Pope's blessing for Islander's Harley

By Richard Wright

Thursday, July 11, 2013

 

Pope's blessing for Islander's Harley

Pope Francis meets Harley Davidson owners at a special ceremony at the Vatican.

HOLY smoke — an Isle of Wight company exec’s 'hog’ is now well-blessed — by the Pope.

Mystery shopping company chief executive, Nigel Cook, joined bikers from around the world to have his Harley Davidson blessed at a one-off event in the Vatican City.

Mr Cook, joined tens of thousands of worldwide Harley owners who descended on Rome to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the American manufacturer.

Before the event, Mr Cook, of Bembridge, entered a prize draw to have his bike personally blessed and was one of the 650 lucky winners from around the world.

Mr Cook, who founded Portsmouth-based mystery shopping company, Douglas Stafford in 1989, travelled across Europe to Rome with his daughter who is Douglas Stafford’s client relations manager, Madelaine Cook.

Nigel said: "It was an honour to be a part of such an historic event. It was the first, and probably the last time, Harley Davidsons will get blessed by The Pope in the Vatican City.

"Pope Francis greeted the crowd before mass and was driven up the main boulevard leading to St. Peter’s Square, where he blessed the bikes as the thundering sounds of Harley engines echoed all around.

"Once the full service got underway, bikers of all backgrounds and religions, sat in the square in their trademark Harley shirts and jackets, alongside nuns and thousands of faithful Catholics who were taking part in an unrelated, two-day rally."

Harley Davidson representatives presented Pope Francis with two classic white Harley Davidson motorcycles and a jacket.

Nigel Cook

Nigel Cook with his Harley Davidson.

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