Will You Be Remembered?
Most of you would have been to a memorial service.
In Australia we have an ANZAC (1) day service that falls on April 25 each year. It’s on this day that we Australians stop and remember those who fought for our country, remembering those who didn’t come back.
Most countries have a memorial services of some description, and not always with a military theme. There are memorial services to remember those lost during times of natural disaster, or police officers lost in the line of duty, or to remember those lost during acts of stupidity, like 9-11.
Whatever the reason, it is often a moving occasion for those in attendance.
Recently I took part in a memorial service for bikers, an annual event held in September each year to remember club members that have ‘Ridden On’ (2). The memorial service is held on the shores of Lake Somerset at Memorial Gardens founded by a bloke called ‘Doc’ some years ago.
The gardens are in a natural bush setting with several steel arbors throughout. Each arbor has the names of those who have ‘Ridden On’ inscribed on a plaque, their names appear below the club branch they are attached to.
I had never attended the club memorial service before, so really didn’t know what to expect.
How many would attend?
Was it a full-on religious affair with priest, pomp and ceremony?
Or was it just another excuse for a piss-up?
Don’t get me wrong, I like a good piss-up as much as the next bloke, and there is an opportunity to camp at the memorial gardens for the weekend and do just that if you want to. This was different though.
There are several club memorial services held around the country, each locality has a designated ‘place’ where the memorial service is held and there are up to a dozen branches that call that ‘place’ their own. Our branch met at a predetermined location, and rode the 100 km (60 miles) to the Memorial Gardens.
I estimate there were about 35 bikes in our group. As we rode we picked up other branches along the way, and soon there were quite a few bikes in the group. Being tail end Charlie it was an awesome sight, seeing all the bikes ahead of me as I crested each hill behind them.
When we arrived at the memorial site, we were greeted by around 200 bikes/ riders that were already there, not including pillions. Throughout the morning, more bikes arrived, and I estimate there were around 350 in the parking area, with about one-third (1/3) carrying pillions. A pretty good turnout considering this was happening around the country at other locations as well.
The memorial service kicked off at 11:00 am, and lasted about an hour, the celebrant spoke about trust, mate-ship, courage, and each branch president came forward to pay tribute to members that had ‘Ridden On’ during the preceding 12 months.
I have always lived by the creed that no biker is left behind. Ever. The memorial service has reinforced this to me.
We are bikers and we will always be a close-knit bunch, regardless of what we ride. Rice burner or American iron, doesn’t matter. It’s the camaraderie, the road and the knowing that you are not alone that makes us bond.
Will I be remembered?
Probably not by regular citizens, but I know my family, and my extended biker family will remember me.