Hakapiks speak out

Founder of new mo­tor­cy­cle club says po­lice, civil­ians have noth­ing to fear

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY BUR­TON K. JANES

The founder of a re­cently-es­tab­lished “pri­vate” mo­tor­cy­cle club in the area says the club and its mem­bers are draw­ing un­nec­es­sary and un­wanted at­ten­tion from civil­ians and po­lice.

The club­house is housed in a for­mer ser­vice sta­tion, lo­cated on the Con­cep­tion Bay High­way (Route 60), at the in­ter­sec­tion of Seafor­est Drive, the main road lead­ing into Cupids.

Mo­torists driv­ing past the build­ing in re­cent days can­not help but crane their necks and stare at the prom­i­nent ban­ner pro­mot­ing the Hakapiks — Avalon chap­ter. Bik­ers and their own­ers are of­ten seen on the park­ing lot. Boul­ders the size of garbage boxes, planted in a line in front of the build­ing, also cap­ture the at­ten­tion of in­quir­ing minds.

The club founder de­clined an in­ter­view with The Com­pass. He also asked that he not be iden­ti­fied by

name, be­cause of what he called “pos­si­ble re­tal­i­a­tion from other clubs and ran­dom callers.” The Com­pass is re­spect­ing his wishes.

“I’ve spo­ken with our mem­bers and we’ve de­cided it would be in the best in­ter­est of the Hakapiks Mo­tor­cy­cle Club to avoid hav­ing a for­mal in­ter­view,” he said.

How­ever, he for­warded a pre­pared state­ment to The Com­pass and re­sponded to fol­low-up ques­tions.

“ We are Har­ley-Davidson brand-spe­cific mo­tor­cy­cle en­thu­si­asts,” he ex­plained.

The “ Hakapiks” in the club name is an ob­vi­ous ref­er­ence to the mul­ti­pur­pose hunt­ing tool — a heavy wooden club — tra­di­tion­ally used for killing seals in the con­tro­ver­sial spring hunt.

“We feel it’s an im­por­tant part of New­found­land his­tory and cul­ture,” the founder said. “ By us­ing the Hakapiks in our colours, we’re sup­port­ing the strong cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance and dis­play­ing a part of New­found­land his­tory.”

Mem­bers en­joy the mil­i­tary-like ca­ma­raderie which ex­ists among mo­tor­cy­cle afi­ciona­dos world­wide, he added.

The num­ber of club bik­ers is a tightly-guarded se­cret. As are club as­so­ci­a­tions.

“ We do not dis­cuss who we as­so­ci­ate with, no more than other peo­ple ask who they may or may not know in their pri­vate lives,” he ex­plained.

As a pri­vate, mem­bers-only club, Hakapiks re­stricts its con­sti­tu­tion, rules and reg­u­la­tions to mem­bers only.

The bik­ers usu­ally meet at the club­house, but oc­ca­sion­ally meet else­where.

Mem­bers wear the his­toric three­piece patch dis­played by mo­tor­cy­cle clubs in gen­eral.

Ac­cord­ing to the eHow web­site (http://www.ehow.com), “A three-piece patch con­sists of a cen­tre patch, which dis­plays the club’s em­blem and two cres­cent-shaped patches, known as ‘rock­ers,’ above and be­low the cen­tre patch. The top rocker dis­plays the name of the club, while the bot­tom rocker dis­plays the re­gion of the club.”

The club’s pen­chant for di­vulging no pri­vate de­tails is draw­ing in­tense re­ac­tion from the pub­lic and the law.

“We are fully aware of ru­mours and al­le­ga­tions that are sur­round­ing our club,” the founder com­mented.

“We are sim­ply bik­ers who en­joy the free­dom a mo­tor­cy­cle gives and …

the ca­ma­raderie that ex­ists amongst our broth­er­hood.”

Founder, Hakapiks Mo­tor­cy­cle Club — Avalon chap­ter

“ We seem to at­tract many false­hoods and as­sump­tions by the civil­ian pop­u­la­tion, who wrongly as­sume we’re hell-bent on de­stroy­ing their fab­ric of so­ci­ety,” he said.

It is not un­ex­pected that the sud­den pres­ence of a mo­tor­cy­cle gang’s club­house in a com­mu­nity would raise eye­brows

and re­ceived mixed re­ac­tion, con­sid­er­ing the rep­u­ta­tion through­out North Amer­ica of so­called out­law mo­tor­cy­cle clubs. Some of the best-known in­clude the Hell’s An­gels, Ban­di­dos, Pa­gans and Out­laws, many of which have been linked to or­ga­nized crime.

The club is also fully aware of what its founder called “the in­creased at­ten­tion

by the lo­cal po­lice.” He sug­gested the RCMP could make bet­ter use of tax­payer dol­lars. He called for a shift in “fo­cus to where the real crimes are tak­ing place.”

He in­sisted all he and his com­pa­tri­ots are ask­ing for is to be al­lowed “to ride in peace and with­out the con­stant ha­rass­ment of cow­boy-like po­lice of­fi­cers who seem­ingly have noth­ing bet­ter to do than to ha­rass our mem­bers.”

He in­sisted he can­not ex­plain why the club is be­ing “sub­jected to so much scru­tiny.”

He was quick to point out that no club mem­bers have been charged with any crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity. “Nor do we bother, ha­rass or mo­lest the gen­eral pub­lic,” he stated.

Many of the mem­bers are ex-mil­i­tary; the founder him­self is a Gulf War vet­eran.

“We’re used to Joe Pub­lic not hav­ing a clue, yet voic­ing their dis­plea­sure over nonex­is­tent is­sues and topics,” he said.

He in­di­cated a de­gree of sup­port from “the older gen­er­a­tion.” They ev­i­dently “re­ally en­joy the fact we dis­play the Hakapiks in our colours, in ad­di­tion to ev­ery mem­ber wear­ing a piece of seal pelt/fur/hide on their leather vests.”

Po­lice in­ter­est in the club leaves mem­bers cold and per­plexed.

“We have no idea what they’re try­ing to ac­com­plish with their cheesy pro­vin­cial of­fence notices,” the founder com­mented. “ We haven’t bro­ken any laws and we’re cer­tainly not go­ing to be bul­lied, re­gard­less of their po­si­tion of author­ity. We know our rights and free­doms, as guar­an­teed to ev­ery Cana­dian un­der our Char­ter of Rights and Free­doms, and we will cer­tainly use those very rights to our ad­van­tage.”

He drew a com­par­i­son with Ge­orge Or­well, the English author and jour­nal­ist, who “pre­dicted a po­lice state in his novel, 1984 and, given our cur­rent fed­eral govern­ment and so-called lead­er­ship in (Prime Min­is­ter Stephen) Harper, this seems more prophetic than a fic­tional story. We will not be pup­pets of a po­lice state.”

As a group of bik­ers, the founder con­cluded, Hakapiks mem­bers sim­ply want to “en­joy the free­dom a mo­tor­cy­cle gives us and ... the ca­ma­raderie that ex­ists amongst our broth­er­hood.”

Up to Fri­day, no one at the Trin­ity Con­cep­tion District RCMP was avail­able for com­ment.

But area res­i­dents seem to have no prob­lem with the es­tab­lish­ment of a mo­tor­cy­cle club in their negh­bour­hood. Two area res­i­dents say they have no­ticed noth­ing that would cause con­cern.

“ They seem to be just a bunch of guys who like to ride mo­tor­cy­cles,” said one woman, who asked to re­main anony­mous. Cupids Mayor Ron Laracy was un­avail­able for com­ment.

Photo by Terry Roberts/The Com­pass The club­house of the Hakapiks Mo­tor­cy­cle Club — Avalon chap­ter, lo­cated on the Con­cep­tion Bay High­way (Route 60), at the in­ter­sec­tion of Seafor­est Drive, the main road lead­ing into Cupids.

de­sign. com­bined sprocket/flames/

hakapiks in the chap­ter. Note the Club — Avalon Hakapiks Mo­tor­cy­cle The logo of the

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