Blood-soaked leathers and black-arm bands were dress of the day for members of motor cycle gang in Sydney, Australia when they gathered to mourn their former leader, killed in a road accident.
SV Pull back bikies lining funeral route
SV PAN Funeral cortege passes bikies
CU PAN various aspects of different cyclists during funeral ceremony
SV PAN (same shot) prayer continues over biker laying dead man's boots, helmets and gear on coffin.
SV weeping mother comforted by priest-vicar.
SV Leader of "Gypsy Jokers" puts wreath into grave.
CU girl kisses key and throws into grave.
CU Bikie drinks wine from flagon.
Initials AE/19.25 AE/20.39
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Background: Blood-soaked leathers and black-arm bands were dress of the day for members of motor cycle gang in Sydney, Australia when they gathered to mourn their former leader, killed in a road accident.
More than a hundred bike-riders, including members of 20-year-old Willie Bull's gang, the Gypsy Jokers, gathered to bury him in traditional motor-cyclists' style on Monday (11 March). A special truce with other rival motor cycle gangs was declared for the day to allow even former enemies to participate in the funeral.
The service at the cemetery in the Sydney suburb of Fairfield was conducted by a former member of another cycle group, "God's Squad", now the Reverend Robert Mately. Some mourners wore leathern soaked in blood found at the roadside where Willie Bull died.
At the grave side, his boots, helmet and leathers were placed on the coffin with a club flag, and a tearful girlfriend threw the key to the former gang leader's treasured cycle into the grave. A close friend named "dumbo" threw in his harmonica which Willie had once liked to listen to. A toast from flagons of cheap red wine was drunk as the coffin was lowered not feel ground. The last of the wine was poured in, too, so Willie would not feel left out of the celebrations. Later the bike riders left the cemetary to celebrate a day-long wake.
Yet another jarring note was provided during the funeral when several carloads of police arrived at the cemetary to investigate reports that bike-gang members had been seen robbing graves. The report proved false.