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BIKER NEWS: Veterans motorcycle group not welcome at Remembrance event

BIKER NEWS -- Military Veterans who ride with a Ladysmith motorcycle club say they’re not welcome at the town’s Remembrance Day acti...



BIKER NEWS -- Military Veterans who ride with a Ladysmith motorcycle club say they’re not welcome at the town’s Remembrance Day activities, so they’ll go to Chemainus instead.

The Veterans Motorcycle Club is made up of military and ex-military types who enjoy riding and do toy rides and community fundraising events, including for Legion Branch 171 Ladysmith.

That branch welcomed them at previous Remembrance Day parades.

This year they say they were told by the Ladysmith branch they could not participate wearing club vests emblazoned with patches styled like those worn by outlaw biker clubs.

VMC members still in the military wear their uniforms in public parades. Veterans wear patches.

“It’s one day of the year, as a veterans we should be able to march,” said Shawn Pertl, a club member.

Pertl said some RCMP officers claim their group has links to outlaw biker clubs, and “maybe they don’t want us to have a positive image in town, because we’re a motorcycle club.”

It is not clear at this point why the Legion is considering asking the club to stay away, or even if they ultimately will follow through with the move. Branch 171 president Gary Phillips declined an interview, referring calls instead to the B.C.-Yukon headquarters.

Inga Kruse, B.C-Yukon executive director, could not confirm Branch 171’s intentions, but said the Legion has no policy against patches at its events.

The group Legion Riders, whose members routinely wear patched vests, is a recognized partner of the Royal Canadian Legion, Kruse said.

The Ladysmith Legion posted a message on its Facebook page.

“The opinions are coming in fast and furious about an issue that hasn’t been decided upon. The final decision will be made later today.”

No further details were announced by late Wednesday afternoon.

Without a clear answer from Legion 171 Wednesday, Pertl said the club will skip the Ladysmith Remembrance Day ceremony.

This article was first published on Nov 5, 2015
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Outlaws Bikers News : BIKER NEWS: Veterans motorcycle group not welcome at Remembrance event
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