The running of the toys at Old Parliament House
Two parts of my life collided on Saturday. My workplace, Old Parliament House, and my preferred mode of transport, a Geopolis 250 Scooter. No, I didn’t crash into Old Parliament House scuffing the freshly painted facades or climb the front steps in a desperate attempt to drop off an end of year formal attendee in a novel way.
My work and my transport came together in the 35th annual ACT Motorcycle Riders’ Association Toy Run. Last Saturday morning over 1000 motorbike riders converged on Old Parliament House in Christmassy outfits and on decorated motorbikes toting toys, cash and food for charity. For the record I donated a 3 in 1 Creator Lego set, which I secretly wanted for myself, and a Christmas bear. My outfit, which was unstated in comparison with other riders, was a set of reindeer antlers on my helmet which caused quite a bit of drag and are only recommended for seasonal attire.
The riders mustered in the spacious car park for breakfast, conversation and last minute adjustments to costumes and decorations before the Australia Post contingent led the riders en masse along Adelaide Avenue to Woden before sweeping back past Parliament House, across Commonwealth Bridge, along Parkes Way and across Kings Avenue Bridge before finishing back at Old Parliament House for speeches, donations and prize giving. The Salvation Army and St John’s Care were on hand to receive food, cash and a colourful mountain of toys, including numerous charmingly windblown teddies that rode pillion.
Using Old Parliament House as the base for the beginning and end of this charitable event could not be more appropriate. The building is the people’s place, a veritable town square. A place for people to congregate, discuss and be active citizens. The toy run brings together support for families in need at Christmas, the themes of active citizenship and community responsibility espoused in the museum and the long history of citizen action that surrounds this landmark building.