Black Dog visits Northam

THE roar of motorcycles descended on Bernard Park as riders rode in for the Northam Lions Club Markets barbecue in support of the Avon Valley Black Dog Ride.

Local Lions Club member Grant Scollay's sizzling sausages were drowned out as motorcyclists from far and near responded to the early morning aroma of his gourmet snags.

Black Dog Ride, an initiative of Busselton Lions Club member Steve Andrews, is coming to Northam on March 23.

Black Dog Ride raises awareness of depression and suicide prevention, taking this important message to rural communities across Australia by thousands of motorcyclists.

Mr Scollay, an avid motorcyclist often seen out and about on his gleaming Triumph, approached Mr Andrews to place Northam on the Black Dog Ride calendar this year.

He saw the need for this event to feature Northam as one of the starting points for the 30 Black Dog one-day rides co-ordinated across Australia on the same day.

Co-ordinator of the Avon Valley Black Dog Ride, Graeme Raine, said he was "blown away" with the support of Mr Scollay, the local Lions clubs, including Northam, Beverley and Toodyay, Radio West and local riders to bring the event to the Avon Valley.

Black Dog has two rides each year, a one-dayer and a longer ride,with Mr Scollay and 300 Black Dog riders from all states and territories travelling to Alice Springs last August to open the discussion.

Proceeds from the barbecue and the ride are donated to LifeLine to carry on their support work throughout Australia.

"Black Dog Ride allows riders to have fun while supporting LifeLine," Mr Scollay said. "While the magnificent Lions clubs around Australia feed us."

Mr Scollay's sausages were not the only cause of drooling as visitors to the markets inspected the motorcycle display where the stand out bike was Gary Stone's 46 Indian.

Grant Scollay said the positive attitude of the riders and the interest shown by visitors to the barbecue made the day.

He thanked all the riders for displaying their pride and joy.

"Many Black Dog Riders have been touched by depression and suicide," Mr Scollay said.

"Black Dog Ride has changed my life for the better."

Call Lifeline at any time on 13 11 14 if you are experiencing an emotional crisis.