Petawawa – A veterans motorcycle club is hoping to raise its colours again at a new clubhouse after its last clubhouse, which was only a few months old, was destroyed by fire in late July. .
Shawn Ducey, President of the Falcons Motorcycle Club Veterans Warrior Crew, received a late-night phone call at the end of July informing him the clubhouse, located on Doran Road, had been destroyed by fire. Following police and fire investigations, it was determined to be arson, but so far no one has been charged in the incident.
“It’s really frustrating,” Mr. Ducey said in an interview. “I didn’t believe it when the phone call came in. It was already burned down. This is a pretty big loss for us.”
He said the person who called the fire in indicated the door was wide open. Police say the door was pried open, as crowbar marks could be seen and the latches were peeled off.
“There is no evidence or clues to point to who it was,” Mr. Ducey said. “There’s a lumber yard very close and there were problems with break-ins the last little while, but I don’t know if the two are connected.”
There are seven club members and they purchased the materials and had the clubhouse built this past spring, he said. Along with the building, there were the usual things lost as well – a bar, chairs, electronics, he added.
“We’re thinking of rebuilding,” Mr. Ducey said noting it may be in a different location.
The members of the club are serving or have served in the Canadian military. The clubhouse is a “place for the guys to go who are going through a tough time or just need a place to vent a little.”
This time, a gofundme account has been set up with the hopes of raising $30,000 to do a rebuild. He said the guys raised the money themselves the first time, and that was hard enough with the pandemic. It would be almost impossible for them to donate that amount of money again, he said.
The account, gofund.me/be2175c0, has so far raised around $5,000. The person who started it wrote: “A week ago our Veterans Club here in Petawawa fell victim to arson. It is heart breaking to look at our Club in ruins. This was a place where veterans and friends gathered to talk, spend time and support each other...It was decimated due to someone's deliberate hateful actions.
We are now in the process of rebuilding our home. Any help is appreciated. All prayers and support are welcome.”
While it may seem strange that a motorcycle club is seeking funds to rebuild, Mr. Ducey said this club, like other veterans’ motorcycle clubs, participates in community events, and has donated to the community, so its members are hopeful the community will help them in its time of need.
Connie Tabbert, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader