5 July 1946 – 21 August 2023
On Friday 25th August 2023 we gathered to mourn the passing and celebrate the life of Sumo, husband, friend, father, brother, uncle, grandfather, advocate, Veteran.
Sumo was all this and more. A Life Member of the Veterans MC Federal Chapter he was a constant in our club and mentor to many.
Sumo passed in the early hours of the Monday morning with his family by his side. His loving wife Wendy sadly passed on this information to the many people who she knew would wish to join her and the family in celebrating his life, and there were many.
Friends and family came from all over Australia at short notice to attend. For those of us from the Veterans MC the day commenced at the club in Queanbeyan at 1000 for coffee and to organize the movements with the large contingent of riders who would be taking part. There were members from Veterans MC Federal, At Large, Southern Tablelands, Sydney, Victoria along with Patriots, Military Brotherhood, God’s Squad with other riders along.
The size of the pack (over 70 bikes) meant we had to split into two groups, one to gather at Wendy and Sumo’s house and the other joining us on the road as we drove escort for the family. We left Queanbeyan around midday to ride to the south side of Canberra to the family home where we all paid our respects to Wendy and the family.
The plan was for the Presidents and Sgts At Arms to lead Wendys car with Sumo’s nephew Simon riding his bike, Grandson Joe Mack riding Wendys bike directly behind the car and the rest of the pack following.
We departed for the Northside of Canberra to head to the Norwood Crematorium with the remainder of the pack joining us on Sullwood Drive. It was quite a sight early on a Friday afternoon in the Nation’s Capital.
We arrived before 1500 where there was a large crowd gathered to pay their respects. People overflowed from the chapel to the grounds outside with many Veterans in attendance along with those who knew and loved Sumo from a life well lived.
The service included Eulogies from daughter Sally, nephew Simon, a Sumo’s military and advocacy history recited by Frank and a reflection from Mori, President of VMC Federal who also thanked those from the Rebels Mc present acknowledging Sumo’s life in the MC world.
Peter Eveille AO spoke of Sumo’s service to the nation in peace and war and presented Wendy with the Australian National Flag and Pat McCabe OAM recited the Ode.
Poppies were placed on the coffin by all present prior to the committal.
It was a beautiful and respectful service.
From there the service moved to a wake back on the Southside at the Vikings Club Erindale where Sumo’s life was celebrated prior to another wake back at the Veterans MC Federal Chapter in Queanbeyan. It was a fitting send off and did not wrap up till around 0300 in the morning.
The loss of Sumo will leave a big hole in many lives if the size of the funeral is any indication.
A significant part of the being a Veteran is the Ode. At the end of the Ode the statements “We will remember them” and “Lest We Forget” are repeated by all.
This is not lip service, it is important.
They say that you die twice, once when you pass and the next when your name is spoken for the last time.
RIP Chilli Bob
We will Remember them.
Lest We Forget.