On May 7-9th 1998, the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, (NCOM), in conjunction with the International Coalition of Motorcyclists, (ICOM), held their 13th Annual Convention in the Dallas, Texas suburb of Irving. Clubs, motorcycle rights organizations, interested individuals and celebrities were invited to the largest annual gathering of people concerned about the rights of motorcyclists and the role that governments around the world play in this area. The event included seminars on effective lobbying techniques, insurance issues, anti-discrimination tactics and impending safety issues that will limit the rights of bikers on a worldwide stage.
The people in attendance were the international cream of the crop, and the Ontario Confederation of Clubs was proud to be a part. We were in fact a big part of the convention.
It is with an enormous amount of pride that we sent a delegation to Texas. The brightest star in this galaxy was our vice-chairman, Mr. Ian Watson. Ian also doubles as the chairman of the O.C.C. Judicial Committee and is essentially the "do-all" behind the Confederation.
The board at NCOM recognized Ian's dedication and devotion not only to the rights of motorcyclists in the province of Ontario, but in his tireless efforts at helping out with the Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) program, which can be found not only in Canada but throughout the U.S. and parts of Europe as well. As a result of Ian's commitment he was awarded the Fred Hill International Award at the Silver Spoke banquet ceremonies. What does this mean and why should you care? Fred Hill (whom the award was named after) was a British motorcycle activist who refused to wear a helmet and refused to pay the thousands of fines imposed on him by the British government. He was jailed for non-payment of these fines, and eventually died in an English prison. Fred died for his beliefs and his commitment to his freedom. He is a martyr. Being awarded the Silver Spoke that bears Mr. Hill's name is a goal we could all aim for but few of us will ever achieve. Ian also bears the double honour of being the first Canadian to receive this prestigious award.
We, as Canadian motorcyclists, and as members of the Ontario Confederation of Clubs, stand and applaud Ian on this achievement of a lifetime. Whole hearted congratulations to you brother!!! We should all be proud, and a little in awe of this remarkable feat.
At the NCOM convention, the O.C.C. delegation was also applauded by all for being the fastest growing Confederation in the entire World wide Organization. While Ian will be the first to admit that this is the result of a true team effort, his vision and leadership has been the key.
We, the executive would like to take this opportunity to thank all our members for their contributions and support. You have elevated us to the position that we now enjoy. Thanks to all!!! We would also like to invite any interested parties to come and see for yourself why we are on the move. Our motto "supporting the interests of motorcyclists throughout Ontario, means exactly that. It encompasses ALL motorcyclists and their interests. Our non-discriminatory policy is the key to our success and the unifying force that makes us so effective. With more support we can only grow stronger, thereby becoming even more effective. Help us to help you.
Again, congratulations to all!!!