A memorial ride on Saturday morning brought together around 400 people to honour the memory of a couple who died in a motorcycle accident last week.
Phil Mooney, 39, and his wife Courtney Mooney, 37, died late on June 12 after a head-on collision on Highway 28A in Edmonton. Both Mooneys were affiliated with the Nam Knights, a motorcycle club made up of military veterans and former law enforcement personnel, so when a call was put out to hold a motorcycle ride in their honour, hundreds gathered for the event.
Stephen Moir, a member of the Nam Knights, praised the work Phil and Courtney did to help veterans. He said Phil —who was a veteran that served in Afghanistan and was part of the Lord Strathcona’s Horse regiment — worked with homeless veterans to secure safe housing. Courtney was a service officer with the Royal Canadian Legion who processed veterans’ files to help them receive disability claims, helping many Knights club members.
“The two of them were a huge, huge part of our family, a huge part of the veterans community, and this loss is horrendous for us,” Moir said.
“We’ve lost a big piece of our family.”
The motorcycle procession began near the Edmonton Garrison before travelling to Highway 28A, north of Manning Drive, where the collision took place. There’s now a ghost bike and memorial set up in the Mooneys’ honour.
To Moir, Phil was a quiet man who was a friend to everyone he met, while Courtney was full of laughter and the life of the party.
The couple are survived by their two young children. Moir said he hopes the lesson people will take away from Phil and Courtney’s passing, is to be safer on the road.
“We’ve lost two people as a result of someone not paying attention or not driving appropriately and now we have two small children that are now missing their parents,” Moir said.
“I think that is a lasting impression on everyone. Two young people in their 30s needlessly lost as a result of an improper action, allegedly.”
The ride was also partially organized by Ride In Paradise Memorials (RIP’M), a group that organizes these rides in honour of fallen motorcyclists when they pass away. Cory Bacon, a member of RIP’M, said he didn’t know Phil and Courtney personally, but that Saturday’s ride was a testament to the supportive nature of Edmonton’s growing motorcyclist community.
“Every year that I work with the community, the love for the community grows,” Bacon said.
“Everybody seems to be joining in together now. And any time we can hold a large event, we bring more and more of those people together.”
Jean-Louis Delisle, another Nam Knights member, called the Mooneys two of the most genuine people you could ever meet. The Nam Knights’ website describes it as a club formed to help veterans who are unable to physically or financially help themselves, and Delisle added it also provides a sense of brotherhood, which is how close he felt with Phil and Courtney Mooney.
“I miss them, I love them and they’ll always be with me, with us,” Delisle said.