VMC Townsville Chapter History

In 1972 the movie “Stone” was written and produced in Sydney by the movies author and star Sandy Harbutt. The movie was about a fictional bike club called “Grave Diggers MC”. The members were all Vietnam Veterans who felt rejection and social un acceptance upon returning from war service in Vietnam. The movie itself and the philosophy behind it became a “cult” among MC motorcycle clubs in Australia and is particularly relevant to the clubs history.

The Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club (VVMC) was first formed in Queensland on the 18th August 1990, Vietnam Veterans Day. In 1993 a “Stone” memorial run was held to reenact the movie, the original cut-off jackets with the original “Grave Diggers” colours (red script on white rockers) as used in the movie were taken with an escort of 12,000 bikes led by the VVMC to a ceremonial burning. The significance was that the “fiction” of the movie was over and the “fact” of an M.C. of Vietnam Veterans was born. The VVMC colours were standardised into a 4 piece back patch which is currently worn, gold script on black rockers along with the skull and slouch hat “Casper” and M.C. cube. The club started in Queensland with only 7 members.

Townsville Chapter history

In July 1994 it was decided that a northern branch of the VVMC Queensland Chapter would be formed. In 1996 the branch was presented with its own banner. In 1998 it was decided to break away from the southern Queensland Chapters and form a North Queensland Chapter. In 2003 the Townsville Chapter was formed and its first official “Stone” run was held on ANZAC Day 2003.

The Townsville Chapter of the VVMC had played a significant part in the Veteran community in Townsville, the biggest Garrison city in Australia. The Chapter provided a family friendly brotherhood for our Vietnam Veterans as well as the Veteran community in general with in the far north of Queensland. The Chapter would conduct a minimum of 5 “Stone” runs each year with 2 runs being compulsory to all patched members, those 2 runs were held on ANZAC Day and Vietnam Veterans Day in remembrance of fallen brothers.

In 2012 the Veterans M.C. was formed within the VVMC. The decision to do so once again played a vital amount of significance within our Veteran community as it allowed Veterans from all conflicts since the Vietnam war to be eligible to become members and proudly display the “ Casper” (skull and slouch hat). It also enabled the traditions, motorcycle club culture and values that were created by our treasured Vietnam Veterans within the VVMC to be continued and passed onto younger Veterans for generations to come.

The Townsville Chapter had patched members with service from most if not all conflicts The Australian Defence Force had been involved in since the Vietnam war including Somalia, Rwanda, East Timor, Iraq, Afghanistan, Solomon Islands, Asia, as well as other areas of the Middle East. The Chapter held a great deal of important military history within the Townsville district dating back over two decades. The Chapter was a highly respected part of the motorcycle community within Townsville as well as a respected ex service organisation which supported Veterans and their families within the district.

Members of the Chapter at the time of its closing had the very unfortunate responsibility of formally closing it on the 20th July 2023. There’s a saying within the VVMC/VMC nationally which is Veterans Forever Forever Veterans, and all members who have previously earned the privilege to wear the “Casper” will always be considered brothers in arms and Veterans Forever Forever Veterans. VFFV

The official Vietnam Veterans & Veterans Motorcycle Club (VVMC/VMC) Townsville Chapter colours that are proudly on display are an extremely important part of The Australian Defence Force Veteran history in Townsville. It represents Veterans which served this country during conflicts and also represents Veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our great nation. An honour roll has been sewn onto the material representing past Veteran members of the Chapter that have since passed away. LEST WE FORGET

The Ode,

A Slouch Hat Says To One And All
A Serviceman Stands Here Proud And Tall
Letters Of Gold On A Field Of Black
Reminds Us Of Those Who Didn’t Come Back
Honour Courage Mateship And Pride
Are On Our Backs
Whenever We Ride