Smoky Bay's George Baldwin riding to raise cancer prevention awareness

TRACTOR RIDE: George Baldwin, pictured with Desrae Beattie and Pam Bitmead, will be taking part in a ride around Australia to raise awareness and funds for prostate and breast cancer research. Picture: Luca Cetta
TRACTOR RIDE: George Baldwin, pictured with Desrae Beattie and Pam Bitmead, will be taking part in a ride around Australia to raise awareness and funds for prostate and breast cancer research. Picture: Luca Cetta

George Baldwin will be riding at 70 kilometres per hour to spread the message of prostate and breast cancer awareness next month.

The Smoky Bay resident will be one of 15 people participating in a ride around Australia on a Chamberlain 9G tractor to get people aware of early cancer prevention and knowing the signs.

Mr Baldwin fought his own battle with prostate cancer more than a decade ago and has been on various tractor trips for the cause.

“I went around Australia in 2007 raising funds and awareness for prostate cancer and being a survivor I can talk about it along the way,” he said.

“I’ve been asked by a lot of people about it, men asking about symptoms and women asking for their husbands.”

He has since been involved in journeys to Cape Yorke, Birdsville, Kalgoorlie and Darwin for various causes, including for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Princess Margaret Hospital for Children on a trek in 2015.

“I have seen more of Australia from my tractor than in my car!” he said.

Mr Baldwin will drive up to Darwin and meet with the group, who leave from Perth on July 7, just under two weeks later.

Some will only take part in the first leg, allowing the other members of the group to complete the journey.

He will be on the road for about six weeks, taking in the eastern seaboard, South Australia and back to Smoky Bay to finish his portion of the ride, chugging along at 70km/h through diverse terrain.

The group will be making a number of stops, including Eyre Peninsula and Nullarbor locations such as Port Lincoln, Smoky Bay and Eucla.

“I have been in touch with Rotary clubs and Lions clubs and there may be a chance to speak about the ride and my experiences,” Mr Baldwin said.

Breast cancer survivor and Smoky Bay Progress Association president Desrae Beattie said Mr Baldwin was “generous” to take part in the trip.

“It’s very exciting and generous of George to put the cause out there with his adventure,” she said.

“We are in a small town here, so the further afield he goes the word is spread, because cancer prevention is about getting in early and that is the message we need to spread.

“Rural nurses do a great job with the support they give cancer victims and to keep that going would be excellent.”

She said there was the association was looking into organising a welcoming trip for when Mr Baldwin completes his leg of the journey in Smoky Bay. 

Fellow breast cancer survivor Pam Bitmead said she had no symptoms and was only diagnosed following a mammogram. 

“It’s all about early detection,” she said.

The original Chamberlain 9G tractor went around Australia in 1957 following a Mobil Gas car rally.

It was not allowed to enter and instead stayed at the rear of the field charged with the job of helping any cars that broke down, over the course of 19 days.

Mr Baldwin and the group will be riding a similar model tractor to that original.

He said money or goods which could be auctioned off for the cause would be greatly appreciated.

For more information about making a donation, please call Mr Baldwin on 0428 257 017.

This story Chugging along for a good cause first appeared on West Coast Sentinel.