Motorcycle enthusiasts in Timaru took to the open road on Saturday despite the cancellation of an event at the Waihao Forks Hotel in the Waimate District that they had planned to attend.
About 30 riders from several motorcycle clubs departed Timaru’s Town and Country Club for a circuit to Oamaru, through Kurow, and back to Timaru.
South Canterbury Combined Motorcycle Club committee member Morris Jones said the riders had originally planned to attend an unveiling of the Ted d’Auvergne sculpture at the hotel.
With Covid-19 Level 2 restrictions in place, a decision was made last week to postpone the date of the official unveiling and a new date is yet to be announced.
Private Ted d’Auvergne died on June 3, 1941 in Crete after he was injured in battle and ever since “Ted’s bottle” has remained on display in a glass case in the hotel.
His story became well known both nationally and internationally, and d’Auvergne has returned to the hotel – in the form of a $45,000 life-sized bronze statue which has him sitting outside the hotel drinking a beer while waiting for a train.
The statue was delivered to the hotel by former Oamaru-based, now Akaroa-based sculptor Donald Paterson in June.