BIKIE clubs from around Western Australia have ridden together in remembrance of fallen comrade and Gypsy Joker legend Paul "Hoges" Hugo.
Hugo, 53, passed away last
Tuesday after a lengthy illness and his death brought to an end a remarkable
chapter in his club's history.
One of the original Jokers, Hugo was instrumental in driving out violent New Zealand motorcycle gang the Mongrel Mob as they attempted to establish a presence in WA in 1989.
The Mongrel Mob had a reputation for brutal violence in New Zealand and Hugo's Jokers, as well as the three other big bikie clubs in WA at the time - The Coffin Cheaters, Club Deroes and God's Garbage - weren't happy at rumours that 100 or so of its members were opening a chapter in the west.
A week of bloodshed ensued after the Mongrel Mob established a small chapter in Perth in late 1989 - its vice president Selwyn Wharepapa, who owned a motorcycle repair shop in Midvale, had his business firebombed by Gypsy Joker David Roy Kirby.
Hugo drove the final nail in the unwanted club's coffin, shooting Wharepapa outside his Swan View home.
It was enough to drive the
Kiwis out of town, with Hugo's actions not lost in the tributes that flowed
for him this week, with descriptions such as "staunch", "loyal" and
"talented" a common theme.
More respect came in the form of the 200-odd tributes from fellow Gypsy Joker members, including overseas chapters across Europe and America, as well other bikie clubs in WA, that poured into the daily newspaper as stories of Hugo's deeds were no doubt re-told in the lead-up to today's funeral.
"A warrior who defended the honour of the club with enormous pride," wrote one.
"Hoges' heart was huge and open to share with all," wrote another.
A big police presence was on hand today to ensure the massive congregation travelled to Hugo's service in Cannington before his final resting place at Fremantle Cemetery.
But Hugo's last ride came a few weekends ago, when the Gypsy Jokers took him on one last road trip before his death last week.