Anointing of the Boneshakers


21 June 2024 | Phil Zamagias

Riders from across northern Victoria descended on Christ Church Anglican, Echuca on Sunday 21 April for the ‘Anointing of the Boneshakers’ event.

The event has been run for the past five years and is co-ordinated by the Northern Victoria Spyder Riders (NVSR) club but is open to all motorcycle enthusiasts. This is the first time it has been held in Echuca and the increased attendance was very encouraging.

When the Rev’d Simba Musvamhiri was accepted as the new CEO of African Enterprise he had to relocate to Sydney. That meant that someone else had to take over the event which the Parish of Tatura had revived after COVID.

Simba asked the Rev’d Phil Zamagias if he would be interested and, with twenty years’ experience as a motor-racing chaplain, it was hard to say no.

The Parish of Echuca welcomed the opportunity to host this event as an outreach to the biker community which has consistently sought a connection with God, and His blessing, as riders tackle our roads.

On a perfect autumn day in Echuca, a band comprising musicians and vocalists representing four churches from Moama and Echuca played a selection of gospel classics and popular hits from the 60s and 70s. “The standout track for me was Bob Dylan’s Knocking on heaven’s door” said Rev’d Phil Zamagias.

A representative from God’s Squad Christian Motorcycle Club, Glenn Childs, read the Bible passage from Mark chapter 4 before Rev’d Phil gave a message entitled, “Who’s got the power?”.

He drew on his experiences as a pilot and an aircraft engineer where he had thousands of horsepower at his fingertips to show how that paled into insignificance compared to the power of God.

“No amount of power is enough for our machines,” said Rev’d Phil. “We always want more. But God’s power is such that it can cause storms to cease, restore sight to the blind and even raise people from death to life. It’s not for sale, but it is available to all who ask,” said Rev’d Phil.

An important part of the Boneshakers event is to remember the fallen. In a touching gesture, helmets are placed in a row on the ground in front of the priest as he prays for those who are grieving the loss of loved ones. Following a period of silence, the riders gather their helmets and ride past the blessing station where two priests, Rev’d Phil and Rev’d Glenis Traill give an individual blessing or ‘anointing’ to each rider.

At the conclusion of the event, Dennis ‘Macca’ McKenzie from the NVSR said “I was deeply touched by the message and the turnout today”.

Plans are already underway for the 2025 ‘Anointing of the Boneshakers’.