Thursday, August 7, 2014

On the road in Europe




Lowlands and Ukraine members on the road in Poland


New members in The Netherlands


Congratulations GSCMC Lowlands


Dutch, Irish and German brothers


UK members run



Irish and German chapters in Finland


Lithuanian Prospects visit South Wales



Euro gathering in Finland

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Monday, December 2, 2013

Fight Injustice!

 John Smith//






 
There were protests at Parliaments throughout Oz on Sunday morning speaking out against Draconian new laws being sold on a 'tough on crime - anti biker' ticket (although it is important to note that the legislation can be used against any group of three or more). John Smith - International Pres of God's Squad and Father Bob McGuire among others took the platform in Melbourne... 

FYI - The fundamental principle underlying our legal system for the last 200 years has been that people should be imprisoned for their conduct or behaviour, not for what they might do, or because of the people with whom they associate. And yet we now have legislation in Queensland (that is being touted for the rest of OZ) that makes it illegal to be a member of certain organisations, or to be associated with members of that organisation. And if you are a member of an organisation, and are charged with a crime, you are presumed guilty, will be imprisoned without bail and the onus is on you to prove your innocence. -

Fight the Power - Fight Injustice!!

A typical sight on rides - Inspection blockades set up outside clubhouses for 'Random' checks.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Don't Let This Opportunity Pass By

Thanks to all those friends and supporters who have been getting behind the documentary film project about our club's founder and the club itself.

We are now into the last few days of the crowd funding campaign with Pozible to raise $50,000 to see the film made. The way Pozible works is that, if we don't reach our target, the pledges are not processed and the film doesn't get made.

This continues to be a wonderful opportunity to tell the remarkable story of our founder John Smith and the club. It's a story that has had far reaching effects around the world far beyond influence within the bike scene. The endorsements and testimonials received in recent days emphasise that impact - you can see many of them here including one from Bono.

But I guess, many reading this won't need convincing from anyone else that this is a film worth making, it's part of your own story, so we'd just like to encourage you to back this project. It will be a big disappointment to have to cancel this film because we left it too late or up to others.

During these current days, Smithy completes being on the road in Europe, despite struggling with his health, nurturing and encouraging others to change the world, plant radical churches, take the words of Christ seriously, be advocates for the poor and voices for justice. Our friend Ash Barker said in his video clip he wouldn't be living in a Bangkok slum if it wasn't for John Smith's impact. Missional church guru's Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch speak of the impact that has shaped their thinking. Within our own ranks within God's Squad we have a ragged collection of stories of grace  that have been profoundly influenced by the constant call from Smithy, to return to the stories of Jesus of Nazareth. Don't let this opportunity pass by to encourage and challenge another generation.

Thanks for your interest and please continue to spread the word about 'Smithy - Something In Every Hue' in the coming days as the campaign draws to a conclusion.

Remember - the way Pozible works is that, if we don't reach our target, pledges aren't processed and the film doesn't get made.


Go To www.pozible.com/smithy to add your support

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

GSCMC Pennines

We are pleased to announce a new chapter in the UK - GSCMC Pennines.




Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bono and The Edge Endorse Smithy Film

Interest in seeing the documentary film 'Smithy - Something In Every Hue, which tell the story of John Smith & God's Squad, is gathering momentum. In this short candid clip, Bono and The Edge throw their weight behind the project.

To find out me see the previous post and follow this link and read all the info... "Smithy - Something In Every Hue"

Friday, September 13, 2013

Documentary Film Project Plans



‘Smithy’ - Something In Every Hue

We are pleased to announce that work has begun on a documentary film project about God’s Squad’s founder, John Smith. The forming of God’s Squad in Melbourne and the growth around the world of the club in the past forty years will also feature prominently in the story.

We treasure our heritage, foundational calling and missional principals that have kept us on the road for so long together. This film, directed by the highly respected film maker, Don Parham, who has known John for many years, will aim to be a warts and all story embodying the passionate call to the margins that has marked John’s life and the ministry of God’s Squad. Ultimately, the film will encourage others to do the same.

Below you will find a short teaser video and as important, a link to the the project’s  support page, which contains full details of schedules, personnel and funding. We’re looking for our friends, supporters and those who desire to see this film come to fruition, around the world, to pledge some support between now and 18th October to help make it happen.

Take a look at the video and go to the site and if you like what you see and read, feel free to lend a hand. Your interest and support is much appreciated.

GO TO THE MAIN FILM SITE HERE  or paste this link http://www.pozible.com/project/28873





Saturday, July 20, 2013

Though I walk through the shadow...

Like too many people from the bush I knew blokes who had taken their own lives. Although this time it was different, very different. This time it was my father and the world, as I knew it, ended.


The day had already been surreal. It was like I was watching a movie with me in it. That morning Mum had finally decided that she couldn’t take my fathers abuse anymore and with us there for Christmas felt safe enough to make the move.

Being an alcoholic my father always had a can in his hand. Dad had already downed a few by the time Mum told him she was leaving. In front of all of us he threatened that he now had no reason to live.

I could see the sequence of events adding up to the final act. He’s putting things in place, tying off loose ends, he’s gonna do it! At the same time I kept telling myself, this isn’t happening, this can’t be happening, I am being paranoid.

I went to the gun safe to take the keys, just in case. Dad was two steps ahead and took a gun out right before my eyes.

He put the rifle in the 4wd and went back to the house. I thought here’s my chance, do something, do something. I fumbled with the .22 trying to release the bolt. It was a new rifle and I had no idea how to release it. Trembling in case he caught me I prayed, “Please God help me get this bolt out”. Just then I saw the hidden lever and the bolt fell into my hands. Quickly I turned the rifle over so he wouldn’t notice and went back into the house. As I walked in the front door, he left by the back. I heard the 4wd roar into action and he thundered out the driveway narrowly missing the gatepost in his fury.

He was gone - presumably up to the farm. We took the opportunity to pack Mums things into the car and get her safely to another house. After several hours of unpacking and reorganising, Mum, my Wife and I returned to the farmhouse to collect some more of her things. As we pulled into the driveway we saw his 4wd parked at the gate. Not knowing what to expect we entered the yard.

As we rounded the corner to the front of the house there was Dad crumpled on the ground… It was a nightmare - we acted on instinct – I remember being on the phone to the police and my wife running into the house yelling that she couldn’t resuscitate him and me going out with her saying well no you cant, half his head is missing. Next to his body was a roughly scrawled note and 3 full shotgun cartridges. A clear message, one for each of us should we have arrived 10 minutes earlier.

Being between Christmas and New Year the coroner was busy clearing the back-log of autopsies. It had been a long drought, rivers were the lowest in living memory, and 4 other Northern Tasmanian farmers had taken their lives that same day. 

Burying my Dad on the family farm


A member of God’s Squad, I was living in Melbourne at the time and worked for a program called Inside Out with young offenders as a youth worker. My family was in a state of crisis, dealing with our grief while trying to work out what to do with the farm and all that goes with it. So, I stayed on in Tasmania to support my mother and brothers travelling back to Melbourne as often as I could.

My marriage had not been smooth sailing, few marriages are. Trying to both support, my wife and my family whilst dealing with my own grief was becoming tough. One day she called from Melbourne and gave me an ultimatum, she told me she was leaving, if I loved her I wouldn’t be with my family. It was a choice I couldn’t make so told her that if she wanted to leave it was up to her but I needed to be with my family at this time. Having seen what my parents went through, rightly or wrongly I did not want to end up in the same way as my father so the marriage was over.

As with most cases when a marriage ends, men tend to withdraw whereas women reach out for help. Thankfully a club brother in Lonnie, who I hadn’t known very well, took me in while I attempted to sort my life out. He put a roof over my head, even helped me to get a good job. It was there that I met their daughter Claire whom I married 4 years later.

Those that knew me at that time know that I was a bit of a larrikin always looking for a opportunity to make a joke out of something. I even treated my own life as a joke not really taking myself seriously. Some of this was my personality but a lot was a result of post-traumatic stress from my father’s death. I was scared of what I might be able to achieve if I really committed to it. This fear also included a fear of genuine intimacy with my wife. By that I don’t mean sex but the opening up of yourself to another person. So when we started to have some struggles, instead of trying to work it through, I sought escape. For me it took the shape of an affair with a work colleague.

It was one of the biggest mistakes and regrets of my life. When I ended the affair I confessed to my wife who was understandably devastated. To her credit and amazing strength of character she remained with me through all the pain and humiliation she felt. We were separated for a while, as I was trying to sort my head out, I was pretty messed up and confused.

A Christian mate of mine, Al and his wife Lisa took me in and supported me through this time while two club brothers, one from the UK and the other from Launceston both gave me regular support and encouragement. They told me that despite what I had done, I was ok and God loved me and they loved me as brothers and would stick by me through all the crap that life offers. They encouraged me to sort my life out and go back to my loving wife, which I eventually did.

I remember at my lowest point sitting down at the very place where Dad had taken his life years earlier, with a shotgun over my knee and a cartridge in the chamber contemplating the unthinkable. At that moment of incredible darkness I remember staring into the abyss and all of a sudden I had this feeling that everything was going to be ok, that there was light at the end of the tunnel. That God, as the old book says, was holding me in the palm of his giant hand.

I put the gun away that day and never contemplated picking it up again. Nowadays when the shit hits the fan I know that it’s going to be all right. You see, being a follower of Jesus didn’t make me a mindless robot, it didn’t immunise me from the struggles of life. Quite the opposite, it helped me embrace life and confront my demons. Having stared down the barrel of a gun twice I know this life is fragile but I am certain that life is also eternal.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 

Dale (RHS) with his Father in Law Steve

Friday, July 5, 2013

GSCMC Hobart

 Our Hobart chapter opened their clubhouse. it is an old industrial timber mill - the buildings and 72acres of private bushland 14k's outside Hobart // Some of the sheds are the size of football fields.
Yeah! - If ur in Hobart - ur welcome to visit











 







Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Deni Shovel Muster - //

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Me, Squad and Parkinsons

Marshall and Me out and about //

13 years ago my little finger began to shake. Six months later, and after a number of other signs the medicos confirmed what I knew already - I had Parkinsons (a progressive neurological movement disorder). The tremor was a small thing that, with the other symptoms, would initially disappear with the medication I took. Would things get worse I asked? Yes they would I was told and they have. It was different for every one I was told. I chased down this fellow who was further down the track with the same disease whom I heard road a Harley. I asked him if he still rode, he looked at me as if I was an idiot - now I know why.

At the time I was International Secretary of God’s Squad and had taken a strong supporting role to Smithy, Ducky and others as we oversaw the expansion of the club. In 2007 it was clear my health could not sustain the energy required to maintain my family, work and Squad. I retired and soon after gave up my bike riding for fear of hurting my mates or myself. I struggled through 2008-9 to work out whether I was still called or not to the club, but I did not feel called away. Although I could no longer do what is typically required of a member I have discovered that there are other ways to serve. God has given me a gift in being a reasonable preacher and teacher of his word. I love the fellowship and friendships I have developed in and out of the club through Squad.

Around this time I had a brain operation that helped - but even so - it was very clear that my riding days were over. The disease, recently, has not being very kind to me and is making life harder. I have had to stop working. As a bloke this has been very difficult. Thanks to my wife Paula for her love and support during this time.

Recently some mates in the club have had me on their bike as a pillion and have offered other help and prayers, thank you. Just last week the Melbourne chapter laid hands on me and prayed for me. It was a special time. I also felt specially honoured in England at the 15th anniversary of the UK chapter thanks again.

The outlaw scene has been on the whole remarkably understanding of my disease. I’m still out and about and “I am glad I have not got what you have” or “I am glad you’re still around” are the comments I get when friends take me aside. Most clubs are aware of it but as happened recently my body can at times make people think I am drug affected.

At 54 I am not old, but this disease makes me older than I am. It’s all relative though. Last Friday I conducted a funeral for a man who died because of his disability at 42. So now when I fall over I get up cos I can, and always do what I can with what I have. It makes me admire Smithy more for the pace he has kept for so many years

Life itself is inherently risky especially if you did not choose your parents well! When you marry you take a huge risk. Having children is risky. Mothers giving birth especially if they’re teenage girls in places like Ethiopia face awesome risks. Riding a motorcycle, trusting others, being in God’s Squad… My faith certainly has been challenged. My struggle with accepting the disease and getting on with following Jesus is as normal as anyone’s. At times I feel strong and other times I need to be carried by others and my mates in the club. I have had much prayer for healing, God has not chosen to yet. I am still called to God’s Squad. Thank you to the Squad community for your support of that call.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

UK Nat Run Snapshots



Congrats to Murray GSCMC North & Rocky GSCMC South
on receiving colours

GSCMC North, UK
GSCMC South, UK


GSCMC South Wales, UK