23 August 2006
Ulysses Centurion supports the Dutch Reformed Church Heilbron Blanket project ahead of winter
22 April 2018
Earlier this year, the call came from our esteemed chapter VP, “Mooi Flip” and was supported by our president: “People, there is a desperate need in Heilbron.” This year, like many years before, the Dutch Reformed Church in Heilbron is collecting blankets to hand out to needy families in the community.
The need is great: In some cases, whole families are sharing one blanket through the winter. Surely, the Ulysses family in Centurion could extend a helping hand to this worthy cause? (The ‘backstory’ here is that Mooi Flip’s personal ‘skoonma’ attends this church and her call for help was therefore more personal and a potentially greater risk than he would care to admit.)
The Ulysses Centurion chapter rallied to the cause and collected more than R10,000 to buy blankets for the desperately needy in Heilbron. In addition to the new blankets bought, several blankets were donated directly by members.
The trip to deliver the blankets was arranged for Sunday, 22 April 2018. National Vice President Jan Putter and several members of the Pretoria chapter also joined the outing to Heilbron.
In all, about 40 bikes started the day, all leaving Centurion in good spirits with fuel tanks brimmed and grip warmers set to half-stop just after 7 on Sunday morning. The blanket donation, by now a good bundle of more than 120, had to take a minibus to Heilbron. Though some fellows took their ‘blankie’ along for the ride.
Figure 1: Meeting up at our usual spot and getting ready to ride.
The route was planned via the N1 south, then the N3 to the R59, turning east to meet the R571 into Heilbron. The road was fairly quiet and the trip uneventful. At some point, an overheating KLR unfortunately had to turn back as the pace increased for the rear end of the pack to keep up through the traffic. The cold, sunny morning eventually warmed up nicely and one hour later we were at Blockhouse One-Stop on the R59, ready for a comfort break and to meet up with other members of the group. A few more bikes joined the group at Blockhouse and after a quick coffee and obligatory bathroom break, we were back on the road. By now, the day was a blissfully warm, sunny autumn morning and the buffs were tucked away.
The road from Blockhouse to Heilbron on the R571 has a few potholes, but nothing too serious. We arrived at the Dutch reformed church in Heilbron in good time for the church service.
Figure 2: The Dutch Reformed Church in Heilbron offers good parking with easy access to the main entrance.
The youth service was attended by the whole group. The key message of the morning’s sermon was taken from Psalm 139, the key question being how you behave knowing that someone is ways watching you and knows everything about you. The example of a drone was used in the modern context: that these technologies can be applied to either good or evil purposes. The same analogy was drawn to motorcycles. The Ulysses group was thanked heartily for their contribution of the blankets during the service and our ‘Gang leader’, Blackie, said a few words regarding the donation.
Figure 3: An impressive pile of blankets donated to the DR Church Heilbron for their winter charity outreach
Figure 4: The group who rode out to Heilbron on 22 April 2018.
After the service, we were treated by the kind ladies of the DR Church Heilbron to a very ‘lekker’ lunch of fresh cheesy rolls, quiches, pap, wors and liver.
Figure 5: The kind ladies of DR Church Heilbron offered a hearty lunch
Having dispatched with lunch in good order we returned home, grateful, well fed and feeling satisfied that our donation and efforts will make a difference in the lives of many needy families in the coming winter. Stopping once again at Blockhouse for a goodbye before the group started splitting up on the way home, the day was by now warm enough to warrant an ice-cream for some. The only incident on the way home was caused by a Toyota Tazz on the R59 which was travelling at 140kph. This was too much for the space-saver spare wheel, of which the skin came off and caused a few nervous moments for about three of us following close behind and having to dodge the tyre bits at speed.
Aside from that small near-miss, all arrived home safely between 2 and 3pm, with the Pretoria chapter members electing to return via a local establishment for some well-deserved liquid refreshments…
Ulysses Centurion Camping Weekend
Koro Koro Safari Lodge
23 – 25 March 2018
We are not only bikers but we also love camping! This was very obvious when we took the road to Bela Bela on a very wet and cold Friday to go camping. We were welcomed by the friendly hosts and the first sun rays in days; and that is when we knew this weekend can only get better.
After everyone was settled in, we gathered around the campfire. Whether it was the welcoming mampoer shot, chocolate tequila or the flaming fires we couldn’t feel the cold. While the meat was sizzling on the braai the girls made sure that there was enough sides to feed the crowd. What a great atmosphere with jokes and laughter echoing through the Bushveld. An early night was up to prepare physiologically for the Potjiekos competition of the following day.
A sunny Saturday morning greeted us with coffee and rusks, followed by the old camping tradition of having a brunch while a few late comers were busy nestling in. After brunch everyone was divided into their Potjiekos teams and was let loose with boxes of “arts and crafts”. The GROOT TREK 1835 - 1840 has started and the judging team left to do the set up. Team members started working on their decorations, emblems and anything they could think of to get their hands on one of the trophies. Some even had to buy beer from the bar to make use of the empty beer cans.
At lunch time the teams received their pre-selected meat and the pantry was opened. A vast variety of fresh vegetables, herbs, spices and condiments were available and it looked like Farmers Market on a Saturday with everyone trying to outwit the other getting the best possible ingredients for their Potjie. Cheating was allowed and that opened a can of worms. There was a “guard” at every pot but once in a while they took their eyes off it and was bombarded with a chilli. What a saucy business – Worcestershire sauce was hidden and Tobasco sauce “accidently” added.
The hall was filled with fun and laughter while busy with chopping, pealing, frying, stirring, drinking and decorating. We discovered artists amongst us - the Green team’s Koro koro drawing and woodwork, the Blue team’s vegetable arrangement, the White team had very unique drawings that included the Ulysses emblem and the Red team made an oxwagen from beer cans. What a way to get to know your fellow bikers and form new friendships. Our ball skills were also tested with a game of Bolé, not the easiest task to aim with a few “strafdoppe” in your system and Voortrekker attire. At 7 the score cards were handed out and teams made their last attempt on getting some extra points.
“Hilda” from the Green team entertained us with her 7 scarves, the Blue team put a twist on “Een aand op ‘n trein na Pretoria”, the Red team, alias the Front Pullers speech is still forgotten and the White team tried very unsuccessfully to explain their drawings and how the Groot Trek ties in with Ulysses. “Frikkie and his girls” kept a close eye on all the moves, and awarded pointless points where needed.
We dished up the 4 types of Potjies; Curry Beef, Gluten/Onion and garlic free Beef, Chicken and Curry Lamb accompanied by a selection of samp, rice, potbread and salad. What a close call but at the end the White team won the best Pot with their Chicken Potjie, the Red team won the best team spirit and Cariena was crowned Mrs Potjie. The night ended on a high note! Good things always come to an end and on Sunday morning we all had to pack up and part our ways.
This weekend was definitely a great highlight for Ulysses Centurion and will now become one of our annual events – we are looking forward to Camping with Ulysses Centurion 2019!