Loud cheers, shouts of encouragement and the bursting of party poppers greeted Bruno Cordier as he cycled into South Beach in Fremantle on Valentine’s Day.
Mr Cordier had been away for five weeks, cycling from Sydney to Perth in an effort to raise money to aid Doctor Catherine Hamlin and her work at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia, which treats women with childbirth injuries.
Mr Cordier raised $37,000, to help prevent obstetric fistulas, which result in a woman’s bladder leaking uncontrollably due to pressure from the baby’s head from prolonged labour, lasting up to five days.
“He is so inspirational,” Lucy Perry, CEO for the Hamlin Foundation, said. Mr Cordier has inspired Ms Perry to run 10km in Ethiopia at the end of this year.
“I can’t just sit in my office and do nothing,” she said. “Bruno has inspired me.”
Mr Cordier remains humble about his amazing feat.
“It is not about me or the ride,” he said. “It is about people coming together to benefit others. It is about strangers helping each other out.”
“Bruno is a deeply spiritual man and unafraid to go where others would have feared to tread,” Father John Daly, parish priest of St Anthony of Padua and good friend of Mr Cordier, told The Record.
“Bruno said to me that he’d trust in God to look after him. He has a wonderful sense of solitude.”
Mr Cordier’s journey began when he left Sydney on January 11, 2013. He cycled to Bathurst, Cowra, Hay, Mildura, Renmark, Adelaide, Port Augusta, Ceduna, the Nularbor Plain, Norseman, Coolgardie, and Merredin before finally arriving in Perth.
Upon his arrival, he gave his girlfriend Gracie Vivian a bouquet of flowers in celebration of St Valentine’s Day. He also arrived on the 100th anniversary of the Tour de France; being French it held a special meaning for him.
“The French community of Perth is very proud of you.” Patrick Kedemos, a member of the Honorary Consulate for France in Western Australia said.
“Bruno cycled the equivalent of cycling from Portugal to the Ukraine, it was a tremendous feat.”
Brad Petite, Mayor of Fremantle also spoke to the The Record. “It’s for such a great cause,” Mr Petite said. “It makes me proud to be ending it here and I am pleased to be able to support it.”
Donations can be made at hamlin.org.au/bruno.