Don’t look back in Anker, I heard you say
AFRICAN HOUSE MEMBERS SURPRISE DEPARTING PASTOR ANKER WITH GIFT OF RESTORING HIS MOTORCYCLE
Lutheran pastor Matt Anker’s community said thank you yesterday, as he departs for a new role after 12 years in Shepparton. They had organised for a treasured motorcycle of his to be restored.
A parting gift proved a massive hit for a hugely popular figure at African House as he hits the highway towards his next role.
As Lutheran pastor Matt Anker posed for photos with friends and church members at African House yesterday, a motorcycle rolled in.
It was not any old motorcycle. It was one he had owned for about a decade, that he had used to ride to Echuca and back, which had fallen into disrepair.
Unbeknown to pastor Anker, some church members had ensured it had been repaired and restored.
Church member and African House volunteer Bob Watts said pastor Anker had been shocked to see the bike back in working order.
‘‘We wanted to send Matt on his way,’’ Mr Watts said.
‘‘He was so well-liked and loved, everybody came to celebrate today what he has done for them.
‘‘As a result, we have been able to make him feel special . . . we wanted to celebrate.’’
Mr Watts said some people had written and performed an original song for pastor Anker during the day.
However, the big unveil was when Mr Watts and fellow member Steve Little presented Pastor Anker the bike.
‘‘It had fallen into disrepair . . . it sat on his verandah, and just collected dust,’’ Mr Watts said.
‘‘This was a very important thing, we thought (we could) get it back to him as new.’’
About 40 hours of work between Ray’s Automotive and Halsall Honda, who Mr Watts described as being generous, restored the Honda CPR 1000F bike.
Mr Watts acknowledged the efforts of the community to ensure the restoration could be possible.
‘‘He was so shocked,’’ he said.
‘‘I think Matt was going off for a ride today.
‘‘He hasn’t had much leisure time in (the last) 12 years.
‘‘Hopefully now, he can get back to some leisure time . . . he and his family I’m sure will get much enjoyment.’’
Special celebration: African House farewells popular pastor Matt Anker.
Thanking you: Matt Anker at Africa House hugging St Paul’s Lutheran Church chairman Steve Little.
We’ll miss you: Matt Anker with Ana Niyifasha.