Featured Motorcycle Club – The Greater Vancouver M.C.
The Greater Vancouver Motorcycle Club is dedicated to promoting the safe and enjoyable sport of motorcycling, both on and off road. Our month by month calendar is jam packed with rides open to all riders on a dirt bike, road bike or three wheeler. We regularly take part in motorcycle shows and benefit events for local organizations as well as riding for the pure enjoyment of having the wind on our face.
Fred Deeley & Friends held the first meeting of the “Lions Gate Motorcycle Club” in 1922, above Fred Deeley Cars & Motorcycle Dealership at 901 West Broadway. The club grew steadily during the 20’s, with Friday night meetings (poker games) and weekend camp-outs with 30 + machines and families in sidecars. “The Lions Gate M/C” joined with the “Big Four M/C” to form the “GVMC” which held meetings at the “Big Four” clubhouse on Quinella Drive. Colours were decided upon as black and orange. The first New Year’s Day Run was held. The first annual Caribou Trails was held in 1930: originally called the “300 miler”. The “GVMC” was incorporated under the Societies Act as “Greater Vancouver Motorcycle Club” in 1939. The members built a new clubhouse on Melbourne Street. GVMC sponsored dirt track activities in Mission, Chilliwack and across from the PNE (later McAllister Park). Hill climbs were held at Panorama Ridge and Booth’s Hill in Maillardville.
The Melbourne clubhouse property was sold. Willie Telford was elected President of GVMC. Indian Motorcycles sponsored “Willie” at Daytona. “Wild Willie’s” racing partner at Daytoa was Trev Deeley. Trev blew a piston on his 45 W.R. which he donated to form the Piston Run Trophy which is still used to this day. In 1947, Bob Carey started a tour to eastern Canada on a HD 61and then went to Central America: a total of 19,000 miles. The next year, he rode to Seattle, took a boat to Alaska, and rode back to Vancouver via Edmonton and Seattle: a trip of 4000 miles. Vic Tilton helped purchase two lots at Boundary & 1st Ave. A new clubhouse was built with used lumber donated by the members. There was a plank walkway across an 8 foot ditch!! We had a canteen, fireplace and hardwood floors with horsehair bales underneath for dances. The Routledge Memorial Run was named for a member from 1939. Don Franks donated the German WWII dispatch rider trophy for this run.
In 1959 taxes were high and Henry Garbe sold the club a transport warehouse near Lougheed Hotel for $1.00. Bob Carey’s Construction Company moved it on to the club’s spare lot.This financially supported the club for the next 22 years. The GVMC was asked to help with dispersal at the end of the PNE Parade under Barry Illingworth. This led to our helping with other community parades such as the Sea Festival Parade. Taxes again harassed the club. Bob Carey and Dwight Harris founded the GVMC Holdings Ltd. together with Ledingham Construction. They demolished the clubhouse and built a 2 storey concrete building which was sold to Buckerfields Ltd. In 1979 GVMC bought a property at Dawson and Willingdon and started to build the new clubhouse complex. The Boilermakers Union was then invited to be a partner, and 2210 Willingdon Development Ltd. was founded. The new clubhouse was opened January 30, 1979. Oakland M/C became our sister club, as we have similar histories, family events and black and orange colours. A “Half-Way” meet was set up in Oregon every 2 years with the OMC & GVMC.
The 50th “Caribou Trails” in which about 1000 bikes participated was organized by Rick Clarkson. Trev Deeley presented the winning trophy. GVMC helped with the Christmas Toy Run and worked with the Young Variety Club to help handicapped kids. A Summer Run with the Variety Club to the Vancouver Game Farm became an annual event. Brent Lockhart started and designed drills for the GVMC Drill Team in 1983. It was the first private M/C drill team and required a lot of hard work and dedication by all members involved. The Drill Team prepared for the 1983 Grey Cup Parade. We assisted with Toy Run displays in malls, the Variety Club Telethon, Hyack Festival Parade and the “Tour-de-White Rock” bicycle race, to name a few. Club events included the New Year’s Day Run and heritage off-road runs. The possibilities of building a new clubhouse for the year 2000 were explored.
In 2000, the GVMC moved into its new clubhouse in Port Kells which included a fully equipped kitchen, barbeque, tables, chairs, spacious hall, outside patio, storage closets and an upstairs level. GVMC hosted its first Surrey Food Bank Show ‘N Shine July 2001 from this location. December 2001, the GVMC website went online thanks to Darlene Hardy. From 2002 and onward, Jackie Heppler and all of us have donated our Gord Heppler Run proceeds to the Childrens’ Hospital on live television during the Children’s Miracle Network Telethon. In 2003, we started the annual Pioneer Road Run which is dedicated to the memory of all the loyal and hardworking Club members who have passed on, and who have had a tremendous part in the forming of the GVMC into what it is today. We continue to put on our traditional Runs each year: Routledge Run, Caribou Trails Run, Piston Run, and the Gord Heppler Memorial Run.
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