Nelson
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 16:02

Top of the South Island Ride of Respect biggest yet

The Top of the South Island Ride of Respect 2016 gains the support of 85 riders this year as they pay their respect to the fallen on the Anzac weekend at Motueka War Memorial. The Top of the South Island Ride of Respect 2016 gains the support of 85 riders this year as they pay their respect to the fallen on the Anzac weekend at Motueka War Memorial. Photo's / Chris Hogan

Veterans are $1500 richer thanks to support from 85 motorcycle riders.
It was the biggest Top of the South Island Ride of Respect to date.

Sounds of thrumming engines passed through the streets of Nelson Tasman over the Anzac weekend. They rode to help raise money to fund support systems for New Zealand veterans.

The Top of the South Island Ride of Respect 2016 ride through to Motueka from Nelson to raise money and pay their respects to fallen soldiers of WWI over the Anzac weekend. Photo: Chris Hogan

Blessed with fine weather the record number of riders left Tahunanui RSA carpark on Sunday proudly wearing symbolic red poppies out of respect for the fallen.
Organiser Steven Wilson said even his pooch wore a purple poppy in memory of the animals lost during the battles of war.
"I was buzzing by the end of the day. It was an awesome day," he said.
"We managed to increase our numbers from 25 riders last year.
"A lot of locals were blown away by the sight of us all. There was a real energy in the air."
About 150 people showed up to send off the group of riders, Wilson said.
"We raised a total of $1500 which was split three ways - $300 to the Fallen Heroes Trust and $560 each to the Nelson and Motueka RSAs."
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The riders stopped in Motueka where they laid wreaths on the war memorial before riding through the township.
Wilson said the highlight of the day was to see the excitement on people's faces who watched them as they rode by.
"I stopped to take some photos of the bikes near the memorial and there was a German family there. I told them to come and watch and what it was all about," he said.
"The children were jumping up and down they were so excited and the father, he had a tears in his eyes.
"It was great to see the bikes together like that."
The ride for 2017 is a no-brainer for Wilson. He is confident he can break 100 riders next year.
"We even had some people who had travelled from Wellington to do the run," he said.
"I couldn't have asked for it to go any better."
Wilson thanked everyone involved who helped make the ride possible, including Colin Agnew who lead the ride out.
"We had such a huge amount of support. It can only move forward from here."

Nelson Mail

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