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 Retreads motorcycle club Christchurch  New Zealand

Retreads Motorcycle Club Christchurch     


The Retreads Motorcycle Club Christchurch Chapter of Retreads Motorcycle Club International Inc. was formed in May 1995 after initially having contact in 1991 with the Rhode Island (USA) Retreads International Chapter.  Alf Caldwell and John Poulsen are credited with starting the Christchurch chapter along with a small committee of Gary Schumacher, Ross McGregor amongst others and were joined by a number of Gold Wing, BMW Register and Christchurch Ulysses Motorcycle Club members.  A high proportion of Retreads members at the time wanted a more relaxed club atmosphere than could be provided by Ulysses.  Retreads offered this along with the involvement of their partners and supporters.


Coordinators Alf Caldwell. John Paulson, Doug Smith, Dorothy and John Hutcheon, Jo, and Graham Lavender, along with Lindsay and Jenny Wilson, contributed and made the Retreads Motorcycle Club Christchurch what it is today.  The club is now recognised in its own right as the only chapter of Retreads outside of the USA and Canada. 


Short history of the Club

  • The first meeting was held in the board room at St Johns. The guest speaker was from the Hugs not Drugs programme.

  • Alf Caldwell was the scribe for a newsletter and membership list dated 15/01/96.  The membership list contained 42 riders along with their partners.

  • Community projects were undertaken.  With Jan Edwards’s enthusiasm, Retreads undertook laying out gardens amongst the spinal units at Burwood Hospital.  Colin Simpson got the club involved with painting the Railway Station at Ferrymead.

  • In May 1996, the newsletter continued with a John Poulsen ‘jotting’ that it was “Just on a year since the Retreads started rolling in New Zealand”.

  • Alf Caldwell was the first ‘Regional Director’ with coordinators John Paulson then Doug Smith who took over the reins as Organiser in June/July 1998 with John Poulsen penning the newsletter.

  • Doug Smith, who also wrote some newsletters, became coordinator, and shared the responsibility for organising rides and other events with Committee members, Coleen Smith, Graham and Jan Edwards, Ross and Mary McGregor and John and Robyn Poulsen.

  • In January 2001 Dorothy and John Hutcheon (Organiser) agreed to running things and grew the club from around 30 to 80 riders most with their partners.

  • Jo and Graham Lavender, in partnership with Jenny and Lindsay Wilson, jointly ran the club from June 2006. Graham and Lindsay organised the rides, Jo, and Jenny other events.  Graham became the Organiser and Jenny Treasurer.  Jo Lavender produced ride and event publicity.  During this period, the Lavenders’ redeveloped the club’s website and in April 2010 Brian Neill assumed responsibility for the club newsletters.

  • The management of the club next changed hands in January 2011 with Brian Neill as Organizer, Alan Forgie (Treasurer) and John Van Dijk (website). Jenny Wilson, Rob Newton, Doug Smith, and Colin Williams rounded out the committee to organise the club’s affairs.

  • Now 25 years on (October 2020), membership of the Committee has been expanded. John Paulson and Doug Smith are Life Members.   


Membership (Riders and supporters) Note: partners are not included in these statistics.


1996 – 42 members     1999 – 32 members

1998 – 29 members     2001 – 35 members


2003 – 48 members     2006 – 80 members

2004 – 60 members     2009 – 34 members


2011 – 46 members

2012 – 47 members




One of the biggest rides documented is a ‘ride report’ for the Leader Valley ride in 2002 when 35 riders fronted up (7 from the BMW Motorcycle Club) and 10 pillion passengers.  Ride reports and other club events have been well documented over the brief history of the club in newsletters and other communications distributed to members.  The monthly club newsletters are posted on the club’s website



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