The Origins of the Name Ulysses
Greek hero Ulysses (some called him Odysseus) had some wild adventures as king of Ithaca, his wooden horse filled with armed soldiers in Troy being one of them.
He thereafter sailed home to a tame and relatively boring family and castle. The poem titled “Ulysses”, by Alfred Lord Tennyson, tells of him longing to go adventuring again with his shipmates of old.
This draws a parallel with Ulysses bikers with the Ulysses Motorcycle Association of South Africa offering opportunities for over forty year olds to get out there and show the world that we still have what it takes to enjoy the excitement that awaits every rider, and would be rider, to show that we aren’t ready to lay back and watch the weeds grow and then look back and wonder "could I have done better".
No, for us it is the open road and the friendship that comes with the great companionship of many others who wish to enjoy the biking way of life.
About Ulysses SA
In South Africa one Simon Fourie thought that it was exactly what South Africa needed and in 1998 went to the Australian Ulysses National rally held in a place called Wagga Wagga. He gave a speech to the assembled disgracefuls about his intentions and was well-received and welcomed to the fold. There were several other meetings at Wagga Wagga with the Ulysses head office hierarchy, mostly outdoors and under a tree nicknamed “The Tea Tree”.
Thereafter the Fourie visited major centres in South Africa to spread the Ulysses message and to sign on members.
The final launch dates took place as follows:
- Bloemfontein, 30 November 1998 at CBC Old Boys Club, Waverly, hosted by Pine Pienaar.
- Cape Town, Tuesday, 1st December 1998, Wingfield Officers Club in Goodwood, hosted by Frans Gouws.
- Port Elizabeth, Wednesday 2nd December 1998, hosted by Sharwoods Motorcycles, Northend.
- East London, Thursday 3rd December 1998, Road Runners Clubhouse, Abbottsford, hosted by John Buckler, who was to take over the burden of running Ulysses from Simon Fourie as National President.
- Durban, Sunday 6 December 1998, at the Assagay Hotel, between Pinetown and Hammarsdale.
- Gauteng, Tuesday 8th December 1998, Kyalami Exhibition Centre.
An interesting comment, with unanimous concurrence from everyone, was from a Cape Town gentleman who had retired as a Director and asked that Ulysses please should not have endless committee and other meetings he was happy to retire from.
Yes, the Fourie pointed out, Ulysses is like a big, strong lazy river which flows along in whichever direction the members want it to go. It flows slowly, because there is no rush nor any deadlines and it meanders naturally with few rules and regulations.
A Ulysses retirement village was discussed and a Cape Town newspaper said that this will be a place “where ancient hooligans will gather to ward off loneliness and exchange lies about their formative years.”
The first national rally was at Drakensville, in the Drakensberg, in KZN and was a great success and there has been a national rally, in various locations, every year since then.
The original Australian founder
The original Ulysses Club was started in Australia by Stephen Dearnley, a self-confessed motorcycle fanatic who came to Australia from Britain in 1947 after going through the horrors of World War Two. His aim was to create a movement that encouraged older people to get out and enjoy life in their later years.
The movement has grown from 5 to more than 20,000 members across Australia.
- Hannes Wentzel : President
- Jan Putter : Vice President
- Leon Roux : Treasurer
- Julian Middleton : Secretary
- Julian Middleton : Administrator
August 2018 - click to download
[Posted 30 August 2018]
Want to become a member?
If you are 40 years or older, a biking enthusiast and enjoy socializing with a bunch of like-minded people, then Ulysses is probably what you are looking for!