The third oldest branch of the international Ulysses Club for matured-aged riders, the Darling Downs Branch, has celebrated its 30th anniversary.
The party was held on October 26 at Club Glenvale and attracted more than 80 members.
The tale of the Darling Downs Branch beginning is almost legendary: Ulysses founder Stephen Dearnley was sitting in a pub in Sydney in 1983 with four of his mates when they decided to start a social club for older motorcyclists.
They had some early contacts in country areas and one of those was a man named Bill Anderson from Toowoomba. He was #7 member of the Ulysses Club.
There was no formal Branch back then. However, by 1984, riders from Brisbane and the Darling Downs had a combined ride calendar and sometimes rode together with riders from northern NSW.
But on February 9, 1986, that was all about to change.
On the night that Halley’s Comet passed by the closest point to Earth, Bill and his mates officially formed The Darling Downs Branch.
They elected one office bearer, Bill, who was to be first “President, Secretary, Treasurer, Billy Boiler and Bike Washer”.
Darling Downs Branch was the second branch to be formed outside of Sydney, the first being Melbourne. That also makes it the first provincial city branch.
The following year the branch participated in the Toowoomba Carnival of Flowers and won a couple of awards.
Another milestone for the branch was the hosting of the 1995 AGM at the Glenvale Showgrounds. Branch President that year was Frank Mann.
The event ran for three days and attracted 1800 people. The special branch banner from that AGM was displayed at the recent 30th Anniversary Celebration.
Over the years the scale of the Ulysses Club has grown: from five blokes in a pub in 1983 to more than 25,000 members Australia wide in 2016.
There are now 137 branches in Australia as well as overseas branches. But the spirit of Ulysses remains the same.
“We love our motorcycles and we love to ride,” says Darling Downs Branch member Graham Moore.
“But it’s the mateship, the sense of adventure, fun and laughter that adds value to our passion for motorcycling.
“And the opportunity to make genuine friendships that extend beyond club activities that is most precious of all.”
Darling Downs Branch of the Ulysses Club Presidents
- #7 Bill Anderson 1986 – 1987
- #47 Mal Shaw 1987 – 1989
- #158 Mile Gale 1989 – 1990
- Ashley Mackay 1990 – 1991
- #2470 Dan Hoefler 1991 – 1993
- #3091 Frank Mann 1994 – 1995
- #11480 Bob Hampson 1995 – 1996
- #8619 Glen Gibbs 1996 – ?
- #10814 Di Potter 2000 – 2001
- #13008 Brian Martens 2001 – 2003
- #20737 Tony Ryder 2003 – 2005
- #11607 Barry Clark 2005 – 2006
- #35711 Col Duffy 2006 – 2008
- #47863 Kev Fitzakerly 2008 – 2010
- #26013 Lyndon Pelly 2010
- #18157 Kerry Rowe 2010 – 2013
- #59201 John Paulger 2013 – 2015
- #64339 Neil Needham 2015 – 2016
- #40838 Linda Carey 2016