Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Saying Goodbye to Panda

It has been just over a month since we said our goodbyes and paid our respects to our friend Jon “Panda” Aicken. Due to the delay in getting this posted I have decided not to advertise this post on Facebook or TSR but to use this as my way of reflecting on the day - but of course it is still published for anybody to read if they want to.

As you guys all know, I had a bit of trouble with my SV650 getting knocked over in our school car park. This issue has mostly been resolved now (just a side panel dispute to worry about…). I did however manage to pick this up on the morning of the funeral, allowing both myself and Emma to participate in the motorcycle convoy that accompanied Panda on his journey. The organiser of this convoy, John Brede, was a little worried when only 7 or so bikes turned up at the initial meet at Tesco car park, Edinburgh Way. However, he needn’t have worried as when we arrived to the funeral directors there were a large number of bikers who wanted to pay their respects and help Jon on his way. The sight of 50 or so bikes was incredible and showed just how many people this sad news had touched.

We decorated our helmets and bikes with black ribbons and stickers and slowly followed Panda in his side car and most suitably decorated box (a boat on the river to Valhalla). The Outlaws group of bikers made sure that the roads were clear for all bikes to get through and did a great job of this. After a brief stop at the Latton Bush Centre as we waited for Panda’s family we continued the journey to the service.

There were so many people that not everybody could get into the building. Emma, myself and Chris were a few of the many that listened to the service outside. The occasion was marked by musicians, bikers, friends and family and was shared amongst a large local community. We then gathered at the local sports centre for food, thoughts and images highlighting those special memories that we all shared with Panda.

A very worthy occasion for a worthy friend, who will be sadly missed. Farewell Panda x

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