Motorcyle gang descends for funeral

By Lin Ferguson

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LAST RESPECTS: The Hells Angels funeral cortege in Whanganui yesterday for member Bevan "Meat" Parker.
LAST RESPECTS: The Hells Angels funeral cortege in Whanganui yesterday for member Bevan "Meat" Parker.

The Hells Angels motorcycle gang have been active in Whanganui this week after one of their members died suddenly.

Bevan "Meat" Parker, aged 55, died at Whanganui Hospital on Monday surrounded by his family.

His funeral was Friday afternoon at the Dempsey and Forrest Chapel in Guyton Street.

Just before 1pm pn Friday the hearse led a cortege of hundreds of motorcycle club members from throughout New Zealand down Guyton St from Somme Parade.

Police officers were stationed on Guyton St at both the Victoria Avenue and St Hill Street intersections.

In 2009 the Whanganui Hells Angels launched a last-ditch bid to block a bylaw that banned them from wearing their patches on the streets of Whanganui arguing they were a club, not a gang.

The motorcycle club, which has a fortified headquarters in the city, argued the move would breach the Bill of Rights.

Bevan Parker, for the gang, said at the time: "I, as member of the Hells Motorcycle club, have been wrongfully and unjustly targeted without merit of reasonable grounds with total disregard to our club protocol and culture and to be able wear our club colours
as I have done for years."

In August 2013 a new law banning gang insignia in public spaces such as schools and swimming pools was introduced.

The Prohibition of Gang Insignia Government Premises Bill gave police the power to seize gang patches and official colours and offenders faced a $2000 fine.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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