Tony Tractor chugs his way to northern KZN on epic mission

2010-08-17 00:00

IT has been more than a week since Tony Psaila left Howick and began a journey that will send him on an around-the-world journey of more than five years on his 1948 Ferguson tractor in an attempt to raise funds and awareness for victims of violence and rape.

After eight days “Tony Tractor”, as he is now known, finds himself in Richards Bay, some 180 km north of Durban.

Psaila was in Empangeni yesterday where he made a stop at Empangeni High School to speak to children about his trip and about being responsible adults.

This will be a crucial part of his world journey, said Psaila, as he aims to speak to over 100 000 children along the way.

“The kids were fantastic and the school has a department that actually focuses on rape awareness and they donated some money to the cause,” said Psaila.

“It went really well.

“There were around 150 kids and the message definitely resonated with them,” said Psaila.

While in Durban, Psaila met eThekwini Mayor Obed Mlaba and was interviewed on East Coast Radio’s breakfast show.

Pietermaritzburg home scholar and ambassador for Tony Tractor’s cause Josh Gilbert (14) made the journey from Pietermaritzburg on the tractor with Psaila and was present at both meetings.

Psaila said the traffic on the way to Durban on the R102 made things difficult, but that motorists responded well to his tractor being on the main road.

“People were actually pretty friendly; they were waiting patiently for moments to pass. It was good,” he said.

The Australian-born charity worker has a Harley Davidson motorbike on the tractor’s trailer that goes wherever he goes.

That way Psaila can ensure that he is never late for an appointment.

“I’m very flexible,” said Psaila, who rode back to Howick on Friday to spend time with his girlfriend on her 40th birthday.

Psaila is scheduled to meet Mthonjaneni Municipality Mayor William Harries on Thursday.

He will be in Vryheid on Friday where he will be speaking at an informal community meeting.

A busy weekend awaits him.

On Saturday he will be visiting local youth groups in Vryheid, spending time with teenagers and explaining the dangers of life and how to go about exercising responsible living.

On Sunday he will speak at Vryheid Lions Club Talk before leaving for Paul­pietersburg.

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