Mourning the Passing of our founder Pat Montani (1949 - 2021)
It is with great sadness to report that the B4H founder, Pat Montani passed away on April 23, 2021 surrounded by the love of his family. The news travelled quickly through the B4H chapters with shock and sadness. At 71 years of age, this is far too soon.
Most of us at Bicycles for Humanity had developed a strong bond with Pat. He mentored us in establishing our chapters and continued to check in with us as to our progress. His calls or emails were typically a frenzy of news, ideas and adventures that were occurring in Bicycles for Humanity. To say he was energetic would be putting it mildly. He was a cheerful, energetic and enthusiastic leader. A self-confessed serial entrepreneur, in 2005 he and his wife Brenda were looking for a way to give back to communities. As the couple were keen cyclists Brenda casually mused one evening about providing bikes to people that could use mobility. Before bed that night with a flurry of emails and a simple search query “Who needs bikes?” Bicycles for Humanity was born.
Since that day Pat has foster many new chapters and expanded his work in Africa to include health, education, technology and tourism. Most of this was focused in the Karamoja Region of Uganda were he and his good friend Paul Sherwen had a strong love for the area and a desire to show the world its potential.
Pat and Brenda were awarded the Governor General of Canada’s Meritorious Service Medal (MSM) in September, 2016 for the creation of B4H. Pat was also awarded the Citizen of the Year in Whistler in 2019, again for the work with Bicycles for Humanity.
We miss you Pat
Tributes to Pat
Farewell Paul Sherwen
Paul Sherwen was a well loved voice of cycling. A former pro cyclist who later went on to become a world renowned commentator working alongside Phil Liggett at most pro cycling races. Paul become a strong advocate for Bicycles for Humanity after become friends with Pat Montani at the first Tour of California in 2006.
Paul used his influence and connections to help raise awareness and raise funds for the collective efforts of our chapters. Of note was when he connect us with Ben Stiller. Ben helped us ship multiple containers of bikes into Uganda between 2011 and 2015. As well he readiness to host fundraisers such as the ones he held in L.A. to helping that chapter send bikes to South Africa.
But most importantly he will be missed for his passionate love of Africa and country he called home, Uganda. Thanks for believing in us and opening your life up to us so we could get to know Uganda and the more importantly the Karamoja Region. For all of this you are greatly missed.
Phil Liggett tribute to Paul HERE
In Memory of Matt McCullough (1971 - 2017)
In 2017 Bicycles for Humanity, Melbourne, very suddenly and tragically, lost our co-founder and dear friend Matt. Matt was the kindest, most humble, and one of the most optimistic people one could know. He was also the inspiration behind the Melbourne Chapter of Bicycles for Humanity (B4H), seeing a great opportunity to repurpose pre-loved bicycles in Melbourne to make a significant difference in the lives of others. His gentle and inclusive manner lay the foundation for our family-oriented charity.
His vision, positivity and passion planted the seeds for a steadily growing bicycle recycling operation that has had a huge impact on communities across Australia as well as Africa. He was also an active cyclist and a self-confessed ‘Tea Connoisseur’.
To honour Matt’s vision and passion to help those in need, our 25th shipping container was converted into a Bicycle Shop in Namibia and was dedicated to him. We are also looking forward to the establishment of the Matt McCullough Cycling Park in Namibia, the first of its kind in a very remote part of the country. In 2019, the Matt McCullough Volunteer award was also set up to recognise our wonderful, dedicated and committed B4H volunteers.
Matt remains a guiding light for the Bicycles for Humanity, Melbourne Chapter to build on the legacy that he would be so proud of. We miss him dearly and he will be forever in our hearts and minds.
Bicycles for Humanity, Melbourne co-founders, Matt McCullough and Andy Gild:
Matt receiving a gift of appreciation for his role in creating the Bicycles for Humanity family in Australia.