is no ride planned for the 19th December as it is only a week before Christmas.  If anyone would like to lead a short ride on that day with perhaps a coffee stop to support the locals at Marysville please let me know.  An impromptu ride could also be publicised on the Forum page if anyone is so inclined.  Family commitments will definitely prevent me from participating that day.


Upcoming Events   

The Christmas function has again been booked at the Donvale Sports Club in Noonan way for the evening of Saturday 11th December and again it would be very much appreciated if bookings and payments were made well in advance to assist with catering and planning.

VSK Day on the 14th November has been well publicised elsewhere but again I would urge members who can and intend to participate and assist to contact Perry very soon to enable effective planning to enable the smooth running of this great event. 

The Melbourne Branch AGM will be held in February 2011 and I would urge members to consider nominating for a position on the committee to ensure the continued health of this great branch of the Ulysses Club.   Events such as the High Country Odyssey will definitely need some new people to commit to the organisation if they are to continue beyond this year.



The Melbourne Branch is the very first Branch created after the Ulysses Club was formed and has continued to provide a great avenue for the enjoyment of all Ulysses members.  I believe that our ride calendar is one of the branch’s great strengths by providing a very regular avenue for participation and the enjoyment of motorcycling for all members without geographic restrictions.   I have been thoroughly enjoying my association with the Melbourne Branch for many years and I get much more out of it that I put in.

When riding - Stay safe and consider others. Courtesy and road craft go a long way.

Keep yourselves, your licences and your bikes intact.


John Cook