Why am I running Hobart's Point to Pinnacle? - ABC Hobart




MONDAY, 20 JULY 2015

SUBJECT/S: Point to Pinnacle run for World Vision

RICK GODDARD: Here's another invitation for you and it's quite a chilling one in itself. A bloke whose grandfather died doing something and he'd like you to come and do the same thing in his name, it's quite an amazing Tasmanian story actually. Andrew Leigh is Labor Member for Fraser for the ACT but his grandad was a Methodist Minister in Tasmania. Hello Andrew.


GODDARD: What was your grandad doing running up the mountain in the ‘70s?

LEIGH: Well the Methodist Church got together for the first time in Hobart in 1970 and my grandfather was a very enthusiastic runner. He ran 50 miles on his 50th birthday and organised 24-hour runathons. So he thought a lovely way of recognising the Methodist Church getting together in Hobart would be to do a run to raise money for overseas aid and run up Mount Wellington. Cascade Brewery were one of the sponsors, nicely ironic considering the Methodists’ view on alcohol, but he unfortunately didn't make it to the top. There was one of those freak snow storms and he passed away in October 1970.

GODDARD: Was he trapped in the snow? Is that part of what the difficulty was or was it just a heart attack?

LEIGH: It was both. Keith was running with a mate but he turned back when the snow started to get deep. Keith got quite close to the top, tripped and had a heart attack and died either of the heart attack or of hypothermia in the snow there. You know, he was one of these blokes who took the view that a life well lived is a life of service to others. So what he was doing was looking to raise money for overseas aid, to make the world a better place and to get out there and have a bit of fun in the great outdoors.

GODDARD: I walked up the mountain a couple of weeks ago with my children from the springs to the summit which is a two-and-a-half hour walk. We passed a plaque along the way that said in 1902, a chap whose name I can’t remember unfortunately died here in the ‘Get up the mountain as you please’ race which they must have had in those days. It's claimed a few people. We of course, have the regular run up the mountain as well, what are you inviting people to do, Andrew?

LEIGH: I'm going to be running the Point to Pinnacle on November 15th and I'm hoping that there are Taswegians who are keen to join me in a Keith Leigh team. We'll be raising money for overseas aid, World Vision, and looking to remember Keith's spirit 45 years on. It might particularly suit people that have some connection to the Methodist Church, now the Uniting Church or just people who are keen on raising a bit of money to help those in developing countries.

RICK: Still got the same attitudes to alcohol and will you be able to get the same sponsors, that's the big question?

LEIGH: We should go back to Cascade Brewery on that one.

GODDARD: If people want to join you, how do they get in touch with you?

LEIGH: Just drop me an email: [email protected] or my website is andrewleigh.com

GODDARD: There's really no politics involved in this at all, it's a good way to remember your grandfather.

LEIGH: Absolutely.

GODDARD: Partly doing what he loved and doing the good bit that he loved.

LEIGH: That's right. And what's been terrific is when I've reached out to parliamentarians in Tasmania from both sides of the aisle I've gotten lovely warm receptions. It's really nice to get a sense that there is a bunch of things that transcend the political scrapping of the day.

GODDARD: It becomes a political thing, and you're raising funds. Will you travel here by helicopter?

LEIGH: I've booked my personal travel down there, personally paid for, Rick. Thank you for double checking on that one!

GODDARD: Wow your voice went up about five octaves then! Good to talk to you. Andrew Leigh, Labor Member for Fraser – email him and you can join his team to run the Point to Pinnacle in November and raise some money for what is now the Uniting Church.

Showing 1 reaction

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  • Bernii Allen
    commented 2015-07-20 21:34:53 +1000
    Wow! I couldn’t think of anything more admirable to do in honour of your amazing Grandfather, and for a {non-political} good course too Andrew. :) Obviously, it is in your DNA.

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Cnr Gungahlin Pl and Efkarpidis Street, Gungahlin ACT 2912 | 02 6247 4396 | [email protected] | Authorised by A. Leigh MP, Australian Labor Party (ACT Branch), Canberra.