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Heading north .. Myrtle, left, and Audrey are off on a road adventure with their human caregivers, from left, Anita van der Velden, Jane Yellowlees, Brian van der Velden and Metin van der Velden. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

By ROBYN BRISTOW

Audrey and Myrtle will hurtle their way to Rotorua and back in April to raise awareness and funds for the New Zealand Spinal Trust.

Audrey and Myrtle’s North Island Hurtle is the brainchild of Anita van der Velden, from Rangiora, and Jane Yellowlees, of Pines Beach, two nurses at Burwood Hospital.

Both have experience nursing people with spinal cord injuries and have decided to combine a trip in their beloved Morris Minors to attend a convention in Rotorua dedicated to the iconic British cars.

Their Morries are spruced up for the trip and have had the cobwebs blown out around local highways as the pair prepare for the trip.

Myrtle is a 1952 convertible while Audrey is a 1959 saloon, commonly know as a Morrie 1000 by most, but actually sports a 948cc engine.

Anita says her husband, Brian (The Grumpy Old Man – TGOM) will be at the
controls of Audrey most of the way, with teenage son Meti, (The Teenager, TT) alongside.
“Jane and I will be hurtling along with the wind in our hair in Mrytle, with
TGOM and TT tootling along behind in Audrey for much of the 850km journey.”
Already, their adventure, which starts on April 15, has raised more than $3000 towards their goal of $5000 for the Spinal Trust.

“We are funding the trip ourselves, but really hope to spread the word about the wonderful work the people of the New Zealand Spinal Trust are achieving and hopefully raise some much-needed funds in the process,” Anita says.

Their efforts have been given a push start by several local companies
donating funds to the cause, and Rangiora’s Horton Signs has provided
decals for the back of their cars to tell people what they are up to.

Kaiapoi Automotive Services, Kaiapoi Aluminium Joinery, Floorpride in
Mandeville Street, Christchurch, and J.B.

Joinery have all given substantial donations to the Spinal Trust, while others are ensuring their Morries make it safe and sound.

Anita says her uncle, who passed away a few years ago after many years in a
wheelchair, after sustaining a T4-level injury at his work, was her inspiration.
He holds a special place in her heart.

“Compared to the challenges he faced, and the challenges that many with a
spinal cord injury still face every day, any small hiccups along our little trip will be just a wee bump in the road.”

People can donate to the New Zealand Spinal Trust through its website under
the title Audrey and Myrtle’s North Island Hurtle.