Members of the National MMC took less than two weeks to ride from Queensland to WA, fundraising for Legacy along the way, before giving the northern suburbs-based Military Brotherhood MMC its endorsement.
At a March 2 gathering in Quinns Rocks with MMC members and the returned Services League, WA sub-branch president Shane ‘Big Rig’ Kempton said it had been a memorable milestone for the WA club.
‘It’s a short little ride from Brisbane to Perth ” no doubt there’s a little bit of saddle soreness there,’ he said.
National secretary Joe ‘Mucho’ Kocka said they had raised about $3500 to $4000 for Legacy on the ride to Perth, and expected to raise more on their way back to Brisbane.
‘This is the penultimate trip for us ” it’s going to be the national MMC Route 66 run,’ he said.
Mr Kocka said they had seen RSLs that were closing across the country, so the eastern states MMCs would take WA’s lead by connecting with the RSL.
RSL WA president Graham Edwards congratulated the Quinns Rocks RSL and MMC for their partnership.
‘We as a RSL really have to reach out to the veteran community,’ he said.
Mr Edwards said while they would never turn their backs on the older veterans, the RSL also had to make sure it warmly welcomed younger service people, praising MMC’s connection to families and fundraising for Legacy.
‘In some parts of Australia there’s a big gulf between RSL and Legacy but that’s not the case here ” we are all ex-service people,’ he said.
Mr Kocka said MMCs planned to be around for the next 30 years to help veterans and ‘make sure no-one is left out sleeping in the cold’.
Mr Kempton said during their probationary six months, the WA club had grown to about 50 members, with a third of those ‘sierra’ members who were family or supporters rather than service members.
‘There are a lot of veterans out there with motorcycles ” there was a real need for a club like this,’ he said.
‘Joining the club is the right therapy for a lot of these guys ” the bikes represent the freedom that a lot of these guys have fought for.
‘It’s mostly young guys we are attracting ” people who have served in the last 20 years.’
Mr Kempton said the club wanted to create a safe haven for veterans, and was open to any service men or women who had at least a 600cc motorbike, but others could join as sierra members.
The Tapping resident said they met on the first Sunday of the month at the Quinns Rocks Sports Club and had a monthly club ride, visiting Toodyay RSL last Sunday.
Quinns Rocks RSL president Frank Baldry said the sub-branch was proud and pleased to have the MMC on board.
For more information, visit www.militarybrotherhood.com.au or email firstname.lastname@example.org.