Tony Tractor takes on the world

2010-07-24 00:00

RUNNING, walking, sailing — even taking a drive in a fire engine; these are all journeys taken by inspired individuals in the hope of raising funds and awareness for worthy projects. Now an even more extraordinary journey begins.

Yet, even before he covers his first mile, Tony Tractor has captured the hearts of people from all over South Africa with his plan to travel around the world on a 1948 Ferguson tractor to raise awareness of and support for people affected by violence and rape.

“My reasons are simple,” says Tony, “It is because I believe strongly that women and child abuse is an issue that doesn’t receive the attention and effort that it deserves.”

Tony Tractor will receive a rousing send-off for the start of his ambitious tour at the Midlands Meander Association’s Women’s Day concert on August 9 at the Yellowwood Café in Howick. The concert features Idols winner Jason Hartman, Shelley Mclean, Lauren Dasappa and the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra. Popular midlands figure Corrie Campbell, accompanying Jason Hartman, will lead the audience in a rendition of Shosholoza while the Harley Davidson Club powers up to mark the start of Tony’s trip.

This is not the first time Tony has embarked on an ambitious adventure. He previously travelled across South Africa on his tractor, from Beit­bridge to Cape Agulhas. His quest was to raise funds for the Midlands Crisis and Trauma Centre in Howick and encourage people to donate blood to the South African National Blood Services.

“I can’t just sit here and do nothing about this,” said Tony. “Human wellbeing (mind, body and spirit) is a fundamental right and is critical for a well functioning society.

“Ironically, while our Constitution protects these rights, little action is being taken to address the abuse of these rights …”

On his website, http://tonytractor.org, he speaks of his undertaking. “As I love tractors, I will ‘tractor’ myself along the road for as long as it takes me to circumnavigate the world. I also love Harley-Davidsons, so I’ll be towing my Harley behind me on a trailer.”

To see Tony off on his world tour — and soak up the warm August sun listening to world-class music in a spectacular natural amphitheatre overlooking the Howick Falls, you can buy your tickets for the concert from Computicket (083 915 800 or www.computicket.com), at Yellowwood Cafe in Howick (033 330 2462), at the Woza Woza offices in Howick or at the gate on the day.

The tickets are R85 for adults, R70 for pensioners and R30 for children under 16,

There is plenty of secure parking and refreshments will be on sale, although you are welcome to bring your picnic.

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