Morris memorial ride one to remember

FAMILY man, cyclist and businessman Clem Morris, 66, was remembered with a mass ride along Port Elizabeth’s scenic marine route at the weekend.

Morris, a grandfather from Mill Park, was killed in a hit-and-run accident when motorist Andre Gouws, 27, allegedly slammed into him along Kragga Kamma Road last month.

Gouws, who was allegedly drunk at the time, said in court he remembered very little of that morning, but could recall stopping somewhere on the way to his mother’s house in Beachview.

On Saturday, about 300 cyclists from around the country participated in the Clem Morris Remembrance Ride, which also served as a safety awareness campaign.

The ride – which started at the BP garage in 10th Avenue, Walmer at 6am – was organised by Morris’s friends, John Kidson, Robbie Burton and Gary Schevitz. They hope to make it an annual event in memory of Morris and other cyclists killed on the road.

“We want the public to understand there is space for all of us. We understand that there are cyclists who break the road rules but Clem was not one of them,” Kidson said.

“Cycling is a healthy sport. It is good for the environment and for one’s health. It helps to clear your mind.”

The cyclists, led by an Atlas Security vehicle and marshals, placed wreaths along the way. They reached the Shark Rock Pier at about 7.30am where Morris’s wife of 42 years, Anne, was waiting. There, they dropped flowers into the sea.

Kidson said the ride was what Morris would have wanted.

“We thought of what Clem would have wanted – how he would want to be remembered,” he said. “He absolutely loved cycling … We were all shattered when he was killed by that alleged drunk driver.”

Burton said they were happy with the turnout.

“It was a happy, sad occasion. We were happy because we were riding for him and the weather was beautiful. We were sad because he is no longer with us,” Burton said.

“He would have been humbled by the turnout … We are very grateful to the municipality and the police. They did a great job.”

Burton said a female cyclist would be cycling the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour on March 10 next year with Morris’s number, but he did not know exactly who as yet.

Donations can be made in Morris’s name to the Cancer Association of South Africa.

Gouws was released on R5000 bail and is expected back in court on December 7.

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