Robert's bucket list 94th biking birthday

Bucket list 94th biking birthday for Uniting Farmborough resident Robert Parsons


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Birthday ride: Uniting Farmborough resident Rob Parsons celebrates his 94th birthday with daughter Christine Wilkins on board a Just Cruisin' Harley Tours trike with Steve Melchior. Picture: Sylvia Liber.

Birthday ride: Uniting Farmborough resident Rob Parsons celebrates his 94th birthday with daughter Christine Wilkins on board a Just Cruisin' Harley Tours trike with Steve Melchior. Picture: Sylvia Liber.

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Bucket list 94th biking birthday for Uniting Farmborough resident and adventurer Robert Parsons.

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A chance sighting on Memorial Drive has resulted in a special 94th birthday treat for Robert Parsons.

Mr Parsons was on a day out with his daughter Christine Wilkins when he saw Steve Melchior's Just Cruisin Harley Tours trike late last year and said "I would love to do that".

Mrs Wilkins started planning the ride for her father several months ago.

No stranger to birthday adventures he did a tandem skydive on his 75th and has ridden an elephant in Africa that was chased by a rhino.

But there were no such unplanned thrills on Friday when Mr Melchior took his 94 year old passenger to Kiama Blow Hole and Jamberoo before returning to Uniting Farmborough where a crowd had gathered to give him a big send off 90 minutes earlier.

"He has always been an intrepid adventurer. He loves doing different things," Mrs Wilkins said.

Mr Parsons worked at the steelworks in traffic after starting as a shunter, then a steam locomotive and diesel engine driver before ending his career as a foreman. A family man with six children he did everything he could to give them the best upbringing her could.

"Mum and dad never had much for themselves it all went on us. I can remember dad when he was on annual leave working odd jobs in Sydney to pay for Christmas presents for us. He always gave to us and this was a chance for me to give a little bit back," Mrs Wilkins said.

Mr Parsons ranked Friday's ride just three days before his birthday as "one of the wonderful things I have done in my life".

"I have been through Siberia and I have been on a 10 day walk to the base camp at Mount Everest but this is entirely different. I can recommend it to anyone. I once owned a motorbike. It was a 1940 BSA. I used to go to the Sydney Showground to the motorcycle races where I was a pusher because the motorbikes that raced around the dirt track didn't have starter motors. I have had some wonderful experiences in my life. I enjoy life".

Sons John and Rodney Parsons, daughter-in-law Leonie Parsons and son-in-law Bill Wilkins were all present to witness the early birthday present.

His grandchildren include renowned violinist Sarah Moir.

Mr Melchior said he regularly took people like Mr Parsons on a bucket list ride for their birthday. The oldest to date is 98.

"I always offer them a free ride at 100 but haven't been taken up on it yet," he said.

Illawarra Mercury

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