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Day 4 - The Back-way to Seymour

After continuously listening to Rodger King and talking with his family for 8-9 hours since our arrival at their place on the outskirts of Broadford on the previous day, I was totally drained. Sandra, Rodger's wife had already provided fresh towels and soap. I had a good hot shower before I went to sleep in the camper-van that was parked at the front of the house. Jit (my pilot for this week) had already gone to sleep in the van. My body was relaxed after the shower and I had a good sleep.


The Day - 4 morning began at 5:00 AM with yet another hot shower. Rodger's younger son Travis wished me luck for the walk and left for work at 5:30. After Jit and I got ready, we went in to thank Rodger and his family for their generous hospitality before leaving for Seymour. Rodger and Tristian were waiting for us in the kitchen. They made us coffee/tea and we finally departed just before 7:00 AM.


We drove back to Mia Mia Road to the point to start the walk where I had left off. I finally started the walk at 7:00 and headed to town. I went past the Shire of Mitchell Council offices and turned right into a very lonely road that later took us into a gravel road then into an unsealed road. However, we eventually reached the Seymour - Pyalong Road that ultimately brought us into Seymour.


Katherine from the Victorian Railways Institute (VRI) had organised a welcome function at the Seymour VRI Bowling Club to honour me and my commitment to take on such a monumental challenge after retirement. Thank you so much Katherine. Two of our sons Shekhar and Danny had driven all the way from Boronia to join us at the Bowling club. David Mathews, head of VRI, Kuldip Johal head of Metrol and his wife, Ian Cashill head of VRI Seymour, and my sons were waiting at the corner of Emily Street and Goulburn Valley Hwy to welcome us and walk with us the last kilometer to the VRI Bowling Club.


It was heart warming to see so many well wishers and supporters lining up on both sides of the walkway to cheer and welcome us as we walked through the entrance gate. Inside the club, the function room was well prepared for the occasion. The tables were all decorated with pink ribbons to match the color of the McGrath Foundation. Many supporters wore pink to demonstrate their support for the walk and the Foundation. A lot of work would have gone in to briefing everyone and a large number of volunteers would have put in hours of work to set up the tables, chairs etc. Perhaps another set of selfless volunteers would have prepared so much food to make it all happen. The food was great and everyone enjoyed it followed by tea/coffee etc. Everyone had a great time.


The function began with Ian's welcome speech. He also pointed out that they were running a raffle to raise funds to donate to the McGrath Foundation. They collected $685 and they were going to hand it over to me. David Mathews stepped in and announced the VRI would add $315 to the total making a total of $1,000. Katherine was handed over the cash to directly deposit into the account rather then me carrying large sums of cash while walking. For such an amazing support and generous contribution, I was struggling to find appropriate words to thank everyone. I managed to express my gratitude for their kindness and getting right behind me on this long foot march. I would also like to acknowledge that despite his busy schedule in the Police force, our eldest son also came in for 10-15 minutes to show his commitment to support for the walk. So a big thank you my son.


One thing that everyone needs to understand that I am just doing the walk. It is so many supporters working behind the scene making it possible and worthwhile. After the VRI function, we had a quick cuppa with Kuldip and his wife and they left for Melbourne. We pulled into Highlands caravan park and asked Craig the owner if he had a site for our van and how much he would charge for the night. He not only let us stay where we had parked, he refused to take any money because of what we were doing and our commitment to support the McGrath Foundation. A few minutes later, he also gave me $50 cash donation. I had tears in my eyes as I wrote out the receipt in his name. It is people like Craig who inspire us to undertake fundraising activities like this and make it worthwhile. My heart goes out to all strangers like Craig who come forward to join hands to supprt the walk. A big Big thank you everyone involved in supporting the walk.

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