On a crisp May morning in 1931 Emil Marius Ryberg of Mile End, set out riding his ‘pushy’ to cross the State border of South Australia and Victoria on route to the historic gold town of Bendigo. His prime intention was to display his wares in a mouth organ competition, but Emil also harboured ambitions of travelling this vast continent as a professional musician.
Emil’s endurance ride to Bendigo extended for 442 miles (he did obtain a lift for 84 miles to Bordertown). For a 6 mile stretch, in drizzling rain, Emil had to carry his bike across his shoulder as black soil had adhered (stuck like shit to a blanket) to the tyres. I hear you shout, “How did he go in the competition?” Emil was unplaced. He may have been a wee bit short of breath.
Emil was born on 30th December, 1888 in Copenhagen Denmark. He served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force from 1917 to 1919. He arrived on our sunny shores on 13th May 1919. When upright, Emil reached the grand height of five foot six. He became a nationalised citizen in 1924 and four years later he won his State’s Mouth Organ Championship. In 1929 he had ventured to Queensland and performed his own composition in their Boomerang State Championship finishing third just three points behind winner Eion S Campbell (1940 National Champion).
Hope you enjoyed Emil’s ride.
Happy Riffin’ New Year.
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