The Anglo Celt 8th April 2010
Gone But Not Forgotten Bikers - Special Bikers Mass
PREPARATIONS for the annual bikers memorial mass at St. Macartan’s church, Aughdrumsee, Co. Fermanagh, on Friday May 7 at 8.00pm are well advanced. More than 2,000 people from all over this region and the entire country and abroad attend this moving and special occasion each year.
One of the founding members, JJ McDonnell of the Gone But Not Forgotten Memorial Committee, said that the event has grown in a phenomenal way and the thousands flock to the small church. They have a memorial plaque bearing the names and photographs of the deceased family members and friends and it forms a centre piece of the annual Mass. Biker and founding committee member Fr John Kearns believes that the committee’s efforts are making a difference. “When we came together we set ourselves four main aims: to remember our relatives and friends who died on motorbikes, to offer comfort and support to those families who have lost loved ones, to encourage all bikers to think of their own safety and ride accordingly, and finally to organise an event that is interesting, enjoyable and most importantly positive.” And with his characteristic smile Fr. John added: “When you see the huge crowd every year at the memorial and especially when you see the wonderfully warm reception our committee members receive from the families they visit, I think it’s fair to say we must be on the right track.”
Fr. Kearns C.C Clones, is an experienced biker who has celebrated the Mass from the beginning back in 2002. He says the biker memorial provides a focal point for bikers, families and friends to come together and remember all their loved ones. Sometimes families feel that after the funeral other people move on and they are left to grieve for their loved ones on their own. The arrival of thousands of biking friends each year provides a boost to such families in a simple and supportive way.
See more about the Gone But Not Forgotten memorial at www.gonebutnotforgottenbikers.net, which has an explanation and history of the event as well as the first 19 poignant personal profiles. The committee is also on Facebook.