South Africa

Tears and laughter at dignified farewell for fallen brother

MBOMBELA – It was a send-off of which Gerald Azevedo would have been proud.

Azevedo (57), a well-known motorcyclist and Wrangler MC Lowveld member, died of a heart attack in peak-hour traffic near Sonpark on June 26. On Friday, dozens of bikers, family and friends gathered for a memorial ride at Westend Shopping Centre. A last ride to Rhenosterkop where he resided, was done not only to honour his life, but to celebrate the immense impact he had had on so many lives.

ALSO READ: Motorist dies of heart attack in peak hour traffic in Mbombela

Azevedo joined Wranglers MC Lowveld Chapter in 2015 and became a full patch member early in 2017. He later took on the role of club secretary. He was described as an amazing man with lots of love to give and always made time for his family. He loved nothing more than riding his bike with his wife, Lorna, and his club brothers.
Leading the convoy was Lorna, on the back of Azevedo’s black Kawasaki ridden by Lappies Labuschagne, who saw him as a father. His ashes accompanied the two.

A number of motorcycles followed them, roaring through the city.

At the memorial service, fellow club members Labuschagne, Callum mac Pherson (Wranglers MC Lowveld Chapter vice-president), Wolf Nel (club president) and his daughter, Toni Joubert, were among those who paid tribute to Azevedo. They found solace in the fact that he had passed away peacefully. Even though all agreed that he was a loving and caring man, he was not without mischief. Stories shared by Labuschagne, mac Pherson and Nel, among others, caused more chuckles than tears as they put a positive interpretation on life events involving Azevedo and his rebel soul. “I love you stukkend” was a phrase he said to you at every chance he got.

All agreed that this is the send-off he would have wanted. “When I’m gone, don’t bring me pretty flowers. And don’t sit and cry for me at my tombstone. Think of me and recall all the good times. Have a drink with me, even when I’m gone. I’ll do the same for you, if you’ll do the same for me. Set my spirit free. When my time’s up, don’t let the good times be gone,” was the song by Jacob Bryant that concluded the service before a deafening rev of engines filled the air as a final goodbye.

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