History of the Red Knights

by

Charlie Clarkson
Past Massachusetts State Rep

During the summer of 1982 several firefighters were visiting "Randy's Cycle Shop" in Boylston, Massachusetts and the subject of motorcycle clubs came up. Soon they were all grousing about the fact that law enforcement people had a motorcycle club known as the Blue Knights but there was no club for firefighters. After this tire kicking session, owner Randy Wilson suggested to Ed Wright, a firefighter from Northboro, MA, that he stop talking about the lack of a club and form one instead.

Recognizing a good idea when he heard one, Ed Wright went home that afternoon and made some hand printed posters inviting firefighters from the area to meet and determine if there was enough interest to form a motorcycle club. On August 17th, 1982, Fire Chief Jack Pierce allowed a small group of motorcycle enthusiasts to meet in Northboro Fire Headquarters to lay the ground work for the formation of a motorcycle club.

On October 19th, 1982, firefighters Colin Mackey, Bob Bourassa, Ed Wright, Roger Wentzell, Dave Hamilton, Bob Goulet, David Hunt, Jon Tripp, Don Parker, Norm Beausleil and Chief Pierce met again. There was interest in promoting the positive image of motorcycling while enjoying the camaraderie of other firefighters. It was decided then that this group would be known as the Red Knights Motorcycle Club.

News of this new club spread like a grass fire. In July of 1983, a chapter was formed in Connecticut. In October of that year a second Massachusetts chapter was formed. Soon applications came in from such distant places as Nevada and Louisiana.

In August of 1983 the founding members realized the organization was rapidly growing beyond their original expectations. To properly handle this growth they elected a committee to serve as a National Board of Directors. With applications from Ontario and Saskatchewan , Canada, the club became the Red Knights International Firefighters Motorcycle Club.

In 1984 the first club convention was held in Boylston MA. Each year since that time a convention has been held for all Red Knights. Convention sites have been Boylston, Massachusetts (1984, 1985, 1987), Cromwell, Connecticut (1986), Toronto, Ontario (1988), Mentor, Ohio (1989), Waterville Valley, New Hampshire (1990), Leamington, Ontario (1991), Worcester, Massachusetts (1992), Angola, Indiana (1993), Belleville, Ontario (1994), Dublin, Ohio (1995), Leamington, Ontario (1996), Marlborough, Massachussets (1997), New York City (1998), Daytona Beach, Florida (1999), Indianapolis (2000) Winnipeg, Manitoba (2001), and Rhode Island [2002], and la convention de 2003 sera à Laval, Québec (The 2003 convention was in Laval, Quebec), and Edmonton, Alberta, Canada [2004].

 
Plans in the works for future conventions:

 

  • 2005 -- Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  • 2006 -- New York City

  • 2007 -- Massachusetts for the 25th Anniversary celebration of the RKMC

  • 2008 -- Ohio

  • 2009 -- Panama City Beach, Florida

Come join the fun at all our conventions!

As a result of the seed that was planted at Randy's in 1982, there are now more than 150 Red Knights chapters and 3500 members throughout the U.S. and Canada. There is also a chapter in New Zealand and M.A.L.s in Europe. Contact us for information on Red Knights Motorcycle Club chapter charter and members-at-large information.


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Red Knights International Motorcycle Club Executive Board.