Fabian Hamilton, Leeds North East member of Parliament, was given a sunny French-style breakfast send off last week when nearly fifty Donisthorpe Hall supporters waved him adieu prior to his eight-day cycle to Paris.
From the balcony of the Trudi Moss suite, the care home’s staff, residents and friends wished him bon voyage on his Grand Depart sponsored cycle ride and personal pilgrimage to Drancy near Paris.
With an aim to raise £5,000 for Donisthorpe Hall, Fabian’s personal Tour de France will take a total of eight days cycling more than 450 miles via London and Lewes in Sussex. His fundraising has already reached 75% of its target.
Fabian’s wife Rosy, who is following his route in the support vehicle, received praise from her cyclist husband for the contribution she was making to the challenge.
All the trip expenses are being paid by Fabian (59) so every penny donated goes directly to the charity.
Jonathan Grant, vice chairman of Donisthorpe Hall thanked Fabian for the sterling effort he was making on Donisthorpe’s behalf. Rosy’s parting gift was to slap copious amounts of sun-block cream on to her husband before he finally cycled off on his journey.
The following day the father of three arrived at the National Holocaust Centre and Museum in Laxton, Nottinghamshire the only centre dedicated to Holocaust remembrance and education in the UK.
Fabian was greeted by CEO Phil Lyons MBE who opened up the centre especially for Fabian’s benefit. Also in attendance were Donisthorpe Hall representatives who came to support him.
Fabian’s journey will take him across the channel and will terminate at Drancy, site of the round-up of French Jews in 1944 before deportation to the death camps.
It is a place close to his heart as his paternal grandparents were held there prior to being sent to their deaths in Auschwitz.
After an extended tour of the centre, conducted by Mr Lyons, Fabian continued on his journey.
This week he visited the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in Maida Vale and the Palace of Westminster where he met UK Jewish leaders and government ministers.
On Sunday he hopes to arrive at the Shoah Memorial Centre in Drancy.
By John Fisher