By YEHIURA HRIEHWAZI
A FORMER Kiwi missionary to Papua New Guinea is riding a motorcycle across the length of New Zealand to raise funds to buy an aeroplane to serve the rural people of PNG.
Interestingly, the motorcycle that Frank Carter, 76, is riding to raise funds is the same one – a 1955 DOT Scrambler– he used while serving in the Western Highlands province in the late 1950s.
Mr Carter rode into Dunedin on the South Island on Wednesday and was expected to ride into Gore yesterday, before reaching the town of Bluff today – clocking up 2,220km in 14 days.
He plans to end the ride at an annual motorbike rally called the Burt Munro Challenge at Oreti Beach near Invercargill this weekend.
So far, he has been able to raise more than NZ$20,000 (K40,000) on his road trip – far short of the NZ$1 million (K2 million) needed to by a new Australian-built GA8 Airvan and donate it to the Missionary Aviation Fellowship (MAF) for its work in PNG. Mr Carter was reported by the Otago Daily Times as saying that he was praying hard for more funds.
Mr Carter bought the motorbike in 1959 and shipped it to Mt Hagen where he and his family were doing missionary work.
He said the DOT (devoid of trouble) was ideal for the remote and rugged conditions he encountered in the Western Highlands province, and it was his only mode of transport for the seven-and a-half years he lived and served God there.
When it was time to return to New Zealand, the motorcycle was “a wreck”, so he sold it to the mission and left it in PNG.
Thirty-eight years later, Mr Carter had retired and was keen to relive a small part of his youth by buying another 1955 DOT Scrambler.
After a long search, he found one and, to his astonishment, it turned out to be his very own old 1955 model – refurbished.
“I was convinced that God was part of this reunion and I made the decision to ride the DOT from Cape Reinga to Bluff, as a fundraising venture towards the purchase of a new Mission Aviation Fellowship plane for Papua New Guinea,” Mr Carter said.