Four members of gold mining company Besra’s executive team are preparing for a 2000km charity motorcycle ride through Vietnam in a bid to raise money for healthcare services in remote villages.

David, John, Paul and Richard Seton will head up The Great Honda 67 Ride, taking 45-year-old motorcycles along the historic Ho Chi Minh Trail from the northern capital of Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City at Vietnam’s southern tip.

The Seton family has a long association with Vietnam, having established Besra, formerly Olympus Pacific Minerals, more than a decade ago. The company has always had a strong commitment to improving the livelihoods of the local communities in which it operates.

Besra executive chairman, David Seton says, “We see a real need for improved healthcare facilities near our two mine sites in the central Vietnam province of Quang Nam. So we’ve set about raising money by way of a 2000km charity motorcycle ride which starts in Hanoi on April 10.

“We’ve partnered with the internationally renowned East Meets West Foundation to deliver a three-year program to reduce infant mortality and improve the health of expectant mothers,” he says.

The ride will be done on Honda 67 bikes which were one of the first mass market bikes available in the country and credited with a major role in the development of modern Vietnam.

David Seton says 1967 was a monumental year in history, with Muhammed Ali imprisoned for refusing military service, The Beatles releasing ‘All You Need Is Love’ and the US launching the largest offense during the war in Vietnam.

“It was also the year that Honda released and exported its SS50 to Vietnam. The SS50 was a sport inspired moped with top speed of 90km/h. Although it wasn’t as fast as its competitors, the SS50 was more reliable and offered a stronger pulling capacity.

“This solidified the bike’s stronghold in the landscape of Vietnam, visually, socially and culturally, making it an icon that has lasted throughout those intense years of war to this day, almost 45 years later. It has been known in Vietnam as the Honda 67 for almost as long,” he says. or