July 2011: Aurora Timor the ice breaking motorcycle

Timor Adventures memory: July 2011

How the Aurora Australis icebreaker bought a motorcycle to Timor-Leste

“Aurora Timor” the ice breaking motorcycle
In April 2011 Emma, my niece, was working on the Aurora Australis, an ice breaking ship of the Australian Antarctic Division. They were on their way down to the Australian bases but had been stuck in the ice for a few days. One of the crew was reading an article in a motorcycle magazine and commented about someone running motorcycle tours in East Timor to which Emma responded “That’s my Uncle David”.The article went on to describe the tour but also some of the community work we are doing with a local school in Timor. Emma sent me an email to tell me all of this. Emma also asked about the community work and I explained that we had been supporting a school near Viqueque and were intending to buy some musical instruments. We had also set ourselves the goal this year of buying a motorcycle for a maternal child nurse at the Alola Foundation, a Timorese foundation that supports women.

Emma asked if she could do some fundraising for these items on the ship. The next day Emma emailed us to say that enough money had been raised for both the motorcycle and the musical instruments! We were overwhelmed by the generosity of the crew and passengers on the Aurora, people whom we had never met, in an ocean far away from Timor, it was truly wonderful! Emma went on to explain that there was a request that we call the bike “Aurora”. We could not think of a better name!
I talked to Emma a few days later and they had the funds. We will be in Timor on tour in July and will buy the instruments for the school and deliver them to Viqueque. In late July we will be running the first Women’s motorcycle tour of East Timor to celebrate 10 years of Alola. We feel that this will be a fitting time to hand over “Aurora Timor” as well as a photo of the Aurora Australis and its generous crew and passengers.
One day I hope that some of the generous people on that voyage of the Aurora Australis will come to Timor and visit “Aurora Timor”, the world’s first ice breaking motorcycle.
Our thanks to the Emma and the crew and passengers of the Aurora Australis, what a surprise and a wonderful gift!
Dave & Shirley