|Great Lakes Conference > History & Pledge|
Our Blue Knights Pledge
"As a Blue Knight, I pledge to act with honor and pride to promote motorcycling and motorcycle safety by being an example of the safe use, operation and enjoyment of motorcycles. I will work at all times to improve the relationship between the motorcycling law enforcement community and the general public. The fraternal spirit will always guide me in relating to other Blue Knights."
Back PatchesOur club wears distinguished back rockers to indicate we are an International “Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club”. The top rocker is our registered name, the center crest is our International Logo, and the bottom rocker indicates which State and Chapter we are from. The eggshell blue color was chosen by our founding fathers which stand out in any crowd or simply riding down the road. In many instances this color was the same as our uniform shirts in 1975 when the club was founded.
One Version of our GLRC History
Paul Croteau was chatting with a buddy and fellow Blue Knight member named Albert Porter (Ont III - Windsor Police Force - Deceased), Al offered how the development of the Great Lakes Regional Conference came about in an email message as quoted below...
On that first occasion we had 24 people gather at the Holiday Inn at Perrysburg Ohio. It is located near on I-280 between I-75 and the Ohio Turnpike I believe. We had representatives, as I recall, from:
There were many others involved, I just don't remember all their names. Konnie Muson was selected as conference chairman, Ron Wyant was chosen Secretary and Elgin Austen as Vice-Chairman. For the first six months there was absolutely nothing that took place. The second meeting was held the following summer at Albion Woods outside Cleveland. I complained so much about nothing being done that Ron Wyant asked me if I wanted the Secretary's job and I told him that I did indeed. I then called International and had Linda Dyer send me a list of all chapters in Ontario, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin and started sending a deluge of letters to the presidents and secretaries of each chapter. They eventually became tired of hearing me gripe and started answering the letters and the Great Lakes Newsletter came into being.
I did several tours in those days, visiting as many chapters as I could and meeting the folks and explaining that the conference was just that, a reason to get together a couple of times a year, have some fun and promote each other's rides and events. As I mentioned before, I was conference secretary for 6 years. When we had the conference at Davenport Iowa, I withdrew my name and stood down to let someone else, in this case, Russ Bradford from Lima, Ohio, take over the role of Secretary.
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Al passed away a few months later. I'm glad we found the moment to share this personal event in his life.
John Long Sr. Eulogy by Bill Brown (Bam Bam)
As I made the trip once again to the Peoria, IL (ILL I Chapter’s stomping grounds) I began to ponder my short friendship with the fallen Blue Knight John Long. He had been to our stomping grounds here in Indiana and me to his on a few occasions. When he was in Indiana, I was working our event and while I was in Illinois, he was working his event. Sadly now, this prevented us from sitting and chatting as much as I am sure we both would have liked. Sitting at his Memorial Service, his life was laid out for all who cared to see. As is the case with most of us in Law Enforcement, present are the many certificates of our past accomplishments. Evidence schools, interview schools, firearms training, along with the many photos and articles portraying highlights of his (or her) career.
Sitting in one corner was one of the major loves of his life, his motorcycle. All clean and shining as the flesh and blood horse of a Knight long ago would have been presented for such a ceremony. It made me think while we did not get to spend as much time one on one with each other as I know both of us would have liked, we still have that common bond. Actually, several common bonds! We know as brother Law Enforcement Officers, we stand and will fall, if necessary, TOGETHER! We have been to the similar schools and training and faced the “wolf” in our own neck of the woods. Plus, we, as Blue Knights, have a bond that makes us even closer. The love of the freedom of the road and the feel of the wind in our face and the warmth of the sun and the sound of the engine as we make our way to good times. Our first lady close behind and our best buddies along for the ride! These times make you truly remember what we are all about and forget those trivial things we sometimes make a mountain out of.
To Donna Long and family, I know we can never remove the pain you feel from loosing John Long Sr., your beloved husband / father and our past GLRC Board Sec/Treasurer. But I also want you to remember, your Blue Knight Family will be there to support you. We are only mortal beings and certainly not perfect, but will always take care of our extended family.
And, John, if you can see this, you were one of the leaders of our organization. The example has been set. May we all continue to hold the bar high, the mark you helped set.
See ya later John!
Bill ( BAM BAM ) Brown
Al Porter Eulogy by Bill Brown (Bam Bam)
On a sad note, I received an e-mail informing me of the death of Al Porter. Al was a former member of ONT III and was the first GLRC Secretary / Treasurer. It was actually Al's letters that inspired me to someday want to be the GLRC Secretary / Treasurer! Al had a writing style all of his own. He had that way of cutting through the B.S. and getting to the heart of matters. His letters were very informative, always on top of the issues! I must say back then there was a lot more of the Basic Stuff!
I have seen the Blue Knights go through growing pains and yet we survive and now continue moving back to the basics... Riding Motorcycles and Law Enforcement! Al retired from the Windsor Police Department after being struck by a pickup truck while making a routine traffic stop. He never quite recovered from his injuries. He was one of the Original Blue Knight Commandos, kidnapping chapter flags and emblems. Somehow the missing items would come up at a later auction being held for a local charity and the rightful owner seemed to usually win it back.
Yes, we had fun in those days and I am glad to see the efforts being made to preserve those foundations. The last time I saw Al was at the GLRC in Dover, Ohio. We gave each other the "Bear Hug" and talked of the old days! He would send me jokes once in a while and cute news articles concerning law enforcement from time to time. It was a shock to hear of his heart attack, June 16th 1999. He will be missed and thought of often! I know that Al is spreading camaraderie in Heaven I.
See ya later, Al. We all miss you...
|Last Updated: 26-Aug-2013|