Created by Scottish immigrant William George ‘’Jock’’ Ross back in the 60’s in Sydney, the Comancheros Club has gone on to have undoubtedly one of the most colourful history of an Australian Outlaw Club. Most notably, the 1984 Milperra Massacre and more recently in 2009 Sydney Airport incident and then there was the club’s second Sydney chapter formed by Anthony ‘’Snoddy’’ Spencer breaking away to patch over to the Bandidos. All together comes together to add to the may I say charm and misteach of the club making it one of the most popular and revered clubs in Australian history. At a young age, the Comancheros was the club I was most exposed to, having grown up and knowing members and replicating them with my brothers oversized leather jacket and bike chain over the shoulder on my dragster (pushbike). A couple of friends went on to join the club and I was only to find out off Terry a lifetime member that Skol biker in charge of this magazine is a lifetime member and had actually designed the Comancheros patch. Jock took the name from a John Wayne classic after seeing the film which was called The Comancheros. The 45th Anniversary celebrations were held at the Sydney Chapter’s Milperra Clubhouse, which has gone the way of many of the new generation of clubhouse and based themselves in a large factory complex. The large car park has ample room for parking and space to erect a large marquee and stage. Our day began at noon and we were to ride down to the Wollongong chapter’s clubhouse to make the 80km ride back as a 200 or so strong pack back to Milperra only things weren’t going as planned due to the attention of the police. The Melbourne Chapter was stopped by the coppers just outside Nowra on the South Coast. The boys weren’t going to leave them so they waited for four hours for them to arrive. With the sun going down and the boys getting restless, Zack (Sydney Chapter Treasurer) found himself having to make the call and decided to head back to Sydney. Back at Milperra and Raptors (police unit) intentions were obvious with cars dotted on all the surrounding roads to the clubhouse, undeterred the party must go on! As with anything 45 is a long time and there has got to be changes and young blood has to be bleed through to keep the club afloat. The Comancheros have no shortage of young blood to inject life into the club. One such member is the Sydney chapter’s Treasurer and organiser of the Anniversary, Zack, with four years under his belt I asked Zack what it’s been like in one of Australia’s most notorious (for a better choice of word) bike clubs in which he replied ‘’I’m very, very happy! I’m very happy where I am, my brothers in the club are very loyal to me and likewise me to them and all the proceeds from the 45th anniversary go to supporting our brothers in gaol, that’s what we do! As with our buddies and any of the other boys in gaol we support them until they get out and any money made goes to helping the families of brothers in gaol, if they need any help.’’
Happy with the day, Zack also made the comment as to how there was only the one hiccup with the Melbourne boys and how the coppers harassed them, defecting six bikes and the bikes had to be taken off the road. Besides the Melbourne chapter members, Australia wide had made the trek with members coming from as far as Western Australia, South Australia and NSW attended and lending their support to the event. Asked of the support, the Comancheros were getting proud but yet humble, Zack said “We are happy with the support we are getting, and they [members and supporters] are starting to come back. As you can see everyone has put a big effort into the party and we just want everyone to have a good time and want them to come back. We want them to go away tonight thinking that was a great party and come back and see us again!’’ The numbers were a sure sign the club was returning to its former glory with its turn out of members, noms and supporters it begged the question how’s the club travelling? He replied ‘’its getting strong and growing, it’s a good feeling. As you can see all the boys have shown up and it’s great, I might have only known some of them for 6 months or maybe only a year but it seems as though we have known each other for years and years. I think the thing is that we treat each other with respect! It’s a multicultural club now and we have try to abide by the clubs rules the best we can. As everyone knows the club has been rebuilding from the past and we just keep getting better and better and we are very happy at Milperra. All our leaders and commanders are doing a good job and I for one am very happy with them. The Sergeants are also doing a good job. Life members are all coming back having disappeared for a time and have seen the changes and have realised we are getting strong again, no threat to anyone but we are getting strong. We also had other clubs coming but couldn’t due to the attention of the police. We would like to thank Life and Death for their support and the Lone Wolf were also attending but got turned away by police so we would also like to thank them.’’ To get a better idea of the changes, Zack directed me to three of the life members to get their handle on how the club is going and a bit of an insight into the past. First was Terry, a member with 30 years service to the club ‘’I’ve seen a lot of changes.’’ Terry says and with a stern look into my eyes adds ‘’There’s been a lot of good times and there’s been the bad times, people have passed away.’’ When asked about the club scene of today Terry was straight up and says ‘’There’s been a lot of big changes in the club and the scene all round todays bikie is a different sort of bikie, there is no such thing as a swag anymore it’s all motels - they are a whole new breed of people.’’ A member of the Sydney Chapter, Terry gives his boys a wrap ‘’Great bunch of boys! Kept me involved and happy.’’ Terry had stepped away for a long while and had lost a lot of interest but has rekindled his interest and says ‘’since hooking up with these boys they have shown me a lot and I’m happy to stay as long as they want me or as long as I feel I’m needed. I’ve been in this club for much of my life. I’ve been to gaol for the club and the club has done a lot for me.’’ Throwing a curve ball Terry then lays a ‘’I don’t know Skol (Biker in charge OzBike) personally I only know what I’ve been told about him and the fact that he was the designer of the patch. I waved to the bloke on the road and he waved back at me but he wouldn’t have known who I was but you have to admire the bloke for what he’s achieved and for once being part of the club. When asked of the new line up at the club and their ethnicity Terry says this ‘’I have found multiculturalism has worked for the Comanchero Motorcycle Club. It’s a formula that works for us’’ and the celebration ‘’we are happy with the turnout, it is mainly brothers from all the other chapters but not a lot of visitors unfortunately mainly due to the coppers hassling them when they come and leave. People are worried about the coppers taking their details, so we lose a lot of outside, friends wanting to come in which is unfortunate.’’
Next up was Black Jack. Black Jack joined the club 26 years ago just after the Milperra shoot out and with many of the boys in gaol the club only had the five members “it just kicked on from there’’ he says, adding ‘’the club has had its ups and downs, at the moment it’s the best it has been. Ten years ago people didn’t like it and they would just leave and I have seen a lot of people come and go. Some people just can’t handle it and it goes on from there. The club has been able to start up again and has gone from strength to strength! I can’t see myself leaving no way! I’d be pretty lost if I did, 26 years is a long time I was 28 when I joined. You do have your good days and your bad days with the club but I love it!’’ Black Jack is legally blind at the moment having lost his left eye in a fight and the right eye having cataracts. He hopes to get an operation to remove the cataracts and restore his sight so as he put it ‘’Just so I can see more fucking pussy! And if I don’t get my license back who gives a fuck? I’d be happy to just be able to walk down the street by myself’’ and with a sincere look adds ‘’I would like th to be around to see the club have its 90 . It all depends on how the law’s going really! They’re giving us a bit of a rough time at the moment, a few of the boys left Kogarah and it took about four hours to get to Wollongong because they were getting followed by the coppers at the time and we just seem to be getting hassled all the time. It doesn’t really worry me and the rest of the club, I don’t give a fuck if there are coppers or not!’’ Inside the clubhouse we meet Twiggie a life member with 23 years service. Twiggie is a huge man of few words but is passionate about his club and commands respect from the members he surrounds himself with. Whilst I never like to keep a man away from his drink (coffee at the time) I was able to get his thoughts on the changes the club has been through. ‘’The club has come a long way!’’ he says opening up and adds ‘’Been a change of leadership and all sorts of stuff. I know the whole thing is a lot different than 23 years ago - probably for the better and it’s all good. The club’s grown and branched out interstate. It’s a totally different lifestyle now and totally different to what it used to be, the old days of sleeping on the side of the road by a stock pile have gone - they stay in motels now days. It’s come a long way, come a long way! The whole bikie lifestyle has come a long way, definitely for the better! You can see how much it’s changed now, it’s not as secretive as it was, some clubs are but this club isn’t it’s become much more open - we get a lot more of the general public supporting the club.’’ Taking a moment and looking up at the framed photos of departed members on the clubhouse wall he says ‘’I suppose I’ve been around for a long time and the stuff on the wall is a reminder, a lot of stuff has gone on in the past 45 years. A lot of stuff happened and there has been big changes, all good and it’s only positive from here. The expansions have been good and you get a lot of respect from the younger blokes, they look up to the older blokes. The history and stuff like that with the club is so good, we still have the common cause of being a bikie. It has now become a lot more open as to its multiculturalism. In the early days it was really a closed school, now the club is a lot more open to the ethnic races that are in the club, which is always a good thing and had to happen!’’ The party itself was in good spirits, with a live band and fresh kebabs and plenty of seating which makes the undue attention by the police all the more a waste of public money as with many of the runs and events I have attended. The whole day and the club’s members were friendly and accommodating to myself and many of the visitors so don’t be put off from attending these events as long as you drink responsibly you don’t have much to worry about. It also adds to the experience being in a pack and making a run with all the attention only adding to it.
We will finish up with a message from Zac and the Sydney Chapter to their brothers. We would like to thank all our Melbourne, WA and SA and all the NSW chapters for their help and support. All the supporters who have made the trek from Melbourne and a heartfelt hello to all the brothers in gaol and to just let you know we haven’t forgotten you and you are here in spirit and hopefully be here for many years to come!