Pelicans are ready to fly
FROM an idea hatched in the Shaws Bay Hotel eight years ago, the Pelicans on Posties have been flying ever since, and raised around $100,000, with most of that going to Biala Special School.
The Pelicans will this week set off on their postie bikes from Cape Byron to Cape York in a 3100km adventure with a dozen riders.
Bill McInerney and Lee Fitzgerald came up with the idea for the Pelicans on Posties. Mr McInerney said it came from a chat in the East Ballina pub about how to get to the Darwin Cup.
They came up with the plan to ride postie bikes.
It could have easily been written off as pub chat, but Mr Fitzgerald went out the next day and bought a Honda CT110 postie bike, and then put the pressure on his mates at the pub to do the same.
And they did.
The first ride back in 2012 was a marathon 4170km journey to Darwin, with 21 bikes in the flock - many of the riders had to get their motorbike licence first.
Since then, the Pelicans have ridden to the Birdsville Cup, traversed the Simpson Desert and completed weekend social rides.
They also run the annual Easter yabby races at the Shaws Bay Hotel and also took over the running of the Anzac Day two-up games at the pub, supported by the licensee Brendan Byrne and members of the Rotary Club of Ballina-on-Richmond.
And all their efforts go to raise money for Biala Special School.
Mr McInerney said while it was getting more difficult to find postie bikes for sale, there was still plenty of interest from others in joining the flock of pelicans in their fundraising
While he said the rides were a lot of fun, the Pelicans were pleased to be able to help the students with disabilities at the school.
The upcoming ride will specifically help fund furniture for the school's new classrooms and life-skills centre.