Special to the Langley Advance
They came on Harleys, in cars, in trucks and in stretch limos.
Hundreds braved the miserable weather to pay tribute to slain Hells Angel Bob Green at a memorial service in South Vancouver on Saturday.
Many of his Hells Angels brethren rode in procession along Vancouver streets, arriving at the Fraserview Hall just before 1 p.m. in heavy rain.
Others, including Green’s family, arrived at the hall on Fraser Street at Marine Drive in limousines.
They hugged, shook hands and firmly patted each other’s backs outside as music blared from a loudspeaker out of the hall’s upper balcony doors.
“He’s got the rings and the colours. He has the wind in his hair. He goes running with the brothers, he’s got a fist in the air,” one song bellowed. “Going to the run, forever angel.”
Other music was from the TV series Sons Of Anarchy, about a mythical California biker gang.
Vancouver police gang cops, as well as members of the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, monitored the event.
Officers in plain clothes used long lenses to photograph the faces and back patches of funeral attendees.
There were Hells Angels from across Canada – some with New Brunswick, Montreal, Ontario, Alberta and Manitoba on their backs.
There were others from biker gangs across B.C. that support the Hells Angels — the Jesters, the Horsemen, the Throttle Lockers, the Devil’s Army and more.
Most refused to talk to reporters asking about Green, who was shot dead in Langley on Oct. 16. But some stopped briefly to describe the loss of the man they called “a legend.”
Gary Cahill said Green was a good friend and a great poker player.
“It is a huge loss for all of us. He is a long-time friend of mine, nearly 16 years. He was a very, very good man, a family man. Very respected,” Cahill said.
A woman, who looked like she was in her 50s, pulled up on a Harley.
“It’s a great turnout, especially with this weather,” she said.
Green was murdered during an all-night party at the clubhouse of the 856 Gang in the 23700-block 72nd Avenue in Langley.
Police were called to the property about 10:30 a.m. and found Green, 56, fatally wounded.
856 Gang member Jason Wallace turned himself into police the next day and has been charged with second-degree murder. He is next due in court Nov. 3.
Police are investigating whether a spate of gang violence in the Lower Mainland over the last week is linked to Green’s murder.
856 associate Shaun Clary, 27, was found dismembered on a rural Langley road Oct. 26, while Hells Angel prospect Mohammed Rafiq, 43, was wounded in a targeted shooting in Burnaby the same day.
Green, 56, was a giant in the Hells Angels – influential, powerful and charismatic.
He started off as an East End Hells Angel more than 20 years ago, before joining the elite Nomads chapter when it formed and then more recently moving the Mission chapter.
He lived in North Burnaby, was married and was the father of six children.
Police who dealt with him said he was generally pleasant and easygoing, unless he was drinking.
“He was always out on the town and maintained a very high profile. And for the most part, he was friendly to deal with, unless he got pissed,” a retired biker cop said.
Before the funeral began on Saturday, bouquets of flowers and wreaths were arriving at the hall from around the world.
Photos of Green over the years were put up on display. Bikers had spent the morning decorating the hall.
Yellow caution tape was put up along Fraser Street so that the procession of Harley riders would have somewhere to park once they arrived.
The procession or “ride” in his honour began hours before the service, with bikers meeting up at the Coquitlam clubhouse owned by the Vancouver chapter, before heading to the East End chapter and on to the banquet hall.
Junior members of the Hells Angels and Jesters — known as prospects — were in charge of parking and security outside the hall.
Mourners were told when they arrived to turn their cellphones off and to not record the speeches out of respect for the family and the Hells Angels.
It was all over by 4 p.m., with some mourners headed off to a Hells Angels clubhouse for an after party.
Vancouver Police Staff Sgt. Randy Fincham said that there was “nothing of note at the funeral.”
He said before the event that police were monitoring to ensure public safety.
“As the Hells Angels are a criminal organization, the VPD has plans in place to reduce the risk to the public. Public safety remains our primary concern,” Fincham said.