White Ribbon rides again

White Ribbon Riders rolled through Cambridge on their way to Waikeria Prison. Photo – Michael Jeans.

The message of respect was heard loud and clear on Monday as motorbikes rumbled through town. It was a contingent of about 40 motorcyclists known as the White Ribbon Riders (WRR), bringing with them the important message of respectful relationships and ending domestic violence.

It all started at Cambridge High School, where riders from around the North Island gathered for a presentation to the students. “You can make a difference and it starts with one word, respect.” director of the White Ribbon Riders, Aaron Morrison said during the assembly.

Aaron Morrison rewarded students Zach Burd, Jack Forsyth and Elenor Huggins for demonstrating respect during the presentation.

Two of the White Ribbon riders present were former Cambridge High School students, Thomas Patten and Craig “Bumblebee” Maclarn, both speaking to the students about the importance of respect.

The next speaker was the WRR Patron David White, who became the organisation’s ambassador after his daughter, Helen Meads, was murdered in 2009 by her husband at their Matamata home.

He asked the students to look at the person on their left and right, “I guarantee you one thing, you’ve just looked into the eyes of a person that is going to be abused in some way at some point in their lifetime… that’s one in three.

“Just remember… the lack of respect in this country is so broad, so please if nothing else, start now, start respecting the person on either side of you.”

White Ribbon Riders Willie Tipene and Tony Brooking, pictured as they line up outside Cambridge High School.

The riders stayed for morning tea before riding through the main street of town and onwards to Waikeria Prison, continuing their message of respect and healthy relationships.

The week-long motorcycle tour happens every November – White Ribbon Month, concluding with White Ribbon Day on Friday, November 25. To donate towards the White Ribbon Ride, visit www.whiteribbon.org.nz – or pop down to the White Ribbon sausage sizzle on Victoria Street this Friday November 24, organised by Violence Free Waipa, to make a donation in person.

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