HOW IT ALL STARTED
In April 2010 the President of the Queen’s College Old Boys Association, Ian Dorrington, the Headmaster of the school, Chris Harker and Tony Frost sat and discussed the needs of the school.
It was clear that bursaries were needed to help fund borders at Queen’s College.
This was the seed that took 8 months to germinate. In December of that year Tony decided that he would undertake a cycle tour from Johannesburg to Queenstown to raise money for his old school for bursaries. And so the 1965Ride was born with Ian Dorrington as its Chairman.
There was very little time in which to organise things. And to cap it all at a QC Old Boys gathering at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg Des Raymer told the gathering about the tour and the first person to sign up was Leon Jacobs. So then there were two of us, the next week there were four with Jen Wilson and Ashley Truscott joining the trip. Neither had anything to do with Queen’s or Queenstown other than misfortune of knowing me. Both had initially just offered to assist in the organisation – Jen with the admin and logistics; and Ashley with marketing and PR. They have both integral to the tour ever since. This is especially the case with Jen who arguably knows more about its organisation and logistics than anyone. Their contribution in those first few years was enormous!! They can never be thanked enough. Then a few Rides on, Rodger Webb stepped/ ‘cycled’ in and made a massive contribution to the Ride in handling all the accommodation bookings –
a damn fine job always and a huge thanks to him!
All three will be rode again in 2019.
A few weeks before the tour began John Ralph signed up and a few days later we joined by my youngest son Kieran.
It was on a cold, drizzly day that we met, full of nerves and trepidation that we met at the Heidelberg airfield on the outskirts of Johannesburg. It wasn’t fully light yet and we were not totally sure of how to get through Heidelberg but Ashley said she knew so off we went into the wild blue yonder.
It was an adventure. Ashley had peanut butter sandwiches in her Camelbak; we discovered that the various maps had varying distances between towns; we were treated to a sound resembling a pregnant hippo as Kieran collapsed in the main street of Villiers apparently with cramps in his legs; we learned about riding in the freezing rain; Kieran and Leon did their best to eat everything that resembled a hamburger along the way; we discovered the marvels of the Constantia Cherry Farmstall; and we all cried when we rode onto the Rec to be welcomed in by thousands of kids and the new headmaster of Queen’s, David Lovett.
We have come a long way since then. 97 cyclists and 28 support crew have raised over R5 million and this has enabled the Education Endowment Fund to support some 70 bursars from 6 different schools. Some of the bursars have now moved on, have graduated and are now at the cusps of their careers. They are real ambassadors for what the 1965Ride stands for. Good education, leading citizens and a successful country.
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 10 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 10 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!
REGISTER TO RIDE
We start the 2020 10th Anniversary tour on the 8th April from Life Hospital Suikerbosrand at 07:30 and will finish in Queenstown on The Rec at 13:00 on the 16th April 2020!
Registration for the 2020 edition of the 1965Ride is open!
A Huge thanks to our sponsors without whom none of this would be possible!